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...

Chloe Elizabeth Steffes

Chloe Steffes

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

Chloe grew up in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, enjoying the natural beauty of the lakes, trees, and wildlife in the Midwest. She moved to Washington to pursue her bachelor’s degree at the University of Puget Sound, where she received a B.A. in Environmental Policy and Decision- Making as well as Sociology/Anthropology and a minor in Global Development Studies. Chloe’s thesis work centered around issues of equity and accessibility regarding urban green spaces and the impacts and implications of green space development within the United States. Along with her studies, Chloe is deeply passionate about environmentalism in the Pacific Northwest and has spent time working within various sectors of the environmental field in the South Sound community. Previously, she has focused on habitat restoration and water quality with the Pierce Conservation District, worked in environmental education as an instructional assistant in collaboration with her professors in the Environmental Policy and Decision-Making department, and served as an advocate for sustainability, waste reduction, and environmental awareness through her employment with Sustainability Services at the University of Puget Sound. Chloe is excited to be a member of the Forterra team and looks forward to fostering connections, spending time outdoors, and engaging with the South Sound community as a Stewardship Coordinator. In her free time, Chloe enjoys hiking, crafting, laughing with friends, collecting crystals, playing guitar, and taking care of her houseplants.

Chloe Steffes

Stewardship Coordinator, Green Cities

Chloe grew up in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, enjoying the natural beauty...

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: Green Cities Stewardship Coordinator
Email: ecastillo@forterra.org
Categories: Staff

Emilene has lived in various cities throughout the Western Coast of the United States. She first discovered her love for the outdoors and the PNW, growing up in Portland, OR. She graduated from San Francisco State University with a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science. During her undergraduate years, she was the Assistant Director of the Environmental Resource Center: a student-led organization that coordinated sustainability and environmental justice programs and events. Emilene is passionate about connecting people to nature through equitable community-based solutions. After graduating, she worked for the National Park Service in Golden Gate National Recreation Area, where she led outdoor education/interpretation programs for K-12 school groups.

Emilene joined Forterra in 2021 as an AmeriCorps member, supporting the Green Cities, Lands, and Riparian Restoration teams in on-the-ground ecological restoration. 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 and is excited to continue doing this work as a Stewardship Coordinator for the Green Seattle Partnership.

Emilene enjoys exploring new places, going on foodie adventures, and creating art. In her free time, she enjoys reading self-development books, watching anime, and playing video/board games.

Emilene Castillo

Green Cities Stewardship Coordinator

Emilene has lived in various cities throughout the Western Coast...

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: info@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

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...

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...

Kelsey Bray profile pic

Kelsey Bray

Position: Coordinator, Marketing and Communications
Email: kbray@forterra.org
Categories: Staff

Kelsey is a recent transplant to the Pacific Northwest. Originally from Wyoming, she visited her sister in Bellingham and fell in love. She moved out here a year later. 

In particular, Kelsey loves how passionate residents are about land and wildlife conservation. The PNW is packed with breathtaking mountains, lakes and forests, and it’s important they remain accessible to everyone.

She graduated from the University of Wyoming with a B.A. in Journalism. Kelsey worked as a reporter in Montana and Wyoming, covering local government, public works and criminal justice. She then transitioned to digital marketing. For the past eight years, Kelsey has specialized in writing, editing, SEO and social media. 

In her free time, she enjoys relaxing in Bellingham’s beautiful parks, reading, playing video games and creating elaborate backstories for her Dungeons and Dragons characters. Kelsey has also been a volunteer at no-kill cat rescue for the past four years – her inbox is currently full of pictures from happy adopters.

Kelsey Bray

Coordinator, Marketing and Communications

Kelsey is a recent transplant to the Pacific Northwest. Originally...

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...

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: info@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
Categories: Staff

Rebecca earned a JD from Seattle University in 1996 and worked as a criminal defense attorney, primarily in Tacoma, for 15 years. She also worked as a renovation project manager for rental properties and managed rental properties for 10 years. Following the completion of a Master of Science in Real Estate from the University of Washington, she has been working on real estate acquisition, entitlement, financing, and development of affordable housing projects, as well as the community engagement work surrounding those projects. Rebecca lives on Mercer Island with her husband and two children and enjoys hiking, running, and reading a good book.

Rebecca Wold Bouchey

Managing Director, Community Development

Rebecca earned a JD from Seattle University in 1996 and...

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Sara Cortes

Position: Director, Donor Engagement & Venture Philanthropy
Email: scortes@forterra.org
Categories: Staff

Coming Soon

Sara Cortes

Director, Donor Engagement & Venture Philanthropy

Coming Soon

Skip Swenson

Skip Swenson

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

Skip develops policies, tools, and programs to achieve expansive community and conservation goals throughout Washington’s central Cascades and Olympic Peninsula. Working with stakeholders and elected officials in a variety of jurisdictions and across landscapes — from wildlands to urban centers — he specializes in land use policy, conservation markets, and incentives creation on local and regional scales. Prior to joining Forterra, Skip served as director of analytics for Information Resources, Inc., a multinational research and consulting company. When he’s not tinkering on an endless supply of projects, Skip is often found skiing or biking in the Cascades backcountry.

Skip Swenson

Senior Director, Special Projects

Skip develops policies, tools, and programs to achieve expansive community...

Susan Melrose

Susan Melrose

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

Susan brings extensive experience in conservation and community development and creating partnerships rooted in trust and understanding. She feels successful when she’s included varied voices, found common ground, and showcased the best of a community or effort. Susan was deputy director of Washington Wild for the three years prior to joining Forterra. She co-led the organization with emphasis on staff leadership, administration, fundraising, and strategic direction. For nine years, she was the executive director of West Seattle Junction Association, a small neighborhood-focused organization which collected funds from area businesses to support neighborhood programs. As a program manager at Washington Wilderness Coalition, Susan led an activist-driven conservation program that coordinated wilderness advocacy groups in a campaign to protect National Forests from logging, road building, and other destructive activities. Before that, as a program manager at Adopt a Beach, she oversaw citizen monitoring programs on Puget Sound shoreline to better understand and protect the marine environment. Away from work, Susan enjoys cooking with friends and family, exploring the mountains on foot, bike or skis, dabbling in the garden, plotting her next adventure, and laughing with her family.

Susan Melrose

Director, Conservation Transactions

Susan brings extensive experience in conservation and community development and...

Forterra default profile image

Suzanne Skinner

Position: Corporate Counsel, Legal
Email: sskinner@forterra.org
Categories: Staff

Coming soon.

Suzanne Skinner

Corporate Counsel, Legal

Coming soon.

Tobias Levey

Tobias Levey

Position: Vice President of Real Estate Transactions
Email: tlevey@forterra.org
Categories: Staff

Toby is Forterra’s VP of Real Estate Transactions. The Transactions team completed the conservation acquisition of 6,000 acres of wild and farmlands over 30 transactions in 2019, as well as the design and engineering of a prototype cross-laminated timber multifamily affordable housing unit. In 2020-21, the team is targeting an additional 10,000 acres for conservation and will continue the deployment of Forterra’s Strong Communities Funds, one of western Washington’s cutting edge approaches to Social Impact Capital. Focus projects include multifamily developments in Tukwila, Tacoma, and Hamilton. Toby was previously CEO of Bio City Development Company, a land developer of purpose-designed, ecologically-efficient satellite cities, working in Dubai, Shanghai, and Istanbul. Since returning from overseas, Toby has participated in the development of two of the country’s first pure mass timber buildings. Toby is a graduate of Duke University and the Sorbonne and was a Fulbright Scholar at the University of Delhi in 1995.

Tobias Levey

Vice President of Real Estate Transactions

Toby is Forterra’s VP of Real Estate Transactions. The Transactions...

Tyler Mesman

Tyler Mesman

Position: Coordinator, Board and Special Projects
Email: tmesman@forterra.org
Categories: Staff

Originally from Grand Rapids, Michigan, Tyler gained his appreciation for nature and protecting our precious resources through many summers spent on Lake Michigan. Tyler earned a B.A. in Political Science and Philosophy from the University of Michigan. After graduation, he was awarded an inaugural Bonderman Fellowship to travel independently for 8 months to engage with new cultures, different people and remote places around the world. Prior to Forterra, Tyler worked as a fundraiser and consultant for campaigns and progressive ballot initiatives across Washington. His proudest achievements were helping to approve comprehensive, inclusive sex education for Washington’s youth and working with a historic BIPOC coalition to pass police reform and accountability measures. Outside of work, you can find him testing new recipes in the kitchen, checking a book off his list, camping near an alpine lake, or showering affection on his two flat faced kitties.

Tyler Mesman

Coordinator, Board and Special Projects

Originally from Grand Rapids, Michigan, Tyler gained his appreciation for...

Valerie Gray

Valerie Gray

Position: Executive Assistant to the President | Director of Administration
Email: info@forterra.org
Categories: Staff

“I am a nature girl at heart. I love the waters, mountains, parks and farms of the Pacific Northwest.”

Forterra’s mission inspires Valerie; she wants to help make long-lasting positive changes for all citizens as well as for the environment. She says the organization’s work to restore and conserve lands for future generations is particularly critical as the population grows and climate change unfolds. Outside the office, Valerie enjoys writing poetry, taking long quiet walks in Seward and Lincoln parks, swimming and playing basketball.

Valerie Gray

Executive Assistant to the President | Director of Administration

“I am a nature girl at heart. I love the...

Vanessa Hague

Vanessa Hague

Position: Program Manager, Conservation Transactions
Email: VHague@forterra.org
Categories: Staff

Vanessa is originally from Florida and spent a decade in Austin before relocating to the Pacific Northwest to be closer to family.  She has built a career blending her legal experience and real estate expertise with her passion for protecting undeveloped spaces and the communities who depend on them.  Most recently she conducted a feasibility study around bringing a farmland preservation program to a rapidly developing corridor in Central Texas, and before that she served as a Project Manager at The Conservation Fund, where she assisted with land acquisitions and managed the disbursement of $5 million in funding for the preservation of bat habitat in Arkansas and Oklahoma.

Her additional nonprofit experience includes her work with Black Fret, an Austin-based music nonprofit that is dedicated to enriching the art of live music through support and mentorship of local musicians. In her time with Black Fret, she directly assisted the Founder and President in developing organizational infrastructure to grow and manage the scaling of the nonprofit. This included project work related to refining the business model as well as identifying and building strategic partnerships.

On weekends she finds various ways to get outside by either backpacking, mountain biking, paddling, or running her favorite local trails. She can often be found at her local martial arts studio, training hard to earn her next belt.

Vanessa Hague

Program Manager, Conservation Transactions

Vanessa is originally from Florida and spent a decade in...

Zoe Nelson

Zoe Nelson

Position: Project Manager II, Green Cities
Email: znelson@forterra.org
Categories: Staff

A native to the Pacific Northwest, Zoe is passionate about conservation in her home state. She has a Bachelor’s in Environmental Planning and Policy from Western Washington University and a Master’s in Science Teaching and Environment and Natural Resources from the University of Wyoming. In her early career, Zoe explored conservation from many angles. She served as an AmeriCorps member for Washington State Parks, a Park Ranger in Bellevue, Washington, and an Interpretive Park Ranger at Grand Teton National Park. While she loves connecting with people and building meaningful relationships, she has also worked as a field biologist, tracking wolves and wolverines through the mountains of Wyoming, rehabilitating wild birds of prey, and she even dipped her toes in the worlds of entomology and herpetology. She served as Project Coordinator for the Biodiversity Institute in Laramie, Wyoming, where she managed six statewide community science projects with hundreds of volunteers. She led efforts in training and recruitment and was responsible for forging and sustaining community partnerships. Zoe is thrilled to be a part of Forterra’s Green Cities Team where she can focus on her passion for conservation, community-based solutions, and climate resilience. In her personal time, Zoe loves skiing of all kinds, birding, backpacking, embroidery, funky tunes, great food, and good company.

Zoe Nelson

Project Manager II, Green Cities

A native to the Pacific Northwest, Zoe is passionate about...

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.

Beth Birnbaum, Forterra board

Beth Birnbaum

Position: 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

Chair, Strategic Advisor

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

Dan Nordstrom, Forterra Board

Dan Nordstrom

Position: Past Chair, Outdoor Research
Categories: Board

Dan Nordstrom is CEO Emeritus and minority owner of Outdoor Research Inc., one of the world’s leading manufacturers of technical clothing and accessories for human-powered adventure. Prior to that, he spent 17 years at Nordstrom Inc. Dan earned a B.A. in Economics and an M.B.A. from the University of Washington. He’s also served as past President of the Board of Directors of the Access Fund, which represents rock climbers in the United States. Dan currently sits on the board of Evo.com and Truewerk.com and is past Board Chair of Nuun Inc. Outside of work he spends as much time as he can climbing and skiing along with the occasional round of golf as a reminder that life is supposed to be hard.

Dan Nordstrom

Past Chair, Outdoor Research

Dan Nordstrom is CEO Emeritus and minority owner of Outdoor...

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...

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...

Allan Steinman, Forterra Board

Allan Steinman

Position: Treasurer, 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

Treasurer, Bader Martin

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

Chris Lloyd, Forterra Board

Chris Lloyd

Position: Hey Advertising
Categories: Board

Chris Lloyd is the Managing Partner of Hey Advertising a digital-first, creative marketing firm he started in 2010. Hey works with a variety of clients including Microsoft and United Healthcare and local clients Heritage Bank and the University of Washington.

Prior to starting Hey, Chris was the President of the Northwest office of global advertising agency DDB one of the largest agencies in the region. DDB clients included Holland America Line, Microsoft, McDonald’s and The North Face. DDB’s cause-marketing practice provided marketing services to organizations like the Kaiser Family Foundation, ONE.org and the Robert Wood Family Foundation.

A graduate of Bucknell University and originally from the NYC area, Chris relocated with his family to the PNW 20 years ago. When he’s not working, he’s active and outside cycling, running, hiking and generally enjoying all the PNW has to offer.

Chris Lloyd

Hey Advertising

Chris Lloyd is the Managing Partner of Hey Advertising a...

Dennis Madsen, Forterra Board

Dennis Madsen

Position: Retired Retail Executive
Categories: Board

Dennis Madsen is the past CEO of REI, where he worked for nearly 40 years. Since retiring in 2005, Dennis has redirected his decades of business leadership and experience as a board member and advisor to numerous for profit and not for profit organizations. Past and board memberships include Alaska Airlines, Performance Bicycle, Evo.com, Western Washington University, Islandwood, Pivotlink Software and West Marine Inc. Growing up in Seattle, Dennis has a unique appreciation for the role access to nature and outdoor recreation can play in a child’s development and in maintaining a thriving urban community. His desire is to ensure this place remains special for generations to come. He earned a B.S. in Engineering from Seattle Pacific University and attended Pacific Lutheran University MBA evening program.

Dennis Madsen

Retired Retail Executive

Dennis Madsen is the past CEO of REI, where he...

De'Sean Quinn Headshot, Forterra Board

De’Sean Quinn

Position: 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

Councilmember, City of Tukwila

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

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...

Eric Campbell, Forterra Board

Eric Campbell

Position: CEO, Main Street Property Group
Categories: Board

Eric Campbell is an experienced Chief Executive Officer in the real estate industry and is currently the CEO of Main Street Property Group and McCormick Development, LLC. Eric founded his first company in 1991, CamWest Development, a homebuilder based in Kirkland. CamWest grew to become one of the five largest homebuilders before being sold to Toll Brothers in 2011. Main Street was founded in 2012 and McCormick in 2015.

Eric’s real estate expertise is based upon creating distinctive communities with enduring value where people love to live. This passion has led to numerous collaborations with cities throughout Puget Sound region which have received numerous awards, accolade, and happy customers.

Eric currently serves as the Chair of the Advisory Board of University of Washington’s Runstad Department of Real Estate within the College of Built Environment. Eric has served on this board for over 12 years.

Eric is a graduate of the Foster School of Business at the University of Washington.

Eric Campbell

CEO, Main Street Property Group

Eric Campbell is an experienced Chief Executive Officer in the...

Gigi Coe, Forterra Board

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...

Gina Klem, Bio Image, Forterra Board

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...

Jim Greenfield, Forterra Board

Jim Greenfield

Position: Davis Wright Tremaine
Categories: Board

Jim Greenfield has been a member of Forterra’s Board of Directors since 1997 and served as its chair from 2013-2014. Jim is a partner with the Seattle-based law firm, Davis Wright Tremaine, and practices with its Real Estate and Land Use Group. He represents private, nonprofit, and public clients on a wide variety of real estate transactions and land use proceedings. Additionally, Jim has particular expertise and experience with large, complex public infrastructure projects, public/private partnerships, and is a well-recognized authority in crafting creative, natural-resource conservation transactions.

Jim Greenfield

Davis Wright Tremaine

Jim Greenfield has been a member of Forterra’s Board of...

Larry Hood, Forterra Board

Larry Hood

Position: CHFC
Categories: Board

As CHFC-President/CEO, Larry Hood’s primary function is to serve as lead adviser to the firm’s high net worth individuals and families, foundation and endowments, and select retirement plan clients. Larry has 30 years of experience working with individual and fiduciary clients to develop financial and investment plans that best fit their goals, objectives, and risk tolerance. Larry has extensive experience in construction and oversight of global asset allocation strategies as well as portfolio construction utilizing appropriate managers. In addition, he serves as chairman of the firm’s Investment Committee, which guides the investment process for Pacific Portfolio and ensures the firm provides consistent, effective advice and counsel to clients.

Since founding the firm in 1992, Larry has served as President and CEO of Pacific Portfolio Consulting; he also currently serves as President and CEO of Pacific Portfolio Trust Company which was formed in 2006. Barron’s acknowledged Larry as one of the top 100 independent financial advisers in the U.S. in 2015-2021.

Larry holds degrees in Business Administration and Economics from the University of Puget Sound.

Larry Hood

CHFC

As CHFC-President/CEO, Larry Hood’s primary function is to serve as...

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...

Linda Neunzig, Forterra Board Member

Linda Neunzig

Position: Snohomish County
Categories: Board

Linda Neunzig is the Agriculture Coordinator for Snohomish County. In this role Neunzig leads Snohomish County’s agriculture initiatives, which have received national recognition for their innovative approaches to revitalizing the agriculture sector. She spearheads several initiatives including agriculture sustainability programs; 5G Food Resiliency project; Nourishing Neighborhoods emergency produce program, the Snohomish County Food and Farming Center; and the Snohomish County Focus on Farming conference, the largest agriculture conference in western Washington.

In addition, Neunzig is the owner of Ninety Farms, a 50-acre sustainable farm in Arlington. There she raises grass fed Katahdin lamb for direct marketing to consumers and to Seattle area restaurants. Ninety Farms lambs are regularly exported to the Philippines and Thailand as breeding stock and the farm is home to the “Ninety Farms Sunflower Festival”. Linda has attended “Terra Madre” in Turin, Italy—one of the world’s leading agriculture symposiums—three times as a U.S. delegate for Slow Food USA., was featured in Gourmet magazine and was awarded the “Women Who Inspire” award by the National Women’s Chef and Restaurateurs’ Association.

Linda Neunzig

Snohomish County

Linda Neunzig is the Agriculture Coordinator for Snohomish County. In...

Natasha Rivers, Forterra Board

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...

Patrick Miller, Forterra Board

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...

Michael Ford, Forterra Board

Michael Ford

Position: Microsoft
Categories: Board

Michael Ford is the Corporate Vice President of Microsoft’s Global Workplace Services organization, He leads a global team responsible for delivering connected, accessible, sustainable global workplaces in a secure environment, for the best employee experience. This accountability spans the entire real estate life cycle from planning, delivery, operations, and security for Microsoft’s worldwide real estate portfolio — over 40M square feet across approximately 113 countries supporting 175,000+ global employees. Michael also leads Microsoft’s global security functions, including operations, investigations, risk mitigation, crisis management, executive protection, strategy, and intelligence.

In this role, Michael brings his passion for Microsoft technology together with Global Workplace Services to create innovative solutions that increase operational efficiencies, improve the employee workplace experience, and further reduces the company’s environmental impact.

Prior to his current role, Michael held several positions within Microsoft Finance. Michael joined Microsoft as the Director of Finance Operations in 2005.

Michael holds a Bachelor of Science in Finance from Alabama A&M University and a Master of Business Administration from Florida Metropolitan University.

Michael Ford

Microsoft

Michael Ford is the Corporate Vice President of Microsoft’s Global...

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...

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...

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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