When and why did you join the board of PN!?
I initially joined in 1993. I had been asked to provide some human resources advice—I was head of HR at the University of Oregon—and was quickly impressed by PN!’s mission and work with families. When asked to join the Board, I happily accepted and I served until 2005. During that tenure, I was President-Elect, President and Past-President of the Board. I was asked to rejoin the Board in 2010 and have served as President and Past-President since then.
I joined—both times—because I believe so strongly in the importance of parent education and support as a way of preventing the lasting lifetime damage caused by child abuse and neglect. All parents need advice, support and help in nurturing their children because, as the saying goes, “babies don’t come with instructions.” It’s an important, challenging job.
What is your favorite thing about being on the board?
I really like that I’m helping to advance PN!’s mission that “All children are raised by nurturing, skilled parents.” It makes me feel that I’m giving back to my community in a significant way. In addition, I enjoy working with the smart, dedicated people that are a part of both the Board of Directors and PN! staff—all of whom help families in our community.
What perspective do you bring to the board?
Initially, I was asked to provide advice and insight on administrative and human resources issues based on my UO experience. Now, because I have been associated with the Board longer than any other Board member, I am also able to provide a historical perspective regarding the organization and past Board decisions.
What was your experience in PN! Groups and what do you want prospective parents to know about PN! that they may not realize?
Our experience with our PN! group was unique. We adopted our daughter, Laurel, from China in 1997, a process that took longer than expected because of bureaucratic changes in the Chinese adoption process. We joined a group before we actually traveled to China to bring Laurel home because we knew she would not be a newborn. We guessed at her age and started meeting with our group in 1996 before we actually had a baby to bring. We learned so much from these new parents and our group leader and loved watching their babies grow. It helped us through the long, disheartening, and frustrating wait until we received our assignment and traveled to bring Laurel home. For a time, we had the opportunity to observe the new parents and could understand the challenges they faced and the importance of getting support from the PN! group.
I think that PN! provides new parents with education and support that they may not realize they need when they’re in the grip of new parenthood. We all want to be good parents; Parenting Now! provides the skills, information, and support that contribute to effective parenting.