The mission of the Virginia Garcia Memorial Foundation is to provide enduring support for the Virginia Garcia Memorial Health Center through funding, community relations and through the cultivation of community friendships, partners and donors.
Serena Cruz is Executive Director of the Virginia Garcia Memorial Foundation overseeing fundraising, public relations, advocacy and community partnership activities in support of the Virginia Garcia Memorial Health Center. Serena is active in community organizations serving as a Trustee for The Collins Foundation, a Founders Circle Member of ninety-nine girlfriends, a member of the METRO Housing Bond Oversight Committee, and as a board member for Oregon Historical Society. She served eight years on the Multnomah County Board of Commissioners representing North and Northeast Portland. Serena earned her BA at Lewis & Clark College, an MPP at Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government, and a JD at the University of California at Berkeley. She lives in Northeast Portland, where her daughter attends Tubman Middle School.
Stefanny Caballero is the Development Officer at Virginia Garcia Memorial Foundation. In her role, she works closely with our individual and corporate donors and supporters to engage them in our work and secure financial support for the critical work we do in our community. Prior to joining Virginia Garcia, Stefanny was a corporate relations staff at United Way of the Columbia-Willamette and worked with key corporate partners and donors to run top workplace giving campaigns and engage them United Way’s regional efforts. Stefanny has a background in Corporate Social Responsibility, community engagement, volunteer management, event management, strategic planning, and development of strategies to better serve communities of color.
Born and raised in Honduras, C.A., Stefanny moved to the United States at age 15 and has made the Northwest her home. She graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Finance from Portland State University. She is committed to contributing towards creating a stronger community and has volunteered on the board of directors at Bienestar and Familias en Acción.
Stefanny is passionate about working with and promoting the success of the LatinX community, specifically, in the Portland Metro area, and encouraging youth to thrive and persevere in pursuing goals.
Laura Etherton is the Public Grants Officer at the Virginia Garcia Foundation writing and managing grants from Federal, State and municipalities in support of the Virginia Garcia Memorial Health Center. Before joining Virginia Garcia, she served as the State and Federal Policy Director at the Oregon Primary Care Association, where she worked to expand health care access for all low-income children in Oregon, and ensure ongoing public funding for community health centers across the state. Previously, Laura spend two decades leading work on consumer protection, environmental conservation, and health care policy program at the Oregon State Public Interest Research Group and at the U.S. Public Interest Research Group. Laura served as the co-chair of Oregon’s Medicaid Advisory Committee in 2017 and 2018, guiding the committee’s work to create recommendations to state officials on the social determinants of health. Laura received her Bachelor of Arts from Macalester College. She lives in Portland with her husband and cat, and spends most of her time teaching yoga, reading and growing potatoes in her backyard.
Juan Franco is the Policy and Advocacy Officer at Virginia Garcia Memorial Foundation. In his role, he develops and delivers a strategic plan for external advocacy and internal racial equity work across the health center with the goal of integrating equity into the fabric of the organization. Before joining Virginia Garcia, he served the Executive Director for the Delaware Valley Legacy Fund, one of the oldest grant-making organization serving and empowering the LGBTQ+ community based in the Greater Philadelphia region. Juan has a background in equity informed organizational development, data-informed policy analysis, community engagement and direct legislative advocacy promoting health equity.
Born in Colombia and raised in the United States since he was 3 years old, he has lived in almost every region of the country including Illinois, California, Florida, Connecticut and Pennsylvania. Prior to moving to Portland, he lived in Philadelphia where he earned his BA at Temple University and pursued graduate studies in Urban Bioethics and Biomedical Sciences.
Juan lives in Portland, is an avid photographer, is a dog dad to two energetic mini schnauzer named Baxter and Radar, and enjoys playing soccer.
Michele Haynes is the Foundation Relations Officer of the Virginia Garcia Memorial Foundation where she oversees relationships with local, regional and national foundations in support of the Virginia Garcia Memorial Health Center. Before joining Virginia Garcia, she worked for the Library Foundation in Portland, building private support for Portland’s library system. Before that, Michele was in Anchorage, Alaska, working at the Alaska Humanities Forum as the grants officer and office manager.
Michele has served on the advisory council for the Washington County Nonprofit Network and as vice president for Grant Professionals Association of Oregon and Southwest Washington. She earned her BA of English at University of Alaska Anchorage (UAA) and completed her graduate work for an MA in Literature at UAA.
Born and raised in the Northwest, Michele has lived up and down the west coast, including 11 years in Alaska. Michele and her husband Bob live on an acreage in the hills above Saint Helens with a dog, nine hens and two miniature horses, where they enjoy gardening and family time with their kids and grandkids.
Sammy Magaña is the Development Associate, providing support with individual and corporate donors, event planning, volunteer management, corporate communications, and database entry.
Born and raised in the Pacific Northwest, she loves spending time with her family, traveling, dancing, cooking new recipes and being outdoors. At 21, she saved up $11,000 to backpack through South America for 6 months by herself, making her way through Chile, Argentina, Peru, Colombia, Ecuador, Mexico and Belize. She also spent some time living in Medellín, Colombia and in the rainforest of Costa Rica. Sammy received her Bachelor’s of Science in Integrated Strategic Communications from Washington State University in Vancouver.
Sammy is passionate about community outreach, sharing stories and helping people access quality healthcare because quality medical care is a basic human right. She also serves on Chasing the Sun’s advisory board which focuses on health and wellness for communication professionals
Kayla Mahiko is the Development Coordinator for the Virginia Garcia Memorial Foundation where she manages the donor database and assists with website management, financial reporting and events. Kayla relocated to Oregon from her hometown Honolulu, Hawaii, where she spent three years working in non-profit health care. She has a background in database management, project management, program implementation and process improvement. Kayla received her Bachelors of Science in Business Management from Oregon State University.
She is excited to be a part of the Virginia Garcia family and having the opportunity to use her abilities and experiences to contribute to the community.
Wendy Owen is the Internal Communications Officer and Grant Writer for the Virginia Garcia Memorial Foundation where she writes grant proposals to help fund Virginia Garcia’s amazing programs and gets the word out to employees about all the cool happenings in our clinics and health centers.
Before joining Virginia Garcia, Wendy worked as a reporter for The Oregonian for 16 years. In that time, she wrote stories from the South Coast of Oregon (remember the New Carissa?) to the Columbia River Gorge (remember the mad cow disease scare?). For the last decade, she covered education in Lake Oswego, Beaverton, Hillsboro, Forest Grove and Tigard. In fact, she wrote stories about some of the young patients helped by Virginia Garcia.
Wendy was born and raised in Montana and comes from a long line of Montana pioneers. She likes to joke that to graduate from second grade to third grade, students have to be able to kill a Grizzly bear with a toothpick.
It was far easier for her to graduate from the University of Oregon with a degree in journalism – no bears. She and her husband live in unincorporated Beaverton.
Julie Titus is the Development Associate, providing support to our Corporate and Individual Partnership Officers and Public Relations Officer. Prior to joining Virginia Garcia, Julie spent more than a decade in fundraising, leading teams to reach out door-to-door, over the phone, and with major individual asks on health care, environmental, and consumer protection campaigns.
Julie received her Bachelor of Arts in Women’s and Gender Studies from Macalester College. She also spent two years studying, traveling, and volunteering in Central and South America. She serves on the Board of Directors of OSPIRG Foundation and The Minga Foundation. Julie has lived in Oregon since 2004, and currently resides in western Washington County with her husband and dogs, where she enjoys gardening and photography. She feels privileged to help expand Virginia Garcia’s resources to benefit her neighbors and community.
Kasi Woidyla is the Public Relations Officer of Virginia Garcia Memorial Foundation where she oversees publicity, communications, social media and events for the Foundation and Virginia Garcia Memorial Health Center. Kasi began her career with the Intel Foundation where she worked as the Operations Manager before moving on to the Marketing Department where she supported the Branded Products Division. After leaving Intel her next step took her to The Oregon International Air Show where she served as both the Sponsorship Director and Marketing Director. Most recently she has been an independent marketing consultant for organizations such as Veritas School and the Sherwood Youth Soccer Club.
Kasi received her degree in Rhetoric and Communication from the University of Oregon and enjoys spending time with her husband and three kids, coaching soccer, watching soccer and most importantly, playing soccer and has served on several non-profit Boards over the years.
Kasi has lived in Oregon since she was young and enjoys using her experience and talents towards making our community a better place for everyone that calls Oregon home