I’ve worked in the nonprofit and quasi-public sectors my entire career. Trained as an economist, community organizer, and planner, I’ve found my passion as a nonprofit entrepreneur; designing, funding, launching and improving community and regional economic development initiatives.
In 2009, after many years of executive leadership and extensive work travel, I established Write to Know as a small business with a small geography, on purpose. Writing, training and facilitation are my tools for helping you develop new projects, track progress, revise strategy and organize for action in support of your mission. Most of my work is now in Oregon, but I draw from wide-ranging models and networks.
My career began with stints as a VISTA volunteer in inner-city Chicago and community organizer in my home state of Massachusetts. With infant twins and a scholarship in tow, I enrolled in the M.I.T. Master of City Planning program. The ensuing schedule prepared me to balance multiple pressing priorities, though it also turned my hair prematurely gray! While I didn’t set out to become a “nonprofit executive director,” I was fortunate to have mentors who trusted me and nudged me early in my career into leadership roles.
I’ve since served as long-term Executive Director for two nationally recognized nonprofits, including, most recently, Oregon-based Rural Development Initiatives (RDI). I’ve designed and implemented many successful regional community and economic development programs, and I’ve nurtured staff teams and collaborative partnerships to do the same. The results are detailed on my resume.
I’ve chaired and served on many nonprofit Boards of Directors. I’m past board president of the Nonprofit Association of Oregon and current Chair of the Eugene Sustainability Commission. I also contribute content and serve on the national Editorial Advisory Board for Nonprofit Quarterly.
While my business is purposefully small, I have a diverse network of colleagues with whom to partner on large projects. Besides the board affiliations listed above, I am a member of the Oregon Micro-enterprise Network, Eugene Area Chamber of Commerce, Oregon Mediation Association, Green Lane Business Network, Oregon Program Evaluators Network, American Planning Association, and American Evaluation Association.
I value balance in life, although, as Michelangelo said at the age of 76, “I am still learning.” I’m a grateful wife and parent, a community volunteer, an intermittent poet and quilter, a fair weather gardener and hiker, an enthusiastic (if not graceful) tennis player, and a “buy local” champion. I love the Pacific Northwest! And I love working hands-on with people who are passionate about their communities.