Ash Shepherd
Ash Shepherd
Technology in the Nonprofit Sector
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Background

Ash has spent his entire adult career focused on service in one form or another. Whether it was as a volunteer supporting environmental education programs, being "Stinky Campy" as program staff for a children's oncology camp or helping hundreds of organizations learn how to better leverage technology to create change in their own communities. Ash's focus on the human side of any issue first has allowed him be part of variety of wonderful organizations and projects over the past 20+ years.

After spending nearly 13 years in Portland Oregon he moved to Southern Oregon where the proximity to mountains and smaller towns felt a bit more like Montana where he grew up. Outside of work Ash enjoys doing almost anything outdoors with his family and friends. From mountain biking and camping to just throwing rocks in a stream with his kids.

Education

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B.S. Resource Management
University of Montana, Montana

Ash focused on the Recreation track within the School of Forestry and also earned earned a minor in Wilderness Studies.

His Capstone project focused on developing a web-based needs assessment and related website to help land managers from across disciplines share information to improve Wilderness management overall.

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MEnDev Masters of Environment & Development
University of Kwa-Zulu Natal, South Africa

Ash participated in the first Masters level for Land Management provide in the country of South Africa. His thesis research focused on developing an assessment framework to help Wilderness land managers assess the impact of educational materials on visitor's behavior.

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Summer Institute Program
The Intercultural Communication Institution

Ash earned a certificate of completion in "Culture, Technology, and Communication in the Global Workplace". This course focused on working across cultural boundaries with distributed teams and how to successfully navigate the potential impacts of technology.

Areas Of Experience

Throughout his career Ash has work in a variety of fields. Although they appear to be wide ranging he has found the common thread to be where people intersect with other things (nature, each other & technology).

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Land Management

In addition to completing both a bachelors and master's degree in management (wilderness areas in particular) Ash spent some time working for the U.S. Forest Service and a number of land management focused nonprofits doing environmental education.

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Social wORK

Ash spent over ten years working in the social work field in a variety of capacities. Including residential, school-based, wilderness and community-based programs. He worked with youth ages 11-21 primarily with a variety of diagnosis within the Seriously Emotional Disturbed (SED) and Developmental Disabilities (DD) categories.

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nonprofit Technology

Ash has spent over eleven years working in the area of nonprofit technology. Most of that time was spent working as a consultant, working at nonprofits doing capacity building and providing services to other nonprofits. He has worked in the areas of websites, email, social media strategy, CRM and project management. Most recently he has been working in the areas of e-learning, adult learning thoeries and program development.

 

Current Focus Areas

At each phase of a Ash's career he has focused on particular areas to build his overall skill set. He is currently focused on the following areas.

 
 
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E-learning/Adult Learning Theories

Ash has always loved discovering connection points. Areas where challenges for one particular group can be more easily solved because of insights learned in another seemingly unrelated area. Such is the case for online learning in the nonprofit sector. Ash is pushing online learning specifically for the nonprofit technology to move beyond the basics and better leverage the tools, technologies and techniques being used in the private sector and rapidly evolving space of instructional design and Edu Tech.


systems & processes

Ask Ash to remember a date and he'll likely be off (by nearly a decade). Ask him to remember a specific name and he might get the first letter right. Ask him how to solve a particular challenge or problem and he will be creating systems and processes to make it manageable and scaleable in a matter of minutes. Although you would never know it by looking at his homework as a child Ash has a particular knack for breaking things down into discrete steps, understanding how to translate those steps for others and setting the new solution in motion. He continues to have a heavy focus on improving systems thinking as part of program development and management.

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Team Management

With over 20+ years working in the nonprofit space Ash has learned a lot about the power of small teams. Not just that they are the norm for many organizations, but that with the right focus and support they can do truly amazing things. This is why in his current role as the Education Director at NTEN he is focusing on new ways to enable small teams to work together more effectively to add greater value back into the sector.