Traci Rossi is a long-term relationship person with a sense of joy similar to what her daughter said at 4 yrs old, “Mom, there’s enough sunshine for everybody.” Just 10 weeks ago, Traci stepped into the Executive Director role at the mentoring organization Friends of the Children- Portland with a calm confidence during a global pandemic with so much uncertainty in the air.
And just a month later, the brutal murder of George Floyd has sparked so many powerful conversations within the organization about racial equity. Traci is a natural leader and feels that running Friends of the Children- Portland is her calling. Growing up in NE Portland, Traci tells her story of living 2 lives — one in her predominantly African-American neighborhood and the other of where her mainly-white private school Catlin Gabel was on a 50 acre property in the woods. She is the daughter of legendary Kay Toran who runs Volunteers of America- Oregon, and has a beautiful relationship with her mom. One of her defining life moments was when her Dad died at just 42 years old and the powerful, positive impact he made on her life with the advice of always being the best at whatever she wanted to be.