Our Passionate Leadership Team We are excited to get to know you. Feel free to connect with us at anytime. We would love to hear from you. Meet the extraordinary individuals who are and have been a part of making everything possible. Here is a list our past and present Leadership Team. Scroll down for our Creative Leadership Interns. We are a growing community of artists, activists, ecologists, educators, entrepreneurs, farmers, filmmakers, musicians and volunteers who want to make a difference. We believe in what we do and we come together to help people, projects, companies and investors “be the change you want to see in the world.” -Mahatma Gandhi
- Sean Barnes
- Alta Berri
- Nena Botto
- Krystin Braverman
- Seth Hayden Brown Seth Hayden Brown graduated from the University of Montana, in Missoula with a degree in creative writing. He showed visual art around Missoula and spearheaded a theatrical cabaret group called Arya Dunya. In 2003 he returned to Portland looking for a more substantial art world. With partner Kenya Spiegel he started the “sky&boat gallery” where he curated art and music shows for over a year. He became part of a close-knit circle of musicians and was fortunate to collaborate with performance artist Guillermo Gomez Pena during a performance at Lewis & Clark College. As a self-taught pianist he has an unorthodox and creative approach to the piano. In recent years he has played Rhodes electric piano in several ecstatic groups and performs regularly with Why I Must Be Careful, a hyper-structured experimental drums and piano duo. WIMBC has received substantial local acclaim and continues to wow audiences across the United States. When not playing music or composing player piano rolls, Seth can be found working on a Permaculture site in Portland OR where he and his partner have created a demonstration urban farm.
- Alexander Calapodis
- Lindsay Capacio
- Jody Cole
- Matt Dawson
- Teresa Decher
- Kamar Elliott
- Jeff Feazell Jeff Feazell is a stand-up comedian and comedy writer. In addition to performing at clubs and bars all over Los Angeles, he is creator Youth Pastor Kevin, an upcoming web series about the idiosyncrasies of Evangelical teen culture. Jeff graduated from UCLA in 2004 and spent several years writing satire for several online publications, including his own The Lean.
- Kerri Fernsworth Kerri Fernsworth is a creative writer with a day job to pay the bills and a firm resolve to fulfill her life-giving creative aspirations. She is currently co-writing the film Affected for Sogno Productions and is a collaborating writer for the upcoming web series Youth Pastor Kevin, created by her always-making-her-laugh husband Jeff Feazell. Her professional background is in nonprofit fundraising, marketing, and management. In 2009, she co-founded a nonprofit to support organizations serving children, Project LACE. Additionally, she has worked as a freelance writer for Change.org (Social Entrepreneurship) and Causecast. Kerri earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Global Studies from Azusa Pacific University and has spent time studying and volunteering in several places that don’t advertise chicken nuggets as food including: Guatemala, Mauritius, and India. Kerri completed the Master Gardener Program through UC Davis extension in 2010 and hopes to achieve telepathic communication with her plants (not covered in the UC program). She frequently wishes for the ability to have multiple careers at the same time but is willing to settle for the possibility that they come in a linear timeline and somehow all her various experiences will tie together in a magical way. So far, it’s worked out.
- Jillian Ferry Jillian Ferry recently graduated from the University of Redlands with a BA in Theatre Arts. Jillian has been trained in pop vocals, opera, choral performance, and has done Irish dance for over 13 years. She plans to continue her passion for the arts in NYC at the Stella Adler studio of acting where she will train for 3 years for a professional certification in acting and performance.
- Alex Hudson Alex Hudson lives in Seattle, which is a great place for a certified indoor girl with a penchant for armchair academics and Twin Peaks marathons. Alex has been working film festivals and events for long enough to deftly sweep popcorn out of carpets and to load a sold out house without breaking a sweat. She loves overhearing post-film conversations and believes in the power of cinema to show us other worlds, to bring us together and to make us more human. Alex is terribly excited to be working the Columbia Gorge Film Festival and it’s associated events and if you see her at one of the venues, feel free to distribute high fives liberally.
- Jessica Huezo
- Bjorn Knoppel
- Richard Kowalski
- Vivian Martinez
- Jessica Lee McAtee Jessica is passionate about solar energy and butterflies. Her BA is from FAU. It enabled her to spend 8 years with an engineering firm where she improved managemnet and HR systems and was recognized in the Wall Street Journal. After developing a Solar-Install Training program for new hires, she compiled her work (and personal experience from living in a solar home) for non-engineers trying to break into the dynamic solar industry. Her informative Ebook can be purchased at www.solarknowledgeseries.com. Additionally, she has been gardening for butterflies in South Florida for 10 years, maintaining an extensive habitat in her back yard. Because the fluttering wonders have brought her such joy, peace and simplicity, it is her life dream to share them with others.The enthusiastic butterfly gardener runs a site for people to purchase portable and compact butterfly gardens www.butterflypots.com. Jessica also visits local schools and community groups, gives tours of her elaborate yard, and offers consultations for those who wish to plant their own gardens or go solar.
- Annie Milligan
- Brian Morataya
- Randy Morrissette
- Rylie Morrissette
- Brady Newbill
- Tim Nicholson Tim Nicholson was discovered making all kinds of things happen at some of the most prestigious film festivals around the world. Like a pig in mud, he’s happiest when he’s dirty. For him, that perfect day has a Black Sabbath soundtrack with a Stevie Ray Vaughn undertone. A little salt water with a ton of sunshine, exercise in the morning, Eastwood in the afternoon and sangria with a good science fiction novel in either hand as the sun sets. He admits he will never be as strong, as fast, as smart or as smooth as his shadow, which will always drive him to be better. We are just glad he is with us.
- Derek Nunn
- Jaclyn O’Grady
- Wesley Scott Parker
- Zach Persson Zach Persson is an independent film producer and director based in the Pacific Northwest. Though a native of Los Angeles, Zach has found his adoptive home highly supportive and filled with creative people mobilizing to develop the film culture of the Northwest. Currently, he is producing an independent sci-fi feature film titled “Ingenium” and is excited to see the community enriched through the many films and art that will be displayed at the festival.
- Nic Korban Aurix Phelan Korban moved to Portland in 2005. He moved here with a love for metal and industrial and since being in the Portland area found a new love for psy-trance and substep. He is making sure to keep it distorted and dark! He has been involved with the Festivals since 2009 and is an incredibly valuable part of our organization. He even inspired a character in a feature film project written by Festival Alumni.
- Elisa Prepetit
- Elise Prepetit
- Carmen Rio
- Paul Sbrizzi
- Kenya Spiegel Kenya E. Spiegel is a graduate of The School of the Art Institute of Chicago and the New York Studio Program at Parsons School of Design. Upon gratuating she worked under Finnish fashion designer Tiiti Forteleny in New York City for one year until she moved to Portland, OR in 2002, in order to found sky&boat a sustainable clothing company and run a gallery in NW Portland with partner Seth Brown. Strongly encouraged by the local community sky&boat continued to create environmentally responsible clothing for seven years and sold internationally until 2009. Around this time Kenya and Seth moved goats into the front yard of their home in Portland, Oregon. The goats, along with ducks, turkey, and bees, soon attracted so much attention that Kenya found herself giving impromptu workshops to curious passersby. Thus, Sowing Circle Farm, and its mission — simply, to empower people to grow food and raise animals in an urban setting — was born. Kenya has since become certified in organic gardening practices as well as Permaculture. In 2010, Sowing Circle Farm relocated to Future Farm, an abandoned 1/3-acre plot of land in NE Portland, which is now being used as a Permaculture demonstration site and food forest for the local Portland community.
- James Rodney Stolz James Stolz is a freelance Director of Photography whose films have been played at various festivals around the world, from Los Angeles to Cannes. In 2009 James won the Best Cinematography Award at the Boston International Film Festival for one of his shorts. Creating and watching films as well as talking about them are amongst his greatest passions.
- Rhonda Teeny Rhonda, a Portland, Oregon native, has just received her bachelor’s degrees in Communication and Political Science from Santa Clara University and has moved to Los Angeles to continue pursuing her passion. Through conducting extensive research for developmental production for MSNBC, the Travel Channel, and the producers off Oscar-winning Spotlight; on-set PA jobs in LA, San Jose, and Portland, OR; editing experience with AVID, Premiere, and After Effects; as well as project management planning and budgeting programs, Rhonda has immersed herself in entertainment creation via a multitude of mediums and she continues to learn.
- Savannah Teller-Brown Owner and operator of Teller Films, Savannah Teller Brown is a humbly talented cinematographer and film artist. Savannah’s credits range from Super 8 experimental storytelling to working as an Assistant Camera and loader on large studio films. Savannah is an important part of our team as a filmmaker, festival organizer and farmer.
- Breven Angaelica Warren
- Shilyh Warren, Phd
- Stefanie Warren
- Joel Wear
- Laurie Woods
Our Past Creative Leader Interns
Past and present, these guys came in and just made things happen. We couldn’t do it without their help and we are better off for having teamed up with them along the way. Thank you for letting us be a part of your journey.
- Kali Brgant Kali Brgant graduated from the University of Vermont in 2009 with a BS in Public Communications. She specializes in assisting non-profits with organization and development. Kali is currently residing in Vermont, teaching yoga, a passion of hers. In the near future Kali will begin traveling to deepen her yoga practice in order to support societies ever-changing ways, while volunteering for non-profits as opportunities arise.
- Jessica Hatton
- Timothy Hunter Cogley Tim Cogley is currently interning as part of our production team. Working with us in development as well as in production. He has been an independent filmmaker since 2005 formerly working out of Vancouver, Washington. His films include his feature debut, Ex Morte (2008) and the experimental short film Hotel Vendetta (2010).
- Reed Gaines Reed Gaines is a Midwestern expatriate and a current student at Vassar College. He is a published poet, a film festival carnie, and an occasional actor. In his free time, he plays strategy games, takes walks in the woods, and cultivates his beard.
- Jessica Gipe Jessica Gipe has had a passion for the written word since her first publication in grade school. Although none of her writing seems to live up to the crayon scribbles and emotionally mature content of Anna’s New Glasses, she continually strives to surpass this level of greatness. Jessica’s desire to write flourished throughout her academic career and was a major influence in her pursing and attaining a degree in English from Washington State University. Last year, she gave publishing another shot and submitted a poem and a short story to WSU’s literary publication: The Salmon Creek Journal. Both pieces were accepted and her poem “Marlboro Reds” was given the “Editor’s Choice” award. Jessica continues to polish her craft and help others do the same while working in the Writing Center at WSU Vancouver. Traveling has also been a major interest of hers since back packing through Europe last winter. Since then, she has spent a lot of her free time doing three things: plotting her next traveling adventure, writing about her past and future travels, and coveting Anthony Bourdain’s job on the Travel Channel. Despite her constant desire to travel, Jessica genuinely enjoys spending time with family and friends in the Northwest. Good coffee, wine, and a pen and paper are necessities in her life and she is rarely without at least one. Now that she has graduated with a degree and has collected a bit of life experience, Jessica hopes to soon figure out what to do when she grows up. Until then, she is happy to keep on writing and dreaming. Jessica is beyond ecstatic to be a part of the film festival for the first time and eagerly anticipates brushing elbows with great filmmakers from around the globe.
- Alexandra Martin Alexandra Martin grew up in Vermont where she enjoyed nature, writing, singing and dancing. She went to University of Southern Maine to study before a change of heart lead her to traveling New Zealand and the South Pacific volunteering on various farms. Her wonderlust and passion to meet unique individuals has taken her to volunteer at various yoga festivals around the country. Alexandra plans to study massage therapy, healing arts, yoga and dance to help spread love and joy to others.
- Elisabeth Messing
- Megan Trevarthen Megan Trevarthen is a recent graduate of Washington State University with a severely underappreciated degree in English. Megan spent her Junior year abroad at the University of St. Andrews. She not only fell in love with Scotland but became massively addicted to traveling the world. Aside from finding a fulfilling career, her main goal in life is to travel to every continent and become fluent in at least one other language. This is her first year working with the film festival and she is thrilled to be involved in such an important event in her home town.
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