1000 Friends Announces 35 Innovators Under 35

35 under 35 logo35 years ago, 1000 Friends of Oregon was founded by a 32 year old lawyer named Henry Richmond. Henry knew that Oregon's innovative land use program would need someone to defend the law and help create a vision to promote livable communities and protect farmland.

For our 35th anniversary, we chose to celebrate the past, present and future by honoring 35 Innovators Under 35...young Oregonians making a difference in their communities, while continuing Oregon's proud legacy of an active, engaged citizenry.

Who are Oregon's young, emerging leaders? We asked around and received 132 nominations. There are an amazing number of young people doing extraordinary work around this great state. Narrowing the list to 35 was extremely difficult.

We hope you'll be as inspired by their work as we are and will agree that Oregon's future is in very good hands.

Dominic Aiello (click here to read Dominic's profile)

Dominic is the founder of Project Wilderness, an organization dedicated to improving & expanding public land for the benefit of citizens, wildlife and the environment. His past volunteer efforts include work with SOLV, Oregon Hunter's Association, Clackamas Dump Stoppers, Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, the US Forest Service, and Tualatin River Keepers.

Kelley Beamer (click here to read Kelley's profile)

Kelley Beamer, currently Oregon Advocacy and Outreach Manager for Cascadia Green Building Council, was the Conservation Organizer with Friends of the Columbia Gorge, leading the fight to gain additional funding for the acquisition of federally protected land in the Gorge. Kelley has also served on the Multnomah County Chapter Steering Committee of the Oregon League of Conservation Voters.

Gina Bell (click here to read Gina's profile)
Forest Grove

Gina helped get the Forest Grove Farmers Market off the ground and now manages the market. She is also Director of Development for Adelante Mujeres, a community-based organization that helps immigrant families achieve self-determination through 3 areas: Education, Empowerment & Enterprise.

Sam Blackman (click here to read Sam's profile)

Sam is CEO of Elemental Technologies, a video processing company based in Portland. Sam has chaired the Multnomah County Chapter of Oregon League of Conservation Voters and was chosen as OLCV's Volunteer of the Year in 2006.

Abby Bradbury

Abby started Abby's Greens, her own direct-marketing farm business in Bandon, while home on summer vacation during college. Her determination and commitment to providing local food for her region has helped her business blossom over the past 5 years. She works alongside her sister Zoe and her mother Betsy to re-invigorate the local food movement on Oregon's south coast.

Zoë Bradbury (click here to read Zoë's profile)

A farmer and freelance writer, Zoe's work in sustainable agriculture has engaged her with numerous non-profits, including Ecotrust, the Agriculture and Land-based Training Association, the Center for Urban Education about Sustainable Agriculture, and the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy.

Jen Brown

Jen is currently the Director of the Farm to School program at the Corvallis Environmental Center. Previously, she was the Education Director at the Watershed Project, where she ran the Kids in Gardens and Kids in Creeks programs.

Ben Cannon (Click here to read Ben's profile)

A teacher and community activist, Ben is a former state representative from District 46 in Portland who chaired the House Environment and Water Committee. After growing up in Oregon, Ben received a Rhodes Scholarship in recognition of his service, scholarship, and leadership. He teaches humanities to middle school students at the Arbor School of Arts and Sciences.

Cory Carman (Click here to read Cory's profile)

A fourth-generation rancher, Cory returned home after spending years working on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. Cory has become a leader in the local grass-fed livestock movement and promotes the ecological health of the land by monitoring local grasses and analyzing prime feeding spots on the ranch.

Zach Christensen (click here to read Zack's profile)

A 5th-generation Yamhill County hazelnut farmer, Zach works to keep the agriculture industry in Oregon sustainable and profitable. He is currently President of the Yamhill County Farm Bureau.

Devin Dimeo-Ediger

Devin is a driving force in the grassroots movement in Washington County to raise awareness about farmland preservation. He also works with the Bus Project to register and turn out sustainably-minded voters.

Dan Eisenbeis (Click here to read Dan's profile)

Dan is a former staffer at 1000 Friends, first as a planner, then as the Legislative Affairs Director. Dan played a crucial role in the passage of Measure 49. Dan is now a lobbyist for the City of Portland.

Brent Fenty (click here to read Brent's profile)

Brent has worked hard to revitalize the Oregon Natural Desert Association. He was instrumental in getting the Badlands and Spring Basin included in the omnibus wilderness bill that was passed by Congress and signed by the President.

Rob Frank  (click here to read Rob's profile)

Rob teaches agriculture at Crane Union High School in Eastern Oregon. While teaching hands-on skills, he also focuses on business, finance, and communications topics that will help young farmers be successful. More than half of the students at the high school are enrolled in Frank’s program.

Kathy Freeborn Hadley (click here to read Kathy's profile)

You may recognize Kathy as a 'TV star' from the Measure 49 campaign. She is also involved in biofuels research through Oregon State University and the Oregon Department of Agriculture and has been a guest lecturer at OSU.

Gena Goodman-Campbell (click here to read Gena's profile)

Gena started as a community organizer with the Oregon Student Public Interest Research Group and now works with the Oregon Natural Desert Association. Gena spearheaded the Badlands Wilderness Campaign, leading to Senator Wyden's introduction of the Badlands Wilderness Bill of 2008, which was signed into law by President Obama in 2009.

Jonathan Graca
Hood River

A proven leader in the Hood River Valley, Jonathan works to protect the scenic character and rural landscapes that span between Mt. Hood and the Columbia River Gorge. He has been involved in many efforts, including Measure 49, the Mt. Hood Wilderness bill in 2008, and fighting against casino development in the Gorge.

Rhyan Grech (click here to read Rhyan's profile)

Rhyan trains volunteers on how to lead community tree planting events to improve the health of our urban streams. Rhyan works at SOLV, where she has been instrumental in growing the urban restoration program, Team Up for Watershed Health, to 70 long-term restoration sites.

Paul Hudak (click here to read Paul's profile)

Paul first discovered farming in high school when he went to work at a local farm near his home in upstate New York. Now, at Terra Nova High School in the Beaverton School District, he directs a group of students that run day to day operations at the Terra Nova Community Farm.

Erik Kancler (click here to read Erik's profile)

Erik is the executive director of Central Oregon Landwatch, a non-profit organization based in Bend. He is also a freelance journalist, photographer, part-time ranch hand and played a leading role in the “Save The Metolius!” Campaign and efforts to reform Oregon’s destination resort laws and helped to pass legislation in 2009 to protect more than 65,000 acres of working forests in Central Oregon.

Katy Kolker

Katy is founder of the successful Portland Fruit Tree Project. In 2009, the project harvested over 12,000 pounds of fruit that would have otherwise gone to waste, bringing together over 250 volunteers at 29 harvesting events. Half of the fruit picked each year is distributed to local food banks, with an estimated 1,000 families receiving fresh fruit in 2009 thanks to Katy’s efforts.

Jules Kopel Bailey (click here to read Jules' profile)

Jules is state representative for House District 42. Jules was co-chief sponsor of HB 2626, the Energy Efficiency and Sustainable Technology Act, which allows homeowners and businesses to access long term, low cost loans for energy efficiency and renewable energy and to pay the loans back on their utility bill. He founded Parento Global in 2009, a consulting firm that is a leader in economic development strategies.

Nolan Lienhart (click here to read Nolan's profile)

Nolan is an Urban Designer with Zimmer Gunsul Frasca Architects, where he specializes in mixed-use and transit-oriented development. Nolan also serves on the boards of the Center for Innovative School Facilities, 1000 Friends of Oregon an Co-chairs the Bus Project's board.

Marissa Madrigal (click here to read Marissa's profile)

Chief of Staff for Multnomah County Commissioner Jeff Cogen, Marissa had the idea to create ‘County Crops’ - an effort to enlist volunteers and private contributions to help farm surplus county-owned land near Troutdale and donate 100% of the harvest to local charities. In its first year, the program raised over $25,000 and donated over 10,000 pounds of fresh, organic produce.

Jonathan Manton (click here to read Jonathan's profile)

Committed to protecting the Metolius River, Jonathan worked to mobilize the public in central Oregon against two proposed destination resorts near the river. Working with Central Oregon Landwatch, Manton lobbied for passage of House Bill 3298, the Metolius Protection Act. Jonathan is also the former Central Oregon field representative for Senator Jeff Merkley.

Ryan Morgan
Formerly of Molalla

Ryan was an avid outdoorsman from Molalla who passed away in August 2009 while doing what he loved most: kayaking. He worked with at-risk youth, through the nonprofit Todos Juntos program and helped to establish Unidos, a high school service club for Latino kids. He also served on the Molalla City Council for a short time before his death.

David Mostue (click here to read David's profile)

In just four years, David has turned a simple passion for sustainable agriculture into a full-fledged Community Supported Agriculture project in the Medford area known as Dunbar Farms. Mostue has set aside a plot that offers a bulk of its harvest to the Farm-to-Kitchen Youth Project, an effort that brings elementary-and-middle school students to the farm to teach them on the connection between the field and the dinner table.

Jen Myers (click here to read Jen's profile)

Jen moved to Corvallis in September 2008 to begin a year of AmeriCorps service with the Corvallis Environmental Center. Previously, Jen served two years as an Environmental Education Volunteer with the Peace Corps in Gabon.

Andrea Norris (click here to read Andrea's profile)

As a student at Oregon State University, Andrea served as director of the ASOSU Environmental Task Force and successfully initiated efforts to enact a student-funded Green Energy Fee. The fee, which funds the purchase of enough renewable energy certificates to offset about 72% of the campus' electricity usage, places OSU as the 4th largest university purchaser of renewable electricity in the nation.

Emily Platt (click here to read Emily's profile)

As Executive Director of the Gifford Pinchot Task Force since 2003, Emily has helped develop a Restoration Plan for the Gifford Pinchot that can serve as a model for other Pacific Northwest national forests. The Task Force monitors timber sales throughout the region, played a major part in the removal of Hemlock Dam and helped block a proposal for a 3,000 acre copper mine near Mt. St. Helens.

Terri Preeg Riggsby (click here to read Terri's profile)

Terri’s leadership as Chair of the Tryon Creek Watershed Council has brought multiple successes to the 4,200 acre watershed. Among them: listed juvenile fish have returned to the creek, hundreds of native trees and shrubs have been planted, and multiple outreach events have helped educate property owners on proper restoration techniques.

Nate Rafn (click here to read Nate's profile)

Nate is a columnist for Salem Monthly, writing stories on local small farms, grocers, and cooking. He is also the Executive Producer of “Living Culture,” a monthly television series that showcases cuisine and agriculture in the Pacific Northwest.

Brandon Trelstad (click here to read Brandon's profile)

As Sustainability Coordinator at Oregon State University, Brandon has helped make OSU the 4th largest university purchaser of renewable energy in the country. He also serves as the university's Alternative Transportation Coordinator and was crucial in managing the development of OSU’s climate action plan.

Ben Unger (click here to read Ben's profile)

Before becoming the Executive Director of the Oregon Senate Democratic Leadership Fund, Ben was the Field Director for the Yes on 49 campaign. He has also managed John Kroger's winning Attorney General Campaign and served as his Chief of Staff at the Department of Justice.

Grace Wildhaber (click to read Grace's profile)

At just 16 years of age, Grace is the president of the Dayton Chapter of the Future Farmers of America. She works closely with a local fruit processing facility to collect surplus fruits to deliver to families in need and also works on a local campaign to provide health care access to seasonal vineyard workers and their families.