A need for support.


Providing oversight and education.

Guardians are appointed by the court to care for minors or those with cognitive disabilities. Guardian Partners steps in to provide education and monitoring to ensure the dignity and respect for protected individuals, and support to non-professional guardians.

Our History

Why Guardian Partners is here today.

The idea for Guardian Partners originated with Judge Katherine Tenny­son (now retired), who handled Protective Proceedings in Multnomah County. Judge Tennyson found herself appointing people into guard­ianship with troubling, unanswered questions: "Does this family mem­ber have the knowledge and resources to be a good guardian?" and "How will I learn if things go wrong?" Many others who shared these concerns answered the Judge's call and came together in 2012 to work on creating a nonprofit that would address these issues.

After two years of planning, the organization - initially known as Spe­cial Advocates for Vulnerable Oregonians, or SAVO - began monitoring guardianships and training fiduciaries in 2014. The organization was renamed Guardian Partners in 2015. Ten years after its founding, Guard­ian Partners continues to grow, serving more than 70% of Oregon resi­dents. Each year, over 4,000 guardians and other fiduciaries are trained and 200 guardianships are reviewed by a team of 40+ volunteer Moni­tors.


What are people saying?

"Our county is using the guardian monitoring program to randomly review older cases to ensure the guardianship is still going well, and to review cases where the court has concerns or issues. The reports are very detailed, thorough and it's nice to get a glimpse into the protected person's life. The case monitors provide guardians with resources that they may not have been unaware of. It's been a great addition to our probate department and helps make court oversight stronger. Thank you case monitors!"

Judge Cynthia Easterday, Yamhill County Circuit Court

"Guardians and conservators take on great responsibilities in their respective roles. As a judge, it seems only fair we devote resources to equip them with the education and resources they need to perform their duties. Guardian Partners also gives the court the necessary tools to perform its role in overseeing the guardianships and conservatorships we are tasked with monitoring. I am proud to bring this education and monitoring program to Lincoln County and am grateful to the many volunteers who devote their time and talents in offering this valuable resource throughout our state."

Judge Sheryl Bachart, Lincoln County Circuit Court




Bring us to your county.

Guardian Partners currently operates in 21 counties representing 70% of Oregon residents. Our goal is to bring our important edu­cation and case monitoring programs to every Oregon county. We offer two tiers of program options for counties who wish to partner with us and there is no cost to the court for our programs.


Program Policy 02.13.23.docx


We have tools to make the process smooth and can provide sam­ple language for many of the necessary court documents:

    • Presiding Judge's Order and Supplementary Local Rules
    • Letters mandating fiduciary courses
    • Letters appointing a volunteer case monitor


We're pleased to speak with judges or court staff to see how Guardian Partners can best serve your community and we'll give you access to review our online courses. Contact Executive Director Marc Kochanski to inquire: 971-409-1358 or marc@guardian-part­ners.org.


How we do what we do.

Guardian Partners is a financially-stable organization. During the Covid-19 pandemic, not only were we able to maintain staffing, but we hired two new positions. Our funding is derived from several sources, including: earned income; events and individual donors; private grants; and limited public funding.

This is an innovative and much-needed program that has demonstrat­ed the potential to significantly reduce abuses faced by our most vul­nerable citizens. We rely on community support and individual donors to keep our programs strong and growing.


Sponsors & Donors

We are grateful for support from sponsors and grant funders:

Allegiant Law | Columbia Trust Company | Financial Insights | Fitzwater Law | Geffen Mesher | Intrustment NW | iQ Credit Union | J.D. Fulwiler/Court Bonds | Johnson McCall, LLP | Joseph E Weston Public Foundation | Kaiser Permanente NW | Key Bank | Koch Law, LLC | Law Offices of Nay & Friedenberg | Multnomah County Public Guardian & Conservator | OnPoint Community Credit Union | Oregon Elder Law | Oregon Pacific Bank | Pacific Office Automation | Pacific West Bank | Ronald W. Naito MD Foundation | Samuels Yoelin Kantor, LLP | Stuart & Marcia Weiss Fund of the Jewish Community Foundation | Tennyson Resolutions | Wool Landon | Wyse Kadish, LLP

We are grateful for support from all our donors. Our 2023/2024 Founders Circle donors carry on the spirit of those who built Guardian Partners with high-impact gifts of $1,000 or more:

Amy Bilyeu (Welch) | Juliet Britton | Jennifer Davison | Michael Greenlaw | Jim Hollis |
Theressa Hollis | John Koch | Tim Porter | Debbie Scales | Geneva Stegemoller | Sylvia
Sutherland | Jenny Tuomi | Cindy Van Loo

Staff & Board

Marc - Adjusted 2

Marc Kochanski

Executive Director

Originally from Baltimore, Marc has been doing nonprofit work in Portland since 2006. For over ten years, he served in the areas of HIV/AIDS ac­tivism, LGBTQ rights and organized labor advo­cacy. In 2017, Marc received the SHINE Award for Outstanding Service to the LGBTQ Community from Portland's Q Center. He's been with Guard­ian Partners since 2018. In his life outside of work, Marc is a supporter of the arts and a mu­sical theatre writer. His show The Little Guy pre­miered in Portland in 2019.

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Mark Nishi-Strattner


Mark has a Master's degree in mental health counseling and worked for 20 years in mental health, primarily with older adults. In 2003 he joined the Multnomah County Public Guard­ian program and became a National Certified Guardian. Mark became the Senior Deputy/ su­pervisor, responsible for referrals and intake. In 2019, he received The Excellence in Guardianship Award from the Center for Guardianship Certifi­cation.



Advisory Council

Holly Berman

MSW (ret.) Chair

Shannon Conley

Law Offices of Nay and Friedenberg

Jennifer A. Davison

Tandem Fiduciary Services

Katie Garman

Court Visitor

Traci P. McDowall

Yaquina Law

Julie Meyer Rowett

Oregon Elder Law

Holly Robinson

Disability & Health Law Attorney (ret.)

Katherine Tennyson

Tennyson Resolutions

Kyoko Wyse

Wyse Fiduciary Services

Whitney Yazzolino

Oregon Elder Law

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