Meet The Team
Tristan Penn • he/him/his
Community Engagement & Equity Manager, NTEN
Tuba Player • Greek Classics/Mythology enthusiast • Lifter of weights
Hometown: Lawrence, KS and McPherson, KS
What I love about Portland: I love the food and the proximity to so many different things (mountains, coast, desert, forests).
Why I'm involved in YNPN Portland: The nonprofit sector is changing and I want to help and lead those changes within the community in a way that supports, uplifts, and prioritizes our most marginalized YNPN members in their own values-centered and mission-driven work; because when we prioritize the most marginalized in our communities, everyone benefits.
And did I mention...? I'm an alumni of the University of Kansas. Rock Chalk Jayhawk!
Community Engagement Officer
Brent Balog • he/him/his
Senior Program Manager, Clackamas Workforce Partnership
Former Haunted Hotel Bellman • Fantastic Beard Owner (as noted by Gov. Kate Brown) • Ordained "minister" with the Universal Life Church
Hometown: Vienna, WV
What I love about Portland: I love Portland’s proximity to so many different types of natural beauty: forests, mountains, the coast, the high desert – it is great to be so close to a variety of outdoor settings. Aside from that, I love that there is always a new restaurant to try, a robust library system, a neat art and music scene, and it is always green—even in winter!
Why I'm involved in YNPN Portland: I think it's important to provide local nonprofit workers with a place to connect, make friends, share ideas and resources, better align our collective work, advocate for positive changes in our community, learn new things and gain new skills, and have fun while doing good!
And did I mention...? I'm honing my Spanish skills and always looking for folks to practice with!
Stepha Dragoon • they/she
Oregon Office of Rural Health at OHSU | Population Health Program Manager
Born and raised in NE Portland • Has Lived in 5 states in the last ten years • Dog & cat named Poppy & Chickpea
Hometown: Portland, OR
What I love about Portland: I love that this city has so much to offer in terms of accessible nature, great food, lovely people and lots of fun activities.
Why I'm involved in YNPN Portland: I'm passionate about helping young professionals lead and succeed in the social sector.
And did I mention...? I love to cook!! Ask me about my cookbook collection.
Kayla Kennett • she/her/hers
Communications Manager, City Club of Portland and Digital Media Specialist, The Street Trust
Three-Time Spelling Bee Champ • Holds a Non-Driver ID • Poet
Hometown: Charlestown, NH
What I love about Portland: I love how people interact with public space, using parking strip plantings, street sign poles, chain link fences, etc. as canvasses to create art, food, and community spirit for everyone to enjoy.
Why I'm involved in YNPN Portland: Since I entered the nonprofit sector, I’ve felt like a revolution is coming, from how workers are compensated and supported in their lives, and provided adequate resources to do their jobs; to how organizations show up in the community. Now that Millennials and Gen Z make up a larger part of the workforce, our perspectives are valued and can thrive if we lead for change together.
And did I mention...? I roast my own coffee with a Presto Poplite popcorn maker. Google it!
At-Large Board Member
Phoebe Petersen • she/her/hers
Communications Director, SMART Reading
Lifelong Vegetarian • Avid Reader • Fast Walker
Hometown: Bend, OR
What I love about Portland: The amazing food, walkable neighborhoods, and the proximity to forests, mountains, and ocean.
Why I'm involved in YNPN Portland: I love the nonprofit sector and all of the incredible organizations who contribute so much to our community. I’m excited to be involved in an organization that supports and connects young professionals across the public sector.
And did I mention...? I love discovering new podcasts.
At-Large Board Member
Erin Newton • she/her/hers
Nonprofit Consultant, Self-Employed
Loves to travel • Powell’s Books is one of her favorite places on earth • Will take any excuse to wear a costume
Hometown: San Jose, CA
What I love about Portland: I love that our most beautiful steel suspension bridge is bright green. I love that Portlanders know we’re not perfect, but we’re trying to get better. And I love that Salt & Straw is still coming up with original flavors.
Why I'm involved in YNPN Portland: Because I love to meet new people who want to commiserate and rejoice about being a young person in the nonprofit sector. I believe that together we can make our lives, our work, and our city at least a little better by being in each other’s lives.
And did I mention...? If the topic for Trivia Night is Harry Potter, you definitely want me on your team.
At-Large Board Member
Mina Colon • she/her/hers
Policy Research, Center for Health Systems Effectiveness at OHSU
Docuseries fanatic • Dog Mom • Avid daydreamer
Hometown: West Warwick, RI
What I love about Portland: You’re never very far from a new and exciting adventure!
Why I'm involved in YNPN Portland: Nonprofits are the backbone of our community infrastructure and YNPN helps to support the evolution of them. By leveraging local networks and providing a dedicated space for uplifting those individuals that help run them, YNPN contributes to meaningful and sustainable change for our community at large—a journey I’m excited to be a part of!
And did I mention...? I’ve watched every episode of Jeopardy!
At-Large Board Member
Maritza Perez • she/her/hers
Operations Manager, Meals on Wheels People
Dog Mom • Peloton Rider • No middle name
Hometown: Vista, CA
What I love about Portland: The seasons, the mixture of rain, cold and sunny weather.
Why I'm involved in YNPN Portland: I'm involved in YNPN because I am passionate about working in the nonprofit sector and making a difference in my community. I'm hoping to meet other young professionals and develop new skills.
And did I mention...? I love watching rom-coms!
Natalie Thornton • she/her/hers
Community Partners for Affordable Housing, Asset Manager
Thorns Fan • Castelvetrano Olive Enthusiast • Cat Lover
Hometown: San Diego, CA
What I love about Portland: The rain brings lush greenery and makes it easy to appreciate the sunshine when it does come around.
Why I'm involved in YNPN Portland: I want to help other young professionals connect and work to improve the nonprofit world as the industry moves towards centering marginalized communities and prioritizing justice and equity.
And did I mention...? I am in the top 1% of Andrew Bird listeners.
Board recruitment will continue on an ongoing capacity until we reach our capacity of twelve board members. If you would like to have an informal conversation about YNPN board service, please contact us to schedule.