Center Staff

Vera Stoulil, Director

Vera has been a statewide leader in advocacy for children, youth, and families in Oregon for many years. She has demonstrated a commitment to collaboration, innovation, and accountability. 

Vera completed her undergraduate work at the University of Wisconsin – Stout in Vocational Rehabilitation and received her master’s degree in Rehabilitation Administration from the University of San Francisco. She has served as an Executive Director at a nonprofit serving adults with developmental disabilities where she led the expansion of community-based services. At the YWCA of Greater Portland, she served as a member of the executive management team overseeing multiple programs including senior service programs, anti-poverty and shelter programs for families, transitional living programs, and youth development programs for children and teens.

For the last 21 years she served in various executive leadership roles at Boys & Girls Aid, one of the oldest child welfare agencies in the state of Oregon. She led their effort to embrace permanency as an agency-wide priority, ensuring that all programs and service areas promote lifelong connections for children and youth. She was responsible for program oversight of several programs and led the expansion of services and programs. She led the effort to incorporate trauma-informed care and collaborative problem solving at Boys & Girls Aid. 
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Adira Heart (formerly Naomi Rieger), Training Manager

Adira is a dynamic, client-focused leader with 20+ years of cross-industry expertise. Before joining the Center for Excellence, Adira jumpstarted her own coaching and consulting practice called Empatica Communications where she masters inclusive processes that build trust, transparency, and authenticity. She is a passionate pathfinder equally at ease with grass-root communities and senior policy leaders. She has project management and development experience in events, marketing, film, and construction. Her approach increases productivity, ROI, and trust in the workplace allowing people to feel seen, heard, and valued.

Adira has been recognized throughout her career for knowing how to bridge ideas and people. Her poise and capacity for being a colorful and engaging storyteller combined with her highly empathic listening skills cultivating pathways of discovery and learning. She has degrees in business, marketing, and design.

She has extensive volunteer and travel experience. She’s proficient in Italian and Spanish. When not working you can find her dancing tango near and far, spending time in nature, accidentally letting her New Orleans side slip out, watching excessive amounts of cat videos, and enjoying being a homebody unplugging from technology. [email protected]




Jonah Harris, Policy Analyst

Jonah was brought on as a policy analyst for the Center for Excellence in October of 2022. Prior to that, he spent three years as a research analyst at Westat, primarily working on contracts with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid services. He brings a background in qualitative interviewing, literature review, and policy development. Jonah’s professional interests include (but certainly are not limited to) innovative care delivery models, program evaluation, and targeted services aimed at reducing health and mental health disparities. 
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Caitlin Young, Building Community Resilience Consultant

Caitlin works as a connector and systems change consultant in the State of Oregon. She is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, advocates for health equity, is a movement and mindfulness instructor, community organizer, and trauma informed care organizational trainer. Caitlin is particularly passionate about the process of uniting large cross-sector systems to address and improve the social determinants of health through the Pair of ACEs lens - Adverse Childhood Experiences occurring within Adverse Community Environments. She has served as the administrator for Building Community Resilience, Oregon since the work began in Oregon in 2017.  
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