Our staff and Board of Directors have a strong commitment to enhancing the lives of our participants and their families. Their tireless devotion to ensuring the independence and dignith of those with intellectual and developmental disabilities helps guide us daily.
LEADING WITH STRENGTH AND VISION
Below are just a few of the many people who help lead us in enhancing the lives of our clients and their families. Their tireless devotion to ensuring the independence and dignity of those with developmental disabilities helps guide us daily.
JEAN EDWARDS, President
Jean Edwards is our founding member and constant inspiration. A Professor Emeriti at Portland State University, she was instrumental in introducing the concept of “normalization” to Oregon’s Mental Health System, establishing one of the nation’s first non-profit organizations devoted to helping those with developmental disabilities reach their highest potential.
Her first experiences with developmental disabilities came at a young age – and would help lay the foundation of her life’s work. She had a close childhood friend named David who’d been born with Down Syndrome. Rather than institutionalize him, as was the common approach at the time, David’s mother chose to raise and teach him at home – a bold, courageous decision that served as a powerful inspiration for Jean.
In high school, she joined a program that helped train student babysitters to properly care for children with developmental disabilities. Inspired by the children with whom she worked, she went on to become one of the first students to graduate from the University of Oregon with a license to teach children with developmental disabilities.
While studying for her Doctorate at Columbia University, she became fascinated by an emerging concept known as “normalization.” Traveling to Scandinavia to study normalization, visiting intentional, integrated communities, with warm, family-like environments, Jean was inspired to return to Oregon dedicated to creating normalized housing, jobs and social opportunities in integrated environments for those with significant disabilities.
At the time, there was no legislation in place to oversee the education of young people with developmental disabilities. This meant that the responsibility fell entirely on the parents. Through her position at Portland State University, she joined forces with a small but determined community of parents who were eager to improve the educational options available to their aging children. Together, they laid the groundwork for what has become the gold standard of the Normalization Model and Life Span Plan– Edwards Center.
Now, 40 years later, Edwards Center continues to grow. But the guiding values remain. “I see us continuing to be family-oriented, focused on creating the greatest possibilities for a normalized life across the life span,” she says.
“Hope for the future gives you power for the present.” Parents want to know, “What will happen when I am gone?” Only a program with a variety of vocational and living options across that life span can answer that question. And that’s what we offer at Edwards Center – a lifetime of hope.
ANN PERRINS, Secretary
Ann also joined the Board to continue a family tradition. Her parents were pioneers in the 60’s and 70’s helping to improve the lives of developmentally disabled in Portland, including gaining access to public services such as special education. Her sister is now a happy and content resident at one of the Edwards Center group homes, and enjoys many weekly activities with her friends at the Edwards Center. This good life she now leads was not always the case and has been a very long, challenging road to create. Ann’s family, like many others, has the Edwards Center, its staff, supporters and founder Jean Edwards, to thank.
Ann brings a law degree and background in public accounting, as well as many years running an engineering business in Europe to her role as Board Member. She is also the Board representative from Edward’s Vox Committee family support network advisory group.
KEN KARALUS, Treasurer
Ken understands firsthand the importance and impact of volunteering. As the father of an adult son with cerebral palsy, he’s long recognized the many benefits that come from a system of caring, loving support – the very approach utilized by Edwards Center.
He has the unique perspective of having seen it from both sides. As a father, he’s seen the benefit his son has derived from support and activities, be they schooling, social or sporting events. But as a Board Member with Edwards Center, he recognizes the kind of effort that goes into making those benefits possible.
“I learned about Edwards Center when I came as a guest to an annual luncheon,” he says. “I went away wanting to get involved and help. Now I’ve been on the board for over seven years, and I’m proud to be a part of the great work Edwards Center does.”
PAT MAGINNIS, VP
Patrick is relatively new with his involvement with Edwards Center, but not new to the issues of families and people with development disabilities. His parents, Mike and Jan, raised 3 boys, and the youngest, Kevin is developmentally challenged. Now 44, Kevin has worked with Patrick and his other brother Brian at Chuck E. Cheese’ for more than 15 years and they both feel lucky to have him in the family business.
A graduate of Sunset High School and The University of Oregon, Patrick has worked for and/or owned Chuck E. Cheese for more than 30 years. He joined his father there after working a year at MCI Telecommunications doing sales. . Patrick has lived in Beaverton for the past 37 years.
As his kids grew up and have started adult lives on their own, he found that something was missing for him. Luckily, he had the pleasure of meeting Jean Edwards and learning what a great passion she has to enhance the lives of adults with Developmental Disabilities. By joining the Edwards Board, he is hoping to learn as much as he can to enhance the life of his brother Kevin and the many other lives that are part of our Edwards family.
JOE WEST, Attorney
Attorney to Edwards Center and Board of Directors
Joe brings a keen legal acumen to his work on behalf of Edwards Center. As an attorney with Garvey Schubert Barer in Portland, he practices both Business and Real Estate law. His knowledge in both areas has been helpful over the years as Edwards Center has grown and expanded. “I’ve been advising Edwards Center and the Board of Directors for over 20 years, and it has been a pleasure working with people who are truly passionate about helping others, ” he says. And we look forward to his continued advice and expertise.
Dick joined Edwards Center over 25 years ago, leveraging his business background to help guide our growth. Over that time, his commitment to the mission of Edwards Center has only strengthened. “Edwards Center is a unique provider of care, one that maximizes everyone’s potential,” he says. And since the idea of “normalization,” although natural to us, can still meet resistance from time to time, “we work hard to continually guard and promote the concept of everyone’s potential.”
Sue is what you might call a “legacy” at Edwards Center, in that she joined the Board to continue a family tradition. “My father-in-law was one of Edwards Center’s original board members,” she says. Her years as a Vox representative have given her a unique insight into how Edwards Center fulfills our mission. And she’s committed to doing her part. “I truly enjoy helping to move the vision forward, and being a part of the great things Edwards Center is doing.”
Chris comes to the Edwards Board because of a long-time friendship with Jean Edwards. Jean feels that someone with Chris’ expertise and heart is just what is needed on the Board. Chris has been a real estate agent and active community member for a number of years helping anywhere she is needed.
Chris has lived in Oregon most of her life having grown up in the small rural town in Washington County where horseback riding was a favorite past time. Chris attended college in California and eventually went to work for Washington County and Nike before settling on a career in real estate. Chris and her husband, Drew Snodgrass, have four grown sons, three amazing daughters-in-law and three wonderful fun, active grandchildren.
Randy Norgart has been the President of the Randall Group since 2001 and has worked in the real estate investment and management field for over 30 years. Randy comes from a large family and his younger sister, Sue, is a resident of Edwards Place and works at Edwards Enterprises. “The Edwards Center is a place where Sue can go and feel safe, valued and self-sufficient.” Randy is honored to be part of what the Edwards Center is doing for his sister and other individuals with developmental disabilities.
Joe Black has worked as a primary care physician for Multnomah County Health Department, and OHSU, since the early 1980’s. He enjoys the relationships that develop over time in the health care setting. He dedicates his work for the Edwards Center to his good friend Amy, who has lived at one of the Edwards Center residences for many years. The Edwards Center brings fulfillment and security to the people it serves. This allows Amy and all the other clients to achieve maximal independence, enriching their lives and potential. The Edwards Center continues to seek out new, and innovative ways to provide services to its clientele. Serving on the Board of Directors will always be a wonderful way to help great people do better for everyone.
Greg Wright has long been involbed with the Edwards Center. He became a client (and still is) in 1994. He then joined the staff in July 2011 working the front desk at our Aloha Center. He is very honored and happy to now be part of the Board of Directors. As a disabled person himself, he brings a unique perspective to the work. Greg likes to make a real differenve and help people improve their lives and believes that this new relationship with Edwards Center will allow him to do just that.
Doug is a life-long resident of Washington County, Oregon. He practiced law for a number of state agencies prior to opening his own office. After retirement, he has been a voluntary chaplain with the Oregon Department of Corrections. His best teacher has been his younger sister, Becky, a participant at Edwards Center. It is with great enthusiasm he has joined the Board this past year.
Anne joins the Edwards Center's Board because of her sister, Marla, who, born with Down syndrome, is the heart of Anne’s family. Anne thinks Marla taught her and her siblings the art of compassion and that we would be hard pressed to find anyone happier than her sister.
Anne has spent her life in the Pacific Northwest having attended high school locally at St. Mary’s Academy and college at Gonzaga University in Spokane, Washington. She graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Finance and went on to have a career in commercial real estate development. This career path led her to her husband, Steve Andersen of Andersen Construction. They share three college aged children.
Anne is active in the Portland metro community. She serves on the Board of the Andersen Foundation in addition to serving on the Board of Directors as Treasurer for Jamii Moja, a nonprofit organization that supports the educational and medical needs of the Maasai people of Maji Moto, Kenya, and to provide opportunities for the future through the Girls Vocational Center.
Anne believes in the mission of Edwards Center and is very interested in workforce issues facing program participants at Edwards Enterprises.
Kristi joined the Edward Center’s Board because of her relationship with Edwards’ Founder, Jean Edwards that began in the 70’s when she was a child. Her father taught Special Education in the North Clackamas School District and was the camp director for the Mt. Hood Kiwanis Camp from 1974-1979.
Kristi was born and raised in Milwaukie, Oregon and earned a Master’s degree in Special Education from Portland State University. She has worked in the Beaverton School District for the past 21 years and it was because of Jean that she got a job at Aloha High School in 1996, directly out of grad school. She is currently one of the district’s Transition Specialists, working with youth that have special needs. She works heavily with families, preparing them for the transition from high school to post-high school services.
Kristi is, “honored to be a member of the Edwards Center Board of Directors and excited to help bridge the gap between youth and adult services, so that families have more resources and feel better prepared”.
Diana became interested in Edwards Center as the result of an invitation to the Annual Luncheon from another Board member. Born and educated in Portland, Diana has worked in accounting and finance as Chief Financial Officer in three different industries. She now teaches accounting and finance classes at Portland Community College and in the recent past at the University of Portland. In Diana’s spare time, she also serves Treasurer on the Board of Directors at the Beaverton Arts & Culture Foundation.