Celebrating the Honoring Our Roots Event

Never Come Down’s Chill Monroe

By Willamette Partnership Staff


On May 9th, 2019 we held our annual partnership celebration, with a theme of “Honoring Our Roots”. Co-hosted with the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde at the World Forestry Center, we welcomed over 100 people from over 60 organizations.

This year’s event was full of gratitude as Willamette Partnership’s staff gave thanks and recognized the root system of our organization – our leaders and partners. These are the roots that have helped shape who we are today and supported us through the different phases of the Partnership’s evolution.

The event featured favorites from past events. Chef Matt of Sybaris Bistro catered the event with a focuson tribal first foods, including elk and bacon shepherd’s pie, potato salad Wacheno, and chocolate potato balls. Bluegrass music from Chill Monroe provided a lively atmosphere. And this year’s raffle prizes featured several Oak Accord signatory vineyard wines, Pure Water Brew merchandise with Hopworks Beer, and a donated tree from Mahonia Nursery thanks to one of our founding board member, John Miller.

The Program

Our program this year featured an opening invocation from Grand Ronde tribal council members Jon George and Chris Mercier. Sara O’Brien and Bobby Cochran then took a moment to thank our guests, partners, board members, sponsors, staff, and leaders for their support of Willamette Partnership throughout the years. They took a moment to reflect on what “leadership” means to them and ended with an exciting announcement, that Sara has been named the Partnership’s next Executive Director and Bobby will be returning to Willamette Partnership in a new role focused around community resilience and innovation. To emphasize the leadership that we value in one another, we shared a video featuring a few of those voices.

“Leadership comes from people who are rooted in the courage to live their values; leadership that creates the most change stems from people who take the most pride when someone else’s righteous voice has power, and equitable leadership is not a singular trunk but one freely connected to teams.”  – Bobby Cochran

With the success of this year’s event, we want to thank everyone who came, donated, and supported Willamette Partnership. We received nearly $50K in corporate sponsorships and individual donations, which will fuel our work to increase the pace, scope, and effectiveness of conservation for people and nature. We hope to see you all again next year!

Didn’t make it to the event? It’s not too late to contribute! 


Scroll through the photo gallery below to relive the evening!

Photos by Harmony Burright

Thank you to this year’s sponsors!

Interested in sponsoring next year’s event? Contact Sara O’Brien.


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