A graduate of Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service, Elizabeth started her career at Population Services International (PSI) in Washington, DC. While there, she worked on a variety of social marketing projects for malaria prevention, clean water and HIV/AIDS prevention in the developing world.
Elizabeth earned a Master’s of International Affairs at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA) in 2001. She then devoted the next five years in the pharmaceutical industry at Bristol-Myers Squibb. As Product Manager in the company’s Virology Division, she marketed HIV/AIDS products in the United States. She successfully led the development and execution of marketing, training and public relations tactics for Reyataz, a leading protease inhibitor for HIV/AIDS. She was also responsible for leading the Virology Division’s Women’s Initiative and African American Initiative to better understand and address the impact of HIV/AIDS on these populations.
Elizabeth relocated to her hometown Portland, Oregon, in 2006 with her husband and two daughters and has held non-profit management positions at two organizations. Most recently, as the Vice President of Community Relations at Big Brothers Big Sisters Columbia Northwest, she led all of the agency’s marketing, public relations and communications. Prior to this she served as the Executive Director of Marathon Education Partners, a Portland-based non-profit that seeks to improve low-income children’s awareness of and access to college.
Through her previous experiences, Elizabeth brings strong nonprofit management and marketing skills to her new role. In all facets of her career, she has demonstrated an ability to work successfully with numerous stakeholders and to achieve quick, yet sustainable results. Most importantly, she is driven by a passion to do what she can to make this world a better place for children, especially girls.
Jessica Abel, MSW
Jessica has worked in youth-serving organizations and social services for over 11 years. She came to Girls Inc. in 2010 after working at Insights Teen Parent Program and Big Brothers Big Sisters Columbia Northwest in Portland, and a number of organizations in Colorado, including the “I Have a Dream” Foundation of Boulder County, Denver Public Schools, and Volunteers of America. Jessica earned a BA in Political Science and Spanish in 2001 from Indiana University, and a Masters in Social Work from Portland State University in 2007.
Development & Marketing Director
A fourth generation Oregonian, Benna brings her passion for service to the Portland area community to her work as Development and Marketing Director for Girls Inc. of NW Oregon. Benna graduated from Occidental College with a BA in American Studies in 2007. She returned to Portland and almost immediately began work in non-profit development and marketing. Benna joined the staff of Girls Inc. of NW Oregon in August, 2010. Before coming to Girls Inc., Benna worked with the development departments at Big Brothers Big Sisters Columbia Northwest, Schoolhouse Supplies, Morrison Child & Family Services and Oregon Humanities. She also served from 2009-2012 as the Media Director on the Board of Directors for the local music advocacy organization PDX Pop Now!
Ella May Stilwell
Administration & Finance Manager
Community and Program Support Coordinator