Executive Committee

Nancy Bales
Executive Director

Nancy Bales comes to the Gray Family Foundation after 13 years at Ecotrust where she served in the role of Vice President of Development. She has over 20 years professional and volunteer fundraising experience and more than 25 years of management experience in the for-profit and non-profit sectors ranging from Fortune 500 companies to start-ups. She has served as Board Chair of Opal Creek Ancient Forest Center as well as on advisory and program committees for Willamette Valley Development Officers (WVDO), among other volunteer commitments.

Ms. Bales values the opportunity to help to restore and deepen connections between people and place, by actively investing in local communities and their relationship to the natural world.

She grew up in the Midwest, making her way to Oregon via Australia, where she and her husband, lived, worked, and spent time experiencing the Australian outdoors for two years. Since settling in Portland over 20 years ago, she has lived abroad in Dublin, Ireland, and in Grenoble, France, with her family – always calling Portland home. She has two daughters and enjoys spending time with her family, hiking, running, traveling, and cooking. She is a dedicated bike commuter and Portland Timbers fan.


Rex Burkholder
Community Activist
Principal, GETTINGTO2100.org
Social Entrepreneur, Author and Advisor on Sustainable Solutions

Trained as a biologist, Rex Burkholder worked as a science teacher and in the Northwestern forests. He started the bicycling revolution in Portland, Oregon as a founder and policy director of the Bicycle Transportation Alliance. An early leader in sustainability and equity, Burkholder also co-founded the Coalition for a Livable Future, bringing together over 100 diverse NGOs in the greater Portland region.

He was elected to the Metro Council in 2000, where he led efforts to reform regional transportation policy and to integrate climate change into the decisions of all levels of government in Oregon.

He has served on key task forces as well as national boards including Rail~volution and the Association of Metropolitan Planning Organizations. Recipient of numerous local awards, his work has been recognized internationally as well, being invited to speak in countries throughout Latin America on sustainable transportation and climate change.

He was honored in 2010 as a Global Ambassador for Ciclovia, an international movement to reclaim cities from the automobile. Imparting a ton of practical advice and wisdom gained through over forty years of civic activism, Rex Burkholder has written a guidebook for people who care about people. The Activist’s Toolkit is a new, creative approach to leadership, helping you be more effective as a community activist.


John Donovan
Senior Vice President

John Donovan has more than 22 years of experience in public affairs, communication, and association management roles. He has provided outreach and advocacy services for public, private, and nonprofit entities, both as an employee and as a consultant. John was one of the original founders and a partner of Metropolitan Group from 1989 to 1994. His current work focuses on heritage, arts, culture, literacy, education, child welfare, and community development.

John then worked as a lobbyist in the Oregon Legislature, provided strategic communication, public involvement and media relations for Metro, and managed the city of Portland’s Water Bureau’s development of public outreach and communication for its $261 million capital improvement program.

Since returning to MG, John has provided strategic communication and outreach consulting to clients across the country. Recently, John has served as project manager for a comprehensive $38 million resource development effort for Vernonia’s K-12 schools and a strategic positioning effort for Trillium Family Services, Oregon’s largest provider of children’s mental health services. He has also been providing strategic communication and outreach for Kitsap Regional Library System in the state of Washington; for Metro’s Regional Transportation Plan program; and an update to the Portland region’s Visitor Development Fund review process on behalf of Travel Portland.

John has served as a board member of numerous nonprofits and neighborhood organizations. He currently serves on the Llewellyn Schools Foundation board.


Dan Prince
Outdoor School Coordinator

Born and raised in Alaska, Dan gained a love and appreciation for the outdoors. He completed his undergraduate degree at Whitman College in Walla Walla, Washington. He went on to earn a BA in philosophy; his thesis explored the relationships between humans and nature. Post-college, Dan spent three years as an MESD Outdoor School instructor before receiving his teaching certificate and working as an instructor in Southwest Alaska, then returned to Oregon in 1994 as a supervisor for the Outdoor School program. After a stint at Metro supporting schools with resource conservation projects, Dan received his MS in education leadership at Portland State University, and has been the coordinator of Outdoor School since 2005. Dan has served on the board of directors for the Environmental Education Association of Oregon; the conservation education leadership council of the Intertwine; and the planning committee of Youth Mentoring Collaborative. 

Kim Silva
Executive Director

Kim Silva has been raising money since she was a six-year-old Blue Bird hawking Camp Fire candy to her neighbors. A refugee from the insurance and finance world, she began getting paid to raise money by hosting fabulous parties late into the night at Portland Center Stage. Being a morning person, Kim hung up her dancing shoes to lead the development department at Friends of Trees, then Hoyt Arboretum Friends. Kim holds the Certified Fundraising Executive designation, has a master’s in public administration (environmental policy concentration) from Portland State University, and a B.S. in business administration (finance and insurance concentrations) from California State University, Sacramento.

In her free time, Kim enjoys volunteering for other charities and her son’s school, playing outside and exploring local parks with her son, trying new restaurants and redecorating her house.