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Linda Ogden, left, has been director of Families and Communities Together — previously Communities in Schools — for about 13 years, but on Friday she will hand over leadership to Ashlee Gann. FACT focuses on cooperative efforts to provide services for children, especially young children.

FACT getting
a new director

News editor

A serendipitous meeting this spring — right person, right time, and right job —provided Linda Ogden a successor she has confidence in as director of Families and Communities Together.

Ashlee Gann moved to Hillsboro to be closer to her husband’s family May 1. Later that week she saw an advertisement for the opening at FACT. It seemed like a good fit.

“I’ve always wanted to work with families and children,” Gann said. “And I wanted to stay on the leadership side of things.”

She applied, was hired, started work June 5, and has been familiarizing herself with the job and communities while Ogden puts her finishing touches on her tenure.

“I want to tie it up in a bow and have a nice pretty present to give to Ashlee,” Ogden said.

Gann said she thought it wass important for communities and organizations to collaborate for the good of children. Collaboration is FACT’s specialty.

Learning a new job in a new place has been overwhelming at times, but the welcome she has received has made a difference.

“Everyone is very helpful,” she said. “I’ve been meeting a lot of new people, new faces.”

She said she wass looking forward to using marketing skills to spread knowledge of FACT’s programs, which Ogden was crucial in establishing.

During the 13 years Ogden has directed FACT, the organization helped establish Parents as Teachers, Big Brothers Big Sisters, and the Comprehensive Early Childhood Health Initiative in Marion County. Ogden said the continued availability of those organizations to families was her proudest accomplishment in FACT.

Thursday will be her last day in the office, but she will continue to volunteer on non-profit boards and committees, as well as consulting when needed.

Gann grew up in northeastern Oklahoma. She earned a bachelor’s degree in elementary education at Northeastern State University in Tahlequah, Okla., and a master’s degree in education administration from Fort Hays State University.

She is married to Chasen Gann. They have a son, Cashen, who is almost 2.

Last modified June 27, 2012

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