Kay D. Toran, President/Chief Executive Officer and Board Member
Volunteers of America Oregon (VOA Oregon) is led by Kay D. Toran, President/CEO. For over twenty years, Ms. Toran has been at the helm of this 124-year old non-profit agency; a broad-based, human-services organization providing programs designed to help improve the lives of children, families, and seniors. After graduating from the University of Portland with a BA in Sociology/Psychology, Ms. Toran married and moved to Wertheim, Germany to join her husband. After returning to Portland, Oregon, she continued her education at Portland State University earning an MSW from the School of Social Work and later was hired by Portland State University as an Assistant Professor of Social Work. She served in several management positions in the State of Oregon during her ascent up the career ladder, including six years as the Director of Oregon’s Child Welfare agency and seven years as the Director of Oregon’s Affirmative Action Office under Governor Vic Atiyeh. Ms. Toran was raised in Portland’s predominantly African American community; one of four children of Ben and Mary Rose Dean; successful entrepreneurs who located to the Northwest during the Great Migration. The Deans founded a small business, Dean’s Beauty Salon and Barber Shop, which is still owned and operated by a member of the family today and is the oldest African American owned business in the State of Oregon. They not only founded the business but also constructed the building on a then vacant lot, which was a huge accomplishment at the time given all the restrictions on loaning money to African Americans. Ms. Toran currently serves on the Providence Health and Services’ Oregon Community Ministry Board and on the Board of Regents of the University of Portland. Due to her leadership, effectiveness, and success serving those in our community – Ms. Toran has been honored with numerous awards during her career. To highlight a few, she has received an honorary doctorate degree from the University of Portland; the Urban Pioneer Award from Portland State University; the CEO of the Year for Non-Profits from the Portland Business Journal; Ecumenist of the Year Award from Ecumenical Ministries of Oregon; the Award for Excellence from the State Management Association of the State of Oregon, the Vic Atiyeh Award for Excellence in Education from Concordia University; and the Sandra McDonough Leadership Award from the Portland Business Alliance. Ms. Toran was also honored by Portland Mayor Sam Adams with a Day of Appreciation in her name for the significant contributions she made to the community as a servant-leader. Ms. Toran is the mother of two adult children and the grandmother of three. She delights in saying, “all that we do is on behalf of the children. They deserve our best!”
John Ng, Chief Financial Officer
John Ng currently serves as CFO at VOA Oregon. John was appointed to the role in April 2017 after having joined the organization in November 2012. Prior to joining VOA Oregon, John was an auditor at PricewaterhouseCoopers - Banking & Capital Markets Group in Tokyo, Japan. John’s other nonprofit experience includes legal advocacy for homeless and low-income clients in San Francisco. He also worked at Community Development Financial Institutions in Honolulu where he provided micro-financing to local enterprises. John received a BA from the University of Oregon and a Master’s of Accounting degree from the University of Hawaii at Manoa. He is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and Oregon Society of Certified Public Accountants. John serves on the Portland regional board of Financial Executives Alliance Nonprofit Association. He also served on the budget and audit committees at the Beaverton School District in Oregon. Currently John is also an adjunct Professor teaching Financial Management for Nonprofit Organizations at Portland State University’s Master of Public Administration program.
Ann Allard-Robinett, Chief Operating Office
Ann Allard-Robinett joined VOA Oregon as the Chief Operating Officer in June 2019. Prior to joining VOA Oregon — Ann was the COO with Tri-City Health Center, a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) in Fremont, California. Prior to this Ann was COO for seventeen years with South Bay Family Health Care, an FQHC located in Southern California where she was born and raised. Ann earned her BA in History from University of California San Diego, and her Master’s in Organizational Psychology from California School of Professional Psychology. Her professional career for the past 30+ years has been in nonprofit community healthcare. She is a strong and continuous advocate for providing the best care and quality of service to the community and building a workplace that is engaging and committed to the staff. Ann and her family relocated to Oregon a few years ago, after many bicycle trips throughout the state and finding an old farm in need of much tender and loving restoration.
Paul Kirk, Chief Properties & Business Development Officer
Paul Kirk currently serves as Chief Properties & Business Development Officer at VOA Oregon. He was appointed to the role in December 2019. Prior to joining VOA Oregon, Paul was the Director for the Jimmy & Rosalynn Carter Work Project and served as Director of Development at Habitat for Humanity where he was able to secure funding for affordable housing development and lead the Aging in Place program while directing multi-county region ReStores. Paul’s other nonprofit experience includes acting as COO for an international micro loan financing nonprofit with operations in Africa and India. He also has over ten years of experience as CEO of a foundation that secured over $3.5 million in annual funding for food, clothing, educational and transportation programs. Paul’s business experience includes over 15 years of venture capital, startup management and funding, and 13 years of executive account management with several Fortune 50 and Fortune 100 engineering firms and businesses. Paul received a BA in Organizational Leadership from Bethel University and he serves on the Central Eastside Together Board.
Mike Wiebe, Human Resources Director
Mike Wiebe joined VOA Oregon as the Human Resources Director in February 2020. Prior to VOA Oregon, Mike worked for Fred Meyer and their parent company Kroger throughout Oregon and Texas in leadership roles for nearly 15 years and a local not-for-profit in the sustainability field. Mike has a BS from Portland State University and a MA from Concordia University, St. Paul, in Human Resources Management.
Pam Kelly, Division Director for Treatment and Prevention Services
Pam has a Bachelors degree in Psychology, a Masters degree in Management and Public Administration, and a Masters degree in Social Work. She completed a post-master’s training and certification program in Marital & Family Therapy and is a certified chemical dependency counselor. Ms. Kelly has worked in the field of chemical dependency, mental health, family therapy, and offender rehabilitation for the past 20 years. She has broad experience in developing and managing social service programs serving these populations. Her experience includes serving as the Treatment Director for the Broward County Division of Alcohol and Drug Abuse Services (Fort Lauderdale, Florida), directing the Dual-Diagnosis Adolescent Unit (Charter Ridge Hospital, Lexington, Kentucky), and serving as the Program Director for the Women’s Residential Center at VOA Oregon, treating high-risk, dually-diagnosed offenders.
Elizabeth Sherman, Division Director of Children and Family Programs
Elizabeth Sherman has led services for families at VOA Oregon for over 19 years. She managed programs for families with Child Welfare involvement, strengthening parenting and facilitating reunification. She has also directed our partnership with Home Forward Public Housing to prevent substance abuse and promote healthy lifestyles and academic success among youth and families at five sites. She has a BA in Early Childhood Education and is a Certified Prevention Specialist.
Board of Directors
Steve Moceri, Board Chair
Steve Moceri joined VOA of Oregon with a wealth of experience in both the for- and non-profit sectors. Steve joined the board of VOA after a chance meeting with Kay Toran at a University of Portland event. They discovered a shared interest in historic and current social justice issues and were eager to find a way to collaborate. Over the past 33 years, Steve’s career included serving as owner and CEO of Moceri’s Puyallup Chrysler Plymouth, owner and CEO of Moceri Leasing, and owner and property manager of Torre-Alta Investment Company. After selling the automobile dealership in 1997, Steve enrolled at University of Washington Tacoma in the first cohort of the Master of Social Work (MSW) program. Using his business acumen and social work knowledge, Steve had participated in both direct services and advisory capacities in the start-up of Homeless Coalition and as a consultant for Step By Step. He has also served on community boards, including the University of Washington Tacoma Chancellor’s Advisory Board, American Red Cross Pierce County Chapter, Pierce College Development Board, and The Family Room of Portland, OR, which provides family reunification training. Steve moved to Oregon in 2012, following a career move by his wife, Joane to the School of Nursing at the University of Portland, where she eventually served as Dean. Steve and Joane currently split their time between Portland and the Oregon Coast. They have three children and five grandchildren. Steve holds a BA in Accounting from the University of Puget Sound and an MSW from the University of Washington, Tacoma (Children, Youth, and Families).
Carmen Gaston, Vice Chair
Carmen C. Gaston is the Director of Mission Advancement at the Archdiocese of Portland. She currently oversees all communications and development efforts in support of the Catholic Church in western Oregon. A longtime advancement professional, Carmen previously served as the Chief Development & Strategy Officer for Catholic Charities Oregon and the Assistant Vice President for Alumni Relations and Planning at the University of Portland. Prior to serving in non-profit roles, she worked in brand and product management at John Deere. A native of Portland, she attended the University of Portland and Creighton University School of Law. Carmen is involved in many social issues and presently leads the Family, Food, and Faith Program that has fed over 350,000 families in western Oregon during the coronavirus pandemic.
Adrienne Livingston, Secretary
A native Oregonian, Adrienne Livingston received her Bachelor's degree in Marketing, International Business and International Studies from Oregon State University and her Master of Arts in Intercultural Studies from Western Seminary. She is Director of Anti-Sex Trafficking Initiatives with WorldVenture. Adrienne is bilingual in Spanish and English and has traveled to and or lived in numerous countries including Costa Rica, Ecuador, Denmark, Mexico, Canada, Dominican Republic, Lebanon and India. While living in the Dominican Republic for two years, she worked at the American Chamber of Commerce of the Dominican Republic.
Greg Warner, Treasurer
Greg is the Vice President and co-founder of Hines Warner Wealth Management, LLC. As a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional, he specializes in financial planning and stewarding investment plans for high net worth families and business owners. Greg believes that trust is the key ingredient in a successful client partnership and works hard to earn that trust every single day. His philosophy is to be an educator first and foremost, empowering clients with the knowledge they need to make the best decisions for their financial lives. Greg is a 20 year industry veteran and in 2009 was profiled in Forbes magazine. He received the annual Five Star Professional award for Wealth Managers in 2016. Prior to co-founding Hines Warner Wealth Management, he spent six years at McGee Financial Strategies /Raymond James as a Registered Representative. During his tenure, Greg implemented numerous asset management solutions for high net worth individuals. He was responsible for client portfolio construction, asset allocation strategies, and served as a key member of the firm’s Investment Committee. Greg is active in his community and currently serves on the Board of Directors for Volunteers of America® Oregon and the Resource Development Committee for The Circus Project. From 2009 to 2014, he served on the Resource Development Board of CARES Northwest. Greg graduated with a B.S. in Business Administration from the University of Oregon in 2000, received his MBA from Portland State University in 2008, and his CFP® certification from the College of Financial Planning in 2012. He holds Series 63 and 65 securities licenses. He resides in Portland, Oregon with his family.
Capt. David Abrahamson, Director
David Abrahamson is a captain with the Portland Police Bureau. In 2000, David began his law enforcement career with Portland Public School Police Department with the desire to work with youth and families. Early in his career David participated as a member of the Police Bureau’s Service Coordination Team working alongside social service providers, including Volunteers of America Oregon, whom he strongly supported. Throughout his career David has assisted the bureau as an Executive Officer in the Chief’s Office, overseen the Traffic Division’s Major Crash Team, served on the Community Engagement Steering Committee through the Department of Justice, and partnered as a peer member for the Employee Assistance Program. David sought his undergraduate degree at Liberty University. In 2018, he graduated from the FBI National Academy, in Quantico, Virginia, which is for executive level law enforcement. Throughout his career, David has been the recipient of state, regional, and local awards for spearheading grass-roots programs with the immigrant and underserved communities and overseeing in-depth investigations. David currently serves on the Executive Council for Special Olympics Oregon and non-profit Integrated Renewal. David has been married to his wife Debbie for 22 years, and enjoys investing in their seven children, which includes volunteering as a coach for youth sports, organic gardening, and outdoor activities.
Sandy Chung is currently the Vice President for Human Resources and Title IX Coordinator at the University of Portland. Previously, she held director positions at Stanford University and Santa Monica College. Before her work in higher education, Sandy was a trial attorney at Irell & Manella LLP, a nationally-acclaimed intellectual property litigation firm; she also worked as a resource development officer at the LA Mayor’s Office on community-based violence prevention efforts. A native of Portland and a graduate of Sunset High School, Harvard College, and Harvard Law School, Sandy has engaged in a wide range of pro bono work involving important social issues, including human trafficking, immigrant and refugee rights, domestic violence, elder abuse, and worker’s rights.
Dr. Andrea Cook, Director
Dr. Cook is President Emerita of Warner Pacific University (WPU). During her time leading WPU, Dr. Andrea Cook was a driving force behind the institution embracing its identity as an urban institution dedicated to serving the city of Portland and students historically underserved by higher education. Through specially tailored programs, WPU students who identify as first-generation college attenders are achieving their higher education goals, paving the way to a brighter future. Dr. Cook was instrumental in the University becoming a Hispanic Serving (HSI) and Minority Serving Institution, with scholarship and academic programs focused on providing access for under-represented students to attend Warner Pacific, with the objective of earning a degree that will prepare them to lead in their community. For over 40 years, Dr. Andrea Cook was dedicated to higher education leadership, holding positions at Judson Baptist College, University of Oregon, George Fox University, and Goshen College before assuming the role of Vice President of Institutional Advancement at Warner Pacific. She was inaugurated as the WPU's seventh and first female President in September, 2009. Cook holds a baccalaureate degree in elementary education from Northwest Nazarene University and both a master's degree and Ph.D. in Educational Policy and Management from the University of Oregon.
John Hairston, Director
John Hairston was named acting administrator and CEO in September 2020. In this role, he is responsible for managing the nonprofit federal agency that markets carbon-free power from Columbia River hydroelectric dams and the region's one nuclear plant. BPA also operates most of the high-voltage power grid across the Pacific Northwest, distributing renewable energy to the region and beyond. Hairston has served as chief operating officer since October 2019, where he has overseen Power Services; Transmission Services; Environment, Fish and Wildlife; Customer Support Services; and the Business Transformation Office. Hairston also served as BPA’s chief administrative officer, beginning in June 2015. In this role he provided policy and strategic guidance concerning BPA’s internal operations and oversaw Safety; Human Capital Management; Security and Continuity of Operations; Supply Chain; Workplace Services and Information Technology. Hairston joined BPA in 1991. He began his career as an economist in the Rates Forecasting and Rate Design organizations and then performed various positions in Energy Efficiency, including the program manager for Peak Load Management. In 2002, Hairston was assigned to implement and manage the BPA Power Services product, Slice. The Slice product accounts for a sizeable portion of BPA’s annual sales with a portfolio of its largest public customers. In 2006, Hairston was named BPA’s chief compliance officer, leading the development and implementation of the Agency Compliance and Governance Organization, providing overall coordination and management of systems and processes established to assure agency compliance with regulatory rules and standards. Hairston holds a bachelor’s degree in economics from The Southern University, a master’s degree in Urban Studies from Portland State University and a Juris Doctorate from the Lewis & Clark Northwestern School of Law. He also holds the certification of Compliance and Ethics Professional from the Society of Corporate Compliance and Ethics.
Joseph A. Pugh, Director
Joseph Pugh is an attorney who has practiced law for over 20 years. Prior to becoming an attorney, he worked as a project engineer. In addition to his law degree, Joe has an undergraduate degree in electrical engineering and an MBA. Having retired from the full-time practice of law in for-profit arenas, Joe has spent time on legal and non-legal activities that directly or indirectly help others. In addition to serving on the VOA Oregon board, some of these activities have included tutoring adults who want to earn their high school equivalency certificates, serving as a volunteer mediator for neighbors having disputes, and serving on a steering committee to establish a law firm to provide civil legal services for survivors of domestic violence. Beyond that, Joe enjoys being at home, doing work around the house, exercising, visiting his daughters, and spending time with his wife.
Greg Rickman, Director
Greg Rickman, Senior Vice President, US Bank is a 25-year veteran of the bank where he currently manages a lending team in the Oregon Commercial Banking Division. He currently serves on the board of directors for the March of Dimes, and is a former board member with Oregon Mentors and St. Vincent De Paul. Greg graduated from the University of Oregon with a B.S. in finance.
Bruce Warner, Director
Bruce Warner is President of Warner Group, LLC, which helps public and private organizations find solutions to their transportation, development, and financing problems. He retired from public service where he held Manager/Director positions at City of Hillsboro, the Portland Development Commission (now Prosper Portland), the Oregon Department of Transportation, and Metro. Bruce is a registered Civil Engineer in Oregon and continues serve on various Boards including being President of the TriMet Board of Directors for the past 9 years. He is committed to assist VOA Oregon in its mission to help our region’s most vulnerable residents.
Alfred J. Zindel, Director
Alfred J. Zindel retired in 2014 as Executive Vice President of Dennis Uniform Manufacturing Company in Portland, Oregon. Al holds a B.A. degree in mathematics from Washington State University. Since graduating, he completed executive management courses at Harvard Business School and Darden Business School at University of Virginia. Prior to a career in the apparel industry, he taught secondary school for three years and coached football and basketball. Al and his wife Dot have four grown children and two grandchildren. As parents, they were very active in public school related activities and fundraising.
Barbara Brainard, Director
Barbara Brainard has represented private and public employers in all aspects of labor and employment law, including: class actions, wrongful discharge, discrimination, sexual harassment, retaliation, Sarbanes-Oxley and OSHA whistleblower charges; Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs systemic cases and affirmative action compliance reviews; and administrative proceedings before the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries and Washington Labor and Industries Department of Labor wage/hour compliance agencies. Barbara's clients include Fortune 500 manufacturing companies, retailers, technology companies, forest product companies, construction and supply defense contractors and sub-contractors, hospital and health care institutions, agricultural companies and educational institutions. Barbara is listed in Best Lawyers in America and selected as one of "America's Leading Lawyers for Business" (Labor & Employment). Along with serving as a board of director with VOA Oregon since 2001, Barbara also serves as a board of director for Resource Media and is the Chair of Oregon alumni Admissions Committee – Middlebury College in Vermont. Barbara has a J.D. from Willamette University College of Law and a B.A. from Rutgers University.