Martin lives on Vashon Island where he and his wife, Donna, raised their two daughters and have helped preserve Vashon’s environment and community for over 40 years. Martin is retired, most recently from Seattle Public Utilities (SPU), where he served as a Policy Advisor and finally Deputy Director. During his 20 years with SPU, he focused on environmental policy initiatives, regulatory compliance, and organizational change. Born in Seattle, Martin has been devoted to enjoying and preserving the Northwest all of his life. He began this work as Executive Director of the WEC in the late 1970s then served as a lobbyist for the Coalition Against Oil Pollution. In the 1990s, served as the Long Range Planning Manager at Metro Transit and Assistant Director of Habitat at the Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife. Martin is an avid bicyclist, sailor, and wood worker.
Diana is the Director of HR at Omeros Corp, a commercial biopharma in Seattle, WA. 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 with her husband and daughter. As a previous member of the People For Puget Sound board, she is enjoying her second term on the WEC board and looks forward to continuing to explore 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.
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 Earthjustice and, since 2003, with the Seattle law firm of Ziontz Chestnut. 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 and continues to provide legal advice on other shoreline and forestry issues.
Deb has been a lecturer in entrepreneurship at UW’s Michael G. Foster School of Business since 2007, a self-employed marketing communications consultant since 2006, and an environmental advocate since her teen years when she started hiking trails and loving water. A seasoned communications consultant, Deb has worked with major brands in consumer packaged goods and high technology, startups in a wide range of industries from high tech to clean tech, and non-profits focused on housing, equity and the environment. Deb’s spare time goes to mentoring startups, hiking trails, gardening and enjoying Seattle’s great music and theatre.
Jim serves as Microsoft’s first head of datacenter sustainability, focusing on mitigating the environmental impact of the growing cloud computing infrastructure through responsible site selection of datacenters, green building and renewable energy policy engagement. Previously, Jim served as Starbucks global head of sustainability, 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.
Shin Shin Hsia is passionate about shifting the culture of mainstream movements and redefining what it means to be a leader. She is currently the Operations Manager for Win/Win, an organization working on building a politically and civically powerful network to advance social, racial, and economic equity and thriving communities across Washington State. Prior to Win/Win, she worked in campaign management, leadership development, conservation corps programming, fair trade, international programs & exchange, and primate ecology. Shin Shin enjoys big family potlucks, escaping to Lake Cavanaugh, geeking out about organizational development / systems change and co-leading the Environmental Professionals of Color (EPOC) – Seattle Chapter.
Jeff Johnson was elected President of the Washington State Labor Council, AFL-CIO in 2010. His work has focused on legislation that improves the lives of working people through increasing collective bargaining and organizing rights and protecting the rights of farm workers, economic justice and anti-poverty measures, and immigrant workers, among other strategies. Prior to first joining the WSLC staff in 1986, Jeff served as special assistant to the president, lead lobbyist, research and organizing director, and shop steward for his staff unit, which is part of Office and Professional Employees International Union Local 8.
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 is in her second term as a member of Washington Environmental Council and her first term as a member of the Executive Committee. She is a native of Oklahoma City, and 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 and practiced family law until her retirement in 2014. 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 is serving on the board of the Seattle Aquarium and co-chair of the Aquarium’s Conservation and Education Committee in addition to membership on the Public Partnerships Committee and the Executive Committee. She is a member of Friends of Cooper Island, a 501(c)3 supporting a 40 year bird study on a remote island of Alaska which was until recently 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 rejoined Cascadia Law Group in 2011 after more than six years as Director of the Washington Department of Ecology and Governor Gregoire’s Chief of Staff. His practice focuses on environmental and energy matters, providing consulting, legislative, and legal assistance. In Governor Gregoire’s office, Jay worked closely with the Governor and her Cabinet and Senior Staff to address budgetary and public policy challenges facing state government. As Director at Ecology, Jay focused on managing the state’s water resources, including creation of the Office of Columbia River, guiding the effort to bring the Puget Sound back to good health by 2020, including the creation of the Puget Sound Partnership and addressing climate change and the daunting threat it poses to Washington’s economy and environment. Jay co-chaired the Washington State Blue Ribbon Panel on Ocean Acidification in 2012, which led to an Executive Order directing the state’s implementation of the panel’s recommendations for a coordinated, regional response. Jay is Board chair for Washington Environmental Council, a member of the Board of the Ruckelshaus Center, a member of the Board of Advisors for University of Washington’s College of the Environment and vice chair of the Puget Sound Partnership’s Leadership Council. Jay has been married to his wife Lorraine for over 35 years and has three grown children and two lovely and brilliant grandchildren. He enjoys riding his bicycle, traveling, reading, cooking, and spending time with family and friends.
David is a scientist at heart, asking how do ‘things’ work, or as in many cases, how do things end up not working? Celebrating 25 years in healthcare and pharmaceutical manufacturing, he has a diverse interest base which includes population, energy, the environment, and how as a society we can impart the fewest harms. Energy, its generation, and how we consume it, lead him to Element 8, formerly the Northwest Energy Angels, which in turn brought him to be involved with a MoveOn.org founder and helping non-regulated energy consumers invest in sustainably generated power for their homes.
Gifford (Marco) Pinchot IV joined Taylor Shellfish in 2008 to strengthen and build programs in Sustainability, Community Engagement, and Culinary Brand Marketing. As a fourth generation conservationist and ecologist, Marco works on the interface between environmental sustainability, vibrant and resilient communities, and healthy economies built from sustainable businesses. Marco envisions a positive future for Washington where his children and future generations will grow up able to swim, hike, and shuck fresh oysters along the shores of Puget Sound.
Aiko knows and cares a lot about poverty and inequality, having spent nearly 20 years of her career engaging other people of color and those with lower incomes to advocate for equity. She has worked on environmental and partisan campaigns at the state and federal levels. The majority of Aiko’s career was as the founding Director of the Statewide Poverty Action Network, Washington State’s largest anti-poverty advocacy organization. She also served the Communications and External Relations Director of the Washington State Budget & Policy Center and currently on the faculty at the University of Washington. She also is a consultant to non-profits, foundations, and political campaigns.
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.
Sapna Sopori was born in Arizona as a first generation Indian-American, raised by a single-mother whose own challenges and opportunities in this country shaped Sapna’s understanding of the intersection between race, gender, and immigrant-status. Sapna has spent 16 years working in environmental education. In her current position with IslandWood as the Director of Youth and Community Education, Sapna works with her staff to decolonize their programs to ensure that the reason they do the work is not undermined by how they do it. In these programs, stakeholder input drives evolution, which is constantly explored to unearth the embedded saviorism and deficit modeling so prevalent in the greater field. Sapna also works with IslandWood’s Graduate Programs, teaching the Nonprofit Leadership course, in which the next generation of nonprofit leaders are challenged to uncover and address the hidden biases in the administrative systems, from hiring practices to board development to fundraising. Outside of her work with IslandWood, Sapna is active with and learns from the Seattle chapter of the Environmental Professionals of Color. She is also a Senior Fellow with the Environmental Leadership Program and facilitates their Fellows of Color Affinity Group. Sapna was recently honored with the Kitsap YWCA’s Mission Award for Eliminating Racism and Empowering Women. Sapna firmly believes that she has been fortunate to have all of these life experiences as a result of the generosity, courage, and support of those around her, and she strives to do this belief in her justice.
As VP of communications and public affairs for REI, Alex serves as a steward of the co-op. His job involves partnering with hundreds of non-profits and representing the interests of 5.5 million REI members who love life outdoors. It began with voluntary work in rural Zimbabwe, which revealed both the potential and pitfalls of attempting to influence life choices. Growing up and living in expanding concrete cities (London, Hong Kong, Singapore, New York) has given him a deep hunger to be in, around and working for natural beauty. Since arriving here in Seattle, all of Alex’s spare time is spent discovering the breathtaking Pacific Northwest.
Peggy has 30 years professional experience working in local government technical and senior managerial positions, including serving as Technology and Management Information Manager for King County Metro Transit, directing strategic planning, market research efforts and transit technology projects. A lifelong conservationist, Peggy served on environmental boards including the Pacific Crest Trail Association, the Olympic Coast Alliance and as Chair of the Alaska Coalition of Washington. Peggy grew up in Seattle, completed her doctorate from the University of Washington, and taught at Fort Lewis-McChord and Pacific Lutheran University. Peggy and her husband Ted, enjoy hiking, sailing, skiing, and shrub steppe land restoration. They have traveled to every continent and have hiked the Pacific Crest Trail, the GR5, the Rota Vicentina and plan to complete the Continental Divide Trail. She was the first female yacht club Commodore in the Northwest and has extensive personal experience recreating in the Puget Sound/Salish Sea.