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2023 Board of Directors

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John O'Brien

Board Chair, Randle resident

John O’Brien is a member of the Cowlitz Indian Tribe. He was born in Toledo, Oregon where he went to public school and graduated high school. He attended Community College for 2 years and then joined the U.S. Army and served 3 years before returning to Oregon. John’s career in the lumber manufacturing industry started in Philomath, Oregon. He then worked in Vermont for 2 years and served on a forest advisory board there. He then relocated to East Lewis County in 1992 and has been at his current residence in Randle since 1994 and retired from 40 years in the industry in 2015. John and his wife of 44 years own 40 acres on the Cowlitz River. John spends much of his time keeping the property free of invasive species. He also maintains the property for wildlife habitat. John also enjoys hunting, fishing, and spends much time in the nearby Gifford Pinchot gathering Native American traditional foods and medicines

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John Squires

Vice-Chair, Packwood resident

Founding Member

John Squires is a charter member of the North Gifford Pinchot Resource Advisory Committee and S.W. Washington Provincial Advisory Committee, and serves on the Board of Directors for the National Network of Forest Practitioners. John is the third generation of his family to reside in Packwood, with his wife Liz and 2 daughters Brook Elizabeth and Zoë Rae. John cuts firewood in the National Forest and sells it in campgrounds in Mt. Rainier National Park. He spent the 1990′s working to restore salmon and steelhead to the upper Cowlitz basin, and is proud that 4 species of anadramous fish now occupy the upper Cowlitz basin. He is also an avid fisherman and has been known to catch a fish or two when not attending meetings for the numerous non-profit organizations he is a part of. John believes that collaboration and finding common ground will be the way to insure the economic and environmental health of his community. Through this process of working together, he believes that the future for his daughters will be one of economic opportunity in Packwood as well as a healthy environment in which they can work and recreate.

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Sharon Hanna

Secretary, Packwood resident, volunteer Cascade Forest Conservancy

Sharon Hanna, a long-time volunteer for Cascade Forest Conservancy has been involved with Pinchot Partners for about five years. Sharon brings her nuanced wordsmithing skills honed during her extensive career in Communications. She and her husband participated in a four-day Family Forest Stewardship Program offered by the Washington Department of Natural Resources and Washington State University. The program will help them prepare a forest plan for their 130-acre property outside of Packwood.

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Ashley Short

Treasurer, Policy Manager at Cascade Forest Conservancy

The Pinchot Partners welcome Asley Short as a new Director. Ashley is the Policy Manager at Cascade Forest Conservancy. She grew up in Kentucky where she loved exploring the woods on her grandparents’ farm. She received a B.S. in Environmental Policy and Planning from Virginia Tech in 2011 and a J.D. from The Elisabeth Haub School of Law at Pace University with a Certificate in Environmental Law in 2014. She has worked with several environmental nonprofits such as the Tualatin Riverkeepers. In her spare time, she enjoys hiking, kayaking, reading, and spending quality time with her husband and large rescue dogs.

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Bill Little

Director, Randle resident,

Founding Member

Former elected representative for the Lumber and Sawmill Worker Union and Randle resident, Bill was born on the opening of fishing season in 1945, during WWII. His Grandfather was a game warden in the Cowlitz Valley. Bill graduated from Morton High School in 1963. He went to college for awhile, worked for Boeing, and then in the woods for about 25 years. Bill elected as union rep in 1992. 

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David Owen

Director, Randle resident

David migrated from the harsh winters of Minnesota to Randle in 2016 after a career at the renowned Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. He and his wife, Gina, have settled into the Cowlitz valley making new friends and becoming not just residents but participants in the community. His background from the cornfield covered plains of Minnesota provides the Partners with a new and refreshing prospective on the mountainous timber covered landscape of the Western Cascades. David looks at the plants, animals, community, economy, topography, and yes, the winters with the eye of a newcomer. He is most appreciative of John Squires help in orienting him to the valley.

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Bob Guenther

Director, Founding Member, Thurston-Lewis-Mason Counties Labor Council 

Bob Guenther is a board member Pacific Mountain Workforce Development Council and owns 100 acres of forested land in west Lewis County. Bob was born and raised in Lewis County, leaving for about 9 years to attend Vocational School to serve his military obligation and get enough work experience to be the second Maintenance Mechanic hired at the Centralia Power Plant, where he has been employed for the past 34 years. Bob and his wife have raised two children on a 70 acre tree farm south of Chehalis. They feel lucky their family chose to live here in the county, where they enjoy their grandchildren every day. Bob is presently working for the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local # 77 (the folks who bring the current to your home) helping them with their legislative work. Bob would like to see sustainable jobs in our county using our God-given natural resources and at the same time creating a well-managed ecosystem that is sustainable for future generations.

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Fred Norman

Director, Onalaska resident, retired Forest Service Engineer

Fred Norman's family homesteaded in Napavine, WA and they have been involved in forestry ever since they planted their 100 acres tree farm in 1910. Fred grew up working on his family's shake mill near Mt. St Helens and has a degree in Forestry from Centralia College and a BS in Logging Engineering from UW. Fred worked in engineering for Scott Paper, at Dwyer Lumber, worked for 10 years for Crown Zellerback as a Forest Engineer, and spent 10 years in a lumber remanufacturing plant and sawmill. Finally, Fred spent 15 years with the USFS in Ketchikan, AK before returning to the Pacific Northwest.   ​ Fred appreciates the opportunity to be a part of the Pinchot Partners.  His family has earned their livelihood from the forest, including the GPNF, and associated mills for as many generations as can be traced back. Fred feels a vested interest in the forest and in the employment it provides to those who continue to work in the woods and mills.

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Matt Comisky

At-Large Officer, WA Manager for American Forest Resource Council

Matt was born and raised in Seattle, but he enjoyed the woods from an early age through camping, hiking, and eventually exploring the backroads of western Washington in his Toyota Land Cruiser. The love of the outdoors led him to a B.S. in Forest Engineering from the University of Washington. He spent the first 15 years of his career in private industry providing engineering, forestry, construction management, and real estate services to both large and small private landowners. Prior to joining AFRC, he worked for the Washington State DNR as an engineer where he managed a variety of duties, including road and stream crossing design, road maintenance projects, and served as the lead engineer during the 2007 Windstorm salvage project. One of his favorite tasks was mentoring new foresters on road and logging systems layout for timber sales. Matt also is a graduate of Class 31 of the Washington Agriculture and Forestry Leadership program.

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Anjolene Ngari

At-Large Officer, Hampton Lumber

Anjolene began her natural resources career path working for the Washington and California Conservation Corps and the Conversation Volunteers Australia, where her love of the outdoors grew exponentially with each adventure. Next, she pursued a job with the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) on the forestry crew in eastern Washington. She later took on the role of planning and environmental coordinator, leading field office NEPA teams, developing resource management plans, and serving as a facilitator for the Spokane District. While working for the BLM, Anjolene earned her Bachelor of Environmental Studies and Master of Natural Resources degrees. ​Anjolene started with Hampton Lumber Collaborative Forestry in 2018, and she enjoys working with forestry managers across the state. She also joined the Pinchot Partners in 2018, as Hampton recognizes the importance of community-led collaboration and the benefits of working together to find common sense solutions to forest management issues across the state. In her spare time, Anjolene enjoys traveling to new places, music and dancing, hunting sunshine, being on or near the water, and chasing after her eleven nieces and nephews.

Staff

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Janene Ritchie

Executive Director

Janene's professional background includes diverse experiences in environmental education in academic, municipal, and nonprofit sectors. Janene has enjoyed pivoting her skills to collaborative forest health work, and is committed to building positive and effective relationships among various stakeholders within the region. Janene holds a Master of Science in Environmental Policy & Planning from Ohio University and has over a decade of experience in nonprofit administration and leadership. Janene lives in Vancouver, WA with her spouse and three children. Originally from the Midwest, they all enjoy exploring the forests, mountains, oceans, book stores, and coffee shops of the Pacific Northwest.

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Constance Mears

Communications Coordinator

Constance is a writer, an artist and a communications professional.

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The Pinchot Partners are heartbroken to bear the news that our colleague, and more importantly beloved friend, Pete Krabbe, died in a motorcycle crash Thursday, June 1.

His disarming warmth, his humble ways, his voracious curiosity to learn more and be involved will be missed. His passing has left a gaping hole in our hearts. 

"Pinchot Pete" was a long-time member of the Pinchot Partners board, the Gifford Pinchot National Forest (GPNF) Advisory Committee, and the Lewis County Water Alliance. 
A former mill owner, trucker, road builder, and artist, Pete lived in Randle since 1986.

Link to article in the Chronicle.

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