Meet the Board

The Greenbelt Land Trust Board of Directors are dedicated to ensuring that Greenbelt continues to be a visionary, financially responsible, and community-oriented organization. Read below to get to know our Board a little more!


Jamie Andresen (Treasurer)

Jamie joined the board in 2022, after having served on our Investment and Finance committees since 2017. A lifelong resident of Corvallis, Jamie’s love of the outdoors was shaped by the trails and outdoor spaces of the community, and she is excited to contribute to an organization that is helping future generations develop that love of the land. “I know that cultivating these experiences and feelings is made possible by organizations like Greenbelt and I am truly excited to be working alongside people with a shared goal of conserving and preserving our beautiful home.”


Karen ArabasKaren Arabas

Karen joined the board in 2024 bringing research, teaching, and leadership experience in land conservation and restoration ecology. She served on the Environmental Science faculty at Willamette University for 26 years, where her teaching and research focused on how natural and human disturbances impact forests over space and time. “Greenbelt’s mission and strategic conservation framework resonate strongly with me. This is challenging work, and I am honored to participate in helping Greenbelt implement its vision: centering its conservation work in climate resilience, social justice, and community well-being.”


Lily BenderLily Bender

Lily is gaining an appreciation for Oregon’s natural landscape and way of life. With a varied background in food manufacturing, residential and commercial real estate appraisal, and business development, she holds an MBA from the University of Hawaii at Manoa and a BA in Japanese and Entrepreneurial Business from the University of Oregon. After serving a year on the finance committee and learning more about Greenbelt, she is happy to be joining the Board at an exciting time for the organization.


ChrisB_WebsiteChris Bentley

Chris has lived in the Willamette Valley for 14 years and has a long history as a landscape architect and planner. Chris has held volunteer leadership positions with the First Alternative Cooperative as a board member, the Historic Resources Commission, and the Corvallis Sustainability Coalition. “A big strength of GLT is its ability to forge partnerships. None of us can reach big goals on our own. My philosophy tends towards looking at long-term solutions. “


John Bliss (President)

John rejoined the board in 2019, having served previous leadership stints. Recently retired from OSU College of Forest Ecosystems and Society, John has been active in the field of private lands management and conservation  for 25+ years.  John and his wife Kerry relish being grandparents and John can usually be found behind his guitar, composing and performing. “Not a day goes by that we do not take advantage of the trails and open spaces surrounding us.  We are committed to helping maintain and enhance these resources that contribute so much to the quality of life we enjoy.”


Jen Brown (Secretary)

Jen joined the board in 2019 and brings 25+ years of experience in nonprofit management, conservation, and partnership development. In Corvallis Jen’s leadership has been highlighted through her work with organizations like Corvallis Environmental Center, Corvallis School District Dual Immersion and Sustainability Task Forces, Benton County Environmental Advisory Board and Healthy Food Systems Committee. Jen believes that we need to protect the environment and preserve the natural habitats, and Greenbelt is in a unique position to be able to do this.


Seymour House

Before becoming dean of the graduate school at Mount Angel Seminary, where he teaches church history and literature, Seymour had various jobs—Outward Bound instructor, stunt man, logging road crew, dishwasher, professor. He holds an MA in philosophy and a Ph.D. in Ecclesiastical History. Seymour comes from an old Illinois farming family with strong ties to land conservation, grew up planting native hardwoods along the Mississippi River. His wife works at Gathering Together Farms, and together they have restored part of their property to a seasonal wetland.


Russa Kittredge

Russa feels fortunate to call Oregon her home and to raise her family in this special place among the beautiful farmlands and forests of the Willamette Valley. She holds degrees in science education and environmental law and brings experience in nonprofit fundraising and management to her work on the board. “GLT has a crucial role in environmental education and the preservation of lands in our region. I’m excited for the opportunity to help bring people in our community together to share in the vision.”


Nicole Maness (Vice President)

Nicole joined the board in 2020 bringing expertise in and a passion for conservation science and planning and non-profit management. She has lived in Corvallis for eleven years, spending almost every single day running or hiking in the “Green Belt”, and is honored to be able to give back to the organization. “As residents of this community, we share an urgent responsibility to protect and restore what tiny sliver of natural spaces remain, and to do so in a way that is inclusive and equitable. I am excited to help Greenbelt realize that vision.”


Venecia RollinsVenecia Rollins

Venecia joined Greenbelt as a student board member in 2024. Currently a double-major, double-minor undergraduate student at Oregon State University, Venecia is pursuing a career in conservation with a focus on water resources and toxicology. Clean water availability and the building of positive social momentum through environmental justice initiatives are enormous drivers for her, both in academia and in her position as a Pathways intern with the US Fish and Wildlife Service. She is particularly excited to learn more about how we can give back to nature while actively working with Greenbelt to benefit our community and Mother Earth.


DaveZ_WebsiteDavid Zahler

David has spent 44 years in the Willamette Valley and worked for 18 years as a faculty member with the OSU College of Forestry. He has held leadership positions with the Watershed Management Advisory Board, Corvallis Environmental Center, and the Garfield Elementary PTA, among others. “I share GLT’s vision for the mid-Willamette Valley. Making it happen takes a lot of work and having active board members who are willing to share opinions and work directly with staff, and each other is imperative.”