Tom Uniack (he/him)
Tom joined Washington Wild in 2003 after graduating from the Master’s program at the Daniel J. Evans School of Public Affairs at the University of Washington. For 13 years he served as Washington Wild’s Conservation Director and in early 2016 was named Executive Director. His leadership role within a core group of both local and regional Wilderness advocates has significantly advanced the protection and restoration of Washington’s wild land and waters. This notably includes the successful passage of the Wild Sky Wilderness Act (2008) and the Alpine Lakes Wilderness Additions Act (2014).
Tom’s role as Executive Director has been carefully structured to combine organizational and mission leadership. His ability and passion to lead both Washington Wild and the conservation community will ensure continued success in protecting wild lands and waters in the beautiful state of Washington, now and for future generations.
Prior to grad school, Tom was with Defenders of Wildlife for seven years in Washington, D.C. where he worked on a range of issues from Arctic wilderness to preserving Florida black bears. Tom and his wife, Stephanie, are the proud parents of son Luke, and twins Charlize and Sierra.
Evan Lepine (he/him)
Director of Development
Evan joined Washington Wild in July of 2019. He grew up in Northern Michigan exploring everywhere from Pictured Rocks on Lake Superior, to the sand dunes of Sleeping Bear National Park near his hometown of Traverse City.
As the Director of Development, his focus is to strategize, create, and implement a comprehensive fundraising program that will increase both engagement and financial support for the organization and its programs. Celebrating 11 years in Washington, Evan and his family enjoy paddleboarding on Lake Washington, snowboarding at Stevens Pass, and backpacking in the North Cascades.
Chris Chappell (he/him)
Conservation and Brewshed Program Manager
Chris joined Washington Wild in February 2020 to manage the Brewshed® Alliance and Washington Wild’s conservation campaigns. Hailing from the Sonoran Desert (Phoenix, AZ), Chris has a background in conservation and craft brewing, spending 4 years with The Nature Conservancy in Arizona and 2 years with Arizona Wilderness Brewing Co.
His focus with the Brewshed Alliance is to build a community of brewers, maltsters, hop growers, pub owners, etc. around protecting our incredibly valuable wildlands and waterways now and forever. While not at work, you can find Chris in any of the Seattle area’s music venues, breweries, or forests.
Tara Peters (she/her/they)
Communications and Engagement Manager
Tara joined Washington Wild in October 2020. Her love for the outdoors first took root growing up on the Olympic Peninsula. As the Communications & Engagement Manager, she’s behind Washington Wild’s social media, email campaigns, blog and website updates, bi-annual newsletter, and more. Tara is committed to the life-long work of putting racial justice into practice and is passionate about fostering creative, empowered communities.
When not at work, Tara can most likely be found riding her bike or enjoying quality time with her cat, Catsy Cline.
Jordan French (she/her)
Jordan joined the Washington Wild team in June 2017 while she was a graduate student at the Daniel J. Evans School of Public Affairs at the University of Washington. She received her MPA in 2018 and continues to wear many hats in her life.
At Washington Wild, she is at the helm of membership, the database, and our annual Wild Night Out event. When not working on conservation, Jordan pursues her love of dance as the cheer and dance coach at Roosevelt High School.
Board of Directors
If you are interested in joining the Washington Wild Board of Directors click here for more information.
Andrew joined the Washington Wild Board in November 2016. Born and raised in Southern California, he developed an early love for nature with frequent childhood camping trips, surfing in the summer, and skiing and snowboarding the local mountains in the winter. He graduated from the University of Southern California with a B.A. in both History and Political Science and later earned his J.D. from Yale Law School. Andrew is a partner in the Seattle office of Seyfarth Shaw LLP, with a practice that focuses on securities, complex commercial, class action, and real estate litigation in Washington, Oregon, California, and New York. He brings a strong work ethic and enthusiastic attitude to Washington Wild and is looking forward to helping protect and expand the Wilderness areas in his new home state.
Since moving to the Pacific Northwest in 2010, Andrew and his wife Michelle, together with their three kids and three dogs, love to explore Washington’s incredible natural beauty. In particular, Andrew enjoys hiking, skiing, running outdoor obstacle courses, fishing, and paddle boarding.
Ben, a Seattle Native, joined the Washington Wild Board in June 2016 after three years of supporting Washington Wild’s Brewshed® Alliance Program through his business, Watershed Pub & Kitchen in Northgate, as a Brewshed Partner. Ben graduated from the University of Washington in 2003 with a BA in Philosophy with minors in Music and Architectural Studies. At the age of 22 he started at Fiddler’s Inn, a sister pub of Brewshed Partner Latona Pub, and quickly found himself at home in the beer community.
Gradually over time his dream began to form of running his own business and in the spring of 2014 that dream became a reality with the opening of Watershed Pub & Kitchen in Northgate. Since just after opening Watershed has been one of the strongest supporters of the Brewshed Alliance, as a partner and as a business. An avid hiker and camper, Ben always enjoys returning from travelling elsewhere, because he is reminded of how beautiful and unique Washington is.
Richard, who grew up in California, first decided to move to the Northwest following a family vacation to Mt. Rainier as a teenager. Like many Washingtonians, he loves wild places. He joined the Washington Wild Board in December 2017 to help protect these places. Richard was elected Washington Wild’s Treasurer in March 2019. He is a CPA and lawyer and is is the former Treasurer for Seattle Audubon and Nordic United.
Richard’s greatest joy, besides back country skiing in the Cascades, is working as a seasonal float plane pilot in Seattle for Kenmore Air. The perspective he enjoys of the Olympics and Cascades as he flies above the Puget Sound is truly amazing.
Nick Lipsky joined the Washington Wild Board in December of 2019. Born and raised in the Seattle area, Nick was lucky enough to have access to the lands, lakes, and waterways we are trying to protect to this day. He spent part of his summers growing up in the YMCA Camp Orkila program exploring Orcas Island and other San Juan Islands as well as participated in trail upkeep efforts through Garfield High School within the Cleveland Memorial Forest. He graduated from Western Washington with his BA in Marketing and received his MBA from Seattle University. He currently works for Coinstar as a Senior Account Manager/Client Partner. He was drawn into Washington Wild and their strong sense of responsibility for our environment by his wife Kristen who served as a graphic designer for Wild Night Out and the monthly newsletter. After several events he was hooked and wanted to find a way to further support the mission of Washington Wild.
Nick, his wife Kristen, and their two kids are all lifetime Washingtonians and look forward to keeping it that way. They love to explore the wilderness on family hikes and trips throughout the PNW, including BC.
Kevin Kelly joined the Washington Wild Board in July 2016. He brings a unique background of political and policy experience from the federal, state and local levels of government. As General Manger of Recology® CleanScapes, Mr. Kelly oversees over 300 employees responsible for the garbage, recycling and organics collection for 100,000 residential customers and 10,000 commercial customers. Recology CleanScapes also processes approximately 100,000 tons of commingled recyclable material annually and operates three retail stores. Previously, Kevin worked for Congressman Dave Reichert and King County Councilwoman Jane Hague. He also worked for two years as Public Affairs Manager at the Bellevue Chamber of Commerce. Kevin is deeply passionate about protecting Washington’s wild lands and waters and had worked on the Alpine Lakes Wilderness additions campaign as Dave Reichert’s first DC legislative staffer in 2006 and 2007.
Kevin earned his B.A. in Political Science from Syracuse University and an M.B.A. from the University of Washington. Kevin and his wife Janet live in Green Lake where they enjoy spending time with their two daughters.
Colin joined the Washington Wild Board in September 2020. Growing up in Southern California he developed a love of nature by visiting the National Parks with his family.
He fell in love with the Pacific Northwest after moving to Seattle to attend the University of Washington. He and his wife Katie have raised a family with a love of all things outdoors and a great appreciation of the natural beauty of the area. Colin has enjoyed winters skiing at Crystal Mountain where he has been a part-time snow sports instructor for more than 15 years. In the summer, he has enjoyed climbing most of the area’s volcanic summits and is now looking to spend more time hiking and fly fishing.
This love of the outdoors and knowing that these resources must be preserved and protected for future generations drew him to join the Washington Wild board.
As the Director of Operations and Co-founder of Lucky Envelope Brewing, Ray has been an active member of the Washington Wild Brewshed Alliance from the start. Ray had aspirations to start his own business beginning in high school. After pursuing a traditional finance career path in Los Angeles & Seattle and obtaining his MBA from Georgetown University (Hoya Saxa!), he finally made the decision to pursue his passion of being his own boss.
As a New Jersey native, Ray has an affinity for pizza, bagels, and 24-hour diners. When he is not working at Lucky Envelope he can be found taking photographs of local events (including Wild Night Out!), cyclocross races, and the great outdoors. He also enjoys taking fun photos with his cat, Skipper, typically with the use of a green screen and some bad photoshop skills.
Maureen McGregor has been working at the intersection of nonprofits and communications since 2003. Highlights from the early days of her career include a month-long expedition aboard Greenpeace’s vessel, the Arctic Sunrise, and a two-week-long expedition around Spain aboard Oceana’s catamaran. Presently, she is fighting to prevent gun violence in all its forms as the Communications and Fundraising Director at the Alliance for Gun Responsibility.
Maureen and her family relocated from Washington D.C. to Seattle in part because of the abundant natural environment of the Pacific Northwest. They have enjoyed exploring their new home with camping, hiking, and river rafting adventures. Maureen hopes to use her expertise to help Washington Wild optimize its online engagement strategies and grow its supporter base.
Storytelling has been the through line that spans Sheryl’s entire professional career. From writing artist profiles for the Emmys website to crafting internal communication strategies for Microsoft, she’s a writer at heart. She has also served as a digital product manager for such organizations as The Walt Disney Company and Viking Cruises.
Since 2001, Sheryl has been heavily involved in advocacy and ambassadorship for the Arthritis Foundation, where she’s met with representatives and aids in Washington, D.C. to lobby for increased funding for arthritis research and resources. After moving to Seattle in 2017, she was eager to get involved in the community by way of volunteering for various non-profits, including The Bureau of Fearless Ideas and The Center for Wooden Boats. She became aware of Washington Wild via her partner, Drew, who has volunteered at various Washington Wild events. Excited to deepen her commitment to conservation and a specific organization, Sheryl is thrilled to serve on the Washington Wild board and looks forward to developing creative ways to amplify Washington Wild’s voice and reach.
Sheryl lives with her partner, Drew, in Seattle with their two dogs, Rowlf and Riley. All four of them love going on urban and outdoor adventures every chance they get.
Jessica joined Washington Wild in March 2020. Growing up in the Seattle area, her connection with the outdoors began with childhood mornings spent fly fishing with her dad in Washington’s pristine rivers and endless hours spent in the woods near her home. While the ocean remains her first love, she spends as much time as possible in the mountains as an avid hiker. Jessica has a B.A. in Political Science from Western Washington University, an M.P.A. in Social Policy from the University of Washington, and 20 years of nonprofit development and leadership experience. She is passionate about conservation, climate change awareness, and making these issues more accessible to underrepresented groups. She was drawn to Washington Wild for their history of successfully building coalitions to bring about positive change and is excited to continue supporting that legacy.
Jessica lives in Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood and her favorite woodland animal is the pika.
Stephen “Steve” Robinson is a graduate of the University of Oregon School of Journalism and a Native of the Pacific Northwest. He is a US Army veteran and has fifty years of experience in the communication field, serving as a newspaper reporter, a corporate public relations executive, Public Affairs Manager for the State Department of Natural Resources, Information Services Manager for the Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission, and owner of SR Productions, a tribal support company.
Steve served as Billy Frank Jr’s “PR Guy” for 30 years. His focus through the past three decades has centered on environmental protection and habitat restoration from the perspective of the tribes. Since retiring his public relations/lobbying business in 2019 he has become more active in volunteer work, serving on several environmental/Climate Change boards and committees. He is of Salish Kootenai descent.
Virginia joined the Washington Wild Board in 2021. She brings a background in nonprofit fundraising. After growing up in New York City and spending many years on the east coast, Virginia fell in love with Washington when she moved to Seattle in 2019 and discovered its lush mountains. Virginia loves earning her beers by backpacking, climbing, and cycling. Her most memorable adventures so far include climbing to the top of Mt. Rainier and thru-hiking the Enchantments.
When she’s not chasing new wild views, Virginia’s an attorney at DLA Piper in downtown Seattle. She earned her B.A. from Dartmouth College and J.D. from the University of Michigan Law School. Somehow, she still can’t drive a car.
Board Member Emeritus
Roger Mellem has been an avid wilderness conservationist since before the first Earth Day in 1970. He has testified at many Congressional hearings and was the Sierra Club’s Acting Northwest Representative in 1973. Roger is a Life Member of the Sierra Club, Olympic Park Associates, and Montana Wilderness Association. He is also a member of a Yale University international environmental committee, the Leadership Council of the School of Forestry and Environmental Studies.
Roger is an attorney at Ryan, Swanson & Cleveland, PLLC in Seattle. He prosecutes, defends and resolves tough securities, real estate and other commercial cases on behalf of businesses and individuals, and serves as a mediator as well.
Roger graduated from the Honors College of the University of Oregon. Prior to entering law school, he spent four years managing environmental issues in Oregon government. Roger obtained his first year of legal training at the Yale Law School. He then transferred to the University of Oregon Law School, where he graduated second in his class. He clerked for a federal judge in Oregon for two years and then joined a Seattle law firm.
Roger’s affection of the outdoors involves climbing. In 1974 he did the first ascent of a 20,300-foot peak in northern Pakistan with the late wilderness advocate Willi Unsoeld. Roger instructed for the Pacific Crest Outward Bound School for parts of five summers, and during 2011 he climbed in the Colorado Rockies, Ecuadorian Andes and the Nepal Himalaya.
Washington Wild Honorary Chair
I am honored to have just hit my 5-year Anniversary as an Honorary Chair for Washington Wild. By supporting Washington Wild, you are joining thousands of Wilderness Advocates across the state to make sure these places stay preserved for future generations to come. In this time of uncertainty, it is imperative to protect and defend the wild places that feed our spirit. Washington Wild is prepared to fight harder than ever to protect our conservation investment in the snowcapped mountains, low-elevation old growth forests and salmon spawning streams that make Washington State such a remarkable place.