Jerralyn at Hillsboro Tuesday Night Market

Jerralyn Ness is the former executive director of Community Action, a private, non-profit organization addressing poverty in Washington County. She had been with the organization in Hillsboro since 1973 and retired December 31, 2015.


Jerralynn is recognized as a leader in the Portland metropolitan area for her ability to bring the community together and facilitate positive change for those less fortunate. She has dedicated her life to eradicating poverty, with the mission of helping low-income families achieve self-sufficiency.


Jerralynn was invited to join the board of the Hillsboro Community Foundation in 2003. Her decision to accept the invitation and her motivation to support the organization by lending her time and expertise are rooted in a strong belief in the Foundation's mission.


As a board member, Jerralynn has participated in the Foundation's signature project - raising funds to support the Glenn and Viola Walters Cultural Arts Center. She also organized a task force to assist with development of the Foundation's marketing materials, and led processes for revision of the organization's bylaws and updating the vision, mission and values statements.


Over the course of her career, Jerralynn has served on the boards of numerous organizations, including the Virginia Garcia Memorial Health Center, Vision Action Network, Hillsboro Chamber of Commerce and the national Community Action Partnership.  She currently serves on the national Community Action Partnership’s Professional Certification Commission and on the board of directors for CAPLAW, the national legal services program for Community Action.  She is an advisor to the Board of the Friends of the Oregon Caves and Chateau, a national monument.


Jerralynn has been recognized on numerous occasions for her professional and civic contributions, including recipient of the Hillsboro Chamber of Commerce’s Emma C. McKinney lifetime achievement award, honored as the “Heart of Washington County” by the Washington County Museum and distinguished as a Woman of Achievement by the Oregon Commission for Women.


Jerralynn is married to Kent “Bernie” Thurber, a retired partner with the Davis Wright Tremaine law firm. They live in the West Union area and have one daughter and twin granddaughters who currently reside in Nashville, Tennessee.



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