M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust

As our CEO Romanita Hairston has shared in recent updates, we are in a critical period of reflection and renewal as an organization. Some of the fruit of this reflection is the strategic investment in new staff members that will expand our capacity as an organization and allow us to better serve the nonprofits that make the Pacific Northwest thrive. For this reason, we are thrilled to announce several staff updates and additions to our Murdock Trust team.

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Mikaela Tidland joins the team as our new Front Office Assistant. In this role, Mikaela is the first face visitors see when they arrive at the Trust. In addition to creating a welcoming environment for guests, she provides essential administrative and day-to-day support to Trust staff. Before coming to the Trust, Mikaela spent more than three years at Medical Teams International on their Marketing and Development team doing Gift Processing, giving her an understanding of nonprofit work that informs her role at the Trust. She is a graduate of George Fox University where she got her B.A. in International Studies and was involved in a study abroad program.

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As Mikaela takes on this role, Jenni Burkholder will transition from primarily working at the front desk to serving as Finance and Investments Office Manager. She will assist the Business, Investment, and Finance teams with a variety of day-to-day operations including key communications, scheduling, legal document preparation, and front desk management. We’re so grateful for Jenni’s year and a half of front desk leadership and excited for her new role on our team!

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Sara Thompson will be our first-ever Events Manager, leading the strategic vision and execution of Murdock Trust events and convenings. Before coming to the Trust, Sara served as Director of Development for the Little League International Softball program for 13 years. In this role, she modernized and transformed the program, expanded national grassroots participation, grew global partnerships to more than 30 countries, and directed high-profile projects including three international tournaments. A graduate of Coastal Carolina University, Sara returns to the Pacific Northwest and is eager to apply her passion for strengthening communities through strategic vision to this new context. We can’t wait for Sara to bring these gifts to Trust events and our team!

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We are also thrilled to welcome Sara O’Brien as Administrative Assistant to the Executive Office. In this role, Sara manages calendars, assists with special projects, coordinates written responses, prepares agendas and minutes for staff meetings, and other critical administrative tasks for the CEO and other senior leaders. She comes to the Trust after ten years of co-owning a small business where she led marketing, coordination, project management, finances, customer service, and more. Prior to that, she held administrative roles in the hospitality industry after graduating from the University of Oklahoma. We know Sara will provide critical support to our executive office and we’re so happy she’s here!

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Finally, we’re so grateful for Danielle Neumann’s support of HR and other organizational projects as Special Projects Support. Danielle brings crucial leadership and professional HR background and training to projects that serve the Trust team. A graduate of Virginia Tech with a degree in sociology, she brings over 20 years of operations management and HR leadership. She enjoys baseball, cooking, spending time with her family outdoors, and reading.

Please join us in warmly welcoming these four new team members and celebrating Jenni’s new role. We know each of these individuals will advance the mission of the Murdock Trust in their work!

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