Nick Hardigg, Executive Director
Nick's first experience at park philanthropy was far from conventional, and probably shouldn't be repeated. "I grew up in a small New Hampshire town, and there weren't many parks or recreation programs. The local kids would swim in a river downtown, and my friends and I dreamed of having a rope swing. We found a suitable tree, I donated a fine old rope, and my gutsy friend gave in-kind labor and climbed the tree. New Boston's most popular swimming hole was born."
Nick's professional experience promoting parks and protecting natural lands goes back fifteen years using fundraising, advocacy, and public-private partnerships. Before joining Portland Parks Foundation, Nick led Alaska's largest fundraising foundation for the environment, Alaska Conservation Foundation, where he successfully restructured programs and tripled funds raised to over $4 million annually. He has worked for The Nature Conservancy in Oregon as director of finance and operations, and was in charge of public-private partnerships for the National Park Service at the Grand Canyon and Denali National Park, where he initiated nationally-recognized fundraising programs and contracting reforms.
Nick has an MBA from Yale University, and a BA in environmental science from Wesleyan University. He serves on boards of the Association of Partners for Public Lands, Alaska Geographic (the nonprofit partner for Alaska's parks), and the MBA Nonprofit Connection. Past board experience includes Bicycle Commuters of Anchorage (co-founder), the Foraker Group (Alaska's nonprofit association), and the Grand Canyon Community Center. In his free time, Nick can often be found in parks with his son, envisioning programs to make parks even better.
Jessie "Parks" Bond, Program Coordinator
Jessica "Jessie" Bond operates the programmatic and communication areas of the Foundation which include outreach & advocay, social media, web development, partnerships, fiscal sponsorships, and our citywide volunteer event, Parke Diem. She joined the team in Summer 2012 leading our outreach efforts, and attended nearly 60 free concerts in Portland parks rallying people to join our movement and raising awareness on the needs of our park system.
Jessie earned her BA in Human Development from Colby College. Since graduating in 2010, she has been following her passion of reconnecting people with nature, and traveling across the country as an environmental educator. Her naturalist background includes teaching marine science classes on Nantucket Island, leading wildflower and natural history tours in Aspen, Colorado, and facilitating adventure trips in North Carolina. Her entry to Oregon was as a wildlife field instructor for Northwest Regional Educational School District's Outdoor School. She has volunteered for several Portland nonprofits, including The Natural Step, Living Future Institute, Growing Gardens, Girls Inc. and The Intertwine Alliance.
As an East Coast native, Jessie fell in love with the outdoors during her summer family hiking trips in the White Mountains. She loves skiing, backpacking, kayaking and biking, and has been amazed by the incredible urban parks that Portland has to offer within its city limits.