Kathie Eckman, President
Kathie Eckman founded the Bend Sister City Foundation in 2011 for the purpose of serving the children of the City of Bend’s Sister Cities and is the current chair.

Kathie has been on the Bend City Council for 20-plus years starting in 1980 until 2012.  She has served two terms as Mayor of Bend.

Kathie worked for the City of Burns, Oregon in many capacities including being the Municipal Judge, Treasurer and City Recorder.  In Bend she worked for the Bend-LaPine School District administration for 23 years until her retirement in 2001.  She has been a member and leader in many organizations in the community of Bend including Quota Club (an organization serving the deaf population), Saving Grace (a shelter for abused women and children), Housing Works, and Rotary International.

Kathie has been to the dedication of the Sister City relationship with Fujioka, Japan and has traveled to Nicaragua five times.


Ed Payne, Secretary/Treasurer

Mark Taylor

Jane Morrow

Rick Negus, Vice- President
I am one of the original members of the Bend Sister City Foundation and currently serve as Vice President.  Since 1999 I have chaired the Trinity Episcopal Church Condega Project.   I have been to Condega on twelve separate occasions and seen first hand the value of the sister city relationship.

I come to the Bend Sister City Foundation after a career in social work.  I have a Masters degree in Social Work and a thirty year career in the field. I retired from the State of Oregon child welfare organization as the assistant regional administrator for Eastern Oregon.  I spent two years after retirement working for our local community action agency as the supervisor for the housing stabilization program.  Since retirement I have volunteered for numerous community programs.  Currently I am most involved with Family Kitchen, a program to provide free meals for the hungry, and the Trinity Condega Project.

Laura Becker
Having taught German, grades 2-12, for thirty-seven years in Michigan, I made it a goal to travel with my students.  With ten trips to Europe and five to Chicago, our focus was to learn through discovery and activity.  Upon retiring, I continued that mantra by moving to Bend and becoming involved in two endeavors, Arts Central and the Bend-Belluno group.

I recently began serving on the Bend Sister City Foundation board, having come to the board via the new sister city relationship Bend has formed with Belluno, Italy.  When the sister city relationship became official, the Bend-Belluno group realized that it could benefit from coming under the umbrella of the foundation.  With non-profit status, the foundation can utilize its fund-raising powers and members’ commitment to underscore the foundation’s mission of creating world unity, in particular through projects it supports in Condega, NIcaragua and Belluno, Italy.