Executive Director

Richard Birkel, Ph.D.

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Deacon Richard Birkel, Ph.D., MPA has been a public health activist, researcher and non-profit leader for more than thirty years and a permanent Deacon in the Roman Catholic Church since 1996.  He is known as an innovative and dynamic leader of major healthcare organizations and associations. Prior to becoming Executive Director of Catholic Charities, Oregon, he served as Senior Vice President for Health at the National Council on Aging, Executive Director of the Rosalynn Carter Institute on Caregiving, Executive Director of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI),  and President of the Joseph P. Kennedy Institute for Developmental Disabilities in Washington, DC. 

Throughout his career, Birkel has been an active partner with diverse communities to address health disparities and achieve social justice.  In Washington DC, he worked with African American and Latino leaders to address the challenge of HIV/AIDS and substance abuse. At NAMI, he established the Multicultural Action Center to address national disparities in mental health treatment and formed the Latino Leadership Council to lead NAMI’s efforts to develop culturally appropriate outreach and treatment strategies. At the National Council on Aging and the Rosalynn Carter Institute, he worked with diverse communities to adapt and disseminate proven programs to meet the needs of family caregivers.

Birkel has been a member of the faculty at the Pennsylvania State University, the University of Maryland, and Georgia Southwestern State University where he was the Pope Distinguished Chair in Caregiving.  He has been principal investigator on more than a dozen major research and demonstration projects and speaks and consults frequently in the US and internationally.  He received his B.A. from Yale University, his Masters and Doctoral Degrees from the University of Virginia, and is a graduate of the UCLA/ Johnson & Johnson Health Care Executive Leadership program. 

Board of Directors

Carol Wachter | Chair

Director, Private Client Services
Deloitte Tax LLP

Chris Corrado | Immediate Past Chair

President & Owner

Kathleen Swift | Treasurer

Senior Vice President, Nonprofit Development
Heritage Bank

Alma Flores | Secretary

Community & Economic Development Director
City of Milwaukie

Gregory Baker

Executive Director
Blanchet House of Hospitality

Susan Bigcraft

Deputy General Counsel
Kaiser Permanente

Donna Charko

Board of Directors
Catholic Community Services of Lane County

Theresa Vithayathil Edmonson

System Director, Spiritual Care & Mission Integration

Rev. Jesus Espinoza

St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish

Pedro Garcia

Colleen Gardner

Dr. Mayra Goméz

Director of College & Career Readiness
West Linn – Wilsonville School District

Paul Henkels, Jr.

Division Manager
Henkels & McCoy

Francis Kham

Community Education Worker- CEW
Immigrant and Refugee Community Organization-IRCO

Administrator (Pawlpi Kem)
Zomi Catholic Community Portland- ZCCP.

Ed Kluss

Board of Directors
Catholic Youth Organization/Camp Howard

ChiEn Montero

Mortgage Loan Originator
U.S. Bank

Nathan Morales, J.D.

Board of Directors
El Programa Hispano Católico

Ngoc-Chau Ngo

Business Operations Manager

Most Rev. Alexander K. Sample | Archbishop of Portland in Oregon

Archbishop Alexander K. Sample was appointed the eleventh Archbishop of Portland in Oregon on January 29, 2013.  Prior to his appointment to Portland by Pope Benedict XVI, he served as Bishop of Marquette beginning in January 2006. From 1996 – 2006, prior to his appointment as Bishop, Father Sample served in the Diocese of Marquette as Chancellor, Director of Ministry and Priest Personnel, as member of the College of Consultors, and as Executive Director of the Bishop Baraga Association.  Other offices held in this time period were:  Director of Ongoing Formation of Priests, Defender of the Bond in the Diocesan Tribunal, Promoter of Justice for the Diocesan Tribunal, Judge for the Tribunal, Vice-Postulator for the Cause of Bishop Frederic Baraga, Diocesan Chaplain to the Knights of Columbus and as a Member of the Diocesan Review Board for the Protection of Children and Young People.

After being ordained as a priest at St. Peter Cathedral in Marquette, MI, on June 1, 1990, Father Sample served as Associate Pastor at St. Peter Cathedral from 1990 until 1993.  From 1993 until 1994 he served as Pastor at St. George Parish, Bark River, MI, at Sacred Heart Parish in Schaffer, MI, and at St. Michael Parish in Perronville, MI. From 1996 – 2006, Father Sample was also the Canonical Pastor of St. Christopher Parish in Marquette.

He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Metallurgical Engineering in 1982 and a Master of Science degree in Metallurgical Engineering in 1984, both from Michigan Technological University, Houghton, MI. He also completed studies in Philosophy at the College of St. Thomas in St. Paul, MN, in 1986.  He then studied at the Pontifical College Josephinum Seminary in Columbus, OH, where he earned a Master of Divinity degree in 1990.  He studied Canon Law at the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas (the Angelicum) in Rome from 1994 until 1996 when he received his Juris Canonici Licentia (JCL).

Most Rev. Peter Smith

Auxiliary Bishop & Moderator of the Curia
Archdiocese of Portland in Oregon

Brian Thomas

Board of Directors
Caritas Community Housing Corporation

Judy Tatman, RN

Regional Chief Nursing Officer
Providence Health & Services

Dr. Alma Trinidad

Associate Professor, School of Social Work
Portland State University

Derek Weiss

Deputy Chief Information Officer & Vice President, Data & Technology
Cambia Health Solutions

Rev. Charles "Chuck" Wood

St. Wenceslaus Parish

Dr. Rebecca Yazzie

Assistant Professor, School of Social Work
George Fox University