Kathie Collins, Executive DirectorKathie Collins, Executive Director

Katherine “Kathie” Molder Collins began her career at the Argus Observer. One of her first assignments as society editor, was to cover a women’s conference. The key insight she took from one session was that each of us is on a career path; that we should do our best in each position we hold, taking all that we can from that experience to better prepare for the next leg of our journey.

So, with an associate’s degree in journalism and a bachelor’s in public relations, Kathie’s career began as an editor. She was named Employee of the Year just one year later – in 1988. In 1991, she was promoted to assistant news editor. With the support of her husband, Joe, she left the Argus in the fall of 1993 to embark on a master’s degree in women’s social issues, but after just a few months — and a call from then-superintendent David Cloud -– she began working at the Ontario 8C School District part-time as public information director and put graduate studies on hold.

Joining their son Brendon, would be a daughter, Reilly, and a son, Jack. While a member of the Five Rivers Charter Chapter of the American Business Women’s Association, Kathie was named Woman of the Year in 2001. As 8C’s Director of Public Information and Community Involvement, she served as president of the Oregon School Public Relations Association in 2002-2003.

At the close of the school year in 2005, Kathie graduated with a master’s in organization leadership and left from the district to start her own consulting business. As owner of KMC Communications, she worked with numerous organizations as a workshop presenter, newsletter editor, and meeting facilitator, with clients throughout Oregon, although largely assisting small businesses, government agencies, and nonprofit organizations throughout the western Treasure Valley. During this time, Kathie served on numerous boards including the Ontario Police Advisory Board, the TVCC Budget Board, Malheur ESD Budget Board, TVCC BizCenter Advisory Board, and the Ontario School Board.

While raising children, she also volunteered at various times as a religious education instructor, girls softball coach, DestiNation ImagiNation coach, and as a mentor to Ontario FFA students competing in ad design. When called upon, she has helped judge regional D.I. tournaments and FFA district advertising competitions as well as speech tournaments. She is an active member of the Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church, and of P.E.O., Chapter AF, and was recently elected to the board of the Nonprofit Association of Oregon.

In mid-2010, one of KMC’s nonprofit clients – the Treasure Valley Children’s Relief Nursery – hired her as its first executive director. While she loves this job, the best thing to happen to Kathie in 2010 was that she and Joe became grandparents to James Ryder Collins, who continues to be the delight of their lives. They are quite proud of their three children, each studying a different area of engineering, and their daughter-in-law, Leila, a registered nurse.

“Watching Ryder play games and learn, and seeing him develop his sense of self has more deeply strengthened my commitment to the Relief Nursery model,” Kathie says. “We have to help fragile families and those whose children have special needs so they can move from survival mode — in which parenting a young child can often be seen as a burden — to a place where children are thriving.

“Our staff are amazing individuals with a wide breadth of skills to work day in and out with these children, helping them to meet the goals set by their parents,” Kathie continued. “This community is fortunate to have a Relief Nursery, this level of quality in a program staff, and a Board of Directors so dedicated to seeing the Relief Nursery become and remain a successful entity in Malheur County.”