Members of our different boards represent a cross-section of our community and have a passion for our mission and those we serve. Each individual strives to ensure the long-term sustainability of the organization through good governance and responsible fundraising and spending practices. To learn more, visit our financials and governance page.
MountainStar's Board of Directors
Jessica Sayers - President
Jessica Sayers joined MountainStar’s board in February 2017 and has been a supporter of MountainStar’s mission for many years prior to joining the board. “The services that MountainStar provides to our community, children, and families are critical. The outcomes of this critical work has shown that MountainStar’s program is effective and necessary to support our families. I am thrilled and honored to be part of this organization,” says Jessica. She works at PacificSource Health Plans as the Medicaid Contract Manager, managing the contracts and relationship with the Oregon Health Authority, and has been in the health care industry for over 18 years. She received her Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration from Oregon State University. Jessica is married and has two children, a daughter and a son, and has lived in Bend since 2002.
Robin Bailey - Vice President
Robin Bailey attained a degree in Education from the University of Oregon, with a focus on Family and Community Services. She has been a long-time advocate for Relief Nursery Programs in Oregon as a volunteer, committee member, and board member. Robin believes children to be our most valuable asset, but sadly they are the most vulnerable too: "Our job as community members is to advocate for these children and be their voice when they don't have one of their own". Robin has lived in Bend for 17 years with her husband Troy and three very active, teenage sons. Outside of spending time with her friends and family, Robin enjoys baking, traveling, and hiking, and relaxing outdoors.
Peter McCracken - Treasurer
Bio Coming Soon
Emi Cornelius - Secretary
Emi Cornelius is a technologist helping solopreneurs and small businesses maximize technology to meet their business needs. Even so, she believes that direct connection is more important than ever. She joined the MountainStar board in March of 2018. She has a huge passion for the MountainStar mission and the population we serve. Emi shares, "Focusing on keeping families whole and healthy, helping prevent abuse and neglect, and supporting families into better circumstances is so important to me and our community."
Kellyn has been in the banking industry for 7 years and is currently the Branch Manager of the Forum Branch at First Interstate Bank. As a Chamber of Commerce Leadership Bend graduate she is always looking for ways to be more involved in the community. Looking for the best impact for volunteering, MountainStar's mission to prevent child abuse became a passion: "Many organizations address the aftermath of abuse but preventing it from occurring seems to be the greatest way to support the future generations of our community." Kellyn joined the board in 2019 and is excited to help the organization continue to grow and support MountainStar families. Kellyn moved to Bend in 2016 from Hawaii to be closer to her two nephews and niece that live in Central Oregon. She is married and enjoys the outdoor activities that Bend has to offer.
Ruth Brumigan is a member of the Prineville Advisory Board and joined the MountainStar Board of Directors in 2018. She was a single mom, former foster parents, retired RN, and is currently a CASA. Ruth has been an active volunteer with the Prineville center, classroom volunteer, and community liaison. She shares, "Working with our families is important to me!"
Linda Clowers is a member of the Madras Advisory Board and the MountainStar Board of Directors. She has lived in Madras for 26 years with her husband, where they operated a family farm prior to retirement. Previously Linda was a commercial banker for First Interstate Bank and Bank of America. Born and raised in Illinois, she holds an MBA and BA from the University of Illinois. Linda is the secretary of the Jefferson County Library Endowment Foundation and the treasurer of the Jefferson County Democrat organization. She joined the MountainStar board because she has long been an advocate for children, including being a Peace Corps volunteer in Africa, working with 4-H/FFA youth in Jefferson County, mentoring seniors at Madras High School, and serving on the budget committee of Jefferson County Schools. Linda believes, "MountainStar’s mission is crucial in addressing early childhood trauma so children can receive a solid foundation in order to live a healthier life."
Thom joined MountainStar's board in 2019, after retiring from a 30-year career as a Behavioral Health Specialist. His background is working in adoption services and with troubled youth and at-risk families, moving toward court-referred substance use disorder clients. Thom worked in outpatient and residential treatment settings, with a Masters’ degree in Addiction Science and Counseling.
Thom loves living in Central Oregon with his wife Eileen and keeps busy with their six adult children, seven grandchildren, and fur-babies Titan and Sage. He enjoys golf, skiing, hiking, mountain biking, and vintage motorcycle racing. Thom shares, "I am honored to be a part of this important child advocacy organization."
Kristin Scheel Downes is a corporate attorney and mother who joined the MountainStar board in the summer of 2020. Kristin grew up in a NASA family in Houston, Texas. Her grandmother, who was passionate about her lifetime career at NASA, inspired her to work hard, be committed and curious, and give generously. Kristin moved to Bend in 2017 to start a family and wanted to bring her legal skills and commitment to equity work to a local organization. On finding MountainStar Kristin shares, "I was immediately passionate about MountainStar's work in creating resilient and healthy communities."
Mary Jensen has served on MountainStar's board since 2017 and recently confirmed another three years of service: “I am so pleased to have been associated with MountainStar for these last three years. The work MountainStar does is so important in our community – giving families the skills and support they need to keep their infants and toddlers safe from abuse and neglect. The staff continues to amaze me with their commitment, creativity, and compassion. The programs and tools they use produce very positive results." Mary and her husband Erik have lived in Bend for 11 years. She is retired, ending her career as a Transit Manager with King County Metro in Seattle. She has an undergraduate degree in Economics and a Masters degree in City and Regional Planning. Mary especially enjoys time with her family including two grandchildren. She also enjoys golfing, hiking, birding, and fishing. When times permit she and Erik also enjoy traveling.
Jennifer Mitchell, MD
Jennifer Mitchell moved to Bend in 2015 and works as a family doctor. Her family loves Bend and dreamed of living here for a long time. Jennifer started looking for a way to give back to her new community. In a medical lecture, she learned about the importance of the first 1000 days of a child's life -- how a healthy attachment formed during that time is so vital to creating healthy and resilient humans. Jennifer was thrilled to discover that MountainStar directly addressing that very issue in Central Oregon. She started volunteering for MountainStar in 2019 and joined the board in the summer of 2020. She said, "The work MountainStar does with vulnerable children and families and the results that they have achieved in prevention make me so proud to support this organization."
Bio Coming Soon
Deb Schoen is a retired park and recreation professional and has deep experience with children and family programs, community leadership, financial oversight, and policy development. She is a strong advocate for community engagement and equitable access for all community members. She remains involved with the National Recreation and Park Association as an accreditation officer. Deb believes, "Organized efforts aimed at influencing public attitudes, policies, early intervention, and support of vulnerable families will allow children to grow into healthy, contributing members of society." Deb moved to Bend in 2013 with her husband to enjoy the beauty, sunshine, and outdoor life that Central Oregon has to offer. Her daughter’s family recently moved to Bend, enabling her to spend time with her two grandchildren.
Peter Polanco has a background working with the elderly and disabled population and long-term care programs in Central Oregon. Peter's interest with youth started when working at a local youth homeless shelter in Bend. Peter was motivated to help when seeing how so many teens lacked the tools needed to problem solve issues in their personal life. Peter shares, "Being born and raised in Los Angeles, California and being the son of civil war refugees has given me a unique point of view and resilience to deal with everyday problems we face in our community. I'm excited to join MountainStar's board to help the young children in our community."
Our Advisory Board Members are passionate and experienced community members who help coordinate the programs in Crook and Jefferson counties. They work hard to ensure the success of MountainStar throughout Central Oregon. Their service is invaluable and integral to MountainStar's success.
MountainStar Madras' Advisory Board
*This group is also known as Juniper Junction Community Council
Tena Jackson, President
Katherine Brick, Vice President
Stephen Hillis, Treasurer
Roy Jackson, Secretary
Beth Ann Beamer
MountainStar Prineville's Advisory Board
Kathleen Wilson, Secretary
Each of our boards are open to new member applications. If you would like to learn about being a member, please contact Development Director Staley Micken at firstname.lastname@example.org or 541-322-6820.