As Senior Staff Attorney, Nathan is responsible for managing the organization's legal efforts to protect the resources of the Columbia River Gorge. Since Nathan joined Friends in November 2000, Friends has participated in more than one hundred legal cases, losing less than fifteen percent of them. 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.
Senior Staff Attorney
Kyle provides operational support, helps manage Friends’ member database, and answers member questions. Originally from San Diego, Kyle moved to the Pacific Northwest in 2007 to attend Whitworth University in Spokane, WA, and joined Friends' staff in 2014. He has come to love the Northwest for its culture and natural beauty, from the Puget Sound to the Gorge. Kyle enjoys connecting community members with the work that nonprofits are doing, and recently received a Certificate in Nonprofit Fundraising through Portland State University and Willamette Valley Development Officers.
As field representative, Peter is responsible for building support and activism among Gorge residents for protecting the Columbia Gorge. A Friends staff member since 2003, Peter is a Hood River resident who has been active in a number of local conservation causes and organizations. Peter is a former president and board member of the Hood River Valley Residents Committee and a current member of the Hood River Waterfront Community Park Association. He was elected to the Hood River City Council in 2014. Prior to moving to Hood River, Peter managed a family-owned manufacturing business.
Pam joined Friends' staff in February 2014 to work with the development team, specializing in grant management, major gifts, and planned giving. Pam comes from a development background spanning fifteen years and has worked as development director for river-protection organizations in the southeastern U.S. She spent the first part of her career in sales and marketing for a global healthcare company. Pam previously worked as Director of Development at DoveLewis Emergency Animal Hospital in Portland, and in her spare time was an enthusiastic Friends volunteer, helping with fundraising initiatives and donor database research. When Pam is not riding her bicycle around the Pacific Northwest, she and her husband Bob enjoy the fine food and libations the region has to offer, as well as showing off the Gorge to visiting friends and family.
As executive director, Kevin oversees all the activities of Friends of the Columbia Gorge, as well as its land trust, which currently owns 1,000 acres of land. Kevin joined the organization in 1998 and during his tenure Friends has grown from eight staff and one office to 17 staff and three offices; net assets have grown from $750,000 to $18 million. Kevin helped lead the $4.5 million Cape Horn land acquisition campaign and assisted in created two nonprofits in the Gorge: the Klickitat Trail Conservancy and the Cape Horn Conservancy. Kevin was previously the associate director of Oregon Natural Resources Council (now Oregon Wild) and has served as board president for the Coalition of Oregon Land Trusts and EarthShare Oregon, a workplace giving organization. Prior to his non-profit adventures, Kevin was the creative director of an advertising agency in Detroit, MI.
Stan is one of Friends' voices, writing for and maintaining our website, social media and public-relations communications, in addition to curating Friends' large collection of fantastic Gorge photographs. An Atlanta native, Stan came to Friends in 2012 with a background in journalism and educational publishing. In addition to his work with Friends, Stan sings, plays bass guitar and writes songs for a Portland indie-rock band called the Zags.
As membership coordinator, Kate is responsible for the development and retention of members 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 to put her passion for the Gorge to work.
As Friends' outreach manager, Maegan oversees our communication, recreation, events, and volunteer efforts. 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 has a deep connection to nature and appreciation for the Gorge's inspiring beauty, and looks forward to becoming a wildflower expert.
Michael is Friends of the Columbia Gorge's longest-tenured staff member, having joined in 1993 as forest and land use coordinator; he has served as the 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 Columbia River Gorge Commission staff throughout his tenure here. Prior to joining Friends, Michael directed campaigns for several electoral candidates and voter initiatives.
Kate joined Friends in 2014 to help support our outreach and advocacy activities. Kate believes in the importance of experiential education and sustainable outdoor recreation for all ages, and she has taken the lead for Friends’ Explore the Gorge outdoor youth education program. Prior to moving to Portland in 2007, she spent several years with the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS), and has spent time backpacking in the White Mountains of New Hampshire, on the South Island of New Zealand, and in the North Cascades. She enjoys hiking with her two dogs and visiting the great local restaurants and breweries in different Gorge communities. In 2012 Kate and her husband were married on Thunder Island in Cascade Locks.
Kate, a third-generation Hood River native, joined Friends of the Columbia Gorge 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 Walmart megastore in Hood River.
Land Trust Manager
As staff attorney, Steve works to protect the scenic, recreational, cultural, and natural resources of the Columbia River Gorge by ensuring that decisions made by federal, state, and local permitting agencies follow applicable laws. Before joining Friends in 2016, Steve spent seven years as a staff attorney with 1000 Friends of Oregon, protecting Oregon’s farms and forestlands from development. When he is not helping to protect special places, he likes to hike, backpack, run, cook, and spend time with his family.
Ryan joined Friends 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 actions against 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.
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 left in 2010 to serve as development outreach director for Hells Canyon Preservation Council. 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 who 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.
Gorge Towns to Trails Project Manager
Paige is responsible for financial management, human resources, and office operations, providing administrative, project management and process support to the organization. A Linfield College graduate, Paige joined Friends in August 2013 and has degrees in business administration and religious studies. She is delighted to have returned to the majestic Northwest, after living in Pennsylvania and Illinois, and making her volunteer passions and interests into a career. She is excited to collaborate with Friends staff joining in the 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.
Sara joined Friends of the Columbia Gorge in 2015. As stewardship coordinator, Sara takes a lead role on stewardship and restoration of Friends of the Columbia Gorge Land Trust properties. Sara has been working in the natural resource field for over a decade and has a diverse background in researching birds, fish, butterflies, plants, and forest carnivores, butterflies. Sara studied at Paul Smith's College and Plattsburgh State University (New York State), respectively completing an A.S. in Ecology and a B.S. in Environmental Science. After settling in the Gorge in 2003, she completed a Master’s degree in Environmental Management at Portland State University. Sara strongly believes in volunteering and continues to do so via the Oregon State University Master Gardeners program, Hawk Watch International, and Cascadia Wild.
Land Trust Stewardship Coordinator
Sandy joined Friends 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 gifts. 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.