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2019 Oregon Heritage Summit - Medford

Culture of Board Engagement, April 25-26 in Medford

Summit Information

Every heritage organization builds its capabilities on four dimensions of sustainable impact: leadership, strategy, brand, and culture. The first of these- leadership- is always the starting point for building a stronger, more capable organization, and strong leadership starts with the board of directors. Board members need to know what their job is and how they can be most effective in doing that job.

The 2019 Summit in Medford will dig deeply into the theory and practice of great boards- what a good board looks like, how every board needs to reflect the individual purpose and community it serves, and how organizations can build and sustain a strong board team. More than just listening and learning, this session will provide immediate, practical advice on how to make your board stronger, more resilient, and more effective in your community.

Goals of Summit

  • Attendees leave with knowledge about board roles, responsibilities, and best practices.
  • Attendees will gain practical tools and strategies for elevating the practice of their boards
  • Attendees will leave inspired to implement best practices where possible


Keynote Update:

Keynote Conversation on Big Ideas in Governance

Hear the challenges and successes of nonprofit heritage boards during this interactive keynote panel facilitated by Marc Smiley. Judy Margles, executive director of the Oregon Jewish Museum and Center for Holocaust Education, Willie Richardson, board president of the Oregon Black Pioneers, and Nicolas Phair, board president of Klamath Falls Downtown Association will share ideas about how their boards are making a difference in the community.

Summit Facilitator: Marc Smiley

Marc Smiley is the Principal at Solid Ground Consulting and has been a consultant in Oregon for over 30 years, including extensive work with historic preservation groups. He brings a perspective of understanding and passion for effective community service to his work. Marc has written two books on effective nonprofits: Land Trust Boards: Preparing for Perpetuity, and Building the Foundation of Fundraising Success.


Registration is open! Click the price links under Early Bird to register by category.
Registration Rates
Early Bird - until 4/4/19​ Regular - until 4/18/19​ Late - until 4/25/19​
Summit - includes Banquet​ ​$85 ​$110 $150
Summit (Student) - includes Banquet​ ​$50 ​$75 ​$100
Oregon Heritage Excellence Awards Only​ $40 ​$65 ​$100

*Summit registration includes dinner at the Oregon Heritage Excellence Awards banquet. Lunches are not included.

 Summit Scholarship

 Scholarships are available to provide financial assistance to heritage groups that send two or more representatives (at least one must be a board member) to attend the Oregon Heritage Summit in Medford. Scholarships will be reimbursable and offered on a first-come, first-served basis, providing up to $300 per organization. Funds may be used to cover costs associated with attending the Summit such as registration, lodging, transportation, and meals.

For complete requirements and eligibility, access the scholarship link below:
Questions and/or completed scholarships may be submitted to Beth Dehn at Beth.Dehn@Oregon.gov or (503) 986-0696.

Oregon Heritage Excellence Awards Banquet

Join friends and colleagues for dinner at the 13th annual Oregon Heritage Excellence Awards! Awards will be presented to individuals, organizations and projects that have made the most of their available resources to make exceptional contributions to preserving Oregon's heritage.

The reception starts at 6:00 p.m. providing a great chance to mingle, and then move to the banquet and awards ceremony at 7:00 p.m. Highlights include a history moment by Gary Buck and Harold Hartman of the Siskiyou Smokejumper Base Museum, and award presentations by Chelsea Rose, Oregon Heritage Commissioner, and Ron Brown, former news anchor for KDVR and 2010 Heritage Excellence Award winner.

Summit Schedule 

The most complete Summit Schedule can be found here. Check back for updates.


Wednesday, April 24 Arriving in Medford early? Join the fun!

5-7 p.m. Informal History Walking Tour- Free
Join Ben Truwe of Southern Oregon Historical Society for a walking tour of historic downtown Medford. The tour is approx. a quarter mile long and will include at least one flight of stairs. No registration required. Meet at 106 N Central Ave. by 5 p.m. to participate. Tour ends at Jefferson Spirits where you can purchase a specialty Heritage cocktail!

7 p.m. Keeping Historic Cemeteries Alive! Talk - Free
Join the Oregon Commission on Historic Cemeteries at 4 Daughters, 126 West Main Street, for a presentation that explores events in historic cemeteries that connect people with their local history. Presentation will include a historic portrayal and descriptions of music and events found in cemeteries in Oregon and beyond. Presenters include commissioners Mike Leamy from Astoria, Mark Petire with Confederated Tribes of Coos, Lower Umpqua and Siuslaw Indians from North Bend, and Milo Reed with Oregon Black Pioneers from Portland. Joining the commissioners will be Dirk Siedlecki with Friends of Jacksonville Pioneer Cemetery. No registration required.

Thursday, April 25

8:30 a.m. Committee Meetings

11:30 a.m. Summit Registration Opens
       (lunch on own)

12:30 p.m. Summit Begins

4:00 p.m. Oregon Heritage Fellows Presentation

6:00 p.m. Reception

7:00 p.m. Oregon Heritage Excellence Awards

Friday, April 26

8:30 a.m. Summit Resumes


12:00 p.m. Summit Ends
         (lunch on own)


12:30 p.m. Heritage MentorCorps Meeting

Summit Content

The Heritage Summit brings together staff and board members from across heritage disciplines to participate in day of content related to board engagement.
Through small group activities and large group discussions, the agenda will weave together learning about best practices and applying those ideas to your group's needs. Multiple participants from each organization are encouraged to attend to develop strategies for putting ideas to work back home.
The Summit will cover:
  • The role and function of a board of directors
    • Relationship to community as stewards of community funds
    • Fiduciary, strategic, and generative roles of board leadership
    • Distinction between oversight and micro-management
    • Theory of delegation
  • Adapting best practices to your board of directors
    • Setting appropriate expectations
    • Defining the right size and scope for your board
    • Organizational structure
  • Building the best possible board for your heritage organization
    • Overview of the board development process
    • Creating a board development process for your group

Participants are encouraged to bring copies of their organization's board documents to refer to during the training, including:

  • Board Handbook
  • Orientation Materials
  • Board Member Job Description
  • Strategic, Action and Implementation Plans
  • Matrix for Board Profiles

Follow the Oregon Heritage Exchange blog for stories related to the Summit, including:

The Heritage Conference vs. Heritage Summit

A Guide to Nonprofit Board Service in Oregon

Does your heritage organization have a board handbook?

From Monthly "Chats" to Productive Board Meetings at the Columbia Gorge Discovery Center

Venue, Lodging & Parking

All events will take place at:
200 North Riverside Ave
Medford OR 97501
Discounted conference rates can be booked by calling the hotel at (toll free 866) 541-779-5811 or following this booking link. The cut-off date for reservations is Friday, April 5. Please make reservations prior to April 5th to secure rooms at discounted rates.
Queen Guestroom: $91
Queen Queen Guestroom: $91
King Guestroom: $96
Executive Suite: $151

Southern Oregon Events

Extend your stay in southern Oregon! Inn at the Commons is extending discounted room rates to participants three days before and after the Summit. Here are a few events to take advantage of:
Oregon Shakespeare Festival: Tickets for plays including As You Like It, Cambodian Rock Band, Hairspray the Musical, Between Two Knees, and Mother Road will be available in late April.
Medford Comic Con 2019: The 5th annual Medford Comic Con will be April 26-28. It is a free event that grows in scope and attendance each year. Watch for information to be released.
Taste of Ashland: Ashland Gallery Association hosts A Taste of Ashland on April 27 & 28 that includes a shuttle to 17 art galleries located in downtown Ashland and sampling the best of food and wine from Southern Oregon wineries and restaurants.
Medford is also the perfect basecamp for exploring Southern Oregon by hiking, biking, shopping, and winetasting. Check out a Sample Southern Oregon Itinerary for ideas.  

2020 Heritage Conference

Mark your calendars for the 2020 Heritage Conference in Corvallis: April 22-24, 2020!