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Who Are We


Antonio Jackson

Co-Founder & Executive Director

Antonio received his Bachelor’s Degree from Portland State University in Business Administration. Shortly after graduation, he joined Daimler Trucks North America (formally Freightliner) in which he worked his way up through the Procurement Department starting off as an entry level buyer to managing over $100 million in component purchases annually as a Purchasing Agent. He’s worked on many Global Procurement teams and has worked in many different countries over his tenure there. In 2008, Antonio took on a Procurement role at Banfield Pet Hospital, a subsidiary of Mars Corporation. While at Banfield, Antonio developed cost savings programs, negotiated contracts, managed the vendor development processes, and lead supplier evaluations to ensure the Practice had uninterrupted supply of products for their over 940 hospital locations.

Over the years, Antonio’s passion for his community has lead him to sit on numerous boards: Inner-City Sports Ministries, Portland Housing Center, Broussard Foundation, and the Oregon Robotics Tournament and Outreach Program (ORTOP). He has also been a youth football and basketball coach, high school football coach at Central Catholic, youth ministry leader at New Song Community Church, mentor with the Leisure Hour Jr. Golf Program, mentor with the Perspective Gents Club, and a STEAM Committee Community Partner for the 3toPhD program at Concordia University.

Antonio is a husband and father of three children in addition to being a father figure to many other youth in the community.

Ernest E. Hartzog, PhD.

Co-Founder & Emeritus Director

While in San Diego, his distinguished work resulted in his being selected for a Rockefeller Foundation “Superintendent’s Internship”. During this period he served in the Detroit, Michigan and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania school systems.  Hartzog served as Assistant Superintendent of Portland Oregon Public Schools for 18 years. He worked as national consultant for the College Board in its Advanced Placement Program.  He owned the first Sylvan Learning Center Franchise in the United States for twenty years.  Today he is part owner of MJOD Consulting, a leadership and organizational development corporation.

Significant experience in Dr. Hartzog’s distinguished career includes work as an adjunct professor at California Western University, San Diego, and Portland State University, Portland Oregon.  He was a charter member and past president of the National Alliance of Black School Educators (NABSE).  He was the founder and past president of the Oregon Alliance of Black School Educators (OABSE).  Other professional experience includes work as a consultant at the Center for Studies of The Person, in La Jolla, California and as a consultant for the National Training Laboratory for Applied Behavioral Sciences (NTL), in Washington D.C.  Dr. Hartzog served on the advisory boards of the “I Have a Dream” Foundation and the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry, and on the executive board of OASIS, a senior volunteer organization.

Richard Allen Probasco

Chair

Pastor Probasco is the President of New Song International; the covering organization to churches and ministries around the world. Richard has made a major impact on the business community as a private consultant and mentor to young entrepreneurs. He has invested time sitting on the boards of educational, evangelical ministries, world mission outreaches, and youth organizations.  In his spare time he has chosen to invest in land development of real estate projects in NE Portland on a small scale.

Richard has served on the advisory board for the Portland Development Commission, Board Member for Transitional Youth of Portland. Richard is currently serving as a volunteer personal advisor to pastors in the ministry.  In addition, Richard works with the Multnomah County Task Force for Gang Violence intervention.

Kaeti Namba

Secretary

Her skills and experiences in development have allowed her to foster an understanding of intentional communication, fundraising, donor relations, and cultivation of foundation giving. She enjoys communications/marketing by planning and supporting short/long term objectives, advancing initiatives, fundraising events, and utilizing digital/social media storytelling to strengthen community and organizational goals.

Kaeti has served as a board member for the Oregon Nikkei Endowment (preserving Japanese history and culture). She also enjoys volunteering on the Public Involvement Advisory Council (PIAC) for the City of Portland’s Office of Neighborhood Involvement. Additionally, Kaeti is a member of the Portland Business Alliance’s Leadership Portland 2015 Cohort and was a BB2S coach/mentor this past season for both a FLL team and FLLJr. team. Her passion for giving back to her community shows in all of her hard work and involvement in so many different activities

Judge Melvin Oden-Orr

Treasurer

In that role, he adjudicated land use disputes, city code violations, and other municipal matters. From 2005 to 2016, Oden-Orr operated his own law practice, representing clients in civil litigation and business transactions. From 2000 to 2004, he served as Assistant General Counsel at TriMet. Oden-Orr began his career as an associate attorney at a predecessor to the firm Lane Powell LLP. He attended law school at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign after receiving his B.A. degree in political science at UCLA. He is the founding chair of the Oregon State Bar’s Diversity Section and has served on a number other boards and committees, including with the City Club of Portland, Youth Employment Institute, Micro Enterprise Services of Oregon, and the State Construction Contractors Board, to name a few.

Jason Hagen

Director

Jason understands the importance of community involvement and the impact it has on the surrounding community and the students on campus. His drive and determination have helped to become a rising star to impact change for the community he serves.

Serene Perkins

Director

She completed her M.D. from the Chicago Medical School (2000), her residency in General Surgery at Thomas Jefferson University (2006), and her fellowship in Hepatobiliary and Pancreatic Surgical Oncology and Abdominal Organ Transplantation from the University of Toronto (2010). Her expertise in surgical education revolves around team training and leadership development.

Serene is an active member of several academic surgical organizations and has served on multiple committees committed to advancing global surgical education. She developed and facilitated educational collaboratives for health care providers between major institutions in India and the United States. She is the founder of the nonprofit organization, SCALPEL (Surgeons’ Consortium for the Advancement of Leadership and Peace through Laparoscopy) and the President of Ascent Liver and Pancreas Specialists, P.C. She currently serves on the Executive Committee of the Indian American Surgical Association (IASA) and is a board member of the Raphael House of Portland, the Children’s Cancer Association, and Cascade Heights Public Charter School. She also serves as a scientific advisor to the nonprofit Right 2 Health, an organization that examines the effects of racial disparity on health.

Joyce Braden Harris

Director

At the age of 19, Harris co-founded the Black Educational Center (BEC) in Portland which she considers as one of her most rewarding experiences. She taught science clubs at the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry, was a national trainer for Playtime is Science an equity based approach to teaching parents how to engage their children in science activities. She was the math curriculum coordinator and teacher for the BEC. She has taught creative writing to talented and gifted students and wrote an essay on African American Traditions in Language Arts for Portland Public Schools. She continues to work with school districts, agencies, and community organizations on equity issues and compliance with federal civil rights laws.

She currently serves as co-chair of the African American/Black Student Success statewide advisory committee and is on the Early Learning Council’s Equity Subcommittee. She was recently appointed to serve on Oregon’s Every Student Succeeds Act Statewide Advisory Committee.

She is the recipient of many awards recognizing over 45 years of volunteer work. In 2015, the City of Portland Human Rights Commission presented her with a lifetime achievement award and the University of Oregon honored her with an award for outstanding service to Oregon. The Skanner newspaper awarded her the 2014 Drum Major for Justice Award, and she received a Woman of Excellence Award in Education from the Delta Sigma Theta sorority.

She is the proud grandmother of 3-year-old Jenna and her 2-year-old sister Jordyn.   Joyce’s passion is collecting books and memorabilia that document the history and culture of people of African descent. Her personal library contains over 8,000 books. She has a B.A. degree in American Studies from Reed College, a B.S degree in Elementary Education from Oregon State University; a Master’s degree in Educational Administration from Portland State University, and has completed doctoral course work at Oregon State University.


Building Blocks 2 Success is a registered 501(c)3 Non-Profit Corporation (EIN: 46-4014410). For inquiries, or to donate time or resources please contact:

Antonio Jackson
Co-Founder & Executive Director
Building Blocks 2 Success
(971) 301-2227
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Mailing Address:
PO Box 13441
Portalnd, OR 97213

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