New CFO to join the Foundation in April

February 24, 2015:  A third-generation Oregonian is coming back to Southern Oregon to take the position of chief financial officer of The Ford Family Foundation. Aden Bliss, a financial executive with 14 years of experience, succeeds the current CFO, Deborah Millsap. She will step down in June 2015 after more than 16 years at the Foundation in order to pursue other endeavors.

Aden Bliss

Bliss comes to The Ford Family Foundation from the Blue Shield of California Foundation where he was CFO. At BSCF he oversaw all business operations including accounting, finance, grants and contracts management. BSCF is one of the largest health funders in California, especially in rural counties across the state. 

"Aden has strong experience and qualifications that align with our mission," said Anne Kubisch, president of The Ford Family Foundation. "Not only does he have the financial expertise that we need, but he also has an understanding of the power and potential of philanthropy."

Kubisch credits current CFO Deborah Millsap for putting into place all of the financial systems of The Ford Family Foundation. "Deborah was hired by the Foundation in 1999," Kubisch said. "She built our finance department from scratch and has managed it impeccably. As a member of the senior leadership team, she has also provided key guidance and support to the CEO and Board on virtually all aspects of the Foundation’s business. We will miss her very much."

Bliss will be responsible for maintaining the integrity of the Foundation’s finance department, monitoring investments and financial information; and preparing financial statements, budgets and tax returns. (The CFO does not select investments.) He also will oversee several operations departments, including facilities and information technology. 

He is a third-generation Oregonian, born and raised in Eugene and a product of the public schools in District 4J. Bliss and his wife, Meredith, have two children.

Prior to his work at the Blue Shield of California Foundation, Bliss was the CFO at New Leaders, a national non-profit organization that trains school leaders in 11 urban areas. He also worked for eight years at WestEd, a non-profit education research and development organization with a $120 million operating budget and a $25 million administrative budget.

Bliss has a master of business administration degree from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, and a bachelor's degree in management sciences and engineering from Stanford University. 

The Ford Family Foundation was established in 1957 by the late Kenneth W. and Hallie E. Ford. Its mission is "successful citizens and vital rural communities" in Oregon and Siskiyou County, California. The Foundation is located in Roseburg, Oregon, with a Scholarship office in Eugene. 

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