Board of Directors
A short description of current members of the Board of Directors
- Rod Brown
- Margaret Clancy
- Diana Craig
- Marc Daudon
- Aaron Fairchild
- Kathe Fowler
- Brian Gruber
- Jim Hanna
- Laura Hastings
- Laura Henderson
- Nancy Hirsh
- Ken Lederman
- Chandra Lewnau
- Melissa Mager
- Jay Manning, WEC President
- Rashad Morris
- Claudia Newman
- Amy Scott
- Stephanie Solien
- Toby Thaler
- Colin Wagoner
- Daniel Weise
Rod currently practices environmental law at the Cascadia Law Group PLLC and has spent over fifteen years as a WEC volunteer. In the late 1980s he helped lead the environmental community's successful campaign for Initiative 97, which created our state's Superfund cleanup law. In the 1990s he served as WEC's representative on the Growth Strategies Commission, which led to the creation of the Growth Management Act. He has also served as WEC's representative on the Regulatory Reform Task Force and the Blue Ribbon Commission on Transportation. Earlier this year, Governor Gregoire appointed him as one of the two environmental community members on her Climate Advisory Team. Rod re-joined the board in 2003.
Margaret has worked as a wetland scientist and environmental consultant for 20 years. A major focus of her consulting practice is natural resource policy development and she is actively involved in shoreline management, critical area protection, and efforts to restore Puget Sound. She was inspired to join the WEC board by her volunteer work with Earth Share of Washington.
Diana is a human resource professional with biology roots. With a degree in Fish and Wildlife from Montana State University, she worked for NOAA as a fish observer in Alaska. Her HR work has been in a variety of industries most notably Amazon.com, Nastech Pharmaceutical, and Intermec Technology. She spends her free time birding, participating in citizen science projects, and traveling. As a previous member of the People For Puget Sound board, she is excited to join the WEC board and looks forward to continuing to explore with her husband and daughter the fabulous treasures in the Pacific Northwest.
Marc works as a consultant helping public and private sector clients achieve resource conservation outcomes such as eliminating waste, increasing recycling, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, saving water, and conserving biodiversity. He was on Washington Conservation Voters board for 10 years and board chair for three.
CEO, Green Canopy Homes
Aaron first became connected to WEC as partner at Social Venture Partners (SVP). He served on the environmental grant committee and was the lead partner with WEC through the grant selection process and into the first two years of the SVP/WEC relationship. Since that time he remained engaged through sponsoring tables at the annual fundraising event, and participating in the legislative draft-and-design process three years in a row on the energy efficiency financing bills. Outside of WEC he runs a company, Green Canopy Homes, whose mission is to inspire resource efficiency in residential markets. He was a member of Mayor Nickels’ appointed Green Building Task Force 2008-2009 and is a current member of Mayor McGinn’s appointed Stakeholder Evaluation and Implementation Committee (SEIC), as well as the Emerald Cities Policy and Finance Committee.
Kathe developed her love of the outdoors while spending seven summers on the Madison River outside West Yellowstone in Montana hiking, biking, and floating the river. She has since been biking the islands and back roads of Washington for 34 years. After serving two years on the King County Chapter of Washington Conservation Voters, she joined the state WCV board where she served as the chairperson of the board. She also serves on the board of Washington Wildlife and Recreation Coalition and the Advisory Council for the Methow Conservancy.
Attorney, Ziontz Chestnut
Brian’s commitment to protecting the environment arises from long-standing personal and professional interests. He has always enjoyed the outdoors, from early family trips to the National Parks to backcountry experiences canoeing, backpacking and climbing. This led Brian to law school where he hoped to follow in the steps of conservationists who used the law to protect and preserve our water, air, natural landscapes and the animals that inhabit them. Brian’s dual interests in the environment were joined when he moved to the West, first as an attorney at the Bozeman office of Earthjustice and, since 2003, with the Seattle law firm of Ziontz, Chestnut, Varnell, Berley & Slonim. His current position melds work on natural resource issues for Indian Tribes with legal action protecting Washington’s environment. Brian represented WEC in early phases of the Maury Island gravel mine fight and opposing the Links at Half Moon Bay development near Westport.
Jim joined Starbucks Coffee Company in November 2005, leading the company’s initiatives to minimize the environmental footprint through green building, energy conservation, international procurement, waste minimization and collaboration with partner corporations and NGOs, and lobbying elected officials. Before coming home to Washington, Jim served as Director of Environmental Affairs for Xanterra Parks & Resorts at Yellowstone National Park, where he worked to protect one of the world’s greatest natural treasures.
Laura first served on the Board from 2003-2005, representing the Mountaineers. She is a Human Resource Executive with over 20 years experience in building strong teams and creating organizational cultures that lead to success. Laura is also an active member of Social Venture Partners (SVP), an organization that seeks to develop philanthropy and volunteerism to achieve positive social change in the Puget Sound region.
Executive Director, Pasado's Safe Haven
After over 20 years in the private sector, Laura recently took on the role of Executive Director of Pasado's Safe Haven where she is able to apply her passion both for animals and sustainable practices. Laura has extensive experience in integrated communications, strategic planning, brand positioning, messaging, and corporate responsibility initiatives. She has also worked in government on the federal level and led public affairs initiatives. Laura strongly believes in the ability of citizens to drive change. A Seattle native who now lives in Snohomish, Laura enjoys spoiling her dog (a rescue from El Salvador), skiing, hiking, yoga, and mucking about in the garden. Laura holds a master’s in business administration from the University of Washington. Previously, she has served on arts-related boards in the Seattle area.
Nancy has been working to increase renewable energy and energy efficiency investments and low-income energy services for the past 24 years. As policy director at the NW Energy Coalition, she works with non-profits and businesses in legislative and regulatory forums. She has served four years on the Board of the Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance and continues to serve as Chair of the Board of the Renewable Northwest Project. Nancy worked with WEC to help pass Initiative 937 - the Citizens' Clean Energy Initiative, the Efficiency First law, and incentives for renewable energy development - successes that highlight the winning combination of technical/policy expertise and political and grassroots campaign power. Prior to joining NWEC, she spent twelve years in Washington, DC working on national energy policy issues for Environmental Action Foundation and the National Wildlife Federation. She received her training in environmental policy from the University of Michigan's School of Natural Resources.
Ken’s first job after arriving in Washington in 1993 was serving as a legal intern with WEC. He has practiced environmental law with government (serving as an AAG for now-Governor Chris Gregoire on behalf of the Washington State Department of Ecology) and now with Foster Pepper PLLC. Ken has been involved with Washington Conservation Voters for the past 10 years, serving as the chair of the King County Chapter, and as the chair of the WCV State Board. Ken, along with his wife, Meredith, and his daughter, Alexandra, love to spend their time skiing, riding their bikes, sea kayaking, and enjoying the natural beauty of the Long Beach Peninsula.
Chandra moved to Seattle in 2010 after practicing law in Austin, Texas for over 10 years. She has worked on several successful appeals, and her current practice areas include estate planning, probate, small business, and nonprofit law. Chandra had her first experience with public advocacy while working as a lobbyist and media relations intern for a consumer group as an undergraduate. She has volunteered extensively with a number of nonprofit organizations, most recently serving as Vice President of FixAustin, an animal welfare advocacy group that led the successful campaign to reform the city’s animal shelter and make Austin the largest “no kill” community in the nation. Chandra is a graduate of Harvard University and the University of Texas School of Law. In her spare time, Chandra enjoys walking and swimming with her two rescue dogs, kayaking, reading, learning about new technologies, and the elusive search for the best coffee shop in Seattle.
Melissa, a native of Oklahoma City, spent eight years in Washington, D.C. as legislative staff to a U.S. Senator, one year with Washington state’s Speaker of the House and four years as professional staff to an Oklahoma Governor. After being admitted to the Washington Bar in 1991, she clerked for King County Superior Court Judge Charles W. Mertel. She joined the Law Offices of Cynthia B. Whitaker in 1994 where she continues to practice family law. An active volunteer, Melissa was a member of People For Puget Sound for 20 years. She served on the board for 13 years and served as Board President from 2006 to 2008. Currently, Melissa also serves on the board of Friends of Cooper Island, supporting a 35 year bird study on a remote island of Alaska now threatened by Shell Oil Company’s plans to drill off the coast of Barrow. Melissa is a triathlete who enjoys a variety of activities including jazz singing, backpacking, sailing, swimming, biking, and fundraising for her favorite causes with Puget Sound issues topping the list.
Jay is a partner at Cascadia Law Group, the leading environmental law firm in the northwest. Prior to joining Cascadia, Jay was Chief of Staff to Governor Chris Gregoire, where he worked closely with the Governor, her Cabinet, legislators and stakeholders in addressing all aspects of state government operations and all manner of public policy issues. Before that, Jay was the Director of the Washington Department of Ecology, where he focused on water rights and policy, Puget Sound restoration and energy and climate issues. Jay has been married to his wife Lorraine for 31 years and they have three grown children, and one granddaughter. Jay enjoys spending time with his family, especially his granddaughter, and also finds time to ride his mountain bike, ski, hike and cook.
Rashad’s professional experience is in state and local public policy, including time as a WEC staff member. He currently staffs the City Councilmember overseeing energy and environmental issues for Seattle and has an educational background in both business and law. Rashad has enthusiasm for connecting environmentalism to the lives of all Washingtonians--of every county, color, socioeconomic background, and across environmental topic areas. He is a founding member of Seattle's chapter of the national networking group Environmental Professionals of Color (EPOC) and also sits on the board of the nonprofit economic development bank Evergreen Business Capital.
Partner, Bricklin & Newman, LLP
Claudia has been an advocate for the protection of Washington’s natural resources, critical areas, shoreline, and local communities for over fifteen years. As an environmental and land use attorney at Bricklin & Newman, LLP, Claudia represents citizen groups and individuals in broad variety of environmental matters. She has, more recently, immersed herself in the world of green building with the hope that engaging developers in responsible building early in the design and process will go a long way towards improving our landscape. Claudia is a member of the board of the Cascadia Green Building Council and sits on the ASHRAE Standard Committee 189, which is authoring the first comprehensive model green building code in the nation. She is a former board member for King County Conservation Voters.
Associate Director, Planned Giving at University of Washington
Amy has been a planned giving officer with the University of Washington since 2003, and has worked to help non-profit organizations secure donations for over 16 years. Amy was previously on the board of Sustainable Ballard and is a member of the Washington Planned Giving Council. Additionally, she has volunteered for several political campaigns, including efforts to oppose Initiatives 601 and 602. As a Seattle native, Amy enjoys hiking, kayaking, and snowshoeing throughout the Northwest.
Stephanie has worked in politics, government and the nonprofit arena for more than 25 years in Washington, D.C. and Washington State. She served as national political director for the Clinton Presidential campaign in 1992 and as a lead strategist of President Clinton’s successful 1993 Pacific Northwest Forest Summit in Portland, OR. Stephanie was chair of Washington Conservation Voters from 1998-2001. She is a member of Social Venture Partners serving on the environmental advocacy committee and is on the board of Town Hall Seattle.
As a lawyer and policy analyst, Toby has worked with environmental groups, Tribes, local governments, and others on forestry, fisheries, water quality, land use, and development issues for over thirty years. Toby became the first staff attorney at WEC in the mid 1990s, organizing the volunteer public interest bar to represent WEC and other conservation advocates. From 1998 through 2006, he was staff attorney at the Washington Forest Law Center. Toby is presently a Natural Resource Law & Policy consultant. One of his current projects is serving as faculty on the Model Forest Policy Program's 2010 project, working with six communities around the country on climate change adaptation focused on forests and water.
Colin is a Seattle native who, since 1999, has been working professionally to restore Puget Sound shorelines as Principal Engineer and CEO of Ridolfi Inc. He has worked as an environmental consultant for over 20 years on some of the largest Superfund sites in the northwest including: Commencement Bay, the Lower Duwamish River, Hanford, Portland Harbor, and the Coeur d’Alene mining district. Before joining the board of WEC, he served on the board of People For Puget Sound. He sees many opportunities to decrease contamination in surface water and sediments for the protection of fish and shellfish. He is the father of two grown sons and spends as much time as possible skiing, hiking, and snowshoeing.
Daniel arrived in the Seattle area in 1992 from a professorship at Stanford University to be part of the then nascent Microsoft Research. He spent much of his time at Microsoft Research working on automatic bug detection and program analysis tools. He left Microsoft to follow interests in biotechnology and molecular biology. Unfortunately, his scientific training left him susceptible to deeply understanding the physics of climate change and dynamical systems, as well as how the process of science itself requires that the actual threat be understated. Daniel now spends his time tracking climate change literature. He holds MS and PhD degrees from MIT. To relax, Daniel likes to cycle around on his road bike and grow vegetables in his garden.