Miry's List Team

Miry's List is made up of individuals passionate about solving problems for new arrival refugee families. 

 
 
Miry, Yehuda, Reuben, & Sabo Ben Atar, Leroy and Jackie Brown

Miry, Yehuda, Reuben, & Sabo Ben Atar, Leroy and Jackie Brown

Miry, Founder and CEO 

Miry Whitehill-Ben Atar is a stay-at-home mom and community activist with over 10 years experience in digital marketing.

Miry serves as Treasurer on the Eagle Rock Neighborhood Council. She can typically be found digging in the garden with her sons, Reuben and Sabo, or walking around Occidental College with her dog, Leroy. Miry's husband, Yeuda, is the founder and CEO of Beat Lab Academy music production school in Eagle Rock.

Miry speaks fluent Hebrew and is learning Arabic in the car on an app with her son.

Miry founded Miry's List in July, 2016 when she accidentally met a family of new arrival Syrian refugees through a friend.  Contact Miry at miry@miryslist.org.


Cyndi Otteson

Cyndi Otteson

Cyndi, President

Cyndi Otteson oversees Miry's List programming development, partnerships and strategy. Cyndi is an accomplished marketing and media executive with over 15 years experience in brand strategy and marketing for brands of all sizes. Cyndi got involved with Miry's List at the very beginning, and it wasn't easy. Cyndi is the kind of person who would load her MomMobile up with hundreds of donated toolboxes (giftwrapped by her and her crew of mom elfs) two days before Christmas to give to refugee families as holiday presents. 

Passionate about community activism, Cyndi serves as Vice President of the Eagle Rock Neighborhood Council. Cyndi can typically be found hustlin'...she does it all and makes it look easy. Contact Cyndi at cyndi@miryslist.org.


Phil Rogan

Phil Rogan

Phil, Chief Technology Officer 

Phil Rogan is a master of solving problems with technology. Serving as the Senior Design Lead for Bing at Microsoft, Phil specializes in identifying opportunities, defining challenges and solving them in unique ways (talk about a perfect fit for Miry's List, right? Score!)

Phil has several patents in User Interface Design, an Emmy for the Moxi Television Interface in 2004, and lots of experience with lots of devices. 

Phil's passion for problem solving and interest in helping refugees led him to seek out partners to do just that! Phil and Miry met in November 2016 through a mutual friend. Phil is currently leading a team of Microsoft developers to create the Miry's List app, which will automate most of the listmaking and list management, piloting March, 2017.

Phil is our guide for solving problem for new arrival refugee families using technology.

 
Rafid Albawi

Rafid Albawi

Rafid, Director of Operations and Logistics, El Cajon

Rafid Albawi make things happen. He manages logistics, communications, and the ground operation for serving families in El Cajon, east San Diego county (which happens to be the #1 place in the US for Syrian refugee resettlement.) Rafid is responsible for distributing supplies to hundreds of families in El Cajon and the surrounding region. 

Rafid worked over 15 years in humanitarian assistance with the UN and various American organizations in Iraq and Jordan. He is a natural problem solver with unmatched empathy and resolve to help the people around him. 

Arriving in the US from Iraq as a refugee himself with his family in September 2016, Rafid immediately sprung into action to help the people around him. Rafid met Miry in October, 2016 through a mutual friend.

 
Jen & Willis Ocampo

Jen & Willis Ocampo

Jen, Treasurer & Chief Financial Officer

Jen Ocampo brings over 20 years experience in finance and accounting to the Miry's List team. Currently Jen serves as the Managing Director of Finance at Allen Matkins, a California-based law firm. 

Jen has an adorable dog named Willis and enjoys hiking and the great outdoors.

 
Sam Girguis

Sam Girguis

Sam, Director of Health & Emotional Wellbeing

Sam Girguis, Psy.D. is head of emotions at Miry's List. Specializing in therapy for children and families exposed to trauma, Sam oversees that Miry's List programming and strategic development is done with the best interest of the health and emotional wellbeing of our recipient families, particularly the kids.

Sam and Miry met when he came to a fundraising plant sale at her house to buy blue agave plants. 

Sam was born in Egypt, speaks Arabic, and is devoted to helping refugee families in LA feel welcome and at home. Sam volunteers helping 5 refugee families through a sponsorship program at his church.

Sam is the Director of Psychology in the Clinical Psychology Program at Azusa Pacific University, runs a private psychology practice, and previously served as a Child Psychologist at Childrens Hospital in Los Angeles.

 
Rabia Ahmadi

Rabia Ahmadi

Rabia, Director of List Operations, Farsi

Rabia Ahmadi oversees communication and listmaking with our Farsi-speaking families, usually from Iran or Afghanistan. Rabia works 1-on-1 with families and volunteer listmakers to ensure families lists are being created and maintained effectively.

Rabia is a mother of two adorable toddlers and recently moved to the US from Afghanistan with her family. In Afghanistan, Rabia worked as a grant writer and programs manager for various American organizations and earned a degree in economics.

 

 
Huda Abu Gharbih

Huda Abu Gharbih

Huda, Director of List Operations, Arabic

Huda Abu Gharbih oversees communication and listmaking with our Arabic-speaking families, usually from Syria or Iraq. Huda manages a team of family advocates and works 1-on-1 with families and volunteer listmakers to ensure families lists are being created and maintained effectively.

Huda brings over 9 years experience working with the UN to Miry's List, as well as a degree in finance and accounting. Having experienced 1st-hand the process of immigrating to the United States and starting over, Huda is the best possible choice for leading Miry's List charge of Arabic listmakers.

Huda is designing a course in empowerment, positivity and self defense that we will provide for new arrival mothers and daughters in 2018. Huda is a mother of three adorable boys and is originally from Jordan. She moved to the US with her sons in 2015.

Van, Zanni, Meritt & Evie Miranda

Van, Zanni, Meritt & Evie Miranda

Van & Zanni, Director of IT & Director of Logistics Systems

Van & Zanni Miranda are a powerhouse husband-wife team who make technology magic for Miry's List every day. Operating between day jobs and their two daughter's naptime schedules, they use technology to solve Miry's List day-to-day challenges.

Van is a software engineer with over 15 years experience designing and programming technology to solve problems. Van is an expert in technology solutions to make teamwork and organizational communication more effective. Contact Van at Van@miryslist.org.

Zanni is an experienced logistics expert. Most recently, she worked at Restoration Hardware building the system for tracking deliveries, drivers, and inventory.  

 

 
Alex & Andrew Valdes

Alex & Andrew Valdes

Alex & Andrew, Directors of Press & Media

Another dynamic duo taking charge at Miry's List! Alex and Andrew Valdes are a husband and wife team who lead Miry's List PR. They are responsible for our strategy for engaging with the press, and managing sponsorship and corporate partnerships.

Andrew brings 9 years of experience and expertise in the PR and communications industry to Miry's List. He currently works as an account supervisor at Metro Public Relations, a Beverly Hills-based PR agency. Alex's professional background is in culture and education program management for a Native American-owned cooperative.

Both Alex & Andrew have been involved with Miry's List from the very beginning, donating baby clothes, formula and supplies as their adorable daughter, Simone, outgrows them. Since they're Miry's across-the-street neighbors, they regularly drop by with supplies to pass along to our littlest and newest new arrivals! Alex & Andrew can typically be found walking around their alma mater, Occidental College, with baby Simone in the baby carrier.

Contact Alex & Andrew at press@miryslist.org.