Our board members bring decades of experience in for-purpose business, community development, and social and environmental change. We are grateful for the commitment, creativity, and energy they bring to the Ecotrust family.
Bobbie Conner serves as the Director of the Tamástslikt (Tah-mahst-slickt) Cultural Institute and works to perpetuate the knowledge and histories of the Cayuse, Umatilla, and Walla Walla people. Bobbie, who grew up on the Umatilla Reservation near Pendleton, spent her early career in Seattle working for the United Indians of All Tribes Foundation. After earning a Master’s of Management from Willamette University, and working for 13 years for the Small Business Administration, she returned to her Oregon home in 1997. She has been working to depict an accurate history of the tribes of the Columbia River Basin and contribute to the tribal economy ever since. In 2007, Bobbie received the Ecotrust Indigenous Leadership Award.
Bobbie has served on an array of boards, including as vice chair of the National Council of the Lewis and Clark Bicentennial Board of Directors and as co-chair of its Circle of Tribal Advisors as well as the board of the Lewis and Clark Bicentennial in Oregon. She also served on the boards of the Wallowa Homeland Project and the Oregon Cultural Trust. In addition to being named chair of the Board of Trustees at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian in 2012, she currently serves on the board of the American Alliance of Museums.
Ken brings his business and entrepreneurial experience to philanthropy and social impact investing with a focus on results and accountability. In 1983, after a five-year stint in public accounting, Ken co-founded Deltek, Inc., a business software company that today employs over 3,000 people around the globe. For 23 years, Ken served as President, CEO, and Chairman and led the company through many stages of growth, establishing the company as a leader in product innovation and customer service. After exiting Deltek in 2006, Ken turned his focus and resources into the creation of the Vibrant Village Foundation, partnering with local community development NGOs around the world. Over the past 10 years, Vibrant Village has invested over $25 million to help communities throughout Africa and the Americas to improve infrastructure, agro-ecology methods and yields, educational outcomes, health systems, and gender equity. Ken holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Duke University and resides in Bend, Oregon, where he enjoys bike riding, playing guitar, and time with his family and kids.
Gun Denhart, a native of Sweden, founded the Hanna Andersson children’s clothing company in 1983 in the garage of her Portland home. Through her leadership, the company became known for its quality cotton clothing, family-friendly employee policies, and innovative contributions to the community through nonprofit and school partnerships. She pioneered, and was nationally recognized for, many family-friendly workplace policies, including childcare reimbursements for employees and flexible working hours. Gun co-authored the book Growing Local Value, showing how to leverage every aspect of a business, and she remains keenly interested in sustainable improvements in our society, including place-based impact investing.
Gun is the co-chair of Ecotrust and currently serves on the board of Mercy Corps and the Stand for Children Oregon Advisory Board. She is a founding member and past chair of the Oregon Business Association and a past board member of Business for Social Responsibility, of which Hanna Andersson was a founding member. She lives in Portland and has three sons and five granddaughters.
Mark is a commercial real estate developer and Managing Principal at Gerding Edlen Development Company of Portland, which redeveloped the Brewery Blocks in northwest Portland. Gerding Edlen has become one of the national leaders in green building and LEED (leadership in energy and environmental design) certified properties. Mark has a B.S. and MBA in Finance from the University of Oregon. He serves on various boards and committees, including Portland Development Commission’s Sustainable Development Commission, the Oregon Innovation Council, and Portland Center Stage board of directors.
San Francisco, CA
Bob is a graduate of Harvard College and Yale Law School. He founded and is current Chair of the Corporation for Enterprise Development, a national economic development policy research and consulting group, which has a reputation for defining the cutting edge of economic development in America. Bob returned to the Board in December 2011 after several years away; he served as Chair of the Board from 2002 through 2005 and currently serves as Vice Chair of the Nominations Committee.
For over 12 years, Cat Goughnour has worked with the leadership of organizations acting to reduce barriers to equity, justice, and human rights. By building community capacity through strategic design, technical assistance and relationships, Cat’s work aims to heal symptoms by changing systems, creating healthy, complete, thriving communities through social and economic transformation.
Cat is the Associate Director, Racial Wealth Equity at Prosperity Now, where she is lead strategist on racial economic and wealth equity with a focus on communities of color and low- and moderate-income people. She designs, develops, and implements human-centered community economic development programs that build organizational capacity to operationalize, monitor and evaluate impact. After serving as instructional designer, technical assistance provider, and coach for the African American Financial Capability Initiative, Cat now manages several national projects as part of the Racial Wealth Divide Initiative.
Since 2014, Cat has owned and operated Radix Consulting Group, LLC, specializing in human rights, racial equity, and social justice consulting and strategic planning. As an intermediary, she specializes in multi-stakeholder economic development research, programs, and policy development. She has been recognized by the Oregon Association of Planners for leadership in affordable housing advocacy and by the City of Portland’s Human Rights Commission for her work to mitigate gentrification through the Right 2 Root System for Equitable Development project. She is a certified Beegle Poverty Coach, racial justice facilitator, and published researcher with a Master of Science in Sociology from London School of Economics and a Bachelor of Arts in Social and Political Philosophy from Portland State University.
Ron is the former chairman of ShoreBank Corporation, which he co-founded with Mary Houghton, Milton Davis, and James Fletcher. ShoreBank Corporation is a $2 billion regulated commercial bank holding company that advises, invests, and implements economic development and conservation strategies in urban minority neighborhoods, rural communities, and developing countries. He now consults with Shorebank International. Ron also serves on the board of Ecotrust Canada.
Jean lives in Seattle where she is a civic activist and philanthropist, focused primarily on building a reflective and responsive democracy, promoting a sustainable and equitable food system and values-based investing.
After obtaining her J.D. from University of Washington School of Law and practicing as a trial lawyer in the 1980s, Jean stepped away from her legal career to raise three daughters and focus on community engagement. She has been a consultant to non-profit organizations, stepped in as Interim Executive Director, and served on a number of boards. Currently Jean is the Board Chair at both the Washington Progress Alliance and a new organization she helped launch, Studio Learning. She has been a longstanding member of Social Venture Partners and received their Sullivan/Heningsgaard Service Award in 2016. Jean was a founding member of the Seattle Impact Investment Group, and is a member of the Women Donors Network.
Jean and her husband are lifelong residents of the Northwest who share a passion for this region and enjoy traveling the world and staying active through hiking, cycling, and skiing adventures.
Susie Lee is an artist, entrepreneur, a convener of community, and a new mother. Her projects focus on technology and art that support and amplify human endeavors. She is currently the co-founder of SoopahGenius, an AI-powered storytelling start up, and the creative director of Thingyverse, a baby-centered organization that performs and presents big theater for small humans.
A graduate of Yale, Columbia, Teachers College, and University of Washington, Susie holds degrees in molecular biophysics and biochemistry, education, and fine arts. Her background as scientist, educator, and artist feed into a rhizomatic and restless intellectual curiosity that is grounded in a strong sense of vocation to impact the world positively and concretely. Previously, she cared for patients at a long-term care facility during a residency that resulted in the award-winning Still Lives portraits. She explored the world of fracking to shine light to the small-town, blue-collar stories of oil workers who wondered out loud why anyone would care about their stories. And she created a dating app to push against the shopping for humans and instead, foster genuine conversation and connections.
Starting the second half of her life with a child, Susie explores and merges the complex, joyfully inconsistent, non-reductive, passionate, playful and intelligent roles of artist, mother, and feminist.
Elise is a founding staff member and former Managing Director of ImpactAssets, a nonprofit financial services firm that increases the flow of capital into investments that deliver financial, social, and environmental returns. She is co-founder of Seattle Impact Investors Group, now Seattle Toniic, and has served on numerous boards including Washington Progress Alliance, Conservation NW and the Executive Committee of the 100% Network, a global group of investors dedicated to moving all of their assets into impact investments.
She began her business career raising angora goats and rabbits to create custom home furnishings from their wool and has worked for both foundations and nonprofits as consultant, executive staff, and board member, holding positions in development, strategic planning, and senior management.
Elise holds a MS in Management from Antioch University and a BA from Yale University. When not actively engaged in making the world a better place, Elise rows a single shell, cooks, gardens, hikes, skis, and loves to travel.
Alexandria McBride is the Chief Resilience Officer (CRO) for the City of Oakland. As CRO, Alexandria leads cross-departmental initiatives to create a more equitable and responsive government, and engages community leaders and other stakeholders to build a more vibrant and connected Oakland for all. Prior to this role, Alexandria was the Director of Environment & Sustainability at ITI, a Washington, D.C.-based trade association where she led energy policy advocacy for tech companies like Google, Apple and Amazon. Alexandria has also held leadership roles at the Tishman Environment and Design Center, an academic hub that solves environmental issues through design, policy, and social justice, and Groundswell, a clean energy nonprofit promoting equitable economic empowerment. Earlier in her career, Alexandria managed environmental remediation projects as a Project Manager for ExxonMobil Environmental Services. Alexandria has a B.S. in Civil Engineering from Howard University and an M.S. in Environmental Policy and Sustainability Management from the Milano School of International Affairs, Management and Urban Policy.
Antone has served for more than twenty years with the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation (CTUIR) in various roles, from chief planner to chair of the board of trustees. He has also served on the boards of the Northwest Area Foundation, the Crow Shadow Institute, and the Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians (ATNI), including as president of the ATNI board.
David is a MacArthur Fellow and professor of geomorphology at the University of Washington. He is an internationally recognized geologist who studies landscape evolution and the effects of geological processes on ecological systems and human societies. An author of award-winning popular-science books, he has been featured in documentary films, network and cable news, and on a wide variety of TV and radio programs, including NOVA, PBS NewsHour, Fox and Friends, and All Things Considered. When not writing or doing geology, he plays in the band Big Dirt. He lives in Seattle, with his wife Anne Biklé and their black lab guide-dog dropout Loki. Connect with him at dig2grow.com or follow him on Twitter.
William is founder, president, and CEO of the World Justice Project, which works to lead a global, multidisciplinary effort to strengthen the Rule of Law for the development of communities of opportunity and equity. He is a former managing general partner of the San Francisco Giants baseball team ownership group. Prior to holding this position, he was President of the American Bar Association in 2007–08. He was the principal legal counsel for Microsoft for almost 25 years and also chairman of the Gates law firm in Seattle, now part of K&L Gates. Along with his four children, William founded the Neukom Family Foundation, which supports not-for-profit organizations principally in the fields of health, human services, education, justice, and the environment.
San Francisco, CA
Kat is the co-founder and chief executive officer of Beneficial State Bank, an innovative, triple-bottom line, community development financial institution. Started in 2007, Beneficial State came from a shared vision to start a bank that finances community-based businesses, builds the long-term prosperity of responsible consumers, and supports companies that have a commitment to the environment. Beneficial State has a one of a kind ownership structure — its profits can only be distributed to the Beneficial State Foundation to support communities and the environment. Kat is also a founding director of TomKat Ranch Educational Foundation dedicated to a return to sustainable food production through ranching, tours, research, and school lunch and garden programs. She graduated from Harvard College in 1980 with a B.A. She earned a joint JD/MBA degree from Stanford Law and the Stanford Graduate School of Business, graduating in 1986. Kat serves as Vice Chair of the Capital Committee on Ecotrust’s board.