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James Ofsink


James Ofsink is passionate about Portland Forward’s emphasis on the BIG ideas for the future of our region. The magnitude of challenges we face on a global and local level require a broad and bold progressive vision and the political will and strategy to see it through. In addition to working at OHSU, James has contributed to numerous organizations including leadership roles in the League of Women Voters of Portland and Oregon, the City Club of Portland, Common Cause Oregon, Hack Oregon, and Portland’s Resistance. He is a Tax Supervising and Conservation  Commissioner appointed by the Governor to safeguard taxpayer money for Multnomah County residents.

Lana Hanson

Vice President

Lana has lived in the PNW all of her 24 years but just recently moved to Portland after graduating from the University of Oregon in 2017 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Science and Spanish. She is currently in the midst of applying to Dental School. With only basic political knowledge and no political background, Lana was inspired by grandfather, Bing Sheldon, and is delving into Portland Forward in her free time, learning as much as possible from the mentors so that she can later apply that knowledge and skill set in her future as a dentist and leader in her community. 


Meet our board 

EMma Darden

Emma has devoted the last few years to engaging people in the civic process. Earlier in life she worked on both amp residential and local campaigns and the founding years of the Bus Project. After spending time at home with three young children, she reengaged in 2016, as the co-founder of BerniePDX, for the Bernie Sander's presidential campaign. Since then, she has been involved in campaigns for multiple elections, including issues that Portland Forward has championed.





Audrey Gnich

2017-2018 President

Audrey has been living in Portland, Oregon since 2002 with a degree in Architecture.  She is a long time lover of Urban Planning and is driven by the complexity of how a city comes together in the built environment. While what we see is buildings and roads, we must always keep in mind there is a lot going on behind the scenes to make things look the way they do.  

Audrey is also Director of Marketing and Operations at Gnich Architecture Studio, and mother of two small future change-makers.

Jason Kafoury

Jason works as a lawyer with Kafoury & McDougal to bring justice to the voices that are often unheard and powerless.  He has participated in nearly 50 jury trials. He has more civil trial experience than any other Oregon lawyer of his generation.  He has worked for penalized whistleblowers and low-income tenants, and against credit card companies, and in his spare time he fights more broadly to change our political system for the better.

Gregory McKelvey

Gregory McKelvey is a father of two, husband, political advisor, community organizer, and public speaker. He attended Oregon State University studying political science followed by Lewis & Clark Law. He was active in the Black Lives Matter Movement and co-founded the group Portland’s Resistance following the election of Donald Trump. McKelvey is the former Chair of The Atlanta branch of The Democratic Socialists of America, the Board President of Brown Hope, and The Vice-Chair of The Democratic Party of Oregon’s Black Caucus. Most recently, Greg directed the campaign of Sarah Iannarone for Portland Mayor. 

Alex Davis

Alex is a student at Portland Community College and is pursuing a Bachelor's degree in Political Science. He was previously honored to be a student government leader at PCC. His great passion is ensuring that government and the political process is an equitable and transparent enterprise that works for all.

Jefferson Smith

Founding Board Member

Jefferson was born in Portland and graduated from Grant High, UofO, and Harvard Law School. He started and ran the Oregon Bus Project, which launched legions of star activists, and a national network of democracy groups. He went on to serve in the Oregon House of Representatives and on Governor John Kitzhaber’s transition team. In 2014 he became the Executive Director for the launch of XRAY.FM, Portland’s award-winning nonprofit media startup.  

Carolyn Sheldon

Carolyn was acquainted with the inception of Portland Forward.  She and Bing Sheldon, her husband of 59 years, discussed, planned and participated in many changes as Portland has grown into a fine city.  


Carolyn Is a former teacher, school psychologist, school counselor and administrator active at the local, state and national levels to bring about educational reform.  As a member of community boards including Morrison Center, Children First, the Governor’s Task Forces on Early Childhood Education, Juvenile Correction and Alternatives and Special Youth Services, Carolyn partnered with many city agencies and programs. She was elected President of the American School Counselor Association and led the effort to adopt National Standards for School Counseling Programs. As adjunct professor, Carolyn revised the school counseling program taught at the Graduate School of Education at Lewis & Clark.  She has made hundreds of presentations to school counselors, administrator, board members, OR state legislature and national conferences.


Currently Vacant

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Bing Sheldon

Founder of SERA Architects, a nationally celebrated firm, Bing played an instrumental role in Portland’s downtown renaissance, stressing urban infill, reuse and redevelopment. He believed that we have a moral obligation to actively participate in the civic infrastructure which reflects our community values.


Two years before his death, he searched for ways to leave an impact, knowing his time was limited, and gathered those passionate about urban planning and putting Portland's people, not the developers, in charge of its future.

Favorite quote “Good citizens are the riches of the city.”


  • Led Oregon's largest citizen-driven planning effort to produce the Portland Downtown Plan, to reduce sprawl as Former Chair of the City Planning Commission

  • Assoc. of Realtors First Citizen Award.

  • Founding Board Member of Central City Concern

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