Vanessa Johnson, Interim Executive Director
Vanessa holds a B.A. in International Relations and French from the University of Southern California, and a M.A. in Latin American and Border Studies from the University of Texas at El Paso. A 2003 graduate of Leadership El Paso, she has worked extensively with nonprofits in the region, both as staff and as a board member. She is an advocate for immigration reform and the abolition of immigration detention, having served as a volunteer with Advocate Visitors with Immigrants in Detention (AVID) in the Chihuahuan Desert since 2020. Her other professional work is as the music director and organist at First Presbyterian Church, where she additionally enjoys teaching music at the church’s preschool. She lives in the Rio Grande neighborhood of central El Paso, where she and her husband are raising two young children..
Jannette Mondragón, Staff Attorney
Jannette Mondragón was born and raised in El Paso’s own Segundo Barrio. She is a first generation Mexican-American as well as a Native American—from the Chickasaw Nation.
Ms. Mondragón holds a Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice and a Bachelors in Linguistics from New Mexico State University. In 2017, she earned her Juris Doctorate and an Indian Law Certificate graduating early from the University Of New Mexico School of Law. Ms. Mondragón graduated with Clinical Honors, was awarded the distinct Justice Pamela Minzner Professionalism and Ethics Award 2017, and received the Henry Kent Anderson Human Services Award 2018. She was also the Co-Editor-in-Chief for the Tribal Law Journal and the Vice President for the Native American Law Students Association and was a Student Ambassador.
Most recently, Ms. Mondragón worked as a Senior Assistant District Attorney in Albuquerque working on serious violent felony cases, high profile cases and crimes against children. Additionally, she also serves as a Board Director for the New Mexico State Bar Indian Law Section, serves as an YLD Attorney Mentor, serves as a Bar Coach for the American Indian Law Center, and also serves as a Board of Director for Pegasus Legal Services for Children. Ms. Mondragón is a mother of two teenage boys and a spouse to a disabled veteran who after six wartime deployments returned home with a debilitating spinal cord injury. We are thrilled to have Jannette join our team as our first Staff Attorney.
Yolanda Ochoa, Bookkeeper
Yolanda is an El Paso native and holds a BS in Human Resources with a minor in accounting. She has been working in the accounting field for most of her life. She enjoys working with non-profits the most. In her free time, she enjoys walking, reading, and spending time with her family. She is excited to be assisting JFON in our mission to help others in the community.
Board of Directors
Dr. Todd A. Curry is an Associate Professor of Political Science at University of Texas at El Paso. His primary interests lie in judicial representation and indigenous peoples and the law.
El Paso resident since 1963, graduated from UTEP, retired video production specialist at local tv stations, Martin Recording, Inc, El Paso Natural Gas, and the El Paso Independent School District.
Dr. Janet Smith is retired from the software business and is now a full time volunteer with a focus on immigration issues and immigrant welfare.
Cynthia Renteria is a doctoral candidate at the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP), Department of History. Her research focuses on historical memory in the El Paso, Texas borderland. She has experience in public policy and advocacy on issues including Immigration, Binational Affairs, Historic Preservation, and Heritage Tourism.
Eva M. Moya, PhD, LMSW is a borderlander, raised in Ciudad Juarez and El Paso. She is an Associate professor in the Department of Social Work at the University of Texas at El Paso.
Rick Snow retired from the US Army in 2003 and has been actively working with migrant ministries in the El Paso area since 2014. He is a devoted husband, father and grandfather. Rick is an active member of his Methodist church and believes: ” Everyone has the right to be treated with respect and with dignity, regardless of their race, color, or what country they were born in.”
Michael Groves is a native El Pasoan who has practiced law locally since 2014. He attended the University of Texas at Austin for his undergraduate degree, and the University of Houston for law school. In Houston, he worked with the Texas Innocence Network, representing individuals on death row. After graduating, Michael returned to El Paso.
Michael has practiced immigration law for over five years, both in private practice and as an attorney for Las Americas Immigrant Advocacy Center, representing asylum seekers from across the world. He is a lifelong member of the United Methodist Church, and is excited to assist in the Church’s mission to care for our neighbors.
Rev. Dr. Pamela Rowley is the current El Paso District Superintendent. Her prior appointments have included Senior pastor of St. John’s UMC in Albuquerque, NM, University UMC, Las Cruces, NM; St. Paul’s UMC, El Paso, Texas; and Associate pastor of St. Paul UMC, Abilene, Texas; and St. Luke’s UMC, Highland Ranch, Colorado.
Dr. Rowley has served in many leadership positions in the New Mexico Conference, including the El Paso District Committee on Ordained Ministry. She serves currently as the Chair of the Conference Board of Ordained Ministry, member of the Executive Committee, the Chair of the Order of Elders, and a member of the Council on Finance and Administration. The ordained clergy of the New Mexico Conference elected her as a delegate to the upcoming General and Jurisdictional Conferences of the UMC. The Certified Lay Ministry (CLM) was started with Pam’s leadership and grew to be one of the largest, if not the largest number of CLMs of an annual conference. One of the joys of ministry for Pam is having the opportunity to work with the laity.
Rev. Rowley received a Doctor of Ministry degree from Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary, Austin, Texas in 2018; the Master of Theology degree from Fuller Theological Seminary in 2003 and fulfilled UMC coursework through Iliff School of Theology in Denver, Colorado. Pam has been married to R. Douglas Rowley, MD since February 4, 1995. Together they have three children: Carolyn, Sean, and Lyndsay. The couple enjoys reading, walks, music, traveling, cooking, their puppy Bella, and watching “the news.”