Member Profiles

A special highlight of Oregon Environmental Council members across the state


My First Week at Oregon Environmental Council

Post by Hosana Medhanie  As a recent graduate of Willamette University, I set out to find an internship that would allow me to get involved with environmental protection and sustainability because it’s an area I am excited in exploring further. Fortunately, this summer I have the opportunity to work as OEC’s Environmental Leadership and Justice Intern. OEC has partnered with Emerging Leaders Internship Program (ELI), a program that provides college students with paid internships at top companies in Portland. ELI’s goal is to bring underrepresented groups -- first ...

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OEC Member Profile: Bill Sweat, Co-Owner and Founder, Winderlea Vineyard and Winery

“Second careers, a well-planned next chapter, the pursuit of a shared passion” – this is how Bill Sweat describes his life in Oregon as co-owner of Winderlea, a boutique winery specializing in the limited production of pinot noir and chardonnay. Bill and his wife, Donna, fell in love with pinot noir in the early 1990s. They found the characteristics they most loved about it in Oregon’s pinot noir, and relocated from Boston to Dundee in 2006. Along with their passion for wine, the couple shares a dedication to sustainability. This dedication can be seen right ...

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Thanks, Mary. We love the art! 

Southern Oregon resident and artist Mary Driver recently stepped down from our board, but we’ll always think of her as we walk past the main entrance at our offices here at OEC because of the beautiful art-glass mosaic of bikes she made and gave to us.

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New Board Members: Welcome to OEC!

For 2017, Oregon Environmental Council is thrilled to welcome four new professionals to our board of directors.

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Can Poetry Save Us from Our Global Environmental Crisis?

I have to admit that, after decades of work as an environmental advocate, I still find it slightly awkward to tell people that my educational training is in fine arts. But if you think about it for a moment, it makes sense. Environmental solutions, just like poetry, require imagination, vision and passion. I'd bet that, if you take a close look at the staff at our nation's most effective environmental groups, you'd find not only scientists and public policy experts but also artists, musicians and writers. It's certainly true at Oregon Environmental Council. There's ...

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Remembering Don Waggoner

By Kevin Kasowski  Here at OEC, we’re raising a bottle in memory of Don Waggoner, an early OEC activist, board member and OEC President who passed away suddenly this week at his home in Portland. Long before sustainability became one of Oregon’s hallmarks, back in 1971, Don was OEC’s point person for one of OEC’s first major victories – the adoption of the nickel deposit Bottle Bill – that was spread to other states nationally as well. Don, along with Rich Chambers, led this effort. As Don noted in a recent Oregonian editorial, the Bottle Bill ...

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The Big River

by Aja DeCoteau, OEC board member My people, the Yakama, called it N’ch i wana, “the big river.” The Columbia River has been the lifeblood of all the cultures it touches. The salmon that swim its waters have shaped the culture of the newcomers to this region just as they shaped tribal cultures before them. Salmon are the icon of this place. My roots run deep in this region—for thousands of years of my ancestors fished in its waters, gathered in its meadows, hunted its forests. That connection is a big part of who I am today. I feel a responsibility to ...

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Family Ties and Toxic Free Generations

OEC’s Devon Downeysmith, OEC’s climate communications and outreach manager, and her dad, David Michael Smith, a veteran journalist and videographer, share a deep concern for the potential health hazards posed by the presence of toxic chemicals in many children’s toys, apparel and furniture. Dad and daughter agree that the debate over the issue has been going on far too long. It’s time to pass the Toxic Free Kids Act – a bill that will likely be up for a vote in the next week. Devon was born and raised in Portland and has lived there her entire life. Devon ...

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It’s Your Oregon member profile: Joseph Santos-Lyons

Joseph Santos-lYons
This profile is on Rev. Joseph Santos-Lyons, Executive Director of the Asian Pacific American Network of Oregon (APANO) and community minister. He talks about why he loves Oregon, the importance of environmental justice, and why climate change needs to be addressed on a state level.

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It’s Your Oregon member profile: Ken Bailey

This member spotlight is on Ken Bailey. Ken is a third generation cherry farmer in The Dalles, OR, who is committed to sustainable practices.

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