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.

Thérèse Charvet | 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.

Victoria DeCillo | Vice President | 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. 

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.

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.

Skye Newkirk | Goldendale

Skye has a tendency to build community wherever he goes. His first introduction to the Ekone community was the Barbed Wire Ball in 2013 through his wifey-for-lifey, Caitlin Jones. Skye holds a master's degree in Social Work and is a mental health counselor by trade, which has given him tools for honoring life's transitions, facilitating group processing, and creating emotionally safe spaces. He is a co-facilitator of Queer Rites of Passage at Ekone. Skye's motto is, "Never lose your passion. Always respond with love."

Kent Siebold | 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.

Judy Todd | President | 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 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.

Caitlin Jones | Program 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.

Michelle Sager | Conservation/Garden/Volunteer Coordinator

Michelle is our resident plant nerd and juggler of many tasks! She first connected with Ekone in early 2017 while working at the OSU Extension Service in The Dalles and looking for local connections to good people and places. After a couple years of volunteering, she made the switch to become a real-life staffer here at the ranch. Michelle brings many years of experience working with youth and adults in horticulture-, art-, and naturalist education, and has an M.S. in Leadership for Sustainability Education from Portland State. You can often find her planting seeds, smelling trees, or investigating tiny flowers.

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.

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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last updated September 2020

Sacred Earth Foundation Board of Directors

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

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401 Ekone Rd. | Goldendale, WA | 98620