Cynthia joined Innovative Changes this month as our Interim Executive Director. She has a fantastic track record of helping individuals grow professionally and transforming organizations into healthy, sustainable businesses. She also has some experience in the asset building world from her days working for the Oregon IDA Initiative. We are delighted to have her on board! We asked her some questions so you can get to know her better.
What drew you to this Interim Executive Director position at Innovative Changes?
I’m a long time fan of Innovative Changes from back in my IDA days. I was excited and honored when the Board reached out and asked if I could step in and help until the new Director comes on board and even more excited when I met the staff!
What were you doing before joining IC$?
Most recently I’ve been working with nonprofits to help them build their internal capacity and infrastructure for growth and helping them define an organizational culture that informs and supports their values. It doesn’t sound very exciting but I love it and I love seeing how the work can transform an organization.
Where are you originally from and what brought you to Portland?
I was born and raised in Missoula, Montana. I moved to Portland to go to college and fell in love with the city and Oregon. In 1999 my husband I moved to the Gorge. You’d have to drag me away from here now!
What does financial empowerment mean to you?
To me financial empowerment is about freedom and having the knowledge to make sound decisions that can positively impact your future. It’s so gratifying to see how a few simple tools and habits can open so many doors – to an education, a home, a business, a retirement fund – and empower people for the rest of their lives and their children’s lives.
What are you most excited about in your new position?
I’m super excited to work with and learn from the staff, clients, and partners. I’m also interested in learning more about being a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI).
What do you like to do in your spare time?
I love to cook! When I’m not in the kitchen, I’m in the Columbia on my paddle board or on a trail in the Columbia River Gorge.