Kathi Jaworski, Founder

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 working at the intersection of government, nonprofits and community; organizing, funding, launching and improving diverse initiatives for vibrant communities and regions.

In 2009, after many years of executive leadership and constant work travel, I established Write to Know as a small business with a small geography, on purpose.  While my work is centered in Oregon by design, I draw from wide-ranging models and networks, and I have a diverse network of colleagues with whom to partner on large projects.

Experienced Leadership

My career began with stints as a VISTA in inner-city Chicago and community organizer in my home state of Massachusetts. With infant twins and a scholarship in tow, and driven to shift from reactive organizing to proactive community development, I enrolled in the M.I.T. Master of City Planning program. While the experience prepared me to juggle multiple priorities, it also turned my hair prematurely gray! And though 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 for nearly twenty years in Executive Director roles 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.

I’ve also been privileged to chair and serve on many nonprofit Boards of Directors. Recently, I’ve been Board president of the Nonprofit Association of Oregon and Chair of the Eugene Sustainability Commission.  I have served on the national Editorial Advisory Board for the Nonprofit Quarterly, and still occasionally write articles for its web-based newswire. I’ve also taught “Persuasive Writing” in the undergraduate and graduate programs in the University of Oregon’s Planning, Policy and Public Management Department.

Besides the board affiliations listed above, I have chaired a chapter of Dining for Women in Eugene: it’s a wonderful organization!

Beyond Work

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, an intermittent poet and quilter, a fair weather gardener and hiker, an enthusiastic (if not graceful) tennis player, and an inveterate world traveler. I love coming home to the Pacific Northwest, and I love working hands-on with people who are passionate about their communities.