EngAGE OR NW Advisory Board

EngAGE OR NW Advisory Board




Thomas Aschenbrener, Impact Philanthropy for Progressive Thinkers – Thomas and Impact represent individuals, corporations, and other philanthropic entities in their community benefit goals, understanding the importance of engaging community in planning for and documenting successful philanthropy, and helping donors achieve the fulfillment of truly making a difference in lives of those whose needs are great and whose way is difficult. Thomas is on the Board of Directors of Outside In, which provides wraparound services to homeless youth. These include housing, drug and alcohol treatment, general medical clinic, tattoo removal, accredited education programs for high school completion, job training and employment assistance. He served three terms on Grantmakers in Health Board which fosters a national conversation among of health grantmakers. Thomas was also the Founder and President of Northwest Health Foundation, built around the principles of equity, equality, and opportunity for all people within a strong social justice and social impact framework. Thomas organized the work of the foundation to go beyond the funding of service projects, to strengthening the community capacity for advocacy: building coalitions to advocate for systemic changes that reduce barriers for community success, utilizing policy and civic engagement as tools to social change.


Jay Bloom, Bloom Anew – Since 1983, Jay C. Bloom has been providing executive and personal coaching to leaders, managers, and individuals in the private, philanthropic, and governmental sectors who are experiencing a transition in their lives or desiring to strengthen their professional skills and capabilities. Jay also provides leadership and management consultation with organizations that are undergoing transitions with a special expertise in helping them develop effective collaborations and partnerships. He has been described as a social entrepreneur stimulating change not only for individuals and organizations, but for communities as well. Jay is passionately promoting his concept of “returnment,” a term he created for aging boomers as an alternative to retirement. Returnment encourages older adults to spend their later years using their skills, resources, and knowledge to benefit the greater good. He’s also assisting organizations locally and nationally in finding ways to more effectively utilize this growing new resource. Jay served as the director of the innovative Task Force on Vital Aging , researching best practices for employing and civically engaging older adults. Jay served for 13 years as President/CEO of Morrison Child and Family Services, a $22 million nonprofit organization that annually serves more than 5,000 children, youth, and their families throughout Oregon and Washington. He also twice served as interim President/CEO of the United Way of the Columbia-Willamette.


Chip Lazenby, Lazenby & Associates – Chip brings over 20 years of statewide experience solving complex problems with creative solutions, and is well-versed in the complex issues facing community and public organizations and their private sector partners. Chip focuses on providing practical legal advice, strategic insight, and business solutions for clients. He was recently named Vice Chair of the City Club of Portland’s Affordable Housing study. He brings his background in real estate, development, development finance, and public policy to bear to assist this important study. Chip served as County Attorney for Multnomah County, as well as General Council for Portland State University and the Portland Development Commission.


Maynard Orme, Oregon Public Broadcasting (Retired) – The former CEO of Oregon Public Broadcasting (OPB), Maynard graduated from the world of work in 2005 to continue a very busy and full life—one in which no grass grows under his feet. He also served as an interim director at All Classical Portland radio station when it was between station managers. Maynard believes strongly in lifelong learning, and his vision helped shape OPB’s local and national productions, groundbreaking Web sites, adult learning projects, educational materials, and community outreach campaigns. An internship at OPB has been named in Maynard’s honor and he continues to follow his father’s edict: “Passion is nothing, unless you’re willing to do the work.”


Maria Rojo de Steffey, ALMAR Contracting – Maria’s extensive experience includes two terms as a Multnomah County Commissioner where, among many initiatives, she originated and co-chaired the County’s Vital Aging Task Force. Her experience extends to management of contracting and management services. Maria has managed a staff of 500 with a 275 million dollar budget. She has developed and implemented public sector budgets and fiscal procedures. She has also been responsible for contract negotiation for rental/use of facilities and services including the Expo Center and Civic Stadium (now Providence Park). She has extensive media communication experience, management of event services, operations, sales and marketing. Currently, Maria is the President and Owner of ALMAR Contracting, LLC.  Her company is a state certified WBE/MBE business.  The company renovates and repairs multi-family housing apartment buildings.


John Topogna, EcoNorthwest – John Tapogna is President of a growing economic and policy consulting firm, ECONorthwest. John has provided economic, budgetary, and analytic support to national, state, and local governments in the United States and overseas. He also served as a budget analyst at the U.S. Congressional Budget Office; forecasted the nation’s welfare spending; and estimated the cost of key congressional legislation. While at ECONorthwest, he has developed a practice related to low-income wage policy, welfare reform, child-support enforcement, and education. He serves on the Boards of Directors of the Children’s Institute and of the Portland-area 211 information and referral line.  Among his specialties are policy analysis of education, workforce, welfare, child support, and criminal justice issues; cost-benefit analysis; and web-based calculator design. Under his leadership, ECONorthwest has collaborated with Portland State University, AARP, and the Governor’s Commission on Senior Services to craft well-researched papers outlining the path required in “Building a State for All Ages – Tapping the Potential of Older Oregonians.”


Julie Vigeland, Oregon Arts Commission – A former high school English teacher, Julie has spent the last 40 plus years as a civic volunteer in the Portland community. She is immediate past chair of the Arts Commission. A passionate advocate for the arts, Julie brings extensive volunteer experience with arts nonprofits to the Commission. Julie’s leadership in the Portland area for arts-related organizations includes the former Portland Civic Theater, Regional Arts & Culture Council, Oregon Symphony Foundation, Portland Youth Philharmonic, Friends of the Portland Center for Performing Arts, and Oregon College of Art & Craft. In 1995, Julie joined the board of Portland Center Stage, serving as chair for five years and chairing the Capital Campaign for the Gerding Theater at the Armory. She now serves as board member emeritus. Currently, Julie is serving as the chair of Oregon’s Creating Connection Team. Julie has served as one of three trustees of the Jackson Foundation for the past 26 years. She is past president of both the Multnomah Athletic Foundation and Grantmakers of Oregon and SW Washington. Additionally Julie is a past chair of the Portland Parks Board and current chair of the Portland Parks Foundation. Julie has received numerous honors for her work, including the Women of Distinction Award for the Arts, the Oregon College of Art and Craft Jo Groves Award, the White Rose Women of Achievement Award and the Model of Success Award. Julie is an American Leadership Forum Fellow. She received her bachelor of arts in English from Portland State College (now University.)


Keren Brown Wilson

Keren Brown Wilson, Ph.D., Jessie F. Richardson Foundation (also on EngAGE Inc. National Board) – Keren was motivated to developed the first licensed and first Medicaid assisted living in the United States because of words spoken by her mother, Jessie F. Richardson. She asked her daughter, “Why don’t you do something to help people like me?” At the time, Dr. Wilson was a graduate student in gerontology and her mother was a 65-year-old nursing home resident. Her mother’s words directed the course of Dr. Wilson’s professional work with frail, low-income elders. Her career in assisted living spanned 20 years working both nationally and internationally. She personally developed more 300 assisted living projects in 20 states. After she “retired” in 2000, she incorporated the Jessie F. Richardson Foundation as a 501 (c)(3) operating foundation.  JFRF has a proven model and methodology to help communities develop a multi-generational, sustainable network of resources to support vulnerable older adults by leveraging existing community resources, and developing targeted programs and services that focus on strengthening local organizations. JFRF currently is working in Nicaragua, Appalachia, and Oregon. Keren serves as a trustee for Portland State University and Concordia University, as well as numerous other boards.


Charlene Zidell, Director, Corporate Relations and Communications at Zidell Companies – Charlene directs corporate philanthropy and social responsibility activities on community-wide social issues for Zidell, an 80 year-old family business and developer of the 33-acre riverfront property known as the Yards. Now, after extensive environmental restoration, the site is prepared for redevelopment – an ambitious plan to transform the land into a mixed use district complete with parks, plazas, and river access, including The Emery, a 118-unit apartment project. Charlene currently serves on the boards of numerous nonprofits and was a public sector labor lawyer in Portland for over 25 years, earning her law degree from Lewis & Clark Law School and her undergraduate degree from Oregon State University.