Staff and Board

Board

  • Bethany Khan – Chair
  • Quentin Savwoir – Treasurer
  • Daela Gibson – Secretary
  • Jeri Burton
  • Michelle Maese
To contact any organizer or for press inquiries, please email info@planevada.org or call 775-348-7557

Laura Martin

Executive Director
North Las Vegas

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    Laura is the Executive Director of Progressive Leadership Alliance of Nevada or PLAN. Laura started organizing and coalition building in college during the invasion of Iraq. She moved from her hometown of Colorado Springs to Las Vegas to work with SEIU on electing a president committed to health care for all. Next, Laura joined Americans for Democratic Action to organize low-income communities of color around kitchen table issues. Eventually joining PLAN in 2011 – first as a volunteer, then organizer and communications director – Laura’s leadership is on display in her current role as Executive Director. She is the first woman, and first Black person to lead PLAN in the organization’s 27-year history. Additionally, Laura serves on the Western States Center board, as well as the board for Earthworks and People’s Action, and a graduate of Emerge Nevada. Just recently, Laura was chosen as a 2021-22 National Leading from the Inside Out Yearlong Fellow by the Rockwood Leadership Institute. Each year, Rockwood selects nationally recognized leaders to participate in transformative yearlong fellowships. These prestigious executive fellowships have emerged as one of the nation’s leading learning laboratories for experienced social change leaders.

Erika Castro

Organizing Director
Las Vegas

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    Erika started volunteering with PLAN to help fight for immigration reform. She became a staff member in 2015 as a mining justice organizer. She recently took over the immigrant rights organizing responsibilities and leads the Nevada Immigrant Coalition. Erika is a graduate from the College of Southern Nevada and currently attends the University of Nevada Las Vegas to obtain her Bachelors in Social Work. When she isn’t fighting for all the things that put People and Planet First, you can find her having brunch with friends or on a hike enjoying the outdoors.

Lizette Becerra

Senior Citizenship Specialist
Sparks

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    Lizette is currently a student at the University of Nevada, Reno. She began with PLAN as a volunteer in our Citizenship and Immigration program in 2015, and became a staff member officially in 2016. As a first generation Mexican American she is passionate about assisting our immigrant community just as her parents were helped when they arrived in this country many years ago.

Christine Saunders

Policy Director
Reno

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    Christine joined the Progressive Leadership Alliance of Nevada in 2018 after having moved from Portland, OR. There she worked to organize the Fair Shot for All Coalition’s successful legislative campaigns including statewide paid sick days, an increase in the minimum wage, reproductive health equity, ban the box, and healthcare coverage for all undocumented children. Christine also has a Masters of Social Work from the University of Denver and spent time advocating on behalf of policies that support working women while a student. She has had a passion for economic, racial, and gender justice since her first rallies and lobby visits in Oregon at age sixteen. When not working Christine can be found spending time with her partner and pet rabbits.

Elvira Diaz

Senior Organizer- Civic Engagement
Sparks

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    Elvira was born in México City, Mexico, and immigrated to the United States in 1986, becoming a US citizen in 1992. In the 1990s, Elvira organized the Latino community in Orange County, CA to oppose Proposition 187, which prohibited undocumented immigrants from using non-emergency health care, public education, and other services in the state of California. She later founded the local chapter of the League of United Latin American Citizens in Orange County. Elvira moved to Nevada in 2005 and continued to organize the Latino community. She has worked with the PLAN since 2010, organizing immigration advocacy, LGBT awareness and advocacy, and started the “Tu Voto Cuenta” campaign to register Latinos to vote. In 2012, Elvira was recognized by President Obama as a Champion of Change for her work with the Latino community in Nevada.

Hector Fong Jr

Communications and Digital Strategy Director
Las Vegas

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    Hector joined PLAN following the 2020 general election as the Communications Manager. Hector is a first generation Mexican-American, born and raised in East Las Vegas, the son of a casino worker and construction laborer. Hector began his advocacy in high school against the systemic inequalities in education for low-income and immigrant students. Immigration is an issue that hits close to home for Hector, and had led him to begin working with Make the Road Nevada in 2019. There he was able to work on campaigns that ensured immigrant and working class voices were being represented and uplifted. Hector is a College of Southern Nevada graduate and is currently seeking his Bachelor’s at the University of Nevada Las Vegas, majoring in Political Science.

Mindy Browne

Operations Manager
Las Vegas

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    Mindy joins PLAN with 10 years of experience working in Human Resources & Training/Development in Hospitality. She is looking forward to applying her knowledge to the non-profit sector and to all of the new knowledge she will acquire working with Planistas. She is a born and raised Las Vegas local and the mother to two independent little girls. In her free time, she is pursuing her Masters in Marriage and Family Therapy and enjoys traveling to Disneyland & New Orleans.

Danielle Fitzgerald

Deputy Organizing Director
Las Vegas

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    Danielle (you can call her Fitz!) started organizing with NextGen NV in 2018, registering and educating young Nevadans on elections. A native of Las Vegas, she’s always been passionate about progressive issues and advocating for a better quality of life for working & low income people. After taking a break from campaigns & working for a local non profit in 2021, Danielle is stoked to return to political organizing life as the Field Manager for PLAN Action and help Nevada progressives win office in the 2022 midterm elections. Outside of work, Fitz is a dating reality tv connoisseur, loves to be in the kitchen, and is trying to visit as many national parks as she can.

Deanna Hua Tran

Coalition Coordinator – Nevada Immigrant Coalition
Las Vegas

Ben Iness

Coalition Coordinator – Nevada Housing Justice Alliance
Reno

Salma Garcia Hernandez

Manager – Digital Organizing
Las Vegas

Shanzeh Aslam

Program Manager – Economic Justice
Las Vegas

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    Shanzeh was born in Lahore, Pakistan. Her family immigrated to the US when she was very young and was finally granted citizenship in 2011. Shanzeh was raised in Las Vegas and graduated with a BA in Psychology from UNLV. Shanzeh has a passion for organizing communities into spaces to have impactful conversations and work towards justice. Shanzeh joins PLAN as our Economic Justice Program Manager, and works towards bringing the community together to inform and empower. She believes the best way to motivate people to participate is through education and giving folx the tools they need to navigate the world of information available to them. In her free time, Shanzeh can be found painting, traveling, or cuddled up with her pet cat.

Jair Guigui

Organizer – Housing Justice
Las Vegas

Tamara Favors

Organizer – Housing Justice
Las Vegas