Columbia Riverkeeper’s volunteer Board of Directors oversees our conservation goals and policies, finances, and public relations.
Columbia Riverkeeper Board of Directors:
Rudy Salakory (President) is the Aquatic Habitat Program Manager for the Cowlitz Indian Tribe. Since 2008, he has worked to restore wetland, floodplain, and riparian habitat throughout the lower Columbia River and its tributaries. A lifelong resident of the Pacific Northwest, Rudy went to school at Washington State University, played (outside, rain or shine), and raised a family (Jacob and Carmen) within ten miles of the Columbia River. He currently resides in Portland, Oregon, with his darling, Geraldene.
Colleen Coleman (Vice President) is the city manager of Mosier, Oregon. She has 26 years of experience in business development involving arts education, science, and design services. For the last decade, Colleen has worked with river restoration and conservation groups to restore natural stream processes and habitats for endangered fish. A resident of Hood River, Oregon, she enjoys kayaking in the Columbia River and nearby mountain lakes.
Linda McLain (Treasurer) is a certified public accountant and co-owner of Currie & McLain, P.S. in Vancouver. A leader in civic and environmental causes in Southwest Washington, Linda believes Columbia River ports have better options than exporting fossil fuels. She and her husband, Dale, enjoy living in the beautiful Northwest, close to their son and his family. It’s a special treat when they get to travel to Prague to visit their daughter, husband, and other grandson.
Emily Washines (Secretary) (Yakama/Cree/Skokomish) is an enrolled member of the Yakama Nation and the founder and CEO of Native Friends, a Native lifestyle empowerment business focused on language, history, and culture. Formerly a public relations professional with Yakama Nation Fisheries, Emily is a graduate—and a recently elected Trustee—of Central Washington University in Ellensburg, and earned an MPA from The Evergreen State College. Emily also serves on the boards of the Yakima Environmental Learning Foundation and CWU’s Museum of Culture and Environment. A life-long resident of the mid-Columbia devoted to women’s rights, traditional language, and historical research, Emily lives in Toppenish with her husband Jon and three children. Of her bond to the Columbia River, she says simply: “Nch’i-wana is close to my heart.”
Paloma Ayala Vela is a graphic designer and photographer. She works for PeaceVoice and serves on the Board of Directors of The Next Door, Inc. Paloma earned a Masters Degree in Conflict Resolution and has a long history of nonviolence work in Mexico and the United States. She lives with her husband, Patrick, and son, Oliver, in Hood River, Oregon and spends as much time outdoors as she can.
Elizabeth Furse was raised in South Africa, her activism against apartheid set the stage for a life of activism and commitment to civil rights. She served three terms in Congress before retiring in 1998 and devoting her life to many progressive causes. In 2000, Furse played a pivotal role in bringing together local Columbia River nonprofits to form Columbia Riverkeeper—the first environmental nonprofit dedicated to protecting the Columbia, from the headwaters to the Pacific Ocean.
Karen Haberman Trusty is an activist and community organizer whose experiences were documented in the film “In Rarified Air.” In the early sixties, Karen worked throughout the south with the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, and was attacked at a Ku Klux Klan rally in 1964. She continues to speak about her experiences in the civil rights movement, and their relevance today, and work for racial justice with organizations including Women Of All Colors and Don't Shoot Portland. A lifelong sailor, Karen owned The Sailing Life and sold sailboats for 25 years on the Columbia River. She makes her home in Southeast Portland.
Cathy Sampson-Kruse (Waluulapum Band, Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation) is an elder champion of the Thin Green Line movement opposing fossil fuel export along the Columbia River and from other Pacific Northwest ports. A retired social worker and grandmother, she makes her home between the Yakama Valley, the Blue Mountains, and the Portland area. Cathy has delivered eloquent testimony at dozens of public events opposing expansion of fossil fuel infrastructure in the Columbia Basin and installation of small modular nuclear reactors at the Hanford Reservation. “Fracked gas and coal are deep in the Earth and bear memories of the past,” she told the Oregon Public Utilities Commission in 2017. “They need to stay there, instead of destroying our land, air, and precious water.” Cathy’s family has a long history with Columbia Riverkeeper: Her brother Don Sampson was a founding board member in 2000 and her father Carl Sampson, Peo-Peo-Mox-Mox, the hereditary chief of the Walla Walla, inspired Riverkeeper’s work with his leadership to protect clean water.
David Spurr is a financial advisor and shares a private wealth management practice with his wife Amy in Portland, Oregon. A graduate of Dartmouth College and the University of Virginia School of Law, David practiced law and investment banking in New York before moving to Oregon with his family in 2015. He was drawn to Columbia Riverkeeper by its strategic use of the legal system, policy work, and community action to protect and restore the environment. David is an avid cyclist and runner who devotes his free time to exploring the Pacific Northwest with Amy and his children, Penelope and Max.
Ted Wolf is a writer whose books include Salmon Nation (Ecotrust, 2003) and Klamath Heartlands (Ecotrust, 2005). Ted’s work centers on regional natural history and natural hazards such as earthquakes and tsunamis. He and his wife, Karen, live in Bellingham, Washington above the Salish Sea. Ted’s favorite river places include Astoria, Skamokawa, and the bluffs above Catherine Creek.
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