Tribal Government & News

Community Fund Board of Trustees undergoing significant changes

04.30.2019 Dean Rhodes Spirit Mountain Community Fund
Darlene Hooley

By Dean Rhodes

Smoke Signals editor

The Spirit Mountain Community Fund Board of Trustees continues undergoing significant personnel changes after the retirement of longtime Chairman Sho Dozono at the end of 2018.

Dozono was appointed to the Board of Trustees in 1997 when the fund was established.

On the heels of Dozono leaving, the Community Fund announced that former Oregon Congresswoman Darlene Hooley is leaving after more than nine years as a trustee.

Hooley represented Oregon’s 5th Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives for 12 years before she joined the Community Fund Board of Trustees.

“Darlene is truly one of a kind and I admire her greatly,” said Spirit Mountain Community Fund Executive Director Michael Cherry. “Her steadfast work and dedication not only to the Community Fund as a board member, but also for her leadership as a former Oregon congresswoman, is inspirational. Her drive for fairness and equality for children and families was always evident in her decision making and I will truly miss her.”

During her time as a trustee, Hooley participated in distributing 1,271 grants totaling more than $31 million to nonprofit organizations in northwest Oregon.

“I’m glad that Congresswoman Darlene Hooley is focusing on enjoying her retirement and I’m also already missing her terribly,” said Tribal Council member Kathleen George, a former head of Spirit Mountain Community Fund and current member of the Board of Trustees. “Darlene’s down-to-earth wisdom and dedication to kids was a guiding light for us all. I will always remember how she could boil the issue down to the core principle with compassion, humor and wit. She was and is a powerhouse. She was one of those great leaders who used her influence to raise up other women leaders and the voices of those who have been marginalized. Darlene is an Oregon treasure.”

Replacing Dozono and Hooley on the Board of Trustees will be Oregon Sen. Arnie Roblan and Rep. Karin Power.

Roblan of Coos Bay represents the Fifth Oregon Senate District on the central Oregon coast. He previously served four terms as an Oregon House District 9 representative and two terms as co-speaker.

Before becoming an Oregon legislator, Roblan was a math teacher at Marshfield High School and became principal in 1989. He was recognized by the University of Oregon in 2002 as a distinguished alumnus.

Power, who is originally from New Jersey, is a graduate of Lewis & Clark Law School and is associate general counsel for the Freshwater Trust.

She also is the first LGBT woman to represent Oregon House District 41 and serves as a board member for the Oregon Food Bank.

The Community Fund has eight appointed trustees: three are public at-large members, one is appointed by Oregon’s governor, one is a representative of Spirit Mountain Gaming Inc. and three are Grand Ronde Tribal Council members.

Since its inception, the Grand Ronde Tribe’s philanthropic entity, which receives 6 percent of all Spirit Mountain Casino revenue, has awarded 2,727 grants to nonprofit organizations totaling more than $80 million.