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Our Team

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

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GAIL SNYDER,
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR


MIKE TAYLOR,
PRESIDENT


GLENN VAN CISE,
TREASURER


ED HUGHES,
SECRETARY


DICK LINFORD,
BOARD MEMBER


NANCY RICHARDS,
BOARD MEMBER


DIANA LEE,
BOARD MEMBER


LISA WINDOM,
BOARD MEMBER


BROOKE COPELAND,
BOARD MEMBER

ADVISORY COUNCIL

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JACKIE DINGFELDER, ADVISORY COUNCIL


MIKE WEBER, ADVISORY COUNCIL


RANDY WALSH, ADVISORY COUNCIL


DALTON MILLER-JONES, ADVISORY COUNCIL

ADDITIONAL SUPPORT

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SAM BANGO,
INTERN

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GAIL SNYDER
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

With its sparse desert and snowy peaks, Central Oregon resonates profoundly with Gail’s Australian roots. Her deep love of place and community derive from her childhood as a minister’s daughter.

At 17, Gail spent a year in Japan as an exchange student, and after a year of university in Australia (during which she focused on rock climbing and back country skiing, neither part of any curriculum), she dropped out of college to go exploring.

During that period, Gail worked on a prawn trawler and harvested potatoes in Western Australia, and worked the tobacco harvest in Ontario, Canada. With her American husband (whom she met on a trail in New Zealand), she hitchhiked through Australia, North America, and Mexico, and rode on a train that derailed near the Mexico/Guatemala border. They slept in farmers’ fields, were welcomed into strangers’ homes on many occasions, and one time hunkered down on a picnic bench in Washington.

In Colorado, Gail earned two degrees in physical geography. Her work on Pikes Peak led her into environmental advocacy work and the nonprofit world. She has founded and served as executive director of nonprofits in both the social justice and conservation arenas. Gail has also run political campaigns and worked in Salem as a legislative aide. Before leaving the Portland metro four years ago, she took a break from environmental work and taught English and citizenship to refugees from countries as far spun as Somalia, Eritrea, Iraq, Afghanistan, Bhutan, and Burma.

Gail is a dual citizen and has resided permanently in the US since 1982. She and her husband have two grown kids and two little grandkids. She ran trail ultramarathons for more than 20 years, but now settles for hiking, kayaking, and watching birds at the backyard feeders. Gail is passionate about restoring the Deschutes River.

MIKE TAYLOR
PRESIDENT

As a teenage fly fisherman Mike was captured by the Deschutes. Not because he fell in (which he has on many occasions) but because of its power, beauty and feisty redsides. As a dedicated fly fisherman the Deschutes has been Mike’s home river for over 40 years.

As Mike headed to college in the 70’s (University of Washington), fishing and the Deschutes got pushed to a back burner, but the desire remained and was reignited when he graduated and moved to Oregon to pursue a career in high tech at Tektronix and eventually to helping found several successful software companies. In between electronics and software there was time for occasional fishing trips to Maupin and the lower Deschutes.

A few years ago after purchasing a home on the river near Pringle Falls Mike’s focus shifted to the upper Deschutes where his eyes were opened to the very serious issues faced by the river. Now semi-retired from the world of high tech Mike is committed to restoring, improving and preserving the river’s health. He believes that educating and involving the public is a key component of achieving those goals.

GLENN VAN CISE
TREASURER

35 years experience of being finance director and or treasurer of numerous non profit agencies. Avid cross country skier and rafter. Active conservationist for over 40 years. Past President of the Environmental Center and Central Oregon Audubon Society.

Treasurer Friends of Douglas Fir National Monument
President Environmental Center
40 yrs experience with nonprofits
Avid river recreationist

ED HUGHES
Secretary
During a fairly long career in sales traveling the US, as well as living in several parts of the country, Ed and his wife Debbie finally settled into Bend several years ago, and he retired at the end of 2017. While an outdoors lover enjoying activities such as sailing, hiking and camping, Ed never considered himself a “conservationist”, but certainly followed conservation-mindedness.

While starting to fly fish in 2015, he became acutely aware of the plight of the Deschutes-namely the drastic seasonal swings in flow, and soon found the Coalition early on in its life. Supporting the Coalition as best he could with a rigorous business travel schedule, Ed joined the board in 2018 to participate more actively in the Coalition. Ed still is learning how to be a better fly fisherman, and enjoys travel with Debbie, kayaking and canoeing the waters around Oregon, and trying to decipher the wackiness of their dog, Smokey.

DICK LINFORD
Board Member
Dick is deeply indebted to wild rivers. They gave him a wonderful life for forty-three years.

He was born in Wyoming and was raised there and in New Mexico. He went to California for college and almost never left. His career as a high school teacher was interrupted by a rafting trip down California’s Stanislaus River in 1970. In less than a quarter of a mile, he was hooked on whitewater. He guided for two years and then started his own company—which, at its peak, was running 19 rivers across the west and one in what was then Yugoslavia. His clients ranged from Edward Abbey to George Bush the Elder. (Sort of. It’s a long story.) He served on the board of directors of American Rivers for eight years, and is past president of The Western River Guides Association and America Outdoors, the national organization for outfitters of all kinds. He is also the author/editor/compiler of Halfway to Halfway, an anthology of river stories. He is now retired, living in Bend, and is dedicated to making the Deschutes River wild once again.

NANCY RICHARDS
BOARD MEMBER
Farming has been a big part of Nancy’s life since birth…and in her family for generations. She grew up baling hay and raising cattle on the family farm in the foothills of Mt. Hood. In 1989 she, and husband Marty, made the move to irrigated agriculture in North Unit Irrigation District. They raised their three children on the farm and are thrilled that all three have maintained a connection to the farm. Gary is raising his three daughters on the farm and helps when his busy schedule allows. Katie lives in Portland but often hops in a tractor to lend a hand when she’s in Central Oregon. Kevin returned to the farm in 2013 and is a co-owner of Fox Hollow Ranch. He’s raising his three boys on the farm and expecting twins in the summer, 2019. Fox Hollow Ranch raises vegetable seeds, peppermint oil, Kentucky Bluegrass seed, hay and grain on 640 irrigated acres. Farming continues to be a family affair and irrigation water is the lifeblood that makes all that possible.

In addition to working on the farm and raising kids and grandkids, Nancy runs, bikes, and swims and loves to travel especially if she can find a challenging trail to hike. She has been an active volunteer in the community including a term as chairman of the Willow Creek Watershed Council. She currently represents Jefferson County on the Farm Service Agency County Committee.

Nancy is excited to be part of the collaborative process that is working to restore the Deschutes River while sustaining the supply of irrigation water that is so vital to her farm and family.

DIANA LEE
BOARD MEMBER
Diana joins the Coalition with a deep love of nature, nurtured by her father whose roots were in the Dolomites Mountains of northern Italy. She spent much of her New York state childhood exploring The Hundred Acre Wood with its successional fields and lake. She founded the Tom Girl club for those who loved the outdoors and didn’t fit into the image of the retiring young woman. Shimmying trees, exploratory hikes, and picnic lunches in the lakeside pine grove were popular activities.

After becoming an avid hiker (Nepal!), she took a break to raise four children. Having loved the meager kayaking she’d been exposed to, she decided to go all in and buy a kayak, rationalizing that just four sessions with a shrink would equal one kayak, PFD, and paddle. She soon realized she needed a more intensive, almost in-patient stint in the psyche hospital of the Great Swamp in New York – her refuge along with the mink, beaver, otter, blue herons, and their ilk. In deep gratitude for amazing spiritual and psychological services, she signed up as a board member with Friends of the Great Swamp (FrOGS), organizing river-based fundraisers, overhauling an antiquated website, setting up a social media presence, email newsletter, and more!

New York and New England saw her playing in many and varied rivers. She became the trip planner for her informal network of friends as well as hosting the monthly Full Moon Paddle. Besides adventuring, her summers were happily spent as an outdoor educator doing her best to infect young children with the love of nature. She came up with the idea of kayaking in all fifty states; that has been in progress for two semi-nomadic years while making the transition to living full-time in Sisters, Oregon. Alaska is soon to be crossed-off her list!

LISA WINDOM
BOARD MEMBER

Raised in the Colorado foothills of the Rocky Mountains, Lisa’s passion for natural resource stewardship was inevitable. As a driver for innovation, she saw no better place to bring change than from within water utilities, industry, and agriculture (those who have the greatest impact on water quality and quantity in our world). After getting her Bachelor of Science in Chemistry from Colorado State University, she supported water quality program development in recycled water plants, breweries, and potable water plants of the high Rockies. But she wanted to go bigger. She wanted to help agriculture catch up to the technology available and to meet the necessary conservation goals we have today. This passion brought her to Oregon State University, to her graduate studies in both Soil Science and Water Resource Science, and to North Unit Irrigation District (NUID). Here lies the nexus of agriculture, water management, and natural resource stewardship. With the grace of her partners (such as Coalition for the Deschutes) and the supportive involvement from the NUID/agricultural community, she has brought reality to many conservation projects and seeks to keep the momentum going.

Roles and affiliations:
Special Projects Coordinator, North Unit Irrigation District
Master’s Student, Crop and Soil Science/Water Resource Science, Oregon State University
Co-Chair, Middle Deschutes Watershed Council
Board Member, Jefferson County Weed Advisory Committee
Advisor to Board of Directors, Jefferson County Soil and Water Conservation District
Member, Central Oregon Womxn in Conservation

BROOKE COPELAND
BOARD MEMBER

Director of Art, Copeland Gallery
Producer, Adventure Calls with Chad Copeland
Chair, Art Auction and Wine Event, Sunriver Women’s Club

I grew up on a crop farm with my entire extended family, my father, grandmother and grandfather and both my aunts. I spent many summers on a tractor, swathing hay, picking beans, hoeing tomatoes, moving pipe, just to name a few of my many summer jobs. A memory that has always stayed with me is seeing my father and grandfather walking through the fields running their hands through the dirt, determining the exact time that they needed to utilize water for irrigation. At a very young age, I learned the importance of water conservation. In the early summer our rivers were high and flowing. All of our swimming holes were deep, and we could not wait to take a plunge after a hard day’s work. By end of summer we saw our river flows lessen, and our water holes dissipate, and it was understood that this sacrifice of our river flows was for our livelihood, our farms and our community. Because of our rivers – our greatest asset – we were able to put food directly in our communities’ hands. Fresh-picked corn on the cob, tomatoes, cucumbers and a large variety of melons, some of the best in the country. Being an intricate part of that farm to table process made all the hard work and sacrifice worth it.

Jackie has more 30 years of environmental planning and policy experience in the private, non-profit, and public sectors. She earned her PhD in Public Policy and Affairs at Portland State University in the Hatfield School of Government. In 2016, she served as a 2016 Ian Axford/Fulbright public policy fellow researching freshwater reforms and indigenous water rights in New Zealand.

From 2013-2016, Jackie served as the Environmental and Planning Policy Director for Portland Mayor Charlie Hales. Prior to joining Mayor Hales’ staff, Jackie worked as Executive Director for River Restoration Northwest, Watershed Program Manager at For the Sake of the Salmon, Tualatin River Watershed Coordinator, and as an environmental planning consultant in private sector for over a decade and half.

Jackie served in elected public office from 2001-2013 in both the Oregon House and Senate where she chaired the House Energy and Environment Committee and the Senate Environment and Natural Resources Committee. During her tenure, she also served on Senate Judiciary, Ways and Means, Consumer Protection, Transportation, Agriculture and Natural Resources, Audits, and Water Committees.

Jackie has a Master’s degree in Regional Planning with an emphasis on Water Resources Management from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, and a Bachelor’s Degree in Geography-Ecosystems Management from the University of California, Los Angeles. She completed her PhD dissertation on Integrated Water Resources Management in spring 2017.

MIKE WEBER
ADVISORY COUNCIL

Mike Weber is the managing partner of Central Oregon Seeds, Inc (COSI). Mike has a BS in Soil Science from New Mexico State and an MS in Plant Nutrition and Soil Fertility from OSU. He is very involved in his community, including having served on the Mountain View Hospital Board of Directors, Madras Elementary School Site Committee, and Jefferson County’s Economic Development Board.

In 2006, Mike received an Oregon State University College of Ag Science Hall of Fame Award, and in 2013 he received a Distinguishing Service Award from Oregon Farm Bureau.

COSI is a top-quality seed producer specializing in contract production with ~35 local farmers to multiply proprietary varieties of turfgrass and hybrid carrot seed for domestic and international seed companies around the world. COSI is the key producer of hybrid carrot seed in the world with a market share of 35-40% of the world’s needs.

RANDY WALSH
ADVISORY COUNCIL

National Wilderness Stewardship Alliance Executive Director
Retired from the US Forest Service after a 36-year career
Randy spent time in Washington DC as the National Program Leader for Wild and Scenic Rivers and as Assistant Director of Recreation, Heritage and Volunteer Resources. He was a Regional Wilderness Specialist in the Intermountain Region working on wilderness and rivers issues for over 16 years before moving to Washington. Randy is married with two grown daughters and two grandkids. He lives in Bend and enjoys river trips, wilderness hikes, and visits with friends and family.

DALTON MILLER-JONES, P.HD.
ADVISORY COUNCIL

Dalton received his master's in Experimental Psychology from Tufts University in 1965 and doctorate in Developmental Psychology from Cornell University in 1973. Miller-Jones has taught at Cornell where he helped establish the Africana Studies and Research Center. In addition, he has taught at the University of Massachusetts, and Williams College. He moved to the City University of New York's Graduate School in 1984 where he subsequently served as Deputy Executive Officer for the Ph.D. program in Psychology and as Head of the Developmental Psychology subprogram. He has been a Professor of Psychology at Portland State University since 1991, where he also served as Vice Provost for Academic Affairs for three years.

Dalton's research is on the impact of culture on development and learning and reasoning, especially for African American children. He has studied reading acquisition and teacher's attitudes and responses to speakers of Black English during reading instruction. He is beginning work in the area of identity and learning with special emphasis on mathematics and science.

SAM BANGO
INTERN

Growing up in rural Southern Oregon, Sam spent most of her time exploring the natural world and gained a deep appreciation for the outdoors. Spending two years traveling in South America, she learned Spanish in Peru, Portuguese in Brazil, and discovered a love of rock climbing.

Through travels internationally, Sam took note of the vast impact humans are having on our environment, including Peruvian glaciers that have receded up to 40% since the 1970s. Motivated to make a change, Sam returned to the United States to study Natural Resources at Oregon State University. As a student, Sam is most passionate about learning how communities are motivated to take meaningful sustainability actions. Currently, Sam is an intern with Coalition for the Deschutes, Co-Chair of the Surfrider Bend Chapter, and involved in many clubs and conservation organizations.