WHO WE ARE
Our staff has a strong commitment to serving the many constituents of our organization. But first and foremost, they focus their energies on those who take advantage of our programs and services.
Our board represents a cross-section of our community and has a passion for our organization and those we serve. The members work hard to ensure long-term sustainability of the organization and oversee that the funds raised directly affect those in need.
Kriss Dammeyer is the Founder and Executive Director of Made to Thrive. She developed this grass roots organization in 2014 to provide a valuable resource to the children and families who find themselves in difficult situations. Whether it is poverty, domestic violence, child abuse or neglect that a family or child is experiencing, she wants them to have the same opportunities as others to participate in various extracurricular activities. This hits very close to home for Kriss and she believes this provides hope, life/social skills, awareness, confidence, friendships and leadership because sports as well as other activities provided all of those things for her growing up.
Kriss was a first-generation college graduate and managed to put herself through college with the assistance of athletic scholarships. She believes whole heartedly that having an outlet such as sports growing up and the coaches/mentors she had along the way contributed immensely to the positive path her life took.
She graduated with an Associate of Arts degree from Clackamas Community College, followed by a transfer to Western Oregon University to earn her Bachelor of Science degree in Business Management. She most recently enrolled in the Social Entrepreneurship and Change Graduate program at Pepperdine University where she traveled to California to learn from highly skilled entrepreneurs as well as being surrounded by so many like-minded classmates that have the same deep passion for social change as she does.
Kriss is also the local chapter Director of the nationally based Not-for-Profit, Family Promise. She trains mentors to be matched with adults who are on government assistance and who struggle to navigate through the process of becoming self-sustaining. She finds this program to be vital and incredibly rewarding to see the families stand on their own two feet.
Kriss also finds great reward in her volunteer role as a Court Appointed Special Advocate (C.A.S.A), where she speaks on behalf of foster children in court. She has enjoyed getting to know the multiple foster children she has been assigned to.
Kriss and her husband reside in Hermiston where they raise their two very active and involved children.
We could not do this work without the leadership and guidance of our exceptional Board.
President: Darrell Green
Darrell works for BMCC as the JOBS Program Manager, assisting those who are on TANF to find jobs. In this process he helps them with job searching skills and life skills such as parenting and budgeting. Darrell is passionate about helping kids enjoy the moment and have hope for their future. He has coached kids sports since he was a young adult and enjoys watching them grow through their successes and failures. He is currently enjoying his opportunity to mentor a family of 7 children.
Treasurer: Mitch Boylan
As a Hermiston native Mitch takes pride in the Hermiston community and supports local organizations that do as well. Made to Thrive parallels his beliefs as he serves as the Treasurer on the board. Mitch works as a CPA here in Hermiston at Barnett & Moro and enjoys various outdoor activities with his wife Kayla and son Carter.
Secretary: Tim Handforth
Tim Handforth is a volunteer and board member with Made To Thrive. Tim moved around a lot as a child, living in Oregon, California and Washington and graduated from Pendleton High School. He was always able to find commonality and friendship in his new surroundings through sports and other activities. Tim is committed to offering encouragement and assistance to the youth in the greater Hermiston community, giving his time and energy working side by side with children and their caregivers and also helping guide the mission and objectives of Made To Thrive. Tim recently retired from his military service in the Marine Corps and Army and is currently attending classes full time through Blue Mountain Community College. He is married to Melissa Handforth and they have three children.
Board Member: Carol Caplinger
Carol was raised in Hermiston and enjoys living in the small community. After college she began her career with the State of Oregon working with children. She is a valuable member of the Made to Thrive Board and contributes ample amounts of knowledge, time and direction to the organization. She and her husband have two daughters (and one dog). She truly believes in the African proverb that it takes a village to raise a child.
Board Member: Melissa Handforth
Melissa Handforth is originally a native of Pendleton, OR but has lived in Umatilla County since 2003. She is a wife, mother, RN, and fellow Made to Thrive Board member. She assists in decision making along with the other board members as well as mentoring and volunteering with the youth. She enjoys volunteering within the community because it serves as an investment to the people who live here. She states, "People need to know they have value and a purpose and the best way to reveal that to them is through service". Being on the board for Made to Thrive has given her friendships as well as a sense of purpose. She loves the Hermiston community as it's given her family wonderful friendships and a healthy support system.