Board of Directors
Wayne brings a wide-range of legal and volunteer organization experience to his role on LASO’s Board of Directors. He has been a County Counsel for Lincoln County, Oregon since 1987; is a past president of the Oregon County Counsel Association; past chair of the Oregon State Bar’s Government Law Section; and a past chair of United Way for Lincoln County. He is also a Member of the Advisory Board for LASO’s Lincoln County Office in Newport, Oregon.
Sherisa is a labor and employment lawyer. She formerly worked for the Oregon School Boards Association where she provided labor services to school boards across Oregon. Sherisa began her legal career as a staff attorney at LASO where she represented low-income clients in civil rights, employment, housing, family, and administrative law issues. She also served on the race equity team in the LASO Portland Regional Office and attended the prestigious Racial Justice Training Institute at the Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law. Sherisa is an active volunteer in the legal community and currently serves as an executive committee member of the Oregon State Bar’s Civil Rights Section.
Nicole is an owner of DBMA Family Law Group and practices family law in Portland, Oregon. She is the recipient of the 2020 Professionalism Award for the Oregon State Bar, Family Law Section. A Portland native, she attended Portland State University and obtained a philosophy degree from the University Honor’s College. Nicole received her Juris Doctor Degree from Lewis & Clark Northwestern School of Law. She clerked for Oregon Legal Services throughout law school and began her family law career as a legal aid attorney providing access to justice for survivors of domestic violence facing poverty.
A Partner in the law firm of Stoel Rives, Amy serves on the board of directors for the Oregon Law Center, is an Advisory Board member for the Campaign for Equal Justice, and is an emeritus board member of Emerge Oregon. She previously served on the Legal Services Program Committee of the Oregon State Bar and was co-chair of the Campaign for Equal Justice Associate’s Committee.
A graduate of Northwestern University with a B.A. in History and Political Science, Amy finished her J.D. at the University of Washington’s School of Law in 2001 with high honors.
Amy is a 2010 and 2013 recipient of the Stoel Rives LLP Pro Bono Service Award and a 2014 recipient of the Community Leadership Award from the Oregon Area Jewish Committee.
A client representative, Dana is an appointee and former Board member of Washington County Community Action Partnership, where she served as Board Secretary. Dana has been an active member of the community, supporting and helping low-income Oregonians to thrive since 2004.
Martina L. Gordon
A client representative, Martina was originally appointed to the LASO Board of Directors by the Salvation Army, and her appointment was confirmed again by the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation. She is employed by the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla as a housing service coordinator.
Sara is currently in-house counsel at Precision Castparts Corp., and is a former attorney with the Portland, Oregon Corporate practice group of Stoel Rives. She has also served in several posts for the US Department of Energy; as a Sr. Legislative Assistant for a Member of Congress; as Committee staff for the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, U.S. House of Representatives; and as Chief Counsel for the Committee on Science, U.S. House of Representatives.
Sara has been active on various committees at the Oregon State Bar, and is a supporter of the Campaign for Equal Justice. She was also appointed to serve on the Task Force for Independent Science Reviews for Natural Resources established by Oregon Senate Bill 202.
Sara is an alumnus of The College of William and Mary and Cornell School of Law.
A California native, Anabel graduated from California State University – Chico with a B.A. in Marketing, a B.A. in Special Events & Tourism, and a minor in International Business. She currently works for the Farmworker Housing Development Corporation, a community-based non-profit organization dedicated to serving mid-Willamette Valley families by providing stable, safe and affordable housing. Previously, Ms. Hernandez worked with various community organizations including the Chamber of Commerce of Corning and has experience working with and advocating for underrepresented communities. A mother of two, she is passionate about serving the Latino community and using her range of skills to advance and uplift those in Oregon. She enjoys being in nature, music, puzzles, friends and family, and learning new things.
Lance is the Chief Financial Officer for the Portland-based real estate investment company NBP Capital, LLC. He has a BA in business from Lewis & Clark College, and has been a CPA since 1996. He also has extensive experience in preparing tax returns and audited financial statements of non-profit entities.
Lance also sits on the finance committee of the Oregon Zoo Foundation board.
Aaron Jeffers received a B.A. in History with Honors from Georgia State University and a law degree from Willamette University. After observing injustice firsthand while working for the Southern Poverty Law Center, Aaron decided to dedicate his career to public service. Aaron received a fellowship from the Willamette University Public Interest Law Project that allowed him to begin clerking for the Public Defender of Marion County (PDMC) after his first year of law school, and he is now the Deputy Director at PDMC. In addition to working on thousands of cases for indigent clients facing criminal charges, Aaron has also worked to pass important criminal justice reforms as a lobbyist for the Oregon Criminal Defense Lawyer’s Association (OCDLA). Aaron still serves the OCDLA as a voting member of Legislative Committee and as a member of the OCDLA Eduction Committee. Aaron has also served as a member of the Oregon State Bar’s Uniform Criminal Jury Instruction Committee and as a Board Member for the non-profit Deschutes Family Recovery.
Marc practices law in Eugene as Marc D. Perrin, PC, with an emphasis on family law. He holds both a B.A. and J.D. from the University of Oregon.
Marc is a long-standing board member of the Lane County Legal Aid and Advocacy Center. He is an active pro bono volunteer.
Iván is a litigation and appellate attorney in the Portland office of Miller Nash Graham & Dunn LLP and a member of the firm’s appellate, education, and employment and labor relations practice teams. He advises and represents public and private employers, school districts, higher education institutions, and companies on a wide range of employment and commercial matters, including appeals, breaches of contract, class actions, employment discrimination, harassment, retaliation, wrongful termination (as well as other tort claims), professional negligence, CERCLA litigation, and ERISA litigation. Iván has also provided pro bono legal services to asylum seekers, immigrants, victims of domestic violence, civil rights and advocacy groups, and Oregon nonprofits, among others, including representation before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, the Oregon Court of Appeals, and the Oregon Tax Court.
Before joining Miller Nash Graham & Dunn LLP, Iván served as a law clerk for the Honorable Lynn R. Nakamoto at the Oregon Supreme Court and the Oregon Court of Appeals.
A proud “Double Duck,” Iván is an alumnus of the University of Oregon and University of Oregon School of Law. The son of Mexican immigrants, a first-generation college student, and a second-generation Mexican American, Iván is a native Spanish speaker.
Pete has been in and out of public service throughout his career. He formerly served as Legislative Assistant to a State Senator, a Marion County Deputy District Attorney, and, over a span of approximately 22 years, in several roles within the Oregon Department of Justice under five Attorneys General. He then entered private civil, administrative, and government affairs practice with a regional private law firm. His former clients include: the Confederated Tribes of Coos, Lower Umpqua, and Siuslaw Indians; PERS and other State and local public bodies; and, private enterprises with respect to civil/regulatory matters. Pete stopped representing clients in April, 2016, when he began a six-month period as Interim Director of the Department of Environmental Quality.
Pete has resided in Sisters with his spouse since 2016. Between fishing trips, woodworking projects, travel for fun, and shoveling snow from the driveway, Pete volunteers episodically for an eclectic mix of local civic activities. He has served since July, 2018, as a volunteer Circuit Judge Pro Tem in the 22nd Judicial District (Crook and Jefferson Counties). He generally is on the bench one day each week and is indebted to the Presiding Judge for the pleasure of having been assigned matters spanning the full range from barking dog disputes to complex civil and criminal motions.
He is a life-long Oregonian. Pete grew up in Eugene, attended the University of Oregon as an undergraduate, and earned his JD from the UO.
A client representative, Mary was appointed to LASO’s Board by the Southern Oregon Indian Center, where she also serves on the Board of Directors. She also volunteers with the Oregon Youth Authority. Mary works on behalf of senior citizens and low-income Oregonians in rural Oregon and helps take care of her granddaughter.
Assitan Sylia Traore (Assa)
Assa Traore has a Master’s degree in linguistics from Moscow Linguistic University (Former Soviet Union), a Master’s in International Studies, and a graduate certificate in Nonprofit Management from the University of Oregon.
She has been Africa Project Director at INSTOVE, a nonprofit in Cottage Grove, Oregon, that designed big cook stoves for refugee camps and school feeding programs in countries that still rely on wood for cooking.
Since April 2016, she has been successfully running the Little French School, a preschool in Eugene that teaches French to young children 2 to 5 years old and prepares them to embrace the global world.
Assa joined OLC/LASO Board of Directors as a client representative in March 2017. She has over 24 years of experience in Administrative management and is passionate about gender, environment, and education.
A client representative, Marisa was appointed to LASO’s Board of Directors in 2015. She was appointed by Housing Works, the local housing authority for Deschutes, Crook and Jefferson counties. She is a Certified Medical Assistant for an ear, nose and throat office in Bend and the single mother of two girls.
The Honorable Gary Williams
Judge Gary Williams has been active as a senior judge in Oregon for three years after having served as an elected circuit court judge in Crook and Jefferson Counties for nine years. Before becoming a judge, Judge Williams was a deputy district attorney in Crook County, the Chief Deputy District Attorney in Deschutes County and the elected District Attorney in Crook County for 18 years. Judge Williams has been a member of several Bar committees and governor’s commissions relating to public safety, and has taught courses in criminal justice for prosecutors. Judge Williams received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Oregon and a master’s degree from Western Oregon University, where he studied Public Administration and Correctional Programs. He received his J.D degree from Willamette University College of Law. Before attending law school, he worked as a pre-trial release officer and adult probation/parole officer for eight years. He was raised in Polk County. Judge Williams currently has a limited private practice through LASO’s Bend office, representing about 15 clients on a pro bono basis in the last three years.
Ira Zarov grew up in the Chicago area and attended the University of Wisconsin obtaining a BA in 1969 and a JD in 1974. After law school he moved to Oregon and started his legal career as a VISTA lawyer in Coos County Legal Services. He moved to Portland beginning work at the fledgling Oregon Legal Services in 1976. He remained at OLS serving as the Director of Litigation, lobbyist, and from 1989 to 2000 as Executive Director. He was the co-founder of the Campaign for Equal Justice. After leaving legal services he was the CEO of the Professional Liability Fund, a OSB related quasi-governmental organization, which provided malpractice insurance to Oregon lawyers. He retired in 2014. He was the recipient of the Henry Hewitt Award from the Campaign for Equal Justice and the Oregon State Bar Award of Merit. In the past he has served as Chair of the Board of Disability Rights Oregon, the Board of the Fair Housing Counsel, and is now an Emeritus member of the CEJ board.