IMG_6037

Board of Directors 2017

Craig Adair, President

Craig is currently a Development Manager at Pioneer Green Energy. From 2008 to 2012, Craig was Chief of Staff for  State Representative Lon Burnam, a Democratic leader in Texas in policies related to income inequality, environment, and civil rights. Craig has also served on the board of the Austin Immigrant Rights Coalition. In 2006, Craig received his Masters in Public Policy and Latin American Studies from the University of Texas at Austin. Craig was born and raised in Houston, Texas but has lived in Austin since 1995. Craig is fluent in Spanish and brings a broad range of skills to the board, chief among them his proactive and compassionate leadership.

Claudia Golinelli, Vice President

Originally from El Salvador, Claudia is currently an electrician in Dallas.  Claudia came to WDP when she experienced wage theft first hand. She recovered her lost wages through legal action against her employer, and was inspired to stay with the organization to prevent this type of injustice from happening to others. She was motivated by anger and indignation and her strong will has brought her tremendous success as both an electrician and as a social justice advocate. She is patient and level-headed and brings a quiet strength and integrity to the board.

Daniel Berner, Secretary

Daniel is an Austin-based immigration attorney.  He has long been interested in issues of immigration and civil rights and has maintained an active pro bono immigration practice throughout his career. This work was recognized by New York’s Sanctuary for Families organization, which twice awarded Daniel it’s Above & Beyond Award for Excellence in Pro Bono Advocacy. Daniel joined WDP’s Board of Directors because he believes the fair treatment of low-wage workers, documented and undocumented, is a fundamental civil rights issue. He holds a Bachelor in Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Texas at Austin (2002) and a law degree from the Georgetown University Law Center (2007). Daniel speaks Spanish fluently and brings passion and commitment to the board.

Eva DeLuna Castro, Treasurer

Eva works as the Texas Program Director at the Center for Public Policy Priorities. Eva joined the Center in 1998 and focuses on state budget issues. Before coming to the Center, she was an Analyst for the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts, researching various policy issues related to state revenue and spending. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in History and Literature, cum laude, from Harvard University in 1988 and a Master of Public Affairs from the LBJ School of Public Affairs at The University of Texas at Austin in 1997. Eva brings a refined knowledge of finance and the experience of being an immigrant herself.

Val Benavidez

Val was born in Austin, Texas and grew up nearby in Kerrville. She is the daughter of a Mexican immigrant father and Mexican-American mother. Her grandparents were farm workers, railroad builders, and political activists. She is the Outreach and Field Director for the Texas Freedom Network where she oversees grassroots organizing, lobbying and civic engagement work. Val has worked for numerous non-profit advocacy organizations including the Texas Immigrant and Refugee Coalition, League of Young Voters as well as serving as Executive Director of ProTex: Network for a Progressive Texas. She holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Texas at Austin. Val’s nonprofit experience has been invaluable to the WDP board.

Parisa Fatehi-Weeks

Parisa is a lifelong Austinite, University of Texas alumna, and community advocate. She was born in Iran, immigrated to Austin as an infant, and became a naturalized citizen as a young adult. In her current role as Head of Community Impact Programs and Investments for Google Fiber in Austin, Parisa leads strategic initiatives with local nonprofits, schools, public and affordable housing partners to bridge the digital divide. She has previously worked in the nonprofit sector (civil rights law firm Public Advocates), the federal government (U.S. District Courts, U.S. E.P.A.), and the City of Austin. She is a graduate of the University of Texas School of Law and LBJ School of Public Affairs. As a law student she was part of the Transnational Workers Rights Clinic, where she first worked with the founders of WDP. Parisa’s personal and family experiences with the immigration process, her legal and policy work, and her experience in the business community have been assets to the WDP Board.

Jazmin Ruth Guzman

Ruth works as a house cleaner in Austin. Ruth came to WDP in search for a community for her children. She aims to improve conditions for immigrants and Latinos, and believes deeply in the value of grassroots organizing. She is interested in the financial component of the non-profit sector and has tried to learn more about it on her own time. Ruth is thoughtful and considers every angle before helping the board make decisions.

Cyndi Jiménez

Cyndi has been a part of WDP since she was in high school. When her dad came to the organization looking for help after he wasn’t paid for his work, Cyndi and her entire family fell in love with WDP. She served as volunteer worker rights trainer while still in high school, and after graduation she and her mother became owners of Dahlia Green Cleaning, Austin’s first worker-owned housecleaning cooperative, and Cyndi also began her college career. Dahlia’s youngest member, Cyndi is twenty years old and has lived in Austin, Texas since she turned nine. She is originally from Veracruz, Mexico, and is the first in her family to graduate from high school and attend college. Cyndi is involved with WDP because she has seen firsthand the organization’s ability to bring workers together to provide better opportunities for the community, families, and individuals. Cyndi provides continuity and a unique historical perspective to the board.

Mario Ontiveros

Mario is a construction worker in Dallas. Mario is an active and vivacious leader. His enthusiasm is contagious and he brings energy and positivity to the board. Through his own experiences, he has overcome adversity and seen outrageous conditions on the job. This has motivated him to work actively to improve safety standards in the construction industry. Since coming to WDP, Mario has identified with the mission. He is committed to the  organization and the immigrant community who struggle for equality and the rights of workers and their families.