New Faces at Friends

We are delighted to welcome a new staff member and 2 new board members to our team! 

Isabel Alexander, Executive Administrator — Isabel provides administrative support to the Executive Director and the Board. Isabel will also be integral in communications with our donors, members, and volunteers. 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 and the Nooksack Salmon Enhancement Association. Isabel graduated from Bowdoin College with a degree in environmental studies, biology, and French. Her professional interests lie at the intersection of community and the environment and using an interdisciplinary perspective to find sustainable solutions in the San Juan Islands and the Salish Sea. 

Kai Sanburn, Lopez Island — Kai joins the board with respect for the steady presence of Friends of the San Juans where and when it matters most. She is honored to be part of an organization that plays a proactive role in defending the health and well-being of this island archipelago. After retiring from 23 years as a nurse at the Lopez Island Medical Clinic, Kai has engaged in climate activism, joining the Great March for Climate Action in 2014 and participating in efforts challenging the expansion of fossil fuel projects in the Salish Sea region. Finding resonance with the rights of nature movement, she and others formed the organization Community Rights San Juan Islands, to draw attention to the potential of the rights of the Salish Sea to expand ecological protections. Kai has also been involved in supporting Canoe and Totem journeys on Lopez, recognizing the importance of removing access barriers for the people with ongoing and ancestral ties to the islands. 

Tom Reynolds, Brown Island — Tom joined the board to bring his expertise in governance and collaboration to the organization. Tom and his wife Mariluz have resided full time on Brown Island since 2011. They participated with Friends of the San Juans and adjacent neighbors on a beach restoration project in 2015, removing armoring and planting native beach grasses to encourage spawning of forage fish on their shoreline property. The project has been a success, with flourishing beach grass, increased sand levels, and identification of forage fish eggs! 

Tom holds an MD and a PhD in Biophysics from Stanford University, and spent his career developing new drugs to help people with cancer and other serious illnesses. In the last decade he has served on multiple public and private company boards, as a member and chairperson of the San Juan Islands National Monument Advisory Committee, and as Senior Warden of St. Davids Episcopal Church on San Juan Island.  

Tom is an active outdoorsman, backpacking and hiking in the mountains of Washington and further afield, and can frequently be found kayaking or paddleboarding in the Salish Sea, often with his wife Mariluz. He believes in the stewardship of creation from our homes to our planet. 

Thank you, Carol! 

We want to thank Carol Kibble, who completed her Friends’ Board of Directors term. Carol’s passion for Friends of the San Juans’ work has been greatly appreciated by all. As an educator who cares deeply about children and the health of the Salish Sea, Carol looks forward to more volunteerism, including beach bio-blitzes with youth who work hard to rid our beaches of plastics. Thank you so much for your service, Carol, we greatly appreciate and value your dedication and service to Friends!   

Volunteer with Friends!

Joan and I love this tiny corner of paradise and know that Mother Nature needs all the help she can get. We are solidly friends of the Friends of the San Juans.

Jon and Joan Christoffersen

members, Shaw Island