M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust

“The real competitive advantage in any business is one word: people.”

– Kamil Toume

One of the great joys of our work is having the opportunity to meet and collaborate with so many of the amazing teams working to serve the common good of our region. We have seen firsthand how these individuals are central to the success of the work of these organizations that help ensure our communities flourish and thrive.

Similarly, when we meet with partners and constituents, we consistently hear how much they appreciate the dedicated team here at the Murdock Trust that works tirelessly to help support their efforts.  We are fortunate and grateful to work with a group of dedicated, talented professionals who bring a wide variety of backgrounds, skills, and experiences to help serve our mission.

Historically, the Trust has always sought to grow our work to serve and support more individuals, families, and communities. For a variety of reasons, the Trust has had the opportunity to lean into this growth at a much more rapid rate over the last two years, experiencing significant steps forward in several areas of our missional service. We are humbled and grateful for these opportunities and inspired by the individuals and organizations who are on the front lines doing the critical work in which we invest to serve the Pacific Northwest.

To best support these blessings, we have been fortunate to grow our outstanding team, adding a few new faces to our ranks while also adapting the roles and responsibilities of some of our current staff. Today, we wanted to share some of the new faces you’ll be seeing around our offices and tomorrow we will share the exciting new opportunities for some of our existing staff.

Let’s meet the newest members of the Murdock Trust!


Jenna Watson, Communications Assistant

Jenna provides strategic administrative and editorial support to the Communications team at the Trust. A recent graduate of Wheaton College, Jenna holds a degree in English Literature, though she is interested in a variety of disciplines thanks to her liberal arts education. At Wheaton, Jenna served on research teams for nonprofit organizations and workplace equity through a fellowship program, which encouraged her to pursue work in nonprofit communications. In her free time, Jenna enjoys reading, hiking with her sisters and exploring the Portland/Vancouver area as a new resident of the Pacific Northwest.


Jenni Burkholder, Receptionist and Administrative Assistant

Jenni provides countless partners and guests with their first impression of the Trust as she manages our front desk and a variety of administrative responsibilities supporting work across our team. Her professional background includes administrative and constituent-engagement roles with the Morgan Hill Unified School District, Visiting Angels, Fit Right Northwest, and Informix Software/IBM. A graduate of OSU, Jenni earned her Master’s at George Fox.


Katie Wise, Graduate Research Fellow

Katie brings a uniquely valuable professional background to the Trust. She is currently pursuing a Master’s degree in Marriage, Couples, and Family Counseling after building a successful career in corporate training and leadership, most recently serving as Director of Operations for Community Leadership and Development Inc. in Billings, Montana. A graduate of the University of North Texas, Katie will bring her organizational leadership skills and familiarity with the needs of nonprofits in the Pacific Northwest to help support our Enrichment team across a variety of programs.


Sarah Ruckle, Assistant Program Coordinator for Enrichment

Sarah provides administrative, organizational, and execution support for all Enrichment programs at the Murdock Trust. Recently a Marketing Administrative Assistant at Medical Teams International, Sarah began her career in the region as an Oregon Fellow with the Trust. Sarah graduated from the University of Virginia with a double major in Religious Studies and Youth and Social Innovation.


Shannon Hendricks, Investment Associate

Shannon plays an essential role in supporting our Investment team across a variety of areas, including research and data analytics. Shannon joined the Murdock Trust in the Fall of 2020 as an Oregon Fellow, supporting a variety of areas of our mission before focusing her efforts on our investment work. Shannon earned her undergraduate degree and MBA at the University of Notre Dame where she was also a Division-1 soccer player.


Tomorrow we will have some exciting updates regarding new roles and responsibilities for some of our existing team members. In the meantime, please join us in giving Sarah, Shannon, Jenni, Jenna, and Katie a warm welcome!

*Welcome Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash

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The Trust guides nonprofit organizations through every level of their development through grants and other resources.

The Trust has a wealth of knowledge and experience that can make all the difference to you and your organization.