Our People

We are a team dedicated to the people and places of the Pacific Northwest. Together we work to make a lasting impact.

You are likely to find us in communities across the region, in our forested lands and along our shorelines. 

Interested in joining the team?

Alyson Bergomi

Alyson Bergomi

Position: AmeriCorps, Restoration and Stewardship
Email: abergomi@forterra.org
Categories: Staff

From growing up in Ohio to working in Seattle, Alyson has always been passionate about conserving natural spaces. As a student at the University of Washington in Seattle, where she earned her bachelor of science in environmental science and bachelor of the arts in law, societies, and justice, Alyson came to appreciate the value of green spaces in urban settings. She also enjoys working with volunteers who are as passionate about conservation and stewardship as she is, so she’s thrilled to be supporting Forterra’s work as an AmeriCorps member. When she is not helping restore urban forests, Alyson loves to hike, ski, rock climb, and take care of her many houseplants.

Alyson Bergomi

AmeriCorps, Restoration and Stewardship

From growing up in Ohio to working in Seattle, Alyson...

Ash Lehto

Ash Lehto

Position: Stewardship Coordinator, Green Cities
Email: alehto@forterra.org
Categories: Staff

Ash grew up on a tree farm in southwest Washington and from this developed a love for the forests of the PNW. She received her B.S. from the University of Washington, majoring in natural resource management. Ash has worked in environmental education, at places such as Discovery Park in Seattle and the Red Butte Garden & Arboretum in Utah, as well as in urban forestry with the City of Vancouver. Ash has also volunteered and traveled with the International Forestry Students’ Association for several years, where she worked with forestry students from around the world on professional development and education.

Ash started as an AmeriCorps on the Restoration & Stewardship team with Forterra, where she now works full-time as a Stewardship Coordinator. She loves that she gets to work both with people and outside in the field, bringing attention to environmental issues and engaging with communities. In her free time Ash enjoys curling up with a good book, rafting, hiking, camping, game nights with friends, and making bad puns.

Ash Lehto

Stewardship Coordinator, Green Cities

Ash grew up on a tree farm in southwest Washington...

Brooke Maxson, Forterra, Digital marketing Manager

Brooke Maxson

Position: Digital Marketing Manager, Communications
Email: bmaxson@forterra.org
Categories: Staff

Brooke has always been an avid nature lover. She grew up in the Adirondacks of upstate NY and spent most of her childhood in the woods bird watching and learning about the plants and animals in her area.

Brooke attended SUNY Plattsburgh where she graduated with her double BA in Broadcast Journalism and TV video production. Shortly after graduation, she moved to NYC where she spent 8 years working as a consultant with several of the largest television networks in the country. Through this work she built an extensive knowledge in content creation, video production and audience engagement.

In January of 2020, Brooke traded in her bustling city life for a calmer, nature based one in the PNW. Since moving here, she’s transitioned into living a more sustainable and minimalist lifestyle. She’s particularly passionate about more accessible and sustainable housing and joined the tiny home movement while learning how to grow her own food, minimize water waste and practicing a less consumerist way of living.

When Brooke isn’t working on sharing Forterra’s mission in the digital world, she spends her time on outdoor adventures with her partner and cat, Forrest. You can also find her practicing yoga, learning how to cook plant based meals, expanding her knowledge about local plants and animals or reading a good book with a warm cup of homemade cacao.

Brooke Maxson

Digital Marketing Manager, Communications

Brooke has always been an avid nature lover. She grew...

Cheri Marusa

Cheri Marusa

Position: Senior Director, Community Development
Email: cmarusa@forterra.org
Categories: Staff

Cheri was born and raised in the Upper Kittitas County-Cle Elum area, where she still lives today. Her lifelong familiarity with the unique issues and opportunities facing central and eastern Washington were foundational in her role as a lead project consultant in community relations with One Washington Outreach in the 14 years before joining Forterra. Cheri has always been active in her community. She founded and is president of Life Support I-90, a nonprofit to improve EMS response to the stretch of I-90 between Snoqualmie Pass and Cle Elum.  Cheri serves on the Roslyn Downtown Association Board and facilitated the Northwest Improvement Company Store building purchase and historical renovations in Roslyn, Washington, and recruited business tenants.  Cheri also serves on the board of USO NW and oversees the Jermaine Kearse USO NW Gold Star Kids program.  A former board member of Junior Achievement (JA), she championed building the JA Learning Center in Yakima. She is a Rotarian and engaged with numerous other organizations. Rural community development, conservation, attainable housing, and a clean, healthy environment are passions that energize her current role. Cheri seeks solutions that strike the best balance between preserving the integrity of what exists while propelling progress. With her husband Rob, she enjoys the outdoors year-round, sports, performing arts, travel, and cherished time with family and friends.

Cheri Marusa

Senior Director, Community Development

Cheri was born and raised in the Upper Kittitas County-Cle...

Christine Stephens

Christine Stephens

Position: Project Manager, Riparian Restoration
Email: cstephens@forterra.org
Categories: Staff

Christine began her time at Forterra as an AmeriCorps Stewardship Associate in 2018 working across the stewardship department on riparian restoration, green cities, and lands management projects. Currently, Christine works as a Project Manager for the riparian restoration team managing restoration projects on the Green-Duwamish River and Bear Creek including noxious weed control and revegetation to benefit endangered Chinook salmon. Originally from the suburbs of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Christine loves the scenery of the PNW and enjoys spending as much time as possible outside exploring. When she’s not enjoying nature, Christine likes to hang out with her cat, Bailey, and care for her ever expanding house plant collection.

Christine Stephens

Project Manager, Riparian Restoration

Christine began her time at Forterra as an AmeriCorps Stewardship...

Christopher Walter

Christopher Walter

Position: Director, Geospatial
Email: cwalter@forterra.org
Categories: Staff

Christopher is fascinated with patterns in the landscape–why things appear where they do, how they interrelate, and how we might make our own habitats more harmonious with nature. He uses spatial modeling to identify and evaluate considerations relevant to issues such as wildlife habitat, land use, urban growth, and social equity across neighborhoods. He has been geospatial director at Forterra since 2006, where he developed the organization’s first geospatial program and enterprise GIS. As lead geographer he provides communication, documentation, and decision-support resources for the full range of operations. He designed possibly the largest reference map of Washington State, currently displayed on an entire wall of Forterra’s Seattle office conference room. In 2011, he was awarded first place in the social impact category in the Esri/Society for Conservation GIS International Conservation Mapping Competition for his Green Seattle Partnership outreach map. Christopher has a master’s in environmental policy analysis from College of Charleston and a bachelor’s in conservation ecology from Purdue University. When he’s not sitting in front of a computer, you can usually find him indulging in anything automotive; working with, loving and learning from dogs; or immersing himself in one of his many interests, such as architecture, interior and landscape design, botany, human history and evolution, or speculative fiction.

Christopher Walter

Director, Geospatial

Christopher is fascinated with patterns in the landscape–why things appear...

Collette MacLean

Collette MacLean

Position: Lands Manager, Restoration and Stewardship
Email: cmaclean@forterra.org
Categories: Staff

After growing up in South Florida and attending college in New England, Collette set her sights on the Pacific Northwest and has lived in Seattle ever since. She is thrilled to be helping steward Forterra’s diverse lands and protecting the incredible natural bounty of the Pacific Northwest. She first came to Forterra as a natural resources fellow on Forterra’s real estate transactions team. Previously, she monitored rare plants as a volunteer with the RareCare program at the University of Washington Botanic Gardens, worked with the Washington Native Plant Society, trained as master native plant steward, and acted as an environmental consultant specializing in plant and wetlands ecology with David Evans and Associates. She holds master‘s degrees in environmental horticulture and forest science and biology from the University of Washington, as well as a bachelor’s from Smith College. When she’s not working, she’s likely outdoors hiking, running, skiing, walking, and gardening. She also enjoys baking and traveling.

Collette MacLean

Lands Manager, Restoration and Stewardship

After growing up in South Florida and attending college in...

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Dan Grausz

Position: Senior Director, Strategic Projects
Email: dgrausz@forterra.org
Categories: Staff

Dan has a background that includes substantial work in legal, business and community issues. On the legal side, Dan spent 10 years in private practice both in New York City and Seattle, where he was a partner with Helsell, Fetterman, Martin, Todd & Hokanson in the 1980s. After leaving the Helsell firm, Dan served as Vice President and General Counsel with Holland America Line until when he took over responsibility for Fleet Operations at Holland America Line. From 2011 to 2013, his role was expanded to include Seabourn Cruises. Dan has served as a member of the Mercer Island City Council in 1999. His tenure included four years as Deputy Mayor. Dan counts as some of his most significant accomplishments on Mercer Island the addition and preservation of park land and other green spaces. Prior to moving to Mercer Island, Dan served on the Queen Anne Community Council and was involved in the Seattle rezoning that was occurring in the 1980s. Dan has a B.S. Degree in Industrial and Labor Relations from Cornell University, his Law Degree from the University of Pennsylvania and a MBA from The Wharton School.

Dan Grausz

Senior Director, Strategic Projects

Dan has a background that includes substantial work in legal,...

Daniel Osterhage

Daniel Osterhage

Position: Project Manager, Community Development
Email: dosterhage@forterra.org
Categories: Staff

Daniel Osterhage

Project Manager, Community Development

Emilene Castillo

Emilene Castillo

Position: AmeriCorps, Stewardship and Restoration
Email: ecastillo@forterra.org
Categories: Staff

Emilene grew up in Portland, Oregon where she discovered her love for the outdoors. She moved to Victorville, California where she received her certificate in Water Resource Management from Victor Valley College. During her undergraduate years, she was the Assistant Director of the Environmental Resource Center. This student-led organization created sustainability programs and events on campus. She graduated from San Francisco State University with a Bachelor’s of Science in Environmental Science. Emilene then worked for the National Park Service at Golden Gate National Recreation Area. There she led outdoor education/interpretation programs in the Marin Headlands as an Education Intern and Park Guide.

Emilene believes in protecting and preserving the planet through responsible land management and restoration; stewardship and education; and scientific research. She loves working with the community to solve issues facing the world. In her free time Emilene enjoys creating digital art, exploring new places, and spending time with loved ones. You can see her reading self development books, watching anime, and hosting game nights!

Emilene Castillo

AmeriCorps, Stewardship and Restoration

Emilene grew up in Portland, Oregon where she discovered her...

Erin-Kindall_Controller-ForterraStaff

Erin Kindall

Position: Controller, Finance
Email: ekindall@forterra.org
Categories: Staff

Erin has over ten years of Controller experience most recently at Ad-West Realty Services, a Property Management company that specializes in multifamily affordable housing. While there she recruited, led, and coached a team of ten, led an ERP Implementation with multiple integrations and coordinated audits. Other accounting experience includes as Accounting Manager at CallisonRTKL Architecture, Construction Accountant at Whole Foods Market and as an Audit Senior with a Big Four Accounting firm where she worked on the Sealaska Heritage Institute. Growing up in Issaquah, Washington, Erin earned her Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration with a concentration in Accounting from the University of Washington and has been a licensed CPA in Washington State for several decades.

Erin is at her best when outdoors, enjoying gardening, hiking, mountain biking, and when forced to remain inside, creates quilts and bakes. When the opportunity arises, she will also climb into an airplane with her dad in search of the best pie. She lives in Maple Valley, WA with her husband and two kitties.

Erin Kindall

Controller, Finance

Erin has over ten years of Controller experience most recently...

Erin Stewart

Erin Stewart

Position: Executive Assistant, Real Estate Transactions
Email: estewart@forterra.org
Categories: Staff

Erin Stewart joins Forterra with a strong background in Office Management, bookkeeping and customer service. A lifelong theater artist, Erin holds a BFA from Seattle’s own Cornish College of the Arts. She has written, produced and performed around the Pacific Northwest for over 20 years. Born and raised in Seattle, her attachment to the land, sea and mountains is undeniable. Erin loves exploring the outdoors with her partner and their Wheaten Terrier, often going on weekend adventures to the Washington coast. Erin also enjoys true crime podcasts, making up new recipes and a good campfire.

Erin Stewart

Executive Assistant, Real Estate Transactions

Erin Stewart joins Forterra with a strong background in Office...

Hillary Wilson

Hillary Wilson

Position: Director, Business Development
Email: hwilson@forterra.org
Categories: Staff

As a program manager with Forterra’s impact investment team, Hillary develops and implements community engagement and government relations strategies for pipeline projects. She is committed to expanding thoughtful relationships with community-based organizations, tribes, investors, and government agencies and enjoys finding and implementing community-driven solutions to ensure long-term success and sustainability. Over the past four years at Forterra, she has managed a large portfolio of real estate and conservation projects, including launching a successful grassroots campaign to raise $3.5 million to conserve over 3,000-acres on the Kitsap Peninsula and facilitating the acquisition, predevelopment financing, and community stakeholder engagement for transit-oriented developments in Seattle, Tukwila, and Tacoma. Prior to Forterra, Hillary conducted research and analysis for impact assessments and nonprofit due diligence at Williamsworks, a women-owned consulting firm. She holds a Bachelor of Science in liberal studies from Montana State University. Hillary likes to trail run and take on home improvement projects.

Hillary Wilson

Director, Business Development

As a program manager with Forterra’s impact investment team, Hillary...

Jackie Kettman-Thomas

Jackie Kettman-Thomas

Position: Interim Associate Director, Investor Relations
Email: jkettman@forterra.org
Categories: Staff

Jackie uses her professional training and expertise to advocate for the affordable housing market and the education of children with disabilities. Her extensive experience in land use planning includes seven years with Thurston Regional Planning Council, implementing the Growth Management Act as an associate planner, and three with Thurston County Development Services, developing long-range land use planning policies and regulations. In these roles, she was able to see front-line democracy in progress — the way that public involvement can shape the development practices adopted by communities. Her equally extensive experience in law includes ten years at Futurity Legal Services, focusing on estate planning and special education advocacy, in particular fighting abusive disciplinary practices targeting children with complicated disabilities such as autism. She has written on shoreline armoring in Thurston County and written comprehensive, sub-area, and urban growth area plans for Thurston County, Olympia, Lacey, and other local municipalities. She holds a bachelor’s from The Evergreen State College and a JD from the University of Washington. Jackie likes to putter outside with podcasts in her ear, read, and travel. Someday she will rejoin the Olympia Peace Choir, the League of Women Voters, and the women’s Ultimate Frisbee league.

Jackie Kettman-Thomas

Interim Associate Director, Investor Relations

Jackie uses her professional training and expertise to advocate for...

Jacob Childers

Jacob Childers

Position: AmeriCorps, Stewardship and Restoration
Categories: Staff

Growing up surrounded by the beautiful landscape of eastern Washington, with its scenic farmland and staggering canyons, Jacob has always loved and appreciated the outdoors. He moved to Seattle, where he received a B.S. in geology from the University of Washington. There, he fell in love with the cool weather and the lush forests of the Puget Sound.

Jacob recently finished his first service year with AmeriCorps, where he worked with King Country DNRP to restore wetland and riparian habitat. Now, he is serving his second year of AmeriCorps as a Stewardship Associate with Forterra, where he hopes to help facilitate restoration through responsible use and management and community engagement. When he’s not working to restore our natural habitat, Jacob enjoys hiking, camping, or staying in and having game night with his friends.

Jacob Childers

AmeriCorps, Stewardship and Restoration

Growing up surrounded by the beautiful landscape of eastern Washington,...

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Jake Smith

Position: Senior Accountant, Finance
Email: jsmith@forterra.org
Categories: Staff

Jake Smith

Senior Accountant, Finance

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Jan Hurley

Position: Director, Construction and Development
Email: jhurley@forterra.org
Categories: Staff

Jan Hurley

Director, Construction and Development

Jenae Poe, Forterra Staff

Jenae Poe

Position: Director, Real Estate Transactions
Email: jpoe@forterra.org
Categories: Staff

Born in the PNW, Jenae grew up in Oregon’s working forests in a family of re-foresters. She has a passion for driving impact and creating a new “triple-bottom line” economy.

Jenae has a B.A. from Pacific Lutheran University and a M.A.in International Affairs from American University.

In her career Jenae has focused on impact investing and environmental, social and governance (ESG) research. She has advised philanthropic organizations like the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation on innovation and community strategies to drive better outcomes. Jenae has helped clients build sustainable, responsible and impact (SRI) portfolios, and has experience in sustainable forestry and supply chains and Indigenous land rights.

When she is not working with investors to create impact at Forterra, Jenae can be found hiking the trails throughout the Central Cascades, snowboarding and exploring the world through travel.

Jenae Poe

Director, Real Estate Transactions

Born in the PNW, Jenae grew up in Oregon’s working...

Jason Walsh, Forterra Staff

Jason Robert Walsh

Position: Project Manager, Community Development
Email: jwalsh@forterra.org
Categories: Staff

Jason was born and raised in the region of the Salish Sea and on the traditional lands and waters of the Duwamish, Tulalip, Muckleshoot and Suquamish tribal nations. He first developed his love for the treasures of the region as a wee one snowplowing his plastic skis between his mom’s legs and riding in her backpack through the Olympic Forest with his brother and sister, not all in the same pack of course.

Jason graduated from Gonzaga University, go Zags, with degrees in political science and communications, and parlayed that into a stint as an agroforresty volunteer with the Peace Corps in Niger. He earned his master’s in education while teaching in Washington DC and went on to teach in Honduras, Brazil, Venezuela and Poland. He has a passion for learning languages, and doing as much as he possibly can, be it block prints, trail running or volunteering with social justice focused organizations. Jason moved back to the Seattle area to earn master’s degrees in urban planning and public health, with an aim to help create just, equitable and healthful communities.

Jason Robert Walsh

Project Manager, Community Development

Jason was born and raised in the region of the...

Jeff “JD” Dade

Jeff “JD” Dade

Position: Director, Community Development
Email: jdade@forterra.org
Categories: Staff

Jeff is a glass-half-full guy who works outside of the box. He is dedicated to fostering inclusive, equitable financial solutions to aid in the massive remediation and healing our society deserves, particularly in communities of Black, Indigenous, and other people of color who have historically been underserved. Before becoming a nonprofit community development professional and Accredited Financial Counselor®, he spent decades honing a career in business banking and real estate finance for Fortune 500 companies, working in a variety of subfields, including underwriting, lending, and wealth management. Jeff attended the University of Washington where he earned a bachelor’s in urban studies emphasizing community economic development with a minor in law and policy, followed by a master’s degree in community planning. His current work at Forterra is centered in community-driven design, attainable home and business ownership, as well as innovating restorative economic mobility models that bridge the Racial Wealth Gap. Away from work, Jeff likes soulful music, reading Chinese wuxia novels, cooking, and dreaming.

Jeff “JD” Dade

Director, Community Development

Jeff is a glass-half-full guy who works outside of the...

Jenny Ugolino

Jenny Ugolino

Position: Program Manger, Green Cities
Email: jugolino@forterra.org
Categories: Staff

Jenny developed a love of plants while growing up in the Catskill Mountains of Upstate New York.  She earned a BA in Biology from the College of the Holy Cross and completed a MA in Environmental Conservation Education at NYU.  From there, she spent nearly a decade working in the environmental education and sustainability field in NYC. At GrowNYC, Jenny directed the Zero Waste Schools Program, partnering with public schools, government officials, students and teachers to develop best practices for school waste reduction.  At Trail Blazer Camps, she grew their school-year programs with the goal of making meaningful outdoor experiences accessible to all.  Jenny is thrilled to bring her program management skills to Forterra and to learn from the many people that steward the land.  She is honored to be part of a team that fosters meaningful connections in nature. In her spare time, Jenny enjoys cooking and eating with friends and family, floral arranging, hiking and curling up with a good book.

Jenny Ugolino

Program Manger, Green Cities

Jenny developed a love of plants while growing up in...

Joe Sambataro

Joe Sambataro

Position: Managing Director, Conservation Transactions
Email: jsambataro@forterra.org
Categories: Staff

Joe got his start at Forterra from 2005 to 2008 where he rapidly learned the art and strategies of land conservation. In those early years, he collaborated with landowners, agencies, tribes, and nonprofit partners to conserve critical working farm and forestland, salmon habitat, and public land inholdings. Joe recently joins Forterra from Access Fund, the national advocacy and conservation organization that protects climbing areas. As access director, Joe launched a revolving loan program and worked in over 35 states to employ conservation strategies and multi-year financing and fundraising models. Here in the Northwest, Joe supported land managers and partners with recreation policy, nonprofit management, and stewardship initiatives. He grew up in Western Washington and graduated from Cornell University in 2005, with a bachelor of science specializing in environmental economics and sustainable business. Joe has a lifelong passion for climbing and can often be found hanging from a rope at the Index Town Walls. He lives in Edmonds and loves getting the entire family outside to hike, fish, ski, and paddle together.

Joe Sambataro

Managing Director, Conservation Transactions

Joe got his start at Forterra from 2005 to 2008...

Jordan Boulter

Jordan Boulter

Position: Website and Audience Growth Manager, Communications
Email: jboulter@forterra.org
Categories: Staff

Jordan has a background in visual design, technical writing, and digital marketing. She is a firm believer in strategizing her designs based on data about the audience while designing for the audience. Her passion for user-centered design is shaped by her extensive experience in small business management, giving her a unique skill set in customer relations, storytelling, communication, and strategic problem-solving.

Jordan graduated from ASU at the top of her class, with her Bachelor’s in UX design and Master’s in digital marketing. In addition to her education, she holds several certificates in digital audience practices, focusing on analytics and SEO. As a PNW local, Jordan is passionate about sustainable living practices. She has volunteered for several nonprofits, focusing on long-term solutions for food insecurity in her own state.

When she is not at work, Jordan loves to be outdoors. If she isn’t at home tending to her own small farm, you can find her in the mountains with a snowboard, paddleboard, or hiking boots exploring the PNW and all it has to offer. She loves to photograph her adventures so you will often find her with both a camera and coffee in hand.

Jordan Boulter

Website and Audience Growth Manager, Communications

Jordan has a background in visual design, technical writing, and...

Julie Witherspoon

Julie Witherspoon

Position: Managing Director, Operations Transactions
Email: jwitherspoon@forterra.org
Categories: Staff

Julie Witherspoon is an operations director who cares deeply about transitioning our land use patterns to support vibrant ecosystems. She has worked with entrepreneurs in impact investing, soup manufacturing, and real estate development to refine business strategies and implement effective growth plans. In all industries, she sees the underlying frameworks of communication, trust, and teamwork as the foundations to success. Julie’s experience has included land acquisition and finance, investor relations, risk management, accounting, and communications. After earning a master’s in environmental management from Yale, Julie was part of the founding team at Bio-Logical Capital—an impact investment firm which layered sustainable production of food, energy, water, and housing to protect and restore ecosystems. Prior to joining Forterra, Julie served as the business manager for a multifamily housing developer in San Francisco called BUILD.

Julie grew up in Spokane on the same ranch that her great-great grandmother ranched at the turn of the 20th century. As such, she has a deep appreciation for the relationships we each have with land and is eager to learn more about the wetter, western side of Washington.

Julie Witherspoon

Managing Director, Operations Transactions

Julie Witherspoon is an operations director who cares deeply about...

Katherine Nechaeva

Katherine Nechaeva

Position: Staff Accountant, Finance
Email: knechaeva@forterra.org
Categories: Staff

Katherine earned a bachelor’s degree in accounting, economic analysis, and auditing from Kuban State Agricultural University in Krasnodar, Russia. She worked for eight years in accounting and auditing in Russia before moving to Seattle in 2015, when she temporarily changed careers and became a floral designer. Her stint in the floral business, together with the fascinating landscapes of her new home, fostered in her an appreciation for all plant life. Katherine is in the process of earning her CPA license. In her free time she enjoys flamenco, salsa, and Seattle theater.

Katherine Nechaeva

Staff Accountant, Finance

Katherine earned a bachelor’s degree in accounting, economic analysis, and...

Kimberly Weed

Kimberly Weed

Position: Senior Director, People, Culture & Technology
Email: kweed@forterra.org
Categories: Staff

Kimberly is experienced and well versed in many aspects of People & Culture and Organizational Development such as internal communications, performance management, BJEDI, training and coaching and mentoring programs. Kimberly has been described by peers, managers, and friends as an innovator, trailblazer, and influencer in People & Culture and Training and Consulting.

For fun, Kimberly loves traveling, yoga and kayaking as well as spending time with her two Pugs, Raydiance and Ernie and her cat (who thinks he is a pug) Rayn-Bo.

Kimberly Weed

Senior Director, People, Culture & Technology

Kimberly is experienced and well versed in many aspects of...

Kristi England

Kristi England

Position: Chief Board and External Relations Officer
Categories: Staff

Kristi grew up in rural Idaho where appreciation of the outdoors is a way of life. She has more than 20 years as a consultant in corporate communications, campaigns, public affairs and community relations with extensive experience in reputation management, external and internal relations, as well as stakeholder and community mobilization.

Kristi first came to work with Forterra back when it was Cascade Land Conservancy as a consultant for a small neighborhood project in West Seattle. From there, she continued working to organize The Cascade Dialogues and The Cascade Agenda. She’s worked with clients on a number of local, national and global environmental initiatives; and was fortunate to lead Seattle Climate Action Now, an initiative of former Mayor Greg Nickels that asked city residents to take small steps toward stopping climate change. She received her B.S. in Political Science. Kristi is currently the President of the Board of Trustees for The Seattle Public Library and has served on the boards of Water 1st International, the Trade Development Alliance of Greater Seattle and Seattle Works.

Kristi England

Chief Board and External Relations Officer

Kristi grew up in rural Idaho where appreciation of the...

Ksenia Popova

Ksenia Popova

Position: Assistant Director, Donor Engagement, Venture Philanthropy
Email: kpopova@forterra.org
Categories: Staff

Ksenia joins Forterra with ten years of nonprofit experience. In her role as the philanthropy officer, Ksenia will build relationships with individual donors and help with outreach to new potential supporters and friends. Previously she served as the marketing & communications officer at Friends of Youth, development events coordinator for the George Pocock Foundation, and marketing coordinator at Seattle Opera. She currently sits on the Metropolitan Opera National Council Audition committee board and has run her own nonprofit, Opera On Tap Seattle, since 2011. Ksenia is passionate about engaging and connecting with the community. Raised in Seattle, she enjoys spending time exploring the outdoors, eating her way through the city, and hanging out with her cat, Lucy di Meowermoor.

Ksenia Popova

Assistant Director, Donor Engagement, Venture Philanthropy

Ksenia joins Forterra with ten years of nonprofit experience. In...

Leanne Weiss

Leanne Weiss

Position: Senior Project Manager, Conservation Transactions
Email: lweiss@forterra.org
Categories: Staff

Leanne has over ten years of experience managing environmental projects in Washington, Oregon, and California in both the non-profit and public sectors. She has worked with a wide variety of stakeholders, both from industry (commercial fishing and municipal waste water management) and government (state, federal, and local). Most recently, Leanne worked at the Washington Department of Ecology where she collaborated on water quality projects and managed grants and loans. Previously, she spent six years at Ecotrust, in Portland, Oregon, mapping commercial fishing grounds for state planning processes.

Leanne has a master’s in Environmental Management form the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies and Bachelors from Willamette University. She grew up fishing the Hanford Reach in Eastern Washington where she developed her passion for Washington’s waters and landscapes. Leanne enjoys cross country skiing, backpacking, climbing, gardening, and spending time with her family and friends.

Leanne Weiss

Senior Project Manager, Conservation Transactions

Leanne has over ten years of experience managing environmental projects...

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Malia Vigeant

Position: Database Specialist, People, Culture & Technology
Email: mvigeant@forterra.org
Categories: Staff

Malia was born in Hawaii, where her love of beauty, nature, and the land began.  She spent her youth on the beaches, rivers, and trails there, in Santa Barbara, Sun Valley, Taos and the Northwest. She completed a teacher training in Early Childhood Education, while living and working on a Biodynamic Commercial Farm in New Zealand. Her previous career was dedicated to creating environmentally friendly aesthetically pleasing retail spaces.  One of her designs was the first of its kind in the U.S., utilizing reclaimed barn wood slats for paneling. Malia has an extensive background in floral and interior design in private and corporate sectors. She was also the lead designer for one of the Williams-Sonoma, Inc. brands and initiated re-brand/product design to handmade, Euro and Eco-friendly goods. She has a Domestic Violence Advocacy Credential and was a Client Care Coordinator for two Seattle based treatment centers. Malia has always aspired to being part of a Non-Profit. Joining the Forterra movement to assist the planet and humanity is her greatest occupation.

Malia Vigeant

Database Specialist, People, Culture & Technology

Malia was born in Hawaii, where her love of beauty,...

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Margaret M. Griffiths

Position: CFO and VP, Finance
Email: mgriffiths@forterra.org
Categories: Staff

Most recently, Margaret was the chief financial officer at the Frye Art Museum where she oversaw all business operations and managed the commercial real estate and foundation investment portfolios. At Qualis Health, where she also acted as chief financial officer, she developed and managed all finance, accounting, contracting, compliance, administrative, and facilities functions for the $40+ million healthcare consulting nonprofit. She provided financial, compliance, and facilities oversight for expansion to three new offices, while maintaining the six existing ones. At PhenoPath Laboratories, Margaret, again as CFO, developed and managed the finance, accounting, and administrative functions (including human resources and information technology) for an innovative, rapidly expanding national medical diagnostic laboratory and contract research firm. Prior to these positions, she ran her own consulting business, offering expertise and assistance to nonprofit and municipal clients in strategic planning, financial analysis, and capacity and credit building. Margaret holds a bachelor’s in business administration with a concentration in accounting and a bachelor’s in foreign languages and literature (French and German) from Washington State University. She is a passionate advocate for global healthcare access, climate change action, and the rights of people over corporations. She loves to be outdoors, at her lake cabin in the woods, in the garden, or out on walks, or else occupied indoors at the theater or a museum.

Margaret M. Griffiths

CFO and VP, Finance

Most recently, Margaret was the chief financial officer at the...

Martina Jambrichova

Martina Jambrichova

Position: Director, Accounting and Finance, SCF
Categories: Staff

Martina has worked in the real estate industry for over 17 years, 11 of which were spent at as controller and vice president of finance at Build Urban. Her knowledge base includes job costing reports and controls; coordination of financial reporting for multi-company organizations; management of audits; management of operating and construction budgets; analyses of land acquisitions and project pro forma models; building and maintaining lender relationships to secure land acquisition and construction loans. A passion for conservation of public land, national parks, and national forests and outdoors activities makes her a perfect fit for Forterra. Martina holds a Master of Business Administration in finance from City University, Bellevue, Washington, and certificates in nonprofit management and commercial real estate from the University of Washington. She likes to spend her free time outdoors, skiing, hiking, sailing, and kayaking in United States and around the world.

Martina Jambrichova

Director, Accounting and Finance, SCF

Martina has worked in the real estate industry for over...

Mary Teo

Mary Teo

Position: Director, Financial Systems & Compliance, Finance
Email: mteo@forterra.org
Categories: Staff

Mary brings over 20 years’ experience in accounting and finance. She received her bachelor’s from Indiana University in 1995 and earned her Certified Public Accounting (CPA) license in 2009. Mary has worked in a variety of industries including a bank (HomeStreet), a brewery (Redhook), people search (Intelius), automobile PR (STI Fleet Services) and healthcare (Providence Health). But joining Forterra has brought her work closer to her love for the outdoors. In her free time, she likes to volunteer, try new restaurants, travel the world or just hang out with her family.

Mary Teo

Director, Financial Systems & Compliance, Finance

Mary brings over 20 years’ experience in accounting and finance....

May Kiduo-England

May Kiduo-England

Position: Accounting Manager, Finance
Categories: Staff

May has a bachelor’s in accounting from the University of Houston. Prior to Forterra, she spent eight years as a person banker at Wells Fargo, where she received the regional sales award. She was also a senior accountant and accounting manager at Houston Foodbank and a staff accountant at HIMA Americas and GBH CPAs. May volunteers with her church and in the community. Away from work she likes to travel and listen to TED Talks.

May Kiduo-England

Accounting Manager, Finance

May has a bachelor’s in accounting from the University of...

Michael-Kelly_Forterra-Staff

Michael Kelly

Position: Managing Director, Communications
Email: mkelly@forterra.org
Categories: Staff

Michael believes in the power of people coming together to create genuine change and build a more sustainable, equitable, and just society. Michael is a writer, strategist, and national communications leader. He has a B.A. In Visual and Media Arts from Emerson College. He has spent nearly two decades developing communications strategies to motivate people and mobilize movements to make democracy work for all of us, protect our water, tackle the climate crisis, and increase access to affordable housing and greenspace in our cities. Most recently Michael spent 11 years as the Director of Communications at Clean Water Action, a national organization, fighting for strong health and environmental protections through issue expertise, solution-oriented thinking, and by building people power. In this role he also led the communications and media efforts of broad coalitions focused on protecting clean water for all communities. Michael lives in Seattle with his partner of 20 years. When he’s not working, you can find usually find him mixing cocktails for friends, digging for books and records at shops across the city, or in a darkened theater watching movies, dance, or music.

Michael Kelly

Managing Director, Communications

Michael believes in the power of people coming together to...

Michael Storace

Michael Storace

Position: Project Manager, Conservation Transactions
Email: mstorace@forterra.org
Categories: Staff

Michael’s diverse passions include forest ecology and plant identification, finding a sense of place and fostering community, collecting maps, and drinking coffee. He holds a Master of Forestry from the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies and a Bachelor of Science from the University of Vermont. He brings to Forterra experience in conservation, natural resources, regional planning, forest management, and community outreach, along with an enthusiastic and outgoing personality. From 2015 to 2018, he worked at the Two Rivers-Ottauquechee Regional Commission in Woodstock, Vermont, as a planner helping small communities in central Vermont adapt and become more resilient to the impacts of climate change, such as increasingly irregular precipitation patterns. In the summer of 2019, he worked with the Palmer Land Trust in Colorado Springs to develop communication tools to engage community members with conservation planning in Southeastern Colorado. He enjoys exploring new trails, reading, visiting craft breweries, and biking around new neighborhoods.

Michael Storace

Project Manager, Conservation Transactions

Michael’s diverse passions include forest ecology and plant identification, finding...

Michelle Connor

Michelle Connor

Position: President & CEO
Categories: Staff

Michelle Connor has worked to steward the well-being of people and nature through how land is owned and being managed throughout her 28-year career at Forterra. She has played a part in more than 400 transactions worth ~$500M and provided executive leadership in all phases of public policy, community engagement, negotiations, fundraising and innovative finance (notably the Forterra Strong Communities Fund).

Highlights of her leadership include successful completion of the 4,000-acre Kitsap Forest and Bay Campaign, conserving the Wayne Golf Course in Bothell so that it can become a large public park, protecting waterfront on Maury Island from being developed as a gravel pit, restoring the culturally important Duwamish Hill Preserve, adding the scenic Moolak Lakes to the Mt. Si Natural Area, negotiating a community stake in coming redevelopment at 23rd and Union in Seattle’s Central District, and laying the groundwork for Wadajir, a micro-enterprise hub in Tukwila together with the Abu Bakr Mosque.

Michelle is a third-generation Washingtonian, with an M.S. from the University of Washington’s College of Forest Resources and a B.A. from the Evergreen State College.

Michelle Connor

President & CEO

Michelle Connor has worked to steward the well-being of people...

Michelle Koo

Michelle Koo

Position: Associate Philanthropy Director, Foundation Relations
Email: mkoo@forterra.org
Categories: Staff

Born and mostly raised in the PNW, Michelle holds a Bachelor’s in Sociology from Western Washington University and a Master’s in Global Corporations and Policy from the University of London (SOAS). She is eager to bring her experience in connecting community-based organizations, both in the U.S and abroad, to the funding and resources that maximize program impact. From community members to private and government institutions, she is committed to strengthening the relationship of key cross-sector stakeholders in order to address the most critical challenges facing equitable, sustainable development. Out of office, Michelle can be found either tackling others on the rugby pitch, hiking while listening to podcasts, or cooking for the whole family.

Michelle Koo

Associate Philanthropy Director, Foundation Relations

Born and mostly raised in the PNW, Michelle holds a...

Nicholas Carr

Nicholas Carr

Position: Director, Chehalis Basin Conservation
Email: ncarr@forterra.org
Categories: Staff

Nicholas came to Washington as a kid by way of Colorado and Wyoming and has grown into the Pacific Northwest nicely. Mountains, forests, rivers, lakes, Puget Sound, beaches, lagoons, streams, plains, canyons, green and blue everywhere…he loves it all. Nicholas is a graduate of the University of Washington Tacoma, earning both a bachelor’s in politics, philosophy, and economics and a master’s in community planning. For close to six years he worked in the office of U.S. Rep. Derek Kilmer, where he facilitated relationships between communities and federal agencies and analyzed the effect of legislative policy. He remains engaged in politics even now that he is no longer working for the congressman. His other passions include soccer, bouldering, home cooking, the music of Frank Turner, and more than anything, exploring Washington with his family, preferably on a boat, island, or somewhere in between.

Nicholas Carr

Director, Chehalis Basin Conservation

Nicholas came to Washington as a kid by way of...

Nick Bratton

Nick Bratton

Position: Senior Director, Policy; External Relations
Email: nbratton@forterra.org
Categories: Staff

Nick has a Master of Public Administration from the University of Washington’s Evans School of Public Policy and Governance, a Master of Science from the University of Washington’s College of Forest Resources, and a bachelor’s in geological sciences and French from the University of Michigan. At Forterra, Nick collaborates with communities to balance growth and conservation of resource lands in ways that meet local needs. He has designed market-based conservation programs in counties and cities across the region, including shaping two state laws creating a regional marketplace that has protected over 60,000 acres of farm and forest land. Nick has published extensively on the transfer of development rights and conservation and authored technical and policy reports for cities and counties in Washington. He serves as a board member of the Everett Station District Alliance. Nick is an avid adventurer and world traveler, having visited 30 countries and lived abroad for seven years. He is COO of Global Exploration and Recovery, an international team of scientists and wilderness professionals dedicated to the research, recovery, and repatriation of U.S. Service members and civilians missing around the world. Previously, Nick was a manager and designer at Feathered Friends, a Seattle-based sporting goods company. He was co-founder of Adventure Professionals, Inc. and worked as a mountaineering guide with Alpine Ascents, an instructor with National Outdoor Leadership School, and rafting and canyoneering guide in South Africa. Nick is also a published travel writer whose work has been featured in the Boston Globe, The Guardian, Hidden Compass, and Overland Journal.

Nick Bratton

Senior Director, Policy; External Relations

Nick has a Master of Public Administration from the University...

Olgy Diaz

Olgy Diaz

Position: Director, Government Affairs
Email: odiaz@forterra.org
Categories: Staff

Olgy is passionate about civic engagement in communities of color and wants to see more people of color and women elected to public office. “When positions of power reflect the communities they serve or lead, we can make a better future and world for everyone,” she says. Toward this end, she has worked as a senior political manager for OneAmerica, recruiting, training, and electing immigrant and refugee candidates to public office, and as the party affairs director for the Washington State Democrats, creating and leading the 2018 state caucus and convention process and supporting the efforts of hundreds of grassroots volunteers. For five years, she was a senior legislative assistant in the Washington State House and Senate where she focused on social safety net and tribal sovereignty issues and co-founded peer leadership and mentorship groups for women and staff of color. In 2013, her passion for politics inspired her to run for Tacoma City Council. Though unsuccessful, the experience helps her train women and people of color to run for office through her position on the board of the National Women’s Political Caucus of Washington. Olgy is also a board member at the Institute for a Democratic Future, where she is a 2014 graduate. She is a governor-appointed public member of the Washington State Pharmacy Quality Assurance Commission and represents Forterra on the Washington Wildlife and Recreation Coalition board. Olgy earned bachelor’s degrees from the University of Washington in Latin American studies and women’s studies. When time permits, she can be found soaking up the intermittent sun with her cheweenie Pepita, preferably on a beach but most often in her Tacoma backyard or Ruston Way.

Olgy Diaz

Director, Government Affairs

Olgy is passionate about civic engagement in communities of color...

Rachel Valdez

Rachel Valdez

Position: Chief People, Culture & Technology Officer
Email: rvaldez@forterra.org
Categories: Staff

Rachel Valdez has over 20 years of people & technology management experience, along with teaching experience in higher education. Rachel was born and raised in Washington State, majored in Communications & Social Sciences at the University of Washington (UW) and earned her bachelor and masters’ degree in Communications from UW.  She is a doctoral student at Fielding Graduate University earning a PhD in Psychology with an emphasis in Media Technology. She comes from a multi-cultural background of Spanish(Iberian), Native American (Blackfeet), Irish, Italian and is a member of the LGBTQIA family. She is an entrepreneur and has successfully managed her own company. She has volunteered and served on several boards including The Pride Foundation, Pat Graney Dance Company, YWCA Dress for Success and Casa Latina. In her own time, she enjoys the outdoors with her family, friends and two golden retrievers.

Rachel Valdez

Chief People, Culture & Technology Officer

Rachel Valdez has over 20 years of people & technology...

Rebecca Davis

Rebecca Davis

Position: Executive Assistant, People & Culture
Email: RDavis@forterra.org
Categories: Staff

Rebecca Davis comes to Forterra as an Executive Assistant on the People & Culture team from Shunpike, a non-profit fiscal sponsor of small arts organizations in Western Washington. While at Shunpike, Rebecca helped out 60+ clients do everything from applying for grants to acquiring banquet and event licenses. Previous to entering non-profit life, Rebecca worked for various tech companies as an Executive Assistant. Originally from Oregon, she moved to Seattle after graduating from U of O. In her other pre-COVID life, Rebecca enjoyed theatre, cabaret, and traveling to the UK.

Rebecca Davis

Executive Assistant, People & Culture

Rebecca Davis comes to Forterra as an Executive Assistant on...

Rebecca Wold Bouchey

Rebecca Wold Bouchey

Position: Managing Director, Community Development
Email: rbouchey@forterra.org
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