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Our Team

Our Team

Ananda Valenzuela

Interim Executive Director, [email protected]

Ananda grew up in Puerto Rico and landed in Seattle to pursue their passion of doing capacity building and leadership development with social impact organizations.

Ananda worked at Third Sector New England, a nonprofit capacity building firm, where they managed a consulting program and developed a fellowship program. Ananda has also held a variety of consultant, governance, and activist roles within the nonprofit sector.

Outside of work, Ananda can usually be found playing intense board games or reading books cover-to-cover.

Jojo Gaon

Operations Support Program Director, [email protected]

JoJo Gaon is a long-time community organizer, photographer, and activist who has worked in the nonprofit world for most of his career. JoJo was also a co-founder of Grryo, which is an international collective of photographers. He helped launch two local young artist movements: Isangmahal and Seattle Youth Speaks.

He regularly contributes to Huffington Post and LifeWire, and has been published in a variety of publications. 

He has been on tour with Justin Timberlake as a photographer, loves playing hold ’em poker, was on an all API team for ultimate frisbee, and is proud of his Pokemon Go pokedex collection. 

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April Nishimura

Director of Capacity Building, [email protected]

April has deep experience in nonprofit management and community engagement. April was the founder and assistant director of a grassroots nonprofit that developed the leadership of LGBTQ communities of color. 

April holds an MBA in Nonprofit Management and an MA in Sustainable International Development from Brandeis University, as well as a BA in International Studies from the University of Washington.

April does taiko and loves cooking her own version of Japanese dishes. In between work blocks, April loves walking meetings and wears ankle weights.

Chris Rhodes

Development Director, [email protected]

Prior to RVC, Chris worked as a counselor for the Variety Boys & Girls Club, then as the Youth Board Member of the King County Youth and Family Commission. 

While attending Clark Atlanta University, he served his community by raising funds to support the disadvantaged areas of Atlanta. He relocated to Chicago, where he worked with the local government to address educational and environmental issues.

Chris is a fan of the Lord of the Rings and his local sports teams. He spends his time with family and enjoys experiencing what the Northwest offers.

Sandra Amolo

Capacity Building Lead, [email protected]

Sandra was born and raised in Nairobi, Kenya and immigrated to the United States when she was a teenager. She has spent over 10 years working in nonprofits, serving in communications, farming, youth advocacy and education, human rights observation, community organizing, and nonprofit management. Sandra earned her BA in Business Administration from Seattle University. 

Sandra loves videos of babies, cats, and other cute living things. She enjoys hiking, reading books, and listening to audiobooks. She is also a hip hop nerd.

Fabiola Arvizu

Operations Manager, [email protected]

Fabiola is a Virgo sun raised in occupied Duwamish lands, Seattle. Some of the work she is most proud of has been around student organizing, youth leadership, and working with young families in the area. She joins RVC with a commitment to operational work and making it accessible to all folks and grassroot organizations.

When she isn’t working, Fabiola enjoys playing Animal Crossing, watching bad reality tv, eating thai food, and practicing karaoke songs she will probably never sing in public.

Michel Banos Garcia

Operations Support Program Coordinator, [email protected]

Michel was born in Mexico City but has spent most of her life in the United States, raised in a home deeply tied to her Mexican roots, thanks to her mom.

She has over seven years of experience as a community organizer, in which her work focused on race and equity, immigration, higher education access, and shifting towards an intersectional mindset. 

A Sagittarius, Michel loves adventure! Whether it’s exploring a new city, going to a new restaurant, or trying a new activity, she is down!

Bianca Barnes

Operations Associate, [email protected]

Bianca was born and raised in the Seattle area. Before coming to RVC, she worked at Pacific Science Center for fourteen years as an educator and teen program coordinator.

In addition to her role as Operations Associate, Bianca is also currently pursuing degrees in psychology and education at the University of Washington. When she isn’t working or in class she loves to kick box, watch Lifetime movies, and cancel plans. 

Saida Bulhan

Communications Associate, [email protected]

Saida was born and raised in Somalia and moved to the United States in her mid-teens. She is a writer currently at work on an autobiographical young-adult novel.

She has previously worked in linguistic and healthcare access in various capacities, and she’s a current RVC Community Impact Fellow based at RVC.

One of Saida’s favorite quotes is Nelson Mandela’s, “For to be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.”

Regina Dove

Capacity Building Associate, [email protected]

Regina was born in SoCal, raised in Kent, and currently lives in the Central District/Rainier Valley. She’s worked in a variety of positions at local nonprofits, from administrative assistant, to mentoring, to program manager and director.  

In addition to joining the Capacity Building Team at RVC, she is also a recently certified doula and seeks to provide support to BIPOC and LGBTQ families.

Regina loves interpreting dreams people had the night before, going to music shows, and her cat, Marceline. 

Johnny Fikru

Fellowship Program Coordinator, [email protected]

Raised by Meseret and Fikru,  Johnny is a proud Black Ethiopian.  His passion for social movements came from the combination of student led movements and inspiring mentors who loved him into being who he is today.   

After school, Johnny moved to Philadelphia and spent a year working with folks from formerly incarcerated backgrounds as well as folks going through recovery. He previously worked at Got Green serving as the Young Leaders organizer. Johnny has a background particularly in worker rights, food sovereignty, and climate justice.

When he’s not at RVC, you can find him running around the city, listening to hip hop, eating at Chuminh Tofu or being corny. 

Hana Jang

Grant Strategist [email protected]

Hana has over 10 years of experience in the nonprofit sector, with a particular focus on community-centered engagement and strategic partnerships. Drawing from her past work in the U.S., South Korea, and throughout Southeast Asia, Hana brings strong experience in relationship building and development.

Prior to joining RVC, Hana worked at KCSC developing, managing, and securing funding for programs to meet the needs of the Korean American community throughout Western Washington. Hana earned her Bachelor of Arts in psychology from the University of Minnesota and her master’s degree in social work from the University of Washington.

In her free time, Hana contemplates what financial capacity-building education and opportunities could look like for young women of color, fawns over the neighborhood dogs, and enjoys gathering over hearty cheese plates with her friends and loved ones.

Amanda Mancenido

Organizational Learning Coordinator[email protected]

Amanda grew up in Texas, but moved to Seattle to pursue her Master of Public Health from the University of Washington. 

She’s most passionate about using her data and communication skills to advocate for the health and well-being of historically marginalized communities, particularly LGBTQ folks and communities of color. She hopes to amplify the voices of the community and help tell their stories of resilience.

Amanda loves good food and taking long walks, and will happily geek out about women’s soccer, music, and board games.

Kristine Maramot

Operations Support Program Manager, [email protected]

Kristine is an islander with Filipino roots, born and raised on Guam and Singapore. 

A Third Culture Kid at heart, she eventually moved to Seattle to attend the University of Washington, where she earned a BA in American Ethnic Studies and a minor in Diversity. She was in RVC’s first cohort, placed at Filipino Community of Seattle and later at East African Community Services.

In her spare time, she loves to go on food adventures and collect Starbucks mugs and Funko Pop! Vinyl Figures.

Osca Opoku

Operations Associate, [email protected]

Osca is a recent graduate of Elon University, where she earned BAs in International & Global Studies and Anthropology.

She is passionate about issues of social justice and has performed undergraduate research on education as a catalyst for social change for refugees and families stuck in cycles of poverty. She is passionate about supporting communities in clarifying and achieving goals for themselves.

Having recently regained access to a functional kitchen, she is trying to make up for lost years of dorm-living with regular culinary experimentation.

Miko Pugal

Operations Support Program Manager, [email protected]

Miko was born and raised in Seattle’s Southend, tracing his stomping grounds from Beacon Hill Park all the way to Othello Park. 

His commitment to his community is rooted in access to leadership for young folks. Miko has been doing youth work for four years all throughout the Southend, primarily focusing on the intersection of sports, race, class, and gender. 

When he’s not breaking down the doors of systemic oppression, you can catch him coaching Ultimate Frisbee.

Roshni Sampath

Capacity Building Lead, [email protected]

Originally from South India, Roshni immigrated to the United States from Nigeria. She has worked with nonprofits for the last 13 years in areas of fundraising, communications, human resources, and program development and delivery.

Roshni worked at Statewide Poverty Action Network doing communications and development to change state-level laws that perpetuate poverty in communities of color. 

Roshni also loves novels, good pop culture think pieces, dance parties, swimming, car karaoke, board games, and daydreaming by a sunny window.

Anbar Mahar Sheikh

Capacity Building Lead, [email protected]

Anbar has years of experience in nonprofit management and activism and has a deep passion for capacity building for nonprofits. Throughout her career, she focused on nonprofit management and capacity building for the American Muslim community by working with the Council on American-Islamic Relations — California and Whitestone Foundation. 

Anbar holds a Masters in Public Administration with a focus on Nonprofit Management from the University of Southern California and a BA in International Studies from the University of California, San Diego.

Anbar also loves scrapbooking and hiking.

Florence Sum

Green Pathways Fellowship Program Manager, [email protected]

Florence (also goes by Flo) was born and raised on Duwamish ancestral lands in Seattle. Their experience in nonprofit organizations led them to their graduate education and to RVC’s fellowship. 

Florence graduated from the University of Washington with a BA in American Ethnic Studies and Communications, and an MA in Public Administration with a focus on nonprofit management and education policy.

Florence enjoys frolicking in the mountains, playing video games, eating their way around town, and training in Muay Thai and Krav Maga.

Yecelica “YJV” Valdivia

Community Impact Fellowship Program Manager, [email protected]

YJV was born and raised in the Yakima Valley, occupied ancestral lands of the Yakama Nation. They moved to occupied Duwamish ancestral lands, Seattle, for college, and it’s been their political home ever since.

Much of their work has been at the intersections of personal and societal healing and transformation. They have a background in anti-racism, youth-centered political education, generative somatics and trauma-informed practices, and prevention work.

They also have an affinity for tattoos, reconnecting with ancestral medicine, and dancing.

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