Advocating is Jill Bower’s professional calling. First, she served children from birth to age 21 as the operations manager for Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA). Now she’s serving older adults as the operations manager for the Redmond Senior Center.

According to the CASA website, there are 2,000 reports of suspected child abuse or neglect in Central Oregon each year, and nearly 300 children are currently in foster care. “I loved my job,” Bower said, “but dealing with hurt and neglected children every day can take it’s toll.”

However, she’s grateful that her work with CASA as an intern, volunteer manager and, finally, operations manager gave her more than eight years of experience in creating systems and understanding services in Central Oregon. Now, she has the additional responsibility of managing staff as well as running the day-to-day operations of the center.

“The biggest surprise and, well, the really wonderful thing about the center is the staff,” she said. “It was a bit stressful to learn that almost everyone is new since the beginning of the year. While we had to ‘learn as we went,’ it was also the opportunity to be open minded about everything. As a team, we can consider what worked in the past and what didn’t, explore new ideas and options, and then be willing and capable of creating positive changes.”

“It’s kind of a unique opportunity to revisit and rebuild an organizational structure according to what is needed and what is efficient and effective without a lot of past expectations and resistance creating barriers,” she continued. “The staffs’ dedication is obvious and I can’t wait to see what additional ideas emerge as we move forward together.”

Fun Facts About Jill

  • She loves kayaking and camping and hiked the Grand Canyon a few years ago. “We did 40 miles in three days,” she says. “It was kind of intense.”
  • She loves to travel to see family and friends but has a strict three-day rule. “We only visit for three days.”
  • She collects heart-shaped rocks.