1000 Friends Staff & Offices

Lynn Peterson
Acting Executive Director
(503) 497-1000 | lynn@petersonconsult.com

Lynn has 30 years of experience in land use and transportation, and this past year was presented the Urban Pioneer Award from Portland State University. She is currently a Senior Policy Advisor for the national land use and transportation non-profit Smart Growth America, where she co-manages a program working with state departments of transportation on innovations in project delivery methods. Lynn is also the former Secretary of the Department of Washington Department of Transportation, worked in the Governor Kitzhaber administration as his Senior Transportation Policy Advisor, and was formerly elected as the Chair of Clackamas County Commission, Oregon and City Councilor in Lake Oswego, Oregon. She holds undergraduate and master’s degrees in Civil and Environmental Engineering, and a second master’s degree in Urban and Regional Planning. Lynn will remain in her role at Smart Growth America during her time as Interim Executive Director for 1000 Friends, where she also formerly served as a transportation policy advocate.

Meriel Darzen  
Circuit Rider Staff Attorney
(541) 797-6761 | Meriel@friends.org

Meriel joined 1000 Friends of Oregon in 2016 as the Circuit Rider Staff Attorney. She focuses on land use issues affecting rural Oregon and rural Oregonians, including the conservation of farm and forest lands. Meriel has a law degree and a Masters in Forest Resources from the University of Washington and a Bachelor's degree from Wesleyan University. Prior to joining 1000 Friends, Meriel practiced law in Bend and volunteered with numerous organizations including Sierra Club and Oregon League of Conservation Voters. Before becoming an attorney she served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in the Dominican Republic where she helped build a USAID-funded fruit-tree nursery.   

Hilliary Giglio  
Development Director
(503) 497-1000 x126 | Hilliary@friends.org

Hilliary joined 1000 Friends in 2016 and has worked in the nonprofit community since 2006.  Starting in community-based social work and moving into development and administration, she has a varied and expansive background in both small and large nonprofits.  Prior to joining 1,000 Friends she worked in healthcare philanthropy for Legacy Health.  She holds a BA of Psychology from the University of Missouri, a Masters in Social Work from University of Denver and a Certificate in Nonprofit Fundraising from Portland State University/Willamette Valley Development Officers.   

Greg Holmes
Food Systems Program Director
(541) 474-1155 | greg@friends.org

Greg Holmes holds a Masters degree in Environmental Studies from the University of Oregon. Prior to joining 1000 Friends in November 2002, he spent more than 15 years in the energy policy field, including ratepayer advocacy and helping clients identify energy efficiency investment strategies. He also did transportation advocacy work and has been affiliated with several non-profit organizations, including a stint on the board of directors for the Oregon Natural Deserts Association. Greg serves as Vice Chair of the Oregon Community Food Systems Network/


Robin Jennings
Executive Assistant
(503) 497-1000 x125 | robin@friends.org

Prior to joining 1000 Friends in June 2008, Robin Jennings worked for 13 years for the American Tinnitus Association as Executive Assistant. Robin moved with her family to Oregon from Hawaii in October of 1967. Her first memory of Oregon is the color gray. She earned her BS in History from Portland State University. 

Madeline Kovacs
Program Coordinator, Portland for Everyone
(503) 497-1000 x137 | Madeline@friends.org

Prior to joining 1000 Friends, Madeline worked for Orange Splot LLC, a small housing development company and general contractor. She has also interned for two years at the City of Portland Bureau of Planning & Sustainability. In addition to her experience in urban planning, Madeline brings over a decade of entrepreneurial nonprofit fundraising, organizing, and leadership gained predominantly through her work with the youth climate movement, including 3 years co-directing Project Survival Media. She earned her BA in Political Science with a minor in Environmental Studies from Macalester College. Madeline also serves on the board of Proud Ground. 

Alyson Marchi-Young
Marketing and Communications Strategist
(503) 497-1000 x124 | alyson@friends.org

Alyson joined the 1000 Friends team in August 2015 after spending 7 years in non-profit development for other Oregon institutions, OMSI and OPB. Working with business donors, Alyson honed her marketing skills as she developed media plans, supported event outreach, crafted public communications and more for her clients. Alyson studied at the University of Puget Sound and Southern Oregon University, where she received her degree in Theatre Arts with an emphasis on literary criticism and historic analysis. 

Mary Kyle McCurdy
Deputy Director
(503) 497-1000 x130 | mkm@friends.org

Mary Kyle McCurdy earned her BA in Human Biology from Stanford University and her law degree from the University of California at Davis. She served as a law clerk to Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Edward Leavy. After two years in private practice, she joined 1000 Friends in 1990 as a staff attorney. She had served 1000 Friends as Policy Director, Staff Attorney, and Deputy Director. With over 30 years working with Oregon land use laws, Mary Kyle is a state leader and trusted voice on equitable land use, housing, transportation, urban planning, and climate solutions. 

Mia Nelson


Mia Nelson
Urban Specialist 
(541) 520-3763 | mia@friends.org

Raised in rural Minnesota, Mia Nelson moved to Oregon in the 1980s to attend school, and never left.  She spent 15 years as a real estate developer and contractor before re-entering the fray of land use politics from a different direction. After two years of volunteer activism on local population forecasts and UGB expansions, she joined the 1000 Friends staff in January 2010.  Mia's work focuses on urban issues around the state, with a special focus on the Eugene-Springfield area.

Andrew Riley
Community Engagement Coordinator
(503) 497-1000 x129 | Andrew@friends.org

Prior to joining 1000 Friends in May of 2016, Andrew Riley spent 6 years as a policy wonk, lobbyist, and community organizer on issues ranging from housing affordability and economic development to police accountability and immigration reform. In those roles, he has worked with the Center for Intercultural Organizing, Oregon Health Equity Alliance, OPAL Environmental Justice, Community Alliance of Tenants, and Common Cause Oregon. Andrew was born and raised in Portland (minus a few years he spent in the cornfields of Iowa in elementary school), and holds a BA in Sociology/Anthropology and Latin American Literature from Lewis & Clark College.