by Pua Trice, Communications Manager

Community Warehouse is pleased to announce Anna Kurnizki as our new Executive Director. Her nonprofit career spans 10 years, including roles in fundraising, management, and executive leadership.

With 8 years of experience at Community Warehouse, Anna has taken on several roles, from Intern to Development Director. Her supervision as Development Director helped grow fundraising revenue by 150% between 2015 to 2020. She has coordinated 8 Chair Affair events, written 350+ grants raising over $3 million, and helped create and implement CW’s first Strategic Plan and Staff Retention Plan.

Anna served as the Interim Executive Director for the past 6 months—leading the organization through the pandemic. Her focus on resilience and compassion has been an asset to the Warehouse. She brought zeal for the mission to this year’s Chair Affair and raised $262,311 with the help of CW’s core supporters.

With 8 years of experience at Community Warehouse, she has taken on several roles, from Intern to Development Director. Her supervision as Development Director helped grow fundraising revenue by 150% between 2015 to 2020. She has coordinated CW’s most successful fundraising events, written 350+ grants raising over $3 million, and helped create and implement CW’s first Strategic Plan and Staff Retention Plan.

Anna served as the Interim Executive Director for the past 6 months— leading the organization through the pandemic. Her focus on resilience and compassion has been an asset to the Warehouse. She brought zeal for the mission to this year’s Chair Affair and raised $262,311 with the help of Community Warehouse’s core supporters.

Eager to embark on her new role, Anna is committed to forwarding the priorities that she has centered throughout her tenure at Community Warehouse.

I am dedicated to building on the work we have accomplished together in my 8 years at Community Warehouse and 5 years on the senior management team. I am eager to engage our staff, Board, and community in strategic planning as we consider how our community’s needs have evolved and how we can evolve to meet them,” says Anna.

Read the full statement from Anna and from our Board President Ray Anderson below!

A Message from Anna Kurnizki, Executive Director 

Dear neighbors and friends,

I’m honored and delighted to address you as the new Executive Director of Community Warehouse.

The world is in flux during this challenging timebut Community Warehouse is stable, our leadership is stable, and we can hit the ground running. I am dedicated to building on the work we have accomplished together in my eight years at Community Warehouse and five years on the senior management team.

In particular, I am committed to the priorities of delivering our mission, centering diversity, equity, and inclusion, and fostering financial health. I’m dedicated to ensuring our community members get the services and support they need and prioritizing those most affected by systemic inequity. I am eager to engage our Board, staff, and community in strategic planning as we consider how our community’s needs have evolved and how we can evolve to meet them.

Let’s rewind a little here. In the summer of 2012, one month after the Tualatin Warehouse opened, I started an internship at Community Warehouse. That year, the organization served 6,000 people, and the budget was $867,763. (That was back when our founder, Roz, used to buy toilet paper for the staff.) Needless to say, there have been a few changes since then!

Over the past 9 years, Community Warehouse has grown to provide furniture and household items to 7,800 people with 30 staff and a budget of $3.5 million. As the Development Director, I was responsible for growing fundraising revenue from $400,000 in 2015 to over $1 million in 2020. I supported the creation and implementation of CW’s first Strategic Plan.

The world is in flux during this challenging timebut Community Warehouse is stable, our leadership is stable, and we can hit the ground running. I am dedicated to building on the work we have accomplished together in my eight years at Community Warehouse and five years on the senior management team.

In particular, I am committed to the priorities of delivering our mission, centering diversity, equity, and inclusion, and fostering financial health. I’m dedicated to ensuring our community members get the services and support they need and prioritizing those most affected by systemic inequity. I am eager to engage our Board, staff, and community in strategic planning as we consider how our community’s needs have evolved and how we can evolve to meet them.

Let’s rewind a little here. In the summer of 2012, one month after the Tualatin Warehouse opened, I started an internship at Community Warehouse. That year, the organization served 6,000 people, and the budget was $867,763. (That was back when our founder, Roz, used to buy toilet paper for the staff.) Needless to say, there have been a few changes since then!

Over the past 9 years, Community Warehouse has grown to provide furniture and household items to 7,800 people with 30 staff and a budget of $3.5 million. As the Development Director, I was responsible for growing fundraising revenue from $400,000 in 2015 to over $1 million in 2020. I supported the creation and implementation of CW’s first Strategic Plan.

In November 2020, eight months into the pandemic, I stepped into the Interim Executive Director role. The organization was at a critical juncture. We had transitioned from our responsive Home2Go program to a full-service delivery model. We were in the midst of budgeting for an uncertain 2021 after the most difficult year we had ever faced. We planned for new and expanded services, and projected what the service environment would look like as the pandemic evolved.

In November 2020, eight months into the pandemic, I stepped into the Interim Executive Director role. The organization was at a critical juncture. We had transitioned from our responsive Home2Go program to a full-service delivery model. We were in the midst of budgeting for an uncertain 2021 and projecting what the service environment would look like as the pandemic evolved. We planned for new and expanded services while reaffirming the organization’s priorities during the most difficult year Community Warehouse has ever faced.

In times like these, we get to see what an organization is really made of. Crisis can unveil our true nature and what we choose to center. I am proud to share these priorities that the Community Warehouse team established during the pandemic with demonstrated success:

Delivering our mission

  • We developed and implemented a full-service delivery model in August. Our program staff became Client Services Specialists, delivering furniture directly to each client’s home. CW delivered furniture to 2,855 people in 2020!
  • We ensured our staff had PPE to continue safely providing services, even when masks and supplies were scarce. To date, no direct service staff have contracted COVID-19.

Centering diversity, equity, and inclusion

  • In September 2020, led by two staff of color, CW applied for and was awarded a $112,900 OHA Health Equity grant.
  • We successfully solicited funds from the Collins Foundation to waive service fees for self-referred clients with no agency to represent them. Over 80% of these clients are single mothers.

Fostering financial health

  • We were awarded a PPP loan, solicited a $100k Multnomah County grant, and coordinated the 2 most successful Chair Affairs ever (virtually!). Donors gave 38% over the prior year. In total, CW raised over $1 million in fundraising revenue in 2020!
  • We received the largest grant distributed by Oregon DEQ in 2020 to restart our pick-up service in summer 2021.
  • Despite closures and limited operating hours, the Estate Stores raised nearly $350,000 in unrestricted operating dollars.

I am eager and committed to continuing these priorities alongside you. 

And as we look to the future, there is much to do. COVID isn’t going away anytime soon! We cannot look to a post-pandemic world to solve the issues at hand. We must look within, and to each other.

Community Warehouse is the only furniture bank in the tri-county region. We can create more thriving communities, in spite of the pandemic, starting with a strong foundation at home. We are resilient, creative, and brave. We’ve faced challenges before, and we’re ready.

To our Board, staff, volunteers, donors, partners, and our greater community: thank you. Thank you for your support of me and of Community Warehouse. You have inspired and challenged us, trusted our actions, and cheered us on. (And donated a lot of good stuff!)

We can only do this work togetherand together, we have enough.

In solidarity,

Anna Kurnizki
Executive Director

A Message From The Board of Directors

 

Dear Friends of Community Warehouse,

The Oregon Community Warehouse Board of Directors is pleased to announce that Anna Kurnizki has been appointed as the new Executive Director of Community Warehouse. Anna has been serving as the Interim Executive Director since last December following the departure of Dunetchka Otero-Serrano.

Many of you already know Anna. She first joined Community Warehouse as an intern in 2012 after graduating from Occidental College with a degree in Sociology. After working her way up in the development office, Anna was appointed as Development Director in 2016, and was instrumental in expanding our network of supporters and growing Community Warehouse’s private grant and donor revenue by 100% in 4 years. As the Interim Executive Director, Anna led the agency through a difficult period of COVID-imposed challenges, including a virtual Chair Affair that turned into one of our most successful events.

As Executive Director, Anna is responsible for overseeing the day-to-day operations of Community Warehouse, maintaining strong relationships with our community partners and supporters, and for working with the Board of Directors to set the long-term direction for the organization through our strategic planning process. In choosing Anna for this role, the Board was especially impressed with her deep knowledge of the organization, exceptional success as Development Director, and strong support from the Community Warehouse staff. After watching Anna ably navigate the challenges of the past five months in the interim role, we knew that she was the perfect choice for the new Executive Director.

Please join the Board in congratulating Anna on her new role and wishing her the best as she leads Community Warehouse into the future. 

Sincerely,

Ray Anderson
Community Warehouse Board President

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