Connie Ballmer of Bellevue, Wash., grew up in Oregon City and received her bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Oregon in 1984. She now serves as a community volunteer and advocate for the well-being of children. She manages the Ballmer family's philanthropic giving, which focuses on improving the outcomes of the most vulnerable and economically disadvantaged families through grant making, collaboration and investments in systems reform. Ballmer began her career by working in both the Portland and Bellevue offices of Waggener Edstrom public relations, which serves the high tech sector. She has served on a variety of non-profit boards for organizations including Overlake Hospital, National Public Radio, KCTS Television and Lakeside School. She was a member of the UO's Journalism Advancement Council during 1993-94. She says that her most time intensive and fulfilling project over the past 21 years has been raising her three sons. She partnered with the University of Washington School of Social Work and the Washington State Department of Social and Health Services to create Partners for Our Children (POC) in 2006. In providing better data analysis of the problems faced by individuals involved with Washington's state child welfare system, POC strives to influence policy and practice, helping caseworkers, kids and families achieve better outcomes. Ballmer serves as strategic advisor and board member for POC.