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PCC hires two key Advancement leaders
Photos and Story by James Hill
Portland Community College has announced that Ann Prater is the new director of development of the PCC Foundation and Kate Chester is the college’s first director of community engagement.
Prater, a resident of Southwest Portland, oversees the fundraising side of the Portland Community College Foundation, which recently celebrated a record year of growth by raising more than $3.5 million and distributing a record $1.1 million in student scholarships. In a newly created role, Chester will oversee development, direction and implementation of the college’s first-ever community engagement plan, as well as manage public relations and media relations for PCC.
Prater hails most recently from the Portland State University Foundation where she served as the senior director of development since July 2014. Prior to that she was assistant dean of development for PSU’s College of the Arts. While at PSU, she collaborated to secure more than $11 million in philanthropic support for the university.
“I am excited to help the Portland Community College Foundation advance in service and support for our students, faculty and programs,” Prater said. “I feel very passionately that access to quality education is the key to success for both the people and the economy of our region.”
Before moving to Portland, Prater served as director of advancement for the College of Humanities and Fine Arts at California State University, Chico. She has a bachelor’s degree in Journalism from Humboldt State University and a master’s in Education from Chico State.
“Ann brings years of professional experience and a passion for higher education,” said Rob Wagner, associate vice president of College Advancement. “Under Ann’s guidance, the PCC Foundation is primed to enter a new level of philanthropic success.”
Most recently, Chester has served as the manager of public relations for PCC, a position she’s held since January 2013. She oversaw media relations and crisis communications among other college-wide communications needs. Prior to this role, she was the community relations manager for PCC’s Sylvania Campus for five years.
“I’m excited about this new opportunity to serve the college and its communities,” Chester said. “The plan is to increase the scope and breadth of the college’s community relations and public relations, leading to enhanced awareness and engagement with its constituents and stakeholders in this pivotal time at PCC.”
Chester, also of Southwest Portland, earned her bachelor’s degree in Government and International Studies from the University of Notre Dame and her master’s in Public Relations from the University of Southern California. She is currently working on a second master’s degree in Conflict Resolution from Portland State University.
“PCC couldn’t be luckier to have her in this new position,” added Wagner. “Kate fully understands the critical role PCC plays in the lives of our students and the importance of developing partnerships to build economic opportunity throughout the metro region.”