News and Opinion from Sisters, Oregon

Sisters Country Vision 2021

The Sisters Country Vision Implementation Team (VIT) continues to grow and is looking ahead to a year of new projects, new partners, and new team members. Each year in September, the VIT begins a new “vision year,” with some team members cycling off and new members joining. Beyond the VIT, there are also new ways to get involved with the Vision, helping all in Sisters Country to thrive even in these difficult times.

The VIT will be welcoming our newest members at a virtual meeting on September 29.

New members this year include representatives from Deschutes County, the City of Sisters, and Cascades East Transit.

Although all of these organizations have been deeply involved in Vision projects since 2018, individual team members are rotating to bring new perspectives to the team.

Longtime vision champion Nick Lelack has just stepped into a new role as the Deschutes County Administrator.

Filling Nick’s shoes on the VIT is Peter Gutowsky, new head of the Deschutes County Community Development Department.

Peter is excited to continue with some of the county’s priority vision projects, such as expanded trails development and wildfire preparedness initiatives.

From the City of Sisters, the VIT is excited to welcome Community Development Director Scott Woodford, who spent the past year working to complete the City’s Comprehensive Plan update, which includes a number of vision-aligned projects.

The team is also adding a new seat this year, with Ashley Mohni joining as a representative of Cascades East Transit (CET).

CET has been working diligently to explore new transportation options for Sisters Country, one of the 20 core vision strategies.

In addition to organizational representatives, the VIT also has several community at-large members. The newest addition to the team is Elizabeth Kirby, a local volunteer, young parent, and passionate community builder! In the past year, Elizabeth has been supporting the Sisters Community Website ( and starting this fall will be stepping up to serve as the new Website Coordinator. She has also helped start the Sisters Food Security Committee, a local group of volunteers committed to healthy food accessibility for all.

The Food Security Committee is a part of the Sisters Community Builders Group, an informal network of local volunteers, non-profit staffers, and business owners who gather monthly to work on self-identified priority projects.

This year, C4C will also become a co-facilitator of the VIT, bridging the important, on-the-ground work of the Sisters Community Builders with the ongoing vision implementation work of the VIT. Our shared goal is create ever more pathways for anyone to get involved in community building work, and find support for projects that are close to their heart. To learn more about the Sisters Community Builders, contact C4C Director Linda Cline at [email protected]

As the VIT looks ahead excitedly to a new year, we also encourage you to check out our 2020-21 Annual Vision Progress Update. These annual reports are a great way to get familiar with the structure and goals of the Vision, and learn about all the amazing work of the VIT members and our partners over the past 12 months. This year’s report also highlights all the winners of our first annual Community Champion Awards, as well as recipients of Community Partner grants throughout the year. Check it out today at


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