Farewell from Hilliary

Hilliary Giglio
Thu, 10/25/2018 (All day)

I remember it like it was yesterday, though it was 9 years ago. I pulled my car off to the side of Highway 101 where there was a small place to park and a trail leading through the trees, for a quick break on a road trip across the Pacific Northwest. I hiked on a small trail that zig zagged down the hill through the trees and what looked like a jungle to me at the time, being from Missouri and Colorado. I literally don’t think I had ever seen so much greenery along a hiking trail. After about 10 minutes of hiking, the trail opened and dumped me onto a beautiful, secluded, rocky beach of the Pacific Ocean. It was in that moment that I knew I was home.

From that moment forward, my life became about supporting, protecting and uplifting this wondrous state and the people that call it home. A career in the nonprofit sector that allowed me to contribute to a place that I had fallen deeply in love with was a fulfilling place to find myself. That journey is what led me to 1000 Friends of Oregon over two years ago. It was a great fit. Combining my background in social work and psychology, a passion for development work, and a love for the natural and built environments that this state has to offer, I was instantly drawn to our mission of enhancing the quality of life for all Oregonians.

I couldn't be prouder to have met some of the most amazing, dedicated and generous human beings on the planet, that continue to keep the mission of 1000 Friends of Oregon alive. Thank you to all of our members, from the bottom of my heart. And, I know I am one of the luckiest people to have worked alongside the wildly creative and intelligent staff and board members of 1000 Friends, that take that mission and make it a reality each and every day. I know more and love more about Oregon today than I did when you first embraced me as part of the team, and I am forever grateful.

Just over one year ago I welcomed my sweet son, Solomon, into this world. One of the things that makes me happiest about his birth story is that he became an Oregonian on the first day of his life. As I now know this happens with all parents, my life was forever changed in that moment. But, for me, each day since then has been met with an even stronger pull to spend my days showing him the world around him, starting with the wonderland of his own Oregon backyard, and teaching him the importance of stewarding the land, protecting the animals, respecting people of all walks of life, standing up for what is just, and learning the importance of living a life full of love. It is this desire that has led me to make the decision to welcome Wendy Mitchell as the new Development Director for 1000 Friends of Oregon.  

While there are sacrifices involved, I know I am following my life’s purpose by listening to my heart and living my life as authentically as I can. That means passing the reigns to another fearless nonprofit leader to continue to steward the members of 1000 Friends of Oregon and their generous investments in this work.

I look forward to watching the organization grow and evolve into the future and have no doubt that we will continue to build relationships, show up legislatively, advocate for livability, support our farmers, ranchers, and foresters, and make more people aware of the importance of land use planning and teach them that it is why they love Oregon so much. As Solomon and I go off to adventure, rest assured we’ll continue to be a voice for these things as well. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to learn, grow and love as a part of this organization over the last two years.