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: 2019
Designer, artist, educator and native Oregonian, Julie Beeler grew up with a deep love and curiosity for the natural world. Along with her husband, Brad Johnson, she founded and led Second Story, an interactive design studio in Portland until 2012.
A Trout Lake resident since 2014, she conceived and launched Bloom & Dye in 2018 to grow her work and passion to benefit what she values most: curiosity, education, creativity, collaboration, community, and the environment. For Julie, educating others on how plants and their colors reflect the beauty of nature is something she is moved to share as a way to inspire care, stewardship and impact. Julie has hosted community dye workshops for MAI over the past few years, donating the proceeds to Cascade Mountain School summer camp scholarships.
When she is not digging in the soil, working in her art studio or leading workshops, Julie teaches Creative Entrepreneurship in the Applied Craft + Design MFA program at PNCA and OCAC in Portland, Oregon.
Member Since: 2020
Annette worked in the technology industry for 25 years with the last 20 at Intel Corporation in Hillsboro, Oregon. Her roles focused on Product Marketing, Project Management, Branding and Education. She and her husband moved to the Gorge in 2011 for its beauty and outdoor connection. They are now focused on revitalizing an old ranch in Trout Lake, Washington in an environmentally conscious manner.
Annette has a commitment to the outdoors, helping veterans, and desires to share her business background and knowledge to further MAI goals.