Kristi Balzer – Executive Director
Kristi Balzer is an award winning non-profit executive, whose been known to run half marathons, coordinate weddings, sing karaoke, figure model, herd cattle, and snorkel in Bali. In addition to these adventures, Kristi holds a Master’s Degree in Sociology from San Diego State University and spent 10 years working in politics as a campaign manager, lobbyist, and elected official. Most recently she has been the Executive Director for the Point San Luis Lighthouse, a non-profit historic park on the central Coast of CA, where she developed a year round tour and events program which brings over 10,000 people annually to the historic site.
Originally from the Pacific Northwest she moved to California with her family in 1990, making her way from Los Angeles to San Diego, and north again to the Central Coast. Coming back to her home turf in the fall of 2015 she joined Rock Camp the following spring and feels super lucky to be a part of the magic of the original Rock Camp!
Rae Palmer – Volunteer Coordinator
Rae Palmer started volunteering with Girls Rock Camp the Summer of 2015 as front desk extraordinaire and rock camp cheerleader. While she does not play any instruments she has an extensive career in dance and performance art as former booking manager and back-up dancer for the queer pop diva sensation CJ and the Dolls, founder of a unicorn dance troupe entitled, The Gillicorn Blessing, and most recently performs out as her fierce drag king character, Gunner, at places like the Funhouse Lounge and Portland’s TBA festival. She brings her twenty plus years of restaurant management experience to her position as volunteer coordinator at some of Portland’s favorite restaurants: Nostrana, Pix Patisserie and Hokusei Sushi. She believes in the magic of youth empowerment and relishes in the creativity that this special camp brings.
Board of Directors
Portia Sabin – Board President
President, Kill Rock Stars
Dr. Portia Sabin is a cultural anthropologist. While working on her Ph.D. at Columbia University, she played drums, recorded, and toured with NYC band The Hissyfits. She founded Shotclock Management in 2004 and took over running the legendary punk record label, Kill Rock Stars, in October 2006. She is the host of a radio show about the music business called The Future of What. Sabin is a board member of A2IM (the American Association of Independent Music) and the Pacific Northwest Chapter of The Recording Academy, and is currently co-chair of the board of the Rock ’n’ Roll Camp for Girls in Portland.
Katherine Paul – Secretary
KP, as most people call her, comes from the Swinomish Indian Tribal Community in NW Washington state. She has been a part of the Rock ‘n’ Roll Camp for Girls for over 10 years. Starting off as a camper playing drums, she loved rock camp so much that she kept coming back year after year. She has been an intern, a volunteer, a staff member and currently sits as the secretary on the board of directors. She works as a talent buyer at Mississippi Studios and runs ticketing at Revolution Hall. In her free time, she plays drums in the Portland band Genders.
Mary Strasdin – Treasurer
Senior Accountant and Shareholder, McDonald Jacobs
Mary Strasdin is a partner at McDonald Jacobs, PC, one of Portland’s premier CPA firms that serves the nonprofit community. Mary has lived many places across this country and even Latin America but chose Portland to call home after college. She promotes self-expression, girl empowerment and musical creativity. Rock Camp brings all of these elements together to change lives.