Kelley Beamer serves as the Executive Director at the Coalition of Oregon Land Trusts, and has more than nine years experience developing strategic advocacy campaigns to advance land conservation. Prior to joining the Coalition of Oregon Land Trusts, Kelley served as the Advocacy and Outreach Manager for the Cascadia Green Building Council, where she implemented stated wide public awareness and advocacy campaigns, and managed a branch network in Portland, Bend, Klamath Falls, and Eugene. Kelley began her conservation work in Oregon in 2006 as the Conservation Organizer for Friends of Columbia Gorge, where she organized public support for protecting the unique values of the Gorge and advocated for Land and Water Conservation funds to support the US Forest Service land acquisition program in the Gorge.
Kelley’s extensive experience forging partnerships with diverse communities earned her recognition as one of Oregon’s “35 Innovators Under 35” by 1,000 Friends of Oregon. Prior to coming to Oregon, Kelley worked as a Policy Assistant for the Wildlife Refuge Program of the Wilderness Society in Washington, D.C. where she helped secure more funding for the national wildlife refuge system. Kelley has an effective history of working on local and national conservation campaigns and a lifelong passion for place-based advocacy. In her free time, you will find Kelley fly fishing or hiking with her husband Paul and their dog Lucy.
Kelley holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Notre Dame and a Masters of Arts in Environmental Policy from American University, School for International Service. Email Kelley.
Jen Newlin serves as COLT’s Communications Director. Before joining our team, she was a director of creative strategy for Metropolitan Group—a strategic consulting firm—supporting the company’s environmental focus area. Her clients included NASA’s Earth Science Division, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Save the Redwoods League and Audubon Society of Portland. Previously, she worked as a senior storyteller for a content strategy firm and, before that, spent seven years as a creative manager with The Nature Conservancy. Jen found her career in conservation when working for The Cheetah Conservation Fund (yes, ask her about the cats) after serving in the Peace Corps. Now she volunteers for The Circus Project—connecting homeless and at-risk youth to circus arts—and she’s a board member of CLAWS, a nonprofit working to integrate the needs of predators and local livelihoods worldwide. Jen holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism and art. When she’s not in the office, she’s training in trapeze, exploring the wilds of Oregon and spending time with her partner, Ken, and their cat, Olive. Email Jen.
Mike Running serves as the part-time Administrative Coordinator for COLT (among other duties). From 2014-2018, he was our Communications and Outreach Manager before beginning a graduate program at Portland State University in counseling in the Fall of 2017. Mike graduated from the University of Oregon with a BS in Political Science in 1999, then a Master’s in Community and Regional Planning in 2002 also from U of O. He began working for the McKenzie River Trust, a local land trust based in Eugene, in October of 2000. He eventually became the Managing Director, helping to expand the scope and mission of the organization into all of Lane and Douglas Counties. In 2005 Mike become a Buddhist monk, living in monasteries in California, Missouri, and Taiwan, where he studied Chinese intensely. After spending many months in reflection, in December 2013 Mike decided to leave monastic life and return to his home state of Oregon. He currently lives in NE Portland with his wife, stepson, and aging cat. He enjoys (nearly) all things Oregon, loves every kind of rain, commutes by bike, and appreciates sincerity. Email Mike.
Katie Young serves as COLT’s Legislative and Public Policy Coordinator. After graduating with a bachelor’s in Japanese from the University of Hawaii at Manoa in 2009, Katie worked at the Hawaii State Legislature for three legislative sessions. Katie’s Japanese studies background helped her receive acceptance into the Japan Exchange and Teaching Program and she taught English in Kumamoto, Japan for three years. Many of her students were multigenerational farmers who had deep understanding of and ancient connections to the land. This inspired Katie to enter conservation in hopes to protect environmental values while preserving cultural traditions and connecting people to the land. Since moving back to the US, she has studied biological sciences and worked in aquaculture facilities, environmental organizations, land conservation, and policy.
Chris Fryefield is COLT’s Law Fellow helping to coordinate and develop our Pro Bono Legal Program. Chris is a new Oregon attorney specializing in environmental law with her J.D. and a Master’s in Conservation Biology from the University of Michigan. Since returning to her native Oregon, Chris has worked for Bonneville Power Administration and the North Clackamas Urban Watersheds Council. Chris was also responsible for editing the recent Oregon State Bar Association publication on climate change as a member of the Sustainable Future Section’s Climate Change task force and continues to serve on that committee and the Oregon New Lawyers Division Pro Bono committee. She has expertise in land conservation, water law and hydrology, and endangered species management. In her free time Chris enjoys reading, cooking, and taking long walks in Oregon’s beautiful natural spaces with her wife Kate. Email Chris.