Gabe Nachand recently rejoined the Boys & Girls Aid Board of Directors as Board Chair after taking a break for a few years. We sat down with him to learn more about why he’s passionate about helping youth in foster care and what he hopes to accomplish during his time on the board.

I met my wife Marina in 2006 and we’ve been married since 2008. We have a 13-year-old son and a 5-year-old daughter named Mira, and we live in Happy Valley. Yes – it is happy there. I officially adopted my son in 2011 and we changed his middle and last name at that time. He has since decided to go by his middle name (Gabriel), so we now have two people going by “Gabe” in the house – which is definitely taking some time to get used to.

I am a CPA and a financial statement auditor of community financial institutions and other financial services companies. I love what I do, as I interact with great clients and the work affords me the opportunity to travel from Fairbanks to San Diego, Honolulu to New York, and everywhere in between. But please don’t ask me any tax questions – that is not my area of expertise. 

I’ve always had a passion for helping veterans and children. I’m especially passionate about helping youth because I’ve always felt they are more frequently in a situation where they aren’t able to help themselves as easily. What I’ve learned over the years is that it isn’t just about small children; there are young adults that simply need a few things to go their way in order to get back on track, and we are committed to helping them as well.

I first joined the Boys & Girls Aid Board in 2002, serving until my final term expired in 2013. Boys & Girls Aid’s focus on permanency is really what motivates me. In terms of foster care, we have basically taken the position that the number of kids in foster care in Oregon is utterly unacceptable – so let’s fix the problem and find these kids permanent homes so they have a foundation for being successful. Allowing children to age out of the system is never an acceptable outcome. Finding permanent homes, along with trying to evolve the foster care system, is what this organization does passionately every single day.

It isn’t that difficult to get behind the mission of Boys & Girls Aid – but what I think is even more important is why I have continued to stay involved. I am continually amazed and impressed by the fact that an organization that is over 130 years old can continue to be nimble and constantly innovate and evolve in order to better serve the needs of the youth.

My biggest goal as Board Chair is to expand our donor base. Many of the institutions I work with go through the process of raising capital from investors, whether it is from individuals or private equity, in public markets or through private offerings. Often, the reason one institution is more successful at raising capital than another is because they are better at telling their story. I see Boys & Girls Aid in a similar light – and I think we’ve got one of the best stories out there that needs to continue to be told. So I’d really like to see us get out in the community and tell our story, because it will attract investors – not just donors, but investors – in the children and young adults that are ultimately the future of our city, state, and nation.

Ryan Imondi