Workers Defense Action Fund is an organization fighting for the rights of low-wage workers and immigrants across Texas. We ignite a powerful collective fight for a more just future. 

Meet Our Co-Executive Directors

Emily Timm

Co-Founder & Co-Executive Director

For nearly 20 years, Emily Timm has fought tirelessly for workplace justice and immigrants rights in Texas and across the country. She is a Co-Executive Director at Workers Defense, an organization she co-founded in 2005, and has since been instrumental in building the organization into a statewide powerhouse that empowers low-wage construction workers to achieve fair, safe employment. Today, Workers Defense is one of the leading advocacy organizations in Texas, with a membership of thousands and offices in Houston, Dallas and Austin

Lizeth Chacón

Co-Executive Director

Lizeth Chacón began her career as an organizer in Colorado, for 16 years she has worked to build power with those most impacted through community and electoral organizing. Lizeth has 8 years of experience as Executive Director, she led a racial justice, member-led and multi-issue organization where she successfully led different campaigns that delivered victories for communities of color, immigrants and workers. As an immigrant from Chihuahua, Mexico who came to the United States at the age of 12, she experienced the injustices and difficulties many immigrants face. Due to that she has been committed to building power with communities of color, workers and immigrants. Lizeth has been at the helm of creating and leading projects that focus on building and winning with those most impacted; she started Colorado People’s Alliance a member-led and racial justice organization, co-founded the Transformative Leadership for Change Fellowship that serves leaders of color and she currently serves on their Governing Council, and she has led many coalitions that have delivered major victories on racial, climate, economic and immigrant justice. Lizeth currently serves as the Board President of People’s Action.

Board of Directors

Louis Malfaro, President
Vicky Badillo, Secretary
Joe Hamill, Treasurer
Parisa Fatehi-Weeks
Yvonne Gutierrez
Jeff Rotkoff
Arash Farasat
Josefina Reyna
Julieta Garibay
Anthony Elmo

Leadership Council

Anna Fink, First Vice President for Philanthropy; Amalgamated Bank
Carol Barger, Attorney
Christine Owens, Former Executive Director; NELP
David Rolf, President; Service Employees International Union 775
Erica Smiley, Executive Director; Jobs with Justice
Henry Allen, Executive Director; Retired; Discount Foundation
Kirk Adams, Service Employees International Union
Leonard Aguilar, Political Director, Southwest Pipetrades Association
Marybeth Maxwell, Consultant, Movement Building
Rick Levy, President; Texas AFL-CIO
Tefere Gebre, Executive Vice President; AFL-CIO
Tory Gavito, President & Co-Founder, Way To Win



Emily Timm, Co-Executive Director

Amparo Herrera HughesDirector of HR & Operations
Ana GonzalezDirector of Better Builder and Policy
Juan BenitezDirector of Communications
Candelario VasquezHealth and Safety Organizer
Faith DonovanOperations Manager
Hannah AlexanderAustin Staff Attorney
Jessica WolffDeputy Director of Better Builder and Policy
Karen EscobedoWorkplace Justice Organizer
Mayra HuertaAustin Campaign Manager
Miriam DorantesDevelopment and Volunteer Coordinator
Jennifer Toth ClaryGrants Manager 
Andrea Nicholls, Better Builder Oversight Coordinator
Abraham Ruiz, Project Assistant
Fabiola Barreto, Austin Policy Coordinator
Jose Caceres, Austin Legal Manager / Organizer
Valeria Serna, Executive Assistant
Ellie Rommelfanger, Jesuit Volunteer


Bricia GarciaDallas Campaign Manager
Cheli CruzWorkplace Justice Organizer
Christopher EnriquezDigital Strategist
Cristal Benitez-LopezDallas Legal Manager/ Organizer
Maria “DJ” GarzaDallas Campaign Organizer
Sean GoldhammerDirector of Employment and Legal Services
Hosanna Yemiru, Director of Development
Diana Ramirez, WDAF Director of Civic Engagement
Chris Robles, 
Civic Data Coordinator


Laura Perez-Boston, Director of Organizing
Camila Trujillo, Campaign Organizer
Nio Garcia, Houston Office Coordinator
Sandra Cisneros-Peeters, Always Essential Campaign Organizer
Tevin English, Community and Political Organizer
Yabsira Adera, Always Essential Campaign Coordinator