For Immediate Release
Contact: Katherine Hendrix | email@example.com | 503-236-9754 (w) | 503-893-5223 (c)
CHILDREN FIRST FOR OREGON ANNOUNCES NEW EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
Portland, Oregon – July 23, 2019 – The Board of Directors of Children First for Oregon (CFFO) and Children’s Trust Fund of Oregon (CTFO) are pleased to announce the appointment of Jenifer Wagley as the new Executive Director.
Wagley brings over 14 years of experience in community organizing and organizational leadership, leveraging her extensive experience in relationship-building and community development as deputy director of Avenue CDC, a Houston, Texas nonprofit dedicated to building affordable housing and strengthening communities. “The CTFO and CFFO Boards are excited about what is to come for all kids in Oregon, in all communities. With Jenifer’s experience and her leadership, we are poised to become a force for our most vulnerable children, creating real change that will move the needle in Oregon and draw national attention to our work,” said CFFO Board Chair Sharon Soliday.
Wagley led a comprehensive community development model in Houston, which leveraged more than $70 million in resources for the city’s Greater Northside community. This fueled a range of important local assets like new schools, park and greenspace improvements, and even a home repair program specifically designed to help low-income, disabled, and veteran homeowners. Wagley’s efforts helped Avenue CDC win the American Planning Association’s National Planning Excellence Award for Advancing Diversity & Social Change in 2017. “I’m not a problem solver. I am a community builder. Relationships build communities, and communities solve problems,” Wagley reflected. Wagley holds two master’s degrees from Baylor University—in theology and in educational psychology.
Children First for Oregon and Children’s Trust Fund of Oregon have been working diligently for almost 30 years to improve the lives of all children in Oregon by protecting them from harm and by advocating for the best policies through Oregon’s state legislature. In 2016, CFFO and CTFO joined forces to build on the strengths of both organizations’ missions and resources to bolster efforts to prevent child abuse in Oregon. According to Kathryn Calcagno, Board Chair of CTFO, “Jenifer is extremely dynamic, passionate, and will bring fresh perspectives and renewed energy to the important work we do for Oregon’s children.”
In 2018, Wagley was a recipient of the national Michael Rubinger Fellowship. As a Fellow, she traveled across the country speaking and participating in retreats, culminating in the completion of the El Camino de Santiago Pilgrimage in Spain. Wagley is driven by a passion to create a more equitable society where every person has the ability to achieve her or his full potential. “Our journey together at CFFO, CTFO and across the state is about learning to be together. We are leaning into a set of common values — values that unite — that all kids deserve equal access to opportunity; that all kids deserve to be safe; that all kids bring inherent and abundant potential; that all kids are our children.”
About Children First for Oregon
Children First for Oregon’s mission is to empower communities to advocate for kids so all children in Oregon can thrive. Founded in 1991, Children First recognizes that children have distinct rights, and we are devoted to ensuring kids are prioritized in all decisions impacting their lives. By focusing on child abuse prevention, foster youth advocacy, legislative solutions, and research and data, we seek to build an Oregon where all children can lead happy and healthy lives.
About Children’s Trust Fund of Oregon
The Children’s Trust Fund of Oregon is a statewide nonprofit organization focused exclusively on the issue of child abuse prevention and strengthening Oregon’s at-risk families. Our vision is to see every Oregon child safe, healthy and nurtured, and every parent—especially those most vulnerable—with access to child development knowledge, resources, and the supports they need to be the best parent possible. Our mission is to foster healthy child development and to support efforts to protect children in Oregon.