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Dee Anne Everson to take a ’learning journey’ on Oregon Community Foundation board

Dee Anne Everson (submitted photo

Dee Anne Everson is well-versed in nonprofit work, with 24 years as executive director and CEO for United Way of Jackson County.

But despite that knowledge and experience, Everson said she plans to undertake her newest appointment, to the Oregon Community Foundation’s board of directors, with a mindset that’s more akin to a student’s than a teacher’s.

“I’m on a huge learning journey,” Everson said. “United Way is a tiny microcosm in an OCF world that operates somewhat similarly, but covers the whole state ... and still, I have so much to learn, so I’m going in with a learning agenda to be able to contribute in the best ways that I can and to bring any experience that I have that hopefully will be relevant.”

Officials for OCF, a nonprofit that annually distributes millions of dollars in grants and scholarships to nonprofits and students around the state, announced that Everson joined the board Thursday following unanimous board approval.

“Her expertise and experiences in generating community-led solutions inspired and funded by generous Oregonians align perfectly with OCF’s vision, mission and values, and will help create significant impact as we continue as we continue to come together to address the challenges and opportunities facing our communities,” OCF board Chair Kimberly Cooper said of Everson in a prepared statement.

Everson replaces outgoing board member Sue Naumes. Other past community members in the role have included business owner Bill Thorndike and Southern Oregon University Board of Trustees member Lyn Hennion.

Everson will represent Jackson, Josephine, Klamath and Lake counties.

“It’s a profound privilege to represent Southern Oregon and to make sure that we keep Southern Oregon as high up on the map of a statewide foundation as we possibly can,” Everson said. “But it’s also a huge privilege to represent the state as a whole and to think about the issues that Oregon has that we can all work together on.”

The new role adds to an already-busy schedule. Everson also serves on the board of directors for the United Ways of the Pacific Northwest, the Jackson County Juvenile Justice Committee, and Jackson County Threat Assessment Committee.

A key focus, Everson said, will be on how to best help underserved populations in the midst of a global pandemic as cleanup from the Almeda fire, which destroyed thousands of homes and businesses in September 2020, continues.

“I think that when we look at and talk about the issues of the fires and COVID, it has had a horrible impact on our economy, but it’s had a disproportionate impact on racial equity and social justice issues,” Everson said.

“It gives me one more opportunity as a human being to do good so other people can do well,” she added. “I guess that’s my biggest aspiration, but that’s my aspiration in life. It’s one more way to deliver on my own promise.”

Reach Mail Tribune web editor Ryan Pfeil at 541-776-4468 or rpfeil@rosebudmedia.com. Follow him on Twitter at @ryanpfeil.