Elizabeth Holmes Gaar
Member Since: 2017
Elizabeth has worked for the federal government, NOAA Fisheries and the U.S. Forest Service, in natural resources conservation for over 30 years as a biologist, policy advisor, and program administrator. She moved to the upper Hood River Valley four years ago because she loves outdoor recreation and access to wilderness; and, the agricultural community is similar to her roots in northern Michigan, where she worked on cherry farms. Moving to Parkdale, OR was like coming home and her family feels the same.
MAI is important to Elizabeth because of the unique opportunities it provides to link veterans and young people to potential natural resources careers and also because the Cascade Mountain School provides fun experiences for young people and communities that enrich their perspectives of the natural world.
Member Since: 2013
After working as program director during the initial development and planning phase of the Mt. Adams Institute, Amanda joined the board. Prior to that she spent over 7 years working for the Northwest Service Academy-Mt. Adams Center, first as the recruitment coordinator and then as the environmental internship program coordinator. Currently she is the executive director of White Salmon Valley Education Foundation. Amanda has lived in the Columbia River Gorge since 2004. She enjoys exploring the outdoors with her daughter and son and volunteering with groups that strengthen communities.
Amanda is dedicated to the principles MAI instills in its members and programs: connection to the outdoors and to each other.
Member Since: 2014
Tom works in the areas of information technology, accounting and finance as a consultant. He enjoys coaching soccer, leading an outdoor adventure program and adventuring in the mountains, down rivers, and in the ocean with friends and family.
Tom volunteers with Mt. Adams Institute because he is touched, moved and inspired by the impact on the participants of the various programs and the benefits the stewardship programs have on the community.
Member Since: 2015
Fran worked in health care throughout her career as an organization development and learning consultant, physical therapist, project manager, and administrator. She likes to spend time in the out-of-doors and volunteering with community organizations. Fran is particularly interested in MAI’s work in connecting individuals to the natural world as a way to promote their individual learning and development. Fran also likes that MAI stimulates an individual’s appreciation and respect for our natural environment.
Member Since: 2011
Heather has lived in the Gorge most of her life, off and on. Her education is a bachelor’s in theology and a master’s in education-curriculum development. Heather’s work experience includes a vast array of short-term jobs as well as eighteen very wonderful years in education. Heather’s life really changed when she retired from education and went to work for the Northwest Service Academy (predecessor to MAI). It was then that she discovered the joys of activities in the natural world and found an inspiring group of dedicated young people. She currently lives in White Salmon, is married to the ever patient Bob, and has three amazing children, four wonderful grandchildren and one adorable great granddaughter.
Heather believes Mt. Adams Institute does important work in connecting people of all ages to the wonders of the natural world as well as helping a wide array of folks find a pathway into their future. The staff are dedicated, creative and fun, a pleasure to work with.
Member Since: 2011
Jeanne is the current CEO of Workforce Southwest Washington, a non-profit that invests in training adults and youth for the careers available in her community. Prior to her current position, Jeanne was the executive director of the Mount St. Helens Institute and assisted in the founding of the Mt. Adams Institute. Prior to that, Jeanne spent almost a decade working for Members of Congress. Jeanne is the proud mother of 4 adult children who are all married and successfully supporting themselves. She also has 6 lovely and rambunctious grandchildren. If she could have one wish, it would be that all of her grandchildren will love and appreciate the natural world and find nothing more pleasant than a hike in the woods, an evening spent stargazing or the sound of a coyote calling in the night.
She believes that there is dignity in meaningful work and especially appreciates the VetsWork program operated at MAI as it helps veterans transition from military service to careers in natural resources and conservation.
Member Since: 2014
A native to the Gorge, Erinn grew up right around the corner from Mt. Adams Institute (MAI) headquarters in Goldendale, WA. With Mt. Adams and the Gifford Pinchot National Forest as her playground, she spent a lot of time in the outdoors camping, hiking, and fishing. She attended Washington State University (Go Cougs!), where she received a Master of Science in nursing. After college, Erinn joined the U.S. Army Reserve and continues to serve out of Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Tacoma, WA. She also works at Insitu as a nurse practitioner for their deployment operations.
The desire to help veterans through their military to civilian workforce transition is what motivated Erinn to support the Mt. Adams Institute as a board member. In particular, she feels like our VetsWork program is an outstanding opportunity to help bridge the gap for veterans and allow them to continue service on our public lands.
Member Since: 2018
Josh Lemieux brings years of experience working in both private and nonprofit settings to MAI’s Board. He works for OCHIN Inc., a Portland-based not-for-profit center providing solutions to improve the integration and delivery of health care services across a wide variety of practices—with an emphasis on safety net clinics and small practices as well as critical access and rural hospitals. He has led health and technology innovation programs at Mayo Clinic, WebMD, Markle Foundation and Intel Corporation.
Josh is drawn to the mission of Mt. Adams Institute through his connection to the Trout Lake community and his daughter’s experience as a Cascade Mountain School camper. He enjoys biking and hiking in the Mt. Adams area and community gatherings in Trout Lake.
Member Since: 2014
Luke served two AmeriCorps terms with the Northwest Service Academy. The Pacific Northwest will always have a piece of Luke’s heart as he currently lives his days in Denver, CO. He assists on the Board with marketing initiatives and website support. Getting lost and found in nature is still in his blood and when he’s not backpacking, he’s refereeing youth and college soccer.
Luke volunteers his time because he believes deepening the connection of humans and the environment is essential to our existence. He also feels that marketing is a necessary evil and must happen for us to communicate messages and spread the incredible work that is being done at MAI. “Brendan was my fearless leader when I served my two AmeriCorps services in Trout Lake and I would follow him into battle for anything.”
Ex-Officio Board Member
Member Since: 2011
Dave has worked for the Forest Service for 20 years all over the Pacific Northwest. He has worked in fire, timber, silviculture and currently recreation. Dave received a B.S. in communication from Oregon State University, and a M.S. in forestry from the University of Montana. He enjoys finding quiet places on our public lands to recreate with his family and friends.
Dave believes in the mission of MAI, especially connecting people and nature through service learning and career development. He serves on the board because he believes it’s in the best interest of the public to help people seeking employment with the U.S. Forest Service and other public agencies build skills to be successful.