Board & Staff


Sally Hewett, President

Exploring and appreciating the forests, shores and wildlife of Bainbridge Island since 1983, Sally is grateful to be involved in this community that shares values of wellness for the land and people.  Having raised a daughter here and as a dentist on the island, she has been active in various organizations and activities that support island health and well-being.  Sally has also served with communications, international programs, and continuing education for the American Dental Association and has volunteered internationally in oral health education in developing countries through the FDI World Dental Federation.

Jenny Lange, Vice President

Growing up on the East Coast, Jenny earned two degrees from Duke University – a B.S. in zoology in 1991 and a law degree in 1994. After working as a lawyer in Anchorage and in Washington, D.C., Jenny and her husband John, a Bainbridge Island native, moved here in 1997. She quickly fell in love with Washington State and its varied terrain and wildlife. For four years she worked in Government Relations at the Seattle office of The Nature Conservancy, pursuing public partnerships in conservation and helping to protect natural areas at the state and federal level. After having a family, she became an active volunteer on Bainbridge, including serving on the Vestry and leading annual campaigns at Grace Church, and becoming a founding member of Mom’s Morning Retreat, a support group for mothers. A proud parent of two teen boys, Jenny enjoys sea kayaking and walking on our local trails.

Mark Frank, Treasurer

Mark and Patti landed on Bainbridge Island in 2015 after years of toiling away in corporate careers, Mark in finance and Patti in communications. They were drawn to the island as the antidote for city living. One of the very first events they attended was the Annual Land Trust Pot Luck and they felt immediately at home. The intersection of wild space preservation and community involvement just resonated. Since then their involvement with the Land Trust has deepened. Mark brought his background in planning, forecasting and capital management to the Finance Committee in 2018. He is honored to join the Board in 2020. The outdoors has always been an essential part of Mark’s life. You can usually find him walking the Island parks, hiking across the Olympics, paddling a kayak or holding a fly rod.

Mark Goodman, Secretary

A Bainbridge Island resident, Mark is passionate about his community and continuing its legacy of preservation and environmental stewardship. Mark is currently a Senior Project Manager at Heartland LLC, a Seattle based real estate advisory and investment firm. Through his work at Heartland, Mark engages in a broad range of real estate services including asset management, brokerage, strategic planning, and financial analysis. Prior to joining Heartland, Mark worked as a consultant for a Seattle-based economic development consulting firm where he led the firm’s urban planning practice. He also served as a land-use planner in the resort community of Sun Valley, ID where he solidified his deep appreciation for the value of public open space and outdoor recreation. Mark attended the University of Puget Sound where he received a Bachelor of Arts in Economics and earned a Certificate in Commercial Real Estate from the University of Washington. Mark, a Portland native, lives on Bainbridge Island with his wife and two sons. They spend their time exploring the Island’s many parks, beaches, and forests and enjoy the incredible access to biking, hiking and fishing that living on the Island affords.

Ed Gilbert

The son of a US Air Force officer, Ed was raised in London and Ankara, Turkey. He received a BA in English and masters in economics from Ohio State University, an MA in public policy and a law degree from the University of Chicago. Ed taught law in Singapore as a Henry Luce Scholar. He joined law firms in New York, and practiced there and in Hong Kong before becoming a partner with Perkins Coie in the Pacific Northwest for several years. Next came project finance work in Singapore, China, and Southeast Asia, followed by positions in private equity and banking from 2000-2014, with Lone Star Funds, Merrill Lynch, Shinsei Bank, and Bank of New York Mellon based in Singapore, Hong Kong and Tokyo. Ed and his wife, Linda, moved to Bainbridge Island two years ago, where they enjoy hiking, cycling, kayaking, and sailing – when he takes time off from active involvement in Rotary, and of course, the Land Trust’s projects committee.

Andrea Adams

As a newly minted graduate of the University of Massachusetts in Amherst, Andrea joined Cambridge Alternative Power Company, one of the first wave of alternative energy businesses spurred on by federal subsidies. She shifted to management of temporary personnel for firms in Boston, then moved across the country to become marketing director for the Seattle Club, and to help launch the Riverplace club in Portland. The environmental field called and she worked for five years as regional director of the Environmental Careers Organization, a nationwide program to develop professionals for green jobs through internships at government agencies, nonprofits and companies. She and husband John moved to Bainbridge in 1992, where she ran her own ecotourism company, Weathervane Tours, until 2000, when the couple  – already parents of two daughters – adopted a son from Russia. Since then, she has served in many capacities, including mental health case manager, special event coordinator, school program and placement organizer. A former board member of Friends of The Farms, and current manager of rental property in Winthrop, Andrea enjoys traveling in the U.S. and overseas, and is a non-fiction writer and editor.

Nicole Bavo

Nicole grew up in the Sierra Nevada foothills of Northern California and made her way to the Pacific Northwest for college after spending summers on Whidbey Island.  After a few years in Washington, Nicole knew this would be her home state due to its natural beauty and the people. After earning a degree from University of Puget Sound, Nicole pursued a career in non-profit management and fundraising. Her education includes The Fundraising School through IUPUI and a certificate in Non-Profit Management from UW Tacoma. Nicole has her Master’s degree in Interdisciplinary Studies from UW Tacoma. When not working to make her community a better place, Nicole can be found traveling, crabbing in the summer, skiing in the winter and exploring the world with her husband and three energetic boys.

J. Grant Blackinton

Grant grew up outside Denver, Colorado and spent family vacations camping in the Rockies. He was active in the Boy Scouts and enjoyed several hiking & canoe trips. He got his Electrical Engineering Degree in 1966 and went on to work in both California and Sweden designing digital voltmeters. In 1971-72 he spent a year in Africa traveling by boat up the Congo River, climbing Mount Kilimanjaro and meeting some of the most civilized people on the planet. Returning from Africa, he lived in Geneva, Switzerland for 6 months studying French and then moved to Hawaii to attend the University. After earning his PhD in Ocean Engineering in 1985, specializing in ocean acoustics, he co-founded an ocean survey company based on the sonar systems that he designed. When the company moved to Seattle in 1991, Grant and his family moved to Bainbridge. He retired in 2009 after amassing over 1800 days at sea and now greatly appreciates walking the usually solid ground of the forests on Bainbridge.

Maradel Gale

Maradel grew up in the state of Washington and worked for two summers on forest service lookouts on the Gifford Pinchot National Forest. This experience, combined with early camping and hiking activities with her family, created in Maradel a strong desire to protect the environment from corporate and industrial mismanagement and overuse. After five years in Michigan, Maradel returned to the Pacific Northwest and became active with the effort to protect Oregon’s coastal beaches for public use. She then enrolled in the UO Law School, at a time when women were just beginning to enter the law sector in significant numbers. Maradel’s primary career was as a Professor at the University of Oregon, where she taught courses in legal issues in planning and public administration, environmental law, and leadership skills.Upon retirement, Maradel returned to the Puget Sound area and settled on Bainbridge Island, where she was appointed to the city’s Planning Commission, on which she served for 11 years. She was the founder of Sustainable Bainbridge and is thrilled to bring her extensive experience in environmental issues to the Land Trust’s Board.

Gregory Geehan

Greg and his wife Kathy grew up in Tacoma and graduated from the University of Washington. Greg went on to earn a PhD in Marine Geology at Scripps Institution of Oceanography. He then worked in the oil industry for over 20 years, managing applied research efforts related to oil field development, in a career that took him to Houston, Alaska, London, Kuwait, and Columbia. Upon retirement, Greg and Kathy returned to the Puget Sound area and chose to live on Bainbridge Island partly because of its reputation for supporting education and environmental conservation. Greg is a docent at IslandWood, a member of the Bainbridge Island Kiwanis club, and spends some of his time exploring local geology, giving presentations, and working with Cameron Snow on a video covering our island’s geological history.

Steve Jenning

Steve was born and raised in western Oregon where his family was involved in farming, the forest products industry and politics. Moving to Bainbridge Island in 2017 with his wife, Linda, a writer and former Georgetown University professor, was a homecoming after 30 years working in Washington DC as a congressional staff person and a health care lobbyist. Prior to those years he was a newspaper, magazine and wire service reporter in New York, San Francisco and Portland. During college at Columbia University, Steve worked four summers as a US Forest Service firefighter in the Pacific Northwest. He has served on several non-profit agency boards, most recently the Washington DC Tennis and Education Foundation for 12 years, primarily on fundraising and capital projects.

Ben Klasky

Ben is the Founder and Principal of Seismic Philanthropy, which advises foundations and families on philanthropic strategy. For over a decade, he served as the CEO of IslandWood – an environmental education organization based on Bainbridge Island. Ben was formerly the CEO of Net Impact, cofounded Camp Galileo, and worked at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to help turbocharge the giving of some of the world’s wealthiest individuals. Ben has taught graduate courses on Social Entrepreneurship and Nonprofit Management at the University of Washington. He began his career as a Teach For America corps member in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. He has served on over a dozen boards including PCC Community Markets; KUOW; and the Japanese-American Exclusion Memorial. He and his wife Lisa do their best to keep up with their two boys, Jake and Eli.

Suzanne Merriman

Zan Merriman was raised in the East Coast tradition that values the outdoors, a gene carried through both parents. She spent summers in a log house on five acres in Putnam County NY. There were salamanders under rocks and fireflies at night.  The woods, hills and valleys of  upstate NY and Vermont populate Zan’s memory to this day: the smells, the sounds, the wildlife. Bainbridge is a place like that, worth preserving, worth enjoying for generations. After graduating from Boston University with a BS in journalism she spent several years in Washington DC, working and pursuing a graduate degree in cultural anthropology. When reality hit–later in life than it did for many–Zan decided to get an MBA (UC Berkeley 1983). A career in real estate finance followed, running parallel with her interest in raising money for non-profits.

Merle Montani

Merle’s longstanding passion for nature and the environment as well as its soothing effects began in her early childhood meandering the forests and beaches in New Jersey. She relocated to Bainbridge Island 20 years ago because of the island’s natural splendor and efforts towards land preservation. Merle has spent her professional career as a school administrator, college psychology instructor, and a consultant emphasizing organizational structures and design. Her work within schools has emphasized the design and development of systems to effectively promote equity for all students, particularly those who have faced challenges and/or have been marginalized.  Both her Master’s Degree in Psychology from Rutgers University and her Doctoral work at Columbia University have supported her work. Merle enjoys hiking, bicycling, fly fishing, tennis (when her knees permit it!), the arts and simply enjoying the beautiful place we call home. She is passionate in her efforts to make a difference – for everyone!

Asha Rehnberg

In 2002, Asha parlayed her experience as a senior real estate paralegal in Minneapolis into a personally much more meaningful second career in the NW land trust community. She has served as land protection project manager and later as conservation director for the Inland Northwest Land Conservancy (formerly Inland NW Land Trust) in Spokane, WA, as a board member for the Bowen Island Conservancy in British Columbia, and from 2008-2013 as the executive director of the Bainbridge Island Land Trust.  After stepping down from that role, she has continued to be a committed and active Land Trust volunteer, serving on its Finance, Fundraising and Projects Committees ever since, and recently also becoming a volunteer lead steward for the Land Trust’s Carlson conservation easement. Asha and her business partner husband Larry Pluimer live on Bainbridge and run two businesses out of their island home, ably assisted by two rascally cats and the best dog ever.


Cullen Brady, Executive Director

After living in Munich, Germany for a year, Cullen returned to the Pacific Northwest and worked for Congressman Earl Blumenauer, City Club of Portland (a citizen-based policy think-tank), and The Nature Conservancy in major gift fundraising and eventually as a member of their federal government affairs team. He continued working in conservation policy at Portland, Oregon-based Sustainable Northwest on rural, rangeland, forest, and transportation policy issues. Cullen then landed in the Seattle area as a part of The Wilderness Society’s major gifts team. Cullen served as a Maritime Policy Fellow within the Washington State Department of Commerce for the Governor’s Maritime Sector Lead. He holds a B.A. with dual majors in International Affairs and German Studies from Lewis and Clark College, Portland, Oregon and a Master’s degree in Marine and Environmental Affairs from the University of Washington.

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Laura O’Mara, Senior Development Advisor
Laura feels entirely fortunate to work with the Bainbridge Island Land Trust — the board, staff,  members and volunteers (past and present) are remarkable. Having worked for a number of non-profits, Laura joined the Land Trust staff in 2003. She walks the island with her family and friends — always in awe of the great physical beauty that surrounds us. She deeply appreciates the Land Trust’s ongoing conservation work.

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Brenda Padgham, Conservation Director
Brenda brings over 3 decades of natural resource, community engagement and public relations experience to the Land Trust through her professional and volunteer involvement with a number of non-profit, state and local organizations & agencies.  Brenda joined the Land Trust in 2006. Working with landowners, volunteers and the community, Brenda oversees the Land Trust’s Stewardship and Conservation Program, which helps ensures that once properties are acquired, they are protected and retain their conservation values – forever. She leads 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 26 years spent in Washington (on both sides of the Pacific Crest). She lives on the Island and constantly explores the rivers, mountains, coastlines and more of the PNW with her son James, their dog Homer, and friends and family.

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Gina King, Conservation Manager
Gina moved with her family to Bainbridge Island in 1983 and has had one foot on the Island ever since. She went off to study zoology and natural resource science at University of Washington and UC Berkeley and spent 26 years as a wildlife biologist with the Yakama Nation, protecting sensitive species and habitats in south-central Washington. When her daughter started at UW she moved back to the area, and is excited to be back on the wet side of the mountains, helping to preserve the natural places that make the Island so special. She and her husband enjoy hiking, reading, and travel, and are finally learning to kayak like true Northwesterners.

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Andrew Fraser, Stewardship Manager
A Pacific Northwest native, Andrew grew up spending his summers out along the coast and weekends throughout the year volunteering at invasive species pulls and tree plantings. After a four year detour in the South, Andrew returned the Northwest to attend graduate school at the University of Washington and earn a degree in Restoration Ecology and Environmental Horticulture. Since graduating, he has worked and volunteered with a number of non-profits, county, and federal agencies though out Oregon and Washington. Having fallen in love with the island during grad school, Andrew is thrilled to join the Bainbridge Island Land Trust and help preserve the unique island landscape for future generations. In his free time, he enjoys cooking new recipes, propagating plants, reading, telling bad puns, and volunteering at restoration projects.

Photo © Sue Larkin

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Kate Kelly, Office Administrator
Kate joined the Bainbridge Island Land Trust in June as our new office administrator.  She is responsible for managing the logistics and resources of the office as well as supporting the leadership team and board of directors.  Her previous administrative experience was amassed in commercial real estate with Marcus & Millichap and in electric transportation with Tesla.  Prior to joining the Bainbridge Island Land Trust, Kate built and ran her own photography business for ten years.  She lives on the island with her husband and three children.

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Lexi Wagor, Development & Communications Coordinator
Lexi is a lifelong resident of the Salish Sea where she spent most of her childhood competing in inline speed skating and roller derby competitions. Though she was raised as a city kid, Lexi fell in love with the natural world while earning her B.A. in Outdoor Leadership, Environmental Education, and Decolonization at the Evergreen State College. She spent two years serving in the Washington Conservation Corps conducting forage fish research around Puget Sound and then later facilitating community engagement in the world of salmon recovery on the Olympic Peninsula. Lexi is deeply passionate about helping others build relationships with our lands and waters to protect and steward the incredible ecosystems that we call home.

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Barbara Shane, Development Associate
Barbara moved to the island two decades ago from the east coast and has been elated by the green island environment ever since. She had a long career in international public health, developing, managing, and writing about reproductive, maternal, and child health programs. Long a supporter of the Land Trust, she is excited to contribute to its important work preserving natural areas on the island. She enjoys rowing in Eagle Harbor, getting her hands dirty in the garden, and hiking with her family.

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Gene Kim, Finance Associate
Gene fell in love with the Pacific Northwest after having grown up in the urban jungle of South Korea. After graduating from Whitman College, he served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Albania, educating communities on public health issues like the importance of protecting the natural environment from pollution. He continued on to get a joint JD/MBA degree from Seattle University, and began working as a project manager in the affordable housing sector. He moved to Bainbridge Island in 2018 with his wife, a Bainbridge Island native. He enjoys exploring beaches and forest alike with his wife and dog, spending time with family, and all things related to food.

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Johanna Rosenboom, Stewardship Associate
Having grown up in Cambodia, Johanna feels fortunate to be able to live and work in the lush, green environment of the island – so fortunate, in fact, that she’s worked for the Land Trust in various capacities for five consecutive summers, spending time both as a member of the Teen Conservation Crew, and as a summer intern, helping lead the program. She is now enjoying the opportunity to work on the Land Trust’s landscapes in other seasons while finishing a degree in Environmental Studies at Oberlin College. When not studying, she enjoys good books, good food, and her (moderately good) dogs.

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