Beatriz (she/her/hers) was born and raised in Madera just an hour south of the Yosemite National Park entrance. Beatriz enjoyed growing up in a diverse, agricultural community despite the scorching hot summers. She attended the University of California, Santa Cruz (UCSC) for her Bachelor’s degree and Fresno State for her Master’s degree. After graduate school, she worked at universities on the Central Coast as a Residential Education Coordinator and Community Director. Beatriz is now part of Equality California's OUT Against Big Tobacco Central Valley program and is based in Madera. Beatriz enjoys reading, crafting, Netflix, and hanging out with her cats.
Marissa lived much of her adult life in the small mountain community of Mariposa California. If you have ever visited Yosemite, chances are you have stopped to refuel or buy snacks there. Marissa moved to Butte County to continue her education at California State University, Chico. Currently, Marissa is the Project Director for LEAD (Leadership In Equity Action and Development), a project of the California Health Collaborative. LEAD's goal is to improve the health and wellbeing of North Valley residents through youth leadership development, tobacco retail policies, and collaboration with local planning departments. Prior to directing LEAD, Marissa worked with the American Lung Association in tobacco control, and on a grant to educate rural health care providers on wildfire safety issues. Her interest in both tobacco work and wildfire safety, stems from the same place, a desire to uplift rural communities. Her unique experience helps span the gap between tobacco control projects and the rural population they hope to serve.
Dyane Osorio is the Sierra Club northern California’s Mother Lode Chapter Director. Like most Americans she comes from a vibrant immigrant story. Born in Southern California her family moved to South America when she was four years old and returned to California to attend college at CSU Northridge, where she received her B.A. in Political Science and dual Minors in Economics and History. In 2010, she moved to Sacramento and co-founded the higher-education nonprofit, Dream. Develop. Do., that fundraised scholarships for marginalized students and helped organize the largest annual university fair and FAFSA/Dream Act applications bilingual assistance event.
Her professional experience includes, serving as Press Secretary for Assemblywoman Mariko Yamada and being a certified expert translator. Prior to these positions she was also a Policy Consultant for Jim Gonzalez & Associates, where she prepared reports on environmental justice, higher education, elections, and voter participation. In her current role at the Sierra Club, Dyane and her team have taken part in numerous waterways and green spaces clean-ups, where tobacco butts are the most common litter found. Dyane looks forward to continuing tobacco waste work in the 22, mostly rural counties, that her chapter serves.
In her spare time, Dyana loves to hike, bike, and travel. Her hiking adventures include summiting Mt. Whitney, and many mountains in Ecuador and Chile.
Tashelle Wright is a PhD candidate in Public Health at the University of California, Merced. She is currently a TRDRP Predoctoral Fellow working on her dissertation, which focuses on oral health and tobacco use disparities among underserved populations (e.g., older adults, Blacks, Hmong, Latinx, and immigrants) in California's rural Central Valley. Tashelle is the Media Subcommittee Chair of the Merced County ACCT Coalition (A Community Counteracting Tobacco).
Tashelle was introduced to the world of tobacco control in 2014 when she was working on her Bachelor’s in Public Health and working at the Utah Department of Health. She worked on several projects including a project educating tobacco retailers and a separate collaborative project to establish a sustainable African/African American/Black Health Taskforce.
Since moving to Merced, Tashelle has been interested in and involved with rural health issues including aging and caregiver health, tobacco and alcohol use, oral health disparities, and homelessness in the Central Valley. This interest stemmed from her growing up in a semi-rural environment and wanting to make a difference in the lives of rural communities. As tobacco-related disparities have a great impact on rural communities, her goal as a RISE Advisory Committee member is to continue advocating for tobacco control policies and conducting research that is culturally-relevant and community-based.
I am Nykeia Harris. Project Director of Calaveras County Public Health – Tobacco Prevention Program. Originally, I am from Southern California (Inland Empire) and relocated to Northern California during Summer 2019. While residing in Southern California, I have received my Bachelors in Health Science and Masters in Public Health from California State University, Fullerton (both degrees from the same institution). I have been employed with my current role since March 2020. Since beginning my role in Calaveras County, I have heard some of the challenges in passing policy, but the trainings and skills I have learned over the past two years has equipped me with the tools in planning to make incremental changes. I am proud to serve the Calaveras youth and community in tobacco education and cessation.
My hobbies include fitness, baking, outdoor activities (i.e., hiking, camping) and traveling.
Tina is the Executive Director of Blue Zones Project Mendocino County. Community wellbeing has been the mission of her last 19 years of work in Public Health, serving youth, children and families in partnership with community organizations and leaders to improve health conditions for low income and vulnerable populations. Tina holds a Bachelor in Arts, Liberal Studies from Sonoma State University, which she attained in her mid-forties. She has a lived experience with marginalized and under-resourced communities and the impact that policies, systems, and the environment has on personal choice.
Tina is an athlete, a mother, grandmother, wife, sister, aunt, great aunt, mentor, and loves the outdoors, fishing, gardening, cooking, and adventures.
Holly Laird (she/her) is from the San Francisco Bay Area and has lived in the Central Valley and Gold Country Region for over 10 years. Holly currently works (remotely) as a federal contractor on CDC's COVID-19 response as a Health Communications Specialist.
She started her career in public health as an AmeriCorps member serving in a community health center in the Central Valley. Her work focused on asthma prevention and tobacco control in South Merced. This experience motivated her to work in the tobacco control field on the local and state level on policy initiatives to reduce access to harmful products and exposure to secondhand smoke. Although Holly no longer works in the tobacco control field, she is thrilled to serve on RISE's Advisory Committee and continue advocating for rural communities. Holly holds a Masters Degree in Public Health from the University of California, Davis.
Rexanne Greenstreet (she/her) was born and raised near Seattle, Washington. After receiving her Bachelor of Science in Community Health from Western Washington University, Rexanne continued on to a career in youth development and non-profit leadership. In 2018, she traded in rain and trees (which she loves) for surf and sun (which she also loves) and moved to San Diego, CA. When COVID-19 ushered in another round of life change and job loss, Rexanne used the unexpected shift to return to her passion – empowering and effecting change in communities to reduce health disparities. Rexanne joined the American Lung Association in Chico, CA in January of 2021 and quickly found her home as a self-proclaimed “public health policy nerd” in the tobacco control community. Outside of work you will usually find Rexanne near trees, listening to podcasts while baking, or talking incessantly about her dog, “Nug.”