Board of Directors

Group of board directors standing in front of trees
Portland Audubon Board of Directors

Board Officers

President: Debbie Elliott
Vice President: Rich Van Buskirk
Secretary: Colleen McDaniel
Treasurer: Bob Sternberg


Ricky Allen
Eric Block
Amanda Jordan Brainard
Mark Greenfield
Vicente Harrison
Roberta Jortner
Audrey Leonard
Sergio Lopez
Linda Neale
Judith Ramaley
Elizabeth Semler
Patrick Slabe
Allan Solares
Tammy Spencer
Jasmine Streeter
Susie Sullivan

Information regarding how to recommend members for nomination to serve on our board of directors is located at the bottom of this page.

Board Bios

Debbie Elliott, President

COMMITTEES: Executive Committee, Board Affairs Committee, Finance Committee, Development Committee,
Conservation Committee

Debbie Elliott was first introduced to birds and nature while “helping” her grandfather feed Blue Jays in-shell peanuts on his deck railing and calling out for bobwhites in the Spring. Although she grew up in Maryland, she moved West for college and then to the Pacific Northwest for the nature our region has to offer.

Debbie retired after nearly 25 years of working in business with renowned consumer goods companies, including 19 years with Nike where she held numerous leadership and strategic planning positions across the company’s global supply chain. Since retiring, she has used her professional skills to consult at Mercy Corps, mentor women in business, and serve in leadership roles for local non-profit organizations focused on the environment and local food. She previously served as Board President for Portland Farmers Market.

She loves the outdoors and spends time traveling, hiking, kayaking, and birding.

Rich Van Buskirk, Vice President

Rich Van Buskirk is Chair of the Environmental Science department at Pacific University in Forest Grove, where he teaches undergraduate courses in conservation, restoration, GIS and natural history. His research includes student surveys of elk foraging, collaborations with the Forest Service on coastal meadow restoration and a long-term exploration of American Kestrels and their relationship with Red-tailed Hawks. Dr. Van Buskirk’s research not only addresses ecological questions, but also serves to introduce the next generation of scientists to the challenges of conservation.

Dr. Van Buskirk is active within the nonprofit world, serving on the Board of the Tualatin River Watershed Council, a stakeholder group of natural resource organizations. Rich is also an officer for the Raptor Research Foundation, a scientific organization founded to disseminate research, and serves on the board of Coastal Raptors, a regional organization that promotes the conservation of Pacific Northwest birds of prey. He is excited to bring his knowledge and experience with conservation to Portland Audubon.

Bob Sternberg, Treasurer

COMMITTEES:  Finance Committee Chair, PA Executive Committee, and Investment Committee

Robert “Bob” Sternberg is a veteran corporate executive with more than 40 years of senior management experience in the telecommunications, software and healthcare industries. He has served as Chairman, CEO, COO, and CFO of various companies throughout his career, during which he has led finance, accounting, human resources, and administrative activities. In addition, Bob has over 25 years of board and advisory service to nonprofit organizations throughout the Pacific Northwest that work in social services, health care and entrepreneurship. Bob is currently Treasurer of Portland Audubon (“PA”) and Chair of its Finance Committee. He is also a member of the PA Executive Committee and a member of the Investment Committee.

“I have great respect for PA’s conservation and education efforts and enjoy working to further PA’s endeavors in these areas.”


Eric Block

Eric Block is a vice president with Metropolitan Group, an international strategic and creative agency based in Portland, Oregon that works solely with social purpose organizations. He is a strategist, facilitator and writer who has consulted with state and federal agencies, nonprofits, foundations and socially responsible businesses. Much of his work is with groups focused on environment and sustainability, with a focus on conservation, as well as the arts, culture and creative expression sector. His work with Metropolitan Group included leading the rebranding efforts for Portland Audubon.

Prior to joining Metropolitan Group in 2008, Eric served as a communication officer for the global relief and development agency Mercy Corps. He was a spokesperson, secured earned media coverage, wrote and edited stories for the website and marketing materials, traveled to emergency response efforts that included post-earthquake Pakistan and New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina, coordinated community outreach and engagement, and supported fundraising efforts. Eric received his Bachelors of Arts in Journalism from University of Minnesota.

Amanda Jordan Brainard

COMMITTEES: Executive Committee, Development Committee, and WCC Capital Campaign Committee

Amanda (along with her husband Colin) is a second generation family owner of Backyard Bird Shop.  Amanda comes to Portland Audubon with over 15 years of mediation experience. She holds a Master’s Degree in Psychology from University of North Carolina Wilmington. Amanda also has a background in working with non-profits as a city Grants Manager and has served on numerous BODs. Combining her past work with nonprofits with her love and passion for birds and our native wildlife is a natural fit for involvement with Portland Audubon. 

Amanda enjoys feeding her backyard birds, grounding herself by spending time on our local nature trails, and  helping others connect and care about nature. Amanda believes that connecting with nature in their community helps folks make behavioral changes which support and protect our natural spaces and wildlife.  Amanda has enthusiastically participated in the Wild Arts Festival and looks forward to Birdathon each year, when her team bonds in their shared love of nature. 

“I look forward to helping support Portland Audubon as we work together to spread our wings and remove barriers to allow more people to connect with nature.”

Mark Greenfield

COMMITTEES: Development Committee Chair, Volunteer Program Committee

A former Board President, Mark rejoined the Board in 2015 after a 24 year absence, bringing historical perspective and his skills as a retired land use lawyer. Mark has volunteered for the Birdathon and Wild Arts Festival almost annually for about 40 years. He is Chair of the Development Committee and has hosted the Legacy Circle gathering at his Sauvie Island home on a biannual basis for about a decade. Mark also serves on the Volunteer Program Committee, and as a trustee for The Nature Conservancy, he serves on both their Executive Committee and their Philanthropy and Outreach Committee. “The Portland Audubon community is like family to me. I truly enjoy the company of people who care so much about native birds, other wildlife and their habitats.”

Vicente Harrison

Vicente S. Harrison serves as the Emergency Manager for the City of Portland Parks & Recreation and the bureaus first ever full-time African American Park Ranger. While at Portland Parks Vicente was nominated and received “Everyday Heroes – KATU News” in addition to a Unit Commendation from Portland Police for his emergency management and public safety efforts.

Vicente has also worked as Sales and Operations Manager for Coast Industries doing business as Empire Security and Coast Janitorial established in 1957 was one of Oregon’s oldest African American businesses. Before joining Coast, Vicente served as Case Management Coordinator for the Vancouver, Washington School District #37 Impacting Kids First Program providing comprehensive prevention based services for over 500 youth in SW Washington where he was nominated as a “Hero” of Vancouver Schools 2001. Vicente is a graduate of William Jennings Bryan High School in Omaha, Nebraska. He received his bachelor’s degree in the field of IS-Psychology from Concordia University in Portland, Oregon.

Inspired by a leadership class and family, Vicente wrote and published a children’s book called “My Nature Exploration,” to encourage all children, but even more children of color to get outdoors. Vicente is also a former student athlete and basketball coach but loves to spend as much free time as possible birding and hiking with his family in tow.

Vicente resides in Portland with his wife, Rachel, son Vicente Harrison II and daughter Harper Adele Grace Harrison.

Roberta Jortner

Roberta brings more than 35 years of professional natural resource planning experience, and related project management and community engagement expertise.  During her 25 years with the City of Portland, Roberta’s worked on complex, collaborative, and controversial projects including regional water supply and conservation plans, updating the City’s natural resource inventory, creating a new citywide tree code, strengthening regulatory protections for fish and wildlife habitat and the urban forest, promoting bird-safe building design, and elevating the role of nature and green infrastructure in City policies and plans to address climate change, equity and environmental justice, and community health, livability, and resilience. She has been inspired to continue working on some of these efforts as a volunteer since retiring in 2016. 

Roberta also brings first-hand experience with many Portland Audubon programs. She has assisted with Raptor Road Trips, and with husband Karl, enjoyed Portland Audubon trips to Cuba and Baja California. Roberta has served as a Wildlife Care Center “Wildlife Solutions Counselor” since 2017, advising the public, helping with volunteer training, and adorning the WCC white board with colorful drawings of birds cared for there. She also assisted at the Nature Store, co-led a “sing-along” at our Solar Eclipse fundraiser at Oak Haven, and completed her first Birdathon.  Roberta was appointed to the Conservation Committee in summer 2019. Roberta loves hiking, rafting, birding, making music and art, cooking, gardening, traveling, and time with family and friends, including their 2 indoor (w/catio) cats!

“As a Portland Audubon board member, I look forward to supporting this extraordinary organization as it takes on the opportunities and challenges of our times, and journeys toward a bright future.”

Linda Neale

Linda Neale’s involvement with Portland Audubon began before she was born. Her uncle, Norbert Leupold, was an early president of Oregon Audubon Society, and her stepfather, David Marshall, was a wildlife biologist and long-time board member. She is interested in strategic planning, and reaching out to groups that may have resisted the environmental perspective to our global issues. Linda has been actively involved with the environment in Oregon for many years. She helped coordinate Portland’s Earth Day activities in the 90s.

She is the founder and former executive director of Earth & Spirit Council, a nonprofit whose mission involves helping people reestablish their spiritual connection to the Earth. She is author of the book The Power of Ceremony: Restoring the Sacred in Our Selves, Our Families, Our Communities. Linda had a 30-year career as a school psychologist and family therapist. She has also been a board member for the Navajo Nation chapter of National Organization for Women, Harney County Arts in Education Foundation, and Earthday Oregon. She is married to Rod McAfee and maintains a home in Portland and a ranch in Harney County, where her ancestors homesteaded.

Judith Ramaley

Dr. Judith A. Ramaley served as President of Portland State University and Professor of Biology from 1990-1997. She is now President Emerita and Distinguished Professor of Public Service at Portland State University in the Mark O. Hatfield School of Government 2005. She currently serves as a member of the Portland State University Board of Trustees. Dr. Ramaley was President of The University of Vermont (UVM) and Professor of Biology from 1997 to 2001. From From 2001-2004, she was Assistant Director of the Education and Human Resources Directorate (EHR) at The National Science Foundation (NSF). During her NSF service, she held a presidential professorship in biomedical sciences at the University of Maine and was a Fellow of the Margaret Chase Smith Center for Public Policy. She served as a Visiting Senior Scientist at the National Academy of Sciences in 2004. In 2005-2012, she served as President of Winona State University (WSU) in Minnesota and Professor of Biology.

Dr. Ramaley holds an appointment as a Senior Scholar with the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AACU) and has served as a consultant for the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU). She is a member and former Chair of the Board of Second Nature, an organization committed to creating a healthy, just, and sustainable society through the transformation of higher education.

Patrick Slabe

Prior to retiring in October 2016, Patrick was employed at its inception by New Season’s Market.  As Operations Director he has had decades of experience in retail business management, and he has incorporated programs that helped meet that company’s sustainability and safety goals.  A long- time supporter of conservation, he is an avid birder.  Patrick joined the board in October 2014, and he currently chairs the Sanctuaries Committee.

“There is much more to be done, to protect and to improve our natural environment. I am impressed with Portland Audubon’s accomplishments over the past one hundred years, and I wish to devote more of my service to that cause.”

Allan Solares

For six years, Allan has been an active and influential volunteer at Portland Audubon. He has served as the coordinator of the volunteer admissions team at the annual Wild Arts Festival, and has served actively on the board’s Sanctuaries and Facilities Committee, focusing on implementing pedestrian safety initiatives for the Cornell campus, working on the design team for Marmot Cabin, and now serving on the design team for a major renovation of our Wildlife Care Center. Allan has a Master’s in Public Policy from the University of California at Berkeley and worked for the California legislature on budget and policies for environmental programs in the Legislative Analyst’s Office. Upon moving to Portland, he worked in the DEQ Superfund program as a senior policy analyst.

Tammy Spencer

COMMITTEES: Wildlife Care Special Committee, Communications and Marketing Committee, Renaming Committee

Tammy Spencer has extensive senior management experience in marketing and communications in the for-profit and nonprofit sectors. She is a business strategist whose career has encompassed higher education, retail, and community services. Since early retirement, she has leveraged her professional skills to mentor and support younger professionals and has served on the Portland Audubon Board of Directors.

Tammy’s father, Ron Spencer, introduced her to Portland Audubon, his love of birds, and his passion for the outdoors. Tammy served nine years on the board, completed a one-year hiatus, and rejoined the board in 2023. Her experience as a longtime board member adds valuable historical context to the board’s diverse perspectives.

Tammy Co-Chaired the Wildlife Care Center Special Committee, and in her role as the Communications and Marketing Committee Chair contributed to the successful rebranding of Portland Audubon. She currently serves on the new Wildlife Care Special Committee, the Communications and Marketing Committee, and the Renaming Committee.

Tammy and her husband Richard O’Connor love their Basset Hounds Red Ruby and Black Jasper and enjoy local and international travel. They especially treasure time outdoors hiking, birding, and exploring nature.

Jasmine Shanelle Streeter, DVM

A nature lover, avid gardener and veterinarian, Dr. Jasmine Shanelle Streeter’s unique background and skill set will be a strong asset for the board. Dr. Streeter is passionate about advancing the mission of Portland Audubon and our Wildlife Care Center, bringing diversity, and encouraging her network and peers to do the same. Dr. Streeter earned her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from Tuskegee University in 2011 and completed a laboratory animal medicine residency at Oregon Health and Science University in 2018.

She now sees small animals and exotic creatures as an Associate Veterinarian for WellHaven Pet Health. Dr. Streeter is passionate about education, empowerment, and wellness, and focuses her time on educating youth and the community through her monthly articles in the Skanner newspaper and various social media platforms.

Recommending Board Members

Each year in March, our Board elects its new Directors from a slate of candidates. Directors are limited to serving two consecutive, 3-year terms, with committee chairs allowed to extend service for additional 1-year terms. The Board Affairs Committee welcomes recommendations for candidates. Here is the Board Member position description.

Additionally, members may directly nominate a candidate by submitting a petition signed by 10 or more members to the Board Affairs Committee by no later than January 15th. Candidates nominated by petition will automatically be placed on the election ballot. Please note: qualified candidates must be current Portland Audubon members. Petitions may be sent in care of our Executive Director, Stuart Wells, by mail or email (

For more background on our elections and bylaws, please see the March 2019 issue of the Warbler. Thank you.