CEO and President, J Bar J Youth Services
“Seeing teens that are struggling or facing great challenges turn their lives around and become happy, healthy, productive adults is a great honor and joy. At J Bar J Youth Services, we see kids succeeding every day.”
Stephanie started with J Bar J in 1989. She began working with teens and families providing mediation, shelter, groups, and individual case management at Cascade Youth & Family Center. In 1997 she became CEO and began moving J Bar J to a positive financial position, building a healthy reserve, and establishing an endowment.
As a result, over these 30 years, Stephanie has developed the organization with the addition of multiple programs serving youth. These include the Academy at Sisters, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Oregon, Street Outreach, the LOFT Transitional Living Shelter for Homeless Youth, the at: project providing services for human and sex trafficking survivors, and J5 Parole and the Revocation program.
Stephanie saw the need and benefit of collaboration with other community programs serving youth and created mergers with Grandma’s House and Kindred Connections. Most recently she oversaw the building of a Vocational School that will prepare boys from the Boys Ranch for employment.
Stephanie’s focus has been on building the capacity of the organization through a continuum of services, to assure youth are prepared to be productive adults. She believes in the potential of young adults and has committed her career to support them. To assure quality drives all activity, J Bar J Youth Services became accredited with the National Council on Accreditation in 2021. J Bar J Youth Services is one of eight COA accredited programs in Oregon and the only program accredited on the east side of the Cascades.
Stephanie has served on many Boards and is a state resource for legislation. She is at the table for important issues related to kids and families. She is currently a member of the Board of Directors for First Story, the Oregon Alliance for Children, a member of the Governor appointed Interstate Council for Juveniles, the Oregon Youth Authority Partner’s Advisory Council, and a member of the Rotary Club of Greater Bend.
Stephanie graduated from the University of Montana summa cum laude with a B.A. in Social Work. In her early career, Stephanie acquired her private pilot’s license, as well as worked extensively with breaking and training horses. When not at work, Stephanie can be found hiking, riding horses, or spending time with her family including the family dogs Bill Murray and Züg.
Chief Operations Officer, J Bar J Youth Services
Deirdre has been providing services to at-risk youth since 1993, and after joining our organization, served as the Program Director for Cascade Youth & Family Center for over 15 years. In 2017 she moved to Chief Operations Officer for J Bar J Youth Services. She is responsible for the design, development and implementation of all programs as well as monitoring and reporting for all divisions of J Bar J .
In addition to her positions with J Bar J, Deirdre has served as Director for the Department of Community Justice for Hood River County, as a Juvenile Counselor for Hood River County and as the Director of Programs for the Northern Oregon Regional Correctional Facilities (NORCOR). Deirdre has extensive experience in project management and oversight, grant writing, juvenile justice, homeless and runaway youth and human trafficking. Deirdre has a Bachelor of Science Degree from Oregon State University. In 2017 Deirdre attended Georgetown University’s McCourt School of Public Policy where she received a certificate from the Youth in Custody Program. She has served as a board member for Give Them WINGS, Inc., the Central and Eastern Oregon Juvenile Justice Consortium (CEOJJC), Equal Access for Girls and The Columbia Gorge Children’s Advocacy Center.
Chief Programs Officer, J Bar J Youth Services
Bruce has been advocating for youth in Central Oregon since 1992 and joined the J Bar J team in 2000. He has vast experience with sex offender treatment and has focused on addressing the unique and varied challenges for all adjudicated youth. Bruce works to model the J Bar J mission of providing innovative solutions for at risk youth and their families in their journey toward personal responsibility and self-sufficiency. His education includes an Associate of Arts Degree in Business Administration and Bachelor of Arts Degree in Recreation and Leisure Studies from Long Beach State. Bruce currently serves on the Oregon Adolescent Sexual Offender Treatment Board (OASOTN) and in the past has served on the Boys and Girls Clubs of America National Board.
Program Director, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Oregon
Sandy tells us “I am beyond thrilled to be part of the BBBSCO team!” In 2018, she and her husband arrived in the Bend area after living, working, and raising their three daughters in the Seattle/Tacoma area; her goal has been to find an opportunity to connect with and contribute to the Central Oregon community. Sandy’s background in education has taught her to see all children as individuals who have the capacity to flourish and develop into happy, well-rounded adults who recognize and utilize their intellectual, emotional, and cultural distinctions and abilities. She is passionate about helping children realize their full potential, and have seen, over and over, the vital role that reliable relationships play in the positive development of young people.
Her Master of Science degree in education, with an emphasis in organizational leadership, has specifically prepared her for administration in a non-profit setting. She has held various positions in non-profit school leadership, through which she honed skills in staff supervision, writing, donor relationships, budget and finance, public speaking, and community relations. Additionally, her experience in nonprofit leadership and administration has given her experience in strategic policy analysis, community networking, organizational management and health, and data aggregation, analysis, accreditation, reports and resultant action steps. In her native home of the Seattle/Tacoma area, she has long-standing and varied volunteer experiences in working with at-risk youth and families through churches and inner-city shelters and food banks. Over the years, Sandy has learned the value of a team. She loves to join a team, learn about existing successes, and foster further growth and development of every individual. She hopes to bring fresh energy and ideas in support of a well-established and passionate team at BBBSCO.
Community Programs Director
Prior to this position, Liz was the Coordinator of CYFC’s Basic Center Program providing an array of youth and family services that included family mediation. Liz holds a certification for mediation through the Oregon Mediation Association. A true passion of Liz’s is her desire to see better outcomes for the families in Deschutes County.
Liz has been a resident of Bend for over twenty-five years and believes that philanthropy and service to community are essential, “Service to community is the rent you pay for your room here on Earth.” Liz is a member of P.E.O. (Philanthropic Educational Organization) and has held many offices within her chapter. She recently held the office of President. Liz has been a participant in a number of trainings specific to working with at-risk youth. Included in these are Suicide Prevention, Crisis Prevention, Mental Health CPR, Human Trafficking, and Trauma-Informed Risk Reduction training. Prior to her long history with J Bar J Youth Services, Liz started and ran an interior design company, while raising her three daughters. In her spare time, Liz enjoys all of the amenities that Bend has to offer, most especially any activity with a view of the mountains and the sound of the river.
Program Co- Director, Academy at Sisters
Bio Coming soon
Program Co- Director, Academy at Sisters
Bio Coming soon
Program Manager of Grandma’s House, Grandma’s House of Central Oregon
Eliza has lived in Central Oregon for the past 17 years. She has spent her career working with a variety of homeless services providers in Central Oregon and has been with J Bar J Youth Services for the past 5 years.
Having experienced homelessness as a child, Eliza became a client of J Bar J’s Cascade Youth & Family Center LOFT program, when she was a teen. Her experience as an advocate for homeless services started while she was living at The LOFT and has given her the opportunity to speak locally, in state government and nationally about her experience as a homeless youth. Eliza’s lived experience gives her a unique perspective in her work as Program Manager of Grandmas House of Central Oregon.
Throughout her career, Eliza has worked with adults, veterans, families and youth who are experiencing homelessness. She particularly loves working with young people because of their resilience and potential. She believes our young people can and will escape multigenerational poverty if they are given the support and resources to succeed. Eliza serves as board member on the Homeless Leadership Coalition and as Chair of the Coordinated Entry Committee. Eliza loves to cook for family and enjoys a good book, especially historical fiction. She and her husband have three children and enjoy traveling together.
Director Strategic Initiatives, J Bar J Youth Services
“As a Registered Nurse and community activist I am interested in the components of a healthy community. Working with J Bar J Youth Programs is an opportunity to work with kids and families to affect the health of the communities served in the deepest, most fundamental ways. Healthy kids and families are the bones of a healthy community. As our communities grow and change, the need is greater than ever to support healthy kids and families. I believe in the simple but powerful mission of J Bar J Youth Programs.”
Peggy has worked as both a nurse and an administrator in health care, with an emphasis in cancer care, for the last 35 years. Peggy led the development of St. Charles Cancer Program for 30 years before moving to Colorado. She recently returned to Bend from Vail, Colorado where she provided leadership as Vice President for Shaw Regional Cancer Center from 2010-2016. In both communities Peggy supported initiatives connected to healthy communities by building prevention strategies and leading coalitions of citizens committed to making a difference in the wellness of their community. Peggy received her Bachelors in Nursing from Southern Oregon University, and a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from Lewis and Clark College in Portland, Oregon. She has served on many committees and boards at the local, state and national level and has had the pleasure to be involved in several Bend projects such as the Ronald McDonald House and Hospice House, now Partners in Care.
Marketing Creative, J Bar J Youth Services
Eva came to marketing through operating a small resort in Tumalo called Rock Springs Guest Ranch with her husband for two decades. Marketing was one of several hats she wore, covering all aspects of website, social media, marketing materials, and advertising. In 2008, an unexpected buyer came forward and they chose to sell the ranch.
Free of the responsibilities of staff, guests, and property, the Gill family set off on a trip around the world. Their circumnavigation took about a year and a half, with the children doing schoolwork online. Creating a position she could take with her anywhere, Eva focused primarily in social media management for a handful of clients. She also developed a following as a blogger, with a website dedicated to the stories and photos of their adventures, using both Dreamweaver/HTML for the main body of the site, and WordPress for the blog.
In her work as a freelance creative, Eva has spoken about social media at national conventions, helped numerous clients set up and develop their online presence, and created content for web and print. She has sold her travel photography as stock, as well as captured the spirit and character of events through her lens. She brings this very diverse skill set and perspective to her position with J Bar J.