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SVP International

Staff & Board


Lauren Johnson, Executive Director

Lauren joined the SVP team in February, 2012 to launch the Ready for Kindergarten Collaborative. Lauren later stepped into her current role as Director of Community Impact, providing strategic guidance and operational leadership for SVP’s capacity-building investments. Read More »

Darren Davidson, Deputy Director

Darren joined SVP in May of 2018 as Vice President of Operations & Finance with a strong background in business management, financial analysis, process development, and information technology. Darren has worked in a variety of industries, from financing to construction. Read More »

Mark Chapman, Controller

Mark joined the SVP team in November 2018 as our Controller. He has an extensive background in helping small businesses run efficiently, with a focus on financial planning and operations. Mark will help SVP Portland establish best-in-class accounting functions and ensure that our planning and reporting allow us to make prudent internal strategy decisions. Read More »

Sarah Cohen-Doherty, Community Impact Manager

As Community Impact Manager, Sarah intersects her knowledge of early childhood education and experience in project management. After earning a master's degree in teaching from Willamette University, Sarah gained firsthand experience in classroom and administrative settings. At SVP, Sarah is energized about addressing systemic issues in the field of early learning, with a lens on the impact of our work. Read More »

Liz Fouther-Branch, Encore Fellows Program Coordinator

Liz became an Encore Fellow in the Fall of 2014 as an open candidate and served as an Expansion Representative for an organization called Playworks. Her job was to collect and collate data, reach out to schools, districts, and communities, both rural and urban, and to expand the organizations reach beyond Portland and SW Washington. Read More »

Melinda Gross, Director of Equity

Melinda joined the SVP team in August 2017 to coordinate and plan learning opportunities, as well as grow SVP's commitment to advance racial equity. She was drawn to SVP because she started out her career working with underserved kids and youth, and has experienced how the lack of understanding and opportunities can diminish future success. Read More »

Matt Little, Director of Investor Partnerships

As SVP’s Director of Investor Partnerships, Matt helps Investor Partners identify and achieve their goals for connection, learning, and impact. Through regular contact and the cultivation of authentic personal relationships, he ensures that Investor Partners are informed and engaged to the degree that provides maximum satisfaction and return on investment—both for the Partners and for SVP Portland. Read More »

Steven Maser, Learning Facilitator & Encore Fellows Program Coordinator

Steve joined SVPP as manager of the Encore Fellows program in January, 2014, after a career at Willamette University's Atkinson Graduate School of Management. At Willamette, Steve served as an administrator and taught MBA students about negotiating, managing organizational conflict, and government. Read More »

Rose Rezai, Director of Community Impact

Rose brings more than ten years of experience with nonprofit programs serving youth and families, most recently as Deputy Director at Friends of the Children, a former SVP Portland Community Partner. Her background is extensive, including resource development and programmatic leadership, providing cross-functional strategy and alignment, and building organizational systems Read More »


Kerry McClenahan, Board Chair

In January of 2019, Kerry was reelected to the Board, and as Chair, by a unanimous vote. Kerry is dedicated to helping SVP pursue not the easiest path, but the one with greatest potential, as we navigate inevitable challenges and evaluate opportunities for leveraging our resources towards securing “Preschool for All” and ensuring the long-term wellbeing of SVP Portland. Read More »

Linda Hassan Anderson, Board Vice Chair

A current SVP Board member and its Vice Chair, Linda has leveraged her long standing executive leadership career in early childhood to support the development of SVP’s “Preschool for All” initiative. Linda’s career in early childhood education spans four decades including direct service, program administration, and policy advocacy. Read More »

Nicole Thibodeau, Board Treasurer

A corporate financial expert, advisor, educator, and speaker, Nicole has 30 years of experience making numbers sing, dance, and rock. She has spent her career partnering with growth-minded individuals to leverage talent, financial language, and strategies for exponential growth and success. Read More »

Charlie Gilkey, Board Secretary

Charlie chose to join SVP Portland’s Board because he appreciates SVP’s preventative mission—addressing the root cause of the opportunity gap rather than the effects of that gap later in life. Read More »

Terry St. Marie, Chair Emeritus

Terry joined SVP in late 2014, inspired by its mission and driven by his strong belief in the power of a committed and energized group of individuals rallied around a great cause. He sees venture philanthropy as a powerful and impactful force of good for our community, our state, our country, and our planet. Read More »

John Branam, Director

John Branam is passionate about the transformative power of learning. He has a fervent commitment to improving outcomes for kids - especially students of color, and students from challenging backgrounds. John decided to join our Board because he was compelled by the Universal Preschool concept as a powerful equity strategy for our community. Read More »

Ken Harris, Director

Ken Harris joined SVP Portland as a new board member in 2016 after first serving as an Encore Fellow in 2015. He is an attorney with extensive experience in venture capital, minority economic development, finance and accounting in various industries. Read More »

Paula Little, Director

Paula joins the SVP Board of Directors through her participation in SVP’s Rising Leaders for Social Change program. As the National Vice President of Development for Stand for Children, Paula comes to the board with more than 15 years of Development leadership and contemporary perspectives on nonprofit and philanthropic sectors. Read More »

Kimberly Melton, Director

Kimberly Melton joins the SVP Board with experience in public policy for children and equity. As the Public Policy/Senior Policy Advisor to Multnomah County Chair Kafory’s office, Kim spends her days working on efforts including Early Learning Multnomah, the Portland Children’s Levy, and SUN Services. Read More »

Heather Paulson, Director

Heather Paulson has been a Partner with SVP since moving to Portland 8 years ago.  She continues to be inspired by the concept of venture philanthropy and is particularly excited about the new "Ready for Kindergarten" focus.  With this focus, she believes that SVP is well positioned to have an outsized impact on early childhood education in Multnomah County. Read More »

Linda Weston, Director

Linda comes to us after a long and successful tenure as the Executive Director of the Oregon Entrepreneurs Network - a nonprofit that provides resources, mentoring, education and support to startups. Read More »