Meet the passionate Board who lead our efforts to serve families affected by wildfires in our Valley.
Amber Ferguson—Board President
A founder of Rogue Food Unites, Amber Ferguson currently serves as CEO/Executive Director. Rogue Food Unites was born out of the 2020 wildfires and continues to be one of two disaster response feeding agencies in Oregon, serving Jackson, Josephine, Klamath, Douglas, Deschutes, Coos, and Curry Counties.
The fires started three blocks away from her home. She is the daughter of a wildland firefighter—about to embark on his 55th consecutive fire season. At this point in his career, he is a PIO and not actively on the lines. The example of service has shaped her life. Seven years ago, she returned to Ashland to raise her family. “I wanted to come back home when I was ready to have something to offer. If I am to impact my community, it better be contributing in a positive way.”
Why she joined the Board
"I have been involved with fire recovery since day 1, when we were making meals to serve to people who had lost their homes. As the recovery has proceeded in fits and starts, I have continued to be involved in making sure that people in our community are cared for, fed and housed. I joined the LTRG because I can see that this mission will not be ending anytime soon, and I will not rest until I know we have done our best to care for the people who might otherwise be left behind."
Born and raised in the Rogue Valley, Caitrin Sevcik is currently a school psychologist in the Central Point School District. She currently resides in Talent with her daughter. She has always worked towards helping children and families and enjoys coordinating service in counseling, wraparound services, and trauma-informed care. She enjoys connecting with people and building relationships. Caitrin enjoys golf, dancing, and spending time with her family in her free time.
Cassandra Cornwell was born in Ashland in 1971 and moved to Talent in 1977. She attended both Talent Elementary and Talent Junior High School, then graduated from Phoenix High School in 1989. She has been living in the Rogue Valley her whole life.
She and her sister lost their home in the Almeda Fire. “Going to the Zone Captains’ meetings saved my life and my sanity.” Cass wants to help other fire survivors recover by steering them towards resources. “Ultimately, I want to see my community thrive again, and will do whatever I can to make that happen.” When not directly assisting fellow survivors, Cass is researching the numbers—learning what parks are rebuilding and how, and gathering data to tell the story of her community’s recovery.
Outside of work, Cass is passionate about bio-regeneration. Mushrooms, plants and animals are important to her. She hopes to incorporate her love of botany and mycology to aid in the recovery of the Bear Creek Greenway and the wildlife habitat that was lost in the fire.
Dalia Silva-Moore is a 27-year-old bilingual/bicultural Latina woman. She was born and raised in Klamath Falls, Oregon, and raised by an amazing single mom who spent many years doing agricultural work to support her and her 4 brothers. She is the Community Impact Director for Transportation at United Way of Jackson County, and received her associate degree from Rogue Community College in the Human Services Program. In her spare time, you’ll find her taking long walks outdoors with her husband to soak up as much sun as possible.
At Southern Oregon University, Echo advised and mentored students in SOU's Human Service major for more than 20 years, teaching courses on racial & ethnic relations in the US, social policy, families & poverty, non-profit organizations, and on characteristics of resilient communities in rural areas. Currently, Echo is a member of the Ashland Housing and Human Services Committee. Professor emeritus of sociology, Southern Oregon University. Education: PhD. Sociology, 1984, University of Oregon. BA Sociology, Oklahoma City University, 1975.
Melanie Doshier, ACCESS Support Services Director, oversees a multi-divisional nonprofit housing stabilization department, with a focus on trauma-informed, people-first, wraparound care. Melanie’s experience scales across industries with an expertise in creating foundations to support growth, both in people and process, and to provide service delivery holistically. Melanie believes that trust in relationships is imperative for effective supportive service delivery models and is passionate about ensuring all have equitable access to the resources and care teams they need to move forward in their recovery. She strongly believes, and embodies through action, that access to housing that meets the needs of the households in service is the only path forward.
Vanessa Houk is a writer and has been a community activist in the Rogue Valley for more than three decades. Together with her husband Jason, they've built a community meal program in Ashland, organized winter and cooling shelters, and has dedicated her life to helping others. Like thousands of neighbors, the Houk family lost their home, belongings and pets in the Almeda fire. She has a deep understanding of poverty as well as the power of community.