The hiring of three new place-based team members enhances The Ford Family Foundation’s community building efforts statewide
Roseburg, Ore. — The Ford Family Foundation is thrilled to announce the hiring of three new Field Coordinators to its Rural Community Building department, greatly expanding its ability to support local initiatives across rural Oregon and Siskiyou County, California. Living in the communities they serve, but also working at state and regional levels, the Field Coordinators are both committed champions and patient partners in building rural capacity.
“Our Field Coordinators embody the Foundation’s commitment to go to where the people are, to listen to learn, and to generate shared vision and action,” says Kara Inae Carlisle, Foundation president and CEO. “The addition of these three powerhouse women — K’Lynn, Nancy and Tracy — allows us to dramatically expand our on-the-ground partnerships, both geographically and with Latinx and tribal communities.”
The Foundation’s Field Coordinators occupy a unique role in the field of philanthropy, serving as agents for change in the communities they represent. These highly skilled and committed community builders see and illuminate possibilities so that others might lead the charge in rural communities.
“This expansion of our team helps us stay better connected with the people and places we serve,” says Max Gimbel, director of Rural Community Building for the Foundation. “As a Foundation, our work is only as strong as the relationships we nurture and the trust we earn. Our Field Coordinators’ meaningful connections, deep listening and respectful engagements are key to us being a valuable community partner.”
K’Lynn Lane of Condon, Oregon, will serve communities across the northern part of eastern Oregon. K’Lynn is a Gilliam County native whose family has lived in the area for generations. She served as executive director of the area’s chamber of commerce for 11 years, overseeing its growth from a small local group into an award-winning organization that now serves three counties. K’Lynn has a degree in communications and public relations from the University of Idaho. “Innovation happens out here,” she says. “I view my role as an opportunity to not only make a significant impact at the local level but also to serve as a valuable statewide resource for rural areas.”
Nancy Castillo-McKinnis, based in Talent, Oregon, will serve as one of the Foundation’s bilingual-bicultural field coordinators, supporting work with Latinx communities region-wide as well as in Jackson County. Nancy grew up in Southern Oregon and has extensive community building experience in health care and education, with a deep passion for serving Latinx populations. An alumna of the Ford Opportunity Scholars program, Nancy received a degree in psychology and sociology from Southern Oregon University. “Alongside community, I want to highlight what is already working, promote resources, support self-identified goals, celebrate successes, and learn from best practice strategies to elevate the communities we are blessed to serve,” she says.
Tracy Kennedy, an enrolled member of the Burns Paiute Tribe in Harney County, will help create and deepen partnerships with tribes in Oregon and Siskiyou County, California. She will also support community builders in Harney and surrounding counties. In her former position as tribal community and economic development coordinator, Tracy grew a part-time job into a department with seven full-time staff and a multimillion-dollar budget. The first in her family to graduate college, she has a degree in economics from the University of Oregon. “Change takes generations,” Tracy says. “You can’t just throw money at it. My goal is to help the tribes and the Foundation form a real partnership with real opportunity to make change.”
To learn more about the work of the Rural Community Building department and the Foundation’s strategic priorities for the communities it serves across Oregon and Siskiyou County, California, please visit: tfff.org/strategy/community.
About The Ford Family Foundation
The Ford Family Foundation believes in the power of rural communities. It is a private, nonprofit foundation proudly headquartered in Roseburg, Oregon, serving rural Oregon and Siskiyou County, California. Its investments through grants, scholarships and community building create the conditions so that children have the family, educational and community supports they need to succeed in life. www.tfff.org
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