Rachael, affectionately known as “The Fearless Leader” to her staff, worked as a barista, wedding photographer, nanny, corporate manager, trainer, and numerous other people-oriented positions before discovering her passion in life when she began working with adults with developmental disabilities. Her desire to help people in need, and the community at large, led her to establish Pacific Opportunities in 2009. Since then, her once one-woman show now staffs many employees and has assisted hundreds of adults with employment barriers in the Portland Metro area.
Contrary to popular belief, Rachael does not work twenty-four hours per day. In fact, she’s been known to watch documentaries, study French, paddle board in Maui, sing, play with her four adorable kiddos, spend time with her wife and family, play guitar and drums, camp, and swim. She is, however, always looking to lend a hand, listen, or otherwise help anyone who may be in need.
After receiving her degree in culinary arts, Janet spent over 10 years working in and managing restaurants. Her passion for helping her employees succeed in their positions, and a past working relationship with Rachael Holland, led her to Pacific Opportunities to do just that. As a job developer, she utilizes the people skills she’s honed over her career to help each and every client discover their own passion and pursue it in their job search. Her love of travel guided Janet cross country from her home of New York to Oregon. She loved it so much she stayed! The travel bug is still alive and well, however, and she never turns down an opportunity to discover some place new. When in town, Janet enjoys home improvement projects and entertaining for family and friends, putting her culinary arts degree to good use.
A California native, Jhaline was looking for a change of scenery after graduating from UC Santa Cruz with a degree in Sociology. Three short months later, Jhaline made the 14-hour journey to Portland and has since fallen in love with the rainy city. Her love of working with people brought her from the Preschool classroom of UCSC’s Early Education Services to Pacific Opportunities, where she works as a Job Coach to help others enjoy their working lives. When she has the time, Jhaline loves to listen to books (so, so many books), eat delicious food, and cuddle her cat Rainedrop.
SID WALKER III
Sid, Pacific Opportunities’ Client Services Manager (slash Juggler Of Everything), is from that other Columbia area, that one over on the other coast where the Max is called the Metro and the Columbia is a District, not a river. Please don’t hold that against him. Sid relocated to Portland at the first possible chance in order to, ahem, make love work with his wife, a Portland native. Spoiler alert: mission accomplished. They relish in taking advantage of all of this area’s great things and they are known to host legendary dinner parties.
Having worked in banking, management consulting, and health care human resources, Sid loves helping people find jobs and careers that are meaningful and help the community to grow. With community-building so close to his heart, Sid, somehow, in his 29-hour days, continues to run a non-profit organization he founded in order to ensure that all children have a pair (or two!) of clean, comfortable shoes.
On the off-chance he doesn’t have phones attached to both ears and two virtual meetings running on laptops on each knee, Sid is probably out on a trail, a football field, or a volleyball court. Wherever he is, he is connecting with other people and helping others to connect. Sid is thrilled that making personal connections is what his job at PO is all about.
At age 14, Erik landed his first job as a plate umpire for Little League baseball games. Since then, having worked in various roles in healthcare, legal services, academia, and manufacturing, Erik appreciates the diverse ways employees contribute to organizational excellence across many industries. His unbridled enthusiasm for nurturing each individual’s talents and aspirations informs his customized approach to consulting on job development, and supports his mission to help companies achieve a high-performing, sustainable workforce.
In mid-2020, Erik and his wife moved to Albania, a geographic shift that had been in the works for a while, and one that unexpectedly took place amidst a worldwide pandemic. They are grateful for this unbelievable privilege and thankful that both of their mothers will be joining them when, fingers braided, the threat of Covid-19 abates. In his down time, Erik can be found snorkeling at dawn, trail running around Roman ruins and mid-century bunkers mid-morning, and after a ten-souvlaki lunch, trying to make street handball happen in the Balkans. Erik and his wife like nothing more than to spend a Sunday learning Shqip and getting involved with local humanitarian, agricultural, and animal rights organizations. Erik holds a Master of Public Administration degree and is, at the speed of Zen, realizing that maybe, perhaps, he doesn’t need to complete that PhD just yet.
While volunteering overseas, Jessica discovered a passion for helping those with disabilities — so much so, that upon her return to Oregon she decided to make it a career. In her role as a Discovery Specialist and Job Coach, Jessica utilizes those skills and tools she has developed in her 8 years of work to bring out the best in clients and watch them grow in ways they never imagined.
In her down time, Jessica often finds herself in search of a new consignment shop, curling up with a good book in the winter, or going for hikes in the Columbia Gorge with her wife and friends.
CORINNE ST CLAIR
Corinne was born in the great country of Texas where she spent most of her life, but she came to her senses and moved to Portland in January 2019. Corinne was a professional baby whisperer and toddler wrangler for the good part of a decade before stumbling upon a new adventure at Pacific Opportunities. Corinne has a real passion for helping people and she hopes to inspire positivity and optimism in her new position. Corinne enjoys long strolls in the wilderness with her wife, reading books in hammocks, listening to murder podcasts, and pastries. She is known for her purple hair and her ability to consume large quantities of tea. In her free time, Corinne can be found marathoning Alaska shows with her wife or outside enjoying their garden with her cats and little pup.
KEVIN DI PIETRO
Born and raised in a sleepy Los Angeles suburb, Kevin moved to Portland in the summer of 2015 in pursuit of bigger and better things. Having been raised in a Spanish-speaking household, Kevin is bilingual (just don’t ask him to prove it). He attained his degree in film from Cal State Northridge and worked in post-production for a number of years before his move. Despite his Southern California origins, Kevin prefers the rain and gloom the Pacific Northwest provides. He is an avid fan of video games, quiet evenings in, pop culture, and punk music. Kevin is passionate about his job at Pacific Opportunities and loves giving back to his community. He feels an overwhelming sense of pride and accomplishment working and establishing long-term relationships with his clients.
Shauna was born and raised in the greater Portland area. As a PNW native, she loves rainy days and grey skies. A life-long singer and musician, Shauna sang her first big solo at her kindergarten graduation (You Are My Sunshine; it was a big hit). She received her Bachelor’s degree in Music from Willamette University, where she studied opera and jazz. Currently she sings unusual cover tunes in a piano voice duo. When she’s not making music, Shauna enjoys tap dancing, reading, traveling, and watching hockey (go Kings!). After years of jobs that just weren’t quite right, Shauna is grateful to have landed at Pacific Opportunities. Her past includes selling perfume, customer service, reception, bookkeeping, office management, and fleet/inventory management. She loves working in a position where helping people is the goal and feels she has found a real home in this new role.
April is a Los Angeles native, but don’t hold that against her. She also grew up in Bend, OR, and has been mildly obsessed with Portland since she graduated from Bend Senior High School in the ‘90s and still had eyebrows. She received her B.A. in Theater from California State University Northridge and worked in theater and comedy troupes, sang back-up in several popular LA bands, and studied improv at the famous Groundlings Theater, all while holding down high-level administrative 9-5 jobs and singing in church. Her dream was finally realized when she moved to Portland in 2009 and Oregon was her home again. She currently is the front woman for Portland blues band and CBA Journey to Memphis winner and IBC semi-finalist SISTER MERCY. When she’s not bookkeeping, job coaching, or wearing many other hats with impeccable style at Pacific Opportunities or commanding the stage, April is a personal stylist. She is a mystery wrapped in an enigma.
Alex is a PDX native who had countless adventures living in Hawaii and Colorado, where she went to school for American Sign Language interpretation, before realizing she missed moss (and friends and family) too much and moved back home. Alex is passionate about facilitating communication and learning lessons from everyone she works with. A believer that community and family can be found anywhere, Alex strives to build true connections and to support anyone who wants to find their place to grow. On her days off, Alex enjoys tending to her succulents, tasting rare beers, and planning her next adventure with her partners and super awesome dog. Alex dreams of becoming an ASL interpreter in the social work and medical fields, and of owning a farm where she can adopt far too many dogs. And chickens. And maybe the odd goat.
Kristi, a person not too shy to wield her prodigious sense of humor, and member of the rare species Nativus Oregoniansis, was born and raised amongst the tall trees of Portland’s Southwest hills in Multnomah Village. The youngest and best-looking of 6 siblings, she graduated from (then-known-as) Wilson High School and obtained an Associate’s degree in Human Services in 2011. She has collected over 20 years of experience working in fields encompassing mental health, developmental disabilities, and addiction recovery. As a single mother she raised a daughter, now an adult, but currently defers all household decisions to her imperious 13-year-old cat, Cheeto, and her less officious 11-year-old dog, Koda, her best friend. Splitting her time between Portland and Tillamook, Kristi loves the beach, camping, enjoying animals, going on road trips, and scouring antique stores. She permits herself to dance at least, but usually not more than, one time each week.