© 2019 Sacred Earth Foundation

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Ekone Ranch...a place for children of all ages!

401 Ekone Rd. | Goldendale, WA | 98620

Sacred Earth Foundation

Board of Directors Staff

SEF's Board of Directors meets quarterly at Ekone and more frequently on committee work to help steward the mission, vision, and values of the organization in real world practice. They give big of their time, energies, and talents to support the thriving of this organization.

Morgan Houk | Treasurer | Bainbridge Island

As a camper at Ekone in the early 2000's, Morgan was introduced to many concepts of sustainability, self-sufficiency and earth stewardship that followed her throughout business school and early career on the East Coast.  Having recently returned to her roots on Bainbridge Island, she works as an organic farmer and bookkeeping consultant for small food and farming businesses in the region.  She is thrilled to reconnect with the place and people who quietly shaped her life and decision making in untold ways, and offer the business skills she has learned during her time away.

Thérèse Charvet | President | Bainbridge Island

Thérèse offered a Compassionate Listening workshop for Ekone residents in 2009, and promptly fell in love with the ponderosas, oaks, and canyons of Ekone.  She is the founder of Sacred Groves on Bainbridge Island, a retreat center and place of ceremony, and served as the director of the Seattle Midwifery School for 13 years.  Thérèse now offers her gifts as an ordained minister, counselor and facilitator using earth-based rituals to connect us more deeply with Mother Earth—and her financial savvy and business experience.

Michelle Sager | Goldendale

Michelle first connected with Ekone in early 2017 when she reached out looking for local connections to good people and places. With her long history of traveling, building community in the Gorge has been a new adventure, and she says Ekone’s welcoming and empowering energy was easy to fall in love with. Michelle brings years of experience working with youth in sustainability, garden, and art education, and currently works as the Education Program Coordinator for the Master Gardener and Master Naturalist programs for OSU Extension in Wasco County. She serves on several local coalitions and collaborative projects focused on conservation, food security, and equity. Michelle is passionate about making education more loving, reflective, and inclusive, and appreciates learning from others’ experiences.

Kent Siebold | Vice President | Portland

Kent was charmed by Ekone’s mission and programs in 2012, experiencing firsthand the capacity of this land to rejuvenate the weary modern soul.  His family makes regular visits to the ranch, and his daughter attends camp each summer.  Kent serves in Portland Public Schools as a coach and mentor for new teachers, and brings his considerable skills in communication, group decision-making, and non-violent communication to the board, as well as his experience of renovating a historic Portland home over the course of 15 years.

Tim & Laurie Southworth | Goldendale

Laurie and Tim have been neighbors of Ekone since 1980, and watched the organization through many phases of evolution.  In the first years of summer camp, the closest phone was at Tim and Laurie’s, a 3-mile cross-country trail ride. As the owners/operators of Southslope Woodworks, a custom design/build company, Tim and Laurie bring a wealth of experience in physical infrastructure to the oversight of Ekone’s operations.  They also have decades of experience in stewardship of this landscape, and are accomplished musicians!

Judy Todd | Portland

In 2006, Judy came to Ekone Ranch as a consultant a year before Founder Ray Mitchell’s death.  The work she was part of in that role infused her with a love of the place and principles of Sacred Earth Foundation. Since then she has served as a volunteer, grandmother of summer camper, and Board member.  She has also brought participants in programs through NatureConnect NW, an all-volunteer non-profit of which she is the Founder. Judy’s career background is in teaching, small business consulting, and leadership and team development.  She is a poet and self-taught naturalist who loves wandering sacred landscapes and meeting kin everywhere for what they have to teach her. Since her return from a life-changing 3-month walk on The Great March for Climate Action, she has dedicated her energy and time in working for Earth.

Morgaine Trine | Secretary | Portland

As a summer camper-turned staff-turned Board member, Morgaine’s involvement with Ekone began in the mid-2000s.  Her love of the land and community was immediate.  After years as a camper, Morgaine joined the summer camp staff team and worked to bring more Ekone Magic to a new generation of campers.  More recently, stepping away from regular summer camp work, Morgaine now owns a financial strategy and bookkeeping business while also traveling far and wide.  She brings business savvy and a deep love to her work on the Board and is excited about holding this bigger piece of the organization’s vision.

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Sacred Earth Foundation Advisory Council

Caitlin Price Youngquist | Chair

Caitlin spent her first summer at Ekone when she was 11, and has had a fierce love for this land and its work ever since.  She was integral to the organization’s survival in the years directly after founder Ray Mitchell’s sudden death; taking responsibility for the continuation of summer camp and serving as the on-site ranch manager for a full year.  Caitlin served on the Board of Directors for 7 years, originally recruited by Ray for increased leadership of the organization beyond summer camp.  She is now busy putting her PhD in soil science to work in Wyoming, but keeps a close eye on Ekone happenings and returns for a week or two of camp each summer.

Tim Lamb

Tim is one of founder Ray Mitchell’s oldest friends, and an original board member of Sacred Earth Foundation.  He served on the board of directors for roughly two and half decades, and counts his service to Ekone as a tremendous opportunity to be a part of something larger than one life.  Tim represents a handful of Ray’s dear brothers who worked together to protect and guard this land, and shared in the joy and celebration of the community spirit that arises here.   He continues to keep a watchful eye on the evolution of the organization to ensure that Ray’s vision continues.

Vibrance Pulla

Vibrance came to Ekone as a child in the early 1980′s when her mother married founder Ray Mitchell.  She was a part of the very first summer of campers in 1986, and has endless stories of pack trips to Mount Adams and other adventures in the early days of the ranch.  Vibrance is an expert on the history and lineage of Ekone’s people, horses, and events.   She served on the board of directors for 8 years, and is now raising a family of her own in Seattle, but keeps a heartfelt connection to the land and the continuation of Ray’s vision for it.

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Sacred Earth Foundation Staff

Shawn Bergman | Facilities Manager

Shawn joined the Ekone crew in the spring of 2017, bringing his awesome work ethic, creative problem-solving skills, and the good sense of humor necessary to deal with Ekone's infrastructure. Shawn first visited Ekone in the early 2000s, drawn by the mission and vision of this place. He then spent many years working with other educational organizations and with troubled youth in the wilderness, developing and teaching valuable construction and wilderness skills. Shawn is a master of figuring out how to acquire and use recycled and reclaimed materials, of solving unsolvable facilities problems, and of creating the beautiful and highly functional facilities improvements you see around Ekone.

Jodie Buller | Cemetery & Conservation Director

Jodie has been a friend of Ekone since 2008, and stepped into leadership of White Eagle Memorial Preserve in 2013.  She works with families directly to walk through end-of-life choices and burial logistics, and supports White Eagle’s Stewards, hosting tours, burials, and special events.  Jodie lives part-time in the White Eagle Cabin in the Ekone Valley, and part-time in a wee cabin in Skagit Valley.  Her background in outreach work for the Skagit Valley Food Co-op informs her passion to introduce White Eagle to communities throughout Washington and Oregon, with presentations and workshops on natural burial. She added Conservation in 2018, and manages the SEF Conservation Fund and stewardship work on the land.

Liz Coppola | Operations Director

Liz first came to summer camp in 1995, and has yet to miss a summer since! As a child, Liz initially fell in love with the land and horses of Ekone, and used to write songs about them and sing over the fence to the horses as she was filling their water trough. She worked as camp staff through her teens and early twenties, and graduated from Hampshire College in 2006, with a BA in Media and Cultural Studies. In 2007, Liz began managing a small livestock farm outside Seattle, providing pasture-raised dairy, meat, eggs, and cheese for the Seattle farmer’s markets, and spent 6 years working there. When Ekone founder Ray Mitchell died in 2007, Liz worked with another longtime Ekone summer camp leader, Caitlin Price, to continue running summer camp for the next three years. In 2013, Liz returned to Ekone to work full time as the Facilities Manager and then Operations Director; overseeing maintenance to Ekone’s facilities, project management for the Saddle Up capital campaign, and participating in summer camp and other programs. Liz also raises the goats, pigs, and chickens that you see around the ranch, with a lot of help from Mindy and various ranch volunteers.

Bob Jeffers | Cemetery Groundskeeper

Bob came to Ekone in 1995 with his family, drawn by the opportunity to participate in an organization with a vision of stewardship.  He brought his skills as a graphic artist and signmaker and proceeded to give the town of Goldendale a facelift, providing handcrafted signs for hundreds of businesses throughout the Gorge, first from a storefront in Goldendale and now from a shop at his home adjacent to Ekone land.  Bob was integral to maintaining the ranch in the years after Ray Mitchell’s death, serving as interim facilities manager and keeping the infrastructure upright and accessible.   He currently focuses his efforts on the smooth operation of the White Eagle cemetery, tending the grounds with careful attention, ensuring graceful logistics for each burial, and supporting families through the process.  Bob also creates custom caskets and headstones for White Eagle clients. 

Caitlin Jones | Summer Camp Director

Caitlin has been coming to Ekone summer camps since she was 8 years old and has grown into a strong and compassionate leader. She has ridden and worked with horses most of her life, and believes them to be some of the most wise and loving of all animals (especially Ekone horses). She received a Masters in Social Work from the University of Washington and is currently working towards a certification in Equine-Assisted Psychotherapy, as well as recently becoming certified as a Wilderness First Responder. Caitlin has spent just about every summer working at Ekone and was hired as the Camp Director in 2018. She currently lives on Whidbey Island in the off-season with her partner Skye, their dog Berkeley and their horse Luna. Caitlin says Ekone is a second home for her, and she is beyond excited to have joined the staff team!

Jenna Milton | Office Assistant & Horse Manager

When Jenna started coming to camp in 2001, Ekone inspired her to pursue her passions for horses, for art, and for adventure! During college, she rode hunters with her university’s equestrian team and spent summers teaching at Ekone and other horse camp settings. In 2013, Jenna graduated from Hollins University in Roanoke, Virginia, with a BA in Studio Art. She then put her understanding of the Top Hand Wrangler Code’s “Put safety first and embrace danger” to use, and spent the next sixteen months sailing from Seattle to New Zealand on a 50-foot sailboat, encountering many beautiful places and challenging circumstances along the way. After a subsequent year of living in Australia, she returned to the Pacific Northwest as a year-long Ekone horse intern during 2016-2017. She officially joined the Ekone Ranch staff team in January of 2018.

Shonie Schlotzhauer | Executive Director

Shonie first showed up at Ekone in 1994 and was immediately hooked by the warm, welcoming camp community, kind and spirited horses, and the rustic lifestyle reminiscent of her childhood in the Canadian bush.  She lived at Ekone for two years as a teen, before attending The Evergreen State College where she studied agriculture, food systems and community development.  She farmed for several years, taught garden-based nutrition programs, and served as the Food & Farming Program Manager at Sustainable Connections in Bellingham.  Shonie returned to the ranch in 2009 to help fill the need left by Ray Mitchell’s death, becoming Sacred Earth Foundation’s first official staff member and providing careful, heartful leadership for SEF.  Her love for the land grows each day.

Mindy Schmidt | Volunteer Coordinator & Facilities Assistant

Mindy grew up in California, Colorado, and Scappoose, OR, and excels at creative problem-solving and finding the fun in EVERYTHING. After graduating from high school, Mindy spent a year as a full-time Ekone volunteer, learning all about the ins and outs of the ranch facilities. She spent the following winter traveling extensively in Greece, Austria, and Germany, gaining further facilities and horse management skills, as well as working closely with people of all different backgrounds, and we’re so glad she’s returned to Ekone to share her experience with us! She is so great to have around that we auctioned off a week of her help at last year's Barbed Wire Ball, and the bidding was intense!

Chris Woodcock | Kitchen Manager

Chris has now spent two decades serving up delicious, wholesome meals at Ekone’s “Yummy Tummy Café,” and has converted hundreds of children to loving vegetables.  Her daughter, Shonie (now Ekone’s executive director), was the first to fall in love with Ekone, but Chris was not hard to convince, and has lived and worked at Ekone since 1995.   Compared to cooking for tree-planters deep in the British Columbia bush, cooking for children in the Yummy Tummy is a dream.  She also serves as a cemetery steward, and offers one-of-a-kind handmade shrouds for cemetery clients.

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updated (in progress) October 2018

Coming up!

September 28

A family festival & fundraiser!