We are a volunteer organization, led by a Steering Committee and supported by three standing committees: Communications, Development, and Finance.
- Steering Committee: Guides the Coalition—sets policy, develops strategy, and oversees finances. Members serve as action team liaisons and are members of operating committees.
- Executive Committee: Carries out the day-to-day responsibilities. Composed of Steering Committee officers.
- Facilitator/Director: Coordinates programs and activities.
Rena Chen – Member at large
Rena Chen enjoys bringing people together to build community, solve problems, and learn from one another. Her academic background is in anthropology, environmental studies, and urban studies focusing on sustainability issues regarding food systems and biodiversity. Rena is a member of a few local mycology groups (WVMS, CMS, NATS), serves on the boards of Corvallis Young Professionals, the Center Against Rape and Domestic Violence, Engineers for a Sustainable World, and the Imagine Corvallis 2040 Advisory Network.
Elizabeth Gibb, Treasurer – Member at large
Elizabeth serves on the Corvallis Sustainability Coalition Executive Committee and Financial Committee. She brings with her a strong background in finance, project management, nonprofit development, fundraising, and event planning.
Johannah Hamilton, Ph.D. – Member at large
Johannah received her doctorate in 2023 from Oregon State University’s School of Public Policy. She holds her M.S. in Agricultural Economics from Auburn University and a B.S. in Agricultural Economics with a minor in Spanish from the University of Kentucky. Johannah has served as the co-advisor of MANRRS (Minorities in Agriculture, Natural Resources and Related Sciences) and SACNAS (Society for the Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics and Native Americans in Science) at OSU. She has also co-chaired the City of Corvallis King Legacy Advisory Board. Johannah is also the co-founder and CEO of a local business, Melanin Minerals. She serves as the Sustainability Coalition’s Community Inclusion Action Team leader.
Loma Hammond – Member at large
Loma is a native Oregonian and has worked at HP for more than 25 years.
Sean McGuire – Benton County
Sean is the Benton County Sustainability Coordinator. The Benton County Sustainability Program strives to develop and promote sustainable practices within our governmental operations. These practices consist of reducing operational cost, decreasing waste, and enhancing the well-being and health of county employees. In the community, they are working with residents and businesses to foster a more sustainable and resilient community.
Annette Mills, Facilitator – League of Women Voters of Corvallis
Annette Mills grew up in a village outside of Chicago and in suburban Los Angeles. She has degrees from Stanford University and Pacific Oaks College in Pasadena, California. Following college, her work as a VISTA volunteer in rural Oklahoma led her to a life of teaching and community building. Annette’s professional background includes work as a public school educator in southern California and as the Environmental Programs Specialist for the City of Falls Church, Virginia, just outside of Washington, DC. She is a life-long community volunteer who retired from paid work and moved to Corvallis in 2006. Annette was a co-founder of the Corvallis Sustainability Coalition, and it has been her full-time focus since 2007.
Andrea Norris – Oregon State University
Andrea Norris began her journey in sustainability work as an OSU student, spearheading a campaign to purchase renewable energy for the university and leading a new student sustainability organization. After graduating, she worked in the Recycling and Surplus programs at Oregon State for 13 years, where she provided leadership for events, marketing, student mentorship, partnerships, program development, and strategic planning. Andrea has been involved in Coalition work since 2008, including leading the Waste Prevention Action Team for many years. She now works at the OSU Basic Needs Center, mentoring student leaders and stewarding a variety of basic needs programs such as a textbook lending library and housing strategy support.
Kirsten Talabere, Secretary – OSU student
Kirsten is an OSU student studying Environmental Science and Geographic Information Systems (GIS). In the past, she helped introduce composting to her high school in Ohio and worked closely with OSU’s Sustainability Office and Campus Recycling to grow cultures of sustainability and eco-justice within the residence halls. She is currently working at OSU Campus Recycling & Surplus to manage recycling and materials leaving campus.
Aura Thomas-Sargent – OSU student
Aura is an OSU student studying Political Science and French, and is the Steering Committee Liaison to the Communications Action Team. She has a special interest in social sustainability and climate justice, particularly stakeholder value interactions and identity salience in political participation. Aura organized the 2023 Corvallis Sustainability Fair and now works on social media and policy evaluation with the Coalition.
Brandon Trelstad, Vice Facilitator – Oregon State University
Brandon is a co-founder of the Corvallis Sustainability Coalition. He has served as the Sustainability Officer at OSU since 2005. The OSU Sustainability Office team fosters a culture of sustainability, enhances student competency around issues of sustainability, reduces the university’s environmental impact and communicates sustainability efforts to the campus community and external audiences. Brandon serves on the Corvallis Sustainability Coalition Executive Committee and is Steering Committee Liaison to the Energy Action Team. He contributes skills in capacity-building and organizational development.
Carlos Valdés-Casillas, Ph.D. – Member at large
Carlos has worked in conservation of natural resources and communities’ sustainability in México, Canada and the United States. He considers that every feasible solution should start at the community level, which is a focus of the Corvallis Sustainability Coalition. Carlos believes that Corvallis offers a unique opportunity to design and test alternative steps towards sustainable approaches that can, in turn, be implemented elsewhere and at larger scales. He has worked with several federal, state, and local governments, with academic programs in high schools and universities, NGOs, and indigenous communities in México and the U.S. He is convinced that collaboration is key for the success of any project. Carlos serves on the Coalition’s Community Inclusion and Health & Human Services Action Teams.
Briae Lewis – City Council liaison to the steering committee
The following operating committees support the Sustainability Coalition and its 12 action teams:
Communications & Marketing Committee
- Develops communication tools
- Communicates the activities and accomplishments of the Coalition, its action teams and partner organizations
- Educates the community about sustainability
- Contact: Annette Mills
- Develops and reviews fiscal procedures, revenue plans, and forecasts
- Provides support to Development Committee
- Prepares and monitors the annual budget
- Contact: Elizabeth Gibb
- Creates and directs fundraising efforts
- Contact: Annette Mills