Foundation hires new program officer for Community Economic Development

January 9, 2016: The Ford Family Foundation announced today that it has hired Kathleen Flanagan, an experienced business development manager, to be a program officer for Community Economic Development, a new position at the Foundation.

Kathleen Flanagan

Flanagan comes to the Foundation from the Wildhorse Resort and Casino in Pendleton, Oregon, which is an enterprise of the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation. Flanagan was the business development manager for 18 years and created a microenterprise development program that offered Native Americans counseling, technical assistance and business training. She partnered with Greater Eastern Oregon Development Corp. to establish a revolving loan fund for Native American entrepreneurs. She also co-wrote a 20-year small business master plan and secured a $200,000 Native American Social Entrepreneurship Initiative grant.

"Kathleen has an impressive background of working in the field of economic development," said Nancy Straw, director for Community Economic Development for The Ford Family Foundation. "Her experience in business training, financing for entrepreneurs, and knowledge of rural Oregon will be great assets as we develop programs to support rural economic vitality."

As a program officer, Flanagan will be responsible for managing a portfolio of rural capital grants. She will also focus on workforce development, business financing, entrepreneurship, community economic development, and promoting family economic success.

"Kathleen's history of civic and professional leadership will be especially valuable as she will work in partnership with community residents and leaders," said Anne Kubisch, president of The Ford Family Foundation.

Flanagan has been active in the Oregon Microenterprise Network Board of Directors where she served as president in 2013. She was appointed by the Oregon Governor's Office to serve on the Grow Oregon Council (2012-2014). She is also a past president of the Pendleton Chamber of Commerce and is a graduate of the Ford Institute Leadership Program (2010).

Flanagan has a bachelor's degree in business administration and economics (with honors) from Eastern Oregon University.

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