Sacred Earth Foundation Board of Directors
Judy Todd, President, Portland
Judy came to Ekone as a consultant in 2006, just a year before founder Ray Mitchell’s death, and was hooked by the spirit of the land. She is an Oregon native who has been guiding excursions into natural and wild landscapes for over 15 years as the founder of NatureConnect NW, and has inspired hundreds of people over many years to engage more deeply with the natural world. Judy’s background includes teaching, leadership coaching, non-profit consulting and development, writing and nature connection mentoring. She is an accomplished naturalist and poet who self-published a chapbook in 2013, The Canticle & the Elegy, and participated in the Great Climate Action March in 2014.
Jeff Arnieri, Vice President, Goldendale
Jeff arrived at Ekone with Denise in 2011, directly from Chicago in search of a quieter life with like-minded people. He found his niche in the forest at Ekone, coordinating and implementing many acres of fuel-reduction work for the prevention of wildfires and to make a healthier, more resilient forest. Jeff was elected by Ekone residents to fill the board seat reserved for a representative of the residential community, and also serves as the volunteer coordinator.
Thérèse Charvet, Treasurer, Bainbridge Island
Thérèse offered a Compassionate Listening workshop for Ekone residents in 2009, and promptly fell in love with the ponderosas, oaks, and canyons of Ekone. She is the founder of Sacred Groves on Bainbridge Island, a retreat center and place of ceremony, and served as the director of the Seattle Midwifery School for 13 years. Thérèse now offers her gifts as an ordained minister, counselor and facilitator using earth-based rituals to connect us more deeply with Mother Earth–and her financial savvy and business experience in her role as SEF’s treasurer!
Caitlin Jones, Secretary, Whidbey Island
Caitlin was just 8 years old when she spent the first of many summers at Ekone. She became an integral part of the summer camp leadership team, and spent a full year living at Ekone before completing her Masters in Social Work at the University of Washington. She now lives on Whidbey Island and serves as a social worker in public schools, which fortunately still leaves some of the summer free for wrangling kids and horses at Ekone Ranch.
Douglas Lyon, Mt. Hood
Doug has spent much of his career as a medical doctor doing international work with Doctors Without Borders, deeply committed to making the world a better place. When he first visited Ekone in 2009 and started attending workparties and gatherings, the sincerity of the community of people at Ekone working together to make a difference in the world made a big impression on him. That, and Ekone’s spacious shop, sawmill, and the Yummy Tummy Cafe, where he is known to make a guest appearance as camp chef from time to time.
Deja Linet, Seattle
Deja spent some of her childhood at Ekone in the early 1980′s, before Sacred Earth Foundation and Ekone Summer Camps became reality. She returned to the ranch with her two young sons in 2010, and was happy to see the developments of the organization. Deja brings experience in Human Resource Management with both Microsoft and Amazon to the board of directors, as well as her love for making beautiful works of stained glass.
Tim Southworth, Goldendale
Tim, with his wife Laurie, has been a neighbor of Ekone since 1980, and watched the organization through many phases of evolution. In the first years of summer camp, the closest phone was at Tim and Laurie’s, a 3-mile cross-country ride. As the owners/operators of Southslope Woodworks, a custom design/build company, Tim and Laurie bring a wealth of experience in physical infrastructure to the oversight of Ekone’s operations. They also have decades of experience in stewardship of this landscape, and are accomplished musicians!
Laurie Southworth, Goldendale
Laurie, with her husband Tim, has been a neighbor of Ekone since 1980, and watched the organization through many phases of evolution. In the first years of summer camp, the closest phone was at Tim and Laurie’s, a 3-mile cross-country ride. As the owners/operators of Southslope Woodworks, a custom design/build company, Tim and Laurie bring a wealth of experience in physical infrastructure to the oversight of Ekone’s operations. They also have decades of experience in stewardship of this landscape, and are accomplished musicians!
Kent Siebold, Portland
Kent was charmed by Ekone’s mission and programs in 2012, experiencing firsthand the capacity of this land to rejuvenate the weary modern soul. His family makes regular visits to the ranch, and his daughter attends camp each summer. Kent serves in Portland Public Schools as a coach and mentor for new teachers, and brings his considerable skills in communication, group decision-making, and non-violent communication to the board, as well as his experience of renovating a historic Portland home over the course of 15 years.
Sacred Earth Foundation Advisory Council
Caitlin Price Youngquist, Chair
Caitlin spent her first summer at Ekone when she was 11, and has had a fierce love for this land and its work ever since. She was integral to the organization’s survival in the years directly after founder Ray Mitchell’s sudden death; taking responsibility for the continuation of summer camp and serving as the on-site ranch manager for a full year. Caitlin served on the Board of Directors for 7 years, originally recruited by Ray for increased leadership of the organization beyond summer camp. She is now busy putting her PhD in soil science to work in Wyoming, but keeps a close eye on Ekone happenings and returns for a week or two of camp each summer.
Vibrance came to Ekone as a child in the early 1980′s when her mother married founder Ray Mitchell. She was a part of the very first summer of campers in 1986, and has endless stories of pack trips to Mount Adams and other adventures in the early days of the ranch. Vibrance is an expert on the history and lineage of Ekone’s people, horses, and events. She served on the board of directors for 8 years, and is now raising a family of her own in Seattle, but keeps a heartfelt connection to the land and the continuation of Ray’s vision for it.
Tim is one of founder Ray Mitchell’s oldest friends, and an original board member of Sacred Earth Foundation. He served on the board of directors for roughly two and half decades, and counts his service to Ekone as a tremendous opportunity to be a part of something larger than one life. Tim represents a handful of Ray’s dear brothers who worked together to protect and guard this land, and shared in the joy and celebration of the community spirit that arises here. He continues to keep a watchful eye on the evolution of the organization to ensure that Ray’s vision continues.
Sacred Earth Foundation Staff
Jeff Arnieri, Volunteer Coordinator
Jeff arrived at Ekone with Denise in 2011, directly from Chicago in search of a quieter life with like-minded people. He found his niche in the forest at Ekone, coordinating and implementing many acres of fuel-reduction work for the prevention of wildfires and to make a healthier, more resilient forest. Jeff now serves as the volunteer coordinator, recruiting, screening, and training the small army of volunteers that Ekone relies on year-round. And perhaps most importantly, Jeff serves as best friend and protector of Quill, Ekone’s three-legged, nine-lived wonder dog, who is blessed to have found such a family in his final years.
Jodie Buller, Cemetery Manager
Jodie has been a friend of Ekone since 2008, and stepped into leadership of White Eagle Memorial Preserve in 2013. She works with families directly to walk through end-of-life choices and burial logistics, and supports White Eagle’s Stewards, hosting tours, burials, and special events. Jodie lives part-time in the Beauty Cabin in the Ekone Valley, and part-time in a wee cabin in Skagit Valley, where she produces community radio programs. Her background in outreach work for the Skagit Valley Food Co-op informs her passion to introduce White Eagle to communities throughout Washington and Oregon, with presentations and workshops on natural burial.
Liz Coppola, Facilities Manager
Liz has the distinction of having never missed a summer at Ekone since her first as a child in 1995. Her dedication to Ekone’s land and program work manifests through her daily care of the physical infrastructure of the ranch, keeping all the buildings, vehicles and equipment in good shape, with the help of a well-managed crew of volunteers. She spent the last year of Ray Mitchell’s life at his side, learning the tools of the trade and the inner workings of the ranch, and honed her skills as the manager of a small-farm livestock operation on Vashon Island. She was critical to the continuation of SEF after Ray’s death, taking on leadership of summer camp in partnership with Caitlin Price.
Bob Jeffers, Cemetery Groundskeeper
Bob came to Ekone in 1995 with his family, drawn by the opportunity to participate in an organization with a vision of stewardship. He brought his skills as a graphic artist and signmaker and proceeded to give the town of Goldendale a facelift, providing handcrafted signs for hundreds of businesses throughout the Gorge, first from a storefront in Goldendale and now from a shop at his home on Ekone land. Bob was integral to maintaining the ranch in the years after Ray Mitchell’s death, serving as interim facilities manager and keeping the infrastructure upright and accessible. He is still a cornerstone of the facilities team, but focuses his efforts on the smooth operation of the White Eagle cemetery.
Shonie Schlotzhauer, Executive Director
Shonie first showed up at Ekone in 1994 and was immediately hooked by the warm, welcoming camp community, kind and spirited horses, and the rustic lifestyle reminiscent of her childhood in the Canadian bush. She lived at Ekone for two years as a teen, and returned to the land in 2009 to help fill the need left by Ray Mitchell’s death, becoming Sacred Earth Foundation’s first official staff member. Shonie brought with her a wealth of experience in nonprofit and program development from her previous career in food and agriculture programs, and provides careful, heartful leadership for SEF. Her love for the land grows each day.
Denise Urban, Office Manager
Denise is the behind-the-scenes mastermind of administration at Ekone, as well as a cemetery steward for White Eagle. Born and raised in Chicago, Denise’s professional background includes administrative management in Chicago’s corporate law environment, and convention hotel sales/catering management for Hyatt. She is also a massage therapist specializing in passive movement therapies and energetic healing work, and an interfaith seminary student. Denise and her partner Jeff moved to Ekone in 2011 with the desire of living closer to nature – Ekone fit perfectly. She loves the outdoors, hiking, wine tasting and snuggling with her dog and cats.
Chris Woodcock, Kitchen Manager
Chris has now spent two decades serving up delicious, wholesome meals at Ekone’s “Yummy Tummy Cafe,” and has converted hundreds of children to loving vegetables. Her daughter, Shonie (now Ekone’s executive director), was the first to fall in love with Ekone, but Chris was not hard to convince, and has lived and worked at Ekone since 1995. Compared to cooking for treeplanters deep in the British Columbia bush, cooking for children in the Yummy Tummy is a dream. She also serves as a cemetery steward, and offers one-of-a-kind handmade shrouds for cemetery clients.
Updated November 17, 2015