Jussi Keranen, President, is a mostly retired electrician, dad and grandpa. Having the good fortune of being exposed to the outside world early on he’s been active outdoors most of his life. Those interests and activities have taken him up and over mountains, through lush valleys and parched deserts, above and below the ocean’s surface; feeding an immense curiosity and never ceasing wonder of this incredible planet and it’s inhabitants we’re so gifted to spend a life upon.
Jessica Lind Diamond Green, Vice President, lives in Seattle and relies on the outdoors to keep her sane. She enjoys kayaking, biking, hiking, camping, gardening, foraging, and lying on her back, looking at the stars. She never tires of splashing around in phosphorescence. Jessica also spends a good amount of time indoors, planning events or fundraising for independent media. She has worn a number of hats in the recent past for The Nation, YES! Magazine, the Seattle Good Business Network, and Pike Market Childcare. She has also volunteered with Around the Table Farm, Crosscut, and Bainbridge Vineyards.
Spring Courtright, Treasurer, is a seasoned kayak guide who is also the Kitsap ECO Net coordinator and owner of Spring Cleaning, a sustainable home organization business. At age fifteen, after years of personal difficulties, she attended a three-week Outward Bound course that shifted the direction of her life. She began sponsoring other young people who wanted to get sober, assisting outdoor trips with troubled youth, and ultimately working for numerous outdoor organizations. This culminated with a fifteen year period working for the Olympic Outdoor center as a kayak guide and program director. She is an explorer and leader, whether she is in the high mountains, the back woods of Kitsap, or the inlets and passages of the Salish Sea.
Les Welsh currently serves as the Associate Director for the Pacific at the National Wildlife Federation and has been a conservation nonprofit professional for nearly 30 years. He was co-founder of Greenpeace’s Great Lakes office and has served as First Nation’s Liaison for Greenpeace USA, as Conservation Director and later Executive Director for the aviation conservation organization LightHawk, and as Executive Director for the Maui-based Pacific Whale Foundation. His work has contributed to the protection of such wild places as Tatshenshini and Clayoquot Sound watersheds in British Columbia, Bristol Bay and the Tongass forests in Alaska, and the expansion of Papahānaumokuākea and Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monuments in the central Pacific Ocean.
Myrna Keliher, Secretary, is an artist and poetry publisher who lives and works in Kingston, WA. She owns and operates Expedition Press, dividing her work life between letterpress printing, bookbinding, and website building. At age fifteen, Myrna’s first backpacking trip was a weeklong north-south traverse of the Olympic Mountains. She has now hiked roughly two-thirds of the park and has done at least one solo trip each year the past thirteen summers. Most at home on a ridge at 5000 feet, the mountains are the vanguard of her sanity and she’s passionate about sharing that space with others who have yet to experience it.
Forrest Nichols, Executive Director, stays busy working in the engine-rooms of Washington State Ferries, growing gourmet mushrooms, raising his two wild and enthusiastic boys, and managing the logistical aspects of Wild Society. During his middle and high-school years Forrest was exposed to an array of wilderness skills and experiences through the Tracking Project’s Hawkeye camp in northern New Mexico, and through rich relationships with several mentors in the wilds of Washington state. Since those formative years, Forrest has been in love with the outdoors, continually studying and exploring the dynamic and living systems of the world around him.
Mark Darrach, Advisory Member, is a rare plant conservation botanist, geologist and musician who splits time between his home in Indianola and Pendleton, Oregon where he works as a botanist for the U.S. Forest Service. Mark grew up in a series of steps across the western U.S. before landing in southern New Jersey for most of his formative years. His time spent exploring the magic of the Pine Barrens portion of the state ignited his love and never-ceasing sense of wonder for the natural world, and plants in particular. Mark is also a certified teacher and has taught at West Sound Academy, and as a long-time instructor for North Cascades Institute. During the winter months he works at the herbarium at the Burke Museum in Seattle where he is a research associate doing plant taxonomic research publishing species new-to-science and authoring new technical keys for various plant groups. His passions are plants, songwriting and playing acoustic guitar, taking long floats on wild rivers whenever he can get away, and hanging out with his new Bernese Mountain puppy.