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Julie Young, Board Chair

Children's Advocate

Julie-YoungJulie Young is an advocate for children and families, with specific focus on early childhood issues, children's mental health, and education. She is a retired social worker with clinical experience at a community mental health center, where she was a therapist and supervised a clinical staff.

Young is on the board of Children's Trust Fund of Oregon, and is the City of Portland's citizen representative on the Portland Children's Levy Allocation Committee. She chairs the "Boomers and Babies" advisory committee at the Oregon Community Foundation.

Prior community engagement has included the Board of Governors at City Club of Portland, Dean's Advisory Board at Portland State University's School of Social Work, board member of Morrison Child and Family Services, partner with Social Venture Partners/Portland, and Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA).

She has a B.A. from from North Dakota State University and a M.S.W.  from Portland State University.

Lyn Hennion, Treasurer

Senior Vice President — Investments, Umpqua Investments

Lyn HennionLyn Hennion is a senior vice president at Umpqua Investments in Medford. Previously, she was a vice president and senior regional manager for the Franklin Templeton mutual funds, based first in Oregon and later in Philadelphia and Washington, D.C.

An active community member, Hennion also currently serves on the boards of Southern Oregon University, Pacific Retirement Services, the International Women’s Forum – Oregon, the Robert J. and Leona DeArmond Public Foundation and the Buncom Historical Society. She is a member of the investment and audit committees of the Oregon Community Foundation, where she had also served as a board member. In 2015, she was named “First Citizen” by the Chamber of Medford/Jackson County.

Worth magazine named Hennion to its list of the “Best Financial Advisers” in the country three times. She was also recognized by Registered Representative magazine as one of 10 "Outstanding Brokers" and is listed in the Guide to America’s Best Financial Planners compiled by the Consumers’ Research Council of America. A graduate of Stanford University, Hennion also completed the Securities Industry Institute at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and holds the Certified Financial Planner designation.

Margaret D. Kirkpatrick

Pearl Legal Group

KirkpatrickMargaretMargaret Kirkpatrick recently retired from NW Natural Gas, a utility serving Western Oregon and Southwest Washington, where she served as General Counsel from 2005 through 2015. Before joining NW Natural, she spent 21 years practicing environmental law at Stoel Rives, LLP. She is now Of Counsel to the Pearl Legal Group.

In addition her role on the board of Children's Institute, Kirkpatrick currently serves as a trustee for Portland State University and the Oregon Chapter of The Nature Conservancy. She is also on the boards of directors for the Classroom Law Project, a non-profit devoted to civics education in the public schools.

Kirkpatrick has a bachelor’s degree from the College of Wooster, a law degree from Lewis & Clark College and a Master of Laws (LLM) degree from the University of Edinburgh. She has two adult daughters and lives in Portland, Oregon with her husband, Earl Blumenauer.

Mignon Mazique

Children's Advocate

Mignon MaziqueMignon Mazique spent nearly 15 years on the executive team with Mercy Corps. She served first as executive counselor, coaching senior leaders and their teams, then as chief people officer, overseeing the Global Human Resource functions during a time of extraordinary growth of the organization’s revenue, global reach, and number of team members.

Prior to Mercy Corps, Mignon spent 25 years as an independent consultant, facilitator and executive coach with the Center for Creative Leadership, Duke Corporate Education, and She has worked in the technology, pharmaceutical, banking, government, nonprofit, and manufacturing industries. Her consulting work included working with individuals and teams to grow their effectiveness and facilitating large-systems change towards greater efficacy.

After completing a Ph.D. from the Yale School of Management, Mignon taught managerial skill development and organization theory classes at the Yale University School of Medicine and the McGill University School of Business in Canada.

In addition to her experiences with Mercy Corps, her service on the board of Mercy Corps Northwest for the last 10 years has reinforced for her the power of knowledge, financial assets, and emotional support in helping people to change the course of their lives, overcoming fragility, and strengthening resilience. Her service on the board of the World Affairs Council has reinforced the interconnectedness of the world and the power of exposure and knowledge in penetrating and removing artificial barriers.

Isaac Regenstreif

IHR Consulting, LLC

Isaac-RegenstreifIsaac Regenstreif launched IHR Consulting, LLC, in 2007 after a distinguished 30-year career that included politics, foundations and corporations. Beginning as an assistant to Oregon Gov. Bob Straub, Regenstreif worked with thought leaders and visionaries from a young age.

In 1987, he joined PacifiCorp, where he held various positions, including managing the public policy department. In 2002, he was named executive director of the PacifiCorp Foundation for Learning, a $40 million corporate foundation with a focus at the time on early childhood literacy. He held this position until his retirement in 2006. Since the founding of IHR Consulting, Isaac has served as a strategic consultant to an array of corporations and foundations. Among them are the Meyer Memorial Trust, NW Natural, PGE, The Nature Conservancy, The Ford Family Foundation and Willamette University.

Deeply involved in community affairs, Regenstreif is a senior fellow and board member of the American Leadership Forum and the chair of the Ready for School Leaders Panel. He holds or has held many board positions with nonprofits and is a Big Brother in the Big Brothers, Big Sisters program.

He graduated from Miami University in Oxford, OH, with a B.A. degree in political science and received his master's in public affairs from the University of Oregon.

George Russell

CEO/President, George Russell & Associates

George-RussellGeorge Russell is the CEO/President of George Russell & Associates, an independent education and management consulting firm located in Eugene. He recently retired as the superintendent/CEO of the Eugene Public Schools, where he served as superintendent for 12 years.

Before becoming superintendent in 1998, he served as the executive director of human resources for the Eugene school district, and has previously served in senior executive leadership roles with school districts in San Diego, Seattle, and Oklahoma City.

He serves on a number of community boards, including United Way, NAACP, ShelterCare, Relief Nursery, Success by Six Leadership Team, Junior Achievement of Western Oregon and Chamber of Commerce, among others. He was appointed by the Governor and served on the Oregon Quality Education Commission and the Public Employees Retirement Service Board. He is a member of the American Association of School Administrators where he served on the National Governing Board for six years; National Alliance of Black School Educators; Confederation of Oregon School Administrators; and Oregon Association of School Executives. He helped create the National Superintendents Roundtable in 2005 and was recognized as Oregon Superintendent of the Year for 2005. 

He has an undergraduate degree in social psychology from Howard University; a master's degree in public administration from Golden Gate University; and additional graduate work in education policy and administration from the University of Oregon. He completed the Superintendent Leadership Program and the Executive Educator Leadership Program at Harvard University, and received an honorary Doctor of Humanities from Northwest Christian University.

John Tapogna

President, ECONorthwest

John-TapognaJohn Tapogna is the president of ECONorthwest, an economic consulting firm that has operated in the Northwest since 1974. Tapogna has developed a practice related to education, workforce development, welfare reform, and child-support enforcement policy. Prior to joining ECO, he was a budget analyst at the U.S. Congressional Budget Office, where he forecasted the nation's welfare spending and estimated the cost of key congressional legislation.

Tapogna built ECO's education practice on rigorous impact evaluations and analyses using longitudinal, student-level data. Through a special data sharing agreement with Oregon's Department of Education, ECO has evaluated the Oregon Small Schools Initiative and conducted in-depth analyses of achievement gaps and graduation rates for schools across the state.

Tapogna has served on a number of advisory groups, including the Oregon Quality Education Commission's cost panel, the Oregon District Best Business Practices Advisory Committee, and the Governor's Revenue Restructuring Task Force. He has delivered his technical findings to a variety of governing bodies, including the U.S. Senate Finance Committee, the Oregon and Washington state legislatures, and numerous local governments.

Chris Tebben

Principal, Sapient Solutions, LLC

Chris-TebbenChris Tebben is a consultant specializing in education policy and collective impact strategy. She previously served as executive director of Grantmakers for Education, a national network of 290 foundations, corporations and donors working to improve student achievement and opportunity.

In this role, she worked to enhance the impact of education philanthropy by building the knowledge and networks of foundation trustees, CEOs and program officers. Collectively, members of Grantmakers for Education give away more than $2 billion each year to improve outcomes in early learning, K-12 public schools, after-school programs and postsecondary education. Tebben joined Grantmakers for Education in 2002 as program director and later served as deputy director before being appointed to lead the organization in 2008.

Tebben began her career at the Boston Consulting Group and has also served in a variety of roles at education research, policy and government organizations. She serves on the board of the Education Writers Association. She has a master's degree in public policy from U.C. Berkeley and a B.A. in economics with distinction from Stanford University.

Ken Thrasher, Vice Chair and Secretary

Chairman of the Board, Compli

Ken-ThrasherKen Thrasher is chairman of the Board of Alternative Legal Solutions Inc. (dba Compli), and was its chairman and chief executive officer from 2002 through December 2009. As a long-serving board member and former board chair, he has been instrumental to the development and growth of Children's Institute.

Prior to joining Compli, Thrasher served 19 years in executive positions with Fred Meyer Inc., including serving as president and chief executive officer from 1999 to 2001, as executive vice president and chief administrative officer from 1997 to 1999, and as senior vice president and chief financial officer from 1987 to 1997.

He also serves on the boards of directors of GSL Solutions, The Jensen Growth Fund, Friends of the Children, Institute for Youth Success, College Possible, the Portland State University Foundation, and the OSU College of Business Dean's Circle of Excellence. He is on the Cradle to Career Council of All Hands Raised, and is a senior director on the Oregon Business Council. Prior to 2009, Thrasher served as a member of the board of directors for the Oregon Coast Aquarium and is past chair of Oregon's Quality Education Commission.

He has a B.S. in business administration from Oregon State University and in 2012 was awarded an honorary doctorate degree from Portland State University.

Natalie Vega O'Neil

Deputy Vice President and Executive Director Head Start, Save the Children US

Natalie Vega OneilNatalie is the deputy vice president, US Programs for Save the Children and serves as executive director of Save the Children Head Start. In 2015 Save the Children provided programs in 38 states, plus Washington D.C. and Guam, reaching more than 300,000 children. Natalie leads a staff of over 600 employees working in some of the poorest communities in the United States to deliver programs in the areas of early childhood education, school-age literacy, emergency response and preparedness, and psycho-social programming.

Prior to joining Save the Children, Natalie was a founding staff member at Thrive by Five Washington, a statewide public-private partnership led by education, government and business leaders. Prior to her work in Washington, Natalie lived in California where she was the co-founder and director of early childhood education for a public charter school in Los Angeles.

Natalie has extensive experience in nonprofit management and has worked for such agencies as the Make-A-Wish Foundation and the YWCA. With an emphasis on early childhood policy, Natalie has worked at the state and national level advocating for initiatives and legislation that promote children’s well-being and racial and geographic equity. Natalie holds a master’s degree in early childhood education from the Erikson Institute.

Nan Waller

Presiding Judge, Multnomah County Circuit Court

Nan-WallerJudge Nan Waller was appointed to the Multnomah County Circuit Court in 2001 by Gov. John Kitzhaber. She was appointed to serve as Presiding Judge for Multnomah County by Chief Justice De Muniz for the term beginning Jan. 1, 2012. Prior to her appointment as Presiding Judge she served as the Chief Family Court Judge for five years. Judge Waller worked for 12 years as a Multnomah County Circuit Court Referee. She was a lawyer with the Metropolitan Public Defenders and a staff attorney with Montana Legal Services.

Waller is one of the four executive sponsors for Oregon eCourt, a project that will create a statewide virtual courthouse using technology to increase access to the courts, improve court efficiency, and ensure that judges have complete and timely information. She currently serves on OJD’s Judicial Education Committee. Her board service includes Lines for Life (Oregon Partnership). She co-chairs the Domestic Violence Fatality Review and is chair of CARSA (Community Action to Reduce Substance Abuse) as well as Wraparound Multnomah, a children’s mental health initiative.

Waller was awarded the Oregon State Bar President’s Public Service Award in 2009, and was named National CASA Judge of the Year in 2011. She has a B.A. from Stanford University and graduated from the University of Oregon School of Law.

Susan Walsh

Executive Vice President, The Campbell Foundation

Susan-WalshSusan Walsh is the Executive Vice President for The Campbell Foundation. Her work focuses on developing long-range sustainability and policy development plans to advance the mission of the Friends of the Children organization and to ensure that holistic, individualized K-12 support for high needs children is an essential priority for public and private sector investment.

Prior to joining The Campbell Foundation, Walsh was the Executive Director for Committed Partners for Youth in Eugene from 2001 to 2011. In addition to her nonprofit work, she was an adjunct professor at the University of Oregon teaching both undergraduate and graduate students about youth development.

Walsh holds a B.S. degree from Georgetown University, a law degree from Villanova University, and a doctorate in special education from the University of Oregon.

Gary Withers

Executive Vice President, Concordia University

Gary-WithersGary Withers has served as executive vice president for external affairs at Concordia University in Portland since 2005. Withers founded Children's Institute with Duncan Campbell, and also serves on the City of Portland Mayor's Education Cabinet.

He served as vice president for university relations at Portland State University from 1996 to 2003. From 1992 to 1996, he was executive director of Metropolitan Family Services, where he co-crafted CERES, the first major management services organization collaboration among mental health agencies in Oregon.

Withers was the principal co-founder of the Center for Management of Nonprofit Organizations at Concordia University, a program that received special recognition as an outstanding program in adult higher education from the Portland Metropolitan Area Chamber of Commerce. The program is now the Institute for Nonprofit Management at PSU. He was a co-founder of the Oregon Ethics Commons, and practiced law, including nonprofit law, for nine years. He served as general counsel for Doernbecher Children's Hospital Foundation during the 1980s.

He graduated Lewis & Clark College with a B.S. in political science, and received his J.D. from the Northwestern School of Law at Lewis & Clark College.

Emeritus Board Members

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