It is with great pleasure that I share with you that the Meyer Board of Trustees has named Toya Fick to be the organization's next Chief Executive Officer. She will be Meyer's fourth CEO in its four-decade history.
Toya is a true champion for children, youth and families throughout Oregon. She has demonstrated her leadership prowess, her understanding of Oregon and her deep commitment to advocacy through partnerships. In her decade at Stand for Children, including as Oregon Executive Director for the last seven years, Toya led the charge to draft Measure 98. Since its passing, Oregon has put over $750 million into high schools across the state, leading to a 40% increase in career-related programs offered throughout the state and a record 6-point increase in graduation rates, with students of color and low-income students making the biggest gains. Toya was also instrumental in the passage of the Student Success Act, Oregon's largest categorical investment in education in state history at $1 billion a year.
On accepting the position, Toya said, "It has been an honor and a privilege to serve as a trustee for the past six years, and I am humbled to be trusted with the awesome responsibility of continuing Meyer’s important work. I look forward to working with my colleagues to advance racial, social and economic justice throughout Oregon."
Toya also knows Meyer well, both as a grantee and as a trustee. She has served on Meyer's Board of Trustees for the last six years, and served as Chair during Oregon's historic wildfires, the nation's racial-justice reckoning and the height of the COVID pandemic. In close collaboration with Meyer's executive team, Toya and her trustee colleagues navigated the convergent crises with speed, empathy and boldness, including the launch of Justice Oregon for Black Lives, a five-year, $25 million initiative and the largest in Meyer's history.
Beyond that, Toya has also been a vitally engaged partner with staff and trustees throughout the organization's strategy work. With proven organizational leadership expertise as well as deep relationships across Oregon, Toya takes the helm at a pivotal moment for Meyer, as it introduces a new strategic framework and a new mission statement: To accelerate racial, social and economic justice for the collective well-being of Oregon's lands and peoples.
A resident of Portland, Toya grew up in rural Louisiana and was the first in her family to attend college. She graduated from the University of Chicago and began her career as a teacher with Teach For America. She moved from the school halls to the halls of Congress when she joined the legislative staff of then Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton. Grateful as she is for the impact she gets to make in her professional life, Toya remains focused on her most important role: mother to two incredible young children who attend Oregon’s public schools.
In closing, Toya is all the things we hope and look for in a CEO: smart, passionate, experienced, empathetic and ready. It is thrilling to think about her potential to continue her strong and meaningful work at Meyer, with our new mission and as we look towards the next chapter in our story. Please join me in welcoming Toya to this new role. I look forward to her leadership in the years ahead.