Michael Royce, Founder
Michael Royce is a social justice activist, attorney, energy consultant, writer and nonprofit executive. Mr. Royce was a trial lawyer from 1979-1995 with the firm of Royce, Swanson, Thomas, and Coon. He founded Green Empowerment with others in 1997 and served as Executive Director from 1997 until July, 2006, and later served as Chair of the Board and retired from the board in late 2016. He has led or participated in human rights delegations to El Salvador and Nicaragua and participated in international development projects in several other countries around the world.
Linda Boise, Chairwoman
Linda Boise is a health planner, educator, advocate, and researcher who has worked in community service and health programs for the over 35 years. Over the past twenty years, in her role as director of education at the OHSU Layton Aging & Alzheimer’s Disease Center, she has studied how health care is delivered for persons with dementia and their families and has developed and evaluated model primary care programs. Linda’s volunteer service with Green Empowerment began in 2009 when she led a fundraising campaign to support building a solar water system in a village in Nicaragua. In 2013, she led a task force to develop recommendations for incorporating health outcomes assessment into Green Empowerment’s energy and water projects.
Ben Vitale, Treasurer
Ben Vitale is a carbon market expert and an experienced executive, with over 20 years of executive experience in both for-profit and nonprofit organizations. Before joining The Climate Trust as President, Ben served as Managing Director of the Conservation and Community Carbon Fund at Conservation International (CI), where he worked with the private sector to develop climate change solutions and new financial instruments that create business value and achieve measurable climate change results. He supported the development of conservation carbon projects in biodiversity hotspots around the world including Ecuador, China, and Brazil. Ben has served as an adviser for Ecosystem Marketplace, the Chicago Climate Exchange, and Patagonia Sur, among others.
Francie Royce, Secretary
Francie Royce spent over 23 years with the City of Portland in various positions from City Planner, Annexation Coordinator to Project Manager focusing on alternative transportation programs and policy development. She is also a founding member of both the Portland-Corinto Sister City Association and the npGreenway, a trail advocacy group. Since leaving regular employment she has been delighted to have some freelance travel articles published and to contract as an event coordinator for a non-profit.
Susan A. Stone
Susan Stone has worked with Conservation International (CI) since 2000. She is currently Senior Director for Business Development and Special Initiatives within the Policy Center for Environment and Peace. Her work has focused on social policy and practice, including CI’s commitment to a Rights-based Approach to conservation, working with CI’s country programs to ensure that the rights of indigenous peoples and local communities are respected in all of CI’s work. Her professional background also includes two years of service with the U.S. Peace Corps’ Small Business Development Program in Romania, as well as 15 years in organizational and financial management in the private sector. She lives in Portland, Oregon.
Kathy Fry lived for 25 years in the South Pacific working with community development NGOs, including the Foundation of the Peoples of the South Pacific International and Counterpart International. She has a masters degree in International Management and Administration from the School for International Training and is currently working at Mercy Corps as the Regional Program Director for Latin America. Kathy’s experience in program development and evaluation, as well as institutional fundraising has been a great help to Green Empowerment.
Eli owns a small renewable energy and management consulting company: Green Lightning Consulting, LLC. He is promoting Oregon tax reform centered on taxing the carbon content of fossil fuels and is a founding partner of Social Venture Partners Portland. Eli’s specialties– research, writing, financial analysis, and energy economics and policy — enable him to develop and compare alternative approaches to economics and energy policy.
Erick Petersen is Vice President of Sales and Marketing at Demand Energy a leader in the rapidly emerging market for energy storage. Prior to joining Demand Energy, Erick was part of the leadership team that turned around and built PV Powered to become the leading solar inverter company in North America. As their VP of Sales and Marketing, Erick led their dramatic growth in market share that led to the eventual acquisition by Advanced Energy in 2010. Before joining PV Powered and Advanced Energy, Erick spent 10 years at Planar Systems, where he built the business from zero to $100M in three years.
Dr. Melanie Billings-Yun is an international negotiator, mediator, and business professor, on the faculties of Portland State University in Oregon and Georgetown University in Washington, DC. Having lived 25 years overseas in Hong Kong, Indonesia, South Korea, France, Thailand, Singapore, and Malaysia, Melanie has worked with groups throughout Asia, Europe, and the Middle East to resolve disputes and build sustainable and mutually profitable relationships. In collaboration with environmental and community groups in Malaysian Borneo, in 2014 she co-founded the Oregon-Sabah Collaborative to promote cooperative efforts in educational exchange, environmental research, and conservation. .
David M. Siegel
Dave is an award-winning urban and regional planner with over 40 years’ experience helping build communities locally, across the country and internationally. He is past national President of the American Planning Association, responsible for leading the 13-member APA Board of Directors in governing the association, and in setting and achieving strategic goals. Dave was elected to the College of Fellows for the American Institute of Certified Planners in 2008, and helped found and currently serves as a member of the Oregon 2050 Coordinating Committee, a joint effort of the APA, AIA, ASLA and other partners dedicated to formulating and advancing a vision for Oregon.
Rebecca has over 30 years of professional experience, much of it dedicated to addressing issues of poverty, workforce preparedness and climate change. In her work at ICF, a global consulting firm, she leads complex projects that involve providing technical assistance, training, survey efforts and/or research designed to help caseworkers and program administrators more effectively understand and address the needs of low-income and other vulnerable populations. Prior to joining ICF, she served as Executive Director of the nation’s leading certifying body addressing workforce preparedness in the renewable energy sector (the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners) and managed corporate partnerships in World Wildlife Fund’s Climate Change Program. She has experience in coalition building; developing and leading non-profit organizations and programs; providing technical assistance to federal and state agencies and Fortune 500 companies; and undertaking corporate greenhouse gas emission inventories and mitigation efforts.
Wendy Stickel has worked in international development for over 30 years, including overseas assignments and extensive travel with USAID and the World Bank in Latin America and Southern Africa. Throughout her career she has spearheaded programs that support partnerships between local governments and civil society organizations and the communities they serve, including an innovative program of grants to black-led community-based organizations in apartheid South Africa to prepare for that country’s transition to majority-rule. She has also worked extensively in program evaluation and strategic planning, served as a senior advisor to USAID’s public-private partnership initiative, and developed guidelines for designing and evaluating USAID’s programs to develop local capacity to ensure sustainability of program benefits. She recently moved to Portland from Washington, D.C..