Board of Directors

The OGSA board is made up of individuals in the resource conservation community who are dedicated to helping schools save watts, water and reduce waste.  Please call or email us with suggestions, or feel free to attend one of our monthly board meetings, held from 10 am to noon on the third Thursday of every month. Contact us to find out each month’s meeting location.

Current OGSA board members

Board Chair Laurel Bates Clackamas County
Secretary Deborah Topp City of Salem
Treasurer Jeannie Ramsey City of Salem
Past Chair, Member at Large Bailey Payne Marion County Public Works – Environmental Services
Member at Large Heidi Henry Banner Non-Profits, Corvallis
Member at Large Emily Phillips Republic Services, Albany/Corvallis
Member at Large Elizabeth Start Republic Services, Tualatin
Member at Large Jackie Wilson The Environmental Center, Bend
Administrative Assistant Jessica Ramey Oregon Greens Schools, Corvallis office

Board Member Bios

Meet the Oregon Green School Board! – Each month in our newsletters, we will feature a new Board member and eventually will also begin featuring regional coordinators.

Laurel Bates, Board Chair

Before moving to Portland in 2007, I spent several years teaching English in Germany and then teaching German in the United States (Sprechen Sie Deutsch?).  Since moving to Portland, I have had the opportunity to work with education and environmental sustainability, both passions of mine. I currently work as the Waste Reduction Education Coordinator with the Clackamas County Refuse and Recycling Association and the Clackamas County Office of Sustainability, providing waste reduction assistance to schools.

I have been the Clackamas County regional coordinator for Oregon Green Schools since September of 2011.  I’ve been involved in some exciting projects for OGSA in recent months, including a re-drafting of our mission statement and an update of our application materials. I look forward to working with my fellow Board members and regional coordinators on many projects to come.

Working with Oregon Green Schools has been a wonderful experience. As a former classroom teacher, I especially enjoy assisting students and teachers as they work towards their green school certification.

Deborah Topp, Secretary

I joined the Oregon Green Schools Board in July 2011 and am currently the Board Secretary. I work for the City of Salem Public Works Department on watershed issues, including organizing the Adopt-A-Stream program for local schools. Initially I worked directly with Salem-Keizer area schools, providing environmental education to students in kindergarten through 12th grade. My introduction to Oregon Green Schools was being asked to present at the annual summit. A few years later, I was invited to join the Board.

Though I work less directly with students in my current position as Natural Resources Outreach Specialist, Oregon Green Schools provides me the opportunity to contribute to schools. I’m currently on the standards and curriculum committee with fellow Board member Laurel Bates. The goal of this committee is to link Oregon Green School activities with Oregon State Standards. While we are currently starting with waste reduction activities, we look to bolster activities and information related to water and energy for more robust programming.

As always, we welcome any feedback you have that will help the Board achieve the Oregon Green School mission and provide support to regional and school coordinators, teachers, and other personnel who implement Oregon Green Schools at their school.


Jeannie Ramsey, Treasurer

My name is Jeannie Ramsey, and I joined the OGS Board in Spring of 2013 as the new Treasurer.

Some of my Board duties include planning fundraising events and helping promote OGS throughout the state. I love talking to people, so I am excited to meet all the regional coordinators and volunteers who educate the schools and students to work toward a sustainable future.

I have a BUS degree from the University of New Mexico, where I’m originally from. I recently worked as a program coordinator in Linn and Benton counties for Community Services Consortium (CSC). I came to Corvallis in 2010 to serve as a VISTA Leader at CSC, and fell in love with Corvallis. It is great to be in a town that works so diligently on sustainable living, which is a passion of mine.

I’ve kept a paperless kitchen for over 20 years! That was probably my first step toward being conscious of my impact on the environment.  I’ve done a lot of different things to reduce my impact, including volunteering at events. I worked at the Oregon State University move-out event the last two years, where I met Andrea Norris, who told me about the Master Recycler classes offered locally by OSU and Republic Services. I took the classes became a Master Recycler in 2012. I recommend this excellent program to everyone!

I attended the Green Schools Summit in March, 2013 and was amazed to see all the great hands-on projects that were presented. I look forward to learning more about the OGS programs that teach students to develop the importance of waste reduction that leads to sustainable living.


Bailey Payne, Member At Large

My name is Bailey Payne.  I’m the past Chair of the Oregon Green Schools Board, and now am a Member-At-Large.

I’ve been working for Marion County as a Waste Reduction Specialist for over ten years and one of my favorite parts of my job is getting out to the schools that I work with and helping OGSA as an organization.  Before coming to Marion County I was a teacher for three years and a Peace Corps Volunteer before that.

There has been a tremendous amount of change within OGSA since I joined the board three years ago and we are excited that we are almost ready to launch a few new projects that we’ve been working on, including an updated website and two new videos about what OGSA does and how schools can get involved.  Look for more on these updates in the next couple months.  The board has been busy doing a lot of “behind the scenes” work, including providing content for our monthly newsletter, working to support schools that do not have a regional coordinator to help them, recruiting new regional coordinators and board members, fundraising projects, partnerships with like-minded organizations, and more!  We’ve also worked to create a very comprehensive list of activities, curriculum, tools, and recycling art/photos for the regional coordinators to share with their schools.  There is still a lot to do!

As a former teacher, I truly appreciate how busy all of the school coordinators are and the  entire board would like to again thank you and all of the regional coordinators that do so much for the students in Oregon Green Schools.  Keep up the good work!


Heidi Henry, Member At Large

Hello!  I’m Heidi Henry, and I bring a wealth of non-profit and business experience to the Oregon Green Schools Board.  I’ve helped over 70 Oregon communities with strategic  planning, community collaborations, leadership training and project implementation for economic development.  My background in business marketing and economic development includes work as a chamber director, a downtown revitalization director, and in the early 1990’s, the Volunteer Director and Community Services staff for Silverton Hospital. I’ve worked as a trainer and facilitator with Oregon Downtown Development Association and Rural Development Initiatives coordinating and facilitating strategic plans, organizational assessments and program studies, community visions, brownfield/industrial site development strategies and volunteer work plans, delivered board and volunteer training, cultural tourism training, public arts programs planning, chamber and downtown association planning and training,  economic development action plans, program assessments, community center feasibility studies, and fundraising strategies.

I’m also past President of the Board of Directors for Financial Stewardship Resources, Inc, a non-profit devoted to financial management skill-building and governance excellence for non-profits nation-wide. I’ve been an Associate Professor with the University of Oregon’s law department for non-profit certification studies, have a Master’s in Ethics and Organizational Communication, am certified by National Main Street, Washington D.C. and am a certified facilitator. I chair the Commission of the City of Corvallis Downtown Commission.


Emily Phillips, Member At Large

My name is Emily Phillips and I’m the Recycling Coordinator at Republic Services in Corvallis. My responsibilities include community outreach and education regarding waste reduction, recycling and sustainability, as well as my role as a Regional Coordinator for Oregon Green Schools.

I’ve been involved in lots of OGSA projects, including the Oregon Green Schools Summit, developing two videos as Regional Coordinators’ tools and working with schools in the Albany/Corvallis/Lebanon area to become certified Oregon Green Schools.

Before joining the Republic Services family, I worked in higher education administration. I earned my Bachelor of Science from Oregon State University in Public Health, specifically Health Promotion and Education, with an emphasis in Community Health.

Working with schools to become Oregon Green Schools has been a great experience thus far and I look forward to working with more schools in the future.


Elizabeth Start, Member At Large

My name is Elizabeth Start, Recycling Coordinator for Republic Services for the metro area in and around Portland. As Recycling Coordinator, I provide community education and outreach to promote recycling, waste reduction and sustainability. I have over 10 years of experience working in the waste, recycling and reuse field. In addition to multiple industry trainings and certifications, I am currently pursuing a second degree in Sustainability Management.

I am excited to be part of the Oregon Green Schools Board and look forward to working with schools to promote their efforts to reduce waste, recycle and become more sustainable. Oregon Green Schools provides schools and teachers with such great resources and I am excited to be part of the team!


Jackie Wilson, Member At Large

I moved to Bend, Oregon in 2004, after teaching Earth Science and Biology at North jackie-wilson-photo2Country School in Lake Placid, NY.  I wanted to ski, backpack and teach.  I explored the state of Oregon on skis and with a backpack and then I got a job teaching the EarthSmart sustainability education program through The Environmental Center in Bend.   This program teaches students about recycling and compost, energy and water reduction and is a great way to get kids excited about what they can do to be stewards of the earth and help their school.

In 2010, I received a Master’s in Education with a focus in Sustainability education and became the Regional Green School Coordinator for Oregon Green Schools.   I love working with kids to help make real changes in their school and supporting the district sustainability plan.  I have been working hard to get more and more schools east of the cascades involved in the Green School Program.  I am a new member of the board and look forward to assisting schools get certification and streamlining the process for teachers.


Jeanette Hardison, Administrative Assistant

Hello! I’m Jeanette Hardison and in Spring 2013, I joined Oregon Green Schools as the new Administrative Assistant to the Board, stepping into Cathy McGuire’s talented shoes. I spent the last 12 years co-coordinating a commercial Resource Efficiency Program for the Corvallis Environmental Center, funded the last five years by Energy Trust of Oregon.  I have a BA in Communications from Oregon State University, with an emphasis in environmental studies.

Since 1993, I have worked enthusiastically in this field in numerous capacities, including as Recycling Coordinator, Conservation Analyst, program developer, grant writer, conference planner, presenter, trainer, annual Master Recyclers Class waste prevention speaker, Education Chair for the Association of Oregon Recyclers (AOR) Board of Directors, and volunteer Waste Prevention Action Team Co-Leader for the Corvallis Sustainability Coalition.  In each of these capacities, the goal has always been to help my fellow Oregonians learn how to reduce their environmental impact through wiser use of resources.

I’ve been blessed to have had the opportunity to work in and with the private and public sectors, helping businesses, government agencies, community groups, residents, and K-12 through University level institutions become more resource efficient.

In 2000, I was awarded AOR’s Statewide Individual Recycler of the Year for my efforts, though I feel my greatest accomplishments have been as part of collaborative efforts, working as a team towards a higher good.  I’m excited to be working together with the OGS Board to help further advance waste prevention efforts in Oregon’s schools.