Clearing the Lane for Clark students
The foundation hires skilled fundraisers to generate more private funds for student success
Clark student Dena Brill injured her back while driving long-haul trucks. Out of work, living on a meager unemployment check and without an education to fall back on, the 51-year-old mother was down on her luck. A friend talked her into attending a GED seminar at Clark. She quickly discovered the GED test cost $150.
“When you’re on public assistance or even working a minimum wage job that $150 might as well be $1 million. You can’t afford it,” she said, exasperated.
Clark didn’t have the resources to help Dena, so she sought help from her church. She passed that test on the first try. Today, she’s enrolled at Clark as a full-time student.
Clark College Foundation is poised and determined to clear such hurdles for Dena and other residents of Southwest Washington. In the wake of dwindling state financial support, Clark College Foundation has created a strategic plan that deliberately focuses on super-sizing the college’s revenue through private support, energizing Southwest Washington about the upshot an educated workforce has on the region’s economy, strengthening our world-class fundraising practices and adding to the foundation’s staff and resources in the next 10 years.
Clark College’s leadership stands proudly with the foundation as we pursue the mighty tasks of prioritizing the college’s short- and long-term needs and cultivating the donors who will help pay the bills.
The first task is to hire more skilled fundraising professionals who will generate the private funds needed to ensure that students, like Dena, have access to higher education.
Milton Dennis and Constance Grecco have joined us as development officers. Judy Ivey is the new senior administrative assistant and Alf Langland, a part-time grant writer. We have also promoted Sam Pollach to research coordinator.
Dennis is a former executive with United Way, having served in various management positions in Oregon, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Iowa. He has directed a number of community campaigns and has been responsible for raising nearly $200 million in his United Way career. He is a graduate of Reed College.
Grecco is a veteran account manager and community relations director. She generated millions of dollars in gifts, public relations and advertising for the Cascade Division of The Salvation Army, while cultivating partnerships with community leaders. As a senior sales executive for Salem Communications, she managed a portfolio of more than 60 advertising clients. Grecco is a Washington State University graduate and a Tri Delta sorority member.
Ivey is the former principal assistant to the director of capital planning and development at Washington State University, a position she held for 12 years. She has an extensive background providing administrative support in higher education, as well as assisting in reconciling multi-million dollar budgets and coordinating conferences and schedules. Ivey is a Clark College alumna.
Langland, who holds a doctorate in educational administration, is a 20-year veteran in grant and contract development, as well as public school federal program management. He has managed more than $5 million in grants and contracts for public and nonprofit agencies. He is a former human resources analyst for Clark County and program director at the Northwest Regional Educational Laboratory in Portland. Langland holds superintendent, principal and teacher licenses in the state of Washington. He has degrees from the University of Oregon and University of Washington.
Pollach, who joined the foundation in 2011 as a database and administrative assistant, is a graduate of Lewis and Clark College with a bachelor’s in communication. He has been promoted to research coordinator.
Students like Dena are counting on the college and foundation to work together to shore up the financial gaps we’re faced with today.