Rachel Gillam, President
Lindsey Fries, President-Elect
Sarah Papazian, Finance Vice President
Carissa Villarreal, Recording Secretary
Savanna Ellison, Nominating & Placement Chair
MEET OUR BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Rachel Gillam – President
Rachel Gillam joined Junior League of Fresno in 2012, she joined League so she could wear a fancy hat that she wanted to purchase. Rachel hesitated, as she did not have anywhere to wear it, until one of her college girlfriends introduced her to the Breakfast at Tiffany’s event, which was a spring fundraising event hosted by Junior League of Fresno! Rachel is a proud resident of the Central Valley and has always been active in the community. Since she has been a member of Junior League, Rachel has been the Chair and also a committee member of Breakfast at Tiffany’s, a committee member of Senior Girl Athlete, a committee member of Community Impact, the Chair and a committee member of the Nominating committee, President-Elect, and now, our current President! In addition to Junior League, Rachel is a member of the African American Alumni Association at Fresno State. Rachel received her Bachelor of Science in Criminology with an emphasis in Victimology from CSU, Fresno. A significant amount of her career has been centered around at risk/foster youth within the Central Valley. She later attended the University of Phoenix where she received a Master’s Degree in Marriage, Family, and Child Therapy. Currently, Rachel is a Clinician for the Laton Unified School District.
Rachel enjoys spending time with her husband, Orlando of 12 years, her three sons, Orlando III, Brian, and Kobe, and her two daughters, Shay and Nailea. When Rachel isn’t serving with JLF, you can find her serving with Fresno State’s African American Alumni Association. Outside of serving, Rachel enjoys shopping, reading, going to the movies, and spending time with her friends.
Lindsey Fries – President-Elect
Lindsey Fries was born and raised in small town, Mississippi. Lindsey has been an active member of the Junior League of Fresno since 2022. Previously, Lindsey served on the membership committee. She earned a Bachelor of Science in Integrated Marketing Communications from the University of Mississippi. Thereafter, she graduated with a Juris Doctorate from Mississippi College School of Law. She currently works at a law firm in Fresno where she specializes in medical malpractice defense. She is currently going through training to earn her pilates certification.
When she’s not working, she is at a JLF event, a concert, or watching Only Murders in the Building with her dog, Darcy.
Sarah Papazian – Finance Vice President
Sarah has been an active member of the Junior League of Fresno since 2019. Currently, Sarah is serving as the Finance Vice President. Prior to that, Sarah has served as the Recording Secretary, on the Community Impact committee, and the Senior Girl Athlete committee. Sarah received her Bachelors of Science Degree from University of the Pacific. Sarah also attended McGeorge School of Law to earn her Juris Doctor Degree. Sarah works as an Attorney for the City of Fresno’s Attorney’s Office.
Sarah loves spending time with her family, her niece, her friends and her cat. When Sarah isn’t serving with JLF or working, she enjoys sewing Christmas stockings and trying to unlock and get out of escape rooms.
Carissa Villarreal – Recording Secretary
Carissa has been a member of the Junior League of Fresno past three years. In addition to being the current Secretary, she has also served as the Fundraising Chair. Carissa is excited for to serve the community, promote foster youth and help raise funds for Junior League in the 23-24 Year.
Carissa is a wife, mother, and elementary teacher and loves that she can set an example to serve others in her local community.
Savanna Ellison – Nominating & Placement Chair
Savanna Ellison has been a member of the Junior League since 2013. As a former President of the Junior League of Fresno for the 2021-2022 term, Savanna’s leadership and passion thrives on the company of strong women united in their mission to empower and uplift the community. Savanna is currently works as a marketing leader in the agricultural industry.
She isn’t just passionate about volunteering; she’s all about creating a better world while savoring life’s simple joys. Alongside her busy role as a Nominating & Placement Chair for the Junior League of Fresno, you’ll often find her cherishing quality time with her husband, Hal, and their two sons, Rhett and Ryder. Their family pup, Allie, completes the lively mix.
Beyond her dedication to community service, Savanna is an avid reader, an enthusiast of impromptu dance parties, and a firm believer in the delicate balance between coffee and wine. Her life inspiration is both in her commitment to making a difference and in her ability to find joy in the everyday moments.