Secretary of State Shemia Fagan, Chair
Oregon Secretary of State Shemia Fagan is mom to two young children and a proud lifelong Oregonian. Secretary Fagan was raised by her dad and two older brothers in small towns in Wasco county. Secretary Fagan has always been open with Oregonians about the challenges her family overcame—Fagan’s dad struggled as a single parent and her mom battled addiction and homelessness during her childhood. But Secretary Fagan was encouraged by loving members of her community and the dedicated educators who would not give up on her.
After graduating from The Dalles High School in 1999, Fagan earned a scholarship to play soccer for Northwest Nazarene University in Nampa, Idaho where she earned her B.A. in Philosophy and Religion. Following college, Fagan worked to save money before attending law school at Willamette University College of Law and earning her J.D. at Lewis and Clark Law School. While working as an attorney at Ater Wynne LLP and later at HKM Employment Attorneys LLP, Fagan received training on campaigning for public office from the Emerge Oregon program.
Fagan first entered public service in 2011 when she was elected to the David Douglas School Board. Later, Secretary Fagan served in the Oregon House and Senate before she was elected Oregon’s 28th Secretary of State in 2020. Secretary Fagan is a strong defender of the nation' s most successful vote by mail system and committed to building on Oregon’s tradition of secure and accessible elections.
John Miller, Past Chair
John Miller is the president of Wildwood, Inc., a “green” urban design and development firm. He is also founder and owner of Mahonia Vineyards and Nursery, producer of premium wines sold under the Mahonia Vineyard label and grower of Northwest native and ornamental plants, using sustainable and environmentally friendly practices. John is also a founding member and past president of the Willamette Partnership board.
Rex Burkholder, Getting to 2100
Trained as a biologist, Rex Burkholder has worked as a science teacher and in NorthWest forests. He is a founder and policy director of the Bicycle Transportation Alliance. Burkholder also co-founded the Coalition for a Livable Future, bringing together over 100 diverse non-profit organizations in the greater Portland region. He was a member of the Metro Council from 2000-2012, where he led efforts to reform regional transportation policy and to integrate climate change into the decisions of all levels of government. As a volunteer, Rex founded the Oregon Outdoor Education Coalition in 2014. Currently he provides strategic advice to non-profit organizations, runs political campaigns and leads volunteer restoration crews in local parks.
Serena Dietrich, Sustainability Business Consultant
A seasoned Sustainability Professional with over 15 years combined experience in the transportation, project management and beverage industries implementing operational efficiency strategies, new product development, strategic business planning, and sustainable organizational roadmapping. Currently positioned as the Operations Director for the Oregon Outdoor Alliance, an organization that unifies and inspires the outdoor community with events, resources and advocacy while supporting the vibrant and growing outdoor industry in Oregon. Serves as a board member for several initiatives at industry, state, local, and non-profit levels. Committed to making the world a better place one day at a time, both professionally and personally, and helping organizations do the same in areas that matter most to them.
Dr. Lisa Gaines, Institute of Natural Resources, Oregon State University
Lisa has more than 20 years of experience working with universities, government agencies, and non-governmental organizations to develop and manage multi-institutional natural resource and international development projects and programs. Within INR she leads multi-institutional research and science review teams, facilitates planning and policy dialogues, develops and implements policy research, leads multi-institutional proposal development teams. Her areas of interest and experience include the human dimensions of environmental risk, environmental policy and decision-making, citizen participation, evaluation, and international transboundary waters.
Dr. Roje Gootee, Rush Creek Ranch
Roje co-owns and manages Rush Creek Ranch, 3,083 acres of forest and rangeland in the Blue Mountains of eastern Oregon. Dr. Gootee is a former United States Forest Service employee, having worked as a Range Conservationist on the Modoc National Forest, and a Forester on the Sam Houston and Mount Hood National Forests. She now works as a private consultant specializing in natural resource stewardship and policy, in addition to managing her family’s ranch. She holds a baccalaureate degree in Forest Science from Utah State University, and a Ph.D. in Environmental and Natural Resource Sciences from Washington State University. Her research focuses on the social and legal interface between private forests and environmental regulatory policy.
David Gremmels, Owner, Rogue Creamery
David Gremmels is the President of Rogue Creamery, an artisan cheese making company. He is past Chairman of the American Cheese Society and a leader in promoting and supporting American cheese. Rogue River Blue was the first American blue cheese to win World's Best Blue and Grand Reserve Champion over all cheeses at the 2003 World Cheese Awards in London. He is the recipient of the 2010 Excellence in Marketing award from the Oregon Department of Agriculture. In 2006 he received the United Way of Jackson County’s Community Spirit Award. A benchmark of sustainability was accomplished in 2012 with the installation of a solar system offsetting 48% of the company's energy use. He is now moving towards complete reliance on renewable energy.
Lori Hollingsworth, Owner, Back in Touch Massage
Formerly the mayor of Lincoln city, Lori currently works as a licensed massage therapist.
Rory Schmick, Stillwater Energy
Rory is a sustainability and energy management executive with over fifteen years of experience in leadership positions in private industry, non-profit organizations, and consulting firms. He is currently a Senior Advisor at Stillwater Energy where he supports client operations and advises a team of energy management professionals delivering services to utility clients throughout North America. Previously, Rory was on the executive leadership team at Pacific Foods where he led sustainability, carbon strategy and environmental affairs. He holds a B.A. in Geography from University of Colorado and is a Certified Energy Manager (C.E.M.). Rory lives in Portland and enjoys exploring natural areas with his wife, two sons, and dog, Camo.