Welcome to our new Emerging Leaders!

New ideas and energy can be catalysts for creating innovative change.

Each year Oregon Environmental Council welcomes a diverse cohort of Emerging Leaders to be part of our work to bring people together to protect the water, air and land we all share and love here in Oregon.

These extraordinary individuals bring their energy, expertise and insight into defining our work and strengthening our capacity.

We’ve been doing this for more than seven years now, and the results of bringing young adults together is rippling out into our community. (Read this story from the Brainerd Foundation.)

Today, more than 50 leaders are part of our Emerging Leaders Alumni. They are helping define Oregon’s future—from new businesses, to policy change, to healthier communities.

This spring, we are excited to welcome 7 new members to what we affectionately call the ELB.

Emerging Leaders Board – Spring 2018 Cohort

Gaby Diaz

Gaby was born and raised in Denver, Colorado where she fell in love with the wild beauty of the Rocky Mountains. While studying at the University of Colorado Boulder she worked on campaigns to protect public lands in Utah, to bring awareness to the dolphin’s plight in Japan, and to support grey wolf conservation across the state. After visiting Oregon for an environmental law conference she was hooked; the lure of old growth forests and coastal waters brought her here for good. Now she serves as the Office and Event Manager for Oregon Wild where she works to bring people together over the love of wildlife and wild places. Outside of the office you’ll find Gaby making jewelry, watching a movie at the Hollywood Theatre, or out on the trail with her dog Lacey.

David Kennedy

David teaches high school science and math with Portland Public Schools, and believes in the importance of cultivating STEM literacy in our society. He loves building community with people who are passionate about effecting positive changes in our world, which is what led him to move to Portland after growing up in upstate New York and earning bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University at Buffalo. David has held leadership roles in a variety of nonprofit organizations before joining the ELB, including 350PDX, Bike Farm, and King Neighborhood Association. He strives to keep intersectionality, equity, and climate justice at the forefront of his climate work. When not working in the community, you might find David riding his bike around—or out of town—eating burritos, or enjoying the glorious nature that the northwest has to offer.

Hilary Shohoney

Hilary is passionate about using her power and privilege to do good in the world. At 10 years old she answered a “what would you do with a million dollars?” writing prompt by saying that she would feed everyone who was hungry and protect everyone in danger. Now Hilary spends her days as Development Manager for Free Geek working to make digital inclusion a possibility for more Portlanders. Growing up on the banks of the Snake and Salmon Rivers, Hilary developed a deep love for our natural world and the ways that humans interact with it. Hilary sees joining the Emerging Leaders Board is another way to serve her community and protect the environment. In her spare time, you will find her running trails, hiking or spending time with friends or Rosie, her beloved Corgi.

Elizabeth Silberg

Elizabeth Silberg believes if you have a better balance, you achieve a healthier whole — that is, the best version of yourself. Then again, if you don’t go too far, it will be hard to find your limits. So she always takes on a challenge that offers an opportunity to help her be a better person.

Elizabeth is a Director of Digital Product Management and Transformation at IBM, and before that, held roles ranging from the most established areas of the business to the most nascent. This includes transforming IBM to a new way of working, identifying and validating new ideas for Smarter Cities products, driving Agile transformation and managing common services in the Rational brand, developing cross-brand tooling within IBM’s Systems and Technology Group and building IBM’s strategy in Software. Through these roles and patent submissions, she discovered her penchant for fixing things through integration, efficiency and empowerment — building organizational capability and self-directed teams through trust, empowerment and support, as well as connecting dots, systems and people into cohesive, stronger units.

She is the Finance Chair and Treasurer on the Board of Directors for Saturday Academy and also volunteers with various other education, empowerment and environmental organizations. She likes to experiment with different training for mind, body and well-being, so you might also find her on the stage, in the gym or out with nature.

Mark Steinbuck

Mark Steinbuck is a fresh Oregonian, having just moved to Portland from Wisconsin (and before that: Colorado, North Carolina, and Illinois). Mark first fell in love with the outdoors at his family’s cabin in the north woods of Wisconsin, and despite loving Oregon, still considers Lake Superior to be the most beautiful natural feature in the U.S. Mark attained his B.A. in anthropology from U of Wisconsin and his M.A. in Environmental Anthropology from Colorado State. Mark serves as KEEN Footwear’s Grants and Community Specialist, where he manages corporate givings, volunteering, and nonprofit partnerships. When he’s not at work, he’s likely bike commuting, bringing his two little kids Ivan and Jela into the woods alongside his wife Annie, or playing music.

Haley Walker

Haley Walker brings nearly a decade of communications experience to the Emerging Leaders Board. Borrowing from her background as an environmental reporter and editor, she’s served in storytelling roles for nonprofits such as Environment America, the Nature Conservancy, the World Society for the Protection of Animals and most recently at The Freshwater Trust. She holds a master’s degree in environmental journalism from Michigan State University’s Knight Center for Environmental Journalism and bachelor’s degrees in journalism and Spanish. As Communications Director with The Freshwater Trust, her sights are set on creatively and clearly broadcasting their innovative freshwater restoration and conservation work with the world. Away from the computer, Haley can be found teaching in a yoga studio, climbing at Smith Rock, or running in Forest Park.

Nathan Wallace

Nathan Wallace is a native Portlander, a fisheries biologist for the State of Oregon, and a freelance photographer. During his day job he collects data to help generate population estimates for threatened salmon species in the lower Columbia River basin.

Nathan has always had a love for the environment and started down his career path working for the New Zealand Department of Conservation as a fisheries ranger on the Tongariro River.

Recently Nathan was awarded a month long artist’s residency for his fine art landscape and wilderness photography by the Breckinridge, CO Creative Arts Council.

Besides his work with the state he is an avid outdoorsperson and musician. If he’s not is his waders you can find him with a camera—hiking, camping, or backpacking around the wild areas of the Pacific Northwest.



New staff liaison to our Emerging Leaders Board

Raphaela Hsu-Flanders
Healthy Environments Engagement Manager

Raphaela joins Oregon Environmental Council after working as the Engagement Organizer for the Oregon League of Conservation Voters for the past two years. During this time, she campaigned for pro-environment candidates in the 2016 election, helped interview and endorse climate champions throughout Oregon’s political offices, organized members and volunteers to lobby for pro-conservation bills in the state, and spearheaded the organization’s equity work. (more)



Meet the rest of Oregon Environmental Council’s Emerging Leaders Board.

Interested in getting involved? Contact us: info@oeconline.org

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