An illustration of two people shaking hands. Image credit: Heldáy de la Cruz
In the latter half of this year, 20 new staff members have joined Ecotrust teams across the organization. They represent a wide range of experiences, both professional and lived, spanning nonprofit and for-profit sectors, and from organizations large and small or self-employed. We are grateful to have all of their talent shaping the direction of our organization. Join us in welcoming them!
Keia Booker. Photo credit: Noah Thomas
Keia comes to Ecotrust leading human relations and diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) initiatives at Portland Audubon. With 15 years of management experience, Keia is a skillful collaborator, is incredibly resourceful, and has some serious chops in DEI work.
Keia says, “I think the most important thing to know about me is that I am always trying to create space for growth and understanding. As we get to know each other, you will soon find out that I have a passion for creation and learning, so I’ve dabbled in a bit of everything: I like anything outdoors; I love to paint, weave baskets, and create pottery. I am also a coffee roaster and own an online subscription business, Top Cup Roasters, with my husband.”
Sabrina is a first generation Colombian American from Miami, Fla., who has experienced both the impacts of climate change and the resulting community resiliency. She has previously worked in the nonprofit space on electrification transportation and with a federal agency on water policy and programming led with racial equity. She also worked at B-Line Urban Delivery, as a social media evangelist. Most recently, Sabrina served as Program Manager at Forth where she co-led coordination for the Bloomberg American Cities Climate Challenge project, led a racial caucusing affinity group, and supported DEI strategic plan initiatives.
Sabrina comes into the food system space with enthusiasm for collaboration and daydreaming of a healing future around food. You can find Sabrina spinning 80s salsa and soul on community radio or being loud and bumpin’ music on bike rides in her spare time.
Sabrina Cerquera. Photo courtesy of Sabrina Cerquera.
Nia Colemon. Photo credit: Noah Thomas
Mars brings several years of administrative experience and is supporting general office needs at Ecotrust, in addition to providing administrative support to several function teams. Mars comes to Ecotrust interested in social change, beginning with the personal, moving towards organizational change, and collectively impacting greater societal shifts.
Mars describes herself as the daughter of Maria and Uriel Correa, a sister, aunty, friend, and both a new/returning colleague at Ecotrust.
Marissa “Mars” Correa. Photo credit: Noah Thomas.
Jasmine Cunningham. Photo credit: Noah Thomas
Jasmine comes to Ecotrust from the Portland Baroque Orchestra, where she served as the Patron Services Coordinator. Jasmine also brings a range of eclectic work experiences: She’s worked on a blueberry farm, spent summers wildland firefighting, and served with AmeriCorps in West Virginia leading tours through a historic coal-mining community.
As Jasmine says, “Simply put, I like to know a little bit about a lot of things and love the experience of learning. I grew up in the Mount Hood National Forest—an incredible perk of having parents who worked for the US Forest Service. I am currently obsessed with reading the complete works of Agatha Christie, practicing yoga every day, and not killing the plants that I’ve impulsively purchased during the pandemic. I greatly prefer listening over talking, tea over coffee, and forests over the city.”
Jessica Douglas. Photo courtesy of Jessica Douglas.
Akshay Hariprasad. Photo credit: Noah Thomas
Originally from a suburb of Chicago, Akshay has been calling Portland home for a few years now. Akshay comes to Ecotrust after a life-changing time doing racial justice work in collaboration and community with the folks at Campus Compact of Oregon.
A bit more about Akshay, in their words: “I spend my free time cooking, gardening, reading and writing, and talking sweetly to my cat. I’m passionate about embodiment in all its varied, dazzling forms. I study the Alexander Technique, a form of bodywork that lets me practice freedom and ease in whatever I do. I come from a Marathi-speaking South Indian family of immigrants and identify as an Indian-American in diaspora. To feel more culturally at home while in Portland, I’ve taken to making chai from scratch in the mornings and practice Ayurvedic cooking. I am always eager to deepen and refine my equity lens, which is currently informed by Black feminist critical race theory, third-world and intersectional feminism, and environmental approaches that center Indigenous sovereignty.”
Felicia joins Ecotrust with an eclectic background in sales, events, fundraising, and valuable lived experience. She enjoys fruit-picking at local farms, hiking, and traveling with her toddler and husband. She holds a lot of passion for Ecotrust’s mission and is grateful for the opportunity to work towards these shared goals.
Felicia Murray. Photo credit: Emilie Chen.
Shauna Noah O’Connor. Photo credit: Noah Thomas
Prior to Ecotrust, Sara worked as a consultant for projects seeking funding through New Markets Tax Credits. A couple highlights from Sara’s time as a consultant include working with the Coquille Indian Tribe to help finance their Ko-Kwel Wellness Center and with the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation on their Nixya’awii Education Center.
In Sara’s words, “I am passionate about economic development work with inclusion as a core principle—for example, shifting power from financial gatekeepers to communities, to support not just economic growth in low-income areas, but true economic opportunity. When not collaborating, facilitating, and empowering through finance, I’m often found running through Northeast Portland neighborhoods listening to a podcast, pretending to be a sommelier with my partner, or dressing up as a dinosaur fairy to have a dance contest with my two young children.”
Sara Pietka. Photo credit: Emilie Chen
Chloe Pinz. Photo credit: Emilie Chen
As a new member of the development team, Chloe brings strong project management and relationship building skills, attention to detail, familiarity with grants and nonprofit fundraising, racial equity competencies, and passion for Ecotrust’s mission. Previously, she worked as an Operations Intern with the local nonprofit Grow Portland.
In Chloe’s words: “My passion for sustainability rooted in social equity has guided my career path and led me to Ecotrust! When I’m not spending time outdoors walking my new pup Bodhi, playing tennis, or continuing to learn how to garden, I love to read, bake anything chocolate, and explore Portland’s local farmer’s markets.”
Christopher recently moved back to Seattle (stolen Duwamish land), where he is currently studying for a dual MBA/MPA degree in Sustainable Solutions at Presidio Graduate School. His previous studies have included Contemplative Psychology with a concentration in neuroscience and minor in yoga, and in another lifetime, Christopher studied recording arts and web design.
Besides his recent return to school, Christopher spends a good amount of time cooking, creating music, writing and reading, spending time with family, and trying to get outdoors with his two basenji dogs.
Christopher Rachal. Photo credit: Emilie Chen
Meuy Saetern. Photo courtesy of Meuy Saetern
Scott is passionate about the environment and social justice and is thrilled to use his accounting skills and training to help move those causes forward. Scott grew up in the mountains of Idaho and now lives in Portland, Ore. with his wife, their one-year-old daughter, and rescue dog Rolo.
Scott says, “When I’m not busy working or wrangling our little one, I enjoy rooting on the Portland Thorns and Timbers, playing tabletop board games, and experimenting in the kitchen. You can also frequently find me with my nose stuck in a good fantasy book.”
Scott Shapiro-Neiwert. Photo credit: Noah Thomas
Heather Sparks comes to Ecotrust from an extensive background in nonprofit events. From fancy galas to casual street fairs, she has planned almost every type of event imaginable. Most recently, she was the Community Events Manager at Eliot Center, a nonprofit events space in downtown Portland. She takes great joy in helping her clients bring their visions to life. In her free time, Heather loves gardening and her morning run—she hopes to get a dog sometime soon.
Kam has most recently worked as an outpatient services coordinator for the Oregon Humane Society. Before that, Kam made ice cream and supported maintenance for a local ice cream company. She also worked in Kauai, Hawaii, as the animal care manager for the Humane Society. All of this to be said, Kamilah brings deep experience and vibrant energy to the Ecotrust community.
More about Kam, in her words: “I think tacos are the best thing ever. Really, there’s never a bad time for them. I have two cats, Mazikeen and Asha, as well as a small dog named Ziggy. I moved to the Pacific Northwest for the weather. I love forests, mountains, rain, and sunny days exploring. My favorite season is fall, and my favorite holiday is Halloween. I recently got a recurve bow and took up archery.”
Kamilah “Kam” Smith. Photo courtesy of Kamilah Smith
Sarah Taruc. Photo courtesy of Sarah Taruc
Sarah has over ten years of experience in nonprofit administration, with five of those years in accounting. She has worked at many types and sizes of organizations, such as the dA Center for the Arts, Pasadena Museum of California Art, the Portland Japanese Garden and Caldera Arts. In her free time, Sarah enjoys listening to hyper pop, seeking out experimental art, eating vegan food, and spending time with friends and family.
We are also excited to welcome Jaz Bias (they/them) as one of our new Food Equity Coordinators, Brittany Dawn as our new Event Operations Associate at the Natural Capital Center, and Azul Tellez Wright as our new Event Operations Associate at the Redd on Salmon.
Stay tuned as our team continues to grow!