The Kinship Partners Board of Directors announced its new executive director is Amy Gray.

Gray is a Brainerd native. She earned a bachelor’s degree in communications from Hamline University and a master’s degree in advocacy and political leadership with an emphasis on nonprofits and community development from the University of Minnesota in Duluth.

Gray has participated in many community building activities over the years with special emphasis on downtown redevelopment and community wellness. Over the years, she has served as board chair for both Brainerd Restoration and the Crow Wing Food Co-op, has participated in the Healthy Communities Partnership of the Initiative Foundation and city of Brainerd and the Resilient Region initiative through Region Five Development Commission.

Amy Gray
Amy Gray

She was also part of a local Healthy Schools, Healthy Students task force. Prior to joining Kinship Partners, she was the district manager for Junior Achievement in the Brainerd lakes area, providing volunteer-delivered programming to K-12 students in Brainerd, Crosby-Ironton, Pequot Lakes, Pillager and Staples-Motley schools.

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“I’m really excited and honored to be the new executive director for Kinship Partners. My past experience, education and community involvement have prepared me for a successful transition into this role, and it’s a blessing having the opportunity to lead an organization with the history, support and impact of Kinship,” Gray stated in a news release. “I’m really looking forward to building on the incredible legacy of Kinship in our area and leading the organization into the next era.”

Gray lives in Brainerd with her husband and two children. Gray succeeds long-time executive director David Downing.

"We are so thankful to have Amy on board and that David, our retiring executive director, has agreed to overlap with Amy for a month and help with her orientation," stated Warren Thompson, board president, in the release. “This will really give her a solid start and Kinship a boost in maintaining its momentum and its programs. Please make her feel welcome and pledge your support as she takes on the challenge of leading this important mission forward."