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?

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...

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: Program Manager, Lands
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

Program Manager, Lands

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

Court Terrell

Position: Senior Managing Director Real Estate
Email: cterrell@forterra.org
Categories: Staff

Mr. Terrell comes to Forterra with extensive experience as a real estate executive and legal counsel.

His real estate background in acquisition, due diligence, development, and construction spans over 20 years, and covers a wide range of asset classes and geographic regions. He spent many years working in Florida as a private practice real estate attorney before entering the homebuilding industry, first as an in-house counsel, and then as a land acquisition and development executive. Through a series of merger& acquisitions and relocations, Mr. Terrell worked for four (4) national public homebuilders across the country, including, Ryland Homes, CalAtlantic Homes, Lennar Homes and Richmond American Homes. Some of his positions included being Vice President, National Real Estate Counsel and Director/VP of Land Acquisitions for some of the largest public homebuilders and homebuilding divisions
in the nation. He also did land acquisition work for Amazon Web Services on the west coast after relocating from Florida to Washington with his family. After graduating from university, Mr. Terrell spent several years on active duty as a United States Army Officer, which included tours in Belgium and Fort Gordon, GA.

After many years in the corporate world of real estate, Mr. Terrell joined Forterra to focus his professional experience on a new set of goals and priorities at the nexus of land, people, and communities. Mr. Terrell volunteers at the high school and club levels to support his daughter and various women’s volleyball teams. He can also be found at Duthie Hill Mountain Bike Park trying to keep up with his son or boating with his family in the South Puget Sound. The view of Mount Ranier from the
waters off Fox Island always make him stop and enjoy the beautiful state we get to call home.

Court Terrell

Senior Managing Director Real Estate

Mr. Terrell comes to Forterra with extensive experience as a...

Dan Grausz

Position: Senior Director of 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 of Strategic Projects

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

Dan Murdoch

Position: Director, Special Projects
Email: dmurdoch@forterra.org
Categories: Staff

Dan Murdoch

Director, Special Projects

Dan O’Connor

Position: Director, Database & Systems
Email: doconnor@forterra.org
Categories: Staff

Dan brings more than a decade of experience managing nonprofit donor and revenue data to his role at Forterra. Prior to joining Forterra, he spent 12 years at Northwest Kidney Centers, where he overhauled the coding structure and manner of tracking donor and revenue, integrated third-party applications used for events with the primary database (Raiser’s Edge), and successfully managed growth in the organization’s direct mail and employee-giving programs. His experience also includes eight years managing multi-million dollar capital campaigns, and he began his career working in public relations.

Dan earned his bachelors in public relations from Gonzaga University, where he also captained the GU club lacrosse team. Away from work, he spends his time outside – skiing with family and friends throughout winter, hiking the Issaquah Alps and beyond year-round, or walking his dog, Elvis, around his hilly Issaquah neighborhood.

Dan O’Connor

Director, Database & Systems

Dan brings more than a decade of experience managing nonprofit...

Dana Delgado

Position: Revenue Stream Staff Accountant
Email: ddelgado@forterra.org
Categories: Staff

Dana, with a bachelor’s degree in accounting from the University of South Florida, excels in financial analysis and analytical expertise. Beyond her academic achievements, Dana possesses a dynamic spirit, constantly seeking new challenges and experiences. Her adventurous nature leads her to explore different cultures through travel and gastronomy, while her commitment to personal growth is evident in her active engagement as a volunteer for her city.

Dana’s professional dedication and zest for life combine to create a well-rounded individual who not only excels in her career but also contributes positively to her community.

Dana Delgado

Revenue Stream Staff Accountant

Dana, with a bachelor’s degree in accounting from the University...

Daniel Hachet

Position: Project Manager
Email: dhachet@forterra.org
Categories: Staff

After growing up in rural Ohio, Daniel attended Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma, Washington, earning degrees in Mathematics and Environmental Studies.

Post-graduation, Daniel engaged in habitat restoration, erosion control, and fish habitat preservation on private lands through the Washington Conservation Corps. Daniel is deeply passionate about fostering sustainable communities, preserving natural landscapes, and actively working in the field.

As a dedicated project manager at Forterra NW, Daniel leads initiatives focused on environmental conservation and restoration. Their journey with Forterra began as a Stewardship Associate, actively engaging volunteers in restoring native ecosystems across King County.

Outside of work, Daniel is an avid hiker, enjoys cycling, knitting, playing video games, and movies.

Daniel Hachet

Project Manager

After growing up in rural Ohio, Daniel attended Pacific Lutheran...

David Leon

David Leon

Position: VP, Real Estate Transactions
Email: dleon@forterra.org
Categories: Staff

David has participated in the development of over 1,900 units of residential housing throughout the Puget Sound region, including townhomes, single-family homes, and mixed-use apartment buildings. He has experience as an analyst, a project manager, and an acquisitions manager for development companies including Intracorp Real Estate, Taylor Morrison, and StoryBuilt.

Prior to working in real estate development, David was a practicing attorney for the City of New York, and a human resources manager at Eddie Bauer and the Port of Seattle. He holds a master’s degree in real estate from the University of Washington, a law degree from the University of Miami, and a bachelor’s degree from the University of California at Berkeley.

David enjoys travel; he has visited 20 different countries and 45 U.S. states. He also enjoys rowing, cross-country skiing, and bike rides with friends and family.

David Leon

VP, Real Estate Transactions

David has participated in the development of over 1,900 units...

Dawn Haight

Position: Senior Managing Director, Conservation Real Estate
Categories: Staff

Dawn has been working in the field of land conservation for over two decades, including two previous roles as Executive Director in southern Oregon and the Gulf Coast of Mississippi, as well as positions as Director of Stewardship and Conservation Design Manager, both in New York. She has assisted with the conservation and management of many thousands of acres of land including productive farms and woodlands, coastal wetlands and urban parks. Dawn served on the Board of the Partnership for Gulf Coast Land Conservation and volunteered for the National Trust for Scotland during a three-month sabbatical. She was the visionary and coordinator of the first NY Land Conservation Summit, provided input as an Advisory Committee member for the development of two NY Open Space Conservation Plans, and sat on the Central Pine Barrens Commission and Cornell Cooperative Extension’s Farmland
Committee on Long Island, NY.

Dawn has a masters degree in landscape architecture from the University of Guelph in Ontario, and her undergraduate work at the University of Victoria in British Columbia led to a bachelor's degree with a double major in environmental studies and English. She was born and raised in northern BC, and loves spending time outdoors.

 

Dawn Haight

Senior Managing Director, Conservation Real Estate

Dawn has been working in the field of land conservation...

Erin-Kindall_Controller-ForterraStaff

Erin Kindall

Position: Chief Financial Officer
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

Chief Financial Officer

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

India Clark

Position: Sr. Managing Director, Community Development
Email: iclark@forterra.org
Categories: Staff

India Clark has over 15 years of experience in commercial real estate. She has spent her career helping investors, owners, and funds to build, manage and acquire commercial real estate portfolios. During her undergrad at Wesleyan, she lived abroad in Barcelona, Spain where she studied European Business Management and Spanish. After Graduation she moved to Paris, France to learn French and launch her commercial real estate career on the EMEA Industrial and Logistics team at CBRE.

Since then, her work now spans all asset types and classes with over 1 million square feet of transations to her credit. India held prior roles as an investment sales advisor, multifamily asset manager, property manager, and ground-up industrial developer. India has participated in organizations such as NAIOP, CREW, Master Builders Association, and JLL’s Young Professionals. During her free time India enjoys spending time with her family. You can find her on a family picnic at a local park, hiking miles to a mountain lake, biking along a scenic route, or enjoying a game of chess

India Clark

Sr. Managing Director, Community Development

India Clark has over 15 years of experience in commercial...

Jacob Childers

Jacob Childers

Position: Conservation Associate
Email: jchilders@forterra.org
Categories: Staff

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

Jacob has since finished two service years with AmeriCorps, serving first with King County DNRP to restore wetlands and riparian habitat. He served his second year at Forterra, where he supported the work we do in out Green Cities, Riparian, and Conservation Lands programs. He’s now transitioned full time at Forterra, where he supports the Conservation Lands and Conservation Transactions teams, helping to manage and support the lands Forterra has protected over the decades. When he’s not working to restore and steward natural habitat, Jacob enjoys hiking, camping, or staying in and having game nights with his friends.

Jacob Childers

Conservation Associate

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

Kari Riley

Kari Riley

Position: Executive Assistant
Email: kriley@forterra.org
Categories: Staff

Kari holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology/Anthropology with a minor in Media Studies from St. Olaf College in Minnesota. Prior to Forterra, Kari served for eight years as an executive assistant at a management consulting firm and supported complex engagements through executive support, meeting coordination, and project management. At Forterra, Kari provides support to the Executive Leadership Team and assists with Board coordination.

Kari was born and raised in northern California and has countless memories of camping and hiking throughout the Sierra Nevada foothills, which fostered her appreciation of nature and the importance of conservation. She is a fan of live music, dabbles in playing the fiddle, and is continuously adding to her vinyl record collection. She enjoys travel, film, reading, and DIY projects. During the weekends, you can find Kari seeking adventure from mountains to sound with her sweet old boxer dog, Darwin.

Kari Riley

Executive Assistant

Kari holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology/Anthropology with...

Kristi England

Kristi England

Position: Chief Governance, Policy & Innovations 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 currently serves on The Seattle Public Library Foundation Emeritus Board after completing ten years of service as a Board of Trustee 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 Governance, Policy & Innovations Officer

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

Laura Bailey

Position: Accounts Payable and Payroll Specialist
Email: lbailey@forterra.org
Categories: Staff

Laura has an extensive background in accounting in finance in both the non- and for- profit sectors over the past 40 years, with a preference for the meaningfulness, accomplishments, and rewards of non-profit.

As a lifelong resident she has hiked many of the Cascade trails, fished the lakes and rivers, explored Mounts Rainier and Baker, and enjoyed everything the beaches have to offer.  Although she has left the state on 3 separate occasions she has always been drawn back to the area.

Laura enjoys all of the benefits nature has to offer, spending time with family, pets, gardening, and Seahawks football.  GO HAWKS!!

Laura Bailey

Accounts Payable and Payroll Specialist

Laura has an extensive background in accounting in finance in...

Leanne Weiss

Leanne Weiss

Position: Director, 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

Director, Conservation Transactions

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

Matthew Langsenkamp

Position: Sr. Financial Analyst, FP&A
Email: mlangsenkamp@forterra.org
Categories: Staff

Born and raised in Santa Fe, New Mexico, Matthew earned a B.A. in Finance and International Business from Seattle University, before returning to his home state to pursue further educational and work opportunities. After working as a development analyst at a real estate company in New Mexico, focused on land development and single-family home building, Matthew returned to Seattle in the fall of 2022 to join Forterra. A lifelong learner, Mathew has continued to engage in educational endeavors in a wide range of fields including Engineering, Real Estate, and Spatial Data Science.

Matthew Langsenkamp

Sr. Financial Analyst, FP&A

Born and raised in Santa Fe, New Mexico, Matthew earned...

Michael Storace

Michael Storace

Position: Program Manager, Forestland, 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

Program Manager, Forestland, 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...

Nicole Prater - Assistant Controller

Nicole Prater

Position: Assistant Controller - Finance
Email: nprater@forterra.org
Categories: Staff

Nicole Prater joins our finance team with her twenty years of knowledge and experience ranging from GL accounting, construction accounting, treasury, payroll, for-profit, non-profit and government affiliated agencies accounting. She obtained her BA in accounting in 2014 and her master’s degree in accounting with a Specialization in Forensic Accounting in 2016.

Nicole has efficiently managed both restricted and unrestricted investment portfolios with an estimated Fair-Market Value of over one-billion dollars. She has successfully managed and implemented a new ERP system across several departments. She also consulted as an accounting expert in a nonprofit fraud case where her work was instrumental in coming to a timely and beneficial case settlement.

Though Nicole was born in Kent, WA. She has spent 14 years living in Maui, HI. In 2022, her husband and herself purchased their first residence near Black Diamond, WA, and they both understand and love the idea of conserving natural land areas.

Nicole Prater

Assistant Controller - Finance

Nicole Prater joins our finance team with her twenty years...

Paul Kraegel picture

Paul Kraegel

Position: Grants Director
Email: pkraegel@forterra.org
Categories: Staff

Paul strongly believes in the interdependence between people and land. His ultimate professional and volunteer aspiration is to help foster humility and respect for lands that we manage.

He holds Master degrees in Environmental Horticulture and in Social Work from the University of Washington and has a certificate in project management. He has more than two decades of experience in social service, academic, and non-profit settings. His areas of expertise include urban ecology, project management, and building organizational capacity.

Paul’s personal passion is to help increase outdoor opportunities for people with disabilities including recreation, restoration, and leadership opportunities. He has organized restoration work parties and plant sales for youth and young adults with disabilities and has helped launch a garden program for neurodiverse teens and young adults.

He is a citizen scientist with the Washington State Rare Plant Care and Conservation program, is a long-time board member of the Children’s PlayGarden, and founded a Ryther League program dedicated to supporting neurodivergent youth and young adults.

Paul and his family live in the Ballard neighborhood of Seattle, where he tends to a garden of over 150 plant species and more than thirty species of indoor plants.

Paul Kraegel

Grants Director

Paul strongly believes in the interdependence between people and land....

Rachel Valdez

Rachel Valdez

Position: Chief Operating 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 Operating Officer

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

Suzanne Evans

Position: Director, Recruiting + People Ops
Email: sevans@forterra.org
Categories: Staff

Please send a warm welcome to Suzanne Evans to the PCLT Team. Suzanne is a seasoned Talent Acquisition Partner who has worked for over 20 years to assist companies with their hiring, onboarding, and building of talent programs. She has worked at enterprise tech organizations like Microsoft and Google, but also tech startups to build, grow, and enhance their people and recruiting functions.

She has a bright and active mind that enjoys solving hard problems. Her strengths include building teams and processes to execute across the organization and help move the business forward. She is driven to get things done, but focuses on getting the right things done, that are priorities for the organization. She enjoys working as part of a team with a shared mission/goals.

When not working, Suzanne is spending time with her 2 Australian Cattle Dogs, going to concerts with friends, and rebuilding her aging beach cabin.

Suzanne Evans

Director, Recruiting + People Ops

Please send a warm welcome to Suzanne Evans to the...

Vivian Trinh Tran

Position: Executive Assistant
Categories: Staff

Vivian is an accomplished Executive Assistant with a decade of experience in the nonprofit sector. She currently serves as an Executive Assistant at Forterra, where she oversees donor outreach, database management, and provides support to the Executive Leadership Team.

Before joining Forterra, Vivian worked at Kline Galland Home for seven years, where she served as the Manager of Office Operations and Executive Assistant to the CEO and Board. She provided extensive assistance to the executive team, Communications Director, and Fund Development Department, which further strengthened her passion for philanthropic work.

Vivian is a first-generation Vietnamese American who was born and raised in the Pacific Northwest. Her upbringing instilled in her a love for nature, as she spent her childhood camping, hiking, and fishing throughout Washington State. As a resident of South Seattle, Vivian is committed to the conservation of nature and affordable housing in low-income BIPOC communities.

In her spare time, Vivian enjoys exploring new cuisines, traveling, and spending quality time with her loved ones. She is an avid hiker who finds solace in the mountains and rivers.

Vivian Trinh Tran

Executive Assistant

Vivian is an accomplished Executive Assistant with a decade of...

Our board includes leaders in real estate, public policy, finance, farming, business and the environment. They bring decades of experience to Forterra, sharing our vision for making this region a sustainable place.

De'Sean Quinn Headshot, Forterra Board

De’Sean Quinn

Position: Chair | Councilmember, City of Tukwila
Categories: Board

De’Sean Quinn has served on the Tukwila City Council since 2008. De’Sean developed his lifelong passion for community service and the environment at a very young age, volunteering alongside his father at the local Boys and Girls Club, other nonprofits, and on environmental restoration projects.

De’Sean also works as the Interim Assistant General Manager for Strategy and Partnerships for King County Metro. He came to Metro from past external relations roles in the Executive Offices of Ron Sims and Dow Constantine and equity work within the Wastewater division at the Department of Natural Resources & Parks.

De’Sean is in his 6th year on Forterra’s Board and is also a member of the Forterra Strong Communities Fund, a tool to accelerate the strengthening of our communities by pooling, leveraging and directing social investment capital. He served as the co-chair of the Conservation Futures Tax committee where he was a champion for creating the Open Space Equity Initiative.

He lives in Tukwila with his wife Nichole and their two boys.

De’Sean Quinn

Chair | Councilmember, City of Tukwila

De’Sean Quinn has served on the Tukwila City Council since...

Andrea Ostrovsky, Board Forterra

Andrea Ostrovsky

Position: Vice-Chair | COLOR
Categories: Board

Andrea Delgadillo Ostrovksy is the Chief Operating Officer and General Counsel at COLOR, a Seattle-based creative agency. Previously, she was a partner at a highly regarded Seattle litigation firm. Andrea received her law degree from the University of Michigan Law School and her B.A. in environmental studies from the University of Chicago.

Andrea has been a Forest Steward in the Forterra and City of Seattle-sponsored Green Seattle Partnership for over ten years. Andrea is the co-founder of the Friends of Cheasty Greenspace at Mountainview, a volunteer community group dedicated to restoring Cheasty Greenspace, a 43-acre greenspace in the Rainier Valley. In 2013, Andrea received a Denny Award for Conservation and Environmental Stewardship.

When not working or pulling ivy, Andrea enjoys running and skiing up big hills and spending time in the mountains with her husband and daughters.

Andrea Ostrovsky

Vice-Chair | COLOR

Andrea Delgadillo Ostrovksy is the Chief Operating Officer and General...

Beth Birnbaum, Forterra board

Beth Birnbaum

Position: Past Chair | Strategic Advisor
Categories: Board

Beth Birnbaum is the current board chair. She is a senior product executive with significant experience in digital products, general management, operations, and strategy at high-growth companies. She currently serves as an independent board director at Wiley (NYSE: JW.A), Fandom, Ripl, Bridge Legal, and Recycle Track Systems and as an advisor to early-stage companies.

Previously Beth served as Chief Operating Officer at PlayFab, the SaaS backend platform for online games; earlier in her career she served as Senior Vice President of Product at GrubHub and as Vice President of Product and Connectivity at Expedia. Beth loves spending time outdoors with her family and is a hike leader at the Mountaineers; she is also a trustee with the nonprofit Partners in Health.

Beth Birnbaum

Past Chair | Strategic Advisor

Beth Birnbaum is the current board chair. She is a...

Ruth True, Forterra Board

Ruth True

Position: Secretary | Nube USA
Categories: Board

Native Seattleite, Ruth True, wants everyone to live their best life. This belief is central to her work as a trailblazing people gatherer/connector, environmental advocate, arts supporter, and champion of mindful consuming. She is the founder of two companies that blended these pursuits: NuBe Green, a mercantile for ecologically responsible apparel and home goods; and Nube9, a social purpose company that put recycled, US-made uniforms on student-athletes. Out of Nube9 came the current iteration of these companies – Nube USA – which is focused on sustainable activewear. In addition to her passion of environmental sustainability, Ruth co-founded Seattle’s Western Bridge, a renowned public exhibition space dedicated to making contemporary art accessible to all. The space provided opportunities to commission new works by internationally recognized as well as local artists. Today, she works as a founder and advisor of RTI, an emerging regenerated textile company. She is on the board of Word Theatre and Forterra. Her grand babies, adult daughters, and dogs keep her dancing.

Ruth True

Secretary | Nube USA

Native Seattleite, Ruth True, wants everyone to live their best...

Tim Wulfekuhle

Position: Treasurer | NWPS
Categories: Board

Tim Wulfekuhle is a Senior Consultant and former President and CEO of NWPS, a Seattle based provider of retirement plan recordkeeping, administration, and consultant. In his current position, Tim’s focus is on plan design, complex compliance testing situations, and development of the next generation of firm leadership.

Tim and his wife Denise live in West Seattle. In their free time they enjoy hiking, paddle boarding, and generally just being outside. They are strong and active advocates for purchase, protection, and preservation of public access to the outdoors. He holds a BS in mathematics from Washington State University.

Tim Wulfekuhle

Treasurer | NWPS

Tim Wulfekuhle is a Senior Consultant and former President and...

Michelle Connor Headshot Forterra CEO

Michelle Connor

Position: President & CEO, Forterra
Categories: Board

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, Forterra

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

Allan Steinman, Forterra Board

Allan Steinman

Position: Bader Martin
Categories: Board

Allan Steinman is a retired CPA and a founding partner of the Seattle public accounting firm Bader Martin, P.S. His practice emphasized tax and business planning for closely held and family-owned companies and their owners. He also assisted clients in developing their philanthropic strategies.

In addition to Forterra, Allan has served on the boards of many not-for-profit organizations. Most recently he is a past chair of the board of directors of the Kline Galland Center (aging services) and Puget Sound Public Radio (KUOW).

Allan and his wife, Diane, reside in Seattle and devote much of their time to serving on several not-for-profit boards both locally based and international. Love of outdoors and the ability to assist underrepresented communities motivated Allan to join the Forterra Board.

Allan grew up in Aberdeen, Washington and received a BA and MBA from the University of Puget Sound.

Allan Steinman

Bader Martin

Allan Steinman is a retired CPA and a founding partner...

Andy Bench

Position: Wright Runstad & Company
Categories: Board

Andy Bench is a partner at Seattle-based Wright Runstad & Company, which develops, acquires, manages and leases commercial office and mixed-use buildings primarily in the Pacific Northwest. Andy joined Wright Runstad & Company in 2017 to manage the 1.2 million square foot Rainier Square redevelopment project and now oversees all of the company’s development work.

Prior to joining Wright Runstad & Company, Andy was a project manager at Pine Street Group, working on the 1.4 million square foot Washington State Convention Center Addition. A Seattle native, Andy earned a BA in Economics and Philosophy from Georgetown University before becoming an officer in the U.S. Marine Corps. He later earned an MS in Civil and Environmental Engineering from Stanford University and an MBA and certificate in commercial real estate from the University of Washington.

Andy Bench

Wright Runstad & Company

Andy Bench is a partner at Seattle-based Wright Runstad &...

Gigi Coe

Position: Civic Leader
Categories: Board

Professionally, Gigi Coe spent most of her career in the energy and telecommunications field. She served as the Director of Strategic Planning at the California Public Utilities Commission where she prepared policy papers and recommendations on utility rates and planning in that state. Before that she served as the Assistant Executive Director for Policy and Programs at the California Energy Commission and as an advisor to a commissioner. She also worked for Governor Jerry Brown as Deputy Director of the Governor’s Office of Appropriate Technology and served as the Manager of Strategy for MCI’s Western Public Policy Group. She is the author of several books on energy conservation and renewable energy sources.

Following her professional retirement, Gigi co-founded The Bay School of San Francisco, and has continued to give back to her communities through service on many non-profit and advisory boards. Gigi and her husband have a ranch near Cle Elum, Washington. She maintains a strong interest in land preservation, particularly as the area’s economy shifts from cattle and grazing to second home development.

Gigi Coe

Civic Leader

Professionally, Gigi Coe spent most of her career in the...

Michael Dunning

Position: Perkins Coie
Categories: Board

Michael Dunning is an environmental attorney and Partner at Perkins Coie whose practice focuses on helping clients solve complex challenges arising from land, water and air pollution, and he has particular depth of experience in the area of contaminated sites (aka “dirty dirt”) and complex brownfield redevelopment projects.  Mike has also served on the boards of the Washington Trails Association, the Washington Business Alliance, and the Seattle Stand Down.

Michael Dunning

Perkins Coie

Michael Dunning is an environmental attorney and Partner at Perkins...

Jim Greenfield

Position: Davis Wright Tremaine
Categories: Board

Jim Greenfield represents private, nonprofit, and public clients on a wide variety of real estate transactions and land use proceedings. Jim has particular expertise and experience with large, complex public infrastructure projects and is a well-recognized authority in crafting creative, natural-resource conservation transactions. Jim focuses his practice on public/private partnerships, real estate, and development transactions; land transactions with or on behalf of public agencies; and land use matters and administrative proceedings. Jim also has substantial experience with historic preservation and landmark designation, telecommunications, municipal law, government relations, and sports law.

Jim has represented Alaska Airlines, 4Culture (Cultural Development Authority of King County), American President Lines, City of Burien, National Basketball Association, PATH, Sound Transit, Seattle Art Museum, and Seattle Theater Group.

Jim Greenfield

Davis Wright Tremaine

Jim Greenfield represents private, nonprofit, and public clients on a...

Laurie McDonald Jonsson, Forterra Board

Laurie McDonald Jonsson

Position: Stellar Holdings
Categories: Board

Laurie McDonald Jonsson is a 4th generation Seattleite who combined a successful travel and business career with a personal commitment to empowering women around the world. Her education includes a B.A. from the University of Washington, M.S.W. from the University of Michigan and attendance to the Stanford Executive Program. She was a founding director of Expedia, Commerce Bank, and the Puget Sound Bank and co-founded/managed Sundance Cruises, Admiral Cruises and Stellar Travel. Laurie founded Stellar International, the Center for Women and Democracy (University of Washington) and Stellar International Networks. She was awarded a Presidential appointment to the Board of the National Women’s Business Council and served on Harvard University’s Women’s Leadership Board. Laurie is a founding president and member of the Washington State Women’s Forum and a member/director of the Swedish Women’s Forum.

Laurie is a principal/board member of sustainable real estate companies ByggVesta (Sweden) and Stellar Holdings (Seattle). She’s a founder of the McDonald Jonsson Foundation and co-founder/board member of Yalla Rinkeby (Sweden), a social enterprise empowering foreign-born women.

Laurie McDonald Jonsson

Stellar Holdings

Laurie McDonald Jonsson is a 4th generation Seattleite who combined...

Board Member Gina Klem

Gina Klem

Position: Amazon
Categories: Board

Gina Klem is the Sustainability Director for Global Real Estate and Facilities at Amazon where she is developing the strategies and tools to meet Amazon’s commitment to The Climate Pledge, a commitment to reach net zero carbon emissions by 2040, and further integrate sustainability into the global corporate office portfolio. Gina joined Amazon in 2015 to develop a physical store development team for Amazon Go. Prior to Amazon, Gina spent ten years at Starbucks in Store Development, her final role as the director of design & construction support & sustainability. Gina earned a master’s in Architecture from University of Colorado and B.A. in Sociology from Gonzaga University.

Born and raised in Seattle, Gina spent her childhood hiking and camping throughout the Pacific Northwest. These days, Gina still loves to get outside in the mountains or on the lakes and explore new places near and far with her husband and two young adult children.

Gina Klem

Amazon

Gina Klem is the Sustainability Director for Global Real Estate...

Brendan Mason

Position: Altabird Investments
Categories: Board

Brendan Mason, Principal and CEO at Altabird Investments, leverages over 15 years of experience in real estate development and construction management to offer a holistic approach that guides teams throughout the entire project lifecycle. Brendan believes in the sharing of risk and the sharing of ideas, developing a true rapport with clients and partners, and leading through creative problem solving and an openness to new ways of thinking. Brendan is a proud Husky, graduating from the University of Washington’s Runstad Center with an MS in Real Estate. In his free time he is passionate about skiing, golfing, and spending time with his family and friends.

Brendan Mason

Altabird Investments

Brendan Mason, Principal and CEO at Altabird Investments, leverages over...

Patrick Miller

Position: Snap Inc
Categories: Board

Patrick Miller is currently the Senior Director of Global Workplace Services at Snap Inc, where he is responsible for managing Snap’s global real estate portfolio, design & development of all buildings and campuses, managing global food service program, and day to day operations of all workspaces.

He was formerly the Global Director of Real Estate and Facilities for Amazon’s corporate office space in the Puget Sound Region. Some of his expertise includes leading real estate, project, and facility teams through strategy, negotiation, design, construction, and facilities management. Patrick has expertise in both the office and industrial sectors and has successfully worked with numerous clients on projects around the globe.

Patrick Miller

Snap Inc

Patrick Miller is currently the Senior Director of Global Workplace...

Tracy Newman

Position: Newman Partners
Categories: Board

 

Tracy Newman has had a long career in political consulting including playing a critical role in winning the last five Governors’ races in Washington state and serving as a senior advisory on Governor Inslee’s presidential campaign. Additionally, she has worked with Senator Patty Murray, Senator Maria Cantwell, and helped elect Congresswomen Suzan DelBene and Congresswomen Kim Schrier. Tracy has served on the leadership team responsible for passing numerous ballot initiatives in Washington state including winning marriage equality. Tracy holds a bachelors, masters and law degree from Florida State University and lives in Seattle with her husband Michael and her two children.

 

Tracy Newman

Newman Partners

  Tracy Newman has had a long career in political...

Kelly Ogilvie

Kelly Ogilvie

Position: DeepCell Industries
Categories: Board

Kelly currently serves as CEO of DeepCell Industries. As a long-time entrepreneur and lover of science and technology, Kelly has both founded and led a variety of Seattle-based companies throughout his career, from Blue Marble Biomaterials (an organic biomass to renewable specialty chemicals firm), Quemulus (a social saving and payment platform), to full-service digital marketing agency Milli.

In addition to entrepreneurship, Kelly has a background in policy and politics previously serving as Senior Policy Advisor to Washington State Governor Jay Inslee, in Seattle’s Mayor’s Office under Greg Nickels, as Director of Government Affairs for the Greater Seattle Chamber of Commerce, and has worked on numerous national and local campaigns.

Kelly has been a TEDx speaker, a Puget Sound Business Journal 40 under 40 awardee, a 2013 Delegate for the US-Japan Council, and has served on community boards such as the Woodland Park Zoo, Seafair, Washington State University’s CEREO, and athlete foundations such as th Earl Thomas and Bradley McDougald Foundations.

Kelly Ogilvie

DeepCell Industries

Kelly currently serves as CEO of DeepCell Industries. As a...

Aegir Olsen

Position: Olsen Anderson
Categories: Board

Aegir Olsen is the co-founder and managing partner of Olsen Anderson, an urban real estate developer and homebuilder in Seattle. He leads a team of professionals who specialize in creating residential communities that meet the diverse and evolving needs of modern living. Olsen Anderson offers a range of housing options in Seattle, including spec homes, custom homes, DADUs, townhomes, condominiums, and apartments.

His expertise in urban development stems from his background in construction management, which he studied at the University of Washington and earned membership in the Sigma Lambda Chi honor society. He also has five and a half years of experience as a development manager at Tarragon, where he managed the development of 1,200 apartments, master-planned communities, and retail centers in King, Pierce, and Kitsap County.

Aegir Olsen

Olsen Anderson

Aegir Olsen is the co-founder and managing partner of Olsen...

Vanessa Pegueros, Forterra Board

Vanessa Pegueros

Position: Technology Leader
Categories: Board

Vanessa is a technology leader with over 30 years of experience, 18 of those years in Security. She has been the CISO at Expedia, DocuSign, and OneLogin. Vanessa is Directorship Certified through NACD. She currently serves on the Audit Committee for BECU and is a board member for Prisidio and a Board Observer for Vouched.id. She is also a venture partner with Flying Fish Partners in Seattle and has recently become more active in the Angel investment community focusing on funding diverse founders. She has an MBA from Stanford University, a MS in Telecommunication from the University of Colorado, and a BS in Engineering from UC Berkeley.

Vanessa was formerly on the board of Washington Trails Association where she had the honor of serving with Ira Spring. She has also been very active in the Carnation/Duvall community, advocating for disaster preparedness, safety, and mental health.

Vanessa Pegueros

Technology Leader

Vanessa is a technology leader with over 30 years of...

Leslie Reed

Position: Amazon
Categories: Board

Leslie Reed is the Associate General Counsel and Legal Director for Amazon’s Global Real Estate Business. In this role she heads up the five legal teams that advise Amazon’s multi-billion dollar Global Real Estate businesses on millions of square feet of space: GREF (corporate office, R+D and Studios), Ops WWRE (fulfillment) and Physical Stores (retail), including corporate workplace EHS, Security, Sustainability and Compliance legal support, plus the legal support for Economic Development and Community Engagement. In her personal time, Leslie is a forest steward working on land conservation matters, with a strong interest in wine.

Beyond “the deal”, Leslie and her team support Amazon’s corporate office Social Responsibility and Sustainability endeavors, alongside Economic Development and Community Engagement work in our communities. Examples include Amazon’s innovative charitable real estate projects such as a first-of-its-kind integrated homeless family shelter for Mary’s Place at Amazon offices, hosting COVID vaccine clinics for the Seattle and Arlington communities in Amazon spaces, and co-leading a pro bono clinic doing work for The Nature Conservancy.

Leslie Reed

Amazon

Leslie Reed is the Associate General Counsel and Legal Director...

Natasha Rivers

Position: BECU
Categories: Board

Dr. Natasha Rivers is the Senior Sustainability & Measurement Manager at BECU where she is developing an ESG strategy and framework around environmental sustainability metrics and tracking, carbon governance, and short- and long-term initiatives. Natasha has served on the boards of the Seattle Children’s Theatre, Seattle Urban League Young Professionals, and Treehouse for Kids. She is a Leadership Tomorrow alum and Partner with Social Venture Partners (SVP). Natasha is a trained demographer who earned her PhD in Geography from UCLA with a focus on contemporary sub-Saharan African migration. She completed two doctoral research appointments, one at the Minnesota Population Center, and a second at the University of Washington’s Center for Studies in Demography and Ecology.

Natasha Rivers

BECU

Dr. Natasha Rivers is the Senior Sustainability & Measurement Manager...

Dorian Waller. Forterra Board

Dorian Waller

Position: King County
Categories: Board

Originally from the Midwest, Dorian Waller has called Washington State home for more than 20 years. He is a Government Relations Officer for King County. He is also a business owner of 11 years where he consults on economic development nationwide. Dorian received his BA in Urban Planning and his MPA from the Evergreen State College where he was Alumni Board President and a member of the Board of Trustees.

Dorian currently serves on the Washington State African American Affairs Commission. He is a mentor for the Tacoma Urban League Male Involvement program and stays active in his community as a volunteer with local organizations, such as United Way and The Tacoma Black Collective. Dorian is also a senior fellow with the American Leadership Forum. Outside of work Dorian loves to spend time with his wife and two children exploring the outdoors, going on hikes and many road trips.

Dorian joined the board as an extension of his passion for community and the outdoors and he sees Forterra as a very important confluent conduit for both.

Dorian Waller

King County

Originally from the Midwest, Dorian Waller has called Washington State...

We know one thing for certain: It takes a collective approach to keep this place special for generations to come. Here are some of our valued partners; not an exhaustive list by any means. We hope to keep forging partnerships.

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