Kate Ritley - President
Kate grew up on Washington's Olympic Peninsula and spent her childhood hiking, camping, and exploring wild places. After earning her Bachelor's degree in Geology and Environmental Studies from Whitman College, Kate moved to Oregon to work on forest and wildlife issues. Kate served as the Executive Director of Cascadia Wildlands, where she led the organization through a period of significant growth and founded the Pacific Wolf Coalition. Kate recently earned her MBA from the University of Oregon and went on to found Animosa, a new brand of outdoor gear for women. She is an avid whitewater rafter, ambitious entrepreneur, and passionate advocate for women and wilderness.
Lisa Billings - Vice President
Lisa is a lifelong Oregonian, growing up in the Portland area and graduating from the University of Oregon with a degree in Business Administration. Her passion for the outdoors was developed as a child, spending her vacations and free time with family and friends camping, backpacking and exploring the Northwest. She has spent her career with companies with proud Oregon roots, currently as a Senior Merchandising Director for Nike, Inc. Her love for animals and all things wild have Lisa outside as much as possible - snowboarding, hiking, camping, (cautiously) mountain biking and volunteering as a "citizen scientist."
Clara Soh - Treasurer
Clara is an avid rock climber and outdoor enthusiast, and is passionate about protecting and conserving our natural resources. During sending season, you can find her at Smith Rock State Park 5-6 days a week. Trained as a scientist, she moved into public health after spending several years as a Peace Corps Volunteer in West Africa. She now works as a healthcare consultant who advises clients on understanding, navigating, and advocating for federal and state policies and regulations. She has a BS in Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry from Yale University and a Masters in Public Administration from NYU. In her spare time, she is also an active Deschutes County Search and Rescue Volunteer and lives in Bend.
Naila Bhatri - Secretary
Naila grew up in Oman, where her winter weekends were spent outdoors, on the beaches, mountains, and wadis that make up that country. It was easy to fall in love with nature’s bounty. Naila is trained as a forensic scientist, and worked at the Armed Forces DNA Identification Laboratory in the DC metro area for 7 years. She then briefly transitioned to the healthcare field, and finally gave up laboratory work to dedicate herself to environmental conservation. She now works as a Legal Analyst for Legal Atlas, LLC, where she researches global wildlife trade and environmental crime laws. The choice to switch professional direction was motivated by a need to preserve and protect our environment. Moving to Oregon in 2016, discovering the immense natural beauty in the state, and learning about the political and policy struggles to preserve the state’s wildlife and wilderness motivated Naila to get involved with Oregon Wild. She enjoys exploring the places she lives in, hiking, and recording moments using a combination of words and photographs.
Vik is a technology manager by trade and a conservationist, hiker/outdoor recreationist at heart. He serves as the Vice President of Intuitive Surgical but earned his green stripes as a member of the Conservation Committee of the Mazamas climbing group. Growing up in India, Wilderness and conservation were not at the forefront of Vik’s consciousness. His time spent in Oregon learning about the "Western" perspective, and Pacific Northwest issues in particular, has been very instructive and a lot of fun. Vik describes his first real hike as a journey to Steens Mountain with a grad school buddy from Oregon State. Back in 2005, Vik attended the Mount Hood summit meetings and presented the Mazamas’ support for the Lewis and Clark Wilderness proposal to Oregon’s congressional delegation. He also represented the Mazamas at the annual meeting of the Federation of Western Outdoor clubs.
Judy grew up in Madison, Wisconsin, and received her BS and MS degrees in art and geology from the University of Wisconsin. She worked as a scientific illustrator at UWisc and Scripps Institution of Oceanography in La Jolla, California, and was the illustrator for the Audubon Guide to Rocks and Minerals and other geology books. After working in architecture and scientific research, Judy and her husband, Jim, moved to Oregon in 1995, where she resumed her original career in art metal. Downhill and cross country skiing, backpacking, hiking, bicycling, camping, kayaking, gardening, and collecting mushrooms have been enjoyable activities. Growing up in Aldo Leopold and John Muir country, Judy gained a deep conservation ethic that led to local efforts to protect Bend’s Areas of Special Interest and the Deschutes River corridor, especially from threats to its Wild and Scenic River designation.
Vail is an associate professor of Environmental Communication at the University of Portland, where she also holds a joint appointment in Gender and Women Studies. An avid ecofeminist, nonhuman animal rights activist, and long-haul backpacker, she researches and teaches on topics related to the culture of nature and the nature of culture, and how humans use storytelling to make sense of wildlife and wild spaces. She lives on a blueberry, honey, and sheep farm on Sauvie Island, Oregon, and documents roadkill - or flattened fauna - in her spare time.
Jared is a Portland native, received a BS in Computer Science from Columbia University, and in the process realized that navigating the analog/digital divide would be a focus of his professional life. After graduation, Jared returned to Portland after travels and work in South America and began working in operations at a green building consulting practice serving clients large and small. From there, Jared co-founded Outdoor Project, an online guidebook with a mission to connect outdoor recreation with conservation groups to build a community of users engaged in protecting the places we go to recreate. He serves as Outdoor Project's COO as well as chairperson of its sister non-profit, OutdoorProject.org. In his free time, Jared likes to be outside finding places well away from the beaten path and engaging with land restoration efforts on his family's land in Eastern Oregon.
Darcie Meihoff, APR
Darcie is an award-winning marketing industry veteran who has led PR and earned media efforts for a number of high-profile brands, organizations and agencies throughout her extensive career. Prior to striking out on her own as an independent PR consultant in 2015, Darcie was executive vice president of earned media at CMD, one of the largest integrated agencies in the Northwest. A lifelong Oregonian, Darcie has a passion for working with organizations and causes that enhance the state’s livability and natural treasures. She served on the Forest Park Conservancy (FPC) board of directors for 10 years, including as board president in 2012. Recently, she led the communications efforts for the successful 2016 Save Outdoor School for All statewide ballot measure (Measure 99) campaign. Darcie also is a passionate hiker and has been a Mazama member since 2016.
Seth, a 5th generation Oregonian, grew up on a small farm outside of Hillsboro and spent most of his summers hiking and camping in the great outdoors. Seth's passion for the natural world is a product of the sheer amount of time he spent outside as a child. After graduating with a political science degree from Linfield College, Seth spent over a decade working in state politics with an emphasis on the environment. His passion for environmental protections is nourished by the treasured time he spends hiking and kayaking in our great northwest. Seth is a full-time real estate agent, helping individuals and investors find the perfect home. He believes it is important to give back and therefore donates 10% of his real estate earnings to non-profits.