We envision a Columbia River Gorge where locally owned businesses thrive and are able to provide family-wage jobs, people know how to reduce their environmental footprint and are inspired to do so, and communities feel connected rather than divided by geographic barriers.
Gorge Owned (GO!) is a member-supported organization helping people invest in a strong local economy, healthy environment and vibrant community in the Columbia River Gorge.
We value COMMUNITY, ACTION, ENVIRONMENT, PROSPERITY, INTEGRITY, SHARED LEARNING, and CREATIVITY.
Theory of Change
We believe that connecting people to information and resources will lead to citizen empowerment, driving community investment, engagement and positive change.
Gorge Owned Staff
Rebecca Thistlethwaite is Director of Gorge Owned and previously served on the Board for two years. She joined the board because she wanted to get involved in her community after moving to the Gorge in 2012 and found GO! to be the organization making the most meaningful change towards sustainability and community resilience in the Gorge. Rebecca is the author of Farms with a Future (2012) and the forthcoming book The New Livestock Farmer (Chelsea Green, 2015). She works as a Farm & Food Policy Analyst for The Cornucopia Institute, an agricultural think-tank based in Wisconsin. She also runs Sustain Consulting, which specializes in food and farm business consulting, working with both nongovernmental organizations and for-profit businesses. Rebecca also operates a small farm and a community farm stand in Mosier with her husband and co-author, Jim Dunlop, and their daughter, Fiona.
Marketing and Program Director
A passionate and talented community organizer, Amanda served on the board of Gorge Owned for 8 years before becoming the Membership and Program Director. She is responsible for ensuring that our programs run smoothly and that members’ news and events get promoted through our newsletter and social media sites. Amanda has lived in the Columbia River Gorge since 2004. She spent many years working for the Northwest Service Academy-Mt. Adams Center as the Environmental Internship Program Coordinator, and most recently served as the Safe Routes to School Coordinator for the City of White Salmon. She lives in White Salmon and enjoys exploring the outdoors with her daughter, volunteering for organizations that are making the Gorge a more livable community, gardening and seeing lectures and films.
Community Outreach Coordinator
Michelina Roth moved to the Columbia Gorge two and a half years ago and is excited to be working with Gorge Owned as Membership Recruitment Coordinator. The mother of three homeschooled children, she is passionate about sustainability and environmental stewardship. She holds degrees in French and Religious Studies from Dominican University. Previously she owned and operated a 100+ person CSA on the East Coast. She now lives on a small family farm in the Gorge with her husband David Roth, Financial Advisor with Edward Jones, and their three boys. She enjoys reading, gardening, hiking, participating in local theater productions and is passionate about living in the Gorge and being a part of this community.
Gorge Owned Board
In 2010, Becky launched Gorge Owned Business Network as a program under the Columbia Gorge Earth Center. First as a staff member and now as a board member, she spearheads the GO! Local campaign and Green Drinks networking events and assists with outreach and marketing efforts. Becky is a professional writer, editor and public relations consultant. She is the owner of Pitchfork Communications, a public relations firm helping small and large businesses tell their compelling stories. Driven by her interest in smart-growth planning and local economic development, she also serves on the Hood River City Council. An avid cyclist, runner, skier and gardening, she lives in Hood River with her husband Jonathan and Dufur the Wonder Dog.
A retired forester/tree farmer living in the unique Gorge haven of Cascade Locks, where he and his wife Susan publish Green Living: A Practical Journal for Mindful Living. A New England transplant, he has lived in the Northwest since 1960 and in Cascade Locks since 1987. He is a big fan of Amory Lovins of the Rocky Mountain Institute, and Elon Musk of Tesla, Solar City, and Space X. He serves on the GO! board as a way to promote sustainable living within his community and in the Columbia Gorge region.
Lindsay served as the Executive Director of Gorge Owned from June 2012 until December 2014. She has worked extensively as a consultant to social enterprises and nonprofits in the US and abroad, assisting with market analysis, business planning, program design, impact measurement, strategic planning and organizational change. She has led the development of two major online resource initiatives for social entrepreneurs and served as the Programming Lead for the Skoll World Forum on Social Entrepreneurship. She holds degrees from the University of Oregon and Oxford University, where she earned an MBA as a Skoll Scholar in social entrepreneurship. Lindsay Miller lives in Hood River with her two daughters and husband Tyler, who co-owns Dirt Hugger.
Colleen grew up in Hood River and returned to the Gorge in 2010. She is very happy to be part of an organization that works to make the Gorge a great place to live, especially since she and her husband are raising two children in the area. Colleen brings to GO! extensive experience in non-profit management, marketing, programming and monitoring/evaluation. She has worked with a variety of non-profit organizations in both the US and internationally. She holds a BA in Romance Languages from the University of Oregon and a Master of Public Administration from the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey. She enjoys singing jazz, reading and hiking the trails near her home in White Salmon.
Kelsey was born and raised in Anchorage, Alaska, where she spent her childhood enjoying fishing trips with her family and taking advantage of the long summer days. She graduated from Washington State University with a Bachelor degree in Communication and a Minor in Fine Arts. While at school, she met her husband to be. They live in The Dalles, Oregon. With full time work and play, Kelsey also finds time to chip away at her children’s book, volunteer at the Columbia Gorge Center for the Arts, work as a contributing writer to envirogorge.com, and serving on board of Gorge Owned.
Originally from the South, Scott earned a bachelor of science in civil engineering form the University of Texas at Austin before moving to the Gorge more than 20 years ago. He loves living in a place where nature and sense of community are important to locals. Scott owns two small businesses — Scott Sorensen Construction, Inc., a general contracting business, specializing in design/build projects, and Common Energy LLC, a renewable energy company. Between the two firms, he tries to encourage “thoughtful” building and taking advantage of the Earth’s greatest natural resource: the sun. A father of four teenaged sons, Scott is often at a lacrosse game, flyfishing, kiteboarding and traveling to Baja.
Abby is a Hood River local who returned to the Gorge in 2013 to pursue entrepreneurial opportunities with her family and their two small businesses, Marley’s Corner Pub and Ship Interior Systems, LLC. She holds a BA in Environmental Studies with an emphasis in Geography as well as minors in Land Use Planning and Studio Art. A long-time baker and barista, Abby has continued to hone her skills in organization, record keeping, drafting and project management. Abby is interested in community development, aesthetics, art, sustainability and contributing to the exceptional quality of life in the Columbia River Gorge. She is often walking or biking around town and loves hiking, sailing, snowboarding, floating rivers, travel, drawing and gardening.
Randy and his wife, Nicol Angel, co-own Laughing Mountain, a multi-sensory, small business collective, creating and supporting sustainable, vital lifestyles within our local Gorge Community. Randy and Nicol also co-own the Good Medicine Tea Lounge, which is located within Laughing Mountain. The Good Medicine Tea Lounge specializes in bringing sustainably sourced organic tea directly from producers around the world to the Gorge. Prior to launching these two businesses in 2014, Randy worked as a consulting hydrologist for several years. Randy and Nikol grew up in central Washington and love living in the Gorge, where they can enjoy many activities with their two children.
Sarah Moore moved to Hood River five years ago knowing it would be a great community where she could balance work and her love of adventure. She has been working as a graphic designer since graduating from the University of Oregon in 2009 with a Bachelors in Fine Art. Sarah has worked with a wide range of clients, from logos for small start ups to being the Art Director of two national magazines. She enjoys the work she does, and loves helping small businesses and startups build their brand. When Sarah is not behind a computer designing she likes to adventurer and travel, making Hood River the perfect place to call home.