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Sacred Earth Foundation
Board of Directors

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.

Sacred Earth Foundation Board of Directors

Chrystal Bell | Portland


When Chrystal arrived at Ekone for a program in 2022, she was astounded by the beauty of the land. It wasn’t just the canyon, the blooming May wildflowers, and the scent of ponderosa pines that grabbed her attention, but SEF’s commitment to this place and the people it supports. Ekone Land has quite a hold on her and she is honored to become part of the many hands and hearts that contribute to the mission and stewardship of this watershed and ranch.

Chrystal gravitated towards science and the natural world at an early age, exploring miles of a mixed-conifer deciduous forest in her backyard before studying biology in college and landing a long career in forensic science. This work brought her into a deeper exploration of death, grief, and healing, much of which was forged in the White Eagle Memorial Preserve. Chrystal currently lives in Portland where she works as an executive coach supporting leaders and organizations. Most of all, she loves spending time with her wife and two daughters, exploring life and its mysteries with them. 

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Victoria DeCillo | Olympia


Victoria was introduced to Ekone in 2016 when her children came to summer camp for the first time. She was captivated by the mission of SEF, the easy laughter of staff, and the warm community that welcomed her family in. Victoria holds an undergraduate degree in International Development and a Master’s degree in Environmental Studies. Formative work experience includes working at a forestry college in Kenya and her and many years in program management for State and Local governments. At present, a day well-spent includes making at least one healthy meal for her kids, hitting the trail with the dogs and goats, and having time to pursue her passion for crafting with wool.

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Merriah Fairchild | Portland


Merriah fell in love with the big sky, the people and the thrill of the rope swing the first time she visited Ekone with her daughter in 2022. Since then she introduced her father to the White Eagle Memorial Preserve, signed her kids up for summer camp and brought her family out for a New Year's Eve work party wrestling bitterbrush in the snow.

Merriah is a 5th generation Oregonian who was raised in various communes close to the land, thanks to her hippie parents. She is honored to join the long line of land-stewards, past, present and future, of Ekone and the Rock Creek watershed. Merriah brings several decades of experience as a community organizer, fundraiser and small business owner. She is a practicing postpartum doula and founder of Bridgetown Baby. She lives with her partner, two children, father, two bunnies, and a spoiled doggie in Portland, OR.

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.

Sarah H. Keefe | Portland


Sarah was introduced to Sacred Earth Foundation pulling up bitterbrush at a work party in 2017. There she learned that working to take care of the land helps to take care of ourselves, too. She is passionate about the values held in community at Sacred Earth Foundation, including stewardship, learning, responsibility and interdependence, in connection with each other and the earth. She has since served as a volunteer and recently joined in 2022 as a Board member. Professionally she works in public health and spends her free time in nature, dedicated to supporting communities to grow in respectful and caring connection to Mother Earth.

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Tracy McDaniel | Seattle


Tracy first arrived at Ekone in 2016 and fell instantly in love with the land, the community, and the horses. She has been a small business owner and naturopathic physician in Seattle since 2002, practicing midwifery for 10 of those years. She’s been a program participant herself, is a camp parent and has served on the board of directors since 2018. She serves to be an ally to this land, the natural death work offered here, and the wild and heartful tending of children who love this place.

Usha Noble / Secretary / Portland


Usha is a long time camp parent and brings a wide perspective of the original vision and spirit of Ekone being carried into the future with integrity and hard work in collaboration with an amazing community. She lives and works in Portland as an Acupuncturist, cares deeply about childhood education and has prior board experience from the Cedarwood Waldorf School.
She is currently completing a Year to Live course based on the work of Stephen Levine.  As a practicing Buddhist she is training for death every day and so has a great appreciation for the work that happens with the White Eagle Memorial Preserve.
Usha enjoys spending time with her family of four generations, being in nature, listening to good stories and music of all kinds. She is grateful for the opportunity to serve the Sacred Earth Foundation and all that it entails in any way she can.

Sandi Scheinberg | Vice President / Hood River


Having grown up on a horse ranch on the Oregon Coast, Sandi felt right at home her first visit to Ekone, which she was scouting out as a potential camp for one of her horse-loving daughters. The mission of Sacred Earth Foundation was instantly compelling, embodying her personal interests in both land conservation and gritty hands-on outdoor education. Sandi brings a depth of experience in her role as a board member.  A non-profit consultant and associate at the boutique PR firm Weinstein PR, She has more than 20 years of experience supporting and advising mission-driven organizations. Sandi currently lives in Hood River, where she strives to imbue in her two daughters an appreciation for the beauty of their natural surroundings, along with the merits of learning to wash dishes--a shared Ekone value.

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Zaakera Stratman | Bainbridge Island


Zaakera was first experienced the magic of Ekone through a Vision Quest held on the land. Sitting on the edge or Rock Creek Canyon, down the way from the conservation burial ground, for multiple days and nights was a priceless gift and created a deep bond to this sacred place.  Years later, White Eagle Memorial Preserve was the only choice, special enough to bury her daughter after this unexpected loss. Over the years she has cultivated knowledge in Earth Based traditions, plant medicine, Kundalini yoga, community volunteering and conservation. This has brought a deep respect and humility for how humans are only one piece of a larger ecosystem that is connected to everything around us. With a 23+ year background in the Tech sector, primarily focused on learning and development, she brings a passion for education and collaboration in service to the organization. During non-work hours, Zaakera is caring for her zoo of furry critters (2 dogs and 2 cats), caring for her garden, training for a 250 mile walk and connecting with her son and their community. It is a tremendous gift and honor to serve on the board with so may amazing individuals who support the grounded center of this place and space.

Morgaine Trine | President | Tulsa


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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Suzanne Wright Baumhackl | Hood River


In 2006, Suzanne left a 25-year marketing career in San Francisco to start a marriage, a family, and Solstice Wood Fire Cafe in the Gorge. Now, she, her husband Aaron, two sons Jenner & Rune, and the restaurant are flourishing in Hood River. After Suzanne attended her grandmother's conventional burial service, she knew that people must seek more natural, intimate, and purposeful end-of-life celebrations and environmentally sound burial practices. Her passionate quest for answers guided her first to White Eagle Memorial Preserve. Her learning quest and love of SEF's mission and work began. Her son, Rune, is a devoted Ekone camper and the whole family considers Ekone to be an essential place for humans to be human, for animals to be animals, and for land to be land, all being tended to with love & respect. Suzanne is now a student at Orphan Wisdom School, where she is a graduate scholar and is following a path to guide people in conversations about loving, living well, dying wise, natural burial, and befriending grief.

last updated October 2023

Coming up!

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The Barbed Wire Ball!

Family FUNdraiser September 28-29th

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