Meet the Staff

WE CARE.

Each and every one of us is committed to leaving a legacy of land and water for your children and grandchildren. We are friendly folks and are always excited to share our love of the land with you … come and visit with us anytime!

Jeff Baker, Stewardship Coordinator

Jeff joined Greenbelt in 2008 after working nine years as a biologist for a Native American tribe in western Oregon where he worked on fish, wildlife, rare plants, habitat and environmental projects. Jeff has a B.S. in Wildlife Science and an M.S. in Geography from Oregon State University. Outside of work Jeff likes to explore the outdoors and work around the house with his wife and two children.

 

Matt Benotsch, Outreach Manager

Matt joined Greenbelt Land Trust in 2020 with twenty years of commitment to ecological stewardship and outreach in the Willamette Valley. He is excited to meet you out on the land and share our protected places. When not working Matt enjoys spending time with his wife and son at home in Eugene, playing competitive disc golf, organic vegetable gardening, and slowly transforming his yard into native pollinator habitat.

 

Matt Blakeley-Smith, Stewardship Director

Matt joined Greenbelt Land Trust in 2013, after working ten years as a restoration biologist for the Institute for Applied Ecology. Matt believes that meaningful conservation requires the participation of private citizens. From gardening in a small suburban lot, volunteering on a weed-pull, or planting a riparian buffer, everyone can play a role in shaping our environment. While not driving a tractor, Matt enjoys growing carnivorous pitcher plants and raising honey bees with his wife and son on their urban micro-farm.

 

Claire Fiegener, Conservation Director

Originally from Washington DC, Claire Fiegener has lived in western Oregon for the past 19 years and currently resides in Corvallis, Oregon. Claire has worked in the conservation and farming community for the last 25 years, and currently is delighted in her position as Conservation Director at Greenbelt Land Trust. Among many passions, she is focused on advancing inclusive access to nature that improves the health outcomes of our communities, increasing funding for conservation in Oregon, and landscape-scale conservation measures protecting habitats, recreation lands, waters, and working lands. Travel adventures have shaped who she is including working on farms in California, Virginia, New Zealand, and Italy. But her most inspiring passion is getting muddy with her twin boys and husband out on our Oregon trails.

 

Claire FoxClaire Fox, Conservation Manager

Claire brings to Greenbelt years of experience in land management, community outreach, partnership building. Prior to joining the team, she served as Program Manager for the Washington Association of Land Trusts. Claire’s background in farming, forestry, and environmental education fuels her passion for community-driven conservation. She has a BA in Environmental Studies from Dickinson College and Master degrees in Forestry and Environmental Management from Duke University. In her free time, Claire loves to hike, garden, and eat good food!

 

Ketty Herb-Kalberer, Chief Financial Officer

Ketty is a contracted employee of Greenbelt and has an extensive background in budget development, financial performance evaluation, and non-profit management. An MBA graduate of the Lundquist College of Business, at the University of Oregon, she worked as a Senior Financial Analyst for Hewlett-Packard for six years developing financial models and projecting the profitability of HP’s worldwide inkjet business. She has served on the Board of non-profits including Corvallis Community Children’s Centers and the Center for Nonprofit Stewardship.

 

Alex Kaste, Habitat Restoration Technician

Alex joined Greenbelt in the Summer of 2021 as a habitat restoration technician. Alex works with stewardship staff on the maintenance and management of Greenbelt sites. As someone who is passionate about conservation, Alex is very excited to work on active restoration projects. Alex is an undergraduate student in Fisheries and Wildlife Conservation Science and also pursuing a certificate in Geographic Information Sciences at Oregon State University. As an avid outdoorsman, you can find Alex on a nearby river or trail enjoying Oregon’s magnificent outdoor spaces.

 

Suzanna Mast, Accounting Clerk

Suzanna joined Greenbelt in 2016 as the Accounting Clerk. Raised in Northern Indiana, she relocated to Corvallis after living in Los Angeles for 22 years. With over 20 years of bookkeeping experience, Suzanna brings a strong background in financial and business management to Greenbelt. Suzanna earned her Landscape Architecture Graduate Certificate from UCLA Extension, with a focus on plants and urban stream renewal. Outside of work she enjoys adventures in nature, gardening with native plants, Taoist studies and live music experiences.

 

Jessica McDonald, Executive Director

Jessica became Greenbelt’s Executive Director in 2020 after having served as Associate Director and Development Director for the organization since 2009. With deep Oregon roots and a passion for conservation and community, Jessica leads the organization’s strategic vision, financial resiliency planning and operations. She loves muddy trails, jazz, family shenanigans, rescue dogs, and Oregon rain. But, more than anything … she cares about leaving a legacy of clean running rivers, wild outdoors, and colorful Valley prairies for generations to come. Get to know Jessica.

 

Carolyn Menke, Stewardship Manager

Carolyn joined Greenbelt Land Trust in 2021, bringing eighteen years of experience working to conserve western Oregon and southwest Washington species and habitats. She is passionate about collaborative partnerships and implementing regional conservation planning and on-the-ground restoration, particularly for prairie and oak habitats. Carolyn is always eager to share her botanical expertise and affection for native plants and butterflies. When not working, Carolyn is an avid runner on local trails and enjoys outdoor adventures with her husband and two sons.

 

Ashley Relf, Development Director

Ashley joined Greenbelt Land Trust in 2018, bringing extensive nonprofit and cultural arts management experience and an eagerness to learn more about the Willamette Valley. Ashley hails from upstate New York and spent more than a decade in the coastal Carolinas prior to moving to the West Coast. Ashley has a passion for connecting people to opportunities that enhance the value of their lives, including protecting and connecting to the land. She is an avid-traveler, great home-cook, and serves various volunteer leadership roles in the community.

 

Ingry Thurow, Volunteer Coordinator

Ingry joined Greenbelt in the spring of 2021 following ten years of experience tending to land, building and maintaining trails, and supporting the leadership development of people of all ages in the outdoors. The greatest joy of their career has been spending time with people who start off as strangers but form strong bonds with each other—and the more-than-human world—through working together in service to land and water. Ingry has also been a Mental Health First Aid instructor since 2017; has an affinity for knitting, weaving, sewing, and natural dyeing; and writes their fair share of poetry, often on lunch breaks in the woods.