Pat Casteel
Operations Manager | 503.335.8200 x 121

Pat was born in North Eastern Texas area. After graduating from high school, Pat moved to Portland, Oregon and began her career in the Administrative field. After 30 + years, Pat opted for a change with the idea of improving her wages. After completing her Paralegal/Legal Assistant Degree, she was offered a Legal Receptionist position with a Law firm, and after almost five years, she decided it was time for another change and began job searching.

After interviewing for Oregon Tradeswomen, Pat was offered a position. She now has been promoted several times and is currently the Operations Manager where she works directly with staff, vendors, students, and the public. It gives Pat great satisfaction and offers quite a bit of challenge. She has the opportunity to support students directly and to contribute to Oregon Tradeswomen team in so many ways.

In Pat’s spare time, she enjoys crocheting, sewing, music, and hanging out with her family. Oregon Tradeswomen has been the best fit career wise for Pat. She works with a diversified group of extraordinary people and very happy to be a part of this team.

Trytten Essing
Communications & Marketing Coordinator  |  503.335.8200 x 141

Trytten grew up in the heart of the Silicon Valley and always had a knack for the arts. Starting his own photography business at the age of 16, he gained real life experience taking portraits, shooting events, and maintaining a social media presence.

His experience with online communications and digital media led him to Oregon Tradeswomen (OTW) to cover the annual Career Fair on social media as a volunteer. Trytten joined Oregon’s team officially in July 2017, where he coordinates OTW’s social media, develops our monthly Toolbox Newsletter, writes content for a variety of channels, makes video, takes photos, and more!

In his free time, he loves camping with his wife Chelsea, filling up rolls of film, and avidly follows the San Jose Sharks.

Iliana Fontal
Director of Programs and Strategic Impact | 503.335.8200 x 122

Iliana Fontal grew up in South America and moved to Oregon after five years of working as an industrial engineer. In Oregon, she gained experience in social services by working her way up in the Family Strengthening and Workforce Development field.

With 9+ years of experience delivering job readiness services to individuals, Iliana specializes in coordinating quality assurance activities, effectively accomplishing program’s outcomes, and identifying authentic opportunities for the organization to advance. Additionally, she is skilled in program design and management, community development, staff training, and contracts management.

Iliana is a powerful force in the workplace and uses her positive attitude to encourage others to work hard and succeed. She is inspired daily by her husband and their three daughters. In her free time, Iliana enjoys taking care of her garden, going on walks, and traveling.

Ina Avendaño Howe
Employment Case Manager | 503.335.8200 x 140

Ina grew up in the Northwest and Hawaii with roots in Mexico and recently spent nearly a decade in the Caribbean. This unique background has informed her perspective on diversity, equity, and the importance of work that builds up individuals on the margins for success.

Her early career was spent in the Portland social service arena serving marginalized populations from at-risk teens to the homeless. Most recently she has worked with high school students at Reynolds High School as a CTE Career Coordinator, where she supported young people in accessing their first jobs, exploring careers in the trades and option for college, and built a valuable network among partners in the construction industry, East County employers, non-profits, and government entities.

In her spare time, Ina loves painting, ping pong, time with family, and is committed to social justice and making her community a better place where she can. Presently, Ina is mentoring at-risk students with Oregon Youth Challenge program and supporting Portland’s efforts to keep it clean with Adopt-a-Block.

Kelly Kupcak
Executive Director | 503.335.8200 x 139

Kelly grew up in Cleveland, Ohio, where early on she realized the critical importance of speaking out against injustice and wrote her first letter to the editor of the local newspaper in the third grade. After raising her sons as a single mom, working as a union heavy equipment operator, and working as an advocate for women for almost two decades, she relocated to the Pacific Northwest to serve as Oregon Tradeswomen’s Executive Director in 2017.

Following the footsteps of founding Executive Director Connie Ashbrook, a role model and pioneer in the Tradeswomen Movement was daunting, but one she is grateful for every day as she gets to do work she loves and is incredibly proud of. Kelly is honored to be a part of the work and mission of Oregon Tradeswomen where helping women move into dynamic careers in the skilled trades so they can take care of themselves and their families is incredibly rewarding.

When she’s not working, Kelly can be found reading policy briefs and still writing letters.

Casey Lay
Development & Events Coordinator | 503.335.8200 x 128

Casey was born and raised in the Portland Metro area and is constantly inspired by the sense of community and creativity the region offers.

After graduating from Southern Oregon University, Casey lived in a variety of climates. From the deserts of Namibia, working for Cheetah Conservation Fund to high desert of Colorado at The Greenway Foundation, her dedication to nonprofits grew.

Back in the Pacific Northwest and in her role as the Development and Events Coordinator, Casey is excited to share her passion for uplifting underserved women through pathways of independence.

Outside of the office, Casey enjoys being a part of the Oregon Whitewater Association. Her favorite hobbies include woodworking, hiking, rafting, and discovering delicious restaurants with her fiancé.

Carol Murray
Training Coordinator | 503.335.8200 x 134

Carol has worked in construction for more than 30 years. She started out in semi-conductor manufacturing as an administrative assistant in a job-site trailer and worked her way up to coordinating and managing multi-million-dollar projects for engineering firms in Washington, Oregon, and Arizona.

When the silicon forest crashed in 2001, she shifted into home remodeling and began her hands-on career building custom decks and fences, remodeling kitchen and baths, and doing other work such as painting, finish work, siding, tiling, framing, etc.  All of Carol’s knowledge and experience perfectly prepared her for her role as a Training Coordinator for Oregon Tradeswomen, where she works directly with our students to help prepare them to start careers in the skilled construction trades.

On the weekend she loves to work with bamboo, black iron pipe, and recycled materials to build elevated dog bowls and custom furniture. Carol can also be found at almost any Tiny House conference and can frequently be seen kayaking on local rivers and lakes, rollerblading down the Springwater corridor trail, or out on Wildcat Mountain road searching for chanterelles and other varieties of fungi.

Mary Ann Naylor
Communications & Marketing Director | 503.335.8200 x 126

Mary Ann has been part of feminist nonprofit organizations in Portland for the last two decades. She helped form the Girls Rock Institute – The nonprofit behind Rock ‘n’ roll Camp for Girls and was part of the team that started the Pacific NW chapter of Girls Inc.. She served on the board of directors of Siren Nation for a decade, all in addition to her own projects promoting women in music.

Mary Ann joined Oregon Tradeswomen (OTW) in 2008 and is honored to be part of a team dedicated to helping women become financially independent. She is proud of the mix of public relations, communications, and graphic design skills she brings to her role in service of OTW"s mission.

Outside of work, Mary Ann loves to go adventuring with her partner, discover new or missed music, sculpt paper flowers, or spend time on her old Portland home, built in 1895!

Kim Neel
Retention Services Coordinator | 503.335.8200 x 123

Kim has been in the social work field for more than 24 years. After moving to Oregon from Florida, she landed a job with an all-female work crew remodeling a house. Kim loved the demolition process, and for the first time, knew how it felt to go home physically tired and happy! She never forgot the empowerment she felt on that job.

When a Career Counselor position at Oregon Tradeswomen (OTW) opened in 2012, Kim jumped at the opportunity and has been working at OTW ever since. As Retention Coordinator, Kim supports women who have been through our pre-apprenticeship program, plus she coordinates monthly social hours, the annual Trades Leadership Institute, and supports various local women's committees.

Lisa Palermo
Development Director | 503.335.8200 x 138

Lisa grew up on the east coast but when she moved to Portland in the early 1990's, she knew she found her home. Loving this wonderful community led to a desire to support it through volunteering and, ultimately, working in the nonprofit community. The combination of her passion, being a lifelong feminist, and a mother of daughters, made working at Oregon Tradeswomen (OTW) a dream come true.

In her role as Development Director, Lisa feels privileged to connect with people every day who care about, and want to support, financial security for women.

In her spare time, Lisa serves as Co-Chair of the Board of Directors of Portland Homeless Family Solutions, is setting up a community resource,, and buys way too much yarn. When she's not knitting, you'll find her trying new recipes and cooking for friends.

Tiffany Thompson
Director of Workforce Equity and Technical Assistance | 503.335.8200 x

Photo and bio coming soon

We Value


We dare to envision a different future for women by building economic independence.


We create shared prosperity, by organizing to dismantle oppressive systems.


We operate with integrity and are committed to the highest standards for our industry and community.


We are stronger together and build bridges to create an inclusive movement for lasting change.


We hold an unwavering commitment to racial, gender, and economic justice.