"My dad went to Creswell High School," says CHS alum Jenn Clemo. "I
grew up here and my husband grew up here. We were both in FFA and in
the same friends group. We started dating in college." Clemo entered
college at Western Oregon in Monmouth, and finished at the UO in 2009
with a degree in English literature. "That area of study helped me to
be a good writer of grant applications, sponsorship letters, and donor
appeals," she says. "I did a lot of student group and volunteer
activities in high school and college. The nonprofit sector was an easy
transition." She took a part-time job while still in school with
Eugene-based Rural Development Initiatives, a nonprofit focused on
economic development in rural communities across the Northwest. She was
hired full-time at RDI after graduation. "I was there for eight years,"
she says. "I arranged meetings and facilitated workshops for partners
and funders in Washington, Idaho, Northern California, and all of
Oregon." She also contracted as an independent consultant for
grant-writing and continued her volunteer efforts. She led a
fundraising campaign to relocate the local food pantry, Community Food
for Creswell. She and her boyfriend Chris Clemo were married in 2011.
"When our son Sawyer was born in 2015," she notes, "I took a break from
volunteering." Last month, at age 30, Clemo took on a new job as
executive director of the Center for Nonprofit Stewardship in
Corvallis, offering training and resources to nonprofit board members.
She drives to Corvallis three days a week. "I took the leap to a
smaller organization," she says. "The job was advertised on Craigslist,
and the description seemed to apply to me."
photograph and story by Paul Neevel
Eugene Weekly / 18 March 2018