Bainbridge Island Land Trust - Working together to protect the Island's natural resources
Bainbridge Island Land Trust Home Page
The Bainbridge Island Land Trust protects and preserves private property as well as acquires land for parks and trails.
About BILT
Mission
Overview and History
Board and Staff
Links
FAQ
BILT Publications
Contact Us
Visit us on Facebook   Visit us on Facebook
The Bainbridge Island Land Trust protects and preserves private property as well as acquires land for parks and trails.

BILT Board and Staff

A 15-member Board of Directors governs the Land Trust. Our Board is an engaged and hard-working group who represents the many different facets of the Bainbridge Island Community.

Our staff includes our new Executive Director, Jane Stone and Interim Assistant Director, Connie Waddington.  Laura O'Mara joined BILT in 2003 and oversees the Membership and Fundraising program. Stewardship Director, Brenda Padgham, has been with BILT since the fall of 2006. Susanne Schneider, our Office Manager and Events Coordinator, joined the staff in early 2009 and Frances Ran was added as our Administrative Assistant in 2012. Molly Esteve is our AmeriCorps Stewardship Coordinator Intern. In addition, Martha Monkman of the Number Factory is BILT's contract bookkeeper.

Tom Backer
Tom Backer

Tom is an environmental and land use lawyer whose practice focuses on public clients in the greater Puget Sound region. An island resident since 1992, Tom and his partner Jane Leslie Newberry and their son Eli live in the Rose Loop neighborhood. In his spare time, Tom enjoys working outdoors where he and his family are restoring native plant species on land formerly overrun with old-growth blackberries. Tom is also a traveler, bicyclist, and electric car enthusiast.
Bill Booth
Bill Booth

Bill Booth became a conservationist when he married Beatrice. She taught him things from her oceanographic disciplines, for example: carrying capacity of land and water for micro-organisms and humans; the benefit of spiritual rejuvenation in wilderness; the role of philanthropy in conservation action. He applied some of these ideas in designing buildings that are efficient in use of non-renewable energy sources, and being very involved through the 1970s in start-up non-profit conservation organizations. Finally in the 1990s he focused his energy on The Trust for  Public Land, because the benefits of acquiring land for people seemed so tangible and permanent.  Since moving permanently to Bainbridge Island in 2011 (they had been summer residents since 1972) he wanted to apply the same goals to the B I Land Trust.
Bill Eckel
Bill Eckel

Bill is a native of the Midwest and attended the University of Notre Dame in Physics and the University of Illinois in Urban and Regional Planning.  After grad school, he moved to Ballard he lived for two decades before buying land on Bainbridge, almost 20 years ago. Bill's career has been at King County, developing and managing programs in salmon recovery, storm water management, wetlands protection, groundwater management, ecological/resource land acquisition and management, farm and forest preservation, noxious weed management, and environmental education. He has also managed a small, Group A, water system on the Island.  Bill is semi-retired and enjoys vegetable and landscape gardening.  His daughter is a post-doc biostatictician at the USC Department of Preventative Medicine.   
Thomas Fenwick
Thomas Fenwick

Thomas and his wife Deb moved to Bainbridge Island full time in 1998. Many years before, with a degree in Mathematics and Physics, he did the sensible thing and became a computer programmer. Twenty-five years later, he returned to his high school passion of photography and became a landscape photographer. He became involved with the Bainbridge Island Land Trust when asked to photograph the Close property for the promotional material to fund acquiring the property for BILT. As a landscape photographer, Thomas has observed a wide variety of landscapes and ecosystems and he recognizes the need to help preserve them for the future.
David Harrison
David Harrison, President

David is a senior lecturer at the Evans School of Public Affairs at UW. He is also founder and coordinator of Strategies to Eliminate Poverty, a grant-making program seeking to reduce the extent and severity of poverty in the NW. For the academic school year, he will serve as director of the Nancy Bell Evans Center for Nonprofits and Philanthropy. David is one of the organizers of Skill-Up Washington and is a member of their Executive Committee. Skill-Up WA is a new collaborative in King County sponsored by several foundations and companies, as well as local and state government. Skill-Up WA strives to double, and then redouble, the number of low income, under-skilled working adults in King County who are seeking a post-secondary education credential. David has held many other positions related to education and workforce development, including serving as a member of the Bainbridge Island School Board for several years. He and his wife, Cynthia, live on Bainbridge Island and have two grown sons.
Hilary Hilscher
Hilary Hilscher

Grateful to have lived many years in her native Alaska, Hilary now resides happily in the Banana Belt of the Pacific Northwest. Her first 20-year career included radio, TV, and print journalism; government and industry public relations; writing books, newsletters, and technical manuals. Her second 23+years have focused on environmental communications and fund-raising: as staff for the Nature Conservancy offices in Alaska and Washington state, and for Audubon Washington; and volunteering for birding, open space, and land-protection programs. Hilary holds a bachelor's in journalism and a Master's in management. She and husband Neil Johannsen moved to the island in 1998. When not involved with the Bainbridge Public Library board, Friends of the Library, Bainbridge Museum of Art, and Hearing Loss Association of Washington, she's probably at yoga, or hiking, biking, reading, and traveling.
John Hough
John Hough

John Hough is a public relations and marketing professional with a strong interest in conservation.  He has served as CEO, then Chairman, of Rockey Hill & Knowlton, and earlier as Executive VP, Director of Marketing and member of the management team at First Interstate Bank of Washington.  Hough has also served in various capacities in the administration of Idaho Governor Cecil D. Andrus including chief of staff.  When Andrus was appointed Secretary of the Interior, Hough served as a member of the Northwest Salmon Fisheries Task Force appointed by President Carter to assist in the implementation of Indian Treaty fishing rights.  Hough has also served on numerous boards and commissions including the Oregon Shakespeare Festival and the Seattle Art Museum trustees; the boards of regents of both Gonzaga and Seattle Universities; Seattle Chamber of Commerce trustees and as a director of the William Ruckelshaus Public Policy Consensus Center of the University of Washington and Washington State University.  John joined the board in late 2012 by appointment to complete the first term of Kathy Haskin (Kathy’s term ends 2/2013).
Lew Mandell
Lew Mandell

Lew is an economist who specializes in the financial behavior of consumers.  An island resident since 2006, Lew and his wife Nancy live on Point White Drive.  He is Professor Emeritus of Finance and Managerial Economics and former Dean of the Business School at SUNY-Buffalo and served as the Kermit Hanson Professor of Finance at the University of Washington from 2008 to 2011.  Lew teaches and lectures throughout the world and is a consultant to the World Bank and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.  His 22nd book What to Do When I Get Stupid just came out.
Erin Kellogg
Erin Kellogg

Erin is an experienced conservation nonprofit manager, having served as Vice President for Ecotrust Canada in Vancouver, BC and Director of Policy and Communications for Ecotrust in Portland, OR. She has worked on environmental issues in resource-dependent communities from Astoria, Oregon to Cordova, Alaska with coalitions of First Nations, scientists, policymakers and community groups. Erin's passion for the environment began out the back door of her childhood home in Connecticut, where she roamed the largest tract of undeveloped land between Boston and New York.  After graduating from the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, she migrated west in search of ever larger expanses of wilderness, eventually landing in the Pacific Northwest. She has lived on Bainbridge Island since 2001, where she enjoys exploring the island's parks and waters on foot and by kayak with her husband and two young children.
Jan Mulder
Jan Mulder, Secretary

Jan is an environmental and land use planner who has practiced in both the public and private sectors throughout Washington, Oregon, California, and Alaska. For the past 10 years, she worked as a Seattle-based consultant conducting land use and regulatory review, permitting, and environmental impact assessment. Jan is a co-founder of a nonprofit filmmaking organization that has been engaged by Olympic National Park to produce a series of films documenting the Elwha dam removal and river restoration process. She is delighted to be managing this project and to be based on Bainbridge Island for the first time since arriving here with her spouse, Greg Bedinger, on New Year's Eve 1989. Jan has lived in Winslow since 1999 and is currently co-chair of the Land Trust's Stewardship Committee.
Barb Robert
Barb Robert, Treasurer

Barbara, a lifelong resident of Washington, moved to Bainbridge Island in 2004 with her husband, Leon.  Now retired, Barbara was a CPA and Certified Internal Auditor who spent many years in the Accounting, Internal Audit, Finance, and Treasury departments of major local businesses including Bank of America, Washington Mutual, Safeco Insurance and Microsoft.  Barbara was enthused with the concept of the Bainbridge Island Land Trust and became involved when asked to head up the "May Day at Hilltop" event, and to join the Finance Committee.  Barb enjoys traveling, bicycling, skiing, gardening, and walking in Fort Ward Park with Leon and their children, grandchildren, and granddogs.
Deb Rudnick
Deb Rudnick

Deb Rudnick is an ecologist and has lived on Bainbridge for the past decade. She holds a Ph.D. in Environmental Science, Policy and Management from the University of California at Berkeley and a B.S. in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from Brown University. Deb has fifteen years of professional experience in stream, wetland and estuarine ecology and ecological risk assessment. She has worked across many ecosystems throughout several areas of North America for a variety of private, non-profit, and government institutions and agencies in research, risk assessment, and natural resource management positions. She has chaired the Bainbridge Island Watershed Council and manages the Council's salmon monitoring and conservation programs. She serves as vice-chair of the Bainbridge Island Environmental Technical Advisory Committee that advises City staff and Council on environmental programs including the local shoreline and critical areas ordinances. She sits on the BILT Stewardship Committee and is the lead steward for Meig's Park and Farm.  Deb is married to Rob Ast, an emergency physician with Harrison Hospital, and they have one daughter and a silly boxer dog, Henri, who are both seven years old. 
Gene Seligmann
Gene Seligmann

Gene has lived on Bainbridge Island, including several years in North Kitsap, over 40 years.   Before moving here in 1972, he had been an annual visitor to the Island with family and friends.  Recently retired from his full time "small town" law practice in Seattle, he continues to represent long-time clients from his home.  While in practice in Seattle, Gene was a Trustee of the King County Bar Association and trustee and officer of the King County Bar Foundation.  Over the years, Gene has also represented property owners on the Island in a variety of transactions including transfers involving the Land Trust.  He loves to walk the trails on Bainbridge; his growing awareness of the impact of the passage of time on the Island has sparked his interest in participating in the good works of the Bainbridge Island Land Trust.
John van den Meerendonk
John van den Meerendonk


John has been a resident of BainbridgeIsland since 1984.  From 1985 through 1990, he was the Horticultural and Grounds Superintendent at the Bloedel Reserve and he still volunteers there for plant i.d. walks.  Presently, John works with Botanica, Inc., a landscape consulting, design and installation company that he founded it 1990.  John has been a teacher and lecturer in the Plant Sciences and has also been involved for many years with the Hardy Fern Foundation and continues to serve on their board. He has served on the B.I. Forestry Commission as well and recently John joined the board of Seapix, a new foundation focused on the use of media and film in the public education of the marine environment of the Pacific Northwest.  John’s interests are all  things of the natural world, agricultural systems and travel.
Jane Stone
Jane Stone, Executive Director

Jane Stone Myers first arrived on Bainbridge Island in 1984.  At that time there were few truly public open spaces but thousands of acres of private undeveloped land that were used as de facto parks.  She recalls attending one of the first organizational meetings of the Land Trust and was later involved with the board or projects committee from 1997 through 2007.  She's excited to return to the Land Trust, which has truly "grown-up" to become a successful conserver of the Island's beautiful places, for the benefit of all.  As a geotechnical engineer who has practiced on Bainbridge for over 28 years, she has seen dramatic changes to our local landscape.  Look for Jane on the island's many trail systems; fishing, backpacking or skiing in the mountains; and enjoying a home grown meal from the garden.
Connie Waddington
Connie Waddington, Interim Assistant Director

Connie is excited to return to the Land Trust. Her passion for land conservation started with the campaign to save the GrandForest which led to her first term with the Land Trust.  She went on to serve on the boards of the Kitsap Open Space, Parks and Recreation Commission, the Washington Wildlife and Recreation Coalition and the city's Open Space Commission. One of her favorite activities was to help develop and participate in the Nature Mapping program for the Bainbridge Island School District which introduced 5th and 6th graders to the concept of being volunteer scientists and stewards.  Her family, husband Bill and son Scott, moved to the Island in 1986. She has a degree in biology and worked in medical research before starting her second career in land protection. Connie and Bill can be found fishing for halibut, salmon and crab on most summer weekends.
Brenda Padgham
Brenda Padgham, Stewardship Director

Brenda brings over 27 years of natural resource, community engagement and public relations experience to the Land Trust through her involvement with a number of non-profit, state and local organizations and agencies including the Washington State Salmon Recovery Funding Board, local and state Audubon Societies, the Watershed Information Center in Yakima, and more. Brenda joined the Land Trust in 2006. Working with landowners, volunteers and the community, Brenda oversees the Land Trust’s Stewardship Program, which helps ensure protected properties retain their conservation values - forever. She also is involved in major initiatives of the Land Trust such as new acquisitions, restoration projects and conservation planning. Brenda is a lifelong resident of the Pacific Northwest, with the past 23 years spent in Washington. She lives on the Island and constantly explores the rivers, mountains, coastlines and more of the PNW with her son James, her dog Homer, and friends and family.
Laura O'Mara
Laura O'Mara, Membership Director

Laura feels entirely fortunate to work with the Bainbridge Island Land Trust--the Board, Staff and Members are a remarkable group. Having worked for a number of non-profits in paid and volunteer roles, she joined the Land Trust at the urging of a BILT member, and as the last of her three children entered 1st grade. Laura frequents Island trails with her husband, children, dog and friends--always in awe of the great physical beauty that surrounds us. She continually works with native plant restoration on her family's South-end property and plans to reside on the Island forever.
Susanne Schneider
Susanne Schneider, Office Manager and Events Coordinator

Susanne is excited and happy to be a part or the Land Trust ~ good people, good cause, good work. She has lived on Bainbridge Island with her husband, Mark, and their 3 children since 1993. A life time ago she was a retail buyer for major department stores but has spent the better part of her years on the Island as a full-time mother and a professional volunteer in many different capacities. Susanne is a happily transplanted mid-westerner who loves the Northwest and gets out to experience it's wonder first-hand whenever time allows.
Frances Ran
Frances Ran, Administrative Assistant

Wanting to do her part to help protect natural places on Bainbridge, Frances became a member of the Land Trust and began volunteering in the office upon moving here in 2004. In her life before children, she worked as a chemist in the environmental consulting field.  She enjoys gardening with native plants, reading, and bicycling and traveling with her husband and two daughters.

Molly Esteve
Molly Esteve, AmeriCorps Volunteer Stewardship Intern

Molly began her AmeriCorps service with the Bainbridge Island Land Trust in October 2013. She is a recent graduate of Whitman College, where she studied Environmental Humanities. Molly also participated last fall in Semester in The West, a study of public lands from Washington state to Mexico. Molly, who grew up in Portland, is interested in the conservation of natural resources that intersect urban growth. She sought out Bainbridge Island because of its spectacular shoreline and greenery in close proximity to Seattle.
Copyright © 2007-2014 Bainbridge Island Land Trust     Contact Us | Site Map | Terms and Conditions | Privacy Policy |  Visit us on Facebook
Logo artwork by Nate Thomas     Site design by butter     Site production by Interlock Solutions