Board News

Environmental nonprofit appoints Emily Washines as board president, welcomes new members Marta Yera Cronin, Alanna Nanegos, Brett VandenHeuvel, and Sue Vosburg


Columbia Riverkeeper Welcomes New Board President and Members to its Board of Directors

Environmental nonprofit appoints Emily Washines as board president, welcomes new members Marta Yera Cronin, Alanna Nanegos, Brett VandenHeuvel, and Sue Vosburg

Portland, Ore. (December 16, 2022)—Columbia Riverkeeper’s Board of Directors announced a new board president, Emily Washines, and the appointment of four new members: Alanna Nagegos, Brett VandenHeuvel, Sue Vosburg, and Marta Yera Cronin. Columbia Riverkeeper’s volunteer Board of Directors oversees the organization’s conservation goals and policies, finances, and public relations.

“As an organization that unites communities to protect the Columbia, we are fortunate to have a diverse board of community leaders from across the region,” said Lauren Goldberg, executive director for Columbia Riverkeeper. “Emily Washines is an inspiring leader and educator. I’m excited to work with her and our incredible board of directors, staff, and members to tackle the pressing environmental justice and climate issues along the Columbia.”

“I appreciate the vote of board members to lead the organization,” said incoming board president Emily Washines. “As the board continues our mission to take necessary steps to protect the water, I see how these actions parallel the time-honored traditions about the resources I was raised with.”  

“Columbia Riverkeeper has a proud history of working in solidarity with Tribal Nations and bringing together river communities to fight for what they love. Under Emily’s leadership, I’m confident Columbia Riverkeeper will continue to secure victories for clean water, salmon, and the communities that depend on them,” said outgoing board president Rudy Salakory.

The new members join board members Linda McClain (Vancouver, Washington), Rudy Salakory (Vancouver, Washington), David Spurr (Portland, Oregon), and Ted Wolf (Bellingham, Washington) in overseeing the nonprofit. 

About Columbia Riverkeeper’s New Board President and Members

Emily Washines (Board President), MPA, scholar, enrolled Yakama Nation tribal member, and Columbia Riverkeeper board member since 2018. Emily is 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 former Trustee—of Central Washington University in Ellensburg, and earned an MPA from The Evergreen State College. Emily also serves on the boards of the CWU’s Museum of Culture and Environment and Washington State Coalition Against Domestic Violence. 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.”

Marta Yera Cronin, is the President of the Columbia Gorge Community College (CGCC). She lives in The Dalles, Oregon, and oversees the CGCC Hood River and The Dalles campuses. Marta is the President of the advisory board for Comunidades, a Columbia Gorge-based group fiscally sponsored by Columbia Riverkeeper. She is Oregon's first Latina community college president. Marta is volunteering for Columbia Riverkeeper’s board in her personal capacity.  

Alanna Nanegos is the Tribal Business Development Director for Cayuse Native Solutions. She lives outside of Pendleton, Oregon, and is an enrolled member of Confederated Tribes of Umatilla Indian Reservation. She has served on a number of local water quality boards and is volunteering on Columbia Riverkeeper’s board in her personal capacity.

Brett VandenHeuvel is the former Executive Director of Columbia Riverkeeper. He recently started his own company, VandenHeuvel Strategies, that provides in-depth policy and legal solutions for foundations, Tribal Nations, and non-profit organizations. He is based in Hood River, Oregon.

Sue Vosburg is a longtime Columbia Riverkeeper member who lives on a farm in Gales Creek, Oregon. She became an active volunteer and activist throughout Columbia Riverkeeper’s efforts to protect communities and our climate from two proposals to build liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminals in the Columbia River Estuary and associated fracked-gas pipelines. Sue recently retired after a lengthy career as a tax preparer.

About Columbia Riverkeeper

Columbia Riverkeeper is a nonprofit organization with over 16,000 members and supporters that works to protect the water quality of the Columbia River and all life connected to it, from the headwaters to the Pacific Ocean. Learn more

About Our Work

Legal advocacy and community organizing to stop pollution, fight fossil fuels, save salmon, engage communities, and clean up Hanford.

Meet the Board of Directors