HF 2018 Board and Committees
Title: Co-founder & (INTERIM) President
Abram Katz is a passion-driven social artist with over ten years of teaching experience. He holds a Sound Arts degree from Ex’pression College for Digital Arts. He currently offers teaching internships and teaching consulting for Southern Oregon University through immersive creative arts programming. Katz creates safe and structured classroom environments where students are encouraged to get to know each other and find common ground. His strength lies in his ability to assess the passions and challenges of diverse communities, and respond with dignity and inclusivity. His team-based approach to learning creates unique opportunities for students to cultivate their voice, connect with their community, and share their unique message with the world. Katz is committed to positive change through youth development. Katz co-founded Indigital Kids, a successful SF Bay Area educational non-profit, where he brought expressive arts to underserved populations from 2005-2010. Katz has worked in the Rogue Valley for 4+ years, bridging the gap between schools and community resource and is currently working to expand HF’s youth services to Eugene and Portland, OR.
Title: Co-founder & (INTERIM) Vice President
Antonio Melendez is a professional filmmaker, musician and entrepreneur. Since moving to the Rogue Valley 15 years ago, he has served as an educator, business owner and dedicated community activist. His ultimate passion is supporting the youth of his community. By providing a structured, fun, entertaining and safe environment for his students, he is able to reach their hearts and inspire them to look inward for their strength, passion and determination to excel. Mr. Melendez currently tells powerful and inspiring stories with his company, Heartisan Films, and has greatly benefitted from the unique community of the Rogue Valley. Through the expansion of the Heartisan brand, Antonio will be working with teens in Jackson, Josephine, Curry County and the surrounding areas.
Title: Board Secretary & Treasurer
Ian Villarreal is an accountant, registered tax preparer, and video archivist. His accounting and tax service reaches individuals and small businesses, and he works part-time for H&R Block. He is a member of the Board of Vimala Video, a nonprofit organization dedicated to the video documentation and preservation of the positive wisdom teachings of Buddhist teachers. A long-time Buddhist practitioner, his commitment to right livelihood, mindfulness, and compassion guides him in his work and life.
Title: Board Consultant
Bob’s background includes challenging assignments with full P&L responsibilities reporting to a Board of Directors. In each situation, he demonstrated strong leadership skills and an ability to accept responsibility, solve problems, implement “change” required to lead a team of professionals to exceed strategic goals, and increase shareholder value.
• Successfully “TURNED AROUND” a troubled specialty sporting goods business by formulating and executing a formal strategic plan that re-positioned the product line, revitalized sales, and opened new markets to sustain profitability, reduced $4.8M in debt, increased margin to 50%, and sales by 400%.
• Successfully “REORGANIZED” a cash negative manufacturing operation into a cash positive sales marketing operation with proprietary technology focused on building a recognized label that resulted in a debt free balance sheet, new trademarks and patents, and exponential sales increases (in less than one season).
• Bob launched a “STARTUP” by integrating the acquisition of 2 famous label companies with 3 private label licensing agreements, resulting in $16.6M in first year revenues with less than $1M in overhead expenses.
• Contributed as a key member of the management team that is credited with the “GROWTH” of REI from $5M to over $500M.
• Participated in the founding of a green business startup, development of proprietary products, and a successful IPO.
Title: Board Member
Kelly Wessel is the Chief Operating Officer for United Community Action Network, bringing her experience in human services and development for 25 years. She currently is mobilizing and integrating essential direct services and national service activities to build capacity to better serve those living in poverty. At UCAN, she oversees work performed for two counties in the following program areas: Housing/Homeless Services, Energy Assistance, Weatherization, Transportation, National Service, Senior/Disabled, Food Security, Economic/Social Justice, Property Management and Youth Services. Kelly has 21 years of experience working in Josephine County as community leader, educator, served as an adjunct faculty member to Rogue Community College, as well as other sites of instruction at post-secondary level in the Pacific Northwest. She is an experienced non-profit group facilitator, specializes in strategic planning, system/service integration, advocacy, diversity/equity training and conflict resolution training. Kelly has held leadership roles in statewide networks including service as a Governor’s Commission Appointee and is active in legislative affairs at the local, state and federal level. Kelly has a B.S. in Education, Training & Development from Southern Illinois University-Carbondale and obtained an Oregon Mediation Certificate from Southern Oregon University and attended the American Academy of Dramatic Arts.
Title: Board Member
Ashraya Ananthanarayanan is an undergraduate student with Harvard University pursuing legal studies. She takes a vision and makes it a reality through sound strategy development. She harbors a diverse background, with experience in fields ranging from business development to legal compliance. She has had the opportunity of serving as a board member for various arts and educational organizations. She is also the founder of an Internet-based talk show, Generation Leader, which brings together leaders from various fields around the globe. She is currently in the process of setting up the Institution of Enactment Edification and SYSTEM Conferences, student-based leadership and legal initiatives. She has been fortunate to receive the President’s Call to Service Award, Recognition from the Governor of PA, Citizenship Award, and recognition from several local senators and the Mayor of Philadelphia for her service to the fields of education and arts.
Title: Board Consultant
Bio: Sarah Minarik is a strategist, design-thinker and project manager with a passion for treading lightly on the earth and living with curiosity and an open heart. Her career has focused on youth development and sustainable global supply chains, resulting in positive impact on both a local and global scale. As a Program Coordinator for West Contra Costa Unified School District, Sarah managed a team to provide academic and arts programming to over 200 students daily. As the Co-Founder and Executive Director of Indigital Kids, a non-profit youth development program in the Bay Area, Sarah empowered students and their families through music and storytelling. Most recently, she worked to promote sustainable livelihoods for millions of farm workers globally as the Senior Manager of Business Development at Fair Trade USA, which has brought nearly $440 Million in financial benefit to producers around the world. Sarah envisions a future where we can build sustainable systems that promote rich human connections and thriving ecosystems.
Youth Advisory Council
Strengths: Logic models, film production, puzzles
Strengths: Voice-overs, iMovie
Roles: Arts Consultant
Samuel Bishiop-Lee Fieguth
Strengths: Martial Arts, commentary/youth perspective
Role: Homeschool/Charter School Liaison
Strengths: Creative Arts, motivational speaking
Role: Student Recruiter