Our Team

Caryn Wheeler Clay, Executive Director

Caryn joined the JCC LTRG from Oregon State University Extension Service in Jackson and Josephine counties where she focused on public health and community development. Previously, Caryn worked for Jackson County Public Health as their accreditation coordinator and a community outreach educator. Caryn brings a wealth of experience, including coalition building, project management, community assessment, and planning.

Caryn has been a part of the recovery efforts in Jackson County since the start. Her ability to make connections and lead with passion not only for the work but the whole community, all while maintaining a focus on equity, are just some of the examples of leadership qualities she brings to the organization.

Matthew Havniear, Housing Recovery Director

Matthew Havniear, a native of Southern Oregon and a Non-Commissioned Officer of the United States Marine Corps, joins the JCC LTRG after a 15-year career in leadership with the greatest focus on housing resiliency, stabilization, program development, and end-to-end project management. Matthew’s education includes an Associate’s Degree from Rogue Community College with a focus in Social Sciences and a Bachelor’s Degree from Southern Oregon University, where he majored in Innovation and Leadership.

Prior to his housing stabilization and program development experience, Matthew held the role of the Regional Field Operations Manager, where he managed deployment operations for Natural Disasters impacting the Pacific Northwest while deploying nationally to various natural disasters.

His involvement with the Almeda Fire Recovery began at the Community Action Agency ACCESS, where he created and provided end-to-end management of the Center for Community Resilience designed to serve fire survivors with Housing Stabilization Case Management.

Tessa Elbettar, Network Engagement & Operations Manager

Tessa is a woman of many hats bringing a rich and multi-disciplinary approach to her work in community recovery and resiliency.

Born and raised in the vibrant city of Los Angeles, Tessa earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Fine Arts from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She’s worn her ‘explorer hat’ to 28 countries, giving her a global perspective that enriches her work.

Tessa earned her ‘production hat’ as the Co-Founder and Program Director at Shift Happens Volunteers, a festival and live event volunteer coordination company. She supported the company’s growth into an expanded team executing 10 volunteer programs annually. She continues to direct the Work-Exchange Program for Envision Festival in Costa Rica – the company’s largest program with 1200 applicants from over 50 countries. 

Tessa puts on her ‘art hat’ (likely a beret) while serving as a member of the Ashland Public Arts Advisory Committee.

Tessa’s passions include community service, community organizing, public art, food sovereignty, circus, movement arts, and houseplants. 

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