Board of Directors

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Board of Director Biographies

 

Charles Putney
Charles “Chuck” Putney
 

Charles Putney is one of two original trustees appointed to the Miller Foundation by Mr. Miller and has remained President of the foundation board since its earliest inception.
 

Mr. Putney was born in Oregon and raised in Portland and Medford and graduated from Portland State University. He began working as a stockbroker at Blyth & Co. It was at Blyth & Co. in the 1960s that he forged his relationship with Mr. Miller, who was then President of the company and living in New York. Mr. Miller, an Oregonian, kept strong ties to Oregon throughout his life. Mr. Miller appointed Mr. Putney and Mr. William Blount as trustees when he created the foundation following a move back to Oregon in the late 1990's.
 

Blyth and Co. was eventually bought out by Paine Webber/UBS Financial Services, where Mr. Putney was the Senior Vice President and Resident Manager for 13 years. 

Mr. Putney works for RBC Wealth Management and he divides his time between Portland, Oregon and Tucson, Arizona.
 

 

Subashini Ganesan-Forbes
Subashini “Suba” Ganesan-Forbes

Suba Ganesan-Forbes is a curator, arts administrator, choreographer, and former Creative Laureate of Portland (2018 – June 2021).
 

As a Bharathanatyam artist, Ms. Ganesan-Forbes has been learning, teaching, performing, and presenting this art form for over four decades. She founded Natya Leela Academy in 2008, where she teaches and explores universal expressions of Bharathatyam. Her contemporary works include deep collaborations with acclaimed artists and arts organizations including Mike Barber (Founder, Ten Tiny Dances), Michelle Fujii (UNIT SOUZOU), Sabina Haque, Amna Mawaz Khan (Pakistan/Germany), Anita Menon, DJ Anjali, Third Angle New Music, PICA, APANO, and Portland Center Stage.
 

She founded New Expressive Works (N.E.W.) in 2012. Through residencies, artist conversations, and performance seasons, this vibrant performing arts venue celebrates bold new works created by multicultural independent performing artists. N.E.W. has received the Regional Arts & Culture Council’s 2018 Juice! Award and White Bird’s 2019 Community Engagement Award for providing critical and affordable creative space for local, diverse artists.  In her most recent project, she led a 6-month “Supporting Community Healing Through Art” Initiative through the Portland City Arts Program.

Ms. Ganesan-Forbes is an Adjunct Professor at Pacific University, teaching arts advocacy, an active Community Advisory Committee member of the Interstate Firehouse Cultural Center, and serves on the Board of Directors for the Portland Parks Foundation as well.

She and her husband, Scott, live in Portland.  
 

 

Donald Grotting
Donald “Don” Grotting

Don Grotting grew up one of six children in Coquille, Oregon and served in the U.S. Army right out of High School. He graduated from Linfield College in Elementary Education. He earned his master’s degree in Educational Policy, Foundations and Administration from Portland State University in 1996, and achieved an Administrative License from Portland State University two years later. Mr. Grotting attained his Superintendent’s License in 2001 from Lewis and Clark College. 
 

His dedication is evident in his past work and accomplishments as a teacher, principal, and Superintendent in the Powers, Nyssa, David Douglas, and Beaverton School Districts. He was named Oregon Superintendent of the Year in 2014 while serving in the David Douglas School District. He was also selected as the Oregon Music Administrator of the Year in 2015.
 

He is currently serving his second term as vice-chair of Governor Kate Brown’s Educator Advancement Council, a member of the Oregon Association School Executives and its leadership council, Oregon Association of School Executives Early Learning Workgroup, past chair of the Portland State University Graduate School of Education Advisory Committee, and he has served multiple terms on the Oregon School Activities Association Board as president and board member, focused on advancing opportunities in speech, dance, music, cheerleading, and athletics where he received the National Federation of High Schools Service award in 2016.
 

Mr. Grotting is married to his wife, Lisa, and has four children, three grandchildren (soon to be four), and two great grandchildren.
 

 

Giyen Kim

Giyen Kim has spent the last twenty years in public service in the non-profit and government sectors. Her passion for serving her community started in Seattle's affordable housing sector, where she became a strong advocate for increasing housing opportunities for underserved populations and communities of color. Since then, Ms. Kim has worked on advancing both urban and rural land conservation policy, served as part of the Seattle Mayor's homeless response team, and coordinated the city's cybersecurity response efforts.
 

Since moving to Portland in 2019, Ms. Kim has worked as Portland's City Arts Manager and oversaw the city's federally funded pandemic relief efforts. She currently works for Metro, helping to reimagine how government engages with communities in decision-making and leading the conversations on the future of the Expo Center. In addition, Ms. Kim serves as a Board member of the Oregon Film Creative Made Foundation and supports the city's efforts to develop a new cultural arts plan for the region.
 

Ms. Kim resides in northeast Portland, where she spends her free time writing, painting, and building community.
 

 

Peter Koehler

Peter Koehler is a fifth-generation Oregonian. He attended Boalt Hall School of Law, Berkeley, receiving a J.D, in 1982, and graduated with Distinction from Stanford University in 1978.

Mr. Koehler is the principal of Koehler ADR, LLC, which offers arbitration and mediation services for commercial and sports-related business disputes.   He retired in October 2014 as Vice-President, Legal, for NIKE, Inc., where he managed the global Legal Department and advised the business. Prior to NIKE, he was a partner with Tonkon Torp LLP, Portland Oregon, including serving as the Managing Partner from 1997–2002.
 

Mr. Koehler has served on a number of non-profit boards including the Oregon Shakespeare Festival (past President), Oregon Environmental Council, Classroom Law Project (President), Portland Institute for Contemporary Art (past President), the Volunteer Lawyers Project (past President), Artists Repertory Theatre (past President), and the Multnomah County Legal Services for the Poor Committee (past President). He joined the Miller Foundation board in 2015.
 

He and his wife Noel Hanlon, a poet, live in north Marion County on a working farm.
 

 

Kali Thorne Ladd

Kali Ladd was raised in New England. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education and Psychology from Boston College and earned a Master’s Degree in Education Policy from Harvard University.
 

Ms. Ladd comes to the board as a social entrepreneur and passionate advocate for equity and education transformation with a background that spans from teacher to policy maker over the last 23 years. After spending four years as Education Director for former Mayor Sam Adams, Ms. Ladd co-founded KairosPDX, a nonprofit dedicated to closing opportunity and achievement gaps for historically marginalized children. In 2021, Ms. Ladd became the Chief Executive Officer of the Children’s Institute, a statewide advocate for early learning and the healthy development of young children.
 

In 2012, Ms. Ladd won election to the Portland Community College Board of Directors, a board she chaired. In 2016, Ms. Ladd was appointed by Governor Brown to the Early Learning Council of Oregon, where she also currently serves. Ms. Ladd has also worked overseas in South Africa teaching and supporting the development of two community based-projects: a community library and a women-owned bakery.
 

Ms. Ladd resides in Portland with her husband, Billy, two children and a friendly black lab.
 

 

Alice McCartor

Alice McCartor grew up in Chicago, graduated from the University of Pennsylvania and completed her graduate degree at the University of Connecticut School of Social Work.  She looked around for a congenial city with a great outdoors and landed in Portland to start her career in 1972. 
 

Ms. McCartor first worked for and eventually led the Washington County’s Department of Public Health and Human Services.  It was there that she developed her love of helping nonprofit organizations plan and deliver community services.   In 1992, at mid-career, that focus brought her to Meyer Memorial Trust where she served as a Program Officer, analyzing proposals for funding from nonprofits across the state until 2004. She joined the Miller Board in 2002 and thoroughly enjoys keeping her hand in the work of supporting Oregon’s nonprofit community.
 

Ms. McCartor and her husband live in a co-housing community where she enjoys landscaping and gardening. Also she enjoys drawing and is learning portraiture.
 

 

William Swindells
William “Bill” Swindells

Bill Swindells is a fifth-generation Oregonian. His earliest ancestors arrived in the late 1880’s and were involved in the railroad and lumber business, in which they were active for three generations. He was raised in Salem, graduated from the University of Oregon with a BS in Economics and received his MBA from University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School of Business, which led to careers in banking, real estate development and publishing.
 

Mr. Swindells has a long history of public service, including eight years as a Lake Oswego School Board member. He served on the boards of Clackamas Community College Foundation, Ronald McDonald House, Jesuit High School, University of Oregon Foundation, Trillium Family Services and volunteered for Oregon Community Foundation.
 

In addition to his service on the Miller Foundation board, which he joined in 2011, he has served on the boards of Oregon Public Broadcasting, Wild Salmon Center, OHSU Foundation, Ann & Bill Swindells Charitable Trust and The Chalkboard Project. He and his wife, Heather, live in Lake Oswego.    

 

John Tapogna
 

John Tapogna arrived in Oregon during his 8th grade year by way of Pomona, California and Arlington, Texas. He’s a graduate of Beaverton High School, the University of Oregon, and Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government.
 

Mr. Tapogna is passionate about creating measurable, positive change for people and communities with fewer opportunities. This passion inspired him to study social policy in graduate school, evaluate welfare reforms at the Congressional Budget Office, serve with the Peace Corps in Chile, design award-winning safety net prescreening websites, and volunteer on the boards of nonprofits that serve children and families. Across his 25-year consulting career, he has assessed the effects of a wide range of social, education, housing, pension, and tax policies in every corner of Oregon.
 

Mr. Tapogna and his wife Ingrid, a middle school Spanish teacher, live in Portland.