Kamchatka© Igor Shpilenok
Who We Are

People of Wild Salmon Center

Who We Are

People of Wild Salmon Center

Wild Salmon Center is an international organization with programmatic activities in the Russian Far East, Japan, Alaska, British Columbia, Washington, Oregon, and California. The home office is located in Portland, Oregon in the Jean Vollum Natural Capital Center, with satellite offices in Alaska and Washington state.


Guido Rahr | President & CEO

Under Mr. Rahr’s leadership, Wild Salmon Center has developed scientific research, habitat protection and fisheries improvement projects in dozens of rivers in Japan, the Russian Far East, Alaska, British Columbia and the US Pacific Northwest, raising over $100 million in grants, establishing eight new conservation organizations, and protecting eight million acres of habitat including public lands management designations and eight new large scale habitat reserves on key salmon rivers across the Pacific Rim.

Mr. Rahr earned a BA in English Literature from the University of Oregon and a Masters of Environmental Studies from Yale University. Before coming to the Wild Salmon Center, he developed conservation programs for Oregon Trout, the United Nations Development Programme, the Rainforest Alliance and Conservation International. Mr. Rahr is a member of the World Conservation Union (IUCN) Salmon Specialist Group, and is a passionate fly fisherman and fly tyer. He lives in Portland, Oregon with his wife, Lee, and their three sons. | Email Guido Rahr

Emily Anderson | Alaska Program Director

Emily Anderson Wild Salmon Center Alaska Senior Program ManagerEmily joined the Wild Salmon Center in October 2012 and is based in Anchorage. She brings over fourteen years of experience in the fields of environmental education and environmental law and policy. A Minnesota native, Emily grew up exploring the many lakes, streams and wetlands in and around the state and developed a keen interest in issues affecting fish populations and water quality. After working for several years as an environmental educator and canoe guide in the Midwest and Washington, she attended Vermont Law School where she received a J.D. and a Master of Studies in Environmental Law. Since moving to Alaska in 2006, Emily has worked as an environmental attorney and legal consultant specializing in water law and fish habitat protection. She has experience representing the diverse interests of Alaska Native communities, NGOs, concerned citizens and commercial fishing groups. In her spare time, Emily enjoys hiking, cross country skiing, canoeing and exploring the Alaska backcountry with her faithful dog, Chance. | Email Emily Anderson

Oakley Brooks | Communications Director

Oakley Brooks Senior Communications Manager Wild Salmon CenterOakley Brooks is an editorial content developer and communications strategist. With Ecotrust, between 2012-2015, he led media outreach and built a new organizational blog and a digital magazine, Commonplace. Previously, he served as contributing editor at Nature Conservancy magazine. He’s a former journalist whose work has appeared in news outlets around the world, including The New York Times, International Herald Tribune, Los Angeles Times, and the Christian Science Monitor. Oakley earned a B.A. in history from Princeton University, with a focus on African and environmental history. He was writer-in-residence at the Earth Observatory of Singapore in 2009-2010. Oakley lives in Portland with his wife and daughter; they like to dig in the dirt, paddle rivers and bays, seek out new birds in the city, and play and watch soccer. | Email Oakley Brooks

Tim Elder, Ph.D. | Southwest Oregon Program Manager

Tim is a native Southern Oregonian and recent graduate from the Environmental Science and Management Department at Portland State University. Tim’s doctoral work focused on human impacts to salmon populations in the Columbia River, with a focus on juvenile survival, life history diversity and morphometrics. Tim holds a B.S. in Biology from Southern Oregon University. Prior to joining the WSC, Tim worked as a fisheries biologist for the Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission, botany technician for the Bureau of Land Management and wilderness backpacking guide. Be it rivers, lakes or mountains, Tim has a deep connection to the wild places of Southern Oregon. | Email Tim Elder

David Finkel | VP of Development & Communications and Executive Director of The Stronghold Fund

For twenty years David has worked in conservation, focused primarily on the preservation of fisheries, watersheds, and public lands. David joined Wild Salmon Center in 2007 and in that time has played a central leadership role.

He has built a formidable Dev-Comms team; grown and diversified the organization’s revenue base; helped establish WSC’s Alaska and British Columbia programs; and co-founded The Stronghold Fund which he leads as its Executive Director.

Prior to WSC, David worked at other leading NGOs, including California Trout where he played a key role in the organization’s transition into a regional conservation force. David serves on the Board of Coastal Rivers Conservancy, a new organization focused on the protection of watersheds and wild fish runs on the central coast of British Columbia.

David holds a B.A. from Colgate University and a Masters of Environmental Studies from The Evergreen State College where he centered his graduate work on salmon ecology and developed an innovative methodology for the Washington Water Trust to acquire water rights to improve stream flows.

Born and raised in the Pacific Northwest, David is an avid fly fisherman with a passion for wild rivers and places. He lives in Portland, Oregon with his wife and their two daughters. | Email David Finkel

Jessica Helsley | Washington Senior Program Manager

Jess joined the Wild Salmon Center in 2018. Prior to taking this position, Jess served as the Executive Director of the Coast Salmon Foundation on Washington State’s beautiful wild coast. Jess earned a B.S. in Conservation Social Science and a M.S. in Natural Resources and Environmental Science from the University of Idaho. When not working to protect and restore salmon and steelhead populations, Jess can be found with her family foraging for Pacific Northwest delicacies, honing her fly fishing skills, whitewater rafting, or climbing steep canyon walls with her pudelpointer chasing the elusive chukar partridge. | Email Jessica Helsley

Kacy Holven | Staff Accountant

Kacy is a California native who recently moved to Portland to explore the ecological and cultural features unique to the Pacific Northwest. She majored in Environmental Studies at UC Santa Cruz, and most recently worked as an accountant at a Construction Firm in San Francisco, CA. Her studies at UC Santa Cruz combined with the campus’s environment of ecological stewardship allowed her to cultivate a passion for conservation, which has continued to grow over the years. Kacy is excited to focus her commitment to sustainability and apply her skills at the Wild Salmon Center. She enjoys hiking, watching Sacramento Kings games (even though it has been a long and stressful relationship), reading, and gardening. | Email Kacy Holven

Kathy Holler | Chief Financial Officer (CFO)

After growing up in the scorching desert of Arizona, Kathy relocated to Washington in 2012 to get closer to the forests and beaches that she loves. She received a B.S. in Accountancy and a B.S. in Computer Information Systems from Arizona State University, and earned her C.P.A. License in 2001. She has over 15 years of experience working in various industries as the lead accountant, most recently serving as the Chief Financial Officer for a behavioral health company based in Yuma, AZ. Throughout her career, she has found that her passion lies in finding ways to give back to the community and working somewhere that truly makes a difference in people’s lives. In her spare time, Kathy enjoys exploring all aspects of the Pacific Northwest’s beauty through hiking, camping, skiing, wine tasting, gardening and playing outdoors with her husband and their three daughters. | Email Kathy Holler

Lori Alexander Howk | Sr Media Design Manager

Lori Alexander Howk Senior Media Design Manager Wild Salmon CenterLori joined the Wild Salmon Center in 2008 and brings a diverse range of communications experience from working at agencies, corporations and non-profits. From web and media to marketing strategy and design, she has all aspects of communication covered to best tell the Wild Salmon Center story. Consistently striving to find a balance between her two passions – science and art – Lori has both a B.S. from the University of Virginia and an A.A. in Visual Communications Technology. The northwest has been her home since 1995 and she enjoys exploring all of its wonders with her family. | Email Lori Alexander Howk

Kim Kosa | Development Director

Kim joined Wild Salmon Center in 2011 and oversees its fundraising programs, including the Annual Fund, donor relationships, corporate partnerships and events. She brings over ten years of experience in nonprofit fundraising, most recently at the advocacy arm of the American Cancer Society in Washington, DC. A New England native, Kim’s passion for conservation is rooted in her lifelong love for wildlife and the outdoors, prompting her to relocate to the Pacific Northwest. Kim holds a B.A. from Bucknell University in Pennsylvania and a master’s in Environmental and Natural Resources Law from Lewis & Clark Law School in Portland, Oregon. In her spare time you can find Kim wading through beautiful rivers, hunting for chanterelles, or exploring new trails with her husband, Jay, and rescue dog, Gracie. | Email Kim Kosa

Sara LaBorde | Executive Vice President

Sara LaBorde Executive Vice President Wild Salmon CenterSara joined the Wild Salmon Center in August 2012 and has over 30 years of professional experience in natural resources policy, business management, and environmental education. Sara earned a B.S. and M.S. in Natural Resource Management from the University Wisconsin-Stevens Point. She brings a wealth of experience in working with federal and state agencies, Tribes, local governments, and other stakeholders in salmon protection and recovery. Prior to joining WSC, Sara was the Special Assistant to the Director of Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) where she worked on salmon recovery, hatchery and harvest reform, and the development of alternative fishing approaches for the Lower Columbia River. She served as WDFW’s federal liaison in Washington DC and was the Regional Director for WDFW’s Coastal and Hood Canal region as well as Special Assistant to the Washington Wildlife Commission. Sara also served as the Chair of the North American Salmon Stronghold Partnership.

Sara is very passionate about WSC’s mission and brings a combination of energy, experience, and strategic thinking to the organization and its conservation programs. She lives in Portland, Oregon and enjoys golfing, catching fish and sampling small-batch American whiskeys. | Email Sara LaBorde

Hollye Maxwell | Executive Assistant

HollyeHollye joined the Wild Salmon Center in 2016. Native to the Southeastern United States, at ten, Hollye announced to her family she would move west as soon as she could. In 1995, her dream became a reality. Along the way, she achieved several degrees in art and architectural history, and interior design. She enjoys exploring the Pacific Northwest with her family, and in her spare time, paints oil on canvas and watercolor renderings of the PNW landscape, flora, and fauna. She is also an avid cook, gardener, and food preservationist. She lives in Portland with her family. | Email Hollye Maxwell

Amee Pacheco | Grants Manager

Amee joined the Wild Salmon Center in 2010. She has a B.A. in journalism and a graduate certificate in nonprofit management, both from the University of Oregon. Amee has worked and volunteered in a variety of fields including animal advocacy, local food systems, child abuse prevention, international aid, and education in the both the U.S. and Cambodia. When not writing grants she enjoys knitting, reading, gardening, and exploring the great Northwest with her husband and sons. | Email Amee Pacheco

Audie Paulus | Development & Communications Coordinator

Audie Paulus on the SkeenaAudie joined the Wild Salmon Center in 2015. She obtained her bachelor’s degree in Environmental Science and Biology from the University of Oregon and holds a certification in Permaculture Design. Her passion conservation has led her to work for Environmental Law Alliance Worldwide and conduct research for the University of Oregon’s Environmental Leadership Program. As a lover of all things wild, Audie is excited to apply her skills to international salmonid conservation. In her free time she enjoys spending as much time outdoors and a good, cold beer. | Email Audie Paulus

Ashley Rood | Staff Writer

Ashley Rood comes to Wild Salmon Center with over a decade of experience working in the environmental non-profit world on issues ranging from western water policy to agricultural solutions to climate change, always with an eye towards collaborative conservation. After 8 years at Environmental Defense Fund’s California office, Ashley moved to Portland in 2014 to explore the PNW’s bike lanes, hiking trails and rivers. When not working with words at Wild Salmon Center, you can find Ashley working with food: growing it, foraging for it, cooking it, but mostly talking about it. | Email Ashley Rood

Matthew Sloat, Ph.D. | Director of Science

Matt is a fish ecologist who joined the Wild Salmon Center in 2015, bringing with him 20 years of research experience in the Rocky Mountains, Alaska, the Pacific Northwest and California. His recent research interests encompass all things that influence salmon ecosystem resiliency, including cultural and economic incentives for salmon conservation; biophysical processes that create and maintain salmon streams; and the environmental, physiological, and genetic basis for salmonid life history diversity. He holds B.A.s in Wildlife Biology and in English from the University of Montana, a Master’s in Fish Management from Montana State University, and a Ph.D. in Fisheries Science from Oregon State University. Matt enjoys messing around in and on rivers with his family and occasionally catches a fish or two on the fly. | Email Matthew Sloat

Samuel Snyder, PhD. | Sr Campaign Manager, Alaska

Sam Snyder is leading Wild Salmon Center’s public engagement efforts in Alaska. Following a doctorate studying collaborative fisheries conservation at the University of Florida, Sam has worked for a decade managing conservation campaigns in Alaska. For five years, he coordinated the Save Bristol Bay campaign, followed by a successful campaign to protect the Susitna River from the proposed Susitna Dam. In his latest role, he’s directing public engagement for the Stand for Salmon campaign, which is working to update Alaska’s law governing development in fish habitat. Sam brings expertise in political strategy, coalition management, campaign communications, and fundraising. He lives in Anchorage with his wife, two kids, two dogs, nine chickens, two ducks, one drift boat, and five guitars. | Email Sam Snyder

Mark Trenholm | Coastal Program Director

Mark Trenholm Salmon Stronghold Senior Program Manager Wild Salmon CenterMark Trenholm joined the Wild Salmon Center in 2008. Prior to taking this position, Mark worked for seven years as the Executive Director of the Tillamook Bay National Estuary Project. Serving a diverse, multi-stakeholder Board and managing an eight person staff, Mark oversaw the implementation of almost 200 salmonid habitat enhancement, monitoring and education projects. Prior to his work with the National Estuary Project, Mark managed a range of resource planning and community development projects as a planning consultant. He has a B.A. in English from the University of North Carolina, Charlotte and a Masters of Community and Regional Planning from the University of Oregon. Mark enjoys steelheading, Red Sox baseball and exploring the places that salmon swim. | Email Mark Trenholm

Bob Van Dyk, Ph.D. | Oregon and California Policy Director

Bob Van Dyk Oregon and California Policy Director Wild Salmon CenterBob first worked for Wild Salmon Center on Oregon State Forest policy in 2010, and he now leads our efforts to protect and restore salmon strongholds in Oregon and California. Bob’s background is in forest policy and in academia. He has a Ph.D. in political science from the University of Washington, and he worked for 21 years at Pacific University in Forest Grove, where he is now a professor emeritus. Bob is also trained in G.I.S., and he has a passion for illustrating public policy through maps. In his spare time, Bob tends a big garden, travels with his family and explores the Pacific Northwest’s fabulous public lands. | Email Bob Van Dyk

Mariusz Wroblewski | Western Pacific Program Director

Mariusz Wroblewski Western Pacific Program Director Wild Salmon CenterFrom 1994-2002, Mariusz managed the Ponoi and Yokanga river fly fishing operations in the Kola Peninsula in northwestern Russia, where he oversaw conservation programs with the Atlantic Salmon Federation and Knipovich Polar Institute in Murmansk. From 2006-2011, Mariusz was the Skeena River Program Director at Ecotrust in Portland, Oregon. In this capacity, he helped to form the Skeena Wild Conservation Trust and now serves as a Trustee. In 2010, Mariusz worked for WSC on contract, when he traveled to Moscow, Khabarovsk, and Kamchatka to advise our partners on promoting best practices in sport fishing. Mariusz speaks fluent Russian, Polish, and English, and is a Ph.D. degree candidate in Slavic Languages and Literature at University of California – Berkeley. Mariusz is also a professional fly fishing guide and instructor. He was a member of the US tournament casting team in 1993, and in 2006 won the World Spey (two-handed) Casting Championship at the Golden Gate Angling and Casting Club in San Francisco. | Email Mariusz Wroblewski

Continue The Story