Staff and Board of Directors
Board of Directors:
Margarita Gutierrez, President
Margarita was born in Michoacan, Mexico and immigrated to the United States at the age of five. As a daughter of working class parents, she grew up with passion for human and worker rights. Margarita graduated with a BA in American Ethnic Studies from Willamette University in 2012. Her undergraduate education provided Margarita with the language she needed to name and discuss many of the injustices she saw in our society. Margarita’s passion for justice contributes to her investment in the work VOZ does.
Elizabeth Fussell, Treasurer
Lizzie is the Healthy Families Senior Program Specialist at Multnomah County Health Department. Before that she was the policy and research director at Oregon Community Health Workers Association where she strengthened community health workers to fully participate in policymaking and managed Warriors of Wellness where health organizations contract for culturally specific community health workers services. Lizzie went to Lewis and Clark for undergraduate school and PSU as a graduate. She was the Voz Development Director for three years started in 2008.
Peter Parks, Secretary
Peter is retired from Portland ILWU Local 8, longshore workers union. He has also been a member of the Machinist’s Union, working at Cummins Northwest as a diesel mechanic for 14 years. He has been involved in social justice and workers rights issues for many years, working with Portland Jobs with Justice, PCASC (Portland Central America Solidarity Committee, participating in labor delegations to Venezuela/Colombia and Mexico), and Voz. He is a co-chair of the Immigrant Rights Committee of Portland Jobs with Justice. Peter is married, has two adult children and a golden retriever.
Lauren Norris, Member
Lauren is from Portland, OR. She has a Master’s degree from the Institute of Non-profit Administration at Lewis and Clark College. She worked as a development and community organizer for a number of non-profits before her 10 years as a community organizer at the City’s Office of Neighborhood Involvement. She has been working for the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability since 2006. Lauren has volunteered in Guatemala since 1993, working in a variety of community development and health promotion programs with the Mayan Quiche and Tzutuhuil communities.
John Munson, Member
Is a retired attorney and long time Quaker activist who has volunteered with VOZ for the last few years as a wage claim advisor, with a hiatus in 2011 and 2012 when he and his wife served as Peace Corps volunteers in Botswana.
Guillermo Diaz, Member
Guillermo has been a worker in Portland for over 25 years. He suffered an injury on the job that left him unable to work for over 2 years. In 2013 he discovered the legal clinic where he was sought help recovering medical costs and lost wages. He has been active at the MLK Workers’ Center ever since. Guillermo specializes in painting, sheet rock and laying tile after receiving skills training in these areas at Voz. He is working on his English and enjoys being on the computer with his free time.
Antonio Lara is the Chief Marketing Officer of Lara Media Services LLC. Born in Chihuahua, Mexico Antonio has lived in Portland since 2006.Additionally, Antonio serves as a board member of the City Club of Portland and is the co-chair of the Latino Network’s Unid@s advisory committee.
Yvonne was born and raised in the Phoenix area where she earned her Bachelor’s degree in Social Work. She was a case manager for Maricopa County Healthcare for the Homeless and then Central City Concern before deciding to change things up. In 2007, Yvonne began working for the City of Portland as a Sustainability Advisor providing sustainability education and technical assistance to Portland businesses. Yvonne now works as a fundraiser for the Virginia Garcia Memorial Health Clinic. Yvonne supports local social justice organizations including the Social Justice Fund where she participated in a Giving Project. She lives in the Montavilla neighborhood with her longtime partner, Josh, where she enjoys cooking and baking.
Day Labor Committee:
Jose Luis Espinoza (Pepe), Interim President
Jose Luis is originally from San Luis Potosi, Mexico and he arrive to Portland, Oregon for the first time on the year of 2011. Jose Luis has experienced in plumbing, interior painting and cooking. Jose Luis’ vision for the worker center is to create a space where the workers have a complete involvement to open the worker center 7 days to increase more jobs per week.
Romeo Sosa, Executive Director
(503) 381-0848 or (503) 233-6787
Romeo is an indigenous Mayan organizer born in Guatemala. Romeo has significant experience in grassroots organizing, leadership development, and strategic planning. He has worked as a rural researcher and indigenous rights organizer, developing Popular Education materials in Guatemala’s rural communities. He also worked as an advocate for displaced survivors of war at la Organizacion de Servicios de Solidaridad in Mexico. Romeo uses art as a tool to communicate the relationship between immigration and globalization and to demonstrate the economic injustices present in rural communities. As past Director of the St. Francis Church dining hall, Romeo coordinated volunteer programs, directed events, and supervised staff.
Paul Riek, Deputy Director
Ashley Jackson, Bookkeeper
Cristial Salgado, MLK Jr. Worker Center Director
Cristian is a first generation immigrant raised in Springfield, Oregon. He’s a recent graduate of the University of Oregon, receiving a Bachelor’s of Science in Political Science with a minor in Business Administration. He has over 5 years of experience working with the low-income Spanish speaking community in a professional capacity. His experience is diverse: working as a coordinator for jobs assistance program, drug and alcohol treatment program assistant and youth program facilitator.
Juan Sop, MLK Jr. Worker Center Coordinator
Juan emigrated to the Unites States from Guatemala when he was 16. He began seeking work at the MLK Worker Center in 2008 and has stayed involved ever since, serving on the Executive and Day Labor Committees and ultimately getting hired as the Worker Center Coordinator in 2014.
Andrew Wirth, Development Director