The Conservation Alliance


Black Rock Desert, Nevada. Photo: Ben Moon



Angela OwenScott Whipps (Chair)
Scott is director of sports retail for North America at Clif Bar & Company, a leading maker of nutritious and organic foods and drinks for sport and healthy snacking. Guided by the company's five bottom lines - Sustaining our People, our Business, our Brands, our Community and the Planet - he oversees strategic sales planning and trade marketing for the sports retail channel in the United States and Canada.  He lives in Greenbrae, California, with his wife and two children. During his free time he enjoys all-things-outdoor. His adventures have included climbing Mt. Washington, surfing in Baja, backcountry snowboarding in the Canadian Rockies, sailing in the San Francisco Bay and open water fishing in Alaska.    

Aaron Carpenter  (Vice-Chair)
Aaron is vice president of global marketing at The North Face where he leads the development and execution of The North Face's global marketing efforts.  Prior to his current position at The North Face, Aaron was a tenured marketing executive at Levi's Strauss & Co. At The North Face, Aaron oversees all elements of the marketing mix including e-commerce, advertising, global advertising development, in-store marketing, PR, CRM, sports marketing, and global marketing research.  This includes oversight of The North Face athlete team.  Additionally, he supports the communications around The North Face sustainability efforts. Aaron enjoys skiing, whitewater kayaking, climbing, and trail running and has completed The North Face Endurance Challenge 50k race. 

SteveBarkerSeth Cobb (Vice-Chair)
Seth is Vice President & General Manager of Merrell.  His 17 years at the company have included stints in sales management and product line management, and he currently is responsible for the brand globally.  Seth graduated Magna Cum Laude from Middlebury College and received an MBA from the University of Colorado at Boulder.  His passions include biking, skiing, live music, and most of all chasing around his two young sons with his wife, Britt. 

Jason FrameJason Frame (Treasurer & Secretary) 
Jason is the CFO for CamelBak Products. Jason has held that position since joining CamelBak in early 2008. He is responsible for financial reporting, planning, IT and tax.  Jason graduated from Drake University with a BA in Finance and Accounting. Jason also holds an MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business and is a CPA. Jason lives in Sonoma County with his wife and two young children and enjoys being able to take advantage of all the area has to offer in terms of outdoor pursuits.  

LindaTomLinda Balfour
Linda is the marketing manager for KEEN Inc. In addition to her role as brand champion, she manages the KEEN Hybrid.Care giving program partnering with a range of non-profit organization to help promote an active outdoor community. Linda has been actively involved with the Conservation Alliance for the past 5 years, playing a key role in creating unique fundraising and awareness-building campaigns for KEEN and CA. Among her many outdoor pursuits, Linda dabbles in mountain biking, trail running, backcountry skiing & surfing.

SteveBarkerSteve Barker 
Steve is the principle of Wild Places named to describe the focus of Steve’s passion and pursuits. Co-founder of Eagle Creek Travel Gear which he sold to VFC in 2007, Steve now spends his time split between finally spending time outdoors, business consulting, conservation work and the fire service. Steve and his wife Nona are active in the Elfin Forest Fire Department, where Steve serves as Battalion Chief and in his role mentors the careers of inspired young fire fighters. He is a founding board member of the Escondido Creek Conservancy an organization that acquires and manages open space as well as provides nature programs for school children of North San Diego County. Steve organizes and host’s annual river trips for Outdoor Industry executive’s in Alaska’s Arctic and serves on the board of the Alaska Wilderness League. In their spare time, the Barker's are world travelers, active hikers, sea kayakers, backcountry skiers and raise trekking llamas. They split their time between the coastal sage covered hills of Elfin Forest in North San Diego County and the Pinions above Bishop on the Sierra Eastside.

Tracy BrunzTracy Brunz
Tracy is a General Merchandising Manager at REI.  Her retail background extends back more than 26 years and she joined REI as a Director of Merchandising Management in 2010.  Tracy leads the product and merchandising strategy behind REI's footwear business and her past experience includes leadership positions within retail stores, inventory management, product development, buying and merchandising.  Tracy is a native to Washington State and a graduate of Western Washington University.  Her career has afforded her the opportunity to live and explore the wild spaces across the Northwest, Midwest and Southwest parts of the country.  Her passions include camping, fishing, hunting and, above all else, chasing her unruly Labrador up the trails.        


Hans Cole
Hans is the Environmental Campaigns and Advocacy Manager at Patagonia, Inc. In this role, he works with colleagues to develop and implement programs that achieve a key element of Patagonia's mission:  to use business to inspire solutions to the environmental crisis.  Hans' career in the environmental sector includes youth development and education work in the U.S. and Tanzania with the Jane Goodall Institute, and environmental education with the Yosemite National Institutes. He has a B.A. in biology and environmental studies from Williams College, and an MBA (nonprofit management focus) from UC Berkeley's Haas School of Business. On weekends, you can find him hiking, biking or backpacking in the hills around Ventura, California.

Mark Heintz
Mark is the Director of Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability at Deckers Outdoor (the footwear company that includes the brands: UGG Australia, Teva, Sanuk, Ahnu, Tsubo and Mozo).  Mark is responsible for developing Deckers sustainability strategy and driving key initiatives in the areas of environmental sustainability,  human rights and community affairs.  Mark came to Deckers from the computer industry where he helped Hewlett-Packard develop its corporate sustainability program.  Mark has a long history of windsurfing and sailing in the Columbia Gorge and San Francisco bay.  Mark also enjoys backpacking, volleyball, woodworking and yoga.  He now makes his home near Deckers Headquarters in Santa Barbara, California. 

 Kate Ketschek
Kate is the owner of Revolution House Media, a public relations and marketing firm focusing on building recognition and market share for innovative brands in the outdoor, tactical and lifestyle markets. Over the years, Kate has worked with brands like NEMO Equipment, Inc. and Big Sky Resort. Taking her volunteer efforts as seriously as her paid endeavors, she’s been an EMT/Firefighter, President of the Big Sky Chamber of Commerce and Chair of a group investigating incorporating a resort community. When not inside working, Kate can be found chasing her toddling daughter or out on the trails running and skiing.

Topher Gaylord 
Topher has a lifetime of experience in the Outdoor and Snowsports industries both professionally and as an active participant and athlete.  He currently serves as President at Mountain Hardwear, Inc. and is responsible for the Mountain Hardwear & Montrail brands globally. He has extensive experience working in multi-cultural environments in Europe, Asia and North America.  Topher was a founding member and served on the board of both the European Outdoor Group and the EOG Association for Conservation.  He served as Interim President of the EOG Association for Conservation in 2008.  He received his Bachelor of Science Cum Laude from the California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo, California.

Geoff O'Keeffe 
Geoff O'Keeffe is Vice-President Supply Chain for American Recreation Products and a member of its executive team for the brands Kelty, Sierra Designs, Ultimate Direction, Slumberjack, Wenzel and others. Geoff has been active in the outdoor industry since 1976, and has held senior positions at a number of companies, including President of Lowe Alpine USA, President Mountainsmith and VP Operations and Merchandising for the start-up Geoff also served as a board member for the Conservation Alliance beginning in 2001. In the 1990's, Geoff served the board of the Cleveland National Forest Foundation, in Southern California. Geoff's lifelong commitment to the natural world has tended toward the activist and political realms, but is most deeply informed by the wisdom traditions and mentors such as Gary Snyder, Terry Tempest Williams and Jim Harrison.


Amy Roberts
Amy is Director of Sustainability at Mountain Equipment Co-op where she leads the Canadian outdoor retailer's commitment to Business and Product Sustainability and Innovation. Amy is focused on helping MEC inspire and enable active outdoor lifestyles while at the same time lessening the impact of its operations and products on the environment. Prior to joining MEC, Roberts worked as Vice President of Government Affairs for Outdoor Industry Association where she managed the outdoor industry's lobbying efforts focused on trade and recreation policy as well as the preservation of wild places to play. During her time at OIA, Amy also facilitated the development of the outdoor industry's Eco Index, a tool to measure the environmental footprint of products. Amy also serves on the boards of the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society and the Sustainable Apparel Coalition. Amy is is an avid trail runner and skier and as a Colorado girl is learning to embrace the wetter but deeper and more stable snowpack found in Coastal British Columbia.  


John Sterling (Executive Director)
John has been involved with The Conservation Alliance since 1996. John was Director of Environmental Programs at Patagonia, Inc. until 2002, and represented the company on The Alliance board. He left Patagonia to launch a career to help businesses engage in meaningful conservation work. John was hired as Executive Director in 2005, and has helped The Conservation Alliance build its membership and profile within the outdoor industry. Prior to his time at Patagonia, John was a staffer at Earth Island Institute. He serves on the boards of the Oregon Natural Desert Association and the advisory council of Earthjustic. John is an avid runner, cyclist, telemark skier, and backpacker, and an aspiring musician. 

Josie Norris (Program Manager)
Josie spent the last ten years working for environmentally responsible brands in the Outdoor Industry. She left Patagonia in 2006 and moved to Portland to help launch Nau, a sustainable outdoor apparel company. While at Nau, she led ecommerce, digital marketing, and the corporate giving program. She managed the giving program for six years because she firmly believes that for-profit companies have a responsibility to support organizations working to create positive change. People often call her a “connecter” because she is passionate about bringing people together- whether it’s to rally them around a cause or to simply create connections within a community. In her spare time, you’ll find her riding her bike, running, skiing, or laughing at herself trying to learn a new sport. 

Serena Bishop Gordon (Program Director)
With a passion for community, fresh air and the high desert, Serena has worked in and around the Outdoor Industry since 2002.  An avid cyclist, published writer and general lover of endurance activities, Serena has completed a thru hike of the Pacific Crest Trail and currently channels her competitive energies into mountain biking and cyclocross racing.  


Brook Hopper (Outreach Associate)
Brook Hopper Consulting was born from the idea that businesses can create solutions to many of the social problems that exist today. Brook spent the last 10 years working for The North Face, launching innovative programs and initiatives that addressed the decline of people getting outdoors, and the issue of less people having meaningful connections to their natural world.  After the birth of her daughter in March, the importance of this work was magnified as she began to see the world through a new set of eyes. Now based in Ventura, California, she has turned her passion into her purpose as she works with all types of organizations on mission driven projects that make the world a better place.