M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust

It is a bittersweet day at the Trust as we share that Dana Miller has made the decision to retire from his role as senior program director for grant programs after 15 years of exemplary service. In support of a thoughtful transition to his successor, Dana will remain in his current role with the Trust through the end of 2023. In this role, Dana will help onboard his successor and ensure a smooth experience for our staff and constituents.   

Dana Miller, a man wearing a pink shirt and glasses, smiles for the camera.

“I am personally grateful to Dana for his support and partnership as I’ve joined the Trust over the last several months and for his willingness to engage in a thoughtful transition process that best supports our team and our constituents,” said Romanita Hairston, CEO, Murdock Trust. “He brings a calm, collaborative, can-do approach to the most difficult of challenges and our team is better positioned because of his thoughtful contributions.”  

Dana came to the Trust in 2008 after more than two decades of leadership roles in finance and higher education administration, including at George Fox University. With this leadership background, as well as years of dedicated service to several nonprofit boards, Dana was well suited to oversee the Trust’s grant programs and associated processes upon arrival at the Trust. He has served them with incredible excellence, grace, wisdom, and dedication ever since.   

“Dana has played an instrumental role in the grantmaking of the Murdock Trust over the last decade-and-a-half,” said John Castles, Trustee, Murdock Trust.  “His thoughtful stewardship and astute leadership have helped the Trust partner with thousands of nonprofits through his many years of service.  On behalf of my co-trustees, I can confidently say our foundation and the Pacific Northwest are stronger because of his contributions and we are grateful for his faithful service.”  

Throughout his tenure, Dana has overseen substantial growth in the Trust’s grantmaking work, going from more than 250 grants totaling around $42 million in his first year to more than 500 grants totaling more than $130 million in 2022. Dana’s leadership has been a significant factor in allowing the Trust to make effective and impactful grants while building an ecosystem of relationship with grantees. For example, Dana has overseen several new initiatives, such as our COVID-19 relief funds and Team Building Care and Initiative Funds. He has stewarded the growth of our program directors and grants team, supervised the transition to an online grants database, and overseen a major increase in grants distribution. Through it all, Dana has thoughtfully considered every Letter of Inquiry from every interested applicant. For 15 years, he has read hundreds of thousands of pages of letters and applications expressing some of the deepest needs of nonprofits in our region.   

A servant leader, Dana’s contributions to Jack’s legacy can be felt beyond the administration of the Trust’s grantmaking.  “Dana’s steadfastness has helped to nurture and guide our Trust grant staff and grantmaking processes,” said Marybeth Stewart-Goon, senior grants manager, Murdock Trust. “Always mindful of the constituents we serve, he consistently is evaluating and intentionally implementing improvements for the applicant, grantee, and Murdock grant staff. His steady guidance has supported all aspects of the Trust and affirms our commitment to the Trust’s legacy. We will all miss his humble and thoughtful approach for assuring the best outcomes for our Murdock grant staff and our constituency, but we do wish him all the best!”  

Dana, your work has touched the lives of thousands of people. Your care and work ethic has inspired every single Trust teammate for the last 15 years. And your dedication would have made Jack Murdock undoubtedly, immensely proud. We wish you nothing but the best as you enter this next season of life. You will always be part of the Murdock Trust.   

We love you, Dana!  

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