A Note From Tara's Desk

By Tara Russell

CCG Friends -

Tara - Headshot (new)Last week, Don, Tracy and I had the opportunity to take one of our largest out-of-town donors + believers through the CCG facility and introduce the CCG team and our work in person.   It was emotional reliving so many memories of how we’ve come to the place we stand today.  I choked back tears as I watched the pride that beamed across Sara’s face as she explained that her “life has transformed completely” now being with CCG for months after having spent 4 years in prison.  During a hug, I didn’t want to let go of Martina, a petite Mexican woman with strength and resilience beyond what most of us can imagine.  We shared various stories of hope from just a few of our many CCG all-stars — and I marveled at how far we’ve come, together.  It has literally taken thousands of you to do what we’ve done.  You’ve invested time, money, and most of all, love in action that has made our transformative work possible.  We are so very proud of what we’ve done, and I’m more grateful than I can express, truly.

Some of you may wonder, 'why all the change at CCG the past couple years?’.  Life is about change, isn’t it?  :)  I personally have been working to ensure that CCG has all the tools and resources it needs to grow, thrive and have incredible impact in Boise and beyond.  I knew we needed Don Berry’s operational leadership to strengthen CCG’s foundation + ensure we were ready to scale CCG to the next level, and I’ve always known that Tracy Hitchcock would play a broader role at CCG, when the time was right.  Meanwhile, I’ve also been working to figure out who I want to be when I grow up and how to best care for my family—how to best use my gifts + talents to envision + create scalable impact vehicles, marrying my past experience in the corporate world with my passion for marginalized communities—most recently building Fathom (www.fathom.org).  

Tracy will bring excellent global foodservice experience and leadership, along with a true passion and long history of love in action with CCG.  I have so appreciated her keen watch of the food industry + how the landscape is changing, and where and how CCG best fits in.  I have loved watching her powerfully articulate CCG’s magic, and CCG’s opportunities ahead.  I have admired her careful, thoughtful, preparatory consideration of this new role—and all she will bring to the incredible, diverse CCG team.  She loves CCG, and she can’t wait to be more formally part of the daily magic.   

While I’d have loved for Don to work with CCG until he was 127, I believe Don deserves the opportunity to retire (again) and we know he’ll continue mentoring + training our team as he so naturally does (when he’s not jet-setting, or on the golf-course, of course!).  :)  Don has invested his heart + head into CCG’s strong base, bringing incredible milestones with our team - and he too has fallen in love with our addicting mission of empowering others to reach their full potential through job-training and employment.  We will forever be grateful for his investment, his wisdom, his never-ending humor, his disciplined leadership and his smart support through these past couple years.  

Things are just warming up, friends.  CCG is just beginning it’s journey.  Remember, Starbucks didn’t open their second store for 7 years, right?  We at Create Common Good are proud, honored and SO excited to continue to use food to change lives, in Boise and Beyond.  As Chairman of the Board, I cannot wait to continue this important and impact-FULL work with Tracy and the entire team.  

Thank you for sharing your head, heart and hands to make so much life change possible - please join us as we embark on an exciting new season together!

With so much love + gratitude,


Founder & Board Chair, Create Common Good

Kelly ParkerComment