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CEKC is a tax exempt 501(c)(3) organization and a Washington State registered non-profit. CEKC provides information and resources

to support the development of sustainable programs and projects that benefit the social and economic well being of

rural communities in Klickitat and Skamania counties.

Linda Williams

Building community capacity through networking, partnership and education are key to helping rural communities prosper.  Linda has worked as a WSU Horizons Coach and was instrumental in the formation of CEKC.  Linda has worked on programs including rural broadband, asset building, women in agri-business and a variety of other community leadership programs.

Jan Stewart

Jan's passion for gardening initiated the Wishram Community Garden and vegetable stand. She is interested in programs for business assistance and micro-enterprise. Working on programs that help build a stronger community such as buying local and helping seniors are priorities.

Bruce Bolme

Co-founder of Gorge Grown Food Network and board member of Community Enrichment for Klickitat County. Treasurer and steering committee member of White Salmon Farmer's Market. Co-founder and steering committee member of Gorge Local Currency Cooperative.

Board member of Washington Gorge Action Programs.


Dan Spatz

Dan works at Columbia Gorge Community College as the Executive Director for Institutional Advancement.  A graduate of Columbia High School in White Salmon and Clark College, Dan worked 30 years in regional journalism, most recently (1996-2006) as editor and general manager of The Dalles Chronicle. He served almost nine years on The Dalles City Council (2008-17); earlier in his career he was interim director of the Port of Klickitat and economic development coordinator for Wasco County.

Debby Pyle

Debby lives in the small community of Klickitat.  She has been active with the schools and the new community center in Klickitat. She is a very valuable board member and always has something positive to contribute.

Barbara Sexton

As a volunteer for several organizations Barbara saw the need for a county-wide non profit organization that could support the acquisition of grants and donations that support local community projects and programs. She was one of the first to volunteer to be on the CEKC Board. She serves on the local Twin Bridges Museum board.

In Memoriam: Brian Wanless

Brian guided the formation of CEKC in 2008-9.  Serving as CEKC's treasurer, he helped community projects become part of the CEKC family. Brian was one of the original broadband committee members.  He had a passion for affordable, high speed broadband for all rural area.  He was also a board member for Back Pack 4 Kids, as well as a member of other community organizations.

Johanna Roe

A Skamania County resident, Johanna contracts with the Skamania Klickitat Community Network as their Director of Rural Community and Family Resources.  She volunteers with the Gorge Early Learning Coalition and serves as the co-chair of the One Prevention Alliance in Skamania County. If there are questions to be asked-everyone looks at Johanna. She enjoys rural living, has a huge garden, lots of cats and is confident she has successfully launched her children into the wide, wide world.

Darla Johnston

Darla lives in Underwood, in eastern Skamania County. She works closely with the Underwood Community Council as they move forward with their plans to take over the care and maintenance of the Underwood Community Center.

​Our Purpose​
  • CEKC provides support and services as a fiscal sponsor for community groups and organizations.

  • CEKC works as an advocate to help bring additional resources and programs to our local communities.

  • CEKC administers and disburses funds for community projects through accounts set up by the project developers.  

  • CEKC can help develop matching fund capacity for third party organizations.

  • CEKC communicates with other local, state and federal organizations and agencies to stay informed and up to date on changes in laws, policies and programs that affect rural communities.


In 2006 communities in Klickitat and Skamania Counties participated in the Washington State University Horizons Project.  The two-year program helped build leadership opportunities in rural communities in order to improve financial wellbeing for low-income residents. It was funded by the Northwest Area Foundation (NWAF) and administered by Washington State University Extension.

The Horizons Project ended with a challenge-using the leaderships skills learned, how can our rural communities continue building the capacity to help local organizations and families thrive and prosper?

It soon became apparent that what was needed was an organization able to provide fiscal sponsorship and the initial resources and supports to help small community projects, activities or events get up and running.

CEKC is that organization.

In December 2009, CEKC received non-profit status from the IRS and began working with groups and communities in Klickitat and Skamania County to support programs and projects that address local issues, interests and concerns.

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