Ilays Aden lives in the Central District of Seattle, and co-founded the Eat With Muslims project, bringing people of all faiths and backgrounds together to learn more about Islam and share stories. Her work to counter the dehumanization of Muslims and xenophobia led her to receive Congressman Adam Smith’s 2018 Champion of Justice Award. She also advises numerous organizations and businesses in creating anti-racist policies that combat institutional and environmental racism. In her fundraising work, she focuses on community building around innovative housing solutions and environmentally sound urban planning. She is passionate about bringing people to the table, whether it is to share a meal or to engage in important dialogue that supports a healthy and thriving community. Ilays loves the outdoors and serves to keep Washington State beautiful and clean for all.
Justin Camarata has been active in civics and policy advocacy in Tacoma and Pierce County for over a decade. He previously served as interim City Councilmember for Tacoma’s District 2, which encompasses Downtown Tacoma as well as the Tideflats and the Port of Tacoma. In this capacity, he advocated for limiting fossil fuel expansion, electrifying transportation, densifying neighborhoods and business districts, and improving transit access. He is a member of Forterra’s Regional Leadership Council and the Protect Tacoma Tideflats Coalition, and has previously served on the City of Tacoma’s Bicycle & Pedestrian Technical Advisory Group, the Center for Urban Waters Board of Directors, and various advisory boards and commissions. Camarata is a University of Washington graduate in Political Science and has several years of experience working with Seattle area tech startups. He and his wife Bess live in Tacoma with their two children, who enjoy basketball and coding.
Sharon Chen first began thinking about the intersection of environmentalism and politics as a board member of the Washington Toxics Coalition where she has served as Board Chair. As a member of the Northwest Conservation Philanthropy Fellowship’s inaugural class of 2013, she found herself often reminding fellows about the zero multiplier effect on any non profit work when there is a lack of an effective policy making body in our governments. A native of New Jersey, Sharon first came to Seattle to work at Microsoft where she spent 12 years working in the development teams. Sharon speaks Mandarin Chinese, has a degree in Computer Science Engineering from Princeton University, and lives with her husband and 3 children in Seattle’s Capital Hill neighborhood.
Julie Colehour is founding partner of C+C, a public relations and social marketing firm that focuses on environmental and sustainability issues for a variety of public and private sector clients. She has spent her career working to motivate people to alter their behaviors for social good. Her causes have included everything from organic farming to water conservation to green building to recycling and energy-efficient products. Julie is a Seattle-area native who grew up hiking, skiing and kayaking in our beautiful backyard. She currently lives in rural unincorporated King County with her husband and son and has a daughter in college.
Maggie’s career in conservation spans four decades. She worked for over twenty years for The Nature Conservancy, gaining broad experience in state, national, and international land conservation in Latin America. She served for five years as Director of Government Relations for The Nature Conservancy. Maggie has deep roots in grassroots activism, starting with helping to found the Methow Valley Citizens Council. Her passion for place was born in the Methow, as was her belief in the ability of individuals to shape the future of the lands and waters they cherish. She lives on her Twisp River farm with her husband, Mark Wolf-Armstrong.
Maggie has served on a number of state and regional boards and as chair of the Washington Biodiversity Council, the Washington Wildlife and Recreation Coalition and the High Country News Foundation. Maggie holds a B.S. from Yale University and a Masters of Forestry from the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies.
Josh Friedmann is a lawyer at Hillis Clark Martin & Peterson, P.S. focused on supporting sustainable public-private and mixed-use community development projects, as well as other matters with sensitive public-facing concerns. He has worked on financing and development issues of transit stations, community colleges, interpretive sites, affordable housing, and hospitals. Josh also has supported several 501(c) nonprofit organizations in governance, regulatory, and risk-management areas. Previously, he served as a legislative affairs aide to the White House’s Council on Environmental Quality, a Biden-Harris regional voter protection director, and an ethics counselor to the Biden-Harris Presidential Transition. Josh is a Washington native who enjoys exploring the outdoors, volunteering on social action and advocacy projects with Seattle’s Jewish Federation, and undertaking various home improvement projects. He graduated from Tufts University and Harvard Law School.
A graduate of Seattle University Law School and Boston University, Peter was a law clerk for the late Justice James M. Dolliver at the Washington State Supreme Court. Peter worked for eleven years in the criminal division of the King County Prosecutor’s office where he was promoted to Senior Deputy. In 1997, Peter founded the Washington Forest Law Center, a non-profit public interest environmental law firm. Peter is also heavily involved in efforts to develop and promote progressive forestry policies. He and his wife Martha founded the Kongsgaard-Goldman Foundation in 1988. Peter is also active in helping elect environmental leaders in federal, state, and local races. He has served on the boards of numerous non-profit organizations including the Rails to Trails Conservancy. Peter and Martha have three boys. Peter has been a bicycle commuter his whole life. In his spare time, Peter loves to bike, climb, ski, and hike. He has climbed Broad Peak, an 8,000 meter peak in Pakistan other big mountains around the world.
Ken’s first job after arriving in Washington in 1993 was serving as a legal intern with WEC. He has practiced environmental law with government (serving as an AAG for now-Governor Chris Gregoire on behalf of the Washington State Department of Ecology) and now with McCullough Hill Leary. Ken has been involved with Washington Conservation Voters for the past 10 years, serving as the chair of the King County Chapter, and as the chair of the WCV State Board. Ken, along with his wife, Meredith, and his daughter, Alexandra, love to spend their time skiing, playing soccer, sea kayaking, and enjoying the natural beauty of the Long Beach Peninsula.
Jessa Lewis is the Executive Director for Blue Collar Fund, a nonprofit she founded to remove barriers to careers in the trades for disadvantaged populations. She previously was a consultant working on economic development in midsized cities and rural communities and also worked on political campaigns and launching startups. Jessa earned a BA from The Evergreen State College in Resource Management and Policy and pursued an MBA at Presidio Graduate School in Seattle. In addition to the WCV Board, Jessa serves as a founding board member of Alliance for a Healthy Washington. She is proud of her Eastern Washington roots and has been lovingly called “notorious” by multiple members of Congress.
Sydney is the Civil Legal Services Attorney for the Nooksack Indian Tribe. Prior to being an attorney, Sydney worked in campaign management, state government, disability advocacy, public defense, and environmental law. Sydney lives in Bellingham and enjoys climbing, biking, and knitting in her free time.
Lilia Monje (she/her), Vancouver, is an avid reader and education champion who has worked in the field of elementary and higher education. She currently works as the Spanish Language Collection specialist for Multnomah County Library (MCL) in Portland, Oregon. Lilia’s expertise in collection development includes a cultural lens that has led her to diversify the Spanish language collection for adults, young people, and children in digital and printed materials. Within her field, Lilia serves on different committees. She is an active member of the My Librarian Team, which provides patrons with opportunities to connect with librarians. She has participated in inequity and digital inclusion efforts both in library settings and in the community. Since Lilia has personally experienced the harms perpetrated on immigrant and refugee communities, she believes it is time to advance a safer and more equitable immigration system — one that will strengthen our entire community. Her goal is to help implement more inclusive and fair policies for the immigrant community. Lilia is a long-term OneAmerica (AO) and OneAmerica Votes (AOV) leader in SW Washington, where she has served as a member of the Grassroots Leadership Council (GRLC) and now serves as an OAV board member. Previously, she was a Civic Voices Fellow with FUSE Washington. Lilia is also a leader for Communities Amplifying Voices for Environmental and Social Justice, a subdivision of Columbia Riverkeeper. This environmental organization works to protect, restore, and care for the Columbia River. A self-identified South Washingtonian born in Mexico, Lilia came to the States as a young teen and finished her high school education in Portland, Oregon. She received her Bachelor of Public Affairs with a concentration in Public Administration from Washington State University Vancouver. In addition, Lilia recently received her Masters of Public Administration from Washington State University. For her thesis, Lilia used a narrative policy framework to demonstrate how farmworkers in specific are simultaneously defined as essential and treated as disposable. Her research highlights COVID as a policy opportunity to redefine the narrative and mobilize from the workplace to congress. Lilia is a change agent passionate about creating a just immigration system and making the world better.
Paulo Palugod is a lawyer at Earthjustice in Seattle. He has worked on cases to protect the Puget Sound from ship pollution and wastewater; to ensure that federal and state agencies consider greenhouse gas emissions from a proposed fracked-gas-to-methanol facility in Kalama, Washington; to challenge Trump regulations that reverse protections for endangered species; and to restore salmon and orca populations in the Puget Sound and Klamath Basin.
Prior to Earthjustice, Paulo spent seven years in the Obama administration in the U.S. Department of Justice, Environment and Natural Resources Division. There, he helped oversee the Division’s docket; worked on the Deepwater Horizon oil spill litigation; negotiated a settlement agreement with Sunoco to require upgrades of its leak detection systems and inspection of its crude oil pipelines; and advanced administration initiatives to further environmental justice and honor obligations to Tribes. He also served as a Special Assistant United States Attorney in the Eastern District of Virginia and worked on the climate resilience team in the White House Council on Environmental Quality. Paulo lives in Beacon Hill with his partner and enjoys backpacking, cooking, HIIT classes, and interior design.
Sarah Reyneveld is an Assistant Attorney General in the Labor and Industries Division of the Washington State Attorney General’s Office (AGO) in Seattle. She previously served as a research assistant in the Office of Governor Chris Gregoire, a Legislative Assistant in the Washington State Senate, and a Deputy Finance Director on the 2004 Chris Gregoire for Governor campaign. Sarah earned a J.D. from the University of Washington Law School, a MPA from the Evans School of Public Policy and Governance, and a BA from Smith College. At UW, Sarah studied environmental law and policy and spent the summers working at the AGO’s Ecology Division, Earth Economics, and the Government Accountability Office’s Natural Resources and Environment team in Washington D.C. Sarah was also a founding student member and Associate Editor-in-Chief for Articles of the Washington Journal for Environmental Law & Policy. Sarah was previously a member of the Washington Conservation Voters’ Statewide Endorsement Advisory Committee and former King County Conservation Voters’ Board. In addition to the WCV board, Sarah currently serves as the Chair of the King County Women’s Advisory Board and on the boards of the UW Alumni Association, Graduate Washington, Washington’s Paramount Duty and the 36th District Democrats. In 2016, Sarah received the inaugural Evans School Young Alumni Award for her distinguished community service. Sarah lives in Ballard with her husband Joel and two young children.
Nancy Ritzenthaler has been active in the Washington environmental community for 15 years, as a board member of Conservation Northwest, and as supporter of many other green causes. After a career in business development and marketing at Microsoft and Hewlett Packard, she and her husband now own a business which provides business and family retreats for groups of 10-14 people, at two beachfront properties on Whidbey Island. Nancy received her MBA from Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Sloan School of Management, and a BS degree in forestry from the University of Washington. She lives in West Seattle with her husband and 3 children. Nancy grew up on Bainbridge Island and is a native Washingtonian. She spent her formative years hiking and climbing on the Olympic Peninsula. Her passions include cycling, nordic and alpine skiing, being a soccer mom, and enjoying the beauty of the Northwest.
Preeti Shridhar is the Deputy Public Affairs Administrator for the City of Renton and reports to the Mayor. She oversees intergovernmental relations, working with state and federal elected officials. She also manages the city’s public affairs and communications department, is responsible for launching Renton’s nationally recognized inclusion program, and more.
Preeti has 26 years of experience working for the public sector. Previously, she was the Communications Director for the Seattle Mayor’s Office of Sustainability and Environment. She helped launch Seattle’s nationally recognized environmental programs.
She has received national recognition for the programs she manages. These include awards for Renton’s Inclusion Program from National League of Cities, United States Conference of Mayors, and International City Managers Association, as well as several communications and environmental awards including an Emmy and a Tully.
Among her proudest achievements are launching Renton’s Inclusion Program that has now become a national model; contributing to the national launch of Seattle’s Climate Protection Initiative; and organizing the Seattle visit of former vice president Al Gore leading to the production of An Inconvenient Truth.
Preeti has several publications to her name. Her work is recognized internationally and she has worked on projects in Jordan, several on behalf of USAID. She is very active with Tasveer, an organization committed to engaging and empowering South-Asian women. She has an MBA in marketing and finance from the University of Minnesota, and a bachelor’s degree in economics and business. In 2019 and 2017, she ran for Port Commission and was one of the first candidates to make environmental sustainability at the Port her priority. She received nearly 75,000 votes and finished a close third in 2019 and first in the 2017 primary and made history in the 106-year history of the Port made history by being the only woman of color in the 104-year history of the Port of Seattle to win the primary. She serves on the board of Inspire Washington and volunteers with Tasveer, a South-Asian non-profit organization. She lives with her family in the greater Seattle area and her son is an engineer in Chicago.