Leadership

Mauricio Lim Miller

Mauricio Lim Miller

Founder, President, and CEO   

Mauricio Lim Miller founded Family Independence Initiative (FII) in 2001, with a mission to support and accelerate low-income families’ own efforts to improve their social and economic mobility. A first-generation immigrant, Mauricio was inspired to develop FII after researching the histories of immigrant, migrant, and indigenous communities in the United States who managed to rise from intense poverty to middle-class standing. In his research, he found something simple, yet extraordinary: Pathways to success require a group effort. Individuals and families turned to extended family and friends for support and resources, and followed the example of the successful families around them. In recognition of his unconventional approach to generating economic mobility among low-income families, Mauricio was awarded a MacArthur “Genius” Fellowship in 2012. He was appointed by President Obama to the White House Council for Community Solutions, is an Ashoka Fellow, and serves on the board of the California Endowment. Prior to founding FII, Mauricio spent 22 years as the Director of Asian Neighborhood Design, a community development agency in San Francisco and Oakland.
Jesús Gerena

Jesús Gerena

Managing Partner   

Jesús Gerena joined FII in 2010, bringing more than 15 years of experience as a community organizer. Jesús is a member and Co-Chair of the English for New Bostonians Oversight Committee, and serves as a board member for the New England Grassroots Environment Fund and the Boston Foundation for Architecture. Prior to joining FII, he served as the Deputy Director of the Hyde Square Task Force, a program dedicated to empowering and engaging youth in turbulent neighborhoods.
Michelle Chao

Michelle Chao

Chief Operations Officer   

Michelle Chao joined FII in 2001, and has maintained oversight of operations for FII since 2002. She was also a volunteer Operations Director for the Lao Iu Mien Culture Association (LIMCA) from 2007-2013. A native of Oakland, Michelle is actively involved with the Lao Iu Mien Cultural Association (LIMCA), which seeks to preserve the culture heritage of the Iu Mien community. She was a member of the LIMCA Board of Directors from 2004-2006, and has participated on the Iu Mien Scholarship Fund Committee since 2000. Michelle holds a MA in Business Administration/Management from California State University, East Bay.
Jorge Blandón

Jorge Blandón

Vice President of FII National | Director of Analytics4, The Technology & Data Division of FII   

Jorge joined the Family Independence Initiative in 2009, where he leads the Technology and Date Team. Jorge believes that with the power of information the U.S. can upend the paradigm of “helping the poor.” Rather than impose solutions or fixes on behalf of others, FII is proving that the most effective way to promote economic and social mobility is by documenting and investing in the initiative and ingenuity of hard working families.
David Henderson

David Henderson

Chief Data Officer   

David Henderson joined FII in 2014 after running a data analytics and technology company for over eight years that built outcomes management solutions for social sector organizations. David’s professional focus is on improving the way social sector organizations utilize information to make high impact decisions. After more than a decade working in and with human service organizations, David is especially interested in exploring the effectiveness of investing directly in low-income communities. David holds a Masters of Science in Public Policy and Management from Carnegie Mellon University and a BA in politics from Pomona College.
Ashley Conners

Ashley Conners

Director of Development   

Ashley Conners has 12+ years of experience in Non-Profit Management with a passion for social justice issues. Prior to joining FII as Director of Development she was the the Chief Advancement Officer at the Italian Home for Children where she was charged to raise $2.5M annually, manage communication and public relations and help lead the mental health and behavioral health organization into its 100th year. Ashley received her B.A. in Secondary Education with a Minor in Substance Abuse Prevention Services from the University of Nevada, Reno and her M.B.A. in Non-Profit Management from the Heller School for Social Policy and Management at Brandeis University. While obtaining her M.B.A., she focused her studies and consulting projects on strategic positioning for non-profits specifically in regards to fundraising and development. Ashley is the co-chair of the Leaders through Education Action and Hope (LEAH) Program Advisory Board and also remains an active advisor to SADD serving on their Alumni Council.
Faridah Inanlou

Faridah Inanlou

Director of Partnerships

Faridah Haji Inanlou joins FII with over 15 years experience helping technology companies in the areas of process improvement, intellectual property compliance and program development. She is an alumni of the General Electric Information Management Leadership Program where she earned her Black Belt certification in Six Sigma methodology and Certified Information Securities Professional. As a first-generation immigrant, Faridah experienced the power and results of community and family-led initiatives while growing up in Seattle, WA with the Cham Community, a native ethnic people of Vietnam. While as a Data Integrity Consultant for FII, Faridah saw the stories being captured in many ways, represented her own family and community. Because of that, it was only inevitable she joined FII full time to participate in the change she wants to see in the world. Faridah earned her Bachelors in Information Technology from the University of Washington and a MBA from Saint Mary's College of California with fieldwork in micro-finance in the Philippines.