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.
Minta joined the WEC development team in 2014. She leads WEC’s fundraising events: Summer Swell and the Green Gala. Her work focuses on providing opportunities for supporters to engage, learn, and give – creating a community of supporters with a deep connection to our work, one event at a time. Minta brings seven years of development and events experience to this role and has worked on a wide range of issues from k-5 education to the arts. Most recently, Minta served as the Development Specialist at Powerful Schools, where she helped shape their event and development strategies. Raised in Oregon with a family of nature-lovers, Minta has always had a deep appreciation for the outdoors. She is honored to have the chance to protect the bounty of natural resources found in Washington through her work here. Outside of work, Minta is an avid dancer and also keeps busy with hiking, learning the ukulele, and spending time with her 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.
Evan is the Major Gifts Manager for Washington Environmental Council. After college, Evan left the flatlands and Great Lakes of Michigan to work in Washington’s National Parks at Mount Rainier and at Olympic National Park on the Elwha River Restoration through the Student Conservation Association (SCA). He then went on to join the SCA development team in Seattle where he brought in funding to support underserved youth development and conservation service. Always up for a type II adventure, Evan enjoys skiing, climbing, backpacking, cycling and cooking.
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.
David handles WEC’s membership program and other fundraising duties. Prior to joining the WEC team, David worked in fundraising at Earthjustice and at advertising agencies in San Francisco and Michigan. He has a bachelor’s degree in History from Eastern Michigan University. David tries to spend as much time as possible outside. He is rather fond of telemark skiing, riding his bicycle, growing very local foods (aka gardening), and backpacking with his wife Susan.
Katherine (Kat) Holmes serves as Field Manager 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.
Arianne Jaco works in the Evergreen Forests Program and is a recent transplant to Washington from Texas. She received her BA from the University of Kansas and her MA in English Literature at Texas Tech University. She started at WEC serving as the coordinator for the Marbled Murrelet Coalition. In her spare time, she enjoys backpacking and epic road trips.
Natalie produces WEC’s publications, campaign communications, and multimedia projects as well as managing the website. A graduate of Whitman College with a degree in Biology-Environmental Studies, Natalie brings experience and enthusiasm for translating WEC’s technical work into engaging, digestible information for our members. She has previously served as the Whitman’s Sustainability Coordinator, worked with the Grand Canyon Trust, was a Climate & Clean Energy intern at WEC, and held other positions that have grown her interest in environmental issues of the Pacific Northwest. In her spare time, you can find Natalie fighting for social justice, competing with her local Ultimate Frisbee team, and cross country skiing.
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 is a Field Organizer for Washington Environmental Council and Washington Conservation Voters. She got her start as an organizer in Whatcom County, where the need for environmental advocacy and protection of the community from coal trains drove her to get more involved as an intern at Re-Sources for Sustainable Communities. She graduated from Western Washington University with a BA in Economics/Environmental Studies and spent the later part of her college career deeply involved in the divestment campaign at WWU. As a graduate, her work in environmental advocacy led to more involvement in the local politics in Whatcom County, and she spent the 2015 election cycle managing a County Council campaign crucial to the battle over coal exports in Whatcom County. When she’s not working, Emily is probably getting outside on her mountain bike, hiking, running, or exploring new food and music venues in Seattle.
Devan is a graduate of Western Washington University with a BA in Natural Resource Management. 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 doing restoration work with Nooksack Salmon Enhancement Association and as the Stewardship Coordinator at Save Habitat and Diversity Of Wetlands (SHADOW). Understanding and protecting our environment has been a passion of Devan’s since watching Captain Planet and Fern Gully as a child. Outside of work, Devan enjoys reading comic books, planting trees, playing team sports and going on adventures with his wife Elisabeth.
As Voter Education and Outreach Director, Cathy provides leadership for grassroots, organizing, and voter engagement efforts for our major environmental community campaigns. A native Seattleite, she graduated from Western Washington University with a BA in Communications and studied green business with Bainbridge Graduate Institute at Pinchot University. She’s traveled around the world, taught English in China, and worked mainly for nonprofits and environmental efforts in Bellingham before returning to Seattle in 2014. While in Bellingham, Cathy helped build Sustainable Connections, a business network focused on greening local independent businesses, headed up Bellingham’s Green Power Community Challenge, helped create the My Downtown visioning process, and influenced rural and urban land use planning as Chapter Director of Futurewise Whatcom. She served on Bellingham City Council for three years, and in her final year as President, she worked on Lake Whatcom water quality and the waterfront redevelopment project. She now lives in Queen Anne with her kitties, Monster and Knowing, and enjoys live music shows and exploring Seattle regularly by foot, bike, and bus.
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.
Kristi manages WEC’s social media and email communications and is a recent 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. In her free time, Kristi enjoys painting, cooking, and finding the cheapest 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.
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 yelling at the TV during soccer games along with his wife. But their daughter hates soccer so she has begun the process of believing that her parents are crazy.
Sasha Pollack is a Northwest native – growing up just south of Portland. After studying Environmental Studies at Oberlin College and spending nearly three years in Mali, West Africa as a Peace Corps Agriculture volunteer, she was delighted to return to the Pacific Northwest. Growing up in a politically and environmentally active household, she participated in various environmental campaigns and actions throughout her life, but began her professional political career in 2006. Since then she has worked as a policy analyst in both local and state government. She moved to Seattle in 2011 and is excited to work on climate and clean energy in Washington. She loves cooking, gardening, and crafting. These days she can be found exploring Seattle’s many neighborhoods and the broader Puget Sound region with her husband and young daughter.
Rebecca manages our oil campaign and is the director of the Stand Up To Oil campaign, a broad coalition working to stop terminals and ensure the safe transport of oil currently coming through our region. Rebecca has been implementing and developing environmental policies for over a decade. Prior to coming to WEC, she worked for six years to implement the Puget Sound Chinook Recovery Plan and before that worked on the regulatory side. She has a dual master’s degree from the University of Washington in Urban Planning and in Public Administration. When she isn’t fighting the oil industry, Rebecca loves exploring our waterways and mountains, cooking, gardening, and hunkering down to read a good novel on the couch.
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.
Danielle joined the Puget Sound program team in 2015 after providing WEC with contracted research support on several projects. She is a graduate of Western Washington University, where she received a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Policy and Political Science. While earning her J.D. from Lewis & Clark Law School, Danielle gained experience in international and domestic environmental policy clerking for NOAA’s Alaska Regional Counsel and the International Environmental Law Project. Since finding her way back home to Seattle, Danielle spends much of her free time exploring the Duwamish, sitting around a campfire, and jogging with her pup.
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.
Paula staffs WEC’s Evergreen Forest agenda. She has worked on forest conservation issues in the Pacific Northwest for 24 years and has been consulting for non-profits throughout the country over the past six years on ecosystem conservation and restoration policies with a focus on creating ecosystem service payments and markets involving carbon, wildlife, and water to improve management on private lands above regulatory requirements. She has served on the Washington State Forest Practices Board since 2010. Earlier in her career, Dr. Swedeen worked for the State of Washington (DNR and WDFW) for 12 years as a wildlife biologist and policy analyst on endangered species conservation in forests. She has a B.S. in Biology from Indiana University, a Masters of Environmental Studies and Political Science from Western Washington University, and a Ph.D. in Interdisciplinary Studies with an emphasis on Ecological Economics from the Union Institute. She lives in Olympia with her partner and loves to hike, go birding, work in her garden and raise Nigerian Dwarf goats in her spare time.
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.
Jaron is WEC’s Development & Events Intern where he will be focusing on the 50th Anniversary Event and fundraising. Jaron graduated in 2013 from the University of Washington with a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Studies. While Jaron has focused on small business development since graduation, he is excited make an impact and begin work in the environmental sector. Born and raised in Washington state, Jaron is looking forward to supporting WEC’s mandate to protect, restore, and sustain our beautiful environment for all. Outside of work, Jaron enjoys nature photography, climbing the peaks of the Cascades, training for his first marathon, and playing guitar with his band, Lucid Owls.
Byambasuren is very excited to be a Legislative Session Field Interns. She is a sophomore in the Program on the Environment at the University of Washington and is from Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. Annual family trips to the Mongolian countryside, as well as a desire to learn more about her city’s air pollution levels, led to her interest in environmental protection. She loves to spend time with her family traveling and exploring new places.
Jessica was born and raised in Singapore. She moved to Seattle to attend the University of Washington for Environmental Studies along with Environmental Science and Resource Management. Studying the intersection of human and natural systems, she developed an interest in environmental justice and policy. In her free time Jessica enjoys exploring Seattle with her mom and bird watching.
Heather is one of the Fall Field Organizing Interns, and she is eager to get Washington officials who support critical environmental and energy issues elected. A Wisconsin native and a cheesehead at heart, Heather studied International Relations at Georgetown University before moving abroad to live and work in Ecuador. During her five years in Ecuador, she taught English, was a volunteer coordinator for an Ecuadorian NGO, and hiked the Inca Trail. Heather also completed her Master’s in Socio-Environmental Studies in Ecuador, which enabled her to conduct her fieldwork in the Amazon Rainforest on gender roles in resource management and their relationship with local deforestation, which has inspired her to work towards environmental justice. In her spare time, Heather enjoys being one with nature through hiking and rock climbing.
Mercedes is one of WEC’s Legislative Session Field Interns and was critical in helping organize WEC’s fieldwork last election season as our Sound Transit 3-Regional Proposition 1 Intern. She recently received her Bachelors of Arts in Community, Environment, and Planning (CEP) at the University of Washington. Her educational focus was around climate change mitigation and adaption methods. She previously worked at UW Transportation Services in the Commute Concierge program that helped the University make large strides towards its goal of becoming carbon neutral by 2050 through Commute Trip Reduction. She also worked as a research assistant at UW Hazard Mitigation Planning and Research where she performed scenario planning for communities vulnerable to natural hazards. In her spare times she loves to travel to National Parks and hangout among the bison and muskrats.