Nathan Baker, Staff Attorney
Nathan joined Friends of the Columbia Gorge in 2000 and became staff attorney in 2001. As staff attorney, Nathan is responsible for managing the organization's legal efforts to protect the resources of the Columbia River Gorge. Nathan is licensed to practice law in both Oregon and Washington. He has edited and written for several legal publications on environmental and land use topics. While studying at Lewis & Clark Law School, he served as student body president and worked as a law clerk for the Pacific Environmental Advocacy Center (now Earthrise Law Center) and as the Law School's alternative transportation coordinator.
Peter Cornelison, Field Representative
Peter joined Friends of the Columbia Gorge in 2003 as our field representative. As field representative, Peter is responsible for building support and activism among Gorge residents for protecting the Columbia Gorge. He is a Hood River resident who has been active in a number of local conservation causes and organizations including the successful campaign to prevent a super Wal-Mart from locating in Hood River. Since 2006 he has been on the board (and served as President since 2009) of the Hood River Valley Residents Committee, a land-use citizens group dedicated to preservation of the farms and forests of the Hood River Valley. During this time he founded the Hood River Harvest Ride, an annual bike ride that attracts 400-plus riders. He has also been on the board of the Hood River Waterfront Community Park, built and funded by volunteers which is now owned by the City of Hood River. Prior to moving to Hood River, Peter managed a small family-owned manufacturing business.
Kevin Gorman, Executive Director
Kevin joined Friends of the Columbia Gorge in 1998 as executive director, after serving as associate director of Oregon Natural Resources Council (now Oregon Wild). As executive director, Kevin oversees all the activities of Friends of the Columbia Gorge and Friends of the Columbia Gorge Land Trust. During Kevin's tenure as executive director, Friends of the Columbia Gorge has added its land trust and two field offices, completed a $4.5 million land acquisition campaign and increased its net assets from $750,000 to $11 million. Kevin also assisted in creating two nonprofits in the Gorge: the Klickitat Trail Conservancy and the Cape Horn Conservancy. Kevin is also past board president of the Earth Share of Oregon, a workplace giving organization. Prior to his non-profit adventures, Kevin was the creative director of an advertising agency in Detroit, MI.
Stan Hall, Content Specialist
As content specialist, Stan is one of the voices of the organization, writing for our social media and fundraising appeals. Stan came to Friends in 2012 with a background in journalism and the educational publishing industry. A native of Atlanta, GA, a city not generally associated with smart growth and conservation, Stan moved to Oregon in 1997 and remembers being awestruck by the Gorge's natural, unspoiled beauty and impressed by its coexistence with a major metropolitan area. In addition to his work with Friends, Stan plays multiple instruments and writes songs for two different Portland indie music projects.
Kate Harbour, Development Assistant
As development assistant, Kate assists in annual fundraising activities and helps manage Friends' member database. Kate joined Friends in October 2012. Originally from Whidbey Island, WA, she moved to Portland in 2006 to attend Lewis and Clark College and received a B.A. in English. Before coming to Friends, Kate worked on a residential energy savings program at Portland Energy Conservation Inc. She's hiked many miles on trails across the Pacific Northwest and Europe and is fascinated by the role that outdoor recreation has in different communities. She's happy to be part of Friends, and to get to put her passion for the Gorge to work.
Maegan Jossy, Outdoor Programs Coordinator
Maegan joined Friends in 2010, bringing a background in program development and community outreach as a Recreation Program Supervisor at Hillsboro Parks & Recreation. Maegan organizes Friends' hiking program, stewardship activities, and youth program to promote personal recreational and stewardship responsibility. She has also served on the Board of Directors for the Hillsboro Schools Foundation and volunteered as a hut warden with the Department of Conservation in New Zealand. A native Oregonian who grew up on an agricultural farm in the Willamette Valley, Maegan is an outdoors enthusiast, has a deep appreciation for the Gorge's inspiring beauty, and looks forward to becoming a wildflower expert.
Michael Lang, Conservation Director
Michael joined Friends in 1993 as Forest and Land Use Coordinator and has served as Conservation Director since 1995. Michael oversees all aspects of our monitoring and litigation program, as well as working with allies and the media to promote Friends' priorities and playing a key role in our lobbying efforts. Michael has intimate knowledge of the Management Plan that governs the Gorge, having reviewed development proposals and worked with County planners and Gorge Commission staff throughout his tenure here. Prior to joining Friends, Michael directed campaigns for several electoral candidates and voter initiatives.
Kate McBride, Land Trust Manager
Kate, a third-generation Hood River native, joined Friends in May 2006. As land trust manager, Kate oversees the acquisitions and management of the land trust's 900-plus acres. She brings intimate land use knowledge from her previous 13 years as a real estate agent in the Gorge. Kate served for over 7 years helping with land use decisions as a planning commissioner for the City of Hood River and was appointed to the Hood River City Council in 2012. As co-chairman of Citizens for Responsible Growth, she helped stop the proposed Wal-Mart megastore in Hood River.
Ryan Rittenhouse, Conservation Organizer
Ryan joined Friends of the Columbia Gorge in June 2013. For six years prior to moving to Oregon, Ryan lived in Austin, TX where he worked as an environmental organizer and activist with Public Citizen and Greenpeace. His work there included fights over proposed and existing coal plants, the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline, and a nuclear plant expansion. A native of Cleveland, OH, Ryan has also worked for Ohio Citizen Action and has spent months at sea volunteering for oceanic wildlife protection and conservation. He has a degree in Communications from Allegheny College in Pennsylvania and has worked as an independent film maker as well as in the theater business at The Cleveland Playhouse and other venues.
Rick Till, Conservation Legal Advocate
Rick joined Friends of the Columbia Gorge in 2006 and serves as conservation legal advocate, weighing in conservation issues affecting the Columbia Gorge. Licensed to practice law in Washington, Rick is responsible for commenting on development applications and assists in appealing land use decisions. A native of the Pacific Northwest, he received a B.A. in Philosophy from Washington State University and a J.D. from Lewis and Clark Law School.
Renee Tkach, Gorge Towns to Trails Project Manager
Renee returned to Friends of the Columbia Gorge in 2011 as the project manager for Gorge Towns to Trails, a project that supports land protection, recreation enhancements and economic development. Renee originally was the organization's outdoor program coordinator, but then left in 2010 to serve as development outreach director for Hells Canyon Preservation Council. The organization lured back with the launch of Gorge Towns to Trails. Renee is also a founding member of Cape Horn Conservancy and serves on the board of Trailkeepers of Oregon. Her enthusiasm for the Gorge and the people that enjoy it is contagious. Renee is eager to share with the public the ways Friends is working to promote more hiking opportunities in the Gorge.
Paige Unangst, Business Manager
Paige joined Friends in August 2013. As business manager, Paige is responsible for financial management, human resources, and general office operations. She provides administrative, project management and process support to the organization. A Linfield College graduate, Paige has degrees in business administration and religious studies. She is delighted to have returned to the majestic Northwest and making her volunteer passions and interests into a career, as well as assisting Friends in its efforts to protect the beauty and splendor of the Gorge for generations to come. Prior to entering the non-profit world Paige worked as a buyer, inventory manager, and outside sales representative in the uniform/footwear industry.
Sandy Wright, Development Director
Sandy joined Friends of the Columbia Gorge in 2009 as Development Director and is responsible for the organization's fundraising efforts. She works with members of all levels to help them accomplish their philanthropic goals through membership gifts, major gifts and planned gift. Before joining Friends, she worked in similar positions with The Trust for Public Land and Three Rivers Land Conservancy. Sandy is recognized by the Association of Fund Raising Professionals as a CFRE (Certified Fund Raising Professional) for her knowledge in the field. Prior to shifting her energies to the nonprofit arena, she worked for more than 10 years in business development and management in the environmental field.