Staff, Board & Advisory Committee Founded by Lawyers, Supported by the Legal Community

CEJ Staff

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Maya Crawford Peacock

Executive Director
Maya joined the CEJ as its Executive Director in 2016. Prior to heading the CEJ, she worked for Legal Aid Services of Oregon (LASO) for over a decade, where she helped coordinate pro bono projects in their Portland Office before becoming LASO’s first Statewide Pro Bono Manager. She also served as CEJ’s Associate Director between 2007-2010. Maya is a 2003 graduate of Lewis and Clark Law School, and went to Antioch College for her undergraduate degree. She has dedicated her career to serving low-income Oregonians, and is driven to make the justice system fair and accessible to everyone, not just to those who can afford a lawyer. Maya’s favorite thing about working for the CEJ (besides her amazing co-workers) is having the opportunity to work with lawyers from every practice area and every corner of the state on their shared goal of increasing resources for legal aid.

When not working, Maya spends time with her culinary diva wife Margaret, their young daughter Muriel, and their poodle mix Pippa. They love reading, eating, spending time with family and friends, and creating elaborate themed family Halloween costumes.

"My superpower is buying fabric for sewing projects. My kryptonite is never getting around to working on said projects."

Ayla Ercin

Annual Fund Director
Ayla joined the CEJ as its Annual Fund Director in July of 2021. She is a native of Atlanta, Georgia, but began her career in non-profit fundraising in New York City, where she worked for Amnesty International and the Whitney Museum of American Art. Ayla went on to get a J.D. from Columbia University Law School and an LL.M. from the London School of Economics. She practiced transactional and entertainment law in New York City before relocating to Portland, Oregon in 2010. Ayla’s legal practice in Oregon focused primarily on helping entrepreneurs found and develop their small businesses. She is proud to have helped her client companies grow to become respected members of the business community that provide employment, products and services throughout the state and the nation. Ayla is also a co-founder of Umi Organic noodles, a small business in Portland, Oregon that supplies grocery stores, schools, and farmers’ markets with fresh, organic noodles. Ayla is thrilled to join the Campaign for Equal Justice, and sees it as an opportunity to use her non-profit fundraising experience to help make legal services more accessible. Ayla looks forward to helping our legal community expand its capacity to serve all those in need, regardless of their ability to pay.

"My superpower: strong ability to be invited into a book club. Current status: 3 book clubs. My kryptonite: Weak in reading all assigned book club books, but will shamelessly attend the dinner nevertheless."
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Shari Nilsson

Director of Operations
Shari has been a member of Team CEJ since 2008. She attended Portland State University, and worked as a legal secretary and office manager for Lewis & Clark Law School’s Legal Clinic, then as an administrative assistant in the office of the Dean of the College at Lewis & Clark College, before taking some time off after the birth of her now-adult twins. Her career has been centered on diversity and flexibility, with tasks as wide-ranging as event planning, accounting, database administration, preparation of legal documents, graphic design, assisting with law student education, meeting facilitation, preparation of legislative history materials, and website design. She is proud to be a part of an organization dedicated to providing access to justice for all Oregonians. In her spare time, she enjoys Swedish language and culture, baking, music, doing genealogical research, reading, birdwatching, and moonlighting as the Executive Assistant for the Oregon Council on Court Procedures.

"My superpower is knowing how to bake all sorts of tasty Swedish cakes, cookies, rolls, and buns. My kryptonite is eating them."
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Heidi Thompson

Program Assistant
Heidi joined the CEJ team in 2021. She attended Willamette University where she majored in Humanities with a minor in Art History. In addition to a strong foundation with a well-rounded education, Heidi brings a passion for social justice, human rights, and environmental protection to her work and her life. She has worked for both local and international non-profits. While she is not a native Oregonian, Heidi is excited to make this new community her home. She loves to travel to new places and share in other country’s cultures. When not off on an adventure, she enjoys settling in with a good book, watching movies, singing and listening to music, stitching embroidery, spending time with family and friends, and getting out in nature.

Board of Directors

Advisory Committee

Howard G Arnett
Hon Thomas A Balmer
Hon Stacie Fatka Beckerman
Rep Suzanne Bonamici
Kristin L Bremer Moore
Larry A Brisbee
Hon Kate Brown
Thomas W Brown
Dean Marcilynn Burke
Carmen M Calzacorta
Dominic M Campanella
Barry P Caplan
Jeff J Carter
Linda D Clingan
Valerie Colas
Charles E Corrigan
Christine R Costantino
Sarah J Crooks
Michael C Dotten
Elisa J Dozono
William G Earle
Jeffrey M Edelson
Amy Edwards
Paul R Ehrlich
Grant McKenzie Elder
Brien J Flanagan
Angela M Franco Lucero
John C Gartland
Gerry Gaydos
Hon Timothy C Gerking
Denise Nicole Gorrell
S Ward Greene
Ronald L Greenman
Ari D Halpern
Sandra A Hansberger
Edwin A Harnden

Henry H Hewitt
Audrey B Hirsch
Hon Mary Mertens James
Gina Anne Johnnie
Todd R Johnston
Nicholas A Kampars
Matthew H Kehoe
Elizabeth C Knight
Rep Tina Kotek
Tom Kranovich
Wayne D Landsverk
Frank V Langfitt, III
Steve D Larson
Shayda Zaerpoor Le
Eric B Lindauer
Brena Moyer Lopez
Sarah M Lowe
Molly K Marcum
Julia E Markley
Debra Cohen Maryanov
Tracy M McGovern
Todd A Mitchell
Sonia A Montalbano
Keil M Mueller
Hon Adrienne C Nelson
Vanessa A Nordyke
Darcy M Norville
Kathryn Olney
Jane Paulson
Beverly C Pearman
J Adam Peterson
Stephen V Piucci
Travis S Prestwich
John C Rake
Kathleen J Rastetter
Traci Renee Ray

Hon Tobias Read
Peter C Richter
Hon Ellen F Rosenblum
Joshua L Ross
Laura R Salerno Owens
Daniel P Santos
Louis D Savage
Andrew M Schpak
Rachele R Selvig
Lane P Shetterly
Charmin B Shiely
Hon Kamala H Shugar
Hon Gregory F Silver
Hon Michael H Simon
Vicki L Smith
Thomas W Sondag
Richard G Spier
N Robert Stoll
Kara Ellis Tatman
Charles S Tauman
Andrea H Thompson
Valerie A Tomasi
E Walter Van Valkenburg
Michelle Vlach-Ing
Mark R Wada
James T Waldron
Hon Nan G Waller
Hon Martha L Walters
Robert C Weaver, Jr
Heather L Weigler
Charles R Williamson
Rep Jennifer A Williamson
Ross M Williamson
Theresa L (Terry) Wright
Hon Merri Souther Wyatt
Ira Zarov

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