Dr. Ken Coll is named the Nell J. Redfield Foundation's Executive Director

June 1, 2023 – For only the second time in its history, the Redfield Foundation has a new leader. Dr. Ken Coll has been named as the Redfield Foundation’s Executive Director. The announcement was made by Board President Dan Walker on behalf of the Board of Directors. Walker made the announcement in conjunction with the Board of Directors’ vote to affirm Dr. Coll’s appointment, stating: “On behalf of the Board of Directors I am honored to welcome Ken as the new Nell J. Redfield Foundation Executive Director. Ken’s unique leadership experiences will make him very valuable as we move the Redfield Foundation toward new levels of community engagement.”  

Coll is well acquainted with the Reno community and the Redfield Foundation from his decade of work at the University of Nevada, Reno serving as Dean of the College of Education followed by working for the UNR Provost on external collaborations including serving as Director of the UNR Behavioral Health Collaborative. He succeeds Jerry Smith, who recently passed away after leading the Redfield Foundation since 1974.

Joining Dr. Coll at the Redfield Foundation is Debbi Wesner, recently named Administrative Manager by the Board, Board President and Director Daniel Walker, and Michael Sebree, newly named Director and Board Vice President. Melissa Fowler continues in her role as Board Director and Secretary.

“It is a great privilege to serve as Executive Director of this distinguished Foundation,” said Coll. “I embrace the opportunity to augment and extend the spirit of collaboration between the Redfield Foundation and its many partner agencies, implanting the vision of supporting health care, education, medical research, and service to the housing insecure and women and children in need’.

Coll, a licensed state of Nevada Clinical Professional Counselor, received his doctorate degree in counselor education and supervision from Oregon State University in Corvallis, his masters in counseling from Emporia State University in Kansas and his bachelors in business management from Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania. Among other awards, he was named the College of Education Researcher of the Year at both Boise State University and the University of Wyoming and is a Leadership Coach/Trainer for Deans for Impact.

“I am very enthusiastic to have Dr. Coll join us as Executive Director,” said Dan Walker, President of the Redfield Board. “Dr. Coll brings expertise with non-profits and program evaluation that align well with our priorities. He is passionate about partnering with the Reno community and is eager to continue our important work with non-profit community agencies, hospitals, higher education, and school districts.” 

“Jerry Smith was a pillar for the Redfield Foundation, passionate about the work of expanding access to health care and education through supporting and connecting with causes that make a difference to the Reno community,” Coll said. “I am fortunate to have learned about this work from Jerry prior to his untimely death. I am also grateful to already have relationships with many of the Redfield Partners. I am excited to work together with the board and the Redfield Partners for the greater good of our precious community.”