Our Team Leaders and Board Members.

Lisa O'Connor

Lisa O'Connor

Executive Director

With more than 19 years of experience in the nonprofit sector and youth development, Family Nurturing Center CEO Lisa O’Connor pours her whole heart into helping families in Southern Oregon. She currently serves on several boards, including the Southern Oregon Early Learning Executive Council and Umpqua board representing both Jackson and Josephine Counties, and when she’s not busy with work, she enjoys spending time with her four adult children, as well as traveling, camping, listening to live music and riding her motorcycle.

Within this mid-size, high performing agency, Lisa is the chief cheerleader. She encourages and inspires clients, employees, volunteers, donors and community partners to strengthen families one child at a time. As chief fundraiser, she engages in meaningful partnerships and collaborations to help further and deepen FNC’s work in the community.

And every day as CEO, she leads by example. She sets and protects the organization’s culture, develops programs, and determines policy. She plans future development, invests in staff leadership, creates and implements systems, and oversees program assessment, implementation, and evaluation.

Whitney Dennis

Whitney Dennis

Chief Operating Officer

Whitney Dennis, COO, has extensive experience in management in both the non-profit and public sectors. As executive assistant for the city manager’s office, Whitney became well-versed in policy development, preventative maintenance, budget and finance. Whitney grew up in the valley, has a servant heart and enjoys being part of a dynamic team working to make a social impact. Whitney enjoys spending time with her two children and family while taking regular trips to the beach.

The COO participates in long-term strategic planning meetings and provides detailed information to team members regarding the performance capabilities of each department, learned through regular meetings with department heads. Whitney oversees day-to-day operational activities including IT, data, finance and facility projects. Acts as liaison to the board for both finance and facility committees. Systems development and data integration are important components of her work, necessary to build a healthy foundation for the agency to prepare for future growth.

Beth Jaffee-Stafford

Beth Jaffee-Stafford

Clinical Director

Beth Jaffee-Stafford, Clinical Program Director has professional experience as a psychotherapist, family support coordinator, teacher, home visitor and program director. Her work history and education as a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist has perfectly positioned her to be clinical director for an agency working with vulnerable families. Beth is thoughtful, responsive, professional and compassionate. She enjoys spending time with her family, reading, watching her daughter dance and going to the movies.

Beth provides oversight of the therapeutic delivery of services for the agency. She supervises, trains and evaluates a diverse staff of service providers. She provides individual and group clinical supervision for program managers and mental health staff. She supports mental health staff to assess client needs, assign appropriate diagnoses, formulate recommendations for services, and deliver coordinated child and family-focused or group therapy. Beth collaborates actively with community partners and is part of the Community Family Court team.

Katie Bellah

Katie Bellah

Child & Family Program Director

After growing up in Southern Oregon, Katie earned her bachelor’s degree in Family and Human Services from the University of Oregon. Since then, she has spent her career working with some of Oregon’s most vulnerable populations. Now, we are lucky to have her putting her considerable skills and talents to work helping local families.

Katie takes pride in her ability to connect and work with community partners to best serve the needs of families and says she is excited to do this work in the community where she grew up. In her spare time, Katie enjoys being with her family, watching movies, going on outdoor adventures, and attending her children’s sporting events.

As Program Director, Katie is responsible for providing culturally specific, trauma-informed, child- and family-centric programming. She initiates and sets goals for programs in accordance with our strategic objectives. She also plans the programs from start to completion–setting deadlines, meeting milestones and overseeing processes. Katie provides leadership and support to program managers to ensure everyone meets FNC standards, adheres to our mission and uses best practices. Finally, Katie helps ensure that our programs and services are coordinated and aligned with Community Health Improvement Plans, all while engaging our stakeholders.

Desirae Anthony

Desirae Anthony

Development Coordinator

Desirae Anthony is a wife, mother, and Rogue Valley native with a huge heart for the local community and all the unique individuals that call Southern Oregon home.

Desirae’s career began back in 2012 after the birth of her first child. She quickly realized that being a stay at home mom was hard. That is when she began working at a farm as an Events Coordinator. She quickly fell in love with planning and designing weddings. Watching her couples marry and then enjoy a beautifully organized, stress free reception was exactly the creative outlet she needed.

Wedding planning turned out to be a natural catalyst to other events, including fundraising, benefit dinners and auctions. Over the past eight years, she has worked on several events geared towards raising funds for Lyme disease treatment, local private schools, and at-risk Southern Oregon Youth.

In 2019, with a grateful heart, Desirae hung up her wedding planning ear buds to pursue a new career with a local nonprofit organization. She found just what she was looking for, and now holds the title of Development Coordinator for Family Nurturing Center in Medford. She is so excited to bring her skills to such an incredible organization that works tirelessly to care for children and their families in the most loving way.

In Desirae’s free time, she loves spending time with her husband (High School Sweethearts from Phoenix High School!) their eight-year-old son and five-year-old daughter at their home in Jacksonville. Desirae loves snuggling her rescued tabby cat, game nights with friends, writing, cooking, gardening, attending concerts, and hiking with her dogs, Aspen and Ruby.

Our Board Members

Angela Beeks

Angela Beeks

Angela Beeks grew up and attended school in Southern California. She met her husband, Jeremy, while he was serving in the Marine Corps. They moved to Southern Oregon eleven years ago to be closer to his parents, and live in Eagle Point with their daughter, Sage.

Angela is the Branch Manager of the North Medford branch of U.S. Bank and has worked for the bank for 11 years.

    Michelle Blum-Atkinson

    Michelle Blum-Atkinson

    Michelle grew up in Southern Oregon and is a mom of two young daughters. She became involved with the Family Nurturing Center through a partnership with the Friends of the Medford Library when she helped deliver donated books to a very enthusiastic classroom. Michelle joined the board because she wants to help every child in Southern Oregon have the opportunity to learn and thrive in a healthy environment. Michelle also serves on the boards of Kids Unlimited Academy and Medford Food Project.

    Michelle is a graduate of South Medford High School and has a Bachelor of Science degree in Journalism from University of Oregon. She is former co-owner of Procare Software, a local business that makes childcare management and accounting software.

      John Hamilton

      John Hamilton

      John Hamilton has served on the Family Nurturing Center’s Board of Directors since its inception. He works as a staff attorney at Southern Oregon Public Defender.  Prior to becoming an attorney, he worked in a wide array of roles serving our community’s most vulnerable citizens.  He has participated in developing programs and policies to help families transition from public assistance, access addiction treatment, access mental health services, access legal services and reduce child abuse and neglect.

      John and his wife have two young children and are long-time residents of the Rogue Valley.  When not working or volunteering he loves gardening, old Volvos, hiking, fly fishing and spending time with his family.

        Penny Klabunde

        Penny Klabunde

        Penny Klabunde is a member of St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, the host of the Family Nurturing Center’s Oakdale Program. She is the church’s Senior Warden and one of two St. Mark’s representatives on the Family Nurturing Center Board.

        Penny taught kindergarten, fourth and fifth grades for 34 years, 33 of those years at Wilson School in Medford. She chaired the Wilson Site Council, designed Outdoor Education programs, directed the Student Council and planned school-wide activities and assemblies. Upon retirement, Penny enlisted the generosity of colleagues, friends and family to establish the Wilson School Scholarship to benefit former Wilson students seeking higher education. She remains active at Wilson as a frequent substitute teacher.

        A 1976 graduate of Whittier College, Penny moved to the Rogue Valley the same year. She and her husband, Kevin, are thankful for the family life they each enjoyed as children and for the close relationships they have with their two grown daughters. The Family Nurturing Center is wonderful place to “strengthen families so that children can live safely and develop fully in their parents’ care.” It is a privilege to be a part of such an endeavor.

          Damien Rennie

          Damien Rennie

          Damien grew up in the Rogue Valley after his family moved here when he was 4-years-old. Graduating with honors from South Medford High School, he went on to pursue a business degree from the University of Oregon in Eugene. After two years of college, Damien was introduced to the game Texas Hold’em, and by 2005 was playing the largest stakes online poker had to offer. The following year, he went to the business side of the game, becoming a poker dealer/supervisor in Eugene and Las Vegas, even appearing on ESPN dealing the featured table during the World Series of Poker.

          In 2011, Damien decided to move back to Southern Oregon to be closer to family. In 2013, he re-enrolled at Southern Oregon University where he’s finishing that business degree, with a minor in Psychology and a Certificate in Applied Finance and Economics. In 2015, Damien wanted to use some of that casino experience to give back to Southern Oregon and formed Gamble-For-Good. The mission being to pair with Southern Oregon charities (like Family Nurturing Center) to form casino-themed events and send more money to where it counts!

          In his spare time, Damien will be found spending time with his son, Jordan, along with family and friends. He enjoys playing basketball, bowling, tennis, backpacking/camping and looks forward to improving his very rough golf game!

            Lee Murdoch

            Lee Murdoch

            Lee Murdoch joined the Family Nurturing Center Board in 2010.

            Dr. Murdoch moved to Medford in 1966 and practiced Pediatrics here until 2006. He was born in Nebraska, attended Doane College in Nebraska and was graduated from the University of Nebraska College of Medicine in 1960. He followed that with an internship at the King County Hospital in Seattle, 3 years in the USAF and then a Pediatric residency at OHSU in Portland.

            He and his wife Diana have 4 children and 9 grandchildren and currently enjoy time with their family, gardening, reading, outdoor activites and the amazing internet.

            In addition to the FNC, Dr. Murdoch is a Board member of the Jefferson Regional Health Alliance, the Public Health Advisory Board, and the SOELS (Southern Oregon Early Learning Services) executive committee. He volunteers at the Community Health Center.

            “From my perspective, the biggest issues facing our society are poverty and lack of education. I believe that the FNC offers the best and most important opportunity for improving these problems—strengthening families and nurturing small children (the most important years) to be successful in school and later life”

              Molly Bundy

              Molly Bundy

              Molly Bundy joined the Family Nurturing Center Board of Director’s in the fall of 2019 after volunteering with the FNC’s Farm and Food Program. She is a Supervisor at Costco in Medford, and a mother of four beautiful girls.

              Molly has the unique experience of having participated in several FNC programs including Therapeutic Early Childhood Classes for her three youngest daughters, Home Visiting, Respite Care, and participating in food groups and other parenting classes. Molly is a leader in the Parent Advisory Council, working to incorporate parent voices into the planning and mission of FNC. She is passionate about giving back to the community and helping other families find strength and support at FNC.

                Monica Morales

                Monica Morales

                Monica Morales, CFO of the Medical Eye Center, serves as our board treasurer and leads the finance committee. As a mother of two, Monica enjoys spending time with family, is an avid runner and flamenco dancer. Monica relocated to the US from Cadiz, Spain after falling in love with her spouse on a family vacation.

                  Rebekah McAnally

                  Rebekah McAnally

                  Rebekah is a private parenting coach and a former Montessori School teacher who has dedicated her personal and professional energy to improving the lives of children. Originally from Atlanta, Georgia, she and her husband moved to the Rogue Valley 12 years ago with their two sons.

                  Rebekah discovered the Family Nurturing Center when her son’s school conducted a diaper drive for FNC. As soon as she read our mission, she was hooked. She believes the best way to build community is to strengthen families.

                    Don Kania

                    Don Kania

                    Don joined the board in 2019. He and his wife Renee moved to Southern Oregon in 2016 from the Portland area. They have 3 children and 2 grandchildren. On their small ranch, they breed quarter horses, raise Dexter cows, and have a 15 acre vineyard. Don is on the board of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival and the OHSU Foundation.

                    Don and Renee met and married at the University of Michigan where Don received his Ph.D. in engineering and Renee her MSW. Don was a practicing scientist for 20 years before entering high tech management. He completed his management career as CEO of FEI Company (Nasdaq FEIC) in 2016 when the company was sold. Don currently advises several tech startups and is on the board of Intuitive Surgical (Nasdaq ISRG).

                    “Today many families are struggling with little hope of finding enough support to allow them to achieve stability. The Family Nurturing Center’s track record of success in the area is outstanding. The emerging plans on housing are visionary. The ongoing success of the FNC will continue to put families on a sustainable, positive path.”

                      Laura Sutton

                      Laura Sutton

                      Growing up in a military family Laura was able to enjoy living in many wonderful places growing up.  She met her husband in North Carolina, and the moved to Bend, Oregon, where they were blessed with 3 wonderful children. Laura discovered early in her financial industry career the ability to use financial education and resources to help strengthen and stabilize families.  In Central Oregon she served on the board of many affordable housing nonprofits, and the local community action agency network.

                      Laura and her family relocated to Medford in 2012, to continue her career in the banking industry.  When Linda Otto founded Grandmas2Go, Laura was so moved by their mission, she agreed to join their board.  Grandmas2Go® connects ‘women of wisdom and experience’ to become volunteer family coaches to support struggling new families to help their children thrive. When the Family Nurturing Center adopted the program, she joined the FNC as a member of the board.