Some of us serve on business or nonprofit boards to better our professions and specific causes.
Amanda, Johnson Bixby
An organization I’ve volunteered with recently is the Refugee Resettlement Program of Lutheran Community Services NW. Along with some friends of mine, we set up an apartment for a couple of new Ukrainian refugees, complete with a full set of donated items for the kitchen, bedroom, bathroom, etc. It was fun to do and was also a good way to be reminded of those in our community who are not only new to the area (and culture) but are here after being forced from their homes. I loved knowing we were creating a place of welcome with all the practical items for a new apartment, but also things like candles, welcome mat, soft blankets, note cards, a calendar and more.
Other volunteer opportunities are donating the types of items we used, providing transportation for appointments during the first 30 days, assisting with shopping, and just providing general companionship and support.
Megan, Integrated Tax Services
I have been deeply involved with Fosterful since 2018 when I was hired as a consultant for strategic growth of the organization. The mission of Fosterful is to ensure no child is left alone after being removed from their home due to abuse or neglect, sitting and waiting in the Child Welfare Office until a foster placement is found.
Prior to the organization starting in 2014, kids would wait in conference rooms or quietly sit in a cubicle while their social worker worked hard behind the scenes to find a loving placement. It was the best that could be done at the time, but children in the midst of trauma need loving adults to help them navigate their big feelings or simply be a calming presence.
Fosterful volunteers rock babies, color with toddlers, and play video games with older kids – whatever it takes to keep them occupied and out of the emotional storm for a while before they transition. Our organization also ensure children have food to eat, clean clothes to wear, and a duffle bag for their belongings to they can enter foster care with dignity.
We started right here in Vancouver and now have 29 sites throughout Washington and Idaho. I currently serve as Board President.
Bob, Ripple Companies
For over 15 years, I had shared my passion for sports and wellness by volunteering in youth sports leagues as either a coach or assistant coach. This opportunity has made a lasting impact in the lives of young athletes in the community by modeling to a high standard of sportsmanship and fair play. Additionally, for the past 10+ years I have strengthened my faith by volunteering at church serving people in the community such as the Clark County Food Bank, at schools and senior centers.
Lynn, Johnson Bixby
I volunteer for USA Swimming and have been a meet official, volunteer timer, swim team board member and dedicated swim parent. USA Swimming is an all-volunteer organization, swim meets would not be able to function without a dedicated group of people giving freely of their time. Putting on a typical swim meet requires volunteers Friday through Sunday, consisting of meet officials, timers, and hospitality (people need to eat)! The days can be long with a typical session lasting 4-5 hours, but often longer, with up to 7 sessions in a weekend.
The benefit of this effort is seeing kids being active, social and competitive with their peers in a health oriented, supportive environment. Kids of all dedication and skill levels get to compete and support one another at indoor and outdoor pools across the state and sometimes travel out of state for bigger events. The swimming community becomes familiar over time, and it’s been fun watching those who have stayed dedicated to the sport grow up and head off to compete at big and small colleges across the country, or just have a nice foundation in fitness for the next stage of their lives. Also, if you volunteer as an official, you can deduct travel expenses and lodging from your taxes!
Paula, Ripple Companies
Cystic Fibrosis Foundation (CFF) My little sister, Debbie, was diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis at a very young age. She fought long and hard. We lost Debbie to the disease 34 years ago, when she was 28 years old. Since that time, I have supported and volunteered with the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.
Cystic Fibrosis is a life shortening genetic disease that affects the lungs and digestive system of about 40,000 children and adults in the United States (105,000 worldwide). CFF was established in 1955, when people born with the disease weren’t expected to live to attend elementary school. Faced with insurmountable odds, but determined to save the lives of their children, a group of concerned parents came together to form the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. Today, because of their progress in research and drug development and specialized care, people with CF are living into their 30s, 40s, and beyond.
I also volunteer at a local nonprofit food pantry who serves those in need in my community.
Cyndi, Ripple Companies
I actively participate in 3 nonprofit groups, The Financial Planning Association, Financial Executives International and Oregon State Finance Advisory Council.
Financial Planning Association – I’ve served on the board of directors for almost 9 years and am currently the Board Chair/Past President. I’ve worked on many of the committees as well and currently serve on the chapter’s DEI committee, the Programs committee and the Pro Bono committee. I have also served at the National level as a representative for Oregon and SW Washington. I passionately believe in the value of financial planning and its impact on our community. I am grateful to have met Heidi and Kim through this organization.
Current 2022 FPA Board below:
Financial Executives International: I recently switched from being the New Member Ambassador board chair to serving on the board as the Social Committee Co-chair. This is a group of senior-level financial leaders including CFOs and Controllers from many of Portland and Vancouver’s top companies so it’s always an interesting crowd. Our last event was at TopGolf in Hillsboro (photos below). It was super fun and a great networking opportunity. Derek, my husband, also loves going to the FEI events so he joins me when it’s open for spouses to come.
Oregon State Finance Advisory Council: This is an opportunity for alumni, friends and professionals to engage with the College of Business and specifically the finance curriculum and programs. Members of the council use their networks, influence and affluence to advance the college’s goals and to participate in ensuring future success of the finance program at the OSU College of Business. The council promotes a positive image for business students, alumni, and business partners throughout the state, region and nation.