Alexandra estimates she’s spent a cumulative two weeks of her life underwater since becoming scuba certified at age 10.
Alexandra is passionate about the intersection of economic markets and environmental sustainability. She’s a true Seattlite who thrives on finding innovative ways to use community engagement and qualitative feedback to pursue quantifiable, equitable solutions. Alexandra has a diverse consulting background in market research, economic development, growth management planning and stakeholder outreach in the private, public and nonprofit sectors. At EI, she provides support to a variety of projects including transit, infrastructure management and natural resource preservation initiatives. When she’s not in the office, you can find her at one of the city’s live music venues, sipping wine, chasing fresh powder in the mountains or justifying the purchase of yet another pair of shoes.
Andrea lives in a house-divided: Cougs vs. Huskies. Which makes the holidays interesting!
Andrea joined EnviroIssues in October of 2015 after 17 years of communications, marketing, event planning and resource development experience in the non-profit sector. Raised in the Northwest, Andrea draws on her housing and environmental land use planning experience as EI’s Business Development associate. She’s the former chair of the King County Women’s Advisory Board, and when she’s not in the office, she’s often found fishing, crabbing or shrimping the waterways around the San Juan Islands…or on the hunt for the best taco in Seattle.
Byamba loves the classroom and hopes to become a lifelong learner both in and out of it. Next step: taking a beginner’s French class!Byamba Enkhee
Byamba loves the classroom and hopes to become a lifelong learner both in and out of it. Next step: taking a beginner’s French class!
Byamba spent most of her childhood summers travelling the vast Mongolian countryside with her family – staying in yurts, helping herd sheep, fermenting airag, tagging along on hunting trips and being immersed in the nomadic traditions of Mongolia. This gave her an appreciation for the natural world, which she combined with her interest in language to pursue degrees in environmental studies and English literature at the University of Washington. She’s helped organize and interpret official visits from Mongolian provinces to the U.S. with trips to local dairies, farms, local governments, hospitals and classrooms. She has experience and interests in regenerative agriculture, carbon offsets purchasing and community outreach. Byamba is excited about using her unique combination of skills to help EnviroIssues communicate about a diverse range of projects.
Brittany has walked the entire length of Manhattan from top to bottom – twice!
Brittany brings a background in community organizing, design and urban planning to EnviroIssues. She understands the importance of public involvement and uses her listening and creative problem-solving skills to connect community values and ideas to decision-makers. She spent her formative professional years in New York City supporting public sector planning and design for open spaces, all the way from small scale community gardens to large scale landfill-to-park conversion projects. Before joining EnviroIssues, Brittany aided university campus planning efforts and led community outreach and education around stormwater management topics in Portland. When not in the office, Brittany enjoys spending time in boats (of all kinds), building up her documentary and video projection skills, and taking walks around the neighborhood.
No pun intended, but Jenny really loves cats.
Jenny has worked in visual communication design and video production for local agencies at the city, county, and state level. She has created outreach materials covering a range of topics including public utility improvement, economic development, transportation, and long range planning. Her degree is in fine art and she focused her studies on the intersection between art, communications, television, film, and social media. She always hoped to reconcile her art background with her passion for public service and enjoys doing so at EnviroIssues. On a lighter note, Jenny loves brunch and her go-to karaoke song is "Dreamlover" by Mariah Carey.
Jeanette once worked as a “roadie” for a social justice organization, which meant traveling through four states while living out of a van with a team of three others.
Jeanette believes public engagement and outreach is exciting and essential, particularly within the quickly growing and changing local communities in Washington. As a social marketing enthusiast, she recognizes the importance of building relationships with the communities she works with in order to foster genuine, collaborative engagement that is welcoming and accessible to all. A former Californian, Jeanette feels fortunate to call Seattle home—especially on days when the mountain is out—but will never turn her back on the LA Dodgers.
David's favorite bumper sticker (because it applies to him and inflates his ego) reads, "I speak Basque. What's your superpower?"
David comes to EnviroIssues with a diverse background that includes a Spanish degree from Whitman College, culinary school, farming, cooking, professional tree-climbing, four years of teaching in Spain and a little professional bus driving. Given the Pacific Northwest’s current growth spurt, he couldn’t be more excited to be working on the SR 520 program, helping to rebuild and improve one of the region’s key transportation corridors. David approaches his work with an insatiable desire to learn ever more about regional history and urban policy. Whether playing flamenco guitar, riding his bike or crafting leather artwork, David believes that fomenting well-being and healthful growth may well be the most satisfying experience around.
Aileen loves to learn new songs on the piano and guitar, and will perform for (and jam with) anyone who asks.
Having graduated from Claremont McKenna College with an interdisciplinary degree combining the hard sciences, economics and public health, Aileen is passionate about exploring strategies for equitable development and community involvement. She firmly believes that improving urban resilience begins with active community participation, a belief that guides both her daily life and her work. Her past work has involved helping students design an experiment testing the health impacts of traffic-related air pollution, and she continues to work on projects that allow impacted communities to understand and help find solutions to urban development challenges. In her spare time, you can find Aileen at a neighborhood coffee shop, running around Green Lake or jamming out on her piano and guitar.
Ask Laura about befriending a wild baboon named Deborah on the plains of Northern Kenya.
After graduating with a degree in organismic and evolutionary biology from Harvard University, Laura spent time honing her observational and tire-changing skills as a research biologist studying primate behavior. In the time since, she has applied her analytical and easy-going nature working in customer service and organizational culture consulting. As comfortable as Laura is behind a spreadsheet, she also enjoys being on the frontlines engaging directly with her communities. She brings experience in data management and equitable engagement, as well as a straightforward communication style, to her projects. Having called California, Massachusetts, Mexico and Kenya home, she is enjoying settling into Portland and is a regular at her local wine and jazz bar.
Wren loves spending time in the great outdoors and connecting with people through language and cuisine.
With a passion for uniting diverse interests to solve complex problems, Wren brings a decade of cross-sectoral experience in sustainable global business and urban development. She has led program development, strategic planning, and community engagement initiatives focused on equitable urban development, health impacts of the built environment, and responsible business. Wren holds graduate degrees from the University of Washington in urban planning and the George Washington University in international affairs. Her interests center around the nexus between sustainable urban planning, health, and the impacts of space on wellbeing.
Ashley has seen the sunrise and sunset over the ocean in the same day – the perks of a 2 square mile island off the coast of Belize.Ashley Selvey
Ashley has seen the sunrise and sunset over the ocean in the same day – the perks of a 2 square mile island off the coast of Belize.
Ashley transplanted from Southern California to attend Western Washington University. She graduated in 2015 with a degree in environmental policy, emphasizing in economics and law. She loves a challenge – like studying the relationships between complex systematic topics such as gentrification, environmental preservation, economic development, generational poverty and private property rights compensation for public access easements. Ashley is passionate about the environment and fascinated by people. Her years of experience in community outreach, volunteer development and public speaking make her great at balancing the various priorities of different stakeholders. In her free time, she loves exploring new cities, adventuring with friends, going to the movies and is always looking for coffee shops with cozy reading nooks and good people-watching.
Alex is Canadian. Very Canadian.
Alex has several years of experience developing public engagement strategies for the purposes of public policy development and advocacy for large capital projects. Originally from Toronto, Canada, Alex has worked on behalf of the Government of Ontario engaging stakeholders and subject matter experts to gather insights that inform pressing public policy issues. He has also worked with Canadian energy firms seeking to build multibillion-dollar infrastructure projects, driving forward advocacy in communities by working with stakeholders to build consensus so that projects proceed with approval from local decision-makers. Alex relocated to Seattle in 2017 and joined EnviroIssues shortly thereafter, using his engagement experience on large-scale projects to support the Waterfront Seattle program.
Marielle is currently learning woodturning and pyrography (wood burning). An avid Harry Potter fan, one of her first projects on the lathe was, of course, a wand.
Marielle is a proactive change management strategist dedicated to environmental justice. Building on her natural curiosity, Marielle enjoys engaging diverse stakeholders to identify chronic barriers, co-create innovation solutions, develop experiential trainings, and build buy-in for sustained change. She's successfully managed complex federal projects, incentivized new technology solutions at XPRIZE, and catalyzed innovative water technologies, projects and partnerships in the Pacific Northwest. Bringing her multidisciplinary background to EnviroIssues, Marielle meaningfully informs and engages stakeholders about the projects shaping their communities. A Northwest local, if it's sunny outside, you'll likely find Marielle on the pickleball court.
“Not everything that counts can be counted, and not everything that can be counted counts.” -William Bruce CameronAlison Peters
“Not everything that counts can be counted, and not everything that can be counted counts.” -William Bruce Cameron
Alison got hooked on politics and policymaking at a young age; she was a legislative page in Olympia in high school, ran for student body president and organized a student letter-writing campaign during the first Gulf War. She headed to college during 1992’s Year of the Woman and took a job in a phone bank to pay for school. Technology innovation was years away and so interviewers manually completed telephone surveys on paper (while chain-smoking) and printed crosstabs on a dot-matrix printer. In the 20 years since, Alison has been designing voter and community surveys on a wide range of topics, moderating focus groups around the state, interviewing stakeholders and implementing online surveys with hard-to-reach populations. Alison earned undergraduate and graduate degrees in political science from Santa Clara University and Boston College. She spends her free time serving on the board of the Northwest Literacy Foundation, planning road trips and cheering on her two sons, Ryan and Charlie.
Kaiwen loves finding treasure, whether it’s foraging for wild mushrooms, digging up potatoes or even just opening up a package in the mail.
Kaiwen is passionate about environmental justice and is committed to conducting equitable community outreach. Having worked in field ecology, habitat restoration, urban agriculture and outdoor recreation, they bring a knack for synthesizing complex ideas and fostering collaborative learning environments. In addition to holding degrees in urban environmental education and global environmental studies, Kaiwen’s background includes designing and managing environmental leadership programs for youth of color for nonprofits and the City of Seattle. Nearly every weekend, you can find Kaiwen outside hiking, rock climbing or mountaineering — or helping others do so as one of the founding members of Outdoor Asian.
Brett owns a needy golden retriever and a codependent cat. Brett thinks that these relationships say more about him than they do about his pets.
Brett is a firm believer that, in some cases, 2 + 2 can equal a whole lot more than 4. His history of working with Western communities, agencies, and individuals struggling to overcome difficult natural resource management issues has taught him that creativity and experience sharing are great strategies for expanding the pie and creating resilient solutions to thorny conflicts. After spending his first 23 years in Pennsylvania, Brett traveled to Oregon for graduate school and joined EnviroIssues in early 2014 with his M.S. in Environmental Sciences. In his free time, Brett can often be found roving a national park with his camera—he’s visited 25 in the last five years— or trying to convince himself that running long distances is fun.
Kerry loves to travel – one of her favorite memories abroad was her trip to Japan and Vietnam where she joined in a celebration of her boyfriend’s great grandmother’s 100th birthday.Kerry Hammond
Kerry loves to travel – one of her favorite memories abroad was her trip to Japan and Vietnam where she joined in a celebration of her boyfriend’s great grandmother’s 100th birthday.
Kerry supports EnviroIssues’ Creative Studio as a graphic designer. She works on a variety of efforts, including large-scale megaprojects as well as internal marketing materials. A graduate of Western Washington University, Kerry brings a background in marketing and design. She leverages her ability to see things from a business perspective to find ways to bridge the gap between agencies and people. Kerry specializes in illustration, motion and information design, and loves to find ways to communicate to all people through her work.
Between sky diving, spelunking and scuba diving, there are few adventures that Iris will turn down
With a background in journalism and natural resource management, Iris has a broad range of experience in both personal and non-personal communications. Prior to joining EnviroIssues, Iris briefly wrote for a science magazine in Sydney, Australia, and for American Archaeology magazine in Albuquerque, New Mexico. She then spent four years with the Bureau of Land Management in southwest Utah expanding their community outreach and education program through environmental education field trips, social media forums, and wayside exhibits. She is especially apt at generating information and ideas that connect with the target audience, bridging gaps between sectors and developing and fostering community partnerships. Growing up as a dual citizen in Paris, France, Iris has an innate appreciation for cultural diversity. Iris also has experience in graphic design, video editing and photography.
Alecia has been to Walt Disney World at least 50 times, and one of those times was to get married.Alecia Duane
Alecia has been to Walt Disney World at least 50 times, and one of those times was to get married.
Alecia moved to Seattle from Jacksonville, Florida and will never get over the natural beauty of the Pacific Northwest. As someone used to only two seasons - hot and hotter, Alecia appreciates every day in the cool, Seattle climate.She is a graduate of the University of North Florida with a degree in accounting and has utilized her skills in multiple accounting and administrative positions. At EnviroIssues, Alecia works on invoicing and the hiring and onboarding process. On weekends, you’ll find her searching for treasures at the nearest Goodwill and exploring the city with her husband.
Kathryn was born in Japan and lived in five different states, all before she was eight years old.
Kathryn joined EnviroIssues in 2014 after graduating from the University of Puget Sound and comes in with nearly two years of experience in the nonprofit sector. She has a passion for community outreach and involvement, and looks forward to digging into projects that engage communities and stakeholders in the public process. When not at work, you can find Kathryn attempting to create the latest project she found on Pinterest, walking around Green Lake, or exploring a new Seattle restaurant!
Chelsea once made a quilt out of vintage Star Wars sheets she bought on eBay.
Chelsea has a passion for promoting advocacy, public involvement and civic engagement through social media and public outreach. Making projects and systems function more efficiently by developing and improving policies and procedures is her specialty. She comes to EnviroIssues with experience in non-profit and public health communications and project coordination, and is thrilled to be putting her experience and education to use at EnviroIssues. Chelsea spends her time away from the office volunteering to support women’s rights and animal shelters, playing board games and co-ed rec sports, and reading.
Rochelle works to improve relationships with stakeholders, from elected officials to neighboring restaurant owners. She understands the value of visual communication, telling a complex story that everyone can understand, while capturing the right “voice” for each client. Her projects are diverse, and range from building wastewater infrastructure to major roadway redevelopment. She thrives on finding creative solutions to any public involvement challenge – online or on-the-ground. Every weekend, she joins fellow Seattleites in pools around the city for some good old-fashioned water polo (one of the oldest sports in the Olympics).
Marilee has a certain luck with wildlife—the first time she ever went out in a sea kayak, she found herself in the midst of a super-pod of over 30 Southern Resident Orcas!
Marilee believes our capacity to engage in tough conversations is the foundation of a thriving public sector that works for all of us. Her years of community organizing in South Seattle taught her the importance of strategic, accessible and relationship-based communications. Marilee’s work is informed by her degree in political science and conflict resolution, as well as anti-racism training. A highly-mobile Pacific Northwest resident, Marilee has had the privilege of living in its many different climates: the dry, hot summers of the Okanogan highlands, the long snowy winters in Anchorage, Alaska, and the gorgeous gray joy of Seattle and Portland. When not at the office, Marilee can be found refining her massive collection of Spotify playlists, vainly striving to make her daughters appreciate the great outdoors, and strengthening her friendships with the neighborhood crows.
Janel spent her childhood chasing earthquakes. She was born and raised in New Zealand but moved to California, then Oregon, with her earthquake geologist father.
Janel is a public involvement professional with expertise engaging diverse audiences in regional environmental projects. She has a strong background in community organizing, strategic communications, project management and event production. Prior to joining EnviroIssues, Janel worked on regional water, natural resource and urban planning projects with agencies and organizations across Oregon. She holds a degree in biology, with a focus on urban ecology, from Lewis & Clark College. Janel is a passionate connector in Oregon’s environmental community and delivers high quality communications and public involvement events to clients and stakeholders throughout the Pacific Northwest. When she isn’t strategizing about ways to engage community members, Janel is exploring the great outdoors. Over the last few years, she has solo-backpacked 150 miles of the Pacific Crest Trail and identified over 350 bird species.
Claire’s hidden talent is catching grapes in her mouth with near perfect accuracy.
Claire is passionate about the interplay between community and stakeholder values, clear communication, and successful and sustainable development. She believes that local knowledge is a critical part of resource management and effective decision-making. Her past work in the environmental sector has included diverse projects such as researching the importance of local input in the hydropower relicensing process, through which she developed a particular interest in renewable energy. Claire graduated from Scripps College in California with a degree in environment, economics and politics and a minor in Hispanic studies, but Seattle has always been her home. Since returning to the Pacific Northwest, she never gets tired of announcing that the mountain is out.
Diana enjoys watching comedy, thriller and crime drama TV shows.
Growing up in Yakima, Washington, Diana’s interest in the intersection between social justice and the natural and built environment was fostered by her diverse community. Diana is skilled at developing culturally relevant communication materials and outreach methods to reach a range of stakeholders. She has experience engaging multicultural and immigrant audiences, as well as communities of color, in Seattle and Yakima. Diana received her undergraduate degree from the University of Washington in community, environment and planning, where her work focused on applying a racial and environmental justice lens to community planning and community-based research. In her spare time, she enjoys reading books on social justice, walking Washington’s trails and drinking iced chai lattes.
Elizabeth takes her love of food and grammar too far—she has a bad habit of editing restaurant menus!
Elizabeth has spent the last decade helping clients deliver infrastructure projects—small and very large—throughout the Pacific Northwest. From concept planning to construction cones, Elizabeth has experience leading public outreach and communications programs during all stages of project development. She specializes in strategy development, the creation of clear and concise graphics and messages, and supporting clients with project emergencies. As the president of the local chapter of the Women's Transportation Seminar, she loves to geek out about transportation at any time in any place. When she's not busy at work, you can find Elizabeth in her kitchen, on the Zumba dancefloor, or enjoying the world's most beautiful places (preferably by boat!).
An irrational cetaphobe, Derek loves Seattle’s waterways but is wary of the whales lurking beneath the surface.
Derek holds a degree in strategic communications from Seattle University, which he has used to support public relations efforts in various fields, including higher education, publishing and the nonprofit sector. A lover of words, he believes in the power of intentional communication to bring about positive change in communities. Derek works with the Business Development team at EnviroIssues, where he helps ensure that its public involvement professionals are involved in diverse projects. Derek’s work – and recreation – is informed and inspired by the climate, culture and creativity of the Pacific Northwest.
Olivia once backpacked 102 miles over the Continental Divide in the Rocky Mountains of Wyoming.
After four years of soaking up everything Boulder, Colorado had to offer, Olivia graduated from the University of Colorado as an environmental studies major with a minor in ecology and evolutionary biology. When she wasn't hitting the slopes or trails, she played for the CU Women’s Lacrosse team and helped them get two National Tournament appearances. Olivia’s background is varied and includes projects ranging from monitoring the effects of ocean acidification on Puget Sound shellfish to connecting Australian decision-makers with the Australian public regarding coal port expansion along the Great Barrier Reef. She thrives on problem solving, conflict resolution and generating sustainable solutions. In her free time Olivia can be found on the coast, in the mountains, on the back of a horse or dancing to live music.
Although Bella says she isn’t a sports fan, she was a NCAA Division 1 Athlete in college.Bella Colpo
Although Bella says she isn’t a sports fan, she was a NCAA Division 1 Athlete in college.
Bella loves water. Her passion for marine policy and conservation started while working at the Monterey Bay Aquarium and led her to brave her first Washington winter in Spokane, where she studied public relations and environmental science at Gonzaga University. Bella returned to Washington to pursue a master’s degree in marine affairs at the University of Washington, where she cultivated her interests in public outreach, science communication, public interest law and environmental justice. Her work has included consulting for the Seattle Department of Transportation, United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, City of Los Angeles and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association. In her spare time, Bella enjoys trail running and reading.
A Seattle native, Clair is thrilled to be back to the mild Pacific Northwest temperatures after 10 years living in Detroit, Pittsburgh and Boston.Clair Leighton
A Seattle native, Clair is thrilled to be back to the mild Pacific Northwest temperatures after 10 years living in Detroit, Pittsburgh and Boston.
Clair has a decade of experience in community and stakeholder engagement, working at the local, state and federal level. With a Master’s in Urban Planning and Sustainable Systems, Clair loves process planning for how to move projects forward. She is especially excited by complex regional efforts and projects at the intersection of urban planning and sustainability. You can find Clair running in Seattle’s parks and visiting farmers markets.
Despite growing up in bike-friendly Seattle, Jordan has yet to learn how to ride a bike.
Jordan recently graduated from the University of Washington with a degree in sociology and a minor in gender, women’s and sexuality studies. During that time, she worked two jobs that relied heavily on communication with the public, which helped shift her interest from natural sciences to social sciences and public outreach. At EnviroIssues, Jordan supports public outreach for large-scale projects such as the Alaskan Way Viaduct Program. In her free time, Jordan is a moderator for the YouTube channel Dead Meat, where she found a love for the horror film genre. She is also an avid podcast listener, theater lover, Game of Thrones nerd and Corgi mom.
John enjoys spending time with his family and hanging out in the Methow Valley.
John has developed, implemented and delivered a broad range of projects out of our Seattle office since joining EnviroIssues in 2008. John helps clients successfully manage contentious projects through his ability to predict issues before they arise, connect with stakeholders and provide transparent, useful information that is easy to understand. With a background in environmental policy, John has extensive experience with interdisciplinary teams that can be used on any project, large or small, public or private. When he's not responding to clients and stakeholders, John is likely on the basketball court or hanging out in the Methow Valley.
Willow learned to row before she could ride a bike – a consequence of spending the first six years of her life on a sailing cargo ship.
Since 2004, Willow has been helping organizations develop effective communications that inspire their audiences to act. A skilled strategist, Willow zeroes in on the true nature of a challenge and builds collaborative solutions. She has facilitated shared campaigns to restore the Mississippi River and Great Lakes ecosystems and brought the sometimes-wonky work of nonprofits to life through multimedia storytelling. Willow is deeply committed to ensuring all voices are heard so we can foster thriving communities and vibrant natural spaces that everyone can enjoy. When not at the office, Willow is volunteering at PAWS Cat City, sailing, going to a show, playing tabletop games, or taking dance classes with great enthusiasm and questionable style.
Ethan participated in the 2013 Seattle to Portland bicycle double-century ride, and has run three full marathons and three half marathons in the Northwest.
Ethan Bancroft is an Associate at EnviroIssues, specializing in communications and public involvement on the SR 520 Bridge Replacement and HOV Program. Ethan has been with EnviroIssues for over eight years and is the captain of The Issues basketball team. He has served on the board of the Women's Transportation Seminar (WTS) Puget Sound chapter. Ethan was born and raised in Seattle, though he attended college in Oregon at Willamette University, majoring in Rhetoric and Media Studies and minoring in Spanish.
No one loves their vehicle more than Susan loves her Jeep. Seriously. No one.
Susan is an enthusiastic and engaging certified professional facilitator and public participation practitioner. She started her career as a field-going, horse-back riding, wildland fire-fighting natural resource specialist with the federal government, transitioning mid-stream into private practice. Susan’s casework spans national-scale to community-based projects. She has invested 30 years in successfully enabling others to bring their passions, interests, and expertise to the table to develop solutions to challenging issues in environmental cleanup and natural resource policy and management.
Nicholas spent two years writing headlines for The Onion. He's not allowed to say which headlines, so let's assume they were your favorites.
Nicholas believes there is no issue too boring, thorny, or technical that it cannot be conveyed with clarity and a sense of humor. A Tacoma native, Nicholas spent his twenties in Philadelphia, including three years managing communications for a bicycle advocacy nonprofit. A skilled writer, he enjoys finding creative ways to bridge the gap between the public and the process, and knows that engaged stakeholders can be a project's greatest asset. Nicholas spends his free time playing ultimate frisbee and second-guessing Seattle Mariners' roster decisions.
Cristina considers herself a sporty couch potato.
Cristina is passionate about public engagement, outreach, and urban planning and design. She graduated from the University of Washington’s community, environment and planning program, where she participated in the Sustainable Urban Mobility Study Abroad and examined urban design policy frameworks onsite in the U.K., Netherlands and Denmark. She has helped compile complete streets policy recommendations, organize panels on homelessness and housing justice, and create branded content for online, digital and print media. When she’s not working she enjoys yoga, running, dancing and most of all, dreaming.
Prior to settling in Seattle, Colin and his wife backpacked across Africa and spent a year tracking down the best izakaya in Tokyo.
Colin returned to EnviroIssues in 2018 as a web developer on the Creative Studio team. He was previously a member of the firm’s Corporate Communications team and brings experience working at consulting firms and nonprofits to manage programs, teams, budgets and business development processes. In the software world, he’s applied his experience with front end and back end technologies to build responsive websites that provide seamless interactions for users. When he’s not making sure your website looks good on your desktop, your phone, your tablet, your sister’s phone, and your mom’s tablet, you’ll find him with his wife and pup hiking in the Cascades or in the garden hoping the tomatoes ripen before the rain returns.
McKenna grew up dancing and performing hula with a halau in Boulder, Colorado.
McKenna leverages her background in digital and print content production to effectively reach and engage target audiences at EnviroIssues. Her years in the design-build industry (most recently, in the world of treehouses!) inform her work connecting stakeholders across construction projects and distilling technical information for wider readership. McKenna is passionate about advancing equity and conducted her undergraduate research on the obstacles to qualitative diversity on college campuses. Outside the office, McKenna enjoys sampling salts.
The only time Penny ever loses track of time is when she’s fly fishing. It's her zen time.
For more than 20 years, Penny has thrived on that zing she feels when she's helped someone "get" why this project is important, why that person's opinion is valuable, why those decisions just must be made. Whether facilitating a group to consensus on level of flood protection or helping a family prepare for construction on their street, Penny finds joy in explaining, engaging, and educating community members, stakeholders and elected officials in and about public processes that lead to durable decisions. With a bachelor’s in public policy and environmental studies, a master’s in organizational leadership, and a PhD in life, Penny is right where she wants to be, doing what she loves.
Sulley was born and raised in Kona, Hawaii, and learned how to swim before she could walk.
Sulley has a background in communications, education and community outreach and is passionate about finding ways to connect people to the natural world. She is particularly interested in exploring ways to involve youth and underserved communities in the public engagement process. Prior to joining EnviroIssues, she served as an AmeriCorps member at West Seattle High School helping low-income, first-generation, minority high school students apply to college. In her free time, you can find her planning her next backpacking trip, running with her pup or checking out Seattle’s newest craft brewery.
Sometimes Bridger carries bear spray, but not to public meetings.
Originally from the railroad town turned fly fishing capital of Livingston, Montana, Bridger offers a perspective grounded in community development. His master’s degree is in urban and regional planning from Portland State University where he coordinated a grant program for community-based projects to improve watershed health. He now supports planning, permitting and public involvement for energy infrastructure, coordinates a campaign to protect rivers and streams and supports a public process to update how signs are regulated. Bridger lives with his lovely wife and daughter in SE Portland—the perfect staging ground for any adventure.
Allan once made a seven-hour detour on a road trip to visit a famous bakery. It was worth it.Allan Vann
Allan once made a seven-hour detour on a road trip to visit a famous bakery. It was worth it.
Allan is a graduate of the community, environment and planning program at the University of Washington. During his time at UW, he discovered a passion for community outreach and engagement in regards to large urban projects. He fell in love with the Pacific Northwest after exploring the various contrasting natural (and built) environments the region has to offer, especially after spending the majority of his life in a small rural farming town. He hopes that his work in outreach and engagement at EnviroIssues will help inspire the same passion for projects in others, so they can become civically engaged with the changes surrounding them. Outside of work, you can find him planning his future meals and daydreaming about making a good sourdough starter.
A left-handed designer, Anh sometimes feels weird that she has one hand that knows how to do everything while the other can’t even hold a pencil.Anh Mai
A left-handed designer, Anh sometimes feels weird that she has one hand that knows how to do everything while the other can’t even hold a pencil.
Anh is passionate designer who is able to quickly develop graphics to solve project challenges. She earned degrees in business management and communication from the Art Institute of Seattle and has a range of experience in user experience and interface design, web design, iconography and advertising. Anh’s work has taught her that design is not just what something looks and feels like – it is how it works and how helpful is it to the community. In addition to designing, Anh has her own clothing brand in Vietnam and finds joy in cooking up her signature Asian dishes!
Angie once spent six weeks on an Antarctic icebreaker in the middle of winter—the sun didn't break the horizon once.Angie Thomson
Angie once spent six weeks on an Antarctic icebreaker in the middle of winter—the sun didn't break the horizon once.
Angie has over 17 years of experience in facilitation, communications and outreach, and project management. With a master’s in oceanography, she is grounded in natural resource issues and brings a technical perspective to challenging and controversial projects. Angie's a practical, no-nonsense communicator who loves to find creative solutions to complicated problems. Based part-time in Tacoma, Angie leads EnviroIssues' growing south Sound portfolio. And after surviving the toddler years with her triplets, it's tough to find a challenge that Angie can't handle!
Kaila enjoys playing volleyball, hanging out with family and friends at Alki, and watching football.Kaila Yoshitomi
Kaila enjoys playing volleyball, hanging out with family and friends at Alki, and watching football.
Kaila joined the EnviroIssues team in 2007 as an administrative team member working on a variety of projects in office management and human resources. She is responsible for accounts receivable, accounts payable and payroll. She is a graduate of the University of Washington with a degree in american ethnic studies and a minor in diversity.
Max once climbed an active volcano. Thankfully, he didn’t fall into the open crater.
With a background in the nonprofit environmental field, Max is excited about engaging community members on the projects that affect the built and natural environments they experience every day. Based in EnviroIssues’ Portland office, he supports a range of projects focusing on transportation, energy and urban planning. Max graduated from Yale University with a degree in environmental history and has worked in the areas of sustainable agriculture, land conservation and outdoor recreation. A born-and-raised Chicagoan, Max is amazed by the Pacific Northwest’s temperate weather and general lack of snow. In his spare time, you can find him enjoying this weather while hiking or gardening, or seeking out a taste of home by heading to snowy Mt. Hood.
Sara is a tap and contemporary dance teacher and has endless appreciation for all choreography, especially breakdancing.
After years of working closely with communities facing human rights violations in Thailand, Sara brought her experience of facilitation and community engagement to Washington state. Her work as a cultural anthropologist allowed her to foster a passion for social and environmental justice with indigenous groups around the world. With her M.A in Anthropology, Sara seeks to create equitable participation for communities impacted by projects. She enjoys raising awareness and educating communities about projects that involve their neighborhoods. When she isn’t at the office, you can find Sara digging in her garden, searching for authentic Isaan food or carving the mountain on her skis.
Alayna firmly believes Ultimate Frisbee is better in costume.
Alayna has experience in outreach and education and an interdisciplinary background that bridges chemistry, social sciences, and sustainability. At EnviroIssues, she provides project support on a broad range of topics including environmental cleanup, community construction, and energy infrastructure. Alayna likes active outdoor activities—bike commuting, hiking in the beautiful Pacific Northwest, and playing Ultimate Frisbee are some of her favorites. She enjoys documenting her travels abroad through a collection of foreign beer labels.
Carina’s favorite activities include bachata dancing, oil painting and visiting her family in rural Eastern Oregon.Carina Garcia
Carina’s favorite activities include bachata dancing, oil painting and visiting her family in rural Eastern Oregon.
Carina is passionate about making public engagement accessible to all communities. She brings a variety of skills and experiences from working with diverse communities through grassroots organizing, coalition building and legal advocacy in the immigrant community. Carina is a graduate of the University of Oregon with a double major in international studies and sociology. She is especially interested in projects in the housing sector and exploring how the public can shape inclusive neighborhoods.
Sarah is a firm believer that you drink pop and bake with soda.
After graduating from the University of Michigan with her degrees in environmental studies and American culture, Sarah joined EnviroIssues bringing experience that ranges from assisting with policy work as an intern on DC’s Capitol Hill to conducting ecological field research, data coding and database entry. She also brings her rich experiences with community outreach and advocacy and event planning from being highly involved in her Native American community throughout her life. She values a public involvement process that includes all stakeholders and that results in sustainable, equitable and socially-aware solutions. In her free time, Sarah enjoys hiking and running, staying up to date with political news, participating in all forms of dance, and perusing used and rare book stores. As she is new to Seattle, she is continuously searching for the city’s great seafood restaurants.
Amy likes to cook so much she helped cook at her own wedding.
Amy has 20 years of experience helping clients navigate complicated and controversial situations to arrive at sustainable solutions. She designs and executes strategic communication plans that reach across multiple agencies, interests, and geographic boundaries. Her work has helped the SR 99 tunnel in downtown Seattle and new SR 520 bridge across Lake Washington become a reality. When Amy isn’t working on projects, she loves to cook and ski. If she is not at the Queen Anne farmers market, you can find her at one of the Pacific Northwest’s many wonderful ski mountains.
Faiza studied abroad in Australia for six months at one of their highest-ranked universities. But more importantly, she got to feed kangaroos and hold a koala.
Faiza graduated from the University of Washington with a bachelor’s degree in political science and a minor in law, societies and justice. At UW, her studies focused on political theory, political philosophy and the American Civil Rights Movement. Outside of the classroom, Faiza found her passion for community building, youth outreach and facilitation as an officer for the university’s Somali Student Association. She approaches her work at EnviroIssues with an interest in engaging with the public about the projects that affect their day-to-day lives. On the weekends, Faiza enjoys going on excursions around the city with her film camera and developing the results in the darkroom.
Ryan is an ordained Minister of Love, having performed marriage rites on a Portland eco-roof and a Waikiki beach.
Ryan is a skilled facilitator and public participation practitioner working on a range of projects addressing water, cleanup, natural resources, energy, and transportation. He has worked in communities across the Northwest and served in our Portland office before returning home to Puget Sound. Ryan brings over 10 years of experience helping clients communicate more effectively, engage stakeholders in critical dialogue, and reach agreement. He’s enthusiastic about tackling complex community issues, working with diverse perspectives and exploring creative and collaborative solutions. In his spare time, Ryan is formulating his next homebrew recipe.
Chris has an extensive knowledge of all the secret public stairways in West Seattle.
Chris first joined EnviroIssues as an intern shortly after graduating from Seattle University with a degree in environmental studies: urban sustainability. In addition to his early work supporting transportation projects, Chris has since gained experience developing strategic plans with nonprofits, their stakeholders and the general public. Originally from California, he has also spent time in Michigan, working with Challenge Detroit and PM Environmental to consult on small business marketing plans, parent engagement in Detroit Public Schools and green space implementation on formerly blighted properties. Chris approaches his work at EnviroIssues with passions for equitable and sustainable development in urban areas as well as for engaging diverse populations on projects that affect their communities.
Harrison rides and breathes bikes. He has yet to find a climb that is too long or too steep.Harrison Price
Harrison rides and breathes bikes. He has yet to find a climb that is too long or too steep.
Harrison has a degree in environmental studies from Santa Clara University. In addition to his education, he has a wide variety of past work experiences in multiple sectors, all centered around lessening human impacts on the natural environment. At EnviroIssues, he draws on both his education and past work to understand, communicate and find solutions to environmental, transportation and urban development challenges. When Harrison is not in the office, he is either riding his bike, drinking coffee or exploring Puget Sound.
Laura has lived and studied abroad in Japan, Kenya, and Nicaragua, but is happiest calling the fjords and forests of Puget Sound home.
Laura brings extensive nonprofit management, public policy, and program management experience to her work at EnviroIssues. A master’s degree in environment and community from Antioch University, Seattle prepared her well to explore the intersections between people and natural systems, as well as how we build and develop our cities. Laura is skilled at developing in-depth knowledge about complex issues and explaining these issues to diverse audiences. She enjoys coalition-building and knows that bringing as many perspectives as possible to the table results in better decisions. In her spare time, Laura enjoys nature photography, spins wool into yarn, and knits somewhat obsessively.
Jodi and her husband spent their honeymoon bike-touring through Europe for two months. Shockingly, they are still happily married a decade later.Jodi Jacobson-Swartfager
Jodi and her husband spent their honeymoon bike-touring through Europe for two months. Shockingly, they are still happily married a decade later.
Growing up, Jodi did not have access to many transportation options in her hometown of Spokane, Washington. When she moved to Portland, Oregon in 2000, her eyes were opened to the freedom and accessibility that a multimodal city can offer. She took this newfound appreciation for transportation and turned it into a career path, studying community development and urban planning to gain an understanding of the many ways in which transportation can impact land use, economic prosperity, public health and the quality of our natural environment. Prior to joining EnviroIssues, she worked in the nonprofit, private and public sectors on a wide variety of projects related to transportation, sustainability and economic development. While her professional journey has taken many turns, the goal has always been the same: to empower people with the information and resources they need to make healthy and sustainable decisions that will improve their communities and quality of life.
Will once climbed North Africa’s tallest mountain…with two different shoes on.
Originally from Northern California, Will graduated from the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, WA with a degree in politics and government in 2017. Prior to joining the EnviroIssues team, Will worked at a community dispute resolution center where he received his mediation certification. He leverages his background in conflict resolution to engage members of the public in creative and dynamic ways. Will’s approach to community engagement is rooted in the belief that productive dialogue occurs when we listen to understand rather than to respond. In his spare time, you can find Will volunteering as a mediator, surfing in Westport, Washington, or furiously editing his latest attempt at a stand-up comedy routine.
Cory is an avid reader. Over the years her interests have ranged from quilting, the life of Einstein, painting with watercolors, wilderness survival skills, growing bonsai, the poetry of Robert Frost and anything by Tana French.
A graduate of the University of Washington, Cory received her B.S. in biological oceanography combined with a minor in arctic studies and was a member of the UW Competitive Sailing Team. Her ability to assimilate complex subject matter and distill the key facts allows for clear communication to stakeholders and community members. Her passion for a sustainable environment is evidenced at home where she has a strict “no paper towels” policy. Cory hails from the Midwest, but Seattle is where she is truly in her element. When she’s not at work at EnviroIssues, you’ll find her sailing Lake Washington, cruising dog parks or trying a new recipe.
Jackie and her identical twin try to visit one national park together every year- Among the parks they have visited are Alaska’s Denali National Park, Washington’s Mt. Rainier National Park and Florida’s Everglades National Park.
Drawn to Seattle by the city’s love for urban agriculture and accessibility to green spaces, Jackie has thrived while managing outreach initiatives to educate and involve communities in outdoor opportunities and land use decisions. She is a skilled systemic thinker and loves dissecting complex issues into relevant messages. At Enviroissues Jackie appreciates the opportunity to work on projects that engage multiple stakeholders in making important planning decisions and that give all voices the chance to be heard. In her free time, Jackie can be found knitting on the bus, heading out to the mountains to enjoy one of her many outdoor hobbies, or just relaxing by Green Lake.
Justin likes to row, hike, eat, and keep it simple.
Justin is a web developer specializing in Content Management Systems. Before he came to EnviroIssues, he served the non-profit profit sector as a freelance designer and web developer. He is always thinking about how emerging technologies serve public need now and in the future. Justin spends his free time rockclimbing, camping, and generally enjoying the Pacific Northwest.
Ara was once an extra in a movie starring Harrison Ford and Kristin Scott Thomas, called Random Hearts.
With nearly a decade of experience in public involvement, outreach and communications, Ara's worked on a wide variety of projects, from major transportation corridors and new energy infrastructure to brownfields assessments and community planning efforts. She is passionate about public involvement, and in fostering relationships between projects and the public they serve. When she's not busy traversing the western United States for her projects, she spends her free time traveling, hiking, skiing, experimenting with new recipes, and hanging out with her family and adorable pug, Sophie.
Who has a Boston Terrier, is irrationally passionate about Husky football, and loves avocados? Kristine Edens!
As a certified planner and Seattle native, Kristine contributes a strong foundation in urban planning and local knowledge to her teams. She has over 11 years of experience in facilitation and public outreach. Kristine has successfully supported her clients through a broad range of complex projects, including land use and transportation planning processes, construction implementation, and energy infrastructure development. When she is not keeping her projects running, she is running to keep up with her little boy and train for half marathons.
Ben once spent two and a half months backpacking through New Zealand, and while there fulfilled his lifelong dream of visiting the Shire.
A Seattle local, Ben grew up in Ballard before attending the University of Washington and graduating with a degree in political science. Ben has worked with the Seattle Office of Emergency Management and the Washington State Legislature, engaging various communities in public policy conversations. At EnviroIssues, he uses his experience with public correspondence and outreach to pursue his passion of ensuring diverse communities feel a sense of involvement and ownership when it comes to public projects. When not in the office, Ben enjoys hiking, visiting Seattle’s beautiful parks and relentlessly believing that this will be the year the Mariners finally reach the playoffs.
Diana has climbed six pyramids, none of which were in Egypt.
From conducting environmental education outreach in the deserts of Arizona, to facilitating community workshops in diverse cities around Western Washington, Diana has a wide variety of experiences engaging communities and stakeholders in the public process. With a master’s degree in urban design and planning from the University of Washington, Diana understands the complexity of planning projects and the importance of community engagement to their success. A Seattle native, Diana spends her free time cheering on her hometown sports teams and taking advantage of the region’s outdoor and cultural treasures with her daughter and husband.
Lynette loves nothing more than spending time with her daughters.
Lynnette joined EnviroIssues as Controller in 2014, bringing over 20 years of experience in finance, accounting, and human resources management. When she’s not crunching numbers, Lynnette can be found on the soccer field (watching!) or planning her next adventure.
Wayne loves coffee. And Star Wars, sports and the outdoors. But coffee comes first—and being from Costa Rica, he’s used to some of the best in the world.
Wayne feels that the first step in generating positive impact is to listen. Holding a degree in journalism from the University of Costa Rica, he spent a few years in the newsroom before entering the field of strategic communications. For the past 20 years, Wayne has worked with organizations and multinational companies throughout Central and South America. His background includes supporting Latino nonprofits and small businesses in Kansas City, as well as heading the communications department at an international, nonprofit university in Costa Rica with a focus on agricultural sciences and sustainability. This, and other past experiences, prepared him for work in community involvement and public policy, crafting messages to reach a variety of audiences. Having relocated to Seattle, you can catch Wayne exploring neighborhoods and parks alongside his rescued pup, Lupe, always searching for the best coffee in town.
Regent has spent the last 45+ years in a quest to become a prized karaoke backup singer.
After studying human resources, organizational psychology and social psychology in college, Regent broadened her career as a human resources professional with over 15 years of experience creating equitable workplaces within nonprofit, government and private sector organizations. Using developmental strategies, restorative practices and trauma-informed principles, Regent strives to build a culture of belonging, accountability and collective leadership that can foster opportunities of change. Regent primarily focuses on racial and disability equity, partnering with those who wish to collaborate to create equitable and thriving communities. To unwind, Regent loves being outdoors in her garden and walking her corgi pup, Perklesnertz.
Candice once balanced on the floating logs on Spirit Lake at Mount St. Helens, then swam in a nearby lake teeming with thousands of tadpoles. She still has not decided whether the latter was fun or not.
Candice is passionate about connecting our natural and built worlds. As a graduate of the University of Washington’s earth system science program, she brings an appreciation of planning, design, and environmental education for the betterment of a community. She has experience conducting outreach to promote green stormwater infrastructure, and supports various multimodal transportation efforts. As a Filipino-American, Candice approaches environmental issues from an equity lens, working to incorporate ecological issues into outreach messages that resonate with diverse audiences. On the weekends, you can find her out on a “Thadventure” with her husband and their corgi, Thaddeus.
Even though Nyles has spent his whole life in the Pacific Northwest, he still finds it necessary to use an umbrella.Nyles Green
Even though Nyles has spent his whole life in the Pacific Northwest, he still finds it necessary to use an umbrella.
For Nyles, the key to effective communication lies in breaking down complex subjects into smaller, more digestible pieces of a puzzle. A graduate of the University of Washington’s Community, Environment and Planning program, he thrives in unpacking the intersections of built and natural environments. Prior to joining EnviroIssues, Nyles interned with the Seattle Department of Transportation, where he built a foundation of community outreach skills and techniques in communities around the city. He uses this local knowledge of transportation modes, key stakeholders and community assets to support a variety of public projects. In his downtime, Nyles unwinds by learning to draw, playing the trombone and listening to podcasts.
You can find Cecelia researching historic buildings for fun, reading books about public works in the early 1900s, and almost coming in first at MOHAI’s monthly pub trivia.
Cecelia has four years of experience in public outreach, community development and event planning in both the public and nonprofit sectors. She also has several years of experience working in the environmental and land use department at a Seattle law firm, providing her with an understanding of local environmental issues. With a master’s in urban planning, Cecelia’s combination of education and experience makes her well-versed in local transportation, land use, and other public policy issues.
Dennis has been to Sweden five times. No, it’s not because he likes lutefisk; he’s half Swedish.
Dennis approaches all his projects with a passion for engaging communities in meaningful conversations. Having spent more than a decade in public engagement, he’s managed efforts large and small – from statewide road usage charge pilot projects, to multi-billion-dollar transit programs, to award-winning roadway improvement projects in Shoreline and Kirkland. A skilled facilitator, you can find Dennis leading large public events and stakeholder advisory groups, as well as training EI’s up-and-coming facilitators. Innovation is always on his mind as he builds and implements outreach strategies that reduce or remove barriers for people to participate in the projects that matter to them.
Cindy has solo traveled to over 18 countries. Some of her favorite memories are freezing in a tent under the New Zealand stars, almost losing a shoe in an abandoned Czech quarry, and spending summer evenings along Singapore’s waterfront.
Cindy is an experienced engagement practitioner with a focus on equitable development for underserved communities. She brings experience in event planning, GIS analysis and stakeholder outreach on topics related to urban policy and transportation planning. Having ridden mass rapid transit systems while living in Asia and Europe, Cindy brings a special interest in our region’s expanding light rail and bus systems. Prior to joining EnviroIssues, she studied at universities and worked at think tanks, consultancies and government agencies in Washington D.C., Taipei, Shanghai, Singapore, Amsterdam and Portland, Oregon. Outside of the office, Cindy can be found hiking up a mountain, playing pickup frisbee or baking a cake.
Sophie enjoys travelling and eating her way through new cities around the world.
With degrees in environmental studies and international relations, Sophie brings experience in environmental policy, research, writing and event planning. Her interdisciplinary background, attention to detail, and multi-stakeholder experience enable her to dissect complex technical issues and translate them for easy understanding by all community members. Sophie moved from Los Angeles to Seattle after graduating from the University of Southern California and has been exploring the city ever since.
Aslyn currently has 13 pairs of eyeglasses in her ever-evolving collection.
A prolific baker with an M.A. in graphic design and a background in fine arts, Aslyn lives her best life by listening and dancing to an endless playlist. On Halloween of 2017, she exchanged the stunning beaches and sunny weather of Puerto Rico for the rainy gloom of Seattle. Since then, she has been struggling with Seattle's spicy food (so often on menus without any warning) and excessive use of heaters inside buildings. Aslyn can be found around the office “spring cleaning” in the winter, organizing supplies by size and color, or doing puppy therapy with adult dogs that aren’t hers. Some of her favorite activities are writing adventure stories about inanimate objects and assembling, by herself, furniture that requires two people to put together.
Lauren spends her winter weekends on skis at Crystal Mountain and she has fallen down steep slopes in Utah, Italy, and France.
Lauren has a passion for communications that build trust and move projects forward. She provides clear and compelling information that connects with the right audience, whether it’s a personal visit to a local business or a website viewed by thousands of people. Lauren is skilled at building relationships with stakeholders, anticipating and problem-solving community issues, and providing outreach techniques and strategies for everything from roadway construction to rain garden design. On the weekends, she continues her search for Seattle’s best breakfast.
Layne has spent approximately 11 percent of her life living in Europe.
Layne graduated from Seattle University with a degree in environmental studies: communication and education, and a minor in French language. She brings experience supporting social justice initiatives and is passionate about using the power of communication to connect projects and people to each other. At EI, Layne focuses her work on the West Seattle and Ballard Link Extensions where she helps develop unique and effective strategies to communicate key project messages to various Seattle communities. Having both British and Californian roots, Layne finds Seattle’s weather to be a happy medium, and she loves spending time outside, traveling, running and exploring the city.
Catarina’s truest form is present when she is driving her green 1998 Toyota 4Runner, listening to throwback R&B.
Having spent her formative years farming vegetables, berries and chickens at various farms in the Puget Sound region, Catarina has logged hundreds of hours hauling thousands of pounds of food for local communities. This agricultural background informs Catarina’s love of land use, policy, representative planning, community outreach and greenspace design. These topics were focal points for her while earning her community, environment and planning degree from the University of Washington. Now, Catarina helps EnviroIssues integrate community input with intentional planning to create thriving public spaces. In her spare time, Catarina enjoys perfecting her babcia’s recipes, hanging out with cats and babies, gardening, taking long walks and watching true crime movies.
José “Joey” Posada
While Joey is constantly exploring new activities, playing the violin has been one of his longest lasting joys.
Joey is a creative, energetic communicator with experience developing and managing outreach strategies to support equitable public engagement. His strong interpersonal skills and work with diverse groups of people have given him the opportunity to connect with vibrant communities throughout Portland. Joey grew up in Las Vegas, where he explored the unique desert ecosystems with his family and developed his passion for the natural environment and wildlife. He majored in environmental studies with minors in renewable energy and sociology, and is currently completing his master’s degree in urban and regional planning. Joey is almost always on the go, but you might be able to catch him during one of his meditative sessions of violin practice.
Ellen bakes her own bread almost every week with a sourdough starter she’s been maintaining for more than three years.
An experienced HR professional, Ellen is passionate about creating equitable and inclusive workplaces where all employees can thrive and do their best work. Prior to working in HR, she worked for NGOs promoting human and environmental rights in Chiang Mai, Thailand. A native Michigander, Ellen graduated from Kalamazoo College and is an enthusiastic Detroit sports fan. When she’s not in the office, Ellen can be found on the ultimate frisbee field, running through Seattle’s parks or exploring the North Cascades.
Liz desperately wants Seattle to acquire a NBA team so she can occasionally watch her hometown team—the San Antonio Spurs.
Liz specializes in making technical environmental information understandable and relevant to the public, believing that this is key for meaningful public participation. A strong background in the sciences partnered with extensive teaching experience gives Liz the tools to make this happen. Liz has worked with a diverse range of subject matter including wastewater treatment, oil spill preparedness, forest ecology, and marine conservation. She is especially passionate about engaging traditionally underrepresented communities in the environmental decision making process. When not in the office, Liz can be found climbing the many peaks of the Cascades, traveling to faraway lands, or perfecting her tikka masala recipe.
When not at work, she enjoys backyard gardening and weekend naps.
Suanne is a senior associate at EnviroIssues, where she has served as a project manager since 2004. Her main role is serving as the communications manager for the SR 520 Bridge Replacement and HOV Program, managing a team of consultant and state employees on public, media, and intergovernmental communications. Suanne has 30 years of experience working on public endeavors—from nonprofit organizations, to political campaigns, to major infrastructure projects. Suanne's outreach skills started in sixth grade when she went door-to-door raising money for a new park in Spokane.
Kristin aspires to attend a baseball game at every Major League ballpark in the U.S.!
Kristin has been implementing successful public involvement strategies on the SR 520 team for almost six years. She navigates a complicated mega-project and interdisciplinary teams to build partnerships and a common understanding among multiple stakeholders. With an interest in healthy and livable communities, and an education in environmental studies and public policy, Kristin helps the SR 520 team deliver key project elements that improve how people live, work and play in Seattle. When she’s not geeking out on transportation blogs, Kristin enjoys yoga, hiking, and Seattle sunsets.
David flirted with rock stardom in his college years as the drummer for the Motives, one of Western New York's greatest ska bands. (Yes, it's as glamorous as it sounds.)
Since joining EnviroIssues, David has shown a talent for breaking down complicated information into understandable bites for any audience, whether it take 3,000 words or 140 characters. In addition to leading public materials and messaging development for the $4.65 billion SR 520 Bridge Replacement and HOV Program, David is happy to manage all types of special projects: media events, crisis communications, social media campaigns, and more! Though a New Yorker by birth, David is well adapted to the Pacific Northwest, enjoying the clean air, mountain views, and rainy days.
Kerri loves to travel, whether it’s a road trip to Idaho for work, a trip to Costa Rica to do research on a coffee farm, or a trip to Germany to see the World Cup.
Graduating from the University of Washington’s Evans School of Public Affairs, Kerri is a passionate public engagement and outreach professional with 14 years of customer service and community engagement expertise. Kerri enjoys engaging communities and individuals in the decision-making process to help clients make informed, community-driven decisions. Kerri is adept at coordinating logistics for small group meetings or large scale events that draw more than 300 people. Her attention-to-detail and behind the scenes coordination and preparation translates into a smooth-flowing and efficient day-of event. When Kerri is not at work you can find her making chili in her crockpot and watching college football or being entertained at a play, musical or the symphony.
Darcy spent six months in Iowa as an AmeriCorps conducting residential energy audits and weatherizations.
A transplant from both California and Alabama, Darcy joined EnviroIssues in early 2014 after three years of experience in the nonprofit sector coordinating communications and community outreach for sustainability, transportation, and conservation organizations. At EnviroIssues, Darcy is passionate about the public involvement process, providing outreach, communications and event support to energy infrastructure projects. When not at the office, you can find Darcy running around with her dog Sgt. Pepper, thrifting through Seattle's Goodwills and vintage shops, occasionally competing in local pool tournaments, and cultivating an indoor jungle.
While kayaking in New Zealand, Ziqi discovered that happy laughter is the secret to attracting dolphins.
Originally from China, Ziqi has lived and studied in both the U.S. and New Zealand. She has worked with culturally diverse communities and is passionate about supporting community engagement through effective communication. Holding a master’s degree in public administration from the Evans School of Public Policy and Governance at the University of Washington, Ziqi is passionate about environmental policy and management, public transportation, energy sustainability and housing. At EnviroIssues, Ziqi applies her knowledge to a variety of projects, enhancing the connection between agency programs and the public. During her free time, Ziqi enjoys playing her cello and hanging out with her friends at various coffee shops around Seattle.
Chad's only slightly ashamed to admit he wears a Seahawks jersey on game days, even though he's a grown man with family responsibilities.Chad Schuster
Chad's only slightly ashamed to admit he wears a Seahawks jersey on game days, even though he's a grown man with family responsibilities.
Chad always has at least one eye on the news. Before joining EnviroIssues, he wrote for more than a dozen Seattle-area newspapers and was twice honored as "News Writer of the Year" by the Washington Newspaper Publishers Association. His knowledge of local media and government has only deepened during the five years he's spent supporting the Alaskan Way Viaduct Replacement Program, one of the region's most high-profile transportation efforts. When he isn't working with the reporters and developing public-friendly informational materials, Chad likes to read, play/watch sports and spend time with his wife and two young children.
Sarah’s dream job (other than EnviroIssues) is to be a NASA botanist, growing plants in space in order to produce oxygen.
Sarah discovered public involvement through her degree in urban planning and a lifelong love of working with people. With years of experience working with local government offices in her home state of Pennsylvania, she comes to EnviroIssues with strong customer service and public engagement skills – especially when it comes to public sector projects. Sarah has a passion for all things sustainability and is a graduate of Portland’s Master Recycling Program. In fact, when she isn’t organizing community events, you can often find her informing the public (and her coworkers) on proper recycling practices. Sarah also enjoys gardening and travel, but perhaps her coolest hobby is long exposure star photography.
Obsessed with her Vitamix, Erin will tell you it makes the best smoothies, it warms the soup as it makes it, and it literally cleans itself.Erin U’ilani Tam
Erin U’ilani Tam
Obsessed with her Vitamix, Erin will tell you it makes the best smoothies, it warms the soup as it makes it, and it literally cleans itself.
From planning small neighborhood parks to developing design guidelines for interstate corridors, Erin is experienced in public involvement and communications for all types of projects. An excellent communicator with a keen understanding of public perspective and the issues facing communities today, Erin finds creative ways to engage people in the issues that affect them - whether brainstorming the future of transit with local students or working with local television and film makers to bring public meetings right to your living room. Erin is a recent inductee to the cult of stand up paddle boarding. Look for her on a lake near you.
One of Katie's many souvenirs from her archaeology adventures in Turkey was a German Shepherd puppy.
Katie is a talented community engagement project manager who has implemented public involvement strategies through all project phases – from conceptual planning, to environmental review, to design and construction. She has worked across many sectors including water, transportation, planning and environmental review; and has supported public agencies at the state, county and local levels. A native Californian with roots in the Bay Area, Katie manages EnviroIssues’ Oakland office. She has proudly mastered the art of multimodal commuting through her three-part train/bike/BART commute.
Ray worked at Walt Disney World during high school and also played the bagpipes in his high school band.
Ray has spent the better part of a decade with EnviroIssues, building a resume almost as diverse as his dream of simultaneously becoming a race car driver, engineer, and self-made millionaire turned motivational speaker. Ray is currently managing outreach activities related to permitting processes for several high-voltage transmission lines. He is also focused on the integration of technology with traditional public involvement practices. Ray spends every possible minute outside of work with his family. Whether at a Sounders game or working on projects around the house one, if not both, of his two sons will be by his side.
Someday Annie hopes to follow in the footsteps of her favorite author, Brendan Leonard, and sell or pack all her things and depart on a great road trip.
Annie joined EnviroIssues after graduating from University of Washington with a bachelor's degree in community, environment, and planning, with a minor in diversity. She was born and raised in Seattle and can often be described as having a healthy obsession with community building, finding equitable solutions to challenging problems and dogs. Previously she worked with UW’s Department of Urban Planning, the City of Auburn, and the Seattle Department of Transportation to assist a range of projects that created goals and strategies to enact change in several underserved communities. On her projects at EnviroIssues she knows how to utilize her skills as a strong community leader and support her teams with maximum enthusiasm. Outside of the office she can be found looking for new adventures and quoting her favorite TV character, Leslie Knope.
Daniel can be spotted heading to yoga on Foxy, their silver Vespa, multiple days a week.
Daniel is experienced in engaging and empowering communities to improve environmental decision-making. Combining a technical background in environmental science with policy, planning, and communication experience, Daniel effectively engages a variety of audiences by making technical project aspects understandable and clear. Their experience ranges from engaging with community members one-on-one, to planning and documenting public meetings, synthesizing and analyzing community input, providing outreach in a variety of media, and assisting in decision making processes.
With her gift of spatial awareness Nicole can get everything to fit in the moving van or a one-page layout.
With over a decade of design under her belt, Nicole has seen trends come and go but knows great design rises above what is popular. Her experience with logo development, branding guidelines, advertising, web design, and print material has taught her that great design is more than making things look good, it's about creating powerful communication. From lifestyle brands to public involvement Nicole can create powerful messaging through great design. In her down time from saving the world with design, she can be found drinking coffee and consulting with her son (art director) as to what costumes they will wear for Halloween.
Years ago, Isaiah began a quest to find the best sandwich in Seattle. He’s still searching…Isaiah Honick
Years ago, Isaiah began a quest to find the best sandwich in Seattle. He’s still searching…
Isaiah is excited about opportunities to empower communities and individuals through public engagement and involvement. In 2019, Isaiah graduated from the Evans School of Public Policy at the University of Washington, where he specialized in environmental policy and economics. Prior to graduate school, Isaiah taught middle school in Seattle and worked as a wilderness and climbing guide, leading adventures across the Pacific Northwest. Before he returned his native West Coast in 2013, Isaiah also worked in professional baseball for five years. Outside of the office, you might find him mountain biking up and down Tiger Mountain, attempting to climb the peaks of the Cascade and Olympic Mountains, and desperately trying not to pull a hamstring on the basketball court.
Leah is a hardcore fruit enthusiast. You can be sure to find her bulk buying her favorite peach variety, the Diamond Princess, when it is in season.
Leah is passionate about creating and maintaining spaces where humans and the environment can co-exist in a sustainable manner. An East Coast transplant, Leah moved to Seattle to attend the University of Washington, where she graduated with a degree in environmental studies and nutritional sciences. Prior to joining the EnviroIssues team, Leah worked in the nonprofit sector supporting Washington state family farmers and small business owners. She is skilled in widespread community outreach, inclusive stakeholder engagement and large-scale event management. In her spare time, you can catch Leah cooking up the latest Bon Appétit recipe, listening to showtunes, reading a library book or shopping at her local farmers market.
Jaybee can attest that his parents make the best Filipino food.
Jaybee, along with much of his family, is a proud immigrant from the Philippines. He attended Seattle University and holds a degree in environmental studies with a specification in urban sustainability. Jaybee comes to EnviroIssues with a passion for creating public spaces that engage with the community through both body and soul. He has supported marketing and event planning for a number of causes including Seattle University’s Dance Marathon, which raised money for Children’s Hospital’s Uncompensated Care Fund and their Strong Against Cancer research. He has a deep passion for Asian American history and continues to explore different avenues where it can be expressed. In his downtime, Jaybee loves to sing, play music, watch combat sports and save the world on his PlayStation.
Samantha’s passion for the outdoors has cultivated in the newest addition to her bucket list: setting foot in every U.S. National Park.Samantha Herman
Samantha’s passion for the outdoors has cultivated in the newest addition to her bucket list: setting foot in every U.S. National Park.
Samantha is a recent graduate from the University of Washington, where she obtained her Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Studies, coupled with a minor in environmental science resource management. Her passion and enthusiasm for facilitating stakeholder engagement on environmental issues stems from her strong interest in public policy and communications. Prior to joining EnviroIssues, Samantha aligned herself with organizations in both the public and non-profit sectors, including working in the Environmental Affairs Division at Seattle City Light where she honed her data management and technical writing skills. Growing up in the Cascade foothills of Washington State, Samantha seeks solitude by way of hiking in the mountains where she aims to climb 100,000 feet in elevation every year. When not exploring new terrain, she enjoys a nice Sunday ritual of eating brunch and shopping at a local farmers market.
Though she never saw Russia from her house in Anchorage, Gwyn won gold at the Russian Olympiad language competition.Gwyn Howard
Though she never saw Russia from her house in Anchorage, Gwyn won gold at the Russian Olympiad language competition.
Gwyn has more than three years of outreach and communications experience and most recently worked in the nonprofit sector connecting organizations to needed resources and support. She’s a self-professed transportation wonk and is excited to be part of the team at EnviroIssues where she’ll be providing communications support to the SR 520 project. As a Seattle transplant, originally from Anchorage, Alaska, Gwyn graduated from Seattle University with degrees in international studies and Spanish. Following graduation she was fortunate to have the opportunity to live and travel in South and Central America and continues to enjoy travels abroad. Gwyn enjoys riding her bike, playing volleyball and being an engaged member of her community.
Candace has lived along two of the world’s largest rivers.
Candace has over three years experience communicating complicated issues spanning from climate change adaptation to transportation megaprojects. As a trained anthropologist, she has a knack for connecting with people and understanding their perspectives. She also has a wide range of experience working on technical issues ranging from atmospheric dynamics to mitigation compliance. She has a master’s from Columbia University in climate change and a bachelor’s from University of Puget Sound in sociology. In her spare time, Candace loves to travel whether it’s just across the Cascades or across the world.
Elise is always up for an adventure. Previous adventures have included skydiving, winning a Sound of Music costume contest, and working as a camp counselor for three summers.
Originally from Puyallup, Washington, Elise graduated from Western Washington University in 2014 with a B.S. in environmental science and a minor in environmental education. She brings her previous experience in customer service and planning community events to EnviroIssues, along with a passion for connecting science and people. When she’s not at the office Elise likes to root for the Mariners, try new hiking trails, and eat copious amounts of ice cream.
Roger is no athlete, but he did haul in a pass some years ago from NFL Hall of Fame quarterback Fran Tarkenton.Roger Thompson
Roger is no athlete, but he did haul in a pass some years ago from NFL Hall of Fame quarterback Fran Tarkenton.
With three decades of experience in journalism, public relations and public affairs, Roger brings solid communications savvy and writing skill to bear for EnviroIssues clients. Above all, he helps advance their goals through smart, strategically honed messaging. Roger started his career as a newspaper scribe before changing horses to pitch news for state lawmakers. From the statehouse he moved into the consulting world, managing the development and execution of strategic communication programs for a wide range of public- and private-sector organizations here in the Pacific Northwest. These days, Roger spends most of his time thinking, talking and writing about the reconstruction of the world’s longest floating bridge.
Sofia’s favorite food is hearts of palm.
Born and raised in Santiago, Chile, Sofia loves engaging with Spanish-speaking communities. A trained professional planner, she is passionate about intentional, culturally responsive and equitable public involvement. Sofia enjoys working on large scale land use, transportation, community development and community engagement projects. Sofia holds a Master of Urban and Regional Planning from Portland State University and Bachelor of Science from the University of Oregon in planning, public policy and management. In her free time, Sofia enjoys going on excursions around the city, finding the best brunch spot, traveling, and discovering her next favorite song.
Amy’s favorite pastimes are interacting with virtual animals in video games, struggling with crafts, and hanging out at her local library.
Amy has lived her entire life along Oregon’s I-5 corridor: she grew up in Salem, is a graduate of the University of Oregon in Eugene and moved to Portland to pursue public involvement and outreach with EnviroIssues. She holds a degree in journalism and has experience with communications, outreach and community engagement, including various roles with college organizations and an internship at the Library of Congress. She has produced a number of zines that showcase art and words from people in her communities, and plans to create more in the future. Amy is especially passionate about supporting social justice initiatives that serve and give voice to underserved communities. Her next goal in life is to learn to do tricks on her roller skates.
As a youngster Joe once won first prize at the Dauphin County fair for having the “Most Interesting Fun Fact”.Joe Basile
As a youngster Joe once won first prize at the Dauphin County fair for having the “Most Interesting Fun Fact”.
Hailing originally from the Keystone State, Joe moved to the Pacific Northwest nearly eight years ago and instantly fell in love with the majestic peaks, clean air, and towering trees of Cascadia. Joe has moved from the small town of Roseburg OR to Seattle to Portland and now back to the Emerald City to join the EnviroIssues crew. In that time he has gained experience in community outreach and policy analysis on diverse issues including farmland preservation, wetland mitigation, and transportation. Joe’s passion for public policy also inspired him to pursue a Master of Public Administration degree from the Evans School of Public Policy and Governance at UW. Joe is excited to bring his knowledge and experience in public engagement to the SR 520 communications team. When Joe is not at work he enjoys coaxing his elderly and reticent canine life-partner, Yip, to go on short walks through the park next to his house.
KaDeena dreams of the day when she can practice yoga on the beaches of Maui full-time.
A Washington native, KaDeena has been managing communications and outreach programs in the Seattle area for more than 13 years. She leads the communications team for the Washington State Department of Transportation’s $3.1 billion Alaskan Way Viaduct Replacement Program, one of the largest transportation efforts in state history. Through strategic planning, knowledge of the local community and enough patience to outlast any controversy, KaDeena helps her clients -- including Bertha, the world's largest tunneling machine -- sustain public and political support during long and complex infrastructure projects. When she’s not at work, KaDeena serves on the board of ECOSS and enjoys listening to late night live music, as long as it’s not a work night.
Quin enjoys playing table games, arcade games and yard games, but don’t ask him to play board games.Quin Benzel
Quin enjoys playing table games, arcade games and yard games, but don’t ask him to play board games.
Quin has been in the Business Development department at EnviroIssues for three years, helping manage proposal teams to track, bid on and interview for public projects throughout the Pacific Northwest, ranging from strategic communications, low impact development, wastewater master plans and transportation. Quin has at one time called Seattle, Spokane, Portland and the small town of Mukilteo home. He’s never felt unappreciative of the landscapes that have surrounded him throughout his life, still taking the time to stop and admire the Northwest scenery when in a pensive mood. Before joining EnviroIssues, he worked in Corporate Communications at Puget Sound Energy and even spent some time as a contributing editor at a small alt weekly newspaper.