Our Team

Meet the talented members of our Sustainable Northwest staff

  • Greg Block

    President

    For over 25 years, Greg has been active in developing environmental law and policy at the intersection of commerce, investment and conservation. In his former position as the Director of the North American Commission for Environmental Cooperation (an environmental side agreement to NAFTA) based in Montreal, Canada, Mr. Block led teams working in the areas of conservation of biodiversity; trade and environment; pollutants and health; and law and policy. He has participated in many interdisciplinary regional conservation initiatives in North America, and chaired several senior advisory committees.  From 2002-2004, Greg held the position of Distinguished Environmental Law Scholar at the Lewis and Clark Law School in Portland, Oregon, having earlier taught environmental law in Mexico under the auspices of a Fulbright Lecture Grant. More recently, he served in executive management positions for a decade at the Wild Salmon Center, working to conserve salmon strongholds and to strengthen the communities that depend on them across the Pacific Rim. Greg lives in Portland, Oregon with his wife Ros and two children, Andrea and Anton.

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  • Bridget Callahan

    Energy Program Associate

    Bridget is excited to join the Sustainable Northwest team and support the clean energy and water programs. She’s a proud native Oregonian with a passion for finding creative solutions to our state’s tough natural resource issues. She attended the University of Oregon, and quickly got her feet wet in political campaigns upon graduating. After a generous gap year, she came back to Oregon and got to work helping rural communities find and adopt smart energy use and policy in Eastern Oregon. One such project was developing the first “Solarize” program in Oregon outside of Energy Trust of Oregon territory - communities often overlooked and underserved. After three incredible years in La Grande she moved back closer to home to facilitate commercial and residential renewable and efficiency projects with a consulting company. Most recently, she spent several years delving into forest and public lands advocacy, traveling around the state to foster support for our natural treasures. Bridget is thrilled to be back in clean energy, a sector that offers unparalleled opportunities for a healthy environment and vibrant communities. She is a lover of all things outdoors - particularly in, on, or near a river. She enjoys traveling to far away destinations, gardening, and watching basketball with her dog Basil.

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  • Ben Dair

    Senior Manager of Conservation Finance

    Ben works across Sustainable Northwest’s Forest, Energy, and Green Markets program areas to increase the funding available to conservation projects by delivering analytical support and business services to partners. Prior to Sustainable Northwest, Benjamin conducted market and logistics risk assessments for an international timber investor, wrote feasibility studies on sustainable project finance for WWF Vietnam, and consulted to the Energy and Resources Institute of North America on a turnaround strategy for a tropical hardwood timber operation. Ben is a graduate of the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies and is a candidate for certification as a Chartered Financial Analyst.

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  • Mike Gerel

    Director of Programs/Water Program Director

    As Director of Programs, Mike oversees the organization’s work across its Forest, Range, Water, Energy, and Green Market Programs. Since 2012 he has worked in the Klamath River Basin of Oregon and California to nurture collaboration and pioneering strategy to spearhead the largest dam removal project in U.S. history. He founded the Water Program in 2014 to create new partnerships and plans to help restore and sustain native habitat and working lands in some of the Northwest’s other great river systems, including the John Day and Rogue Rivers of Oregon and the Snake and Humboldt Rivers of Nevada. For 25 years he has led initiatives that advanced the recovery of vital watersheds and communities from the Chesapeake Bay to the U.S. West. Mike has wide-ranging expertise across rural and urban landscapes in water quality, ecosystem management, place-based planning, and public policy. Mike has held senior scientist and manager positions with the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, Sustainable Conservation, and the Virginia Department of Conservation. He holds a Master’s in Environmental Science and Policy from Johns Hopkins University, a Bachelor’s in Biology from the University of Richmond, and is a fellow with the Institute of Environmental Negotiation at the University of Virginia. Mike is on the board of the East Multnomah Soil and Water Conservation District. A native of Syracuse, NY, with two decades spent in Virginia, California, and Oregon, he is both an avid outdoorsman and indoorsman, enjoying mountain biking, kayaking, independent music, Major League Baseball, volunteering at a non-profit veterinary hospital, and exploring the world with his chocolate lab Moka.

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  • Sarah Hall

    Chief Operating Officer

    Sarah Hall leads operations, finance, HR and general management for Sustainable Northwest. A native Oregonian, she has twenty-five years of strategic leadership across non-profit and Fortune 50 organizations. Prior to Sustainable Northwest, she led regional energy efficiency market transformation in commercial buildings for Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance.  At Wells Fargo in San Francisco, she founded the commercial bank’s first sustainability group for 65 global businesses in 2016, leading environmental engagement for 285,000 employees. With a communications and marketing strategy expertise, her programs include the national Kilowatt Crackdown commercial building challenge, PayItGreen® for Business, and strategic employee engagement initiatives. In 1996 Sarah wrote “Green Action Guide: Steps to Sustainable Living,” a curriculum adopted nationally to reduce resource consumption by neighborhood and workplace teams. In 1995 she directed an award-winning documentary film series on watershed restoration in the Upper Klamath Basin of southern Oregon and northern California, aired on Oregon Public Broadcasting and distributed nationally. Sarah served on the sustainability advisory committee of the Portland Business Alliance. She holds a BA from Brown University, Phi Beta Kappa. She loves to cook, birdwatch, swim and do yoga, and be with friends and family.

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  • Dylan Kruse

    Policy Director

    Dylan is responsible for state and federal legislative activity and agency engagement, and represents the organization’s broad market and public policy priorities. He is also coordinator of the Western Juniper Alliance, a 50 member partnership to accomplish rangeland restoration, produce sustainable wood products, and create jobs in juniper supply and market chains along the West Coast. In addition, he is the organization’s bioenergy lead, and works on wood biomass utilization and energy projects across the Northwest. Dylan is co-chair of the Oregon Forest Biomass Working Group, is on the board of the Biomass Thermal Energy Council, and holds a seat on the steering committee of the National Rural Assembly. Before joining Sustainable Northwest, he attended Lewis & Clark College in Portland, OR and received a B.A. in International Affairs. His work at Sustainable Northwest has linked his diverse interests of resource management, conservation, renewable energy production and economic development.

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  • Renee Magyar

    Communications Director

    Renee joined Sustainable Northwest in 2007 with a background in graphic design and logistics. She is responsible for creating and managing the organization’s visual brand, and maintains consistent messaging across the organization’s marketing and communications efforts, including print and online publications, and audience and media outreach. Prior to joining Sustainable Northwest, Renee spent three years supporting scientific research at McMurdo and Amundsen-Scott South Pole Antarctic research stations, and was a graphic designer at an award-winning studio in San Francisco. Renee is an artist who works primarily with salvaged textiles. When not at work, she enjoys exploring Oregon’s hiking trails and bike routes, and seeking adventure at home and abroad.

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  • Kendal Martel

    Forest Program Associate

    Kendal joined Sustainable Northwest as the Forest Program Associate in 2016. She works with forest collaborative groups to develop practices that effectively integrate biophysical and social science into collaborative agreements, and builds the capacity of knowledge sharing networks across multiple collaboratives. Prior to joining Sustainable Northwest, Kendal served as a Forestry Extension Agent with the United States Peace Corps where she worked with rural farming communities in Zambia to coordinate collaborative forest and land management groups. She also taught sustainable agriculture, agroforestry, and permaculture. Prior to Peace Corps she worked in Santa Fe, New Mexico with the Santa Fe Farmers’ Market Institute where she cultivated her passion for understanding the intersections of local and regional food systems, public health and the environment. After growing up in rural East Texas, she graduated with degrees in Sociology and Geography from Stephen F. Austin State University where she focused on people, place, and the human dimensions of the natural world. She is deeply committed to community-based approaches to natural resource management. In her free time, she loves being outside, reading inspiring books, writing music, and attempting to germinate any seed she finds.

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  • Hannah Meganck

    Operations and Finance Associate

    Hannah began as a Sustainable Northwest Communications and Operations Intern in Fall 2016, her role expanded to support Communication and event needs in 2017 and has now morphed into Operations and Finance support. Hannah earned a B.A. in Communications from Lewis and Clark College and is also a Certified Veterinary Technician. She spends her free time volunteering at wildlife/animal shelters, hiking with her loved ones, soldering stained-glass projects, and taking her cats on walks.

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  • Lee Rahr

    Energy Program Director

    Lee joined the Sustainable Northwest team to oversee the Energy Program. Lee works closely with program staff to pair energy savings and generation opportunities with ongoing conservation projects. Prior to joining Sustainable Northwest, Lee was the Operations Manager at Resource Consultants, Inc., where she provided operations and project management support to the company’s energy efficiency and renewable energy field teams. Lee found her start in energy at the City of Portland Bureau of Planning and Sustainability. During her tenure there, she helped develop the nationally recognized solar program and oversaw over 2MW of solar energy on over 1300 homes in the Portland area. Lee graduated from Lewis & Clark College with a B.A. in International Affairs and received a Master’s at the University of Oregon in Community and Regional Planning. Lee and her husband Guido are raising three boys and when not at work, they can be found on the flanks of Mt. Hood or the banks of the Deschutes River.

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  • Andrew Spaeth

    Forest Program Director

    Andrew serves as the Forest Program Director at Sustainable Northwest. He works closely with forest collaborative groups in the Pacific Northwest, bringing together a diverse range of partners to develop agreements that aim to reduce the risk of uncharacteristic wildfire, enhance socioeconomic well-being in rural communities, and increase the resiliency of forests and watersheds. Prior to joining Sustainable Northwest, Andrew served as the Social Science Natural Resource Project Coordinator at the Sierra Institute for Community and Environment in Plumas County, California, where he worked with forest collaboratives in the Southern Cascades and Sierra Nevada. As a native Minnesotan, Andrew grew up spending time in the outdoors, bearing the cold winters ice fishing and enjoying summers exploring the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. Cultivating his interest in the natural world, he went on to pursue an education in Environmental Studies, earning his Bachelor’s of Science at Bemidji State University, and later earning a Master of Public Policy from Oregon State University. As a graduate student, Andrew’s research focused on collaborative governance and natural resource management.

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  • Paul Vanderford

    Director of Green Markets

    Paul manages SNW’s Forest Stewardship Council Group Certification. Paul comes to us from The Rainforest Alliance SmartWood program where he managed over 150 FSC Chain-of-Custody companies in the Western US. He brings with him extensive familiarity with the Forest Stewardship Council standards and experience helping companies walk through the FSC assessment and audit process. Paul earned his B.S. degree in Natural Resource Management from the University of Wisconsin, Stevens Point and his M.S. in the Human Dimensions of Natural Resource Management in a partnership between UWSP and Rhodes University in South Africa. His graduate work focused on the implementation of South Africa’s National Water Act in the Kat River Valley, where he facilitated a public involvement process with farmers, foresters, domestic water users, and government agencies. When not at work, Paul can be found in the woods bow hunting, splashing around the Northwest’s treasured fly fishing rivers, clamming in Nehalem bay, and bike touring.

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