Who we are

Originally founded in 2002 as the Columbia Gorge Earth Center, Gorge Owned is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit community-building organization working toward resilient, thriving communities across the Columbia River Gorge. In addition to seasonal initiatives and year-round public education supporting our mission, we deliver three flagship programs annually: GO! Local, the Sense of Place lecture series, and Community Conversations (the latter of which has taken forms over the years like Green Drinks, Books and Brews.) These programs help people make real connections, strengthen community, and foster a healthy local economy.

Gorge Owned Staff

Courtney Christenson

Courtney Christenson

Executive Director

director@gorgeowned.org
(541) 716 – 1854

Courtney joined Gorge Owned in 2016, after falling for and relocating to the Gorge the year prior. She has roots all over – New England, the Midwest, Southern California, and has worked with nonprofits and community groups on and off since the ’90s. With a degree in Literary Journalism (and street cred in issue advocacy), Courtney is passionate about the power of mission-based marketing to realize social change. Outside of her GO! life, she is at times a community activist, a nonprofit consultant, an avid reseacher of historic homes, and a dabbler in too many crafts. She lives in historic downtown The Dalles with her son Henry, an active Mosier Community School kiddo.

Jeremiah Paulsen

Jeremiah Paulsen

Membership Lead

jeremiah@gorgeowned.org
(360) 460 – 9262

After seven years in the Air Force National Guard and graduating with a Bachelor’s in Theatre Arts, Jeremiah Paulsen made his way to The Dalles, where he served as Executive Director for The Dalles Main Street Program. He is most proud of the acquisition of grant funds to support exterior renovation projects such as The Granada Theater, Gorge Academy, and Historic Herbring House. Jeremiah is passionate about what connects a community and highlights its greatest assets. Outside of his career activities, you can find Jeremiah exploring the Gorge, getting outside, focusing on a healthy mind and body, locating excellent craft beer, and working on music projects.

Sarah Fox

Sarah Fox

Sense of Place Host and Curator

sop@gorgeowned.org
(503) 679 – 9880

Hood River resident Sarah Fox is producer and host of the podcast Hear in the Gorge. Her work has appeared on Oregon Public Broadcasting (OPB) and she’s built her career on a desire to discover, understand, and amplify the stories of others. The Hear in the Gorge podcast began as a complement to Sense of Place, and a way to share untold or overlooked stories of the Columbia River Gorge. In 2019 and entering its milestone 10th season, Sarah stepped in for longtime GO! board and staff member Amanda Lawrence to take the reins as Host and Curator of the Sense of Place lecture series.

Board of Directors

Becky Brun

Becky Brun

Board President

In 2010, Becky launched Gorge Owned Business Network as a program under the Columbia Gorge Earth Center.

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 has served on the Hood River City Council. An avid cyclist, runner, skier and gardener, she lives in Hood River with her husband Jonathan and Dufur the Wonder Dog.

Bethany Keeley
Bethany Keeley

Treasurer

Bethany Keeley is an Oregon native who grew up in Bend with a great appreciation for all activities in the outdoors. Bethany graduated Oregon Institute of Technology with a Bachelor’s degree in Radiologic Sciences. She currently works as an Xray Technologist in both The Dalles and in Hood River. She is passionate about being a life long learner and found the GO ‘Sense of Place’ a beautiful intersection of people and place. She believes that communities can change the world. When Bethany isn’t outdoors on a trail, she can be found experimenting in the kitchen over a new recipe or out in her garden.

Kelsey Alsheimer

Kelsey Alsheimer

Secretary

A writer-organizer-creative type, Kelsey joined the Gorge Owned board to participate in community outreach. Kelsey currently works in marketing for SWCA Environmental Consultants and resides in Underwood, WA.

Prior to Gorge living, Kelsey attended Washington State University where she graduated with a degree in Communication and enjoyed her time as an NCAA athlete, long nights in the broadcast editing lounge and backstage during theatre productions at the audio board. Since then, she has participated as a writer for Envirogorge.com, audio volunteer for CGAC, and hopes to one day finish her children’s book.

Laura Klement
Laura Klement

Board Member

Kate Grenadier
Kate Grenadier

Board Member

Lauren Kolojejchick-Kotch
Lauren Kolojejchick-Kotch

Board Member

Jodie Gates
Jodie Gates

Board Member