About Us

Partners for Rural Impact’s ultimate goal is for an America where all kids are successful, regardless of zip code, income, background, or ability.  At PRI, our focus is on ensuring that all children in rural places achieve success.

Our Origin

Partners for Rural Impact was born out of our place-based partnership in Appalachia, where we’ve worked for 25 years to create student opportunity and success. We learned that creating sustainable change in rural places means holding multiple roles. It means running programs, building civic infrastructure, developing local capacity and long-lasting partnerships.

As we launch PRI, place-based partnerships remain the heart of our work. Learn more about our journey here.

The Executive Team

Dreama Gentry

President and CEO

Gentry founded Partners for Rural Impact to ensure rural students have the opportunity to fulfill their educational aspirations, and the national dialogue around educational success includes rural voices. A first-generation college graduate from Appalachia, Gentry is an Annie E. Casey Children and Family Fellow and a Prichard Committee Equity Coalition member, among other honors.

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Mike Hogg

Vice President for Place-Based Partnerships

Hogg has more than 20 years of experience leading public districts in Appalachia and was a middle school science and social studies teacher. He holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in middle grades education from Eastern Kentucky University. As a first-generation college graduate, he feels a deep responsibility to pay forward what has been paid forward to him.

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Penny Jordan

Vice President for Finance

Jordan has nearly 15 years of experience working in nonprofit leadership positions in grant development, finance, operations, compliance, auditing and strategic planning. Previously, she spent ten years working in the banking industry in Appalachian Kentucky. She holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting, a master’s degree in management from Indiana Wesleyan University, and a doctorate in educational leadership and policy studies from Eastern Kentucky University.

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Renee Hargrove

Hargrove is an experienced nonprofit executive with expertise in Results Based Leadership, Collective Impact implementation, and organizational policy development and oversight. Most recently, she served as the director of business affairs in the student affairs division of the University of Cincinnati. She has over a decade of experience in human resources.

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Shanda Crowder

Vice President for Capacity and Civic Infrastructure

Crowder has 20 years of experience in strategic planning as well as developing and implementing educational programs for youth and families. Before joining PRI, she was a senior associate within the leadership development unit at the Annie E. Casey Foundation. She has a bachelor’s in biology from North Carolina State University, a master’s in school psychology from Howard University, and a doctorate in urban educational leadership from Morgan State University. 

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