Lisha Shrestha- Executive Director

Lisha Shrestha brings 13 years of local and international experience to the work. She has previously worked at IRCO, the City of Portland New Portlander Program, and Elders in Action. At present, she is also pursuing her doctoral degree at Portland State University. Her involvement with the diverse community in Portland brought her recognition in the form of the PSU President’s Diversity Award in 2015 and Community Leader of the Year Spirit of Portland Award in 2017. She is passionate about transforming needs of individuals and communities into opportunities for economic prosperity.

Mohammad Khalid-Operations & Communications Coordinator and Iraqi Liaison

Mohammad Khalid is a first-generation immigrant and a citizen of the United States. He studies accounting at Portland State University. His number one goal is to help and support the Iraqi community in Oregon. In his spare time, Mohammad loves to cook and to play soccer

Alvaro Vazquez-Program & Outreach Coordinator

Alvaro Vazquez is passionate about working for the community. Alvaro originally joined DMA in 2018 and has returned after finishing his masters at the University of Southern California. Alvaro enjoys trying new vegan recipes and baking treats for his dog Buddy.

Community/Business Outreach Liaisons

Lute Richards-Storefront Grant Coordinator and Pacific Islander Liaison

Lute is currently the Business/Community Outreach Liaison for Asian Pacific Islanders. Lute has volunteered in various programs including: at elderly care homes, nursery school, Tongan Committee, and Tongan sewing class. Lute helps with translation and interpretation in the Tongan and Samoan languages. During Lute’s Free time she loves to bake and sharing her baking with community, friends, and family.

Lorena Mora-Latinx Community Liaison

Lorena is a freshman at Portland State University who graduated from Reynolds High School. She is currently studying to become a dental hygienist. Lorena has worked at East County Rising because she loves to help her community. In her free time, Lorena likes to work out, travel, and go to concerts.

Khanh Le -Vietnamese Community Liaison

Khanh Le immigrated to the U.S. from Vietnam, and she has become a naturalized citizen of the United States in 2019. Currently she is completing her bachelor’s degree in Applied Linguistics, along with the Teaching English as a Second Language certificate, and Global Studies certificate at Portland State University. Khanh wants to give back to her community and continue dedicating herself to the work of bringing equity and inclusion to the immigrant and refugee communities in the land that she now calls home.

Austin Delos Santos-Pacific Islander Liaison on Call Staff

Austin is a Portland State University graduate with a major in Community Development. His experiences working with analyzing data, using statistical tools, and writing research reports encouraged him to pursue a career in a non-profit organization. As a Chamorro, he understands the need to deescalate situations through gentle personalism and acknowledging the hidden issues so we can heal from oppression. In his free time, Austin enjoys volunteering at food pantries to give back to the Portland community.

Board Of Directors

Anne Downing - Board President

As the Board President, Anne brings a lifetime of experience in working with immigrant and small business communities. With her experience, Division Midway Alliance is forging a path toward to establish the organization as a forefront leader in assisting communities around Division Street.

Leslie Hickox - Treasurer

Leslie has been a college educator for 36 years in the fields of Health Education and Education. With the beginning of the Affordable Care Act in 2013, Leslie focused on serving people with the Federal Market Place and the Oregon Health Plan (Medicaid). She’s currently a Para Educator with Portland Public Schools and continuing to work with special education elementary students. She’s excited about how DMA is expanding outreach to the SE Portland immigrant and refugee business communities.

Layla Assem - Board Secretary

With years of experience as an activist, Layla brings to DMA her passion in supporting immigrant populations and small businesses through guiding Division Midway Alliance to become the model organization that others look towards too as an example of a Neighborhood Prosperity Initiative that brings positive growth

Joe Enlet - Board Member

Joe Enlet is the President of COFA Alliance National Network (CANN) which is an organization that advocates for citizens of the FSM, Palau, and the Marshall Islands and works on policy at the State and Federal level.In 2018 the City of Portland awarded Joe the Emily Gottfried Human Rights Award as an Emerging Leader. Joe pastors at his church Chuuk Logos Community Church in Vancouver Washington and enjoys playing his guitar and playing basketball with his daughters.