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Brian Allen
Founder and Principle, Appropriate Technology Group

Wisconsin native Brian Allen came to sustainability issues upon encountering an issue of the Mother Earth News at the tender age of ten. From that point on, integrated permaculture designs for food, energy, shelter, water and transportation systems were a given. He is the Director of Operations for the American Solar Energy Society and runs the Appropriate Technology Group, a Seattle-based consultancy focused on sustainable techology approaches for economic development and environmental protection.

Brian has founded or served on the boards of groups including the American Solar Energy Society, Sustainable West Seattle, the Green Party of Washington State, the Green Party of Seattle, Washington Alpine Club, Seattle Astronomical Society, The Backbone Campaign, The Washington Alliance of Technology Workers, Seattle Independent Media Center, Northwest Ecobuilding Guild, and the Puget Sound Beekeepers Association.  Brian holds a BA in Political Science & International Relations from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, the Certificat d’Études Politiques from the Institute d’Études Politiques in Aix-en-Provence, France, and an MA in Economics & Latin American Studies from The Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) in Washington, DC. He lives in West Seattle in a Homestead Community Land Trust home, which he is renovating into a model of green building techniques and energy self-sufficiency.


Malcolm Best
Center for Ethical Leadership Affiliate

Emigrating to the United States from Uruguay in the 60’s with thoughts of becoming an astronaut, Malcolm Best at the same time was fascinated with the possibilities of “inner-naut” travel.  Degrees in Physics from Bowdoin College, Visual Design from M.I.T, Social Work from the U. of Washington, a year in a Fine Arts program, training in psychodrama, Zen practices, martial arts and adaptive leadership are just some of the facets of a life of learning, discipline and transformation. As Senior Director he authored and executed a strategic plan to bring Restaurants Unlimited, with 3000 employees, into the computer age. As Cinnabon was born he was responsible for the information technology systems that would help the new chain take off.

In the Telecommunications sector Malcolm took on technical and leadership roles, harmonizing teams, mentoring and innovating. In the last decade relationships and social networks emerge as Malcolm’s central life theme leaving technical skills and decades of experience with systems analysis and design as supporting background. He served on the board for the Center for Ethical Leadership for several years.  

Among Malcolm's earliest memories there are thrilling moments of stepping into an alive wild place seemingly untouched by humans over the ages. Later some of the same excitement comes from the beauty found in the practices of some native cultures. As the years go by, comes the horrifying realization that all the life of those places and peoples is disappearing and will be gone without global preservation or adoption of sustainable lifestyles. His current passion is, as human connectivity and scale increase, for exploring and actualizing the incredible capacity that exists between people and between organizations, in service of the common good and sustainability.


Richard Gelb
Performance management and STAR Communities lead, King County

Richard Gelb has been working with city and county governments on sustainability topics for several decades.  He currently serves as performance manager and equity/social justice lead for King County Natural Resources and Parks, coordinates King County’s STAR Pilot implementation, and is on the national Steering Committee of the STAR Community Rating System.  In prior roles, Richard served as an elected board member for King Conservation District, strategic advisor for Seattle’s Office of Sustainability and Environment, green building manager for Seattle Parks, and lead author of the first King County Regional Disaster Plan.

Richard’s passion for sustainability was first kindled when he worked as a climbing, whitewater, and wilderness guide for Outward Bound and related programs in North America’s most treasured wilderness areas; his commitment to sustainable development intensified when he became a parent. Richard has a B.S. in Business Administration, a Masters in Environmental Studies, and is a LEED Accredited Professional.


Nathan Jackson
Action Coordinator, Working Washington

Nathan Jackson graduated from Central Washington University with a degree in Secondary English teaching and began working in various educational positions including AmeriCorps, pre-kindergarten and college level teaching.  He has always had a desire to help others reach their full potential and see that their limitations are only what they set for themselves. He brings experience in non profit organizations, social outreach and communication.  He is especially effective with interpersonal relationships and pragmatic problem solving.  

Nathan has a deep commitment to social justice, health equity and education for all. He started reevaluating his actions and their repercussions near his 18th birthday and decided to become a vegetarian. Thinking about how we affect our surroundings by our actions both personal and societal started his passion for sustainability. Vegetarianism broadened his perspective. He believes that no real change can happen if someone is over dependent on others and is not fulfilling their own promise.  Change happens when someone learns how to fend for themselves using their own natural talents, education and access to services that empower and free them.


Aisha Kaba
Board Member, African Media Center

Aisha Kaba, originally from Guinea, has been living in the Pacific Northwest since 1998, and has been deeply engaged with at least one non-profit project a year since 2005. She has been teaching First Aid and CPR/AED as a volunteer teacher at the Seattle Red Cross which she joined in 2003. She is also a member of Amnesty International and a board member the African Media Center.  Aisha enjoys dancing and practicing yoga, whenever she can.


Garrett Kephart
Managing Director at Willowmoor Investments, LLC; Senior Associate, Point B

Garrett is a Seattle native with over 11 years of experience in energy, clean tech, and sustainability consulting; alternatives investing; start-ups; philanthropy; and outdoor leadership and education. He is Managing Director at Willowmoor Investments, LLC, an investment company focused on real estate, finance, clean tech, and socially responsible ventures; and a Senior Associate at Point B, Inc., a management consulting firm based in Seattle. Garrett developed a passion for sustainability at Keewaydin Canoe Camp, as a camper and leader of multi-day wilderness expeditions in eastern Canada. Garrett holds a Masters in Public Policy (MPP) with a concentration in Environmental Policy from the Trachtenberg School of Public Policy and Public Administration at the George Washington University and a Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Philosophy from Colby College. In addition to Sustainable Seattle, Garrett is a Member of the Board of Directors at the Seattle Parks Foundation and leads the Keewaydin Foundation’s Adult Wilderness Trip Program.


Elta Ratliff
Founder, Shine on Seattle; Board Member, Cool Mom

Elta Ratliff is actively involved in a number of projects in the community aimed at improving our environment and our schools. She is the sustainability co-chair at Seattle Country Day School, helping SCDS reach its goal of becoming certified as a Washington Green School. She is board treasurer for CoolMom, a local nonprofit that unites families to take action against climate change.  For Queen Anne Greenways, she advocates for safer biking and walking routes.

In 2011 she founded Shine On Seattle, organizing a family bike ride that raised funds for Seattle’s first Community Solar Project; it’s still earning energy credits for schools today. A graduate of MIT with a degree in chemical engineering and the mother of three boys, Elta’s previous work experience includes process and plant engineering, project management, and supply chain logistics software consulting. She and her family enjoy hiking, biking, and skiing in their free time.


Heather Trim,
Director of Science and Policy, Futurewise

Heather Trim most recently was Director of Policy for People For Puget Sound and has more than 20 years of experience in environmental work. In Los Angeles, she worked for the Regional Water Quality Control Board on water quality standards, regulatory permits, and pollution assessments of both surface and ground water for Los Angeles and Ventura Counties. She then was staff scientist for the Los Angeles and San Gabriel Rivers Watershed Council focusing on various projects leading to the greening of the rivers, including water quality, stormwater issues, pollution assessments and habitat renewal. She moved to Seattle in 2001 and joined People For Puget Sound in 2002.  

She works on reducing toxic pollution and protecting shoreline health in Puget Sound and also focuses on a range of Seattle issues – waterfront, habitat, stormwater, and landuse.  She has been a leader of Zero Waste Seattle which has run campaigns on food serviceware styrofoam ban, plastic bags and reducing unwanted phonebooks, full recycling at businesses, among other waste reduction efforts.  She enjoys camping and travelling but is a pathetic bike rider.


Scott Warner
Attorney, Garvey Schubert Barer

Scott is an owner in the Seattle office of Garvey Schubert Barer heading the Intellectual Property/Technology Group and represents software, hardware, telecom, smart-grid and and clean-tech, healthcare, internet, multi-media, content, e-commerce, logistics, manufacturing, transportation and video game companies in matters relating to the development, acquisition, protection and commercialization of technology and intellectual property assets.Scott has been recognized as a "Super Lawyer" in Washington and as one of Washington's Most Amazing Lawyers by Washington CEO Magazine in 2006.

Scott has been an advocate for sustainability since being involved in the first Jerry Brown administration in Californai soon after graduating from college.


Tracy Williams
Associate Attorney, Murphy Armstrong Felton LLP

Tracy Y. Williams is as a senior associate at Murphy Armstrong Felton LLP.  She represents individual clients and businesses in commercial litigation, as well as complex environmental cleanup and contamination cases, natural resource damages actions, cost recovery and contribution actions, and government agency supervised clean ups in State and Federal courts throughout Washington.  Ms. Williams also represents clients on appellate matters.  Prior to entering private practice, Ms. Williams served as a judicial clerk to the Honorable J. Robin Hunt and the Honorable C.C. Bridgewater (retired) of Division Two of the Washington State Court of Appeals.  Ms. Williams is a member of the Washington State Bar Association and the King County Bar Association.  She is actively involved with the Environmental and Land Use Section of the King County Bar Association.  

Ms. Williams first became interested in sustainability in college while pursuing a B.A. in International Political Economics, which focused on sensible economic growth developed in a way that protected natural and human resources.  In her free time, Ms. Williams likes to hike, travel, and hang out with friends.


Dave Woolley-Wilson, Chair
Social Venture Partners

Since moving to the Pacific NW, David used his knowledge of advance green building techniques to complete a green remodel of their home and volunteered with several organizations focused on sustainable development including Social Venture Partners, Cascadia Eastside Leaf, Northwest EcoBuilding Guild and International Living Future Institute.  Previously, David lived in Washington, DC where he pursued his passion to work on global climate change.  He served on the Board of Directors before becoming the Executive Director of the Green Building Institute, a leading green education non-profit in the Mid-Atlantic region.  He also served on the DC Jazz Festival Board of Directors to raise funds for the annual DC Jazz Festival.  

Formerly, he lived in the San Francisco Bay Area for nearly 30 years where he was the Chairman and CEO of the East Bay Conversion and Reinvestment Commission (EBCRC) - a non-profit focused on converting closed military bases into new sustainable economic uses.  David received his Masters from the University of California at Berkeley and his undergraduate degree from the University of South Dakota.  He also attended the Harvard Business School’s Executive Education Program, Strategic Perspectives in Nonprofit Management as well as HBS’s Social Enterprise Conference on Global Climate Change and the Wharton Business Club’s Green Business Summit.  He loves to travel through the Puget Sound with his wife and three-year-old black lab to find fun new places to fetch.

Our former board members can be viewed here.


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