Senior Field Coordinator
“I am a humble traveler on the rural trail.”
Field Coordinator Maurizio Valerio describes himself best: “I am a rural energy prospector. I travel from community to community with a pick and shovel looking for pockets of energy. I break bread with community members and listen to learn about their plans, their needs, the old ways, and the new ways. Then, I connect them to our network of community builders and to the grid of philanthropy to find resources that fit their vision, plans and timing. I earn their trust by remaining respectful, engaged and committed.”
Maurizio was born and raised in Italy and came to the United States as a post-doctorate researcher in zoology. He connected with his rural community work after graduating from the Ford Institute Leadership Program (FILP) in 2004 in Baker County. The FILP program, he says, changed his life. He went on to work for Rural Development Initiatives for nine years – facilitating leadership and coaching programs in Eastern Oregon. Maurizio joined the Foundation in 2016, serving as a Field Coordinator organizing across Eastern Oregon. “Stepping into that precious legacy of giving back to rural is what attracted me to the work I am doing today,” he says.
A grower by nature, Maurizio planted his first vineyards in Italy at age 17, and he continues to plant trees as part of his long-term forest stewardship plan. Maurizio enjoys working, playing and living a very rural life in Northeast Oregon.
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