Board of Directors
brian Vernon, President
Brian was Born in Bend, Oregon and moved back in 2007. Brian is the National Sales Manager for HYDAWAY, a collapsible water bottle company here in Bend. Brian has two adventurous boys in elementary school and he is often found outside playing soccer, basketball or football with them. Brian also enjoys staying active, supporting the Oregon Ducks, and catching as many Dave Matthews shows as possible. He has been honored to have served on the Board since 2014. His passion is advocating for women and families, and to promote the value of living life free from violence.
Aaron Brenneman, Treasurer
Aaron Brenneman has been practicing law in Central Oregon since 2000. Formerly the Chief Deputy District Attorney for Crook County, Aaron opened his own law practice in the Spring of 2017. He graduated from Willamette University College of Law and received his Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Oregon State University. Aaron originally joined the Saving Grace Board in 2012 but took a leave of absence for a little over a year. He rejoined the Board in 2017. Aaron is married to his wife, Alana, and they have two very active middle school aged children. The Brenneman family enjoys outdoor activities including skiing, snowboarding, hiking and camping.
elizabeth conway, VP/Recruiting
Elizabeth has been a partner and clinician of Life Works of Central Oregon, LLC, since 1995. She earned her MS in Education and Child Psychology from Western Oregon University and was a doctoral student in clinical psychology at Capella University from 2001-2006. Prior to joining Life Works of Central Oregon, Elizabeth was a Lecturer for eight years in Education and Developmental Psychology at Massey University, New Zealand. Upon her return to Oregon, she was a full-time instructor teaching psychology and education at Central Oregon Community College. Elizabeth enjoys time in the wilderness, reading and writing poetry, film of all sorts—especially independent films and documentaries, cooking, music, and time with family.
Cheryl Parton has been investing the community of Bend via a spirit of volunteerism and storytelling since moving here in 1999. With a Master's in Journalism from Northwestern University, she has had a career in publishing and project management, and is currently editor of Bend Lifestyle Magazine. Having raised three children in Bend, she is an advocate for women, men and families to imagine (and live) a life without violence. Cheryl enjoys the active Pacific Northwest lifestyle, especially when it involves the water of Oregon’s rivers, lakes and Coast.
Recently retired, Dean has over 40 years of financial leadership experience with national and global insurance companies. He and his wife, Sharon, moved to Bend in 2016 from Nashville, TN to be closer to their children and grandchildren. Dean is a graduate of West Virginia University and earned an MBA from California State University – San Jose. Both Dean and Sharon enjoy many of Central Oregon outdoor activities including skiing, hiking, biking, rafting and fishing. They can be seen around Bend walking their 2 golden doodles: Walker and Paarl.
Tina Redd, Secretary
Tina Redd is the Director of Central Oregon Community College's Redmond Campus. Prior to her role as Director, Tina taught Humanities at Central Oregon Community College. She joined the college in 2008. Tina's teaching career includes professorships at the University of Washington and the University of Arkansas. She also taught at Portland Community College. Tina earned her doctorate degree at the University of Washington. She joined the board in August 2016 and, whenever possible, enjoys spending time with her family, kayaking, and walking on the beautiful beaches along the Oregon coast.
Sally Sorensen, VP/Recruiting
Sally has lived full time in Central Oregon since 2008, when she and her husband moved here to live close to their two sons and their families. Sally earned her Bachelor’s degree in Management and Human Relations from Trevecca Nazarene University in Nashville, Tennessee, has over 25 years of experience working in human resources, and has been certified as a Senior Professional in Human Resources for 15 years. Previously, Sally served on the Barry County Child Abuse Counsel in Hastings, Michigan, on the board for the Women’s Resource Center of Central Oregon (WRCCO), as a member of Sunriver Rotary Club, and on the Board of the Rotary Club of Glenville, NY. Sally has been on Saving Grace’s Board since September 2015.
Maggie moved to Central Oregon in 2007 and has worked for St. Charles Health System since that time. She is currently the Manager of Community Health Strategy in the Population Health department. Maggie earned her undergraduate degree from Oregon State University in Health Management and Policy, and her Master’s degree in Business Administration from Regis University. She is a lifetime Oregonian, growing up in Gearhart, a small beach town on the northern coast. Maggie, her husband Ryan, and their son reside in Redmond and very much enjoy spending time outdoors.
René gentry Smith
Before retiring, René received a BS degree in Management, with a Telecommunications Systems Management specialty, from Marylhurst University in Marylhurst, Oregon. She worked for a number of Oregon high-tech companies, where her career spanned technical sales support, technical training and writing, instructional design, and program and project management. In 2004, she and her husband chose Bend as their home because of the skiing, kayaking, hiking, and bicycling it affords. Previously, she has served on the Board of the local Newcomers Club of Bend, and organized and guided hikes for the women’s social organization. René has been volunteering for Saving Grace since about 2010, and joined the Board in 2012.