Board of Directors
Virginia Borcherdt—Director of Global Sustainability Partnerships, Nike
Lori Ann Burd—Environmental Health Director & SeniorAttorney, Center for Biological Diversity
Lori Ann works at the Center for Biological Diversity, where she devotes her days to fighting the good fight on behalf of imperiled species and their habitats. She first joined Crag’s board as a student at Lewis & Clark Law School, where she also gained legal experience working for the Xerces Society, Northwest Environmental Defense Center, Metro, and Earthrise. After law school Lori Ann worked as Staff Attorney and Restore Mt. Hood Campaign Manager at Bark, protecting forests, waters, and wildlife, and then as a contract attorney for the Center for Food Safety, Center for Biological Diversity, and National Wildlife Federation, where she focused on genetic engineering and pesticide use in agriculture, tar sands pipelines, and mountain-top removal coal mining. Lori Ann has extensive media, public speaking, organizing, and coalition-building experience. She loves to spend her weekends exploring the wildlands surrounding Portland and is passionate about the great work Crag does.
Serin Bussell—Chief of Staff to Senator Jeff Golden
Serin is currently Chief of Staff to Senator Jeff Golden (D-Ashland), providing support to the Senator on legislative affairs and statewide environmental policy. Serin has over eight years of experience in campaign management, nonprofit management, and project management, and is passionate about supporting Crag in their strategic planning and diversity, equity, and inclusion work. Serin received a Masters in Geology from Portland State University and later worked for the Oregon Department of Geology and Mineral Industries, where she primarily focused on landslide hazard mapping. She later completed an MBA at Willamette University, while working at Metro (Regional Government). Serin originally began volunteering with Crag in the Development office and quickly became a supporter and advocate for Crag. Serin is passionate about environmental conservation and making sure environmental policy works to actively undo past harm done to marginalized communities and leaves the world better than we found it. When not at work, Serin can be found at the dog park with her blue-heeler mix, Soda, or out climbing, camping, or traveling with her husband, Tom.
Aurora del Val— Retired Teacher & Community Organizer
After retiring from community college teaching, Aurora now lives in Cascade Locks, Oregon and was the Campaign Director for the Local Water Alliance, a bipartisan community group made up of Hood River County residents working to protect public water from large-scale bottled water operations. Aurora is an active Board member of Hood River’s Rockford Grange, which supports local organic farmers and community members to promote sustainable farming practices, build community resilience, and increase awareness of issues affecting the agricultural community, such as pesticide use and water security. In addition to her passion for growing food, Aurora enjoys writing, hiking, dancing, and sailing with her husband and dog in the Columbia River Gorge.
Brian Litmans—Senior Staff Attorney, Trustees for Alaska
Brian Litmans is a senior staff attorney with Trustees for Alaska, a non-profit environmental law firm in Anchorage, Alaska, where he focuses on mining issues, public lands management, and wildlife protection. Brian graduated from Lewis and Clark in 2001 and worked as a solo practitioner for six years with an environmental law practice that focused predominately on natural resource and endangered species matters prior to working at Trustees for Alaska. Brian has been on the Crag Law Center’s Board since its inception, and brings a diverse background of government and non-profit environmental work experience. He has worked in the U.S. Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, the White House Council on Environmental Quality, the Regional Solicitor’s Office for the Department of the Interior and Portland’s Metro Regional Government. He has also worked and volunteered with a number of environmental organizations, from Portland to D.C. to Geneva, Switzerland, including the Center for International Environmental Law, Defenders of Wildlife, the National Wildlife Federation, the Alaska Quiet Rights Coalition, the Sierra Club, the Northwest Environmental Defense Center, and the Pacific Environmental Advocacy Center.
Erin Madden—Retired Environmental Attorney
Erin is an avid hiker, whitewater rafter and mushroom hunter who loves exploring Mt. Hood National Forest and the northern Oregon coast. She has lived in Portland for over 20 years, but her love of the outdoors was born in the woods and farm fields surrounding her childhood home in the suburbs of Kansas City. She received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Kansas and her Juris Doctor with a certificate in Environmental Law from Lewis and Clark Law School. Before law school, Erin worked as the Grassroots Organizer for Oregon Natural Resources Council (now Oregon Wild). She retired from her environmental law practice in 2015 after 11 years representing dozens of non-profit clients, as well as working as a contract attorney for the Nez Perce Tribe. In the past, she has served on boards and committees for the Northwest Environmental Defense Center, Oregon Chapter Sierra Club, Oregon League of Conservation Voters, Bark, and the Oregon State Bar Natural Resources Section. Currently, she volunteers as a “Hands On Owner” with People’s Food Cooperative. She has also volunteered internationally with San Pancho Bird Observatory (Mexico) and Latin American Sea Turtles (Costa Rica), allowing her to combine her passion for environmental change with her insatiable love of world travel. She has visited 28 countries on six continents.
Courtney Rae—Community Organizer, Bark
Courtney is the Associate Director at Bark, the Portland-based watchdog group for Mt. Hood National Forest, working to engage all communities in Portland in the push for climate smart, culturally responsive management of the public lands. She brings 10+ years of experience in environmental management and advocacy, from working on neighborhood sustainability projects in Ithaca, NY to monitoring pipeline construction for FERC compliance in Nebraska and Indiana. Before coming to Bark, she worked with Columbia Riverkeeper to stop the Tesoro-Savage oil terminal in Vancouver, with Environment Oregon to Ban the Bag, and with the Human Rights Campaign to protect marriage equality. She currently sits on the Board of Signal Fire Arts and on the Portland African American Leadership Forum’s Environmental Justice committee. When she’s not at work or in a committee meeting, she’s contributing to NXT LVL PDX, raising awareness and resources for social justice efforts by curating extra special dances parties to lift up WOC and QTPOC in Portland, OR. Courtney spends her weekends reading critical race theory, afro-futurist literature, and Rilke, camping with her dogs, or hopping a red-eye to confer with radical organizers from around the country.
Charlie Ringo—Trial Lawyer
Charlie practices law in Bend, Oregon and previously served as a Senator in the Oregon State Legislature. Charlie grew up in Corvallis, Oregon and enjoys hiking, climbing and skiing in the Cascade mountains with his family. Charlie served in the US Air Force after graduating from the Air Force Academy with a Bachelor in Science. He obtained an MBA from Boston University and a law degree from Northwestern School of Law, Lewis & Clark College. In the past, Charlie has volunteered with the Oregon Chapter of the Sierra Club, Meals on Wheels, Oregon Literacy Project and St. Mathew’s Legal Clinic. While in the legislature Charlie worked to obtain stable funding for K-12 and opposed cuts to schools. He sponsored a bill to require financial audits of school districts to get more money into the classroom. He supported early education programs such as Head Start to help kids start school ready to learn and he led the fight to protect our clean air and water, and hold polluters accountable for their toxic mess. He is excited to help guide the Crag Law Center as a director.
Arla Jean Wood
Arla Jean Wood is currently a Recruiter at Nike for the Global Brand Marketing team. She specializes in a communicative, high quality candidate experience. Arla has embraced an inquisitive, meandering journey that has included working in veterinary medicine, the service industry, and over a decade at Portland’s world-renowned advertising agency, Wieden+Kennedy. She’s remained curious and constantly sought out new ways to bring efficiencies to the workplace and build a stronger community amongst her colleagues. During her off time, Arla enjoys spending time with friends, summer vacations to mountain lakes, chilly winters on the coast, volunteering with the Johnson Creek Watershed Council, cuddling her two adorable dogs, and puttering around her yard and garden with her husband.