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 and Board
(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.
Sense of Place Host and Curator
(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.
In 2010, Becky launched Gorge Owned Business Network as a program under the Columbia Gorge Earth Center.
Becky is a professional writer, editor
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.
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.