COCA Hires Expert to Help Make a Dream into Reality

Bend – Constructing a cultural center in Deschutes County has been a dream of arts enthusiasts for decades. At least two serious efforts toward this end have been made. None were successful.

But now, following the successful conclusion of a necessary first step – a feasibility study that outlined the components needed by a new center for the arts – a critical second step is under way.

Consulting firm Netzel Grigsby and Associates was tasked by the COCA board of directors with helping the board build the foundational infrastructure to support and strengthen the COCA dream. 

That may seem dull. It isn’t. Here’s why.

That infrastructure will allow the COCA board, brought this far by a band of enthusiastic volunteers, to develop into a professional-level board that can carry the project through to completion at an estimated opening in 2029.

It also will help the board build an organization capable of providing a successful outreach to the Central Oregon community in preparation for a major capital campaign, currently scheduled to begin in 2024.

This effort will be led and facilitated by John C. Jepson, a Netzel Grigsby officer who lives in Bend. This local factor was considered critical by COCA board members. Jepson has more than 30 years of experience working with major nonprofit organizations. His work within nonprofits and as a consultant gives him a unique perspective regarding the opportunities and challenges facing leaders in many different types of nonprofits.

Serving as Senior Fund-Raising Officer for St. Charles Medical Center in Bend, Jepson managed the fundraising efforts and led the organization in raising over $27 million and successfully completing three major capital campaigns for a new cancer center, intensive care unit and health clinic in La Pine. 

“We, the members of the COCA board, are determined to get this done, and to do so in the most organized and professional way possible,” said Laura Thompson, COCA board chair. “That’s why we are excited that Netzel Grigsby and John Jepson have joined us with this project.”

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