Contact Us

Email info@confluenceproject.org
Phone 360-693-0123
Fax 360-693-7770

Mailing Address:
1109 East 5th Street
Vancouver, WA 98661

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Confluence Board of Directors

Antone Minthorn , Chairman show/hide bio
Founding Member since 2002

Antone is a Cayuse/Nez Perce and Umatilla member of the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation in Oregon. Well-known in the Pacific Northwest for his work on behalf of tribal sovereignty and salmon restoration, Antone brings a great deal of expertise to his position, with 20 years of experience in tribal politics, having served two terms as the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation Board of Trustees Chairman and many years as General Council Chairman.

Antone is also a board member for several tribal, environmental and historical organizations, including: the Potlatch Fund, with a mission to increase foundation funds coming into Indian Country;  Ecotrust, dedicated to supporting the emergence of a conservation economy; The Trust for Public Land, Tribal Lands Advisory Council; the Crow's Shadow Institute of Arts which provides educational, economic and social opportunities for Native Americans through artistic development; the Washington State Historical Society; the Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians Economic Development Corporation and Committee, respectively, and Commander, George St. Denis, American Legion Post # 140. With a bachelor's degree from Eastern Oregon University, Antone got his start in land use planning at the Tribal Development Office. Among his many accomplishments, some of the most significant include the development of a tribal land acquisition policy to restore land back to the original Reservation boundaries; helping to build the economy of the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla, which now employs more than 1000 people; and, beginning in 1988, restoring water and salmon to the Umatilla River after a 70-year absence by building a water exchange project with the Umatilla River and Columbia River. For the Tribe's successful restoration efforts, the Harvard Kennedy School of Government recognized the Umatilla Tribe with high honors.

Jane Jacobsen , Treasurer show/hide bio
Treasurer, Founding Member since 2002

Jane has worked with or overseen artists, theater groups, museum exhibits and heritage projects for more than 17 years. She was instrumental in bringing nationally recognized speakers to the Marshall Lecture Series in Vancouver, Washington, including Bill Richardson, Madeline Albright and Tom Brokaw. Jacobsen has also co-developed programs and exhibits to celebrate the history of the Pacific Northwest through folk art which were viewed by thousands of people for more than 10 years. In 2001, Washington State Governor Gary Locke appointed Jacobsen to a four-year term as one of 13 commissioners on the Columbia Gorge Commission, which oversees the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area Act. Currently, Jane is a private consultant for a waterfront development project in Vancouver, WA.

Connie Sue Martin , Secretary show/hide bio
Member since 2012

Connie Sue Martin has fifteen years of environmental law experience. Her practice focuses on environmental and natural resource litigation. She has special expertise in matters involving Indian tribes, especially resource protection and natural resource damages claims, and is regarded as one of the leading practitioners of environmental Indian law in Washington.

Alisa Pyszka show/hide bio
Member since 2012

Senior Associate with Leland Consulting Group

Alisa has over 15 years of private commercial and economic development experience. She successfully leads collaborative efforts across the region with multiple stakeholders to build emerging industry opportunities. In doing so, she effectively leverages public and private interests to foster a prosperous community that attracts and grows new business.

Charles Eaton show/hide bio
Member since 2014

Chuck Eaton lived and worked most of his life in New York City before moving to Richland nine years ago to be near his grandchildren. Beginning as a street worker and community organizer working with heroin addicts in East Harlem and Greenwich Village, he trained as a research scientist in experimental psychology at Columbia University and the New York State Psychiatric Institute. He developed and ran chemical dependency treatment programs at St. Lukes/Roosevelt Hospital and New York Hospital/Cornell Medical Center. When the AIDS epidemic hit New York in the early ‘80s, he worked for the New York City Department of Health, developing HIV prevention programs for drug addicts.

After studying trombone with Emory Remington at the Eastman School of Music as a high school student, he became a lifelong exponent of that noble instrument, but never had enough time and opportunity to study and practice until retirement. Upon arriving in the Tri-Cities, he took music theory courses at Columbia Basin College and played in the jazz band. He played five years as Bass Trombonist with the Walla Walla Symphony and has played with the Oregon East and Mid-Columbia Symphonies. He helped found the Mid-Columbia Trombone Ensemble, McBONES, and has begun to compose and arrange. He wrote trombone ensemble music used for the dedication of the Maya Lin Story Circles in Sacajawea Park.

Chuck has served on the boards of the Arts Center Task Force and the Mid-Columbia Mastersingers. He currently serves on the Board of the Arts Foundation of the Mid-Columbia and is a member of the Friends of Sacajawea Park. 

He believes that there is, or should be, a relationship between producing art and producing social change; that those of us, who are fortunate enough to be a part of the arts community, have an obligation to help transform lives, in simple and concrete ways, as well as in spiritual ways.

Patricia Whitefoot show/hide bio
Member since 2014

Patsy Whitefoot (Yakama) has devoted her life to improving education for Native students. At the urging of her grandmother, Patsy obtained a B.A. with a Teaching Certificate in Education from Central Washington University in Ellensburg, WA and a M.A. from Ft. Wright College in Spokane, WA. For almost 40 years, she has been teaching, facilitating and managing Indian Education and community mobilization programs from preschool to higher education at the local, tribal, state and national level. Patsy has been an active member of the Confluence Project’s education advisory committee, helping to develop the program, Gifts from Our Ancestors. She joined the Confluence Project Board of Directors in July 2014.

Debi Fitzgerald show/hide bio
Member since 2015

Debi Fitzgerald is the Director Center for Arts & History and Continuing Education at Lewis-Clark State College in Lewiston, Idaho. She directs programming, events and activities of the Center, as well as Continuing Education. Debi is also the spokesperson and liaison between the college and the community through regional committees and boards and manages fundraising, marketing, and public relations activities for departments through direct participation with regional media, writing, graphic design, web design, and social media.

Before this role, Debi was Assistant Director for Center for Civic Engagement at Washington State University in Pullman, WW where she managed daily program operations and directed staffing priorities and work plans.

Debi lives in Lewiston with her husband Bill. They have two daughters, Mary and Lara.

Lona Niemi show/hide bio
Member since 2015

Lona Niemi is president of Friends of the Columbia River Gateway on the Long Beach Peninsula, an organization that supports our state parks.  She cofounded Keepers of North Head Lighthouse, which is dedicated to restoration and maintenance of North Head Lighthouse. Lona is active in Grassroots Garbage gang and a former member of Rotary.

Lona retired in 2000 from Consolidated Freightways/Conway Trucking after 34 years. She started in Accounts Receivable and went on to work in various functions in more than a few departments and later became a Certified Claims Professional. Some years later she was promoted to Manager, ConWay Claims, an entirely new department in the company and wrote a business plan, a budget, equipment request and interview and hire staffing.

While working and raising a family she was  active in the community and became the president of a homeowners association for 10 years and chaired and organized several large community events. Lona and her husband Paul live in Ilwaco, Washington and enjoy cooking, hiking, kayaking and traveling. 

Thomas Lauderdale show/hide bio
Members since 2015

Thomas Lauderdale was raised on a plant nursery in rural Indiana. He began piano lessons at age six with Patricia Garrison.  When his family moved to Portland in 1982, he began studying with Sylvia Killman, who to this day continues to serve as his coach and mentor. He has appeared as soloist with numerous orchestras and ensembles, including the Oregon Symphony, the Seattle Symphony, the Portland Youth Philharmonic, Chamber Music Northwest and Oregon Ballet Theatre (where he collaborated with choreographer James Canfield and visual artists Storm Tharp and Malia Jensen on a ballet based on Felix Salten’s Bambi, written in 1923).  

He graduated with honors from Harvard with a degree in History and Literature in 1992. Lauderdale founded the “little orchestra” called Pink Martini in 1994 to play political fundraisers for progressive causes such as civil rights, the environment, affordable housing and public broadcasting. In addition to his work with Pink Martini, Lauderdale collaborates with international superstar and singing sensation Meow Meow, the surf band Satan’s Pilgrims and novelist/writer Tom Spanbauer. In 2011 Lauderdale appeared as the featured soloist with the Oregon Symphony, this time under the direction of the tremendous Carlos Kalmar. Lauderdale currently serves on the boards of the Oregon Symphony and Pioneer Courthouse Square in Portland, Oregon. He lives in Portland, Oregon.

Mary Bishop
Member since 2015

Johnie Tucker show/hide bio
Member since 2016

Johnie Tucker is a long time program and events manager at the City of Vancouver and represents the Vancouver community on the Confluence board of diredctors. In his role wth the City of Vancouver, he has a tremendous experience and expertise in the kind of public programming Confluence is developing for its sites, such as the Urban Youth program. Johnie sees great potential for Confluence to connect kids, in particular, with history.

Glenn Nelson show/hide bio
Member since 2016

In 2012, Glenn founded The Trail Posse to document and encourage diversity and inclusion in the outdoors. His columns on the subject have been published by The New York Times, High Country News, The Seattle Times and various blogs. Glenn delivered keynote address about diversity in the outdoors at the National Wilderness Workshop in Missoula, MT and spoke about diversity in the outdoors at "Ampersand Live," produced by Forterra Northwest, in Seattle. He was named "hiking superhero" by Washington Trails Association.

Glenn also delivered various media-related services, including digital and print photography, web entrepreneurial development, web entertainment development, social-media consultant and print sports columns. He's also produced for Crosscut, Seattle Weekly, Outdoor Photographer, Scout.com, Marriott International, Prospects Nation, Peach State Basketball, various local small businesses. Glenn's projects included web series development and script writing, and sports-related web content and development.