Rebekah Crawford (she/her)
Rebekah Perkins Crawford is a co-survivor. As a researcher she cares about how religious communities talk about consent and reports of sexual violence within religious organizations. As an advocate she cares about how trauma and experiences of acute vulnerability affect holistic wellness. She is grateful to be a part of a community that provides a support system for survivors and their loved ones.
Sam Miller (she/her)
A native of the Village of Somerset, Miller attended Ohio University in the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism and graduated in May 2018 with a degree in Journalism – Strategic Communication. Armed with the desire to see southeast Ohio thrive and the motivation to use her skills for the greater good, Miller joined Rural Action as an AmeriCorps national service member in August 2018. She served as the Entrepreneurial Communities Outreach and Support Specialist in the then Entrepreneurial Communities program, which today operates as Resilient Communities. She spent her term of service empowering small communities across five Appalachian Ohio counties and served to connect their businesses with needed resources.
After her AmeriCorps term of service, Miller joined the staff of U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown as the Appalachian Regional Representative. During her time with Brown’s office, Miller served as the primary point of contact and liaison between residents across 25 Appalachian Ohio counties and the Senator’s policy advisors. Miller created engagement events, such as round-table discussions and summer manufacturing camps, with the Senator’s stakeholders and strategic partners.
Mak Olaker (she/her)
Mak is an Appalachian native committed to the region’s culture and development. She is a first-generation college student holding degrees in accounting and higher education from Ohio University, where she now works in leadership development. Mak joined the SAOP board to work with others who are also passionate about creating healthier and safer environments for the surrounding communities.
Ryan Collins (he/him)
Ryan Collins lived a majority of his young life in Columbus before moving to Appalachian Ohio in 2004. It was in Appalachia that Ryan would grow to become who he is today and to truly fall in love with the region. It was then an opportunity given to him while at Sheridan High School where he grew to enjoy Public Policy and governmental work. He was able to attend Buckeye Boy’s State in the summer of 2010 where he was the head of the Legislative Services Commission and wrote several pieces of mock legislation while within the program. This, along with his mother’s work in non-profits for more than 30 years, inspired him to attend Capital University and he graduated in May 2016 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science.
Fueled by a passion to help and serve others Ryan jumped into working with Godman Guild as the Administrator for their Summer Workforce Development program. Following the summer program with Godman Guild Ryan worked a few odd jobs before finding his way back to Workforce Development with Greenleaf Job Training Services. With Greenleaf Ryan worked as an Employment Specialist where he developed, trained, and supervised multiple teams of interns in Project SEARCH programs throughout Franklin and Licking counties. Outside of Project SEARCH Ryan worked with individuals with disabilities within the community to find, obtain, and maintain community employment.
In the summer of 2021 Ryan found an opportunity to give back to the Appalachian region that had made him who he is and to help communities whose needs were further exasperated by the Covid-19 pandemic. He jumped on this opportunity and joined Buckeye Hills Regional Council as Broadband Coordinator. He is now a Program Manager with Buckeye Hills where he continues his work in Broadband along with working on programming with the Appalchian Regional Commission and the Governor’s Office of Appalachia.
Ryan Collins lives in Athens, OH with his partner, Sierra, and their two cats(children) Midna and Saturn.”
Cat Esperanza (she/her)
Cat Esperanza (she/her) is a survivor with tremendous gratitude for the fortitude of community. With an MPA and more than a decade of human resources experience, and as a queer, neurodivergent, Latine woman, Cat is personally and professionally passionate about cultivating sustainable, equitable spaces where folks can thrive in their full, authentic identities. Cat is also a self-proclaimed data nerd who loves to discuss big, lofty ideas over coffee with folks who share her passion for community. o goes here
Chris Linscott (he/him)
Chris is a Certified Rehabilitation Counselor (CRC) who loves our region and our people. He welcomes every opportunity to help our community grow, heal, and thrive, and, is incredibly humbled and grateful to be a small part of the essential work of SAOP.
Tanya Conrath (she/her)
Tanya Conrath (she/her) is the fifth generation of her family to live in the foothills of Appalachia, Ohio. She earned her JD from OSU Moritz College of Law and has combined her passion and education to work on economic and workforce development initiatives that bring money, resources, and support to the people of Southeast Ohio. Tanya’s volunteer work includes serving on the boards of the League of Women Voters of Athens County, BlueDot Co-Working, the Appalachian Center for Economic Networks (ACEnet), Planned Parenthood of Greater Ohio, My Sister’s Place, and The Dairy Barn Arts Center. She is honored to be part of SAOP and to work in service of its mission.
Interested in becoming a board member or want to suggest someone who would help support the organization well?