Amanda Hess, Board Chair

Amanda is the board chair of Girls Build. She was introduced to Katie's amazing work to inspire curiosity and confidence in girls while working for former State Senator Chip Shields. When Katie launched Girls Build, Amanda immediately asked how to help with grant applications. She admits to being the only board member without any trades experience, but is an avid supporter of the program because she knows how much it would have meant to her (and so many other girls) to attend Girls Build camps growing up. Amanda works for NW Public Affairs, a state government relations firm, and spends her spare time getting her MBA and plotting how women can take over the world. She is also pushing for an adult Girls Build program where girls teach her how to build...

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Leah Benson, Board Secretary

Leah Benson is the owner and founder of Gladys Bikes, an award-winning women-focused bike shop in Portland. Prior to opening the shop in 2013, she worked as an event planner, volunteer coordinator and non-profit program manager. A founding board member, Leah is excited to support the work Girls Build does, lending her expertise in running a small business, thinking outside the box, and eating licorice anytime, anywhere.  In her spare time, she likes to get extraordinarily excited about mundane things, read too many books at the same time, ride her bike around town and up steep hills, and think about maybe taking up running sometime. 


Madelyn Elder, Board Treasurer

Madeyln is a long-time labor organizer, serving for 15 years as the president of Communications Workers of America (CWA) Local 7901.  She is happy to offer her accounting skills to Girls Build, in addition to her full-time position at Oregon Tradeswomen, Inc. as the Chief Financial Officer.  In her spare time, Madelyn like to cause trouble, hang out with her nieces and nephews, and plan her next trip to Italy. 


Samhita Reddy, Board Member

Samhita is a fundraiser who is committed to supporting non-profits in their efforts to eliminate racial and socioeconomic disparities in opportunity. When she's not busy with that, Samhita is a chicken-keeper, woodworker, stand-up comic, and bike/bus/foot/anything but car commuter. She's a Portland native who moved to New York for 12 years to live, learn, and work before returning to Portland to be closer to family.