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Meet Our Tualatin Riverkeepers Board

Our board of directors consists of a group of volunteers that want to ensure the protection and restoration of the Tualatin River watershed for generations to come. The board guides and supports the work of the Tualatin Riverkeepers staff.

Interested in joining our Board of Directors? Learn more here.


Jill Chomycia
Board President
Bio

Jill Chomycia

Board President

Jill Chomycia grew up in Michigan, where she developed a love of the outdoors and a life-long curiosity about the natural environment. She explored this curiosity in college, earning degrees in geology, hydrology, and soil science. Today Jill works as a consultant with Stantec in the water resources field, with a focus on permitting and environmental compliance in the Portland metropolitan area. Her 15 years of experience in the field has given her a deeper understanding of the challenges and opportunities for stewarding natural resources within our communities.

Jill lives in Washington County with her family. They enjoy exploring the outdoors throughout the Pacific Northwest, including spending hours on the Tualatin River each summer.

Val Brenneis
BOARD VICE PRESIDENT
Bio

Val Brenneis

BOARD VICE PRESIDENT

Val Brenneis teaches environmental studies and biology at Portland Community College Rock Creek. She is committed to getting her students outside, doing science in the natural areas of the Tualatin River watershed. Val is originally from Southern California and graduated from UC Berkeley with a biology degree. She moved to the East Coast to teach middle school science in the Bronx and later high school science in Washington, DC, where she also earned a M.Ed. in Science Education from the George Washington University. After five years of teaching secondary science, Val moved back to the West Coast to complete a Ph.D. in aquatic ecology from UC Davis. Val has lived in Oregon since 2006, doing research, working on policy, and teaching at the college level. She loves getting outside with her family, especially anywhere near water.

Dave Waffle
BOARD TREASURER
Bio

Dave Waffle

BOARD TREASURER

Dave Waffle has represented the cities of Washington County on the Clean Water Advisory Commission and formerly on the Tualatin Watershed Council for more than a decade. He is a long-time city manager in Oregon and Wisconsin. Managing in smaller cities brought many opportunities for involvement in water, wastewater, open space, public finance and community development issues. Presently he serves as chair of the Cornelius Planning Commission. He and his wife live along Council Creek and enjoy birding. Waffle has a bachelor’s degree in Urban Community Policy Problems from Michigan State University and an MPA from the University of Oregon in Public Affairs.

Trisha Swanson
BOARD SECRETARY
Bio

Trisha Swanson

BOARD SECRETARY

Trisha is the founder and director of the non-profit organization, Reason to Run. Reason to Run provides coaching and 5K running programs for women incarcerated at Coffee Creek Correctional Facility in Wilsonville, Oregon.

Trisha grew up in a small town in British Columbia, Canada and holds a degree in Computer Science and an MBA. She spent over ten years teaching for various universities, including the University of Victoria and the University of Minnesota before transitioning to work with non-profit organizations in 5K/10K race planning and directing. Race planning and directing eventually led her to start her own non-profit in 2015.

Trisha enjoys running, cycling and of course, paddling on the Tualatin River with her husband, college age children and her friends. The Tualatin River Paddle Challenge is the brainchild of Trisha.

Rod Fragiao
BOARD MEMBER
Bio

Rod Fragiao

BOARD MEMBER

Rod Fragiao is a graduate of the University of Washington where he earned a degree in Business Administration. He has been a commercial banker for almost 20 years and joined Premier Community Bank in 2013 as Vice President Commercial Loan Officer in the Durham branch. Rod is a long-time volunteer for Tualatin youth sports having coached in various sports over the past 12 years.

He and his family live on 4.5 acres in Tualatin which includes a large pond that is home to otters, beavers and numerous species of waterfowl. This location has given him a curiosity for nature and a passion for river protection.

Mickie Harshman
BOARD MEMBER
Bio

Mickie Harshman

BOARD MEMBER

Mickie spent most of her life in the arid deserts of the SW. When her children migrated to the PNW, she was right behind them!

Mickie is a Purchasing Analyst at Consumer Cellular. Conservation and sustainable city planning are passions of hers. She is a certified Sustainable Building Advisor, participant in the Backyard Habitat Program, citizen science and advocate volunteer with Portland Audubon and safety boat volunteer with Tualatin Riverkeepers.

In her free time Mickie enjoys birdwatching, gardening, making pottery, remodeling houses and playing with her grandbabies.

Brett Laney
BOARD MEMBER
Bio

Brett Laney

BOARD MEMBER

Brett Laney grew up locally and has lived in Tualatin for the last 10 years. He studied at Clackamas Community College and Colorado State University. Brett’s career began in 2002 as an operator at Clean Water Services’ Durham Water Resource Recovery Facility (where he often worked with TRK’s co-founder Rob Baur). He is currently an Operations Analyst II assigned to the phosphorus recovery facilities at the Durham and Rock Creek treatment plants, and has graciously led many tours of the plants for Tualatin Riverkeepers. He’s been an active volunteer for several tree plantings events in the watershed. Brett spends much of his free time volunteering for TRK as a paddle trip leader, guiding paddlers while educating them about the current state of the river.

Casey Lay
BOARD MEMBER
Bio

Casey Lay

BOARD MEMBER

Growing up just one block from the Tualatin River gave Casey ample opportunity to get her feet wet and foster a close relationship with the Tualatin River and the wealth of plants and animals who depend on it. She recalls many childhood adventures, which have shaped her passion for waterways and the need to help keep them and communities thriving.

For over a decade Casey has worked in the nonprofit sector from animal conservation, environmental education, to her current role in giving a hand up to women through economic independence at Oregon Tradeswomen, as the Fundraising and Events Manager. During her free time, she can be found with her husband and dogs hiking, backpacking, kayaking, and woodworking.

Taj Tinsley
BOARD MEMBER
Bio

Taj Tinsley

BOARD MEMBER

Taj Tinsley is an Oregon native, having lived and worked in the Portland and broader Oregon area for many years. He currently works as a Product & Marketing Analytics Manager for Providence Health, and recently served in similar capacities in marketing, sales, and product for A-dec, Mercy Corps, and Symantec. Taj has led and learned through many different industries, building strengths in marketing strategy and operations, analytics, demand generation, sales and banking operations, and leadership development along the way. Taj has been a passionate advocate and proponent for the outdoors and, even more specifically, diversity, equity, and inclusion in our beautiful Oregon outdoors spaces for his entire life. Taj currently lives in SE Portland with his wife and daughter, and earned his bachelor's degree in Business Administration and Marketing from the University of Oregon.

Rob Gray
Board Member
Bio

Rob Gray

Board Member

Rob Gray lives in Gaston with his wife and two sons, both eagle scouts and TRK volunteers. He has over 35 years of management and engineering experience in the manufacturing industry. An avid outdoors enthusiast who enjoys hiking, boating and cycling activities though out the Pacific Northwest, Rob has been an active TRK member for 25 years. He is currently a member of the Trips and Tours Committee and the Safety Boat Coordinator for Discovery Day. Rob's other volunteer passions include the Boy Scouts as the Eagle Mentor and High Adventure Coordinator for his home troop in Hillsboro as well as a weekly volunteer at the Forest Grove Library. Rob’s long-time passion for the river will play a vital role as he continues his extended volunteer history as a board member, assisting the Riverkeepers to grow in new and exciting directions.