Crook County Foundation hires new director
It was a perfect fit.
Brandi Ebner, with her background in nonprofits and chambers of commerce, took over as executive director of the Crook County Foundation on Wednesday.
"It allows me to get engaged in Prineville again and do something good for the community," the 35-year-old Prineville native said. "My skillset matched what they needed, the timing was right, and it's a perfect fit. I'm excited to get involved in Crook County and feel like I'm giving back."
Daleena Green will be stepping down as executive director on May 23. She and her family are relocating to Madras.
Crook County Foundation is a nonprofit organization that strives to build positive futures for local children, families, businesses and civic groups by fostering investment in leadership, education and the arts. It was founded in 1998 by the City of Prineville, Crook County, Crook County School District, Crook County Parks and Recreation District, and Prineville-Crook County Chamber of Commerce.
"She was raised here and had the opportunity to come back to the area, so we are excited to get somebody that knows the community," Donna Barnes, president of Crook County Foundation, said of Ebner.
Ebner graduated from Crook County High School in 2001. She and her husband, Will, have two young children, ages 4 and 1.
"My whole career has been in nonprofits and nonprofit management," Ebner said.
She was the executive director of the Prineville-Crook County Chamber of Commerce in 2008 and 2009 before landing a job at the Wilsonville Chamber of Commerce outside of Portland for six years.
There, she helped start a tourism program called Oregon Horse Country that ended up breaking off into its own nonprofit, and she's the executive director of that part time.
She is also administrative manager of the Oregon Equine Foundation, which is a charity organization for the equine industry.
In early July 2016, she and her family moved back home.
"I've been here almost two years again, and I'm not leaving," she laughs.
When the Crook County Foundation put out a call for applications, it was perfect timing.
She will work part-time for the foundation.
"She brings a lot of energy to the foundation and a lot of experience in community, and that's important to us," Barnes said of Ebner, noting that she is familiar with the organization and has worked on the Picnic in the Parks committee. "She's coming in with some good, solid background. We're excited to have her as part of the team."
Barnes said Ebner's extensive background with chambers of commerce is also beneficial.
"She understands how communities interact and businesses interact in the community. She's had a nonprofit that she basically started and grew to a statewide organization," Barnes said.
First, Ebner wants to get an understanding of all the parts and pieces of the foundation and then provide some community education on the value of the foundation. She believes that a lot of folks don't really know what the organization actually does.
"That will then in turn hopefully gain more support for their events, and more folks will want to donate and be a supporter of the organization as well," she said.
Green will still be on board for three more weeks and will introduce Ebner to the key volunteers and all of the components of the foundation, including Picnic in the Park, Paddy Pint Run, Crook County On The Move, and "What's Brewing?"
"She's been a great strength for the foundation and has really added a lot of value in the short time that she's been here," Barnes said of Green.
Ebner is looking forward to her new role.
"I'm so excited to get to truly work with Crook County again." Ebner said. "I'm very excited to be back on the streets and working with local businesses and all of the amazing people who make up our county."