Michael Cairns, Board President

Michael Cairns is a retired (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency) watershed ecologist. Since retirement, he has worked as a watershed project manager to design and implement restoration projects. Michael also does consulting work to assess fish and wildlife habitat. Although his primary work is in the area of water quality and watershed enhancement, he is also interested in global change, alternative energy, and sustainable agriculture. With his family, he also owns the Oregon Beer Growler, a magazine promoting he Oregon craft beer industry.

Linda Modrell, Board Member

Linda Modrell holds both a BS in Business (Accounting) and a MBA (minor in community health) from Oregon State University. She worked for several years in health policy before running for elective office and was also a long-time Oregon State University employee. Since 1999 when Linda was elected Benton County Commissioner, she has primarily focused on transportation, health, water, tax policy and governance issues.

Connie Karr, Board Member

Connie grew up in Oregon agriculture, working on the family grass seed and vegetable farm. She has worked in the organic movement, community, and industry for 10 years. She serves as the Processing Program Manager for Oregon Tilth, working daily with growers and processors of organic food, feed and fiber to help them understand regulatory requirements under the National Organic Program, Global Organic Textile Standards and international trade standards. She develops and coordinates educational events around the country, and has extensive experience in marketing organic products of all kinds. She also serves on the board of the Oregon Organic Coalition.

David Richey, Board Member

I was raised in Austin, Texas, where I watched development on the Edwards Aquifer degrade a crown jewel of Austin’s natural environment, Barton Springs Pool. Observing first-hand the degradation of this landscape made tangible to me the tyranny of site-scale decisions in cumulatively creating degraded landscape conditions, and the need for landscape planning. Educated in biology (BA, 1991) and steeped in the environmental movement at Oberlin College in Ohio, I worked in landscape construction and horticulture in Albuquerque, NM, before studying Landscape Architecture at the University of Oregon (BLA, 1997; MLA, 2000). While at UO, I was a Graduate Research Fellow with the Institute for a Sustainable Environment Geographic Information Systems(GIS) Lab in a five-year EPA-funded project, Alternative Futures for the Willamette River Basin, analyzing impacts of land use over a 60-year planning horizon on terrestrial and aquatic vertebrates, water supply, and urban and rural land supply. I also taught plant material identification and use, Urban Farming, and Geographic Information Systems, both as a Graduate Teaching Fellow and Adjunct Assistant Professor at the University of Oregon. I am now a GIS analyst with the Lane Council of Governments, where I fill a variety of roles as cartographer, spatial data analyst, and urban, regional, and natural resource planner for a range of clients. It was while working on projects for the Eugene Water and Electric Board (EWEB) that I first come into contact with Cascade Pacific RC&D through the Local Food Connection (LCF) in 2007. Since that time, I have had frequent contact with CPRC&D projects and staff through my work for EWEB on the LCF, the Berggren Farm, and most recently, the McKenzie River Collaborative. Outside of work, I enjoy spending time with my wife and three children cooking, gardening, and enjoying the out-of-doors.

Jeff Powers, Board Member

Jeff has a broad background in Park Administration and Natural Resource Management ranging from planning and management of water based recreational facilities to habitat conservation for threatened and endangered species. He retired after 30 years of public sector service, mostly at the County level. He most recently served for nine years as the Director of the Benton County Natural Areas and Parks Department. Jeff spent much of his youth outside on the farmlands, woodlots and rivers of the Upper Midwest. He studied Forestry at Purdue University prior to migrating to Oregon in 1977. A few years later he completed work toward a Bachelors degree in Resource Recreation Management from Oregon State. When not enjoying his four grandchildren and tending to the family two acres north of Corvallis, he tries to set aside time for a range of outdoor activities and travel.