Board of Directors
This is Karen’s second time around on the Land Trust Board and as Board President. “They can’t get rid of me”, she says. Two of the reasons she and her husband bought land here 20 years ago were the open spaces and knowing where their food comes from. “Conserving the lands that sustain the communities of Clallam County, farms, fish and forests, that’s the mission of North Olympic Land Trust, but my passion is for the farms. Knowing who grows my food, how it is grown, local is the driver for me.” Karen retired from a career in finance and moved full time to Sequim in 2008. In her words, “I don’t miss Seattle at all.”
After many years of support, Wendy deepened her involvement with North Olympic Land Trust by joining the Board of Directors in early 2018. She brings with her extensive leadership skills and professional experience with a background in public administration, urban planning and civil engineering. Wendy’s interest in land conservation reflects her interest to “protect and improve upon the legacy of the most precious habitat, farmlands and forests to delight and teach my children’s generation and inspire them to live sanely and connected to their North Olympic places,” she said. Wendy served as the director of Long Range Planning and Capital Programs for Kitsap Transit for nearly two decades, followed by four years as the Director of Clallam Transit. She currently works for the Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe as their Transportation Program Manager. Beyond her interests in land conservation, Wendy volunteers within the community in a number of ways and is a performing member of the Port Angeles Symphony Orchestra.
Steve moved to the Olympic Peninsula in 2009 to take a position with the City of Sequim as its city manager. During his 45 year career in city management he served nine different cities. His primary interests and skills in public management include strategic planning, organizational effectiveness and financial management. Steve retired in 2015 and joined the North Olympic Land Trust Board of Directors in 2018. His community service experience also includes service on several community nonprofit boards.
“Like most people I was attracted to the Olympic Peninsula by its rural nature and natural beauty,” Steve said. “Through my service on the Board, I hope to assist in the mission of maintaining and enhancing the region’s farms, fish, and forests for future generations.”
Erika moved to the Olympic Peninsula in 2014 and immediately fell in love with the unique and diverse ecosystems of this place. Erika is a senior business lender at the Port Angeles office of Craft3, whose mission is to strengthen the economic, ecological and family resilience of the Pacific Northwest – an excellent complement to the Land Trust’s mission to conserve lands that sustain the communities of Clallam County. Erika aims to contribute her knowledge of business and finance to ensure that the Land Trust can continue to do it’s important work in perpetuity. She was a founding member of the Board of Managers of Olympic Peninsula Conservation Resources LLC (a subsidiary of the Land Trust), and also serves on the North Olympic Development Council board. Erika is honored to serve with other Land Trust board members in support of such an important mission and committed staff.
Bobbie is a strong supporter of environmental conservation and the preservation of farmland. She joined the Land Trust Board in 2019 so that she could become a proactive part of local efforts to conserve land for future generations. With 35 years of experience in health care administration, Bobbie brings strong leadership and operational management skills to the Land Trust. “For most of my life, I have been fortunate to live in the Pacific Northwest, one of the most beautiful areas of the United States,” Bobbie says. “The Olympic Peninsula is especially beautiful with all the open spaces, mountains, forests and waters. I am proud to live among such beauty and I want to contribute first hand to help preserve its beauty for future generations to come.”
Before joining the Board, Ron was an established Land Trust volunteer on the standards and practices committee. “Becoming a member of the board was the next logical step from being a committee volunteer,” he said. “I wanted to continue to help support North Olympic Land Trust mission to preserve the land for future generations.” Ron, now retired, had devoted most of his career to being a business systems analyst and is therefore skilled at finding solutions to problems and enjoys working on team projects.
After 20 years working with wild animals on the Olympic Peninsula and several years on the North Olympic Land Trust conservation committee, Kim chose to join the Land Trust Board as a way to deepen her participation in local conservation. Kim earned a master’s degree in fish and wildlife resources from University of Idaho and is currently the wildlife program manager for the Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe. Kim manages all aspects of the Tribe’s wildlife program, including research on local cougars, deer, elk and other wildlife that are recolonizing the Elwha watershed after removal of two hydroelectric dams. Kim has also worked in a number of national parks, including Sequoia, Yellowstone and Olympic National Park. “I fell in love with the Olympic Peninsula within weeks of moving here in 1999, and can’t imagine living anywhere else in the world. We have it all – open spaces, gorgeous wildlands, temperate coniferous forests, oceans and mountains. I love sharing all that the peninsula has to offer with my husband and two young children, whether it be from a hiking trail or the deck of our boat.”
Richard earned a bachelor’s degree and Juris Doctor from Florida State University, and an master of public administration degree in coastal resources management from the University of West Florida. Richard’s career has been devoted to conservation, beginning as a city planner in Pensacola, Florida, where he helped create the Escambia Bay Bluffs Park. After moving to the Northwest almost 30 years ago, he worked for the Puget Sound Water Quality Authority and then spent 15 years working for King County. While with the county, he focused on protecting habitat, working farms and forests, implementing a public benefit rating system and managing a multi-county salmon recovery effort. He then joined the Trust for Public Land in Georgia, which created new parks in Atlanta for the Atlanta Beltline and preserved land along the Chattahoochee River. Richard’s conservation experience spans large and small projects. For example, in Alabama he worked for both the Nature Conservancy and a local land trust.
Jack has had a lifelong interest in the environment and the sustainability of ecological diversity, so joining the Land Trust board was a natural fit. “Seeing a herd of elk cross the river in front of you is a kick,” he said of his love of living on the North Olympic Peninsula. “Watching a doe teaching a fawn how to get across the little rapids, otters, eagles, beavers – it’s a kick up here. There’s hiking, fishing, a lot of water sports and snow sports. It’s kind of paradise.” As a retired health care administrator, Jack brings his extensive knowledge and experience in working with both public and private boards, with committees and commissions, as well as strong analytical and collaborative skills as a member of the Board.
Gary worked with other area residents to establish the North Olympic Land Trust in 1990 and was responsible for legal work related to the Land Trust’s conservation easements. He led the standards and practices committee for many years, work which culminated in achieving accreditation through the Land Trust Alliance. Gary is a recipient of the Clallam County Community Service Award and he was named Cox Conserves Hero for Western Washington in 2009.
John retired from Peninsula College, where he taught in the forestry program for 27 years. He joined the Board in 1994 and played a pivotal role in the Land Trust and in preserving the landscape of Clallam County by donating four conservation easements and working with numerous other landowners to create permanent legal agreements in the Lower Dungeness Valley and throughout the county.