Who We Are

Gorge Owned endeavors to bridge Gorge communities across five counties and two states, fostering meaningful connections to place and one another. We envision an active and engaged local citizenry, where community members understand the impact of daily choices.

Mission

Empowering residents to consciously engage locally, catalyzing communities in the Columbia River Gorge toward progress and prosperity for all.

Values

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

Courtney Christenson

Courtney Christenson

Executive Director

Amanda Lawrence

Amanda Lawrence

Amanda served on the board of Gorge Owned for 8 years before becoming staff at GO in 2014. Amanda is the Sense of Place curator at Gorge Owned. She 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 and also served as the Safe Routes to School Coordinator for the City of White Salmon. 

Amanda is currently the Executive Director of the White Salmon Valley Education Foundation. She lives in White Salmon and enjoys exploring the outdoors with her daughter and son and working with organizations that are building community within the Gorge.

Andy Wade

Andy Wade

Program and Development Manager

Andy is a Hood River native with strong roots in community activism and engagement.  Andy moved back to Hood River, along with his wife Susan and two sons, in 2008 after living for 12 years in Hong Kong, two years in Taiwan, and eight years in the Seattle area.

Andy helped organize the Hood River Warming Shelter, where he has been the volunteer trainer and coordinator for the past six years. Before coming to Gorge Owned, Andy was director of Mustard Seed Associates, a non-profit in Seattle. He holds a BA in Finance and Economics and a Masters in Theology.

His position with Gorge Owned gives him an opportunity to act to address community and world issues he is deeply concerned about: community development, climate change and economic and environmental justice. At home, Andy experiments with sustainable gardening practices and discovering new ways to cultivate community through neighbor-inclusive garden design. He also enjoys writing, camping, going on wild mushroom excursions on his motorcycle, and participating in thoughtful discussions about important issues.

Gorge Owned Board

Becky Brun

Becky Brun

Board President

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.

Lindsay Miller

Lindsay Miller

Board Member

Lindsay has been involved with Gorge Owned since 2012. She is an independent consultant specializing in business and strategic planning, program design, impact measurement, and organizational change. In addition to operating her own consultancy, Lindsay works as a Senior Consultant for Public Equity Group, a boutique strategy and management consulting firm focused on strategy development and management practices for philanthropic and community-based organizations across the nation.

She holds BS and BA degrees from the University of Oregon and an MBA from Oxford University, where she attended as a Skoll Scholar in social entrepreneurship. Lindsay lives in Hood River with her two daughters and husband Tyler, who co-owns Dirt Hugger.

Kelsey Frederic

Kelsey Frederic

Board Member

A writer-organizer-creative type, Kelsey joined the Gorge Owned board to participate in community outreach. Kelsey currently works in administration and marketing for Inter-Fluve at the Hood River waterfront and resides in The Dalles, OR.

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 Linn

Laura Linn

Secretary

A native Oregonian, Laura Linn currently works as the Senior Program Coordinator for VetsWork Environment, an AmeriCorps program of the Mt. Adams Institute in Trout Lake, Washington. Previously, Laura worked as a Senior Education Specialist for Friends of the National Zoo (FONZ) and the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute in Front Royal, Virginia, where she ran school outreach programs to more than 8,000 students.

Before joining FONZ she spent two years working in Namibia for the Cheetah Conservation Fund. Her previous board experience includes the Virginia Master Naturalist program and Samuels Public Library.

Laura holds a BS in Zoology from Oregon State University and is currently working on a Master of Arts in Biology through Miami University’s Global Field Program.  She enjoys hiking and backpacking, collecting vintage dresses and hanging out with her nieces and nephews.

Karalee Chabotte

Karalee Chabotte

Treasurer

Karalee is Vice President and Branch Manager of Inland Northwest Bank (INB) in the Hood River and Bingen office, and has 25 years of banking experience. 

Prior to joining the INB team in September of 2010, Ms. Chabotte was the Branch Manager of the First Independent Bank branches first in Vancouver then the Bingen office.  Prior to the Branch Manager position at First Independent Bank, Ms. Chabotte was Assistant Manager for Bank of America, starting In Mesa, AZ then transferred to Portland, then Vancouver. 

Ms. Chabotte worked for Bank of America for 9 years.  Before Bank of America, Ms. Chabotte worked for Key Bank of Oregon. 

 Currently, Ms. Chabotte resided in White Salmon, WA where she has lived for 8 years.  Ms. Chabotte is a Past President for the Rotary Club of White Salmon/Bingen and a current member of the club, current board member (Secretary) of the Skyline Hospital Foundation, and Volunteer Firefighter for White Salmon.    

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