Meet the team
Program Director, Co-Founder
Executive Director, Co-Founder
Amy Bunker is a graduate of the Family and Human Services program at the University of Oregon. Since graduating she’s worked for DHS as a young children’s permanency caseworker and visit supervisor from 2009-2014, as intake staff and supervision for CASA, and as a DHS hotline screener.
In 2013 she began spearheading a holiday drive for permanency units at the Alberta child welfare office, providing gifts to over 200 children. These drives would prove to become the foundation for Howard’s Heart.
A wearer of many hats, Amy is also a published author, a dedicated Auntie, and loving friend and caregiver to many.
Jennifer is a graduate of Pacific University Exercise Science program, specializing in Integrated Physiology. She brings over 5 years of experience staffing, scheduling, planning, and coordinating various physical rehabilitation programs for Portland hospitals.
A born organizer and former professional caterer, she’s been planning and executing events large and small since 2003.
On a normal day Jennifer can be found cooking, baking, and taking long forest walks with her son.
Erica (she/her) is a graduate of Michigan State University with a degree in Hospitality Business Administration. After college, she worked in Chicago for eight years and then relocated to Portland in 2013 to escape the Midwestern winters and enjoy all of Oregon’s natural wonders.
After a ten-year career in hotel event planning she decided to make the switch to nonprofit work and joined our team as Administrative Assistant last summer.
Fun fact is that she also received a culinary certificate in college and loves to cook (but cannot bake), read YA novels, and watch puppy training videos to help tame her 19 pound rescue beast.
Cory is a hairstylist in North Portland, but before transforming hair was her main gig, she graduated with a B.A in Youth Ministry from Spring Arbor University in Michigan.
Working with primarily middle school students for years in a faith-based setting, it was solidified to her that teens are the coolest people on this planet.
Being foster parents on and off for the past few years with her husband Cory (same name, different human), she felt drawn to the work of Howard’s Heart and their unique mission of supporting teens in foster care.
Rita received a bachelor’s degree in business administration with an emphasis in accounting from Portland State University, and an MBA with a concentration in finance from Washington State University.
She is licensed as a certified public accountant in Oregon. For the past six years, she has specialized in low income housing, community development, and non-profits. Her volunteer experience has been focused on helping low-income families with taxes, budgeting, and cash management.
In her free time, she enjoys traveling, baking, gardening, and curling up with a good book.
Julia Fraser graduated with a B.A. in Anthropology from the University of South Florida, a Master of Science in Educational Leadership and Policy from Portland State University, and a J.D from Lewis and Clark Law School in 2016. She was admitted to the Oregon Bar in 2017.
She brings ten years of experience working with public agencies in the Multnomah County region and a passion for advocacy.
Julia lives in SE Portland, with her wife, 3 dogs, and 2 cats.
Zane is a Senior Copywriter and Brand Manager with 10 years experience writing, developing and managing branding and creative content for clients large and small. They’ve worked with major brands like Google, Pizza Hut, and Nike.
After working in corporate environments for almost a decade, Zane is excited to be contributing to projects for social good and engaging in social activism, particularly in the LGBTQ community.
They studied Sculpture and Conceptual Art at CUNY’s Hunter College and Theater at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts.
In their free time Zane enjoys painting, film, and writing essays on media and pop culture.
Cory is a community leader, pastor, and owner of Pep’s CoWorking Shop in Kenton. He and his wife Cory (same name, different human) have been foster parents several times over, both officially and unofficially; he has also worked with youth in the juvenile justice system and coaches a local boys’ hockey team.
He approaches the world with a focus on social justice, anti-racism, and anti-oppression work; he is deeply invested in creating a world where systems of power are eradicated and replaced instead with liberation.
Cory is a Canadian transplant (Tim Horton’s wins over Dunkins any day) and plays a mean guitar when he’s not chasing his small children around the yard. He’s excited to join the Howard’s Heart team, having been a part of the community since its’ inception!
Jake comes to the organization out of the foster system. He stumbled into Howard’s Heart when his caseworker told him about an opportunity to join a Teen Voices committee while he was still in care, and the rest is history.
From there, Howard’s Heart helped him get his beloved dog, Gunter, and keep him happy and healthy during the remainder of his time in the system. Jake has a passion for helping other foster youth the way Howard’s Heart helped him.
He can be found baking or watching anime at most times, or adoring his pitbull, who is quickly becoming the Howard’s Heart mascot.