Our Team

at Friends

Stephanie Buffum

Stephanie Buffum Executive Director

Stephanie’s background in public administration and planning informs her leadership on sustainable practices, cultural restoration, energy, and economic development. She has worked in the environmental protection sector for over 22 years throughout the West, including with the Center for Biological Diversity, focusing on federal endangered species protection, landscape management, and rural community development. As Executive Director since 2001, Stephanie manages all projects, staff, contractors, community outreach, research, fundraising and board development. Stephanie resides on Shaw Island with her husband and son.

Tina Whitman Science Director

Tina has managed shoreline research, restoration, and protection programs at Friends since 2002. Following her Master’s in Science, with a focus on the application of biological data to improved land management. She spent twenty five years in habitat conservation in the northeast and the northwest. Tina served eight years on the San Juan County Marine Resources Committee and is a current member of the County’s Salmon Recovery Technical Advisory Group. She lives on Orcas Island with her family and is happiest on a beach, for work or play.

Tina Whitman
Stephanie Buffum

Kyle Loring Staff Attorney

Kyle joined Friends in 2007. Kyle began his practice as a legal fellow for Alternatives for Community and Environment, a not-for-profit environmental justice organization in Boston, and then as an associate with the Seattle office of K&L Gates. Kyle earned his law degree, magna cum laude, from Boston College Law School in 2003, where he served as an executive editor on the BC Law Review. Kyle enjoys participating in our island community, currently serving in the mentoring program and as a board member for Families and Neighbors Support Island Rec.

Shannon Davis Grant Manager

Shannon works to safeguard the Salish Sea from the net zero home she and her husband built in Port Townsend. She holds a Master’s degree in Urban Planning with an emphasis on natural resource management and an undergraduate degree in Environmental Studies. As Grants Manager, Shannon is in charge of grant writing and grant management, she also assists with projects, education, and many other activities.She joined the Friends staff in 2003.

Shannon Davis

Jana Marks Program Assistant

Jana has 37 years of island residency during which time she has seen many changes. In of the early years she lived self-sufficiently on Stuart Island where she raised her two daughters. There, Jana was a fire commissioner, PTA representative, and volunteer at the local one-room schoolhouse. Now a San Juan Island resident, Jana provides Friends with backup support in all program areas. Jana joined the Friends staff in 2002.

Katie Fleming Community Engagement Director

Katie lives on San Juan Island with her family and is passionate about exploring, enjoying and protecting the Salish Sea ecosystem. Katie’s background is in sustainable community development and environmental education. She holds a Masters in Natural Science Education from Huxley College of the Environment at Western Washington University and a BA in Telecommunications from Indiana University. As the Community Engagement Director, Katie manages membership and community relations, marketing, media relations and special events.

Patricia Bolding Development and Operations Manager

Patricia earned a BFA in interior design at Cornish College of the Arts in Seattle. For over a decade she has been incorporating the art of attention to detail in her own business – organizing people and events while managing, coordinating, and supporting businesses and individuals. Her role at Friends harnesses these strengths as she supports the Director, staff, board and all our members. Patricia spent lots of time on camping trips with her family in the San Juans when she was young; this left a strong impression for just how delicate and important the San Juan Islands and their unique environment, community and archipelago are. Patricia is thrilled to be living on San Juan Island and working with Friends.

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friendsOur Team