Rein focuses on engaging our members, activists, and public on all things Puget Sound. Previously, Rein was the Advocacy Manager at People For Puget Sound, where he did the following: organized the annual lobby day for the environmental community, generating grassroots support during the legislative session; built a diverse stakeholder coalition building on oil spill issues; managed activists, interns and volunteers; and helped garner public support for a strong Action Agenda for the health of Puget Sound. Two factors drew Rein to the Sound in 2004: being a Pisces and his childhood spent on the beaches and salt marshes of Buzzards Bay in Massachusetts. San Juan Island’s beauty and its archipelago landscape bring solace, calm, and appreciation to him. Plus, he loves picking his own oysters at the Westcott Bay Oyster Farm. When not at work, Rein loves to travel, bike, hike, sail, cook, and sauna in his back yard, all the time with his wife Marcy.
Alec joined WEC after working on federal environmental policy at the Southern Environmental Law Center in Washington, DC. He received Master of Forestry and Master of Environmental Management degrees from Duke University’s Nicholas School of the Environment. In previous roles he worked on the staff of a Congressman and drove the Compost Cab. A native of the southeast, Alec enjoys exploring the Pacific Northwest, a good book, and meals with friends and family.
A long-time leader in Washington’s environmental community, Joan started working at WEC in 1992, served as Executive Director in 1995-2014, and has served as CEO since 2014. Joan was instrumental in developing the now nationally-recognized Environmental Priorities Coalition, the successful collaborative of over 20 groups that works together for strong state environmental protections. Joan is often sought out for her insight and judgment on environmental issues by state policy makers, other advocacy groups, and foundations. Her guidance and vision have helped WEC combine its 40 years of experience with innovative strategies resulting in strong environmental protections for Washington state. Prior to joining WEC, Joan served as Administrative Director of Earth Share of Washington. Joan has a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Middlebury College, as well as a master’s degree in public administration from the University of Washington Evans School of Public Affairs. She has served on numerous boards including Sierra Club Seattle Inner City Outings, the Washington Wildlife and Recreation Coalition, and the State Environmental Leadership Program. In addition to working for environmental protection, Joan also enjoys spending lots of time outside, especially hiking with her husband Don or racing her kids down the slopes.
Sarah joins Washington Environmental Council with a degree from University of Puget Sound in Sociology and Environmental Policy. During her time at University of Puget Sound, Sarah volunteered with the Surfrider Foundation coordinating beach clean-ups and community outreach. After college, she worked with Washington Conservation Voters as a Community Outreach Intern to elect environmental champions and later as a Climate Organizing Fellow to put Initiative 1631 on the ballot. Sarah is passionate about advocating for environmental justice and is excited to start work as a Field Organizer. In her free time, Sarah can be found hiking, relaxing on the beach, and enjoying good food in Seattle.
As a Northwest native with strong environmental sensibilities, Julie is thrilled to provide administrative support for WEC. Her Seattle-based career choices are a veritable box of chocolates: social media strategist, small business owner, school registrar, and legal assistant. A life-long learner, Julie holds a BA in Social Sciences from the University of Washington, and certificates in Nonprofit Fundraising Management and Social Media Strategy and Implementation. Julie’s happy place is on a northwest hiking trail.
Sydney is part teacher, part scientist, and 100% ocean nerd. After graduating from Oberlin College in Ohio, Sydney completed a two-year AmeriCorps teaching fellowship in Boston before venturing to New Zealand for a Master’s degree, where she studied rocky reef biodiversity using passive acoustic monitoring. Returning to the US by way of the Pacific Northwest, Sydney fell in love with Puget Sound and decided to stay. She spent two years as a research fellow with the U.S. EPA’s ocean pollution prevention program in Seattle before joining WEC in 2018. Along the way, Sydney has held many environmental education and social justice advocacy positions, ranging from Hunger & Homelessness Campaign Manager with OhioPIRG to open-ocean snorkel guide with Auckland-based Experiencing Marine Reserves to marine scientist aboard the good ship Carlyn with Salish Sea Expeditions. Sydney is passionate about plastic pollution prevention, environmental justice, and most of all having fun on the water!
Katherine (Kat) Holmes serves as Field Director for Washington Environmental Council. She fell in love with field work as an Organizing Fellow with Fuse Washington and is excited to help build coalitions and develop grassroots power for the environment throughout Washington state. Kat grew up in Kent, Washington, fell in love with Puget Sound at Salt Water State Park, and graduated with a degree in Biology/Ecology, from Western Washington University. A teacher and community builder at heart, she spent 15 years teaching martial arts and leading volunteer projects with Starbucks in Bellingham. She moved back to Kent to be closer to her mother, became active with 350 Seattle and WEC and is ready bring a racial justice lens to environmental advocacy. Kat loves coffee, food, farmers, poetry and can be found training and playing outside in her free time.
Shelby has been on the move since she graduated from Michigan State University where she studied public policy and politics. Starting as a Field Organizer for the League of Conservation Voters in Michigan & Minnesota she has spent the last four years organizing and directing campaigns for U.S. and state legislature, governor and president in states from Iowa to California. A Midwest native, Shelby feels right at home surrounded by fresh water and evergreen trees. In her free time, you’ll find her catching a class at CycleBar, a happy hour with friends or chasing Seattle’s gorgeous views.
Tony joins our team from the Washington DC area via Eastern Washington. After Tony graduated from the nation’s top historically black university, Howard University, with a BA in Political Science, he began working in public service. A job with the Yakima Police Department brought Tony to Washington State where he organized the first ever department-wide training for LGBT rights and sensitivity. Tony fell in love with the Pacific Northwest and is passionate about taking an active role in keeping the environment beautiful for future generations and for all communities. Tony can usually be found in the gym, reading, and is particularly devoted to anything related to DC comics.
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Lauren manages foundation grantseeking activities for Washington Environmental Council and Washington Conservation Voters. Prior to joining WEC, she served as Grants Coordinator at El Centro de la Raza. Lauren grew up in Seattle and holds a degree in Public Administration from Seattle University. She is involved in the local choral scene and serves on the board of the Byrd Ensemble. In her free time, Lauren loves to travel, bike, sing, and arrange vocal music.
Becky joined WEC in 1994 and has led successful campaigns on sustainable forestry and helping to defeat the irresponsible development initiative—Initiative 933. Working closely with architects, developers, and educators, she led WEC’s 2005 campaign to pass Washington’s first-in-the-nation law requiring public buildings to meet green building standards. Currently, Becky serves as WEC President and has previously directed WEC’s Climate and Clean Energy Agenda to pass strong policies to reduce climate pollution and transition to clean energy, as well as staffing our ongoing sustainable forestry work. She feels lucky to have a job where she can help bring people together to create solutions to complex problems, even though it involves an unnatural number of meetings. She has a bachelor’s degree in International Studies from the University of Oregon, and prior to joining WEC, taught English in rural Japan. Becky lives in Seattle with her husband and daughter and enjoys gardening, singing, eating her husband’s excellent cooking, and playing outside.
Emily joined WEC and WCV in early 2016 as part of the field team and is now the Political & Civic Engagement Manager for Washington Environmental Council and Washington Conservation Voters. Emily is from Seattle originally but got her career start in Whatcom County, where she worked at Re-Sources for Sustainable Communities and dove headfirst into the battle to prevent fossil fuel infrastructure in the community. She later gained experience in the political realm by managing a local County Council campaign before making her way back to Seattle. She graduated from Western Washington University with a BA in Economics/Environmental Studies. Emily spends her time when she is not at her desk enjoying the outdoors on skis, with running shoes, or on a bike, exploring farmers markets and happy hours around Seattle, and hanging out with her cat.
Devan is a Certified Salesforce Administrator and graduate of Huxley College at Western Washington University. He brings to WEC a background working professionally in data analytics and database management, most recently at the Pacific Science Center in Seattle. Devan has also volunteered time performing restoration work with Nooksack Salmon Enhancement Association and as the Stewardship Coordinator at Shadow Lake Nature Preserve. Outside of work, Devan enjoys going to museums and movies and spending time with his wife and dog.
Kathy leads the overall fundraising and development activities for both Washington Environmental Council and Washington Conservation Voters. Kathy has over 20 years of fundraising experience, nearly all of it in the environmental sector. She was lured back to WEC/WCV after a seven year absence, during which time she worked as the Development Director for Resource Media, a nonprofit communications firm that specializes in environmental issues. During her tenure there she helped to nearly triple the organization’s budget, and as a member of the management team, established the structure and systems that successfully guided Resource Media through this period of rapid growth. For ten years Kathy served as WEC’s Development Director, creating the organization’s overall fundraising framework. Kathy is a graduate of Colorado State University and has a certificate in Nonprofit Management and Fundraising from the University of Washington. She and her husband are slowly remodeling an old home and restoring its gardens. When not pondering which native plants grow best in dry shade or how to repair a stone wall, they spend time as much time as possible hiking and biking.
Nathan McCurtain is a field organizer with Washington Environmental Council who started organizing work as a volunteer for Candidate Barack Obama in 2008. Since then Nathan has volunteered and worked on campaigns in the Puget Sound region until he joined the Washington Environmental Council team. Nathan grew up in Puyallup, Washington and fell in love with the beauty and history of the area. He graduated with a degree in Political Science from the University of Washington and went on to study Law before joining initiative campaigns in Washington. After 14 years in Puyallup and six years in Seattle, Nathan has settled down in the Tacoma area where he connected with the Tacoma Tide Flats issue which brought him to WEC. Nathan enjoys tea, restaurant hopping, reading, and musicals and can be found enjoying the outdoors or glued to his computer depending on the weather.
As an Administrative Associate, Colton assists with financial operations and provides administrative support for Washington Environmental Council. He’s a graduate of Seattle University and holds degrees in Economics and Finance. Prior to joining WEC, he interned with the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco and worked as an Accounting & Risk Management Analyst with a financial firm in Bellevue, WA. When not working, you can find him fly-fishing, climbing, or volunteering with various river restoration organizations.
Tina has spent most of her career creating, launching and leading programs, community initiatives and events for a variety of clients. She founded and managed Surfin’ Seafood, a first-of-its-kind sustainable seafood home delivery service. After selling her business, Tina became involved with Smart Catch, a restaurant seafood sustainability program, with Paul G. Allen/Vulcan. She hopes that her passion for connecting ideas, people, teams and community will contribute to WEC’s efforts to protect Washington’s environment. Tina has a bachelor’s degree in Communications & Political Science from University of Washington, spent time teaching English in Japan and, in her free time, loves to spend time with her two children, travel, hike, bike, ski and paddle.
Kristi manages WEC’s social media and email communications and is a graduate of Seattle University with a degree in Environmental Studies and Biology. She was previously a climate campaign intern with WEC and also interned with King County’s Water and Land Resources Division. Kristi brings a passion for racial and social justice to her work, and is an organizer with the Environmental Professionals of Color Seattle. In her free time, Kristi enjoys painting, cooking, and finding the best happy hour on Capitol Hill.
Darcy works across WEC’s program areas to pass and defend environmental laws and secure public funding for essential programs and projects. Darcy has more than a decade of experience in environmental law and policy issues including land and water conservation, renewable energy development, water law, toxic pollution cleanup and prevention, salmon and steelhead recovery, and budgeting. She also has experience managing high-profile election campaigns in several states and worked with the AFL-CIO to create an affiliate organization for non-union households. Darcy has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Connecticut and a J.D. from Seattle University School of Law. When she is not in the office, Darcy is usually having fun with her family by gardening, whitewater rafting, hiking, camping, and cheering on the Sounders and the Green Bay Packers.
Sally joined the Evergreen Forests team in 2018 after completing a Community Outreach and Legislative Internship at WEC, during which she focused on grassroots organizing and advocacy. Born and raised in Southeast Alaska, Sally graduated from Whitman College with a biology degree and a passion for ecology and natural resource conservation. Prior to moving to Seattle, she worked and interned in the labs of the Alaska Department of Fish & Game and NOAA Fisheries, dissecting salmon and collecting data for research and commercial fisheries management. In her free time, Sally hikes, runs, and expresses her love of the Pacific Northwest in drawings and paintings of regional wildlife and scenery.
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Sean Pender worked at WEC for the first time from 1997-2000, when he was the Office Manager/Development Associate. Starting in 2001, he worked at an organization that provided technology consulting services to nonprofit conservation groups. Over the course of his decade there, he mostly did administrative and HR tasks, with healthy dollops of IT support, fundraising support, Salesforce administration and proofreading thrown in. Starting in January 2013, he’s back for another round, excited to be working as the Administrative Director for WEC and WCV. Sean has a degree in Political Science from Western Washington University and in his spare time he enjoys riding his bikes, reading non-fiction, and spending time with his daughter.
Katrina assists with the operation of Washington Environmental Council’s data system. She completed a Master of Divinity at Harvard and a Bachelor’s in Political Science at Yale. Prior to joining WEC, Katrina worked as an outdoor educator and guide, and interned as a university and hospital chaplain. When she’s not in the office, she can be found leading trips with Big City Mountaineers and volunteering with the Climate Justice Committee of Got Green.
Rebecca joined WEC in 2013 and has more than a decade of experience in environmental policy and advocacy. At WEC, Rebecca directs the climate and fossil fuel program and manages the broad coalition fighting oil infrastructure through the Stand Up To Oil campaign, which has stopped oil terminals across Washington and Oregon. Before joining WEC, Rebecca worked for several years in salmon recovery at the Puget Sound Partnership and Shared Strategy and before that did environmental permitting and compliance at the Department of Ecology. She has a duel master’s degree from the University of Washington in Urban Planning and in Public Administration. When she isn’t fighting the oil industry, Rebecca enjoys exploring our waterways and mountains with her daughter and husband.
Sameer joined WEC in 2014 to work on coalition building and policy development to advance WEC’s climate and clean energy objectives. Prior to joining WEC, Sameer worked in a wide variety of government, election, and advocacy roles. His work experience spans various positions on the Hill and the Washington State Legislature, multiple Presidential and Congressional campaigns, and numerous internships at energy and environmental entities, including the Alliance to Save Energy, the American Wind Energy Association, the U.S. Green Building Council, and the White House Council on Environmental Quality. He holds a B.A. from Washington State University and an M.P.A. from the University of Washington. In his free time, Sameer enjoys reading, power napping, jogging, writing environmental poetry, drinking coffee, meditating, and simply soaking in the view of Seattle’s beautiful environment.
Lisa joined WEC in 2012 and has over 10 years of experience in the environmental community and non-profit world. At WEC Lisa started as the Outreach Director for the Environmental Priorities Coalition, then moved up to become the Evergreen Forests Agenda Director. Before coming to WEC, she was the Senior Project Manager at NatureBridge working on the Elwha Dam removal project in Olympia National Park. She also worked as the Chapter and Government Relations Manager for Audubon Washington, the Statewide Advocacy Coordinator for the Arc of Washington and as staff to a Thurston County Commissioner. Lisa chaired the local chapter of Thurston Conservation Voters for two years and currently serves on the board at Wolf Haven International. Outside of work, Lisa enjoys traveling. Recent adventures include Guatemala, Cambodia, and Namibia where she worked with the Cheetah Conservation Fund. She is also proud to be a year round bike commuter, even on the rainiest Seattle days.
Mindy joined WEC in 2016 to lead the People For Puget Sound program, where she dedicates time to improving and maintaining the health of our unique ecosystem. Her previous work focused on identifying sources of contamination to Washington’s waters – streams, rivers, lakes, and Puget Sound – and designing management plans for the Department of Ecology. She has a serious nerd background, with environmental engineering degrees from Berkeley (BS), MIT/Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (MS), and UW (Ph.D.). Mindy’s specialties are tackling complex problems and communicating solutions with decisionmakers. In her spare time, she can usually be found teaching mountaineering, climbing the high peaks of the Cascades and Olympics, kayaking Puget Sound, managing a forest preserve on the Kitsap Peninsula, or traveling and diving around the world with her husband Jim. Mindy is a proud Tacoma resident.
As the local government affairs manager, Danielle builds bridges between WEC’s work and local government actions. Joining WEC in 2014, Danielle initially provided policy research and analysis for legislative efforts and accountability tools. She soon joined the People For Puget Sound team, where she focused on green infrastructure, clean water regulations, and orca recovery. Prior to joining WEC, Danielle gained experience in international and domestic environmental policy clerking for NOAA’s Alaska Regional Counsel and the International Environmental Law Project. She earned her B.A. from Western Washington University, her J.D. from Lewis & Clark Law School, and is a member of the Washington State Bar. Danielle spends her summers around a campfire with her pup, her falls rooting for the Packers, her winters in search of a good brass band, and her springs trying to figure out how to fly fish.
Griffin joined Washington Environmental Council as a Development and Events Intern in February 2014 and was lucky enough to continue as part of the Development team after his internship ended. Griffin grew up on the Olympic Peninsula and then traded one side of Puget Sound for the other when he moved to Seattle to attend the University of Washington, where he received his degree in English and Political Science. You can find Griffin near the water, out on a hike, or enjoying a jog on any of Seattle’s many running trails.
Clifford has been the contracted, full-time state lobbyist for both Washington Conservation Voters and Washington Environmental Council since November 2002. He is responsible for the state lobbying programs for these two statewide environmental organizations. He spends much of his time in Olympia lobbying on behalf of the environmental community Priorities. Clifford has over 20 years of public and private sector experience both in Washington state and Washington, D.C. During his 11-year tenure in D.C., Clifford held positions as a political consultant; a staff member and congressional investigator for the House Energy and Commerce Committee, chaired by John D. Dingell (D-Michigan); and a federal lobbyist in the private sector for the Grocery Manufacturers of America. Since arriving in Seattle in 1995, Clifford has held senior level local government posts as a legislative assistant for Seattle City Council member Martha Choe and as the City of Seattle’s Director of Intergovernmental Relations under Mayor Paul Schell. He has also consulted on intergovernmental matters for the City of Seattle’s Department of Public Utilities. Campaign experience includes a role as Research Director on Patty Murray’s successful 1992 campaign for U.S. Senate. Clifford is a graduate of University of Kansas and lives in Seattle with his wife, three sons, one daughter, and two dogs.
Max joined the Evergreen Forest Program after completing a Master’s of Environmental Management at the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. While at graduate school, Max’s studies focused on community-based approaches to conservation and ways to support sustainable land based economies. In the past, Max has developed new enterprise opportunities for loggers and landowners in the northeast and worked with community members to create restoration plans for parks in underserved communities. A native of Ohio, he is also a graduate of the University of Cincinnati and spent seven years building community garden programs before working as a field team leader with the National Civilian Community Corps on conservation projects in Alaska, California and Oregon. In his spare time, Max can be most often found in the garden, on the trail or in the kitchen.
Interns and Fellows
Elena Cavallero is a DukeEngage Intern at Washington Environmental Council. She is currently pursuing a double bachelor in Economics and Environmental Science & Policy with a concentration in Energy at Duke University. Born in Rome (Italy) and raised in Shanghai (China) Elena was identified by the prestigious Karsh International Scholarship to pursue her higher education in the U.S. Her international background led her to witness many diverse environmental issues that made her passionate about sustainable development in urban settings. Clean energy and water quality are the fields that she is eager to work on at WEC. Elena will use her time in Washington to explore Puget Sound’s nature and enjoy Seattle’s young vibe.
Ruslana is a Community Outreach and Political intern and is originally from Ukraine. The city where she was born suffered from radiation pollution, which caused high cancer and early death rates. The rivers where she used to swim as a kid became polluted by factories and organic fruits and veggies became full of pesticides. Coming to Seattle changed her life forever. Clean air, green parks, beautiful lakes surrounded her, and Ruslana made her #1 duty to protect it. Seeing the difference made her appreciate mother nature and made her passionate to preserve Washington State. Ruslana graduated from Seattle Central College with a Political Science degree. During her school years she volunteered for Jenny Durkan’s mayoral campaign, for the Coalition of Immigrants Refugees and Communities of Color, and for the Jewish Family Service.
Cacima Lee is an undergraduate student studying public health at the University of Washington. As an intern, she brings a long history of social justice activism and boisterous creativity. Born and raised in Seattle, she hasn’t held back from getting her hands messy in debates over affordable housing, reproductive rights, and youth empowerment. You can find her giving public comment, attending small community fundraisers, or cooking up some fun in her kitchen.
Morgan serves as a Field Organizer for WEC/WCV. Born and grown in the city of Seattle on Coast Salish territory, she decided to return after college to give back to the place that raised her. Morgan graduated with a degree in Archaeology and minor in Near Eastern Studies from Cornell University. A fan of experiential learning, she has worked as a trail builder, archaeological technician, organic farmer, vegan barista, and outdoor educator. She has organized with 350 Seattle developing and directing campaigns to mobilize people against fossil fuels and for climate justice, and with Plant for the Planet to support youth climate activism. She speaks passable Arabic, Spanish and Portuguese and loves learning new languages – so if you see her around, please don’t hesitate to strike up a conversation!
Fiona moved to Seattle in June 2017 to pursue high impact work in the environmental nonprofit sector. Originally from Athens, Georgia, Fiona grew up in an intentional conservation community. She later spent six months studying sustainable communities in New Zealand while working in community gardens. After receiving a Bachelor’s in English from the University of Georgia she spent two years teaching English with the Peace Corps in West Java, Indonesia. There, she was able to observe a different, less-centralized waste management system and was struck by the resourcefulness of people she met and worked with. Returning to the US amid the 2016 presidential political storm inspired her to become engaged in several local groups that advocated and lobbied for progressive climate solutions. She hopes to do work that addresses the disproportionate environmental consequences of a changing climate for both low-income communities and future generations.
Kelby Welsh is an undergraduate student studying Environmental Science and Policy at Duke University. She is interning through DukeEngage, a program aimed to change the way its students would learn about the world, its problems and its potential. Kelby grew up in rural Oklahoma, and feels the most herself in the natural world. Kelby is passionate about pursuing sustainable development within the physical and social spheres, and working towards solutions to the challenges that simultaneously threaten our survival and the survival of our planet. Growing up in a low income, Native American reserve made Kelby conscious of the presence of structural violence in many forms: poverty cycles, unfair resource allocation, historical oppression and environmental inequities. Kelby is excited for the opportunity to learn from this organization and Seattle, a city that has been making momentous strides in living sustainably and reversing those destructive cycles of structural violence.