A hard-working and engaged 15-member volunteer Board of Directors governs the Land Trust. Directors may serve up to two, 3-year terms, and all serve on one or more Land Trust committees.
Our staff includes Executive Director, Jane Stone, who joined the Land Trust in 2014. Laura O’Mara, on staff since 2003, oversees Membership and Development. Conservation Director, Brenda Padgham, has been with the Land Trust since the fall of 2006. Dave Jacobs joined the staff in May 2017 as the Stewardship Coordinator, with Debbie Rimkus taking the Administrative Assistant position in late 2015. In September 2016, Sinclair Ball became our Community Engagement and Volunteer Associate.
Connie Waddington, President
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.
Erin Kellogg, Secretary
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. An experienced conservation nonprofit manager, she served as Vice President for Ecotrust Canada in Vancouver, BC, Director of Policy and Communications for Ecotrust and Director of Operations for Sustainable Northwest 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. 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 children, and is thrilled to be working to protect more of these special places.
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.
Ray Victurine, Vice President
Ray is the Director of the Wildlife Conservation Society’s (WCS) Business and Conservation Initiative, which he launched in 2007. The program engages with industry, governments and other stakeholders to explore innovative approaches to balance conservation and development interests through design and implementation of best practices aimed at reducing and compensating for impacts on biodiversity and ecosystem services. Ray also directs WCS’s Conservation Finance Program which focuses on the development of sustainable financing mechanisms that contribute to positive biodiversity conservation and sustainability outcomes. Ray serves on the Boards of the Wildlife Friendly Enterprise Network, the Conservation Finance Alliance, and has been active with organizations engaged with the carbon market. He is also a member of the Biodiversity and Livelihood Advisory Committee for Total Uganda. He is trained as a natural resource economist, and has worked on conservation and sustainable development issues in Africa, Asia, and Latin America for more than 30 years. Ray has lived on Bainbridge Island with his wife and two children since 2000. He served for several years on the City’s Community Forestry Commission and with other Commission members created a Community Forestry Strategy that was delivered to the City. He now lives downtown in the new Grow Community.
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.
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.
Greg and his wife Kathy grew up in Tacoma and graduated 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Shortly after moving to the Island in 2006, Matt and his wife Sara welcomed their first child. It was during his first year of parenthood that Matt became familiar with the Land Trust as it seemed the only time his infant son would sleep was after he had been strapped to a parent and walked through the woods. Since then, Matt and Sara have crisscrossed the Island many times, often on Land Trust trails with a kid on their back. These first family walks on Land Trust properties made it clear to Matt that he was someplace special and convinced him to lend a hand. Soon, Matt was helping the Land Trust Communications Committee with quarterly newsletters and annual reports until a two-year work project for Sara took them to Europe. Upon their return to the Island in 2012, Matt remained at home with the kids and did not immediately return to his previous career in public relations and marketing for high-tech companies. Today, Matt is the owner and operator of Bainbridge Island Outfitters + Depot an adventure retail and gear rental store in Pleasant Beach Village. When he’s not with family or friends hiking the Island or digging in the garden, Matt prefers stalking trout with a fly rod in hand.
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.
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 Land Trust 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. They have one daughter and a silly boxer dog, Henri.
For the past 45 years Gene has lived in Kitsap County, 30 on Bainbridge Island. Before moving here in 1972, he was an annual visitor to the Island with family and friends. Gene recently retired from his “small town” law practice in Seattle. 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 represented property owners on the Island in a variety of land transactions including transfers involving the Land Trust. He loves to walk the trails and quiet spots 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.