Bill Ihle joined us in July 2017 and has lived in the Rogue Valley since 1997. Bill brings a broad and deep understanding of the community, its needs, its people, and how our organization can lead in the vital areas of financial literacy and financial health. Bill comes with a deep commitment to improving the financial health of the area, with the knowledge that financial health is directly tied to many social determinants of health. After all, if you don’t have your financial health, how can you have a safe home for your family, or afford a car? Without that foundation in place, how can you get a job or keep your family fed?
Previously, Bill worked in the non-profit world, and earlier he led several very high profile global companies, serving as Executive Vice President of Communications, Marketing and Community Engagement for Harry & David Holdings and Yamanouchi Consumer, Inc. from Tokyo. There he specialized in increasing brand visibility, profitability, and global consumer relevance. Bill also served in government and was the Chief Spokesperson for the Governor of California. He also was formerly a television news Anchorman in California.
A native of California, he attended California State University, Chico and later Harvard Business School, studying Consumer Engagement.
Bill has been active in the community both locally and on a statewide basis. He has served on boards including the Foundation Trustees of Southern Oregon University, United Way of Jackson Country, Providence Hospital, and St. Mary’s High School. He is a Senior Fellow at the American Leadership Foundation and he has been a member of numerous community and statewide advisory committees. The Governor of Oregon twice appointed Bill to the Oregon International Trade Commission. Also, two consecutive Governors appointed Bill as the Vice Chair of the Oregon State Lottery Commission. Bill received the first United Way of Jackson Country Community Caring award.
Throughout his life, Bill has been deeply involved in efforts to help others, and assist the less fortunate. In 2008 His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI conferred the very rare honor of naming Bill a Papal Knight as a Knight of St. Gregory the Great. This is the highest honor the Catholic Church can bestow on a non-member of the clergy and was awarded in recognition of Bill’s efforts to partner with the Vatican to help the poor of Africa drill wells for drinking water in remote villages.