Meet the team from Friends of the Children–Lane County Oregon.

Matt Springer

Matt Springer

Executive Director

Matt Springer

Executive Director

Matt Springer joined Friends of the Children in 2020 as Executive Director of the Lane County Oregon, location where his career in social services began 22 years ago. After stints working for various local nonprofit agencies, including Looking Glass and Northwest Youth Corps, Matt gained a Master's in Public Policy and Certificate in Nonprofit Management from the University of Oregon. Fueled by a strong commitment to social justice and systems reform, Matt championed sweeping changes in the higher education system in Montana prior to returning to Lane County in 2017. Recently, Matt served as the Programs Director for Northwest Youth Corps, serving close to a thousand youth each year through immersive workforce programs across Oregon, Washington, and Idaho. Matt's wife, twin children and their dog, Hank Stamper, live in Eugene where an affinity for Sweet Life's cinnamon rolls presents a persistent distraction.

Sloan Hamilton

Sloan Hamilton

Program Director

Sloan Hamilton

Program Director

Sloan’s 20+ years of youth and family engagement experience comes from previous roles running residential camps and retreat centers, and community parks and recreation programs. Sloan has been responsible for staff/volunteer development and training, outcome-based program design and implementation, youth and young adult development, family engagement and events, fundraising and marketing, emergency action plans, facility management, site development/ land-use, budget development, asset management, and food/nutrition services. Learning from and working with diverse populations, generations, and people of differing abilities has defined Sloan’s career.

When not working, Sloan loves playing in the outdoors – walking the dogs, kayaking, tree climbing, hiking, and gardening; as well as playing indoors - backgammon, cooking, watching sports, and lounging with family are all favorites.

Heather Moats

Heather Moats

Operations Manager

Heather Moats

Operations Manager

Heather Moats serves as the Operations Manager for the Lane County, Oregon Chapter. Heather joined Friends of the Children in 2020. Prior to Friends of the Children, Heather worked in the Maritime Ship Agency industry evolving from a boarding agent to a Regional Operations Manager, a position that focused on process improvement and efficiencies. The maritime phase of Heather’s career culminated in being the Director of Operations for SphereMD a small Healthcare company whose core business is providing healthcare to predominantly foreign maritime workers. During the eight years with SphereMD Heather was instrumental in building the processes, work-flows and data systems to support a national expansion, where the company grew from Portland, Oregon to providing services in all ports of the United States. Having also overcome adversities growing up, the vision, goal and methods used by Friends of the Children touches Heather at the core. When the Friends of the Children - Lane County Chapter opened Heather knew the opportunity was too good to be passed up and jumped onboard. When not out riding her motorcycle Heather enjoys hiking, music, reading, and puzzles mainly crosswords, sudokus, and nanograms.

Elliott VanZandt

Elliott VanZandt

Professional Mentor - Friend

Elliott VanZandt

Professional Mentor - Friend

Elliott joins friends of the children with over 13+ years of experience of working with youth. 10+ of those years were specifically working with young people struggling with mental health. Elliott is originally from St. Louis, Missouri. He started working with young people by taking a temporary position at a summer camp in northern Minnesota. When Elliott finished working at the camp, he wanted to pursue working with young people full-time. Educating, guiding, mentoring, and learning from them. Elliott has lived and moved all over the country chasing jobs with that purpose and meaning. Including working at Leadership camps, in outdoor education, wilderness therapy, adventure therapy, at a residential boarding school, and young adult transitional programs in places ranging from Missouri to Minnesota, North Carolina to Utah, and finally landing in Oregon. Recently Elliott and his wife have bought a house and have made Eugene and Lane County their permanent home. Elliott is excited to be part of the Friends team and aligns with their values, goals, and mission. Elliott is excited to mentor and work with the Children and learn and grow alongside of them.

Frankie Cohen-Rencountre

Frankie Cohen-Rencountre

Professional Mentor - Friend

Frankie Cohen-Rencountre

Professional Mentor - Friend

Frankie joined Friends of the Children in August 2021. Frankie has worked with children for much of her adult life, beginning as a relief care provider for a foster child and most recently working with early childhood and elementary students in Minneapolis Public Schools for four and a half years. Frankie as also worked at summer camps, day camps, and as an education assistant at a children's museum. She brings an amazing combination of education, prior experience in mentorship and education, and skills in communication, facilitation and collaboration to her new role as a Friend.

As an educational support staff, member of the LGBTQ+ community and a parent of Native children Frankie has seen just how important relationships and support for individual as well as cultural identity are to the success of our youth and families.

Frankie loves working with children and is committed to supporting our youth in all areas of academic and social success.

Perry Washington

Perry Washington

Professional Mentor - Friend

Perry Washington

Professional Mentor - Friend

Perry joined Friends Lane County in November 2021, coming to us after over 10 years working with marginalized youth in Lane County. Through his prior work as well as Pop Warner coaching Perry has developed a relationship focused approach to services and found himself continuing to gravitate to mentoring roles. Having worked with runaway and homeless, LGBTQIA+, nonnative speaking, ODHS, and youth of color has been a wealth of learning experience. Perry enjoys the personal interactions and continuing to gain and share knowledge with developing minds. Having been blessed to help many children and families, though for relatively short periods, Perry is excited to be with Friends of the Children, making a long-term commitment seeing kids through graduation.

When not working Perry enjoys spending time with his partner, three kids and a spunky cat.