Our Fantastic Team

Bringing connection and community to Old Town/Downtown Portland
Jon Ulsh, Maybelle Center Staff

Jon Ulsh

Executive Director

Jon comes to Maybelle Center with extensive nonprofit leadership, development, and consulting experience in education, healthcare, social services and the arts. Jon grew up in Latin America and Florida, and earned a degree in geology and education from Lawrence University in Wisconsin. He and his family have been privileged to call Portland home since 1998.


Kristrun Grondal Maybelle Center Staff

Kristrun Grondal, MPA

Associate Executive Director

Kristrun was born and raised in the beautiful city of Reykjavik, Iceland. Since immigrating to the US, she has worked on behalf of vulnerable adults: in international outreach to migrant workers in Mexico, in aging services, for caregivers caring for chronically ill adults, and on behalf of those affected by Alzheimer’s disease. Kristrun holds a Masters degree in Public Affairs from Washington State University. She joined Maybelle Center in 2013.


Donna Carver Maybelle Center Staff

Donna Carver

Finance Director

Donna grew up in Portland and earned her bachelor’s degree in Accounting at Portland State University.  She spent much of her career working in the real estate industry as an asset manager and controller for several west coast based companies. With a deep passion for giving back to the community, Donna moved into non-profit work in 2012 as the Director of Finance for the Boys & Girls Club of Salem.  She joined the Maybelle Center in April of 2015.  In her free time, Donna enjoys traveling, hiking and spending time with friends and family.


Dawn Wensel Maybelle Center Staff

Dawn Wensel, CFRE

Director of Development and Communications

Dawn grew up on Long Island, New York and joined Maybelle Center in 2014. She has held development positions at Peer Health Exchange, Teach For America and the Toy Industry Foundation. Her passion for community based organizations comes from her experience at Lenox Hill Neighborhood House in NYC. She holds a BA in Journalism from the University of Maryland – College Park, Marketing Communications Certificate from Baruch College, and is a Certified FundRaising Executive.


Neal Chaudhuri, Community Room Liaison

Neal Chaudhuri

Community Room Liaison

Neal grew up in Arlington, Virginia and attended college at Georgetown University where he majored in Biology. He migrated to the West Coast to spend a year of service at Maybelle Center through the Jesuit Volunteer Corps Northwest. He cares deeply about mental health issues, discovering the inherent dignity in all humans, and crossword puzzles.


Jacob Engstrom Maybelle Center Staff

Jacob Engstrom

Support Services Coordinator

Jacob hails from the North Shore of Minnesota. He attended Fon du Lac Tribal & Community College and Northland College before working for over a decade in the Human & Social Services fields.  He joined the Maybelle Center in January of 2015, bringing his experience in Chemical Dependency Treatment, Mental Health, Corrections & Redirection, and Intellectual/Developmental Disabilities. He enjoys the outdoors, cooking, and motorcycling. He lives in Portland with his partner, a well behaved dog and two self-possessed cats.


Jess Heman, Visitation Coordinator at Maybelle Center

Jess Heman

Visitation Coordinator

Jess is originally from Denver, Colorado but spent most of her life on the East Coast where she earned her Bachelor’s degree in Community Development.  In college, Jess ate her first fresh vegetable and became deeply passionate about food and resource accessibility for communities living in poverty, and that’s where her work has taken her since. Jess has worked on many community-driven farms and spent 6 years right next door at Sisters Of The Road. Old Town is truly Jess’ home, and she is excited to continue to deepen her roots here and get to know Maybelle Center members and volunteers.


Jenna Padbury Maybelle Center Staff

Jenna Padbury, MA

Education Coordinator

Jenna has called Portland her home for more than a decade. While earning her Bachelor’s degree in Secondary Education, she quickly realized that the world is her classroom. An opportunity to work at the University of Portland, and earn her Master’s degree in Pastoral Ministry there, allowed her to intentionally weave experiential education and service-learning into her life’s work. Working closely with community partners and faculty to create transformational learning experiences for students and community members is her constant call.


Jillianne Bandstra

Communications Coordinator

Jillianne has been a storyteller ever since she was in school. After receiving her Master’s degree in Educational Leadership, she worked in corporate marketing for over 10 years and eventually obtained a MBA. After helping scores of small businesses and business owners tell their stories, she made the leap from the corporate world to non-profits several years ago. She believes every person and company has a story. Her job is to find “the story” and tell it in the most compelling way possible. Outside of her work at Maybelle, you’ll find her chasing middle-schoolers in her role as a Youth Director and stepping on Legos left by her two young boys.


Maggie Rounds Maybelle Center Staff

Maggie Rounds

Development Coordinator

Maggie grew up in Denver, before coming to Portland to attend Lewis and Clark College. At Lewis and Clark she studied international affairs and ethnic studies, which created a love for social justice and community building. During school, she began to search for a career that would help to bring together those that need help, and those that can offer help. Since graduating from Lewis and Clark, Maggie has served two years as an AmeriCorps Member and most recently as a Development Associate at A Safe Place. Maggie joined the Maybelle Center in 2014, and is thrilled to be a part of creating community and connection in Old Town.


Maegann Simpson, Maybelle Center Staff

Maegann Simpson, RBSW

Support Services Navigator

Maegann grew up in the country outside of Canby, Oregon. Previously she worked in the medical field for ten years as a Medical Assistant. This experience drove Maegann to do more for the people she was serving. She went back to school and received her Bachelor in Social Work from Concordia University in Portland in early 2013. Maegann joined Maybelle Center in 2013, bringing her passion and depth of skills to serve the Old Town Communities. She lives with her coworker, Olive, and a teenage son. She enjoys spending time outdoors, gardening, and her favorite place to visit is the Oregon Coast.


Laurie Smith Maybelle Center Staff

Laurie Smith, MDiv

Spiritual Support Coordinator

A native of Portland, Laurie joined Maybelle Center in 2015 as the Spiritual Support Coordinator. She has completed a Master of Divinity degree from Marylhurst University, and a certificate in Interfaith Spiritual Direction from the Chaplaincy Institute in Berkeley, CA. Laurie brings to the Center both her experience working for Ecumenical Ministries of Oregon in HIV Services and her background as a Public Health Nurse.  Exploring spirituality through creativity is one of her passions.  Laurie is trained as a SoulCollage® Facilitator and loves to share this fun and meaningful process of creating collaged cards with others.


Misty Spahn

Misty Spahn

Program & Office Assistant

Misty was born in Honolulu, Hawaii, grew up in Beaverton, Oregon, and earned her Bachelor’s degree in Healthcare Administration from Carson-Newman University in Tennessee. She has over six years of administrative experience in the technology and public accounting industries in Portland, but after seeing the needs of the community grow daily, she decided to seek an opportunity to apply her skill set with an organization dedicated to bettering the community. In her free time, she is an outdoor enthusiast. You can find her on a trail in almost any weather.


Olive Maybelle Center Mascot


Community Tailwagger

Olive is a ray of sunshine who meets and greets all the members of our community with a big kiss. She has a sneaky way of luring you in for a scratch, and then jumping up and giving you a lick right on kisser. She is friendly and fun, and loves that she brings so much joy to the members.