Leadership Team

Jeff Cogen, Executive Director

As an attorney, an entrepreneur, and a non‐profit and political leader, Jeff has helped mission‐driven organizations in Portland thrive for nearly 25 years by fostering innovation and collaboration.

He served as Chief of Staff for City Commissioner Dan Saltzman before being elected as Multnomah County Commissioner and County Chairman. Jeff founded Portland Pretzel Company, the first certified organic bakery in Oregon, at Portland Saturday Market, and grew it into a nationally distributed specialty food company.

He has also served as board chair for the Portland Human Rights Commission, the Governor’s Transportation Electrification Commission and Hands on Portland and on the board of directors of WorkSystems Inc., Greater Portland Inc., Drive Oregon, the Institute for Portland Metropolitan Studies and KOREducators.

Jeff received his Bachelor’s degree from Brown University and his JD from UCLA. He lives in Northeast Portland with his wife and two children.


Lester Thompson, Chief Financial Officer

Lester Thompson brings nearly 25 years of experience as a consultant and financial advisor to nonprofit hospitals, universities and social service agencies.

He comes to us from Ernst & Young, LLP in Detroit, Michigan, where he served as Senior Manager in Federal Tax Services for five years. Lester was awarded the 2009 Ernst & Young LLP Elmer Whiting Inclusiveness Award for accomplishment in the integration of inclusivity and diversity strategies into the accomplishment of business objectives.

He has also served as Executive Director at Altarum Institute in Ann Arbor, Michigan for four years. Lester holds a Master of Science in Tax Accounting from Louisiana State University and is a Certified Public Accountant.

Andy Nelson, Associate Director

Andy Nelson is a community leader who believes in the power of people helping people. He has worked for more than 25 years to unite diverse people, businesses and organizations to create a common vision and lasting change.

Andy joined Impact NW in July 2016 as Associate Director, with primary oversight of development, communications and branding. It was a homecoming of sorts. Andy served as Development Director of Impact NW from 2000‐2002. He went on to lead Hands On Greater Portland’s evolution from a start up to the region’s leading volunteer service engine. Andy next led Big Brothers Big Sisters to become Oregon’s Most Admired Nonprofit in 2014.

Andy is past chair of the Portland Parks Board and vice chair of Partners in Diversity – the people who bring you Say Hey! A native of New England, Andy earned a Master’s in Social Work from the University of Connecticut and is a 2008 graduate of Leadership Portland. He lives in Northeast Portland with his wife and son.

Julie Houston, Director of Early Childhood & Family Services

Julie Houston has been the Director of Early Childhood & Family Services since July 2010. Julie comes to Impact NW with a Master’s degree in Education, 16 years experience teaching in Early Childhood classrooms, seven years supervising student teachers in Early Education programs, and five years as an adjunct faculty member in the Early Education and Family Studies department at Portland Community College.

After the birth of her first child, Julie began to focus her efforts on working not only with children, but with families as a whole. Her passion is helping individuals and families realize their value and importance in the lives of children, as well as in their local schools, communities, and society.

Since joining Impact NW, Julie’s passion has led her to become a leader in the community, volunteering for Stand for Children and for the North Clackamas School District, and supervising Impact NW first Healthy Start program until she became a Director.

Kendra Johnson, Director of Youth & Family Services

With over 10 years of experience, Kendra’s career began by providing direct services to children, youth, families, and communities. Kendra began working at Impact NW in 2009 and has a strong background in community outreach and working with marginalized and oppressed identity groups. She is passionate about effecting systemic change, which led her to take on a leadership role at Impact NW in 2015.

Kendra is an alumna of Portland University, receiving a Master of Social Work degree. She also holds a Bachelor’s degree in Family and Human Services from the University of Oregon. Kendra is a proud member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc.—a community service organization led by African American college-educated women that is continually leading effective advocacy and social change for equality and equity for all.

Mamak Tabrizian, Director of Senior & Adults with Disabilities Services

Mamak has been with Impact NW for over 25 years. In her current position, which she has held since 1999, Mamak oversees all agency services for seniors and adults with disabilities including transportation, case management, educational and recreational activities, and caregiver support.

Mamak holds a Bachelor’s degree in Communication from Lewis & Clark College and a Master’s degree in Social Work ‐ Counseling Education from Portland State University. She is a certified mediator and is fluent in Farsi. Mamak also sits on the Regional Transportation Coordinating Council’s Executive Committee.

In addition to spending time with her family, Mamak is incredibly active in her life outside of Impact NW. She’s an active participate in Portland’s Iranian community and currently sits on the Board of Directors of the Iranian Seniors’ Club amongst her many other commitments.

Jana Hak, Director of Housing & Safety Net Services

Jana joined Impact NW’s Housing and Safety Department in February 2011 after immigrating from the Czech Republic in 2010. She holds a Master of Law Degree, and prior to her employment with Impact NW, worked for the Office of the Government of the Czech Republic in the Prime Minister’s legislative office.

Sharing similar experiences with many of Impact NW clients from the early stages of her immigration, Jana has a deep understanding of issues such as poverty and lack of resources. Because of that experience, she is also aware of the need for empowerment, trauma informed care, wrap around services, and community support.

In her role as the Director of Housing and Safety Net services, Jana oversees our housing services, veteran programs, energy assistance, and recovery and resource navigation services. As an involved member of the Czech and Slovak community in the tri‐county area, Jana keeps busy helping new immigrants navigate systems in the US, and serves as the President of the Board of the Czech School of Portland.

Sik Yin Chan, Quality Assurance Director

Sik has been with Impact NW since 1994 and has served as the Quality Assurance Director since 1998. Sik, a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, is a doctor of education candidate at Concordia University and holds a master of social work from Portland State University and a bachelor’s degree in social work from Concordia.

Sik has over 15 years of experience in program evaluation, contract management, supervision, research, and cross‐cultural family and mental health counseling. He’s spent the last 10 years as an adjunct professor at Concordia University, teaching psychology, program evaluation, and social research methods. He is currently a member of the Oregon Program Evaluators Network.