Meet the Six Finalists for the Bend Park and Recreation District Board Vacancy | Local News | Bend | The Source Weekly - Bend, Oregon
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Meet the Six Finalists for the Bend Park and Recreation District Board Vacancy 

The BPRD board narrowed down the candidate field at the last board meeting; finalists will make their case to the board January 7

The open spot on the Bend Park and Recreation District board will be filled soon. At the December 17 board meeting, the board narrowed down the pool of 24 to six finalists.

These six finalists will present to the board and public on January 7 at the next board meeting. The open vacancy came as Lauren Sprang announced her resignation from the board on November 19.

click to enlarge The current board discusses all the applicants. - BEND PARK AND RECREATION DISTRICT
  • Bend Park and Recreation District
  • The current board discusses all the applicants.
Each applicant had to answer a set of six questions with their turned in application. Here is a little more background on the six finalists for the board vacancy. Quotes are pulled from their applications to BPRD:

Amy Fraley - Vice President of J Bar J Youth Services
"I have dedicated my professional career to working with underserved populations, both adults and children. I prescribe to rational compassion and do not presume to understand the experiences of others. Instead, I prefer to respect an individual as the expert of their own life and learn from them by listening. Too often those with privilege believe, usually with the best of intentions, that they have the answers to an unserved or the 'other' community's challenges. Thoughtful trauma-sensitive engagement with unserved communities is critical to effectively reach and provide services to marginalized populations."

"As a family of color in Central Oregon, we have a unique perspective that is under represented in many governing bodies. I would be pleased to apply that perspective to representing the patchwork of people and opinions that make our community home."

Deb Schoen - Formerly Tualatin Hills Park and Recreation, Camp Rivendale
"My 40-year career as a park and recreation professional has provided me with a deep appreciation of the value of a quality park and recreation system and the contribution required by committed community members to the success of that system. Since moving to Bend, my family and I have made good use of the opportunities provided by Bend Park and Recreation District (BPRD) and have utilized many of the district’s facilities and enjoyed classes, trails, dog parks, and community events."

"As a female, I would add diversity to the board immediately. Having a variety of perspectives, backgrounds, and experiences is vital to any successful board, and I feel with my knowledge, experience, and viewpoint, I would be a positive, contributing board member immediately. I live in Southeast Bend and believe that it is also unique to the current board members. My past work experience has provided me with skills in areas of policy development, strategic planning, cost recovery, equitable access, community engagement, and inter-governmental relations. All of these would help me provide input and direction for the betterment of the community."

Judith Stiegler - Political science teacher & former State Representative
"I am what you would likely describe as a “public service junkie.” In all seriousness, as you can see from my CV, I have dedicated a significant portion of my adult life to serving in various community aspects. In teaching my political science classes at both OSU Cascades and COCC, I emphasize to my students the importance of citizen involvement in the community. I have had varied community experience, a lot focusing on education and the wellbeing of our youth. As an older member of the community, I also have interest in promoting the wellbeing of our older populations. Interacting with the citizenry and listening to community concerns is a natural part of what I have done throughout my professional and community experience. Getting involved with an entity that impacts people in so many ways, seems like a natural fit and next-step for me."

click to enlarge Lauren Sprang, center, officially resigned from the Board of Directors on Nov., 19. - BEND PARK AND RECREATION DISTRICT
  • Bend Park and Recreation District
  • Lauren Sprang, center, officially resigned from the Board of Directors on Nov., 19.

Karen Berky - Formerly The Nature Conservancy
"I believe I can competently represent many segments of the user community (sports, children’s programs, nature, conservation, parks and trails) because I have been a strong participant in the past and up to the present in my professional and personal life. The issue of representing underserved communities is complex and challenging. I believe that representing underserved communities would necessarily involve meeting with and listening to members of each community. In the past, in my position as a senior leader at The Nature Conservancy, I was cochair of our Women in Nature employee resource group. In that role, I participated in numerous listening sessions with women across the organization to better understand the challenges facing women – particularly women just entering the workforce and women with young children."

"I have devoted my career to mentoring, hiring and advancing women and people of color at The Nature Conservancy. I was responsible for hiring all four of the state directors who are people of color in the organization and I have hired and mentored many of the women currently in division and state director positions. This is an important commitment and perspective that I would bring to the Board."

Linda Crouse - Former President of Bend River Heights HOA, first President of Women CPAs of Portland
"I respect the functions that Bend Park & Recreation District provides for the community. Parks, green spaces and trails are an important part of a community, and Bend has done an exceptional job of providing for the health and happiness of its citizens through the extensive network of these community spaces."

"My children, my spouse and I are long term participants in Park activities and facilities in Bend (for the last five years) and in Portland (for over 30 years). I understand the importance and the broad range of activities and enrichment that parks provide for individuals and for communities."

Zavier Borja - Mentor Specialist at Summit High School, Program Coordinator at Latino Outdoors
"There are many reasons why serving on this board interests me and the one, put simply, is because I want serve this community. Frankly for me, I want to be able to showcase a visual representation of diversity for the community that I represent; to help empower and uplift our second largest demographic that is only continuing to grow. Serving on this board would allow me to offer a voice for this group and to help bring their perspective into the district for current plans as well as future ones."

"As a first generation American born during the millennial time period, I offer a different yet powerful perspective for the Board. Being bilingual and ambicultural, I am already offering a different lens than that of the current and traditional board representatives. As a Latinx male, I am able to fit between groups, giving a growing part of our public more confidence to reach out on the matters of this board."

Each finalist will present for five minutes at the January 7 board meeting and also take the time to answer a few questions. The rest of the board will most likely make a decision that meeting as well, with the new board member being sworn in at the January 21 meeting.

About The Author

Isaac Biehl

Isaac is living proof that "Iowa Nice" is actually a thing. A journalism graduate from Iowa State University, he regularly writes about music, the outdoors and the arts/culture scene. Isaac loves the Trail Blazers, backpacking and a good IPA. He plans to one day win Survivor. Your move, Jeff Probst...
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