Meet Our Speakers

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Matt Carmichael

As the editor of Livability.com, one of the nation’s premier ratings and rankings organizations for livable cities, Matt Carmichael will tee up the Bend Livability Conference as keynote speaker. Matt is a seasoned journalist, author and speaker who specializes in demographics, consumer trends, and urban issues. At Livability.com he focuses on what makes small and mid-sized cities great places to live and work. He is the author of “Buyographics: How demographic and economic changes will reinvent the way marketers reach consumers.” He has been awarded top honors in journalism and his work has appeared in more than 100 media outlets globally.

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Phil Cooper

Dr. Phil Cooper is a professor at Portland State University where he educates on a variety of topics including local government policy issues. He is a frequent advisor to congressional committees on issues of constitutional powers and rights, with particular interest in presidential powers, separation of powers, and checks and balances. He has served as a consultant to the United Nations and the World Bank on sustainable development administration. He has also been a consultant to local governments, state and federal agencies, the U.S. Congress, and the White House.

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Eric King

Eric King began his career in local government working for the City of Portland. In his 10 years there, he worked on a variety of projects and programs focusing on economic development and program management. He began working for the City of Bend as Assistant City Manager in April, 2007 and accepted the position of City Manager in May, 2008.

Eric was born and raised in Madison, Wisconsin. He has a Masters Degree in Urban and Regional Planning and a Graduate Certificate in Real Estate Development from Portland State University. Eric has been a volunteer with SMART which promotes early childhood literacy, serves on the Visit Bend Board, is a Board member of the Oregon City/County Managers’ Association, and also serves on the KIDS Center Board.

Eric loves Bend for its scenic beauty, the multitude of outdoor activities it offers, and most importantly, he and his wife Martha believe Bend is an ideal place to raise their two young children.

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Matt Kittelson

Matt has a wide range of experience related to long-range planning, travel demand modeling, site impact assessment, and conceptual intersection design. He has worked in a number of states serving both public and private clients. He is active in a number of professional organizations, most notably serving as the secretary of the Unsignalized Intersection Subcommittee of the Highway Capacity and Quality of Service Committee within the Transportation Research Board (TRB)

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Heather Flint Chatto

Heather Flint Chatto is an urban planner and co-founder of the Division Design Initiative, a grassroots project in Portland to empower neighborhoods with a greater voice in local planning through design tools, community engagement and policy advocacy. The project recently earned her an award by the DJC as one of Oregon’s Top 25 “Women of Vision”.

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Linda Nettekoven

Linda Nettekoven is a community activist with extensive experience, both professional and volunteer, in public health, planning and community engagement. Prior to her current involvement with the Division Design Initiative her work has taken her to a variety of settings from urban inner cities to small towns and rural areas.

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Heather Hoell

Heather Hoell is the executive director of Venture Portland where she has represents neighborhood businesses on a dozen committees and task forces and promotes business disricts at the local, state and national level. In 2010, Heather returned home to Oregon after 12 years in California where, most recently, she director the Yerba Buena Alliance, a membership organization serving San Francisco’s dynamic and diverse Yerba Buena neiighborhood business district. Prior to joining the Yerba Buena community, Heather spend 10 years in politics, running several congressional campaigns across the country and directing public affairs and political activities in 13 northern California counties for a non-profit. Heather has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Rhetoric and Media Studies from Willamette University.

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Theresa Marchetti

Theresa Marchetti has worked for the City of Portland’s Office of Neighborhood Involvement for eight years in the Livability Center, and currently manages the Livability Programs including; the Marijuana Policy Program, Liquor Licensing, Graffiti Abatement, Noise Control, and coordinates a grant with Resolutions Northwest to provide community mediation and facilitation services. The Livability team utilizes a number of tools to address quality of life concerns under their umbrella, from informal problem solving to formal enforcement of regulations and response to nuisance activity. Theresa hold a Master’s of Science in Criminology with an emphasis is research methodology from Portland State University. She has focused predominantly on environmental factors that affect the community at a neighborhood level, targeting the importance of community engagement to foster strong protective factors against community level harm.

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Cricket Kadoch

Cricket Kadoch has worked as the Community Liaison for Brookswood Meadow Plaza in Southwest Bend for over five years, facilitating communications and implementing initiatives linking its businesses, neighborhood and homeowners associations, schools, public agencies, and community members. A graduate of UC Davis, Cricket has been a small business owner and has been passionately raising her two sons in Central Oregon for over a decade. She is in her sixth year as an active member of the Southwest Bend Neighborhood Association and has served on the Neighborhood Association Round Table and other community groups.

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Brian Rankin

Brian T. Rankin has been a private and public sector planner and project manager in Central Oregon since 1996. He is currently the Long-range Planning Manager for the City of Bend managing the Bend Urban Growth Boundary expansion project, a variety of transportation and infrastructure projects, and a fantastic planning staff. He was the Planning Director for the City of Sisters, and has led private consulting projects ranging from wind power farms, to school siting and facility plans, and needs assessments for senior citizens. Brian graduated from University of California at Davis with a B.S. in Environmental Policy Analysis and Planning.

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Kenny LaPointe

Kenny LaPoint, Housing Integrator for Oregon Housing and Community Services, has over 13 years of housing and community development experience. Prior to his service with the State of Oregon, Mr. LaPoint spent nearly six years as the Housing and Resident Services Director for Housing Works in Central Oregon. Mr. LaPoint also served for three years as a Homeownership Counselor for NeighborImpact. Other prior service includes Co-Chair of Central Oregon’s Homeless Leadership Coalition; Neighborhood Partnership’s Board of Directors, Community Advisory Council member for Central Oregon’s Coordinated Care Organization and a founding member of Icon City, a Central Oregon non-profit organization.

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Andrew Spreadborough

Andrew has served as COIC’s executive director since March of 2013, providing leadership and strategic direction for the agency. Since assuming the executive director role, Andrew has led the organization and COIC’s board through a strategic planning process, helped broker a collaborative partnership to expand CET services in Bend, and guided the organization through a major restructuring of Oregon’s workforce development system and transition to the new East Cascades Workforce Investment Board. Andrew has been with COIC since 1998 serving in a variety of roles and positions, including three years as COIC’s Community and Economic Development Manager. Major accomplishments during Andrew’s time at COIC include playing a key role in the development and launch of Cascades East Transit in 2006, leading a coalition to improve the region’s telecommunications infrastructure in the early 2000’s, and providing regional leadership in developing an innovative, collaborative approach to developing a regional supply of large industrial properties in Central Oregon. He has a successful track record in project development, grant writing, grant administration, and regional board facilitation and support. Prior to his tenure at COIC, Andrew worked for five years at NeighborImpact on housing and homelessness issues. Andrew was named by Oregon Business Magazine as one of the state’s “Leaders of the Pack, 20 young Oregonians who are making things happen” in 2001, and was named “Public Sector Person of the Year” in the Central Oregon region by Economic Development for Central Oregon in 2009. Andrew is a graduate of Oregon State University.

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Kirk Schueler

Kirk Schueler is President and CEO of Brooks Resources, one of Central Oregon’s premier residential, commercial and industrial developers. He has served in a variety of executive leadership roles in the health care industry and is currently on the boards of the Bend Foundation, Mt. Bachelor Sports Education Foundation and Oregon State University.

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Ellen Grover

A member of the Bend Parks and Recreation board of directors, Ellen and her husband moved to Bend in 2005 and have enjoyed its lifestyle and community ever since. Now with two school-aged children, she and her family enjoy the many parks and recreational programs the District offers. Ellen is also a practicing attorney with the law firm Karnopp Petersen—with a focus on complex local and regional land use, energy and natural resource matters. Ellen has served on numerous local, regional and statewide boards, and joins the District Board with a commitment to its mission and the critical role it plays in Bend’s quality of life.

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Nori Juba

Nori Juba has been a member of the Board of Directors for Bend- La Pine Schools since 2005 and is currently serving as Chairman for the Board. Juba is actively involved in local and state level work to support education. He currently serves on The Board of Directors for AVID, the Construction Committee and is a part of the planning committees for building new schools, OSBA Finance Committee and the Chalkboard Advisory Council. Juba has previously been appointed by the Governor to serve on the Oregon Education Investment Team, Higher Education Coordinating Commission and the Accelerated Learning Committee. Juba is a parent of two, and during the past years on the school board he has continuously fought for what he believes is right for children. As a board member, Juba is proud of the work done by Bend-La Pine Schools to raise student achievement despite declining resources. He is committed to building relationships, encouraging rigor and rethinking relevance in educating our children.

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Lynne McConnell

Lynne currently serves as NeighborImpact’s Deputy Director of Housing and Assets in Bend, Oregon. She holds a BA in Sociology from the University of Oregon and a JD from Lewis and Clark. Lynne has accrued a wide spectrum of experience including working for Outward Bound as a wilderness guide, to lawyering with a pro bono emphasis in Portland, to operations manager (i.e. cowgirl) for a remote ranch in Northern California, and believes in jumping in to each opportunity wholeheartedly. A dynamic speaker, Lynne enjoys facilitating groups and working to build teams. Above all, she views compassion as her defining pursuit. She has an extensive volunteer history, currently serving on the Residential Advisory Committee to the Bend urban growth boundary expansion and on the Central Oregon City Club programs committee, among others. She has amassed a variety of awards including work in mentoring, serving her clients with enthusiasm, and business accomplishment. She can often be found digging in her garden, cooking for a crowd, or exploring the wilds near her home in Bend, Oregon, with her family in tow.

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Damon Runberg

Damon Runberg is a state economist with the Oregon Employment Department covering the 10 counties along the east slope of the Cascades from the Columbia Gorge down to the Klamath Basin. He calculates the monthly employment and unemployment estimates for the area’s counties; additionally Damon tracks various economic indicators critical to the region’s economy. He writes prolifically and regularly gives presentations on the state of the local economy. Damon received his Master of Public Policy from Oregon State University (Corvallis) where he specialized in econometric analysis and natural resource economics. Before that he received his undergraduate from Gonzaga University. Damon is a native Oregonian having lived in Beaverton, the Rogue Valley, Corvallis, and now Bend for the past 5 years.

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Wendy Robinson

Wendy Robinson is a Senior Planner for the City of Bend in the Growth Management Department. Wendy joined the City in 1989 and has over 30-years of professional planning experience. In her 27 year tenure with the City of Bend, Wendy has worked on many complex projects including the 2006 re-write of the Bend Development Code, the Bend Central District MMA, the Bend Urban Growth Boundary Expansion and most recently the Central Westside Plan Part 1. She especially enjoys working on special projects like the recently adopted Cottage Housing Development Code and associated Affordable Housing Incentives. Wendy is also an International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) Certified Arborist and has been a board member of the Pacific Northwest Chapter of ISA since 2008.

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DeeDee Johnson

As the Family Services Manager with Bend Area Habitat for Humanity since September of 2010, DeeDee has worked with families, community resource agencies and program mentors. In her role she serves to guide the family selection process (from financial underwriting to home visits to program selection), and education of families on successful homeownership. She also enjoys the Global Village International build trips with Habitat (who wouldn’t!)

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Jesse Russell

For the past decade, Jesse Russell has worked as a television producer in New York and Los Angeles. In 2014, he felt it was time to return to his roots and his hometown of Bend, Oregon. When he arrived home, he found the city in an affordable housing crisis. Gone were the days of the 100K home. In an effort to solve this problem, he started Tongue and Groove Tiny Homes. He is now producing tiny homes, tiny taverns and working on a cottage housing development.

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Andrée Tremoulet

Andrée brings enthusiasm and a sense of humor to the groups she facilitates. With more than 25 years of professional housing planning experience and a 2010 Ph.D. in urban studies, she offers clients both seasoned judgment and connection to the flow of ideas from the academy. She helps groups wrestle with complex problems and messy information to create coherent, actionable products.

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Tammy Baney

Tammy was born in Salem, Oregon, raised in Deschutes County, and attended Central Oregon Community College and the University of Phoenix. Her professional background is in business management and real estate sales/investments. She is honored to have been selected for her work in health care reform as an Oregon Statesman of the Year by the Oregon Business Association. Commissioner Baney’s public service includes the Deschutes County Commission on Children & Families; Deschutes County Local Public Safety Coordinating Council; and the Family Law Advisory Committee. She was appointed by Governor Kulongoski to serve on the 7 member Oregon Housing Stability Council (formerly Oregon Housing and Community Services) in 2010 and by Governor Kitzhaber to serve on the 5 member Oregon Transportation Commission in 2011. She continues to serve on the Council under Governor Kate Brown and is now the Chair of the Oregon Transportation Commission. A dedicated community member, Commissioner Baney has volunteered with many community and non-profit organizations. She has served as a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA); Foster Parent; Habitat for Humanity Board Member; Founding Member, Family Access Network Foundation; and Co-Founder of the Deschutes County Meth Action Coalition. Commissioner Baney enjoys spending time with her daughter Addy and 3 grown foster daughters. In her free time, Baney enjoys wine tasting, craft beer, cooking, reading and enjoying all that the beautiful Central Oregon landscape has to offer.

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Richard Ross

Richard N. Ross, AICP, chairs the Regional Public Transit Advisory Committee, Cascades East Transit. He has 30 years experience in managing community planning and developing multi-modal transportation systems in Oregon. Richard chairs the Policy Subcommittee of the Oregon Chapter, American Planning Assn. He, his wife Barb, and border collie Rim live in a 1919 home close to Downtown Bend.

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Nathan Boddie

Nathan Boddie was elected to Bend City Council November 2014. Like many of us, he chose Bend for its unbeatable quality of life. As both a physician at Mosaic Medical and member of Bend City Council, he works on improving the health of our community. “I have the privilege and responsibility of helping my patients recover as quickly as possible and get back to their lives. In my work on Council, I try to ensure the health of local business too and help citizens have an affordable, healthy, sustainable place to call home. Join me in working to ensure a livable, and prosperous community in Bend,” said Dr. Boddie.

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Chris Comeau

Chris Comeau will offer a variety of consulting services to community groups over the Project weekend and will assist in presenting two workshops on the future of Bend’s transportation system during the Bend Livability Conference. Chris is the City of Bellingham’s Transportation Planner and has over 22 years of professional land use and transportation planning experience. Chris has been instrumental in transforming Bellingham’s transportation policy approach from predominantly auto-oriented to one of the most multimodel-oriented jurisdictions in the Northwest.

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Robin Lewis

Robin Lewis works on multimodal infrastructure and safety projects for the City of Bend in the Growth Management Department. Through a series of Citywide Safety Projects she is working to make getting around town more safe, comfortable and inviting. Several run off the road and pedestrian crossing projects are using the traditional design then construct approach. However, the city is beginning to utilize hands-on field demonstrations using the latest Tactical Urbanism techniques. Learn more at the www.saferbydesignbend.com website which is set to begin in early June 2016.

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Derek Abe

Derek Abe is a Senior Planner at Alta Planning + Design, a national transportation planning and engineering, and landscape architecture firm working to create healthy, livable communities through active transportation. He has a background in mechanical engineering, environmental science and urban planning and has experience working for a wide range of agencies in the Portland region including the regional government and regional transit agency. He joined Alta Planning and Design in 2012 and has since contributed his skills in research and data analysis, technical writing, GIS and design on an array of projects including bicycle and pedestrian master plans, transit access plans, policy reviews, design guides, and experimental facility studies. For the last two years, Derek has been working with the City of Bend to design, plan and implement citywide safety improvement projects throughout the city, including a series of upcoming demonstration projects that will allow us to explore innovative streetscape enhancements that will make our streets safer, more comfortable, and attractive public places.

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Chet Orloff

In addition to managing the Pamplin International Collection and the virtual Museum of the City, Orloff teaches urban studies, history, and planning at Portland State University and the UofO School of Architecture. He has served as the director of the Oregon Historical Society as well as a commissioner on the Portland Planning, Landmarks, and Arts & Culture commissions, as well as the Portland Parks Board, Parks Foundation, and numerous other city, state, national, and international boards and committees in history, planning, and museums. He recently chaired Portland’s Central City 2035 Plan Citizens Advisory Committee.

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Steven Ames

Steven Ames is a consulting long-range planner and principal of Steven Ames Planning and NXT Consulting Group of Bend and Portland, Oregon. Author of the American Planning Association’s A Guide to Community Visioning, Steven works with communities in the U.S. and abroad in planning for the future. He is a contributor to APA’s reference work Planning and Urban Design Standards and a recipient of Oregon APA’s Award for Distinguished Leadership by a Professional Planner. Steven was the first Craig Byrne Fellow of the Orton Family Foundation for whom he authored Stewarding the Future of Our Communities, a study of what sustains good planning and engagement and small cities and towns. Steven holds degrees from Drew University and the University of Michigan, and has studied with faculty of the London School of Economics.

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Douglas Robertson

Douglas Robertson is the Executive Director & Founder of the High Desert Mural Festival. He is an artist with over 25 years of fine art production in the mediums of painting, drawing, & ceramics. Douglas is a graduate of the University of Oregon with a degree in Fine Arts. He lives in Bend with his wife & daughter.

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David Amiton

David Amiton is the new Active Transportation Liaison for Region 4 of the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT-speak for Central Oregon), where he is tasked with assembling the region’s Active Transportation Needs Inventory and developing its first Active Transportation Plan. Prior to his role at ODOT, David lived in Seattle and contributed to a variety of transportation efforts, including serving as a Transportation Planner for the University of Washington, developing a nation-wide employee transportation program for Amazon’s distribution center network, sitting on the board of directors for Pronto Cycle Share, and serving on the City of Seattle’s Pedestrian Advisory Board. David is a graduate of Portland State University’s Master of Urban and Regional Planning program and lives in Bend with his partner and their dog and cat. When he’s not on a bicycle, David passes the time rock climbing in the sun and skiing in the snow.

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Kate Fitzpatrick

Kate develops and implements collaborative strategies to restore water to the rivers and streams of the Deschutes Basin. She coordinates the Basin Study Work Group, a multi-stakeholder collaborative managing a $1.5 Million study to meet water needs in our rivers and community over the next 50 years . Kate joined the DRC team in 2004. She has a BA in Geology from Colgate University and a MS in Collaborative Natural Resource Management from the University of Oregon. When not working, Kate can be found exploring rivers, lakes and snow, with her two boys in tow.

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Amy Tinderholt

Amy Tinderholt Is the Deputy District Ranger for the Bend-Fort Rock Ranger District on the Deschutes National Forest. She spent 14 years as a recreation planner and program manager on the Deschutes and Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forests. She graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Renewable Natural Resources from the University of Arizona.

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Knute Buehler

Representative Knute Buehler is a doctor, small business owner, inventor, civic leader, husband and father. He represents Bend in the Oregon House of Representatives (District 54) because he believes in public service, helping people solve problems and improving our quality of life.
A native Oregonian, Knute grew up in Roseburg and earned a degree in microbiology from Oregon State University in 1986. At OSU, he played baseball and was the university’s first Rhodes Scholar. After attending Oxford University from 1988 to 1990, where he studied politics and economics, Knute earned his medical degree from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in 1991. While at Johns Hopkins, Knute met Patty – his wife of 24 years. Patty is an eye surgeon in Bend. Patty and Knute have two children – Owen and Hannah.
As a surgeon, Knute has improved people’s lives, replacing more than 5,000 hips and knees. He helped build The Center, a patient-focused Orthopedic and Neurosurgery care facility in Bend that includes 34 medical providers and 180 employees.

Knute has also served as an adjunct professor with the Oregon State University School of Public Health and as a medical device consultant to public and private entities around the world. He has published more than 20 scientific papers and book chapters and lectured extensively in the U.S. and internationally on the topic of medical research, product development and computer-assisted surgery.

As a civic leader, Knute serves on the budget committee for the Bend-La Pine School District and on the board of the Ford Family Foundation, Oregon State University Foundation and the St. Charles Health System. He previously served on the board of OSU-Cascades Campus, St. Charles Health System Foundation, Oregon Orthopedic Association, Central Oregon Medical Society and High Desert Museum.

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Rory Rowan

Rory Rowan manages the design and construction of a variety of projects for the City of Bend benefiting accessibility, walking and biking. With degrees in urban planning and civil engineering, Rory has previously worked for multiple government agencies and private consultants on active transportation infrastructure.

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Nathan Moses

Nathan Moses is the Community Outreach Coordinator for OSU-Cascades. His primary role is to assist in implementing community engagement events and communications to support the long range development plan for the campus. Nathan transitioned to OSU-Cascades in November of 2015 after serving as a Residence Life Coordinator at the University of California, Davis for nine years. In his role at UC-Davis, Nathan specialized in serving the residential student population through major event planning, leadership skill development and strengthening the residence life program for the Office of Student Development.

While his original undergraduate passions lead him to complete his degree in biology and computer science at Franklin College (Franklin, IN), he explored a career in student affairs through the Master of Arts in Education (Student Affairs) program at the University of the Pacific (Stockton, CA).
Nathan is the father of two children attending Bend LaPine schools and serves as an assistant coach for Bend North Little League. He hopes to continue building connections in Central Oregon in hopes of serving the community in new volunteer capacities in the future.

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Kelly Sparks

Kelly Sparks is the Associate Vice President of Finance and Strategic Planning for OSU-Cascades. She is leading OSU-Cascades’ effort to build the branch campus in Bend. In collaboration with the leadership team, Kelly is focused on the long range strategic plan, physical infrastructure and financial health of OSU-Cascades. Kelly transitioned to OSU-Cascades in May, 2013, from her role as Associate Dean for Finance and Operations at the University of Oregon, School of Law. In her role at the law school, she served the students, faculty and staff as the head of finance, human resources, information technology and building operations and maintenance.

Prior to her time in higher education, Kelly served as the founding Executive Director for a non-profit in Washington State. However, the majority of her career was spent in the private sector in various strategic planning, project management and financial planning roles at Coach Leatherware, PriceWaterhouseCoopers and as a Vice President for Finance and Strategic Planning at Nordstrom.
Outside of work, Kelly is the mother to four children attending Bend LaPine schools and serves on the Bend 2030 Board, the Cascade School of Music Advisory Board and the Century West Neighborhood Association Board.

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Shimiko Montgomery

Shimiko is a Presbyterian minister serving as the Associate Pastor at Bend Church. Her work involves listening to and supporting those experiencing homelessness and, in solidarity with them, advocating and organizing strategically to change policies and structures that cause homelessness. After undergraduate studies in public policy at Georgia State University, she pursued a Master of Divinity at Princeton Seminary with interdisciplinary studies in public policy at Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School. She is a member of the Homeless Leadership Coalition and is active in the Bend community in addressing social, racial, and gender inequality as root causes of poverty.

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Mike Ross

Mike opened Natural Edge Furniture in 2010 and plays a vital role in every aspect of the business. He’s been spotted doing everything from hauling fallen trees to writing and producing a local television ad. Mike spent a lot of time with his Grandfather and Dad building, fixing, and tinkering. After school Mike spent many years learning his craft by working at multiple furniture and cabinet companies.

Mike really enjoys the ‘producer to consumer aspect’ of his business as well as the environmental friendliness. As the Founder of Bends Makers District and an Orchard District Board Member, Mike is heavily invested in building sustainable inter-connected community in Bend.

Besides being an entrepreneur and community builder Mike enjoys anything outdoors, traveling the world and eating great food (especially tacos!) He is a white water guide for friends and family and his snappy sense of humor is always getting him in trouble. Watch out for his story about the psychic and the German Shepherd.

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Anne George

Anne E. George is a facilitator, mediator, and public involvement professional here in Central Oregon. She facilitates meetings and collaborative decision making processes for organizations, businesses, and government. She also mediates workplace, organization, neighborhood, public policy, and community issues. Her work is focused on helping individuals and groups identify and implement creative solutions to personal, organizational, and community concerns.

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Annie Goldner

Annie Goldner chose to relocate to Bend 14 years ago after 27 years with her 3 children in Washington, DC. She has been an RN, owned several businesses and owns and operates a B&B on Bend’s west side. Her experience as chair of the River West Neighborhood Assoc. from 2004 to 2012, has fed her passion and focus on promoting balanced, diverse and livable neighborhoods believing that cooperation and respect results in a thriving community of mixed use. Annie has contributed to Houses are Homes, Restore Our Neighborhoods and Bend Neighborhood Coalition.

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René Mitchell

After 18 years co-leading tbd, a branding agency, René launched her own boutique creative studio, René Mitchell Creative, combining her experience and passion around creative, cultural and civic change. René brings a unique perspective to the work, informed by decades of creative exploration both professionally and personally, and believes that art has always been one of the greatest tools for challenging perception and creating conversation. René is an arts and culture advocate serving on the Caldera Arts Board, Art in Public Places Board, ScaleHouse Board, and is the visionary of the Bend Design Conference. Though, she gets most of her inspiration from her two young daughters and their creative pursuits.

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Erik Kancler

Erik Kancler is the owner of Kancler Consulting LLC, a Bend-based government relations firm, formed in 2013. Kancler Consulting specializes in working with clients to achieve desired public policy outcomes. Erik’s clients have included entities such as the cities of Bend, Oregon City, and Woodburn, the American Fisheries Society, and NeighborImpact of Central Oregon. Prior to forming Kancler Consulting, Erik worked as a scientist and researcher, journalist, nonprofit director, and as legislative leadership staff in the Oregon Senate. As a decade-plus resident of Central Oregon, his primary focus is on representing public interest and community-level needs within the region.

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Seth Anderson

Seth Anderson graduated magna cum laude from Washington State University in 2002 and became licensed in 2007. His Bend-based firm, Ascent Architecture & Interiors, provides clients with a personalized, thoughtful approach to architecture. In a few short years, Ascent has quickly gained momentum, earning clients’ trust as well as recognition for design excellence. The firm has grown to a 10-person team of talented and experienced architects, design professionals, and interior designers. Seth was one of 12 recipients of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) 2016 Young Architects Award. He serves on the AIA-Oregon Board of Delegates and is a director for the AIA-SW Oregon chapter. Seth believes in supporting emerging professionals, the architecture profession, and the Central Oregon community.

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Katherine Austin

Katherine Austin is an architect in Bend. She received her M. Arch from UCLA and MFA and BFA in painting from Boston University. The focus of her office has been on higher density affordable housing for both private and non-profit developers. Her work ranges from homeless shelters and affordable multifamily apartments to small lot subdivisions and mixed use developments of commercial and residential. Her work has been primarily in the Northern California area however since relocating to Bend she hopes to be involved in meeting the challenges of affordable housing locally. Katherine is a past Mayor and Councilperson of Sebastopol, CA as well as a past Planning Commissioner. She is a past President of the Redwood Empire Chapter of the AIA and a long time USGBC member. Katherine has been an educator and is also the past Chair of the National AIA Housing Committee speaking on Sustainable and Affordable housing in conferences across the country.

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Sally Russell

Mayor Pro Tem Ms. Russell has been a member of the Bend City Council for 4 years. Ms. Russell previously served on the Bend Planning Commission for 8 years, 2 of those as Chair. She has been a resident of Bend since 1984, but she’s been swimming in the high Cascade Mountain lakes since she was a young girl. Sally’s leadership and support in the community has included the Tower Theatre Board of Directors, work on the Deschutes Collaborative Forest Project (focused on restoring Central Oregon forests to more natural fire resilient conditions), Executive Director of the Cascade Festival of Music, she started 2 local mountain bike races, and worked as Director of Marketing for Broken Top Development. Her passions include kiteboarding in the Columbia River Gorge, Nordic skiing on Mt Bachelor, mountain biking, running a community garden and enjoying life with her two daughters, Sophie and Isabelle (Isabelle, 17, is with her today). Ollie the dog makes sure she gets out the door every day for walk, xc ski or mountain bike ride. It’s the Bend life! Sally attended Smith College for her undergraduate studies and earned a MBA in marketing from Portland State University.

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Victor Chudowsky

Victor Chudowsky serves on the Bend City Council. He has also served on a number of city committees, including the budget committee. He and his wife Naomi run TrueScore Consulting, which does research and policy analysis, mostly in education. Prior to that, he worked for a major contractor to the State Department in Washington, DC. He was also an instructor in comparative politics at University of Connecticut, where he received his Ph.D. in political science.

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Rita Hansen

Rita Hansen has more than 30 years of executive management, engineering and operations management, and project management experience in a diverse range of industries including steel manufacturing, building products and electronic components manufacturing, distribution & warehousing, telecommunications and software development. Over the last 10 years, Rita has specialized in startup and early phase environments with an emphasis on domestic and international opportunities in the alternative energy and renewables arena. She is currently the CEO of Onboard Dynamics – a company that is further developing and commercializing natural gas compressor technology licensed from OSU-Cascades that enables vehicle refueling from anywhere there is a low pressure natural gas line. Rita holds a Bachelor of Industrial Engineering degree from University of Washington and over the years has continued her education in the fields of management, mathematics, and education.

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Linda English

Linda is currently a founding member of Looking Forward, which strives to make Bend an even better place to live. She also works on a variety of philanthropic projects including combatting child sex trafficking, growing traded sector businesses in Bend, and providing better support to veterans.

Linda founded the non-profit organization LINGOs — Learning for International NGOs — which provides online learning to 70+ international nonprofits around the world including Save the Children, World Vision, The Nature Conservancy, and Habitat for Humanity.

Linda worked at Save the Children as an eLearning Manager where she deployed an online university for employees. Early in her career, Linda worked at Microsoft in a variety of international marketing positions, including several years at the European, Middle East and Africa HQ where she managed 4% of Microsoft’s revenue for the region. Linda holds a Masters Degree from Syracuse University in Instructional Design with an emphasis in artificial intelligence.
Linda is addicted to the great outdoors: any type of skiing, cycling, paddling, running, pickle ball, etc. She has also coached lacrosse and running.

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Karen Swirsky

Karen Swirsky has been a private and public sector planner and project manager in Central Oregon since 1989. She is currently a Senior Planner at the City of Bend in the Growth Management Department, managing the Central Westside Plan and working on the Urban Growth Boundary Expansion. Karen has worked as a planner for the Oregon Department of Land Conservation and Development, Central Oregon Intergovernmental Council, David Evans and Associates, Inc., and Deschutes County. Karen was the chief author of the national award-winning planning publication called “Main Street, When a Highway Runs Through It.”

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Stacey Stemach

Stacey Stemach is an architect with a passion for design, sustainability and mixed-use, complete neighborhoods. He has been an active member of the community, volunteering for various civic efforts including the City of Bend’s Sewer Infrastructure Advisory Group, the Galveston Avenue Improvement Task Force, the Urban Growth Boundary Technical Advisory Committee, and the ADU Technical Advisory Committee as well as OSU-Cascades Campus Visioning and the Campus Expansion Advisory Committee (CEAC). He is also the chair of Building a Better Bend, a non-profit organization dedicated to bringing experts to Bend to help raise the level of discourse about development and community building in Bend. Stacey and his wife Rachel Stemach have practiced architecture for 17 years (13 in Bend and Central Oregon) and run their own firm, Stemach Design & Architecture.

Heather and Travis Bryan
Heather and Travis Bryan

The Kindness Revolution – Central Oregon, sponsored by Travis Bryan State Farm, was started in Central Oregon in April. Travis Bryan and his wife Heather have two boys ages 11 and 13, and have lived in Oregon for 16 years. Heather, originally from Mississippi, has a B.A in Journalism from the University of Mississippi and is active in the community fundraising for the American Cancer Society and volunteering at the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central Oregon. Travis, a native northwestern, has been a business owner in Bend for eight years. He spends his time officiating high school football and volunteering for various community and state organizations.

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Madeleine Simmons

Madeleine Simmons, a psychiatric nurse practitioner, settled in Bend in 2001. She’s runs her own business, enjoys gardening with her neighbors, and appreciates the importance of connected, respectful, neighborhoods in creating healthy communities.. Madeleine organizes Galveston Neighbors, an organization committed to livability on the Westside, served on the Central Westside Plan Community Advisory Committee, and is on the Board of the Bend Neighborhood Coalition. She’s an avid skier and cyclist and just welcomed her parents to Bend.

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Ron Fritz

Ron is CEO and co-founder of Tech Soft 3D, a global 3D technology company and holds a B.S degree from Cornell University. Tech Soft 3D was a self-funded start-up that has grown steadily over the past 20 years while remaining 100% employee owned. Today the company has nearly 100 employees spread between six global offices in the USA, UK, France, Germany and Japan – with headquarters right here in Bend, OR, with offices directly across the street from the new OSU Cascades Campus.
While note globetrotting to help Tech Soft 3D continue to grow, Ron enjoys anything to soccer, spending time with his family, as well as mountain biking, running and snowboarding in Central Oregon. He also is a long-time board member and former coach with Bend FC Timbers and remains active in their ‘Build it Forward’ Field Campaign in cooperation with Bend Park & Recreation District.

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Stephanie Serpico

Stephanie Serpico is a professional civil engineer with twenty years of experience in transportation planning, engineering, construction, and project management. She has 20 years experience working in Central Oregon, managing multi-disciplinary transportation improvements with complex environmental, right of way acquisitions and controversial public issues with extensive experience leading public meetings and hearings, presenting at council and commission meetings, working with elected officials, and facilitating workshops and special interest group meetings. In addition to work, she is a Commute Options Board Member and enjoys riding her bike, reading and spending time with her family. She lives on Bend’s Eastside.