Venture Portland’s staff have diverse backgrounds with significant business district and non-profit management experience. They are passionate about preserving the unique character of Portland's neighborhood business districts.

Joy Church – Executive Director

Joy has been with Venture Portland since 2019. She brings over two decades of non-profit leadership expertise, having previous advocacy experience in the Bay Area and in Portland, since relocating to Portland in the early 2000’s. Joy’s political experience includes spearheading initiatives with Mayor Brown in San Francisco and organizing actions with former Multnomah County Commissioner Loretta Smith, Congressman Blumenauer, and Governor Brown’s offices. Joy brings extensive HR, fundraising and finance, governance, media, and strategic planning skills to the organization. In her free time, Joy feeds her passion for food and theatre by volunteering on three boards and committees. She is honored to serve as Board President of the Portland Culinary Alliance. Joy is a true food enthusiast; having traveled on culinary trips to Central America, Asia, and Europe. Joy freelances for Eater Pdx and emcees the Classic Wine Auction’s Corks & Forks fundraiser. Previously, she was the food columnist for Yuuyake Shimbun, Oregon’s only Japanese/English newspaper. As of 2020, she has a new podcast called The Joy of Drinking, showcasing everything from tap water to tequila. You can follow Joy’s eating and imbibing escapades on Instagram @jcplayswithfood and @thejoyofdrinkingpodcast.

Jacob Falkinburg – Communications and Member Services Director

Jacob has been with Venture Portland since 2013. Originally from Philadelphia, PA, Jacob has a diverse background that includes video production, marketing, non-profit administration and grantmaking with organizations like the Pew Charitable Trusts. A passionate advocate for Portland’s neighborhood business districts, Jacob has helped grow Venture Portland adding new grant programs, benefits and the Catalytic Investment Initiative. He currently manages the organization’s grants and training programs, marketing and communications. His graphic design can also been seen on business district posters, maps and promotional materials across the city. In his free time, Jacob enjoys bicycling, hiking, camping, snowboarding and performing locally with various bands.

Jeff Lynott – Catalytic Investment Initiative Director

Jeff has been with Venture Portland since 2018. Originally from the Bay Area, Jeff previously worked in social services with youth struggling with behavioral and mental health issues. Jeff also spent several years as a volunteer supporting the Foster-Powell community. Jeff enjoys connecting with the people and organizations that make up the Business Districts he works in. In his free time, Jeff enjoys gardening (strong preference for NW Natives), taking neighborhood walks with his wife and daughter, camping, and catching the occasional happy hour at one of his district watering holes (what’s more glorious than a pint, patio and Portland sun?).

Tanya Hartnett – District Manager, St. Johns

Born and raised in Oregon, Tanya has a huge belief in and passion for community and the environment.  Working her entire career overseeing departments and product categories in the Outdoor Industry for Portland based companies, Tanya understands the complete lifecycle of what it takes for a business to be successful and is excited to help the St Johns Boosters thrive.  In her spare time, she volunteers for her children’s events, and loves to Ski, mountain bike, run, camp, knit, sew, bake…

Nana Hoerth – District Manager, Gateway

Nana is a first-generation American born, Ghanian and comes to Venture Portland with over 10 years of Business and retail banking experience. She is no stranger to small business, growing up in an entrepreneurial home, where her mother ran multiple businesses from  African markets, to a Vacuum repair shop.   In 2003, Nana moved to the Gateway area in  NE Portland  where she fell in love with the beautiful outdoors and the spirit of unity that welcomes so many backgrounds and cultures to the Pacific Northwest. She has a passion to combine culture and community with small businesses through community engagement and fellowship. Her hobbies include writing poetry as well as traveling and creating exciting adventures with her husband and 4 children.

Kathy Madore – District Manager, Beaumont & Lloyd

Kathy has been with Venture Portland since 2019. She is originally from Boston, MA. Her background is in advertising and graphic design. She is an experienced designer/project manager with an eye to detail. She likes taking on challenges and coming up with creative solutions. She is very organized, a good communicator and problem solver. She has lots of energy and enjoys helping people. Her passions are traveling, eating out, playing tennis, hiking, walking her dogs, cooking, reading, knitting and watching Netflix. Kathy firmly believes in the balance of providing inspired and effective work while enjoying yourself along the way.

Deborah Rochford – District Manager, Williams District

Deborah has been with Venture Portland since 2019. Originally from Oklahoma she made the move to Portland in 1999. The daughter of an immigrant, Deborah is half Mexican and grew up living the majority of her summers with her large extended family in Mexico. She comes from a long family history of entrepreneurs and business owners. As a photographer she has built her own successful business and helps other non-profits and businesses to hone in on their brands and creative content. Her work experience crosses over many industries including, restaurants/food service, retail (sales and corporate management), live events, photography and has over a decade of experience in non-profit fundraising and development. She is passionate about helping underserved businesses and entrepreneurs succeed and about helping to impact the city and people she loves in positive ways. As a wife and mother to a 9 year old, Deborah spends her free time volunteering and caring for her family.

Art Aguilar – District Manager, Lents

Art has been with Venture Portland since 2021.   He is originally from Texas , and has a background in Public Health.  He loves film, art, music, and spoken word, and is a huge fan of the Portland Art Museum. His main passions are community engagement,  learning about new cultures and ways of thinking, and eating at the hundreds of great Portland restaurants.

Christian Smith, District Manager, Foster Area

Christian has been with Venture Portland since 2021. Originally from St. Augustine, Florida, he made the move to PDX in the mid 1990’s. Christian previously worked for the Portland Bureau of Transportation, and spent over a decade as a volunteer and community organizer/activist advocating on behalf of the Foster area. Christian lives in the Foster-Powell neighborhood and is passionate about the success of the small businesses in his district. With education in economics, community development, and public policy (even writing his Masters Thesis on commercial gentrification and affordability on Foster Road), he brings a broad and versatile background to advance his district. He loves traveling, gardening, catching movies at the Hollywood Theater, and lounging with his cat Larry.