My RDI journey began in 1998 when I helped assist on several community strategic plans and discovered my passion for helping rural communities thrive. I participated in RDI’s Rural Futures Forum where I fell in love with the transformational power of leadership development. I could never have anticipated that my own rural background would so passionately align with RDI’s mission, nor that I would make building leadership and encouraging prosperity in rural communities my career. A lot has changed since 1998. Over the years, I have worked directly in over 50 rural communities in the Pacific Northwest and with a vast network of rural leaders through RDI’s Ford Institute Leadership Program. I helped design, deliver, and author the leadership program and, for seven years, managed the expansion of what is now the army of highly engaged volunteer leaders which make up the Community Ambassador Team. I am excited about the future of RDI, and as Acting Executive Director, I am committed to RDI's vision of vibrant, diverse rural communities as a result of skilled, inclusive local leadership and robust community-led efforts.