Meet Our Team

In unity, there is strength.

Workers Defense Project is a community organization for low-wage, immigrant workers in the Texas construction industry. We bring together and stand alongside these workers as they fight for their right to be paid a living wage and be protected in their work.

Board of Directors

Parisa Fatehi-Weeks, President

Isaac Faz, President-Elect

Claudia Golinelli, Vice-President

Adrian Rizo, Treasurer

José Cabada, Secretary

Phillip Schmandt

Rebecca Ruth Webber

Laura Olvera

Maria Huerta

Mario Ontiveros

Myrna Mendez

Sharon Medina

Mirna Rodriguez

Leadership Council

Anna FinkFirst Vice President for Philanthropy; Amalgamated Bank

Carol Barger, Attorney

Christine OwensFormer Executive Director; NELP

David RolfPresident; Service Employees International Union 775

Erica SmileyExecutive Director; Jobs with Justice

Henry AllenExecutive Director; Retired; Discount Foundation

Kirk AdamsService Employees International Union

Leonard AguilarPolitical Director, Southwest Pipetrades Association

Marybeth MaxwellConsultant, Movement Building

Rick LevyPresident; Texas AFL-CIO

Tefere GebreExecutive Vice President; AFL-CIO

Tory GavitoPresident & Co-Founder, Way To Win

Our Staff


Abraham, Better Builder Coordinator

Amparo, Director of HR & Operations

Andrea, Better Builder Director

CandelarioHealth and Safety Organizer

Christine, Communications Director

Claudia, Grant Writer

Daniel, Movement Politics Manager

Daniela, State Legislative Coordinator

DavidPolicy Director

Estefania, Legal Intake Coordinator

Fabiola, Operations Coordinator

FaithFinance Manager

HannahAustin Staff Attorney

Hannah, Data Coordinator

InmerBetter Builder Oversight Coordinator

JoseAustin Legal Manager/ Organizer

Laura, Austin Campaign Manager

MarinaGrant Manager

ValeriaDevelopment Coordinator


Anita, Dallas Policy Coordinator

BriciaMovement Politics Director

CheliWorkplace Justice Organizer

ChristopherDigital Strategist

CristalDallas Legal Manager/Organizer

HosannaDevelopment Director

Lizeth, Executive Director

MariaDallas Campaign Organizer

SeanELS Director


Elsa, Houston Campaign Organizer

Esmeralda, Communications Associate

Kevin, Movement Politics Manager

LauraOrganizing Director

Maria “Camila”Houston Campaign Manager 

SandraHouston Campaign Organizer

TevinCommunity and Political Organizer

CandidoAlways Essential Campaign Organizer