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Board Member

Aelea Christofferson

I have been retired since 2016 and spend my time working with organizations focused on making our community a better place.

I have been a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) for eight years. CASAs work with children in foster care. We establish a relationship with the children, represent them in court, ensure they are receiving needed services, and work with their parents and foster parents. Often a CASA is the most consistent adult in a child’s life.

My passion for this work stems from experiences adopting three of our five children. I also am passionate about housing issues and chair a group that will soon be building low-income housing on First Presbyterian Church of Bend excess property.

Prior to my retirement, I owned ATL Communications, a company I started out of my bedroom in 1993. ATL is the leading expert in managing and routing toll-free numbers, still operating with clients all over the world. During my time there I worked with national committees, the FCC, and the congressional committee handling telecommunications to substantially change the way toll free numbers were managed. I sold the company in 2014. That year I ran, for Congress against the incumbent. Although I did not win, I raised more money than previously raised against him and put him in a position where he had to debate me. Most importantly, I was able to talk to large groups about issues that matter to those living East of the Cascades.

I am drawn to the work of Changing Patterns for a couple reasons. One of my adopted children has had major issues with drinking and spent time in jail. I learned firsthand how difficult life is for someone with a record. Although she has been sober for several years, she continues to have issues with getting a job and managing without a license. I also worked with a young man who spent seven years in prison. When released from prison he lived with my mother and worked for my company. When I spoke to potential employers at Changing Patterns events, I shared the truth about what employers need to know when hiring returning citizens. These include parole officers bursting into your office, a constant need to go to meetings and court during work hours, and the fragility of the returning citizen. I also shared the joy of seeing him become a valued member of society.

I bring to the board experience in setting goals, executing those goals, financial management, personnel management, and networking. I have a proven record of success while always remembering to be compassionate. Since I was a child, my parents preached to me (literally, since my father was a minister) that my hope should be that the world is a better place because I have been here. I am not always successful, but it is always my goal.

Current Board Experiences:

Chairman, CDRT

Committee working to build low-income housing on church land

Session, First Presbyterian Church of Bend

This is the church’s board of ordained elders

Past Board Experiences:

Member, Cover Oregon Board, appointed by governor

President, Sunriver Chamber of Commerce

Chair, Toll Free Management Committee

Member, FCC Toll Free Committee

President, National Association of Women Business Owners, San Francisco Branch