Kamla Hurst, Executive Director
Kamla Hurst oversees program operations, strategic planning, communications, and fundraising. Most recently, Kamla served as the interim executive director of Boom Arts, an arts organization dedicated to inspiring new social and political possibilities through live performance. Prior to that position, Kamla was the development and program officer at Portland Parks Foundation where she supported thriving public parks and strong communities. Kamla has also served as a development director for Oregon Humanities, the University of Washington’s performing arts center, On the Boards, and as an assistant director of development for the University of Chicago’s Humanities Division.
Julie MacKenzie, Special Projects
Julie MacKenzie was drawn to The Bloom Project by her love of flowers and her desire to share their beauty with those in end-of-life care. She started with The Bloom Project in 2015 as a volunteer. Prior to joining The Bloom Project, she was program coordinator for alumni, student and career services at the University of Oregon’s Portland campus. Her professional career has also included work for various businesses and organizations in the fields of financial marketing, healthcare and public education. She brings experience in office and project management, training and development, website maintenance, budgeting, database management and education. She has also assumed leadership responsibilities in fundraising events and board positions for schools, nonprofit groups and philanthropic organizations. In her spare time Julie likes cooking and knitting unique items for family and friends. She also has a green thumb and enjoys gardening.
Board of Directors
Heidi Berkman, Founder & President
Heidi Berkman is the founder and president of The Bloom Project. Heidi has twenty-five years of meeting and event planning experience with a strong background in retail marketing and extensive nonprofit experience. Her deep appreciation for the work of hospice comes from her own personal experience of watching a loved one being cared for. She has always enjoyed working with flowers and is grateful to be able to create bouquets with donated flowers that can provide encouragement to others instead of being discarded. Heidi’s passion for The Bloom Project has motivated her to share the story and spread the word about the power of flowers. Her vision for the organization is to continue to network people and resources in communities where hospice and palliative care organizations are serving patients and their families during end-of-life care. This simple act of kindness can be given by gathering a team of committed volunteers, sourcing flowers and supplies, establishing a workspace and obtaining the support of the surrounding community to provide in-kind products and services along with financial contributions to support the growth and impact of the organization.
Gil Brum, Vice President
Gil Brum is a Professor Emeritus from California State Polytechnic University. Pomona. He taught a broad diversity of courses in Botany and Biology over 32 years, including Botany for Landscape Architects and Botany for Floral Design. During his career at Cal Poly Pomona, he wrote five textbooks, served as Chair of the Department of Biology, Associate Dean and Director of Development for the Collins College of Hospitality Management and Dean of the University Library. He has extensive experience in strategic planning and chaired planning committees at the Department, College and University-wide levels. As Director of Development he helped raise funds for a new state-of-the-art teaching and learning building. His passion is not only to help people appreciate the beauty, diversity and incredible efficiency of plants, but help people understand the critical role plants play in supporting life on Earth. He currently serves as Board Vice President.
Jennifer New, Treasurer
Jennifer New is a certified public accountant and certified treasury professional with a background in public accounting, finance and treasury. She is currently the Director of Treasury at Legacy Health Systems where she works closely with several Legacy Board and Foundation Committees. Prior to Legacy, Jennifer worked in corporate treasury at the adidas U.S. headquarters and has a background in financial services. She brings experience in cash flow forecasting and reporting, balance sheet management, bank relationships, and internal controls. She currently serves as Board Treasurer.
Jan Striemer, Secretary
Jan Striemer has been an active volunteer since January of 2014 when she became volunteer coordinator for the newly created Portland Bloom Project. She was instrumental in organizing the new workspace and work sessions; assisted in screening, recruiting and training new volunteers as well as scheduled volunteers for weekly processing and arranging of bouquets. As the project grew, she transitioned to Lead Site Coordinator, recruiting and leading the team. Most recently, she assisted Heidi in drafting the affiliate “toolbox”. Jan was a former Vice President of Human Resources for Capitol Records and Castle Rock Entertainment in Los Angeles, starting her entertainment career as an assistant in Norman Lear’s office at Embassy Communications.
Tom Lewis, Member
Tom Lewis currently the Chairman of the Board and President of Oak Grove Operating Company, LLC who is the General Partner of Oak Grove Holdings, LP. The partnership invests in Oil and Gas Properties and Venture Capital. He has been heavily involved in the business community both as an entrepreneur, consultant and as a senior management executive. Over the years he has served as a Senior Career Management Consultant for Right Management (Career Management), President of Chapel Stowell, Inc. (Career Management and Outplacement Services), Principal of Mulligan Partners (Real Estate Advisory Consulting), Vice President and General Manager of LaSalle Construction Limited, (General Contracting, Construction Management & Project Management) and Chairman, President and CEO of Moran Company, (General Contracting, Construction Management & Real Estate Development) and President of Fischbach Woodland Hills Properties (Real Estate Development)
Tom received his Bachelor of Science in Industrial Management from the University of Nevada and is a former member of the Young President’s Organization. He has held Board of Directors seats with the Hugh O’Brian National Youth Foundation, Emiratis member of the California Medical Center Foundation, California Medical Center Hospital Trustees, Stewart Title of Los Angeles, Mulligan Pacific, Inc., ThermoGear, Inc., JakeSake Foundation, Castle Rock Health Care Services, the Associated General Contractors of Los Angeles and African Road.
Tom brings many talents and experiences in business operations and management and fiduciary board of director management.
Advisory Committee Members
Financial, St. Charles Health System Inc. (Director of Finance)
Mathew Hamlin, CPA
Financial, Hamlin CPA, LLC
Public Relations, Consultant
Human Resources, HR4VR (Owner)
Legal, Karnopp Petersen LLP
Floral, Gairdin – Home + Inspiration (Owner)
Marketing/Board Recruitment, Brooks Resources Corporation (VP Sales & Marketing; Project Manager)
Leadership, Electronic Arts (Director of Leadership Development)
Hospice Administration, Windermere Stellar (Real Estate Broker)