Asset 3@2x

A story of hope for America’s distressed places

How partnerships, collaboration, and bridge-building can transform a community.

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Read the story of people who decided to do something about their distressed neighborhood.

Conditions were so bad in the Rockwood community, that life expectancy was fifteen years shorter than that of neighboring Portland, Oregon, just five miles down the street. A group of people set out to make their community a place where everyone can learn, earn, and belong.

Now ten years on, they have given birth to a community health group, a shelter for unhoused neighbors, two groups that channel investments into the neighborhood, a community center, a field-to-fork food system, an English language school, many formal collaboratives that are addressing a state-wide system change, and a microentrepreneur support system.

Today these friends guide one of Oregon’s largest nonprofits and help hundreds of neighbors speaking scores of languages and consisting of several cultural groups in transforming their neighborhoods.


“Having had the opportunity to get a hold of an advanced copy of The Flourishing Community, I cannot overstate how important and inspiring this story is for our world today.“

- Dr. Greg Burch, Director of Global Development and Justice (M.A. Program) and Chair of Global Studies Department, Multnomah University

“This book is literally a handbook on the true and raw reality (good and bad) of how a community changes for the better starting from nothing. It should also be a required text for entrepreneur courses in MBA programs.  This is for agents of social change who are desperate to make the world a better place, yet they keep getting laughed and plotted against and told what they dream can never happen, and yet it can!”

— Dr. Andrew Marin, CEO Venture Resolutions

“This story is so improbable, it must be real life!”

— Patrik McDade, President, People Places Things

Brad has captured the realities of community development with a story that is both inspiring and eye-opening. He not only exposes the powerful forces that oppose flourishing communities but also shares wisdom that surpasses anything I've seen in community development textbooks. I fully expect 'The Flourishing Community' to create a movement of flourishing across the land!"

— Dr. David Kresta, author of Jesus on Main Street

“I think this book is really going to help a lot of communities. I know it has certainly inspired me.”

— Landon Dickerson

Brad Ketch

Brad Ketch has traveled, lived, and worked globally on poverty, justice, and reconciliation initiatives. He has dug deep into the poorest community in Oregon for the last ten years and has witnessed its rebirth.

For twenty-five years he had a thriving career in technology, culminating in his role as CEO of a publicly traded semiconductor company.

But in the recession of 2008 his company failed and he was financially wiped out. Not deterred by this reversal, Brad and his wife Lynn Ketch did a mid-career switch and fulfilled their long-held goal of entering into poverty and justice work internationally.

They moved to Asia, and he became the CEO of a major charity that served 100,000 ultra-poor people every year.

They returned to the US and dug deep into the poorest community in Oregon and have witnessed its rebirth.

He has harnessed together both the “bottom-up” and the “top down” approaches to community transformation and has shown that it works.

His organization is now in the top 5 percent of nonprofits nationally. Brad is now sharing his experience and his knowledge with communities across America who want to begin a journey of transformation.

Speaking & Appearances


This conference gathers diverse community-based leaders seeking to drive collective action in Oregon's communities. Join us in charting a transformative path for unity, empowerment, and lasting change.

May 28-29, 2024
Hyatt Regency, Downtown Portland

Podcast Appearances

Have Brad speak at your event or be a guest on your podcast

An Excerpt from The Flourishing Community

AN EARLY MORNING KNOCK on the door changed everything for Brad Ketch, who was insulated from the struggles of his neighboring community outside of Portland, Oregon.

When Brad’s eyes were opened to the poverty in Rockwood, he knew he had to find out why. Whereas many organizations focus on relief for distressed communities, Brad learned that Rockwood needed a holistic approach, encompassing both relief and development from within. He founded a backbone organization that would act as a support for the work that his Rockwood neighbors were already doing. The result is a place that is now flourishing.

In what amounted to a one-step forward, two-steps back journey with resistance from city officials and property owners, Brad and those he partnered with took on the task of serving his neighbors, ridding the community of bad players, and providing ways to sustain a thriving community. Along the way, unbelievable events and fascinating people entered the story and drove it to its exhilarating conclusion.

In The Flourishing Community, you’ll see that it is possible to create this kind of change. It is never easy, but it is always worth it. Every state in America has a Rockwood, and this book provides a guide for those who want to get to work. After reading this book, you will be like Brad after answering the knock on his door: never the same.

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Asset 3@2x

A story of hope for America’s distressed places

How partnerships, collaboration, and bridge-building can transform a community.


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