Board of Directors


Melanie Collins
Falmouth, Maine
As an RN, Melanie worked coast to coast, easing the human experience of birth and death. In 1999, she opened her business teaching and caring for infants. She is an active leader in the Main Street Alliance, the Maine Small Business Coalition and Maine People’s Alliance.

Kelly Conklin
Bloomfield, New Jersey
Kelly Conklin co-founded Foley-Waite Associates, an architectural woodworking company, in New Jersey in 1978. Conklin is a key leader with the New Jersey Main Street Alliance and serves on MSA’s national steering committee. He testified before Congress about health care in 2009 and has provided a small business perspective for national media programs including MSNBC’s Your Business and NPR’s Marketplace.

Tim Conmee
Bangor, Maine
An active community leader with Maine People’s Alliance, Tim is also a nurse at St. Joseph’s Hospital. Among other activities, Tim has played a key role in outreach to small business owners.

Beverly DeLeonardis
Medford, Oregon
Formerly a union steward for Communications Workers of America and an IBEW member, Bev is now retired. She is President of the Board of Oregon Action and a member of OA’s health care and housing committees.

Gary Delgado
Oakland, California
Formerly Executive Director of the Applied Research Center, Gary was an initial organizer of ACORN, a lead organizer with the National Welfare Rights Organization, and a co-founder and director of the Center for Third World Organizing (CTWO). He was a scholar-in-residence at the Institute for the Study of Social Change at UC Berkeley.

Leonel Garcia
Boise, Idaho
Leo is a Board Member of the Idaho Community Action Network.

Jesse Graham
Bar Harbor, Maine
Jesse is Executive Director of the Maine People’s Alliance (MPA) and the Maine People’s Resource Center (MPRC). He graduated from the University of Vermont in 1998. He has worn many hats at MPA/MPRC since he was hired in 1999, serving as Field Director, Community Organizer, Associate Director and liaison to many coalitions.

Gail Gutsche
Missoula, Montana
Gail is the director of the Montana Organizing Project.

Michaelynn Hawk
Butte, Montana
Michaelynn has been a longtime community leader focusing on education, health care, policing, and other issues. She now directs Indian People’s Action in Montana.

Dan HoSang
Eugene, Oregon
Dan was formerly the Executive Director of PUEBLO, a citywide racial justice organization in Oakland, California. Dan is now a professor of American Studies at the University of Oregon in Eugene.

Kayse Jama
Portland, Oregon
Kayse is Executive Director of the Center for Intercultural Organizing. Born into a nomad family in Somalia, Kayse left when the civil war erupted, and finally found sanctuary in Portland. An original founder of the Center, Kayse was most recently a Trainer/Organizer at Western States Center under a New Voices Fellowship.

Deana Knutsen
Lynnwood, Washington
Deana is the mother of a son born with hearing loss and facial deformity, and medical bills have forced her family to live at poverty level. She has been a leader in Washington Community Action Network’s Health Care Project since 1992, and in 1999 she was elected to the board of Stevens Hospital, a public hospital serving south Snohomish County, where Deana lives.

Donna Polk-Primm
Omaha, Nebraska
Donna is the CEO of Nebraska Urban Indian Health Clinic.

Ramón Ramírez
Woodburn, Oregon
Ramón co-founded Pineros y Campesinos Unidos del Noroeste (PCUN) in 1985 and has been PCUN President since 1992. Ramon also co-founded CAUSA, Oregon’s immigrant rights coalition, in 1996.

Rosemary Rivera
Rochester, New York
Rosemary is an Organizing Director for Citizen Action of New York

Rinku Sen
New York City
Rinku is the Executive Director of Race Forward: The Center for Racial Justice Innovation, formerly Applied Research Center.

Joe Szakos
Charlottesville, Virginia
Joe has been the Executive Director of Virginia Organizing since 1994. He was the founding coordinator of Kentuckians for the Commonwealth and has also done community organizing in Chicago and Hungary. Joe is author, with his wife Kristin Layng Szakos, of two books: We Make Change: Community Organizers Talk About What They Do—And Why and Lessons From The Field: Organizing In Rural Communities.

Robinhawk Wilson
Lewiston, Idaho
Leo is a Board Member of the Idaho Community Action Network.


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