Elise Cope

Artists on Yellow Island

May 3, 2024

Friends of the San Juans hosted nearly 40 artists and Lummi council member Karlie Kinley on Yellow Island this April for Friends’ first-ever Artist Expedition. The wildflowers were blooming and there was ample inspiration abound. Prominent floral displays included broadleafed shooting star, hairy paintbrush, chocolate lily, camas and stonecrop. Yellow Island has been stewarded by ... read more

Eva Schulte | Executive Director

April 4, 2024

Eva Schulte Executive Directorshe/her/hers During her career, Eva has driven lasting and systemic change throughout the social sector for the health and dignity of people and our planet. Prior to Friends, Eva was the Executive Director for Whatcom Community College Foundation, leading community support for students and strategic educational initiatives across our bioregion. Eva is ... read more

Jan Knudson | Co-Treasurer

April 3, 2024

Jan Knudson Co-TreasurerBoard of Directorsshe/her/hers Jan decided to join the Friends board after touring our Sucia Island restoration project. She recently retired from a long career in construction management. Jan brings experience in forest management, environmental impact analysis, land use, and environmental policy development, affordable housing, water treatment facilities, and habitat restoration.

Ron Zee | Vice President

April 3, 2024

Ron Zee Vice PresidentBoard of Directorshe/him/his Ron and his wife, Elaine, moved to San Juan Island from New Mexico 25 years ago. With their daughters, they operate a twenty-acre regenerative farm. Stewardship has been a major focus of his work, along with attention to climate change and the impacts that the San Juans are and ... read more

Natalie Baloy

April 3, 2024

Natalie Baloy Board of Directorsshe/her/hers Natalie Baloy, PhD, is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Anthropology at Western Washington University. Dr. Baloy’s work is informed by scholarship in critical Indigenous studies, settler colonial studies, and interdisciplinary/transdisciplinary collaborations toward transformation in context and community. She collaborates with colleagues across disciplines and institutions to design interdisciplinary courses ... read more

Joseph Cohen

April 3, 2024

Joseph Cohen Board of Directorshe/him/his Joe and his wife Martha reside in Eastsound on Orcas Island. Joe’s passion is in empowering donors to increase their current and future legacy giving and enjoy the pleasure of meaningful contributions in their communities of interest. Joe’s undergraduate education was at the US Naval Academy, after which he served ... read more

Matt Krogh

April 3, 2024

Matt Krogh Board of Directorshe/him/his Matt Krogh is a professional change-maker focused on issues of climate change, fossil fuels, and policy. Mostly based in Bellingham, Washington, he has spent his career in nonprofit activism at various organizations, including RE Sources for Sustainable Communities as the North Sound Baykeeper, and at Stand.earth as the US Oil ... read more

Erin Licata

April 3, 2024

Erin Licata Board of Directorsshe/her/hers As a Pacific Northwest native, Erin has worked and played in nature her whole life. Erin resonates with “protecting what she loves” by dedicating herself to the seventh-generation perspective, which imparts that our actions today should benefit at least the next seven generations. Knowing that humans are not separate from nature and ... read more

Isabel Alexander | Executive Administrator

April 3, 2024

Isabel Alexander Executive Administratorshe/her/hers Isabel provides administrative support to the Executive Director and the Board. Prior to joining Friends, Isabel was the Program Director at a nonprofit summer camp in the San Juan Islands. There, she gained experience in fundraising, marketing, hiring, grant writing, and outdoor education. Isabel has also interned with both the EPA ... read more

Elise Cope | Communications and Outreach Director

April 3, 2024

Elise Cope Communications and Outreach Directorshe/her/hers Elise Cope is a dedicated advocate for both people and the planet, leveraging her expertise in information design and digital storytelling to construct bridges of understanding. Her passion for environmental stewardship, community empowerment, and social equity drives her work as the Communications and Outreach Director at Friends of the ... read more

Friends has done so much to identify those critical beaches where the forage fish are spawning and that is work that I value greatly. Once we know the spawning locations, we can permanently protect those very important beaches.

Debby Clausen and Kim Sundberg

members, San Juan Island