Shaun Pritchard - UCAN Executive Director

Shaun Pritchard

United Community Action Network has hired an Illinois man with West Coast ties as executive director of the nonprofit that serves Douglas and Josephine counties.

Shaun Pritchard was selected to lead UCAN located on Kenneth Ford Drive in north Roseburg in its efforts to help low-income residents address their basic life needs while equipping them with resources to exit poverty.

Pritchard is scheduled to take over as UCAN director on Jan. 21. Until then, Maureen Short will continue serving as UCAN’s interim executive director. Short said Pritchard will be a good fit for UCAN.

“I just think he’s going to be a great addition, he comes with some really great strengths,” Short said. “He has a background in weatherization, housing rehab, public infrastructure and energy assistance expertise and I like that he has some strengths in other areas where we might have some opportunities in other programs.”

Short said Pritchard’s experience in leading a regional government group focused on transportation will be beneficial coming into UCAN, since the agency operates Douglas County’s public transportation.

Pritchard has most recently been the executive director of the Western Illinois Regional Council and Community Action Agency, located in rural west-central Illinois. He has extensive experience in organizational leadership, planning, community and economic development, capacity building, program development, personnel management and oversight of fiscal management.

UCAN’s board of directors selected Pritchard after a nationwide search. Board president Susan Fischer-Maki said she was excited about the outcome of the search.

“We believe that Shaun has the perfect blend of skills, experience and commitment to take over the helm at UCAN,” she said. “He has a history of success bringing people together to develop pathways to prosperity.”

Fischer-Maki said Pritchard kept an agency afloat despite dwindling government support and even increased its size by taking over a failing agency.

UCAN, which began as Parents Action Council in 1969 in Douglas County, has served local communities for 50 years and just a few years ago expanded into Josephine County and changed its name from Umpqua Community Action Network to United Community Action Network.

Pritchard is ready to lead UCAN into the next decade, he said in a press release.

“This is a tremendous opportunity and an honor,” Pritchard said. “At some point in everyone’s life, help is needed. Community action is there to provide that help.”

Pritchard will be relocating with his wife and two teenage children.

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Dan Bain is the health reporter for The News-Review. He previously worked at KPIC and 541 Radio.

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