We See Possibilities
Active Transportation COI Manager
Liz Kaster is the Manager of the Active Transportation COI. She has a Masters in Urban and Regional Planning and has spent the last eight years working with communities across the Northwest to make it safe, easy, and fun to walk, bike, skateboard, and take transit. Liz lives in Tacoma and loves that her role with the PWI allows her to forge strong partnerships throughout the Watershed and collaboratively address critical community priorities, like Safe Routes to School and connecting the trail network.
Agriculture COI Manager
Kara Lanning joined the Puyallup Watershed Initiative in August 2018 as the AgCOI Manager. Kara earned her doctorate in Horticulture from Washington State University and has prior experience working with the agricultural community throughout the Pacific Northwest. She is invested in bringing farmers, farmworkers, and local agriculture advocates together to execute projects that promote and preserve the Watershed’s abundant agricultural lands and resources. Kara and her family have lived in Puyallup since 2011. Her favorite pastimes include turning her small yard into an edible landscape, experimenting with new bakes, and taking long walks through the woods with her friends and family.
Environmental Education COI Manager
I am Jenn Grimm and I live in Seattle. I am the manager for the Environmental Education COI (EECOI). My adventure with PWI began as the coordinator for the Biodiversity COI, but when it closed down I was selected to be the manager for the EECOI. I have degrees in Marine Science, Education, and Marine Policy. My past positions include working for small and large non-profits, city government, and a state university. I was a Peace Corps volunteer in the Philippines helping with coastal resources management. I love to travel, photography, reading, and exploring the outdoors.
Forests COI Manager
Lexi joined the Puyallup Watershed Initiative in May 2018 as the FCOI Manager. In previous roles, Lexi has worked as the Sustainable Development Manager for a state-wide nonprofit, and research associate for a Federal oceanography program. She brings with her a passion for inclusive, equitable, and community-driven environmental stewardship. She was born and raised in Tacoma. She has an M.S. in Natural Resources and Environment, a B.S. in Oceanography, and a B.A. in Finnish, which she has used surprisingly often. When she is not at work, she’s most likely reading a novel or hiking one of the Northwest’s beautiful trails.
Industrial Stormwater COI Coordinator
Carrie has been a resident of Tacoma for over 10 years, choosing to live here after completion of her military service. She earned a BS in Environmental Science from UW Tacoma, and has been strongly involved in community and volunteer activities throughout the Puyallup Watershed. Carrie was introduced to the Puyallup Watershed Initiative wile working for a local nonprofit. She was first involved in the Environment Education COI, and then helped start the Industrial Stormwater COI. Carrie is invested in the PWI because she believes it has the power to continue to make the Puyallup Watershed a great place to live.
Just and Healthy Food System COI Coordinator
Brandi Yañez-Riddle (Qulla-Quechua) lives in Central Tacoma with her family and is a recent first generation graduate from the UW’s College of Built Environments – Community, Environment & Planning Program. She has a passion for food justice and indigenous food sovereignty work and is amazed at the power of food to bring people together. Her favorite book is Dr. Seuss’s The Butter Battle Book because food analogies are fun! She now proudly serves as the Coordinator for the Just & Healthy Food System COI.
PWI Community Relations Manager
Tiffany joined the Initiative in 2018 and cultivates capacity across the entire organization with emphasis to the Communities of Interest (COI). She is a multipotentialite loving the beautiful Puget Sound as a transplanted local. By livelihood she is a Community Cultivation Practitioner recognized by the United Nations accredited International Association for Community Development, and is certificated in SEED Methodology (Social Economic Environmental Design). She holds two interdisciplinary degrees grounded in experiential learning- B.A. in Social Issues and Public Policy and M.A. in Global Studies (emphasis on human behavior). Her favorite character as a child and an adult is the original Ms. Frizzle of the Magic School Bus.
Active Transportation COI Engagement Lead
Hannah Miner is the Community Engagement Lead for the Active Transportation COI. With over seven years of experience working in this field, Hannah has developed and implemented programs and events to encourage and support community members to embrace active transportation for everyday trips, including Tacoma-Pierce County Bike Month, Sheridan Elementary School Safe Routes to School Program, and Downtown to Defiance: Sunday Parkways. In her current role, Hannah is most excited to explore new partnerships and implement creative solutions to reduce barriers to safe, healthy, and affordable active transportation options. When she is not supporting the work of the AT COI, Hannah can be found in her home garden or supporting local food projects like the Galluci Learning Garden.
Environmental Education COI Administrative Coordinator
Lisa joined the Puyallup Watershed Initiative in July 2017 as the EECOI’s Administrative Coordinator. She has more than a decade of experience providing employee support services in the airline industry. Lisa brings a strong appreciation for her community - both its physical beauty and the welcoming people who inhabit the area - and she’s overwhelmed by the information and opportunities the PWI provides to all of our Communities of Interests. Lisa was born and raised in the Pacific Northwest and enjoys hiking (Mt. Townsend is a favorite), kayaking, and garden and home improvement projects.
PWI Executive Director
Jennifer joined the Puyallup Watershed Initiative (PWI) in September of 2015. Her PWI journey began years before as a nonprofit participant, and evolved to include co-management of a Community of Interest and eventually Initiative-wide support first as the PWI Community Relations Manager and then as Acting Director. Now, she welcomes the opportunity to serve as the Initiative's first Executive Director supporting the Initiative's growth and development into an independent, community-based nonprofit. Jennifer was born and raised in Tacoma, and managed regional projects around urban green space restoration and environmental education prior to joining the PWI. Jennifer holds a Master of Public Administration and B.S. in Atmospheric Sciences both from the University of Washington.
Active Transportation COI Administrative Lead
Heidi joined the Puyallup Watershed Initiative in October 2018 as the Administrative Lead of the Active Transportation COI. She has more than a decade of experience leading and supporting complex projects and implementing organizational efficiencies. She received a degree in Environmental Studies from the University of Washington in 2007. She has always had a deep passion for the environment and anything science-related. Whether it's to protect animal species or advocate for the well-being of indigenous communities, she believes in making this world a better place for current and future populations. When not working, she enjoys gardening, any and every outdoor activity that beckons her, and being an aunt to her nieces and nephew.
Just and Healthy Food System COI Assistant Coordinator
Adriane joined PWI March 2018 as the JHFS Assistant Coordinator. With a Bachelor of Arts degree in Interdisciplinary Studies from The Evergreens State College -Tacoma, Adriane brings a resourceful and results based approach. Her journey with PWI started out as a community member participating in a focus group and now looks forward to continuing to be a strong advocate of marginalized voices while addressing the needs of this Community. Having been raised for much of her life in Tacoma, she enjoys the beautiful scenery while walking her dog Koda and going on adventures with her children.
PWI Office Manager
Sarah joined the Puyallup Watershed Initiative in September 2017 as the Office Manager, where she supports the coordination and operations of the PWI team. Sarah has over 10 years of experience providing facilities management and administrative support in the aerospace industry and is versed in Quality Management and LEAN / Six Sigma principles. As a native to the Pacific Northwest, Sarah is invested in the Puyallup Watershed because she is passionate about preserving our land and the quality of our abundant resources for future generations.