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.


Crystal Akins

Spiritual Support Coordinator

Crystal Akins started working with Maybelle Center in 2016 as the Choir Director for the Maybelle Community Singers. Wanting to be more involved in our members’ lives, she took on an additional role as our Spiritual Support Coordinator in 2017. Throughout her career, Crystal has dedicated herself to community outreach through education, nonprofit direct service programs, and community arts engagement. At Maybelle Center, Crystal’s goal is to create spiritual spaces for connection, expression, and presence. Crystal holds an Interdisciplinary Degree from Marylhurst University.


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.


Kerry Linhares

Volunteer Coordinator

Kerry has called Oregon home since 2014 when she served as an AmeriCorps VISTA member with the Oregon Health Authority. Originally from Saint Louis, Missouri, Kerry received her Bachelor’s degree from Truman State University where she found her passion for public health and social justice issues. Kerry is a breakfast burrito and crossword puzzle enthusiast. You can most likely find her baking treats for friends, tending to her ever-growing plant collection, or starting yet another craft project.


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.


Lucy Pawliczek

Community Room Liaison

Lucy graduated from Boston College with a bachelor’s degree in Philosophy. She grew up in rural Pennsylvania, which influenced her interest in agriculture and ecological justice. As a Jesuit Volunteer, Lucy aims to live out the program’s core values with her housemates and with members in the Community Room. In her spare time, Lucy enjoys live comedy, cooking on a budget, and picnics.


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.


Laurie Smith Maybelle Center Staff

Laurie Smith, MDiv

Spiritual Support

A native of Portland, Laurie has worked with the Maybelle Center since 2015. 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. She is currently working to complete her Clinical Education Program. 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.


Caitlin Walther, MSW

Support Services Coordinator

Caitlin Walther brings a range of experience in social services and a commitment to working alongside diverse communities. Originally from the San Francisco Bay Area, Caitlin earned her BA in Social Work from San Jose State University. Caitlin also holds a Master’s in Social Work with a concentration in Community-Centered Integrative Practice from the University of Washington. Caitlin’s previous work includes mental health and academic counseling for at-risk youth, employment support services for adults who experience developmental disabilities, and most recently, housing policy advocacy and renter engagement for an affordable housing provider in Seattle. In her free time, Caitlin enjoys hiking, snowboarding, and exploring new places throughout the Pacific Northwest.


Maegann Simpson, Maybelle Center Staff

Maegann Zakovics, 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.


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.