Community Foundation of NCW Announces New Trustees

The Community Foundation of NCW announces of 6 new Board of Trustees: Dennis Bolz, Betsy Cushman, Alan Groff, John Hamilton, Craig Nelson, and Jeff Ostenson.

dennisbolz215Dennis Bolz was born and raised on a farm in Southern Oregon. He attended the University of La Verne where he majored in History and earned teaching certificates for K-12. In 1971, Dennis and his family moved to Wenatchee where he spent 15 years teaching and coaching, followed by a career in administration as an assistant principal, then superintendent. Dennis retired from his educator career in 2001 and spent the next 5 years as a consultant. In 2006 he ran for Chelan County PUD Commissioner and currently holds that post, and is President of the Washington PUD Association. Dennis recently celebrated 48 years of marriage to his wife Jocelyn and they have three adult sons who are married with children.

betsycushman215Betsy Cushman has served as the Executive Director of Methow Recycles in Twisp since 2001 and as an advisor to the Methow Valley Fund since 2009. She completed the Certificate in Fundraising training sponsored by the Nonprofit Practices Institute in 2011. Betsy has over 30 years of non-profit and for-profit experience, serving on volunteer boards, managing programs, systems, and people. She believes passionately in the power of community and the amazing work done by volunteers and non-profits. Betsy and her wife, Barb, live in Winthrop where they enjoy hiking, camping, boating, skiing, playing in a marimba band, and spending time with good friends.

alangroff215Alan Groff came to Wenatchee Washington, his wife Mari’s hometown, to put down roots in a community where his family of five children could thrive. Alan’s family owns fruit orchards raising apples, pears and cherries in the Wenatchee area. Alan studied electrical and computer engineering at Ohio State and Devry Institute of Technology and has a PhD in Health Science and Technology a joint program at Harvard and MIT. After graduate school and prior to relocating west in Wenatchee, Alan lived in New York City and worked for McKinsey & Company, a global management consulting firm, where he advised large corporations on their business practices. Alan is CEO of Foreman Fruit Co., and is a member in the Northwest Pear Research Board, a member of WSU’s Endowment Advisory Committee and a Central Washington adviser for Northwest Farm Credit.  Alan is a board member of The River Academy, Pomona Insurance Co., and Tree Top Inc.

johnhamilton215John Hamilton moved to Wenatchee in 1997, serving as Chief Operating Officer and later for a short time as CEO at Central Washington Hospital. John grew up the son of a physician in the Army, moving every three years – often between Honolulu and Washington, DC. After graduating from Duke University in 1969, he entered the Army Medical Service Corps and served four years, mostly in Germany. He attended Trinity University in San Antonio, where he received his Master’s degree in Healthcare Administration. John has worked in hospitals in the San Francisco area, Southern California, and Fresno before moving to Wenatchee. John has been involved in the community throughout his career, as a member of Rotary and serving on several boards, including the Wenatchee Valley Chamber of Commerce, and Confluence Health Foundation.  John retired from Central Washington Hospital in 2014. He and his wife, Kathy, enjoy traveling, friends, and spending time at their cabin on Crawfish Lake during the summer. John also enjoys outdoor activities such as cross country skiing, hiking and walking their dog, Duke.

craigtnelson215Craig Nelson was born and raised in Hobart, Washington. He attended Central Washington University and earned a Bachelor’s degree in Geography to work in land use planning.  An internship with the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service led to a temporary job for the Naches Ranger District near Yakima. In 1995, Craig began working as a Natural Resource Technician for the Kittitas County Conservation District in Ellensburg, followed by an appointment as District Manager for the Okanogan Conservation District. Craig has participated in the Washington AgForestry Leadership Development program and served as an Okanogan City Councilmember. His wife Connie, and their two sons, Alex and Austin enjoy school and sporting activities, family vacations, and building a home in Okanogan.  In his spare time Craig volunteers with youth sports as a coach, official, or unofficial sports photographer. He also serves as the Immediate Past Chair of the Board of the Trustees for the Washington AgForestry Leadership Program and locally as the Membership and Social Media Chair for the Okanogan Athletic Booster Club.

jeffostenson215Jeff Ostenson grew up on a local apple and pear orchard. He left to pursue his education at Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma, moved to Bellingham to marry his future wife, Heather, and in 1997, the two returned to their hometown of Wenatchee to pursue a goal of improving the community around them. Jeff spent several years as a mental health provider and was also the General Manager of an organic tree fruit packing operation. Today, Jeff is the owner of North 40 Productions, a digital media production house in Wenatchee. Over the last nine years, Jeff and his team have amassed substantial experience working with clients to develop and deliver marketing messages and by creating their own original material. From Wenatchee to Austin Texas, from fruit growers, non-profits, state agencies and Native American Tribes to from ski areas and mountain bike trails, Jeff and his crew have consulted on a remarkably diverse group of projects and filmed in produced stories around the world creating TV commercials, animations, motion graphics, documentary shorts, narrative shorts, and feature documentary films. Jeff is currently serving as President of the Board at the Numerica Performing Arts Center and volunteers with the Chelan Douglas Land Trust, Greater Wenatchee Technology Alliance, and the Wenatchee School District. He also enjoys skiing and biking of all sorts.

The foundation wishes to acknowledge outgoing Trustees for their time and service to the North Central Washington region: Hank Manriquez, Dr. Peter Rutherford, Kris Taylor, Nevio Tontini, and Dr. David Weber.

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Xitlali Cruz


I am currently pursuing a degree in Mechanical Engineering with a minor in Computer Science at Stanford. Since the beginning of my freshman year I have been involved with clubs such as Stanford’s Space Initiative (SSI) and the Society of Latinx Engineers (SOLE). In SSI I built a rocket and launched it.


Aero Methow Rescue Service


Due to being rural, remote, and geographically isolated, we must be prepared to do more than respond to emergencies. We have become a healthcare partner who fills gaps in service. The grant allowed our board the time and ability to work with a Strategic Planner to modify our plan to address those gaps.


Chelan Douglas Volunteer Attorney Services


The grant provided funds to hire a Housing Justice and Outreach Coordinator to visit rural and underserved areas. Rosie’s bilingual and bicultural skills and experience have increased equity of service. Rosie is building partnerships with local organizations through events such as the Columbia Valley Community Health’s Back to School Drive, as well as posting yard signs.

Tenoch Mandujano

Tenoch Mandujano

Scholarship Recipient

My father was a migrant agricultural worker who eventually started his own cherry and apple orchard. He told me if I wanted to live a better life, I had to get an education. I plan on starting a career with the Chelan PUD with a passion for renewable energy and in turn give back to my parents and community for supporting my dreams.

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