Elliott Dale, Chair
Elliott Dale is a business and real estate attorney licensed in Oregon. Originally from Alaska, he was raised in SE Portland, and completed an undergraduate degree at of University of Oregon, an MBA at Willamette University, and a law degree in the evening program at Lewis & Clark Law School. He and his wife Jennifer have three small children, one born with Down syndrome. He currently serves on the Oregon Department of Education’s advisory IDEA Dispute Resolution Committee as a parent representative. Elliott is passionate about supporting families experiencing disabilities, helping people grow businesses and organizations, and building Oregon’s entrepreneurial ecosystem.
Sara Sampson, Secretary
Sara Sampson is an Indiana native who moved to the Portland area in 2000. She and her husband Jesse have two sons, including one who has a genetic condition called Kleefstra Syndrome. She graduated from Saint Mary’s College in 1996 with a Bachelor of Arts in Mathematics and a minor in Information Science. She is an employee of Nike, Inc. in Beaverton since her arrival to the area. Her expertise and experience is in large-scale change initiatives and helping to bring strategies to life through process and tool implementation. Through her personal and professionals experiences, she has become very passionate about creating connections to drive solutions. She wants to leverage that passion to help create connections and solutions for families in Oregon experiencing disability allowing them to experience a life of inclusion in our community.
Eric Richards, Treasurer
Eric Richards is a native of Michigan who moved to Oregon in 2002. He has 34 years of executive or administrative experience focused on the rights and desires of people with disabilities and their families. He served as CEO of non-profit organizations in Michigan, Iowa, and Nebraska before moving to Oregon to become Director of Operations in the Oregon Department of Education’s Office of Special Education, where he worked until 2010. From that time, Eric has been employed by the Salem-Keizer School District and is currently its Director of Student Services. Eric is married to Theresa Richards, a Director in the Oregon Department of Education’s Office of Teaching, Learning, and Assessment. They have two daughters: Kylie and McKenzie. Eric holds a Masters Degree in Counselor Education from Central Michigan University, a Masters Degree in Business Administration from Iowa State University, and an EdS from Lewis and Clark College in Educational Leadership. Eric is also a graduate of the Center for Creative Leadership’s Dimensions in Leadership Program.
Mary Hart was born in Chicago and raised in a northern suburb of the city. She relocated to Oregon to attend Willamette University, and moved to Portland after graduating. Mary is the Chief Operating Officer at the Meriwether Group, a business acceleration and boutique investment firm. She oversees every aspect of Meriwether’s operations, including financial and regulatory controls, as well as managing all branding, marketing, and client relationships. She provides administrative leadership, innovation, and vision while also assisting the Founder and CEO. Previously she held an important position at Lewis & Clark Law School’s continuing legal education department, and served as a paralegal assistant at Portland’s law firm Stoll Berne. Though she does not have a direct association to disability, she is a very active advocate for the inclusion of people and families in the community that experience disability.
Originally from Seattle, Connor calls Oregon home after moving to Portland in 1996. He earned a degree in Finance from Portland State University in 2012, and also spent five seasons on the football field as an All-Conference quarterback for the Vikings. Connor has developed a specialty in helping families create valuable financial strategies to provide for the lifelong needs of their loved ones experiencing a disability or special need. In 2014, he finished his Chartered Special Needs Consultant [ChSNC] designation from the American College. Connor serves on the Portland State Alumni Association Board and the Portland State Athletic Department Advisory Board. He is a member of the Society of Settlement Planners and Academy of Special Needs Planners. Connor is the Founder of the Palladio Group, and lives in SW Portland with his wife, Lexi, and their golden retriever, Hootie.
Tammy Miller is a wife and mother of two children, one of whom experiences Down syndrome. Originally from the Midwest, she considers Oregon her home. Tammy has a BA in psychology from the University of Kansas, is a graduate of the flagship NWDSA Kindergarten Cohort in 2011, the PIP class of 2012, and is certified to be a person-centered planning facilitator. Her professional experience includes telecommunications, and she is a senior account executive in the radio industry for nearly two decades. Tammy believes each individual person is unique, having gifts only they can offer the world. To this end, she is passionate in working towards a world where we all support each other, play, learn, and live together.
Celia Murphey is a Portland native who graduated from the University of Oregon, and later earned her master’s degree in vocational rehabilitation from the University of Wisconsin-Stout. She worked as a rehabilitation counselor with injured workers, and has been an account executive, human resources generalist, and manager in the insurance industry for 20 years. Celia is a full-time mom to three children, including her teenage daughter born with Down syndrome. This has driven Celia’s interest in promoting awareness of the disability community, including early intervention and the needs for safe housing in a dignified, independent setting. She is a recent graduate of the 2010 Partners in Policymaking class, and is serving her second term on the governing board of the Albertina Kerr Centers.
Paul Carson specializes in learning and development programs for vulnerable healthcare populations and the clinicians who serve them. A native Oregonian and graduate of Portland State University, Paul works to provide greater awareness around challenging health conditions, advocating for health literacy responsiveness and improving patient experience with medications. He is a longtime member of Toastmasters International and frequent public speaker. Paul and his wife Susan are parents to Anthony, a boy who makes the most of all his extra chromosomes. Paul is an enthusiastic advocate for disability rights and leads seminars on trauma-informed care, motivational interviewing and presentation skills improvement.
Rashelle Chase is a Portland native and works in early education. She’s a very proud mom to Leo (5), who just began Kindergarten, and Luna (5 months), who just began rolling over. Rashelle lives with Leo, Luna, and her partner, Corey, in North Portland and they love exploring Sauvie Island and their neighborhood parks and libraries. Rashelle connects strongly with FACT’s mission as a parent. Leo experiences cerebral palsy and their journey together has taught her how to advocate on his behalf and help him learn to advocate for himself, and she looks forward to supporting other families through her work with FACT.