Emerging Leaders Board
Serving as an advisory board, these entrepreneurs, strategists, community leaders and visionaries under the age of 40 have agreed to share their extraordinary skills to support the mission of Oregon Environmental Council.
Alexis Gabriel is a communications and community engagement coordinator for the City of Portland’s Sunday Parkways program. Alexis grew up mostly in California, but has also lived in each of the four quadrants of the US as well as abroad. She received her B.A in Communications from Xavier University of Louisiana, and later went on to earn her MBA in marketing and a MAIEP in sustainable development at Middlebury Institute of International Studies. She has a passion for 2P’s and an E – meaning whether through her work or her volunteer projects, she looks for opportunities to help move forward positive initiatives that bolster people, planet, and equity. When not working, she can be found jamming to an array of music (lots of K-pop), riding a bike, or going somewhere new in Portland.
Alison Hopcroft is the principal of Hopcroft Consulting, which provides sustainability consulting and specialty project management services to the public, private, and non-profit sectors. Alison grew up near Portland, Maine, and after a first career teaching science, she attended the Monterey Institute of International Studies, graduating with an MA in International Environmental Policy and a focus in Sustainable Business Management. She sees leveraging the innovation inherent in the business world as a key component to addressing the world’s most pressing social and environmental issues. From 2011 to 2013, Alison served on the Technical Committee of the , a program launched by OEC that helps wineries in the Northwest to reduce carbon emissions. She currently serves as Program Manager at Lloyd EcoDistrict.
Amber is a Project Manager at , a national consulting firm that works across sectors to advance positive social change. She grew up in Iowa and received a BS in environmental studies and Russian area studies from St. Olaf College. Amber previously served on the Hennepin County Soil and Water Board where she spent two years representing Minneapolis and strengthening the Board’s public visibility. In her free time, Amber enjoys hiking, bicycling, camping, canoeing, climbing, and kayaking. Follow Amber at .
Bethany is the co-founder and co-director of local nonprofit, (ECO). ECO aims to connect elementary students to the world around them through exploration of their local ecology. Bethany is a native Oregonian, and growing up, she was fortunate to spend a lot of time exploring Oregon’s forests. She believes that young people who have the chance to connect to and learn about their environment will grow into adults who care and take action to protect this place. Bethany received a BS in environmental science and in geography from the University of Oregon. She is married to Matt Thomas, owner of local businesses, Townshend’s Tea Company and Brew Dr. Kombucha. They have two boys, ages 3 and 1.
Corinne grew up near the redwoods and oak woodlands of Northern California and quickly became a lover of the great outdoors. With a passion for communicating environmental science to public audiences, she completed a Master’s degree in Environmental Science and Management at Portland State University and conducted outreach for environmentally-focused nonprofits in Portland. She now works as Community Stewardship Coordinator for the Sandy River Basin Watershed Council, where she seeks to expand community engagement in the restoration of riparian habitat for wild salmon recovery. On most weekends you can find Corinne camping in Oregon’s wilderness areas or kayaking local wild and scenic rivers.
Fletcher is the Assistant Director at Portland State University’s (PSU) , supporting curriculum development, student leadership and research that contribute to a just, prosperous and vibrant future for our region and the world. He is a native Oregonian from a small town in Southern Oregon, and spent much of his free time in the backwoods of Northern California and Southern Oregon. When he’s not working on advancing PSU’s sustainability programs, you can probably find him, playing soccer, cheering on the Timbers, brewing beer or on a hike in the Gorge. He received his BA in English and Spanish from the University of Oregon and later completed his Masters in Public Administration from Columbia University—with a focus on environmental science and policy and energy policy.
Fletcher is co-chair of the Emerging Leaders Board.
Irie works as an energy advisor with the Clean Energy Works Oregon team, a local non-profit, whose focus is to reduce the residential carbon footprint and increase home comfort while sustaining living wage jobs for contractors and their staff across the state. As a Portland native, she has a passion for maintaining Oregon’s natural landscape for future generations. Her commitment lies in educating her local community on the positive impact of home performance and the effects of improving occupant behavior patterns. She graduated from the University of Oregon with a BA in architecture with a focus in sustainable design.
Jamaal is a PhD student at Portland State University in the Toulan School of Urban Studies and Planning and a member of Portland State’s IGERT graduate traineeship program studying the role of ecosystem services in urbanizing regions. His research explores the intersections of sustainability, economic development, and land-use planning with a focus on identifying and attempting to address the conflicts that arise among these three areas. Before arriving in Portland, Jamaal worked for the DC Project, a residential weatherization non-profit, as a policy analyst. His work for the DC Project continues to shape his research interests and goals to fulfill the often forgotten “third-leg” of sustainability—social equity.
Jay Kosa has a passion for telling stories that engage, incite and inspire. He grew up in rural Pennsylvania where he experienced the joys of the outdoors and witnessed the ills of sprawl and pollution. Jay serves as Communications Manager for Columbia Land Trust, where he helps conserve and care for the places we love in the Pacific Northwest. Prior to working with the Land Trust, Jay provided communications services for a Portland-based green building non-profit and an environmental solutions consulting firm. He graduated from Bucknell University with a degree in English Literature. Outside the office, Jay enjoys running, hiking, fishing and plunging into the wild, frigid waters of the Pacific Northwest.
Mason Walker is new media manager of the and cofounder of . Mason’s mission is to speed the adoption of sustainable business practices to ensure a habitable and equitable future. He is a native New Yorker (the state, not the city) and holds a degree in supply chain & logistics from Portland State University. When he’s not backpacking or playing futsal, he is focused on social enterprise, natural building, and urban agriculture. Keep up with him on Twitter at .
Prior to hopping in the driver’s seat at the Bus Project as the Interim Executive Director, Nathan Howard worked in the Oregon State Senate. Most recently he worked as the Senate Finance Director during the 2014 election cycle and before that as the Chief of Staff to Senator Mark Hass with a focus on education, environmental, and finance & revenue public policy.
He is a native Oregonian, born and raised in Portland just off 82nd Ave., and attended the University of Oregon where he received his BA in City Planning, Public Policy and Management. Nathan sees Oregon at the forefront of a worldwide movement to close waste loops and move towards sustained prosperity, “Over the past 40 years or so, Oregon has made enormous strides in moving away from the take-make-waste model that has dominated much of the industrialized world relatively recently—the last couple hundred years—and back towards a sustainable way of life. And the rest of the country has followed suite because, as it turns out, these changes also increase quality of life. We’re still leading the nation today.” When he isn’t working on advancing Oregon’s education and environmental policies, Nathan enjoys working on bicycles, playing Settlers of Catan, and hiking around the Northwest.
Rob is the Director of Outreach and Technology at NW Earth Institute (NWEI), where he fosters leadership among individuals and organizations across North America to implement NWEI discussion courses and the annual EcoChallenge. His work has a strong focus on the use of digital technologies that advance the organization’s mission. Rob has worked in sustainability education for ten years and has a deep passion for progressive pedagogies that promote leadership and equity. Prior to joining NWEI, Rob managed waste minimization projects across the Portland metro region with Community Environmental Services. Rob holds a master’s degree in Sustainability Education from Portland State University and an undergraduate degree from Prescott College.
Robin Engle is an activist and development professional with a passion for building nonprofit organizations and progressive movements. She grew up on the shores of the Puget Sound and was inspired to be active politically at an early age by her grandmother , an first-wave environmental leader, general muckraker, and excellent cookie-baker. Robin is the Development Director for Oregon League of Conservation Voters, where she works to protect Oregon’s environment by electing pro-environment candidates, passing good environmental policy, and bringing the environmental community together around a shared set of goals. Prior to her work at OLCV, Robin was the Development Director for Columbia Riverkeeper, ran field and fundraising offices for political campaigns, and worked as Development Associate at Environment Oregon. She graduated from the University of Washington with a degree in Political Science, and serves as board Secretary for , Oregon’s environmental workplace giving organization.
Robin is co-chair of OEC’s Emerging Leaders Board, and sits on OEC’s Board of Directors.
Stefanie moved to Portland in 2010 and immediately joined OMSI as a volunteer contributor to the Clever Together exhibit development process. The exhibit is on display in the Earth Hall and promotes small, sustainable, everyday decisions to support the three pillars of sustainability: environment, economy, and society. She still volunteers at OMSI as a featured exhibits science educator and is passionate about informal education, spreading and supporting the science behind the fun stuff. Stefanie completed undergraduate degrees in marketing from Iowa State University and environmental science from Oregon State University, and will complete the digital marketing certificate program at Portland State University this Spring. In her professional life, Stefanie works in media relations at Oregon Health & Science University where she manages digital content distribution and analytics on OHSU news. Follow Stefanie @st_bae.