Meet Willamette Partnership’s Growing Staff

Meet Our Growing Staff

By Bobby Cochran

As Willamette Partnership invests in creating smarter infrastructure, advancing working lands conservation, and supporting community resilience, we’re getting the right team of people in place.

Willamette Partnership growing staff

(From the left) Carrie Sanneman, Kristiana Teige Witherill, Nicole Maness, Polly Gibson, Rebecca Kramer.

Carrie Sanneman and Nicole Maness became the managers of Willamette Partnership’s Clean Water and Resilient Habitat Programs, respectively, and our staff has grown by three. Polly Gibson joined as our technical specialist, Kristiana Teige Witherill as a project manager for the Clean Water Program, and Rebecca Kramer most recently as a project manager for the Resilient Habitat Program.

“This is an exciting team to be working at the nexus of conservation, economic development, and human health in the West,” says Bobby Cochran, Willamette Partnership’s executive director. “Willamette Partnership has some of the best integrative thinkers with a dedication to collaborative approaches and action I know of. I can’t wait to see what this team pulls off in the next three years.”

Allow us to introduce you.

Maness and Sanneman bring experience running innovative projects that engage landowners, cities, businesses, and other nonprofit organizations to advance conservation in the West. Sanneman’s work with the Clean Water Program is advancing water quality trading policy in states from California to Missouri. Maness’s work on the Oak Accord is already protecting more than 1,500 acres of rare oak habitat with Willamette Valley landowners and vineyards.

Polly Gibson joins us from her previous job with the U.S. Geological Survey. Gibson is a technical specialist, using the best available science to quantify the impacts of development on sage-grouse and the benefits of removing barriers in streams for migrating salmon.

Willamette Partnership hired Kristiana Teige Witherill as a project manager for its Clean Water Program to coordinate the National Network on Water Quality Trading, which brings wastewater utilities, regulatory agencies, and agriculture and environmental groups together to discuss how to improve consistency, innovation, and integrity in water quality trading in the United States. Over the next year, she will move the needle on a new strategy for increasing the use of water quality trading as a cost-effective solution to improving water quality. Before joining the Partnership, Teige Witherill was deputy director of Carpe Diem West, a nonprofit that convened a network of water resource and land managers pioneering innovative source water protection programs across the West.

Most recently, we hired Rebecca Kramer to work on extending the Partnership’s mitigation programs and experience. Kramer’s combined experience in law, land management, and conservation finance put her in a great position to chart our future work on sage-grouse habitat mitigation in Oregon and other western states.

“The Partnership is able to achieve what it does because of a network of great supporters and co-conspirators,” says Cochran. “And it really is elevating the voice of communities and good information that’s going to build places that support clean water, resilient habitat, jobs, and healthy people.”

The program manager positions were made possible thanks to grants from M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust, Meyer Memorial Trust, Oregon Community Foundation, USDA, and individual donors to help Willamette Partnership accomplish its vision of changing the way people view and value nature—that is, as an investment that benefits people and wildlife.

Bobby Cochran led Willamette Partnership's work around building community resilience and innovation. He is passionate about supporting community leaders to move resources from dumb stuff to better stuff - especially when that means clean water, better health, and economic inclusion. Bobby is now with the Rural Community Assistance Partnership. He received a Ph.D./M.A. in Urban Studies/Conflict Resolution from Portland State University.


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