Board & Staff

The Methow Valley Citizens’ Council is a nonprofit organization incorporated in 1977 in the Methow Valley, Washington.
Our mission is to raise a strong community voice for protection of the Methow Valley’s natural environment and rural character.

MVCC Board of Directors

This is the current Board of Directors and Officers at MVCC

  • Kari Bown
  • Maggie Coon (Chair)
  • Steve Kern (Treasurer)
  • DeeAnn Kirkpatrick (Secretary)
  • Phil Millam (Vice-Chair)
  • Bob Naney
  • Craig Olson
  • John Olson
  • Melanie Rowland
  • George Wooten

Brief biographies of the Board of Directors

Kari Bown, Kari came to the Methow Valley in 1995 from the wilds of Alaska, where she kari_bwas working for the National Park Service. Here, she found a place to blend her many passions – wild places, growing food, teaching, dancing and building community. “Wherever I go I’ve tried to discover a sense of place,” says Kari. Kari loves to share her skills through teaching a wide range of topics. She has taught gardening, food preservation through fermentation, Waldorf educational techniques and dance.Prior to coming to the Valley, Kari farmed for a decade in Olympia. She also did peace and justice work around nuclear weapons and advocated for human rights in Nicaragua. Kari describes herself as a free agent teacher/learner who sees education like composting, a rich mixture of give and take.

She has a Bachelor of Arts from Evergreen College, an interdisciplinary degree in farming, art, outdoor education and psychology. She also has additional training in Waldorf methods and structural integration body work. She and her partner, Eric, and their two children, Leif and Tova, live in the home they built up Newby Creek on the Twisp River.

Maggie Coon (Chair), Maggie came to the Methow Valley in 1975, originally to work for maggie_cthe U.S. Forest Service, and bought land on the Twisp River in 1977.Maggie helped to found the Methow Valley Citizens’ Council in 1976 and was also involved in the effort leading to establishment of the Lake Chelan-Sawtooth Wilderness.Maggie worked for twenty years for The Nature Conservancy, gaining broad experience in state, national and international land conservation. She served as Director of Government Relations for The Nature Conservancy internationally from 1997 to 2002.

She and her husband, Mark Wolf-Armstrong, live on their Twisp River farm, where she enjoys raising a big garden (half of it strawberries and raspberries) and playing classical piano.

Maggie holds a B.S. from Yale University and a Masters of Forestry from the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies.

DeeAnn Kirkpatrick (Secretary), DeeAnn first came to the Methow Valley in the early DeeAnn1980’s to conduct habitat surveys, and was so inspired by the natural beauty and recreational opportunities that she has kept coming back since then. In 2013 DeeAnn and her husband Steve became full-time residents of the Valley.DeeAnn has a B.S. degree from Western Washington University in Ecosystems Analysis, and an M.S. from the UW in Marine Studies. She spent most of her career working on fish and wildlife protection issues, including designing and constructing fish habitat restoration projects, and working on salmon conservation to protect Tribal Treaty Rights, and salmon listed under the Federal Endangered Species Act.DeeAnn enjoys working in her vegetable garden and she and Steve enjoy traveling, and hiking, skiing, and biking, especially in the beautiful Methow Valley and Pacific Northwest.

Steve Kern (Treasurer), Steve became a part time resident of the Methow Valley in 2009 and moved here full time Stevein after retiring in 2013.  Born in Texas and raised in Wisconsin, Steve moved to Washington State in 1976 after earning a degree in business from UW Madison.  He spent his career working in manufacturing, the first 10 years with Weyerhaeuser split between Kent, Wa and Portland, Or where he was one of the first employees in Weyerhaeuser’s then fledgling secondary fiber recycling division.  While at Weyerhaeuser, he earned an MBA from Seattle University.  Steve spent the last 27 years in aerospace manufacturing, holding a number of executive positions at various facilities in Washington State, Nevada, Pennsylvania and Liege, Belgium.

Shortly after relocating to Washington, Steve discovered the Methow Valley and had been a frequent visitor prior to making his home here.  He loves skiing, snowshoeing, hiking, biking and almost all team sports.
Steve has had a life long interest in public policy and local and national politics and is excited to be part of an organization that has done so much to protect the spectacular beauty and original rural character of the Methow Valley.

Phil Millam (Vice Chair), Phil has been a part-time resident of the Methow Valley for 20 phil_myears, and a full-time resident since 2007. He spent most of his working career in government at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Seattle Regional Office, serving in water enforcement, Superfund and air quality programs. He completed his career as director of the Water Program. In this latter capacity, Phil worked on timber, salmon, and irrigation issues.He enjoys skiing, snow-shoeing, hiking, fly fishing, sea kayaking, and restoring 20 acres of forested land in the Rendezvous with his wife Mary Morgan and his dog Luke.

Bob Naney, Bob is a wildlife biologist with over 40 years of professional experience with Kansas Fish & Game and the U. S. Forest Service. He has been a bob_nresident of the Methow Valley since 1984 when he moved here to work on a cooperative mule deer project between the Forest Service and the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife. The primary focus of his work with the Forest Service was analyzing the effects of proposed projects on wildlife resources and overseeing the wildlife program for the Okanogan and the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forests. He was also the carnivore specialist for the Pacific Northwest Region working primarily with lynx, wolverine, fisher, grizzly bears, and wolves.

Bob lives with his wife Anne in the upper Rendezvous area where they garden, hike, ski, bike and spend as much time out of doors as possible. They raised two children in the Methow, Rachel a CPA and senior financial analyst working in Missoula , MT and Sam, the program director and head coach of a new Nordic ski program for the greater Seattle area.

Craig Olson, Craig first came to the Methow in 1978 with Jeanne, his wife, on detail from the USFS to study fire hazard modification caused by western spruce budworm.  In 1993 Craig Craigand Jeanne built a cabin on Benson Creek and have lived permanently in the Methow since 2010.  Craig received an MS degree from UofW in Forest Fire Management and a PhD from UC Berkeley in Forest Biometrics.  He has worked for private companies as well as state and federal agencies on land planning and fire management planning efforts in many western states and Mexico.  Craig enjoys birding, hiking, biking and tennis.

John Olson, John is a wetland ecologist who moved to the Methow Valley in 2011 with his wife Deb. They had spent almost 30 years in Idaho where John john_oworked at the Environmental Protection Agency protecting and restoring wetlands and streams throughout Idaho. After they finished building their house off Wolf Creek Road, John is now busy exploring the Methow by biking, hiking, and skiing.While initially being drawn to the Methow for its rugged landscape, recreation, and small towns, John has found the sense of community to be an equally important asset of the valley.John has a bachelor’s degree in biology from West Virginia Wesleyan College and a master’s degree in biology from Western Michigan University.

Melanie Rowland, Melanie is an environmental attorney who retired in 2011 after 15 melanie_ryears with the Office of General Counsel for NOAA (the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) where she worked on conservation of salmon and marine mammals protected by the federal Endangered Species Act.Prior to that, she taught environmental law at the University of Washington. As Senior Counsel for The Wilderness Society, she worked on the national campaign to preserve Northwest ancient forests. She also served on the boards of Seattle Audubon, the Washington Environmental Council, the Washington Foundation for the Environment, and Pacific Biodiversity Institute in Winthrop.She holds a BA from Stanford University and a law degree from the University of Pennsylvania.

Melanie and her husband, Randy Brook (also a public interest lawyer), have been coming to the Methow Valley since the early 1980s and bought a recreational cabin on the Twisp-Carlton Road in 1999. They built a house on their property and moved here full-time in 2011.

Melanie and Randy are avid birders, hikers, cross-country skiers, and sea kayakers. Melanie spends as much time as possible learning about plants and animals. She often has her nose buried in a wildflower or a science book.

George Wooten, George has visited every state and lived in the far east, but he hangs george_whis hat in Twisp. He is a biochemist and wetland ecologist and teaches field classes in biology and ethnobotany at Wenatchee Valley College in Omak.George has been active in MVCC since 1996. He wrote several MVCC proposals that funded our GIS, the Methow Watershed Council and a landmark groundwater monitoring study.

MVCC Staff

Current staff

  • Brian de Place (Executive Director)
  • Lorah Super (Program Manager)
  • Raechel Youngberg (Vicky Welch Communications Intern)

Brief biographies of the Staff

Brian de Place (Executive Director), Brian holds a Bachelors Degree from Seattle DePlace-family-photoPacific University and a Masters Degree from the Catholic University Leuven in Leuven, Belgium.

His professional background includes over ten years with the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT), most recently as Director of that agency’s Street Use Division.  He has learned the intricacies of a complex regulatory environment, advanced legislative reforms and worked to establish partnerships with many different interest groups affected by SDOT actions.  Brian takes great pride in successfully bringing together local residents, businesses and advocacy groups to develop and execute a plan for uses of Seattle shoreline property.

Prior to his role with the Seattle Department of Transportation, Brian served as Business and Operations Manager for the Family and Adult Service Center, a Seattle nonprofit homeless shelter.

Brian, his wife, Hannah and their four-year old son, Felix, have recently relocated to Burgar Street in Twisp.

Lorah Super (Program Manager), Lorah Super is our Director of Operations and Communications. She provides day to day management of our office, works to develop our volunteer program, and works with the Board of Directors to develop and implement a comprehensive communication strategy. Lorah has lived in the Methow Valley since 2001, and brings a wealth of hard-earned and widely endorsed experience in the realms of natural resource conservation, land-use planning, organizational development, conflict management and public involvement.

Lorah’s objectives include:

Enhanced communication with our members through regular office hours, increased email and web presence and responsiveness. More structured and varied opportunities for members to get involved, share and sharpen the skills of citizen involvement. Increased visibility in the community via local media outlets, events and creative partnerships. Building and improving relationships with our allies across Okanogan County and across the Cascades, working together to achieve shared goals. etc

Raechel Youngberg (Vicky Welch Communications Intern), Raechel holds a BA in Environmental Education from Western Washington Universities, Huxley College of the Environment. Raechel grew up coming Raechelto the Methow throughout her childhood and has lived here with her partner Joey, since the summer of 2014. She has worked in a variety of positions throughout the valley prior to MVCC, most recently she worked for the Bondi’s at the North Cascades Basecamp. She enjoys studying ethnobotany, environmental justice and forest ecology. In her free time you can find her trail running, skiing, fishing and climbing.

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