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 Fink, First Vice President for Philanthropy; Amalgamated Bank

Carol Barger, Attorney

Christine Owens, Former Executive Director; NELP

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

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

EstefaniaLegal Intake Coordinator

FabiolaOperations Coordinator

FaithFinance Manager

HannahAustin Staff Attorney

HannahData Coordinator

InmerBetter Builder Oversight Coordinator

JoseAustin Legal Manager/ Organizer

LauraAustin Campaign Manager

MarinaGrant Manager

ValeriaExecutive Assistant


AnitaDallas Policy Coordinator

BriciaMovement Politics Director

CheliWorkplace Justice Organizer

ChristopherDigital Strategist

CristalDallas Legal Manager/Organizer

HosannaDevelopment Director

Lizeth, Executive Director

MariaDallas Campaign Organizer

SeanELS Director


ElsaHouston Campaign Organizer

EsmeraldaCommunications Associate

Kevin, Movement Politics Manager

LauraOrganizing Director

Maria “Camila”Houston Campaign Manager

SandraHouston Campaign Organizer

TevinCommunity and Political Organizer

CandidoAlways Essential Campaign Organizer