Former United Way of Lane County COO will lead effort to fund expansion of services needed to match growing needs

Citing a desire to expand services to meet growing needs in the community, Yamhill Community Action Partnership (YCAP) Executive Director Jeff Sargent has created a new department focused on development. To that end, Sargent announced in January that YCAP has hired Doris Towery to lead those efforts as its first director.

"We are excited about the skills and passion for service Doris brings to us," Sargent said. "I look forward to her building relationships with our generous supporters in the community, forging new partnerships and focusing our message about the marvelous work our staff does to help transform the lives of our neighbors in need."Towery

With the reorganization, Towery's team will take the lead in development work, freeing Sargent to focus on other aspects of his role as executive director.

"Those aren't necessarily my strengths, so I'm glad she taking it on," Sargent said.

Towery will also be responsible for many of the duties handled by former community relations director Julie Miller, who left in October for role at Chemeketa Community College, but brings added expertise to expand capacity for grant writing, donor relations and marketing.

"The needs are growing in our community and our families are struggling," Towery said. "Knowing that those needs are growing greater, we need the ability to expand the work that we're doing and serve more of our neighbors, so having a team that is focused and looking for additional opportunities to bring money into our community will be critical for our ability to be more successful and expand the programs that have worked incredibly well here and where we have wait lists."

Sargent touted Towery's experience in resource development and leadership, including roles as vice president of development for Planned Parenthood of Southwestern Oregon, executive director of the Eugene Hearing & Speech Center and chief operating officer and development director at United Way of Lane County, the last of which served in for nine years.

Towery and her husband, Jeff, spent 17 years living in Springfield before moving to Yamhill County last year when he was hired to be the city manager in McMinnville. Towery, who also has two children, said she has been taken aback by the community spirit she has encountered since relocating.

"This is a place where people genuinely care about one another," she said. "That's pretty magical and unique compared to other places. Not that people don't care about each other in Lane County, but there is a different feeling to that here. I think there is great opportunity for the kind of work that we do for people to really engage."

Towery has also been active in the communities she has lived outside of her professional life, serving on boards for Start Making a Reader Today (SMART), Junior Achievement, Oak Street Child Development Center and the Lane Transit District for six years, the last two as the board president. She is also an active Rotarian, including a term as president of the Springfield Rotary Club, and serves as an assistant governor for Rotary District 5110.

"As my husband and I moved here I was looking for a way to engage and have an impact on my neighbors that would help make our community a better place," Towery said. "I couldn't think of a better organization to do that."

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