Meet Our Board Members
Free Geek’s board is made up of a collection of community members. In keeping with our core values, members have a diverse range of skills and mission-related interests. It's the responsibility of these volunteer representatives to set and refine Free Geek’s vision. They are also tasked with making organization-wide decisions. At least 25% of the board consists of volunteers who are currently active at Free Geek.
Ryan Harvey, Board Chair and Treasurer
Ryan learned about Free Geek 10 years ago when a friend introduced him to Linux, the command line, and The Free Geek Store. It was then, he says, that he was introduced to the notion of being a true "owner" of a computer, rather than just a user of one.
Ryan is an institutional investment consultant with Sellwood Consulting. As Board Chair, Ryan is dedicated to making sure that Free Geek continues its digital impact and remains the unique and welcoming place that it is. When he's not spending time with his wife and two daughters, Ryan likes to put his private pilot's license to use exploring everything Oregon has to offer. He also loves to volunteer at Free Geek.
"There is something about working with my hands, next to people I'd never otherwise have the chance to rub shoulders with, that really motivates me."
Erich Merrill, Board Secretary
Erich was initially involved with Free Geek as a donor. For several years he brought computers and electronics before he became involved as a board member. A neighbor of the prior board chair introduced him to Free Geek, and said she was looking for a board member who could bring a lawyer's perspective to the team. Because Erich was a business lawyer, he was happy to do just that. As part of the Free Geek board, he hopes to help Free Geek continue its good work, expand its reach, increase its financial support, and continue to be a great community asset and place to work and volunteer.
Erich grew up in Memphis, Tennessee, and attended engineering school at Vanderbilt University in Nashville. Erich is a runner, and likes to ski and kayak---though not at the same time. One of his favorite past jobs was as a raft trip photographer on the Chattooga River. He kayaked through Class 3, 4, and 5 rapids every day, as his "commute" to work!
"Free Geek was one of the first to make it easy to do the right thing."
Mizuha Nakajima, BOARD member
Mizuha first reached out to Free Geek to see if they wanted to be a beneficiary for her company's annual golf tournament in May 2017. After she initially got engaged with the organization, she saw that Free Geek had similar values/mission/vision as her company and seemed like the right organization to partner and support. Mizuha wants to help champion Free Geeks causes, and help drive greater awareness of our purpose and goals to those that can help support along the way.
She is originally from Japan, grew up in Los Angeles, and moved to Oregon to attend the University of Oregon. She graduated with a degree in journalism, and has spent the last 22 years in various marketing/communications positions at both large agencies and in-house departments. Mizuha loves to travel, collect art, and frequent Portland restaurants for food and libation with friends. She also enjoys spending time with family, including her husband, son, and their cat and leopard gecko.
"I think Free Geek is doing many great things for the community at large! From education and technology reuse to digital access and minimizing waste, I think what the organization does has relevancy to anyone."
Donovan Lytle, Board Member
Donovan first learned of Free Geek from his neighbor, Dan, who had just taken on the role of Executive Director. His advocacy and passion for the Free Geek mission drew Donovan in.
Donovan has been involved in higher education and higher education software for the past 25 years, first as faculty in ESL programs and currently as Senior Director Business Development for Blackboard, a global enterprise software company serving education. He’s passionate about the power of education to lift, ennoble and provide opportunity for all. As a member of the Board, he's excited to contribute to the educational mission of Free Geek and to learn from the staff and patrons who make Free Geek such a vibrant community. Donovan is currently taking a Master Class in Life taught by his first wife, two grown daughters, and three dogs. He hopes to pass.
"Talk to a staff member about their job. Ask a volunteer why they are here. Witness the good work that happens daily. It’s hard not to be inspired and ask yourself, “How can I help?”
Margot has admired Free Geek since 2009, when she began her nonprofit fundraising career as an AmeriCorps member in Portland – she remembers her AmeriCorps colleagues enthusiastically sharing with her that they could volunteer time at Free Geek in order to earn a computer! Since that time, Margot’s respect for Free Geek’s positive impact on the community, nonprofits and our environment has only grown stronger.
Now a nonprofit relationship banking officer at Columbia Bank, Margot is thrilled to have joined the board to help to advance Free Geek’s important mission.
In her free time, Margot enjoys spending time outdoors with her husband Dustin and their two misbehaved, but very cute dogs, June and Adonis, cooking and striving to stay up to date on her New York Times and New Yorker subscriptions.
Technology Infrastructure Specialist. Previously IT Administrator for Free Geek. Skills in computer hardware, computer repair, and Windows.
Transformative information technology leader with 20+ years of experience helping companies grow and revitalize through combined strengths in IT infrastructure development, operational leadership and team building/culture shaping.
Vice President of Customer Success, with twenty years experience managing a variety of technology solutions, from video software, to cloud infrastructure, to business intelligence tools.
Meet Our Staff
Adelle Pomeroy -- Program Manager
Adrian Leon -- Online Sales Associate
Amber Rose Forbes -- Chief of Staff
Amber Schmidt -- Manager of Technology Refurbishment
Anthony Carrillo -- Technology Refurbishment Staff Member (SDA)
Ava Turner -- Technology Refurbishment Technician I
Berry Waxwing -- Public Services Staff Member
Brad Woods -- Technology Refurbishment Instructor and Technician
Brandon Brink -- Technology Refurbishment Instructor and Technician
Brian Manning -- Bookkeeper
Cali Avila -- Sales Shipping Associate
Charlie d'Eve -- Marketing Specialist
Chris Garrett -- Receiving and Sorting Associate
Christopher Himes -- Technology Refurbishment Staff Member (A/V)
Cliff Fortune -- Technology Refurbishment Staff Member (SDA)
Dan Bartholomew -- Executive Director
Darryl Kan -- Facilities and Warehouse Associate
Durran Champie -- Receiving and Recycling Team Lead
Emily Wong -- Tech Support Associate and Digital Inclusion Program Associate
Hilary Shohoney -- Director of Community Development
Ingrid Santos -- Digital Inclusion Program Associate
John Ashcraft -- Chief EH&S Compliance Officer, Manager of Receiving and Recycling
John West -- Technology Refurbishment Instructor & Technician
Juan Muro -- Manager of Retail and Tech Support
Julie McGowan -- Public Services Team Lead
Kai Erickson -- Technology Refurbishment Technician I
Mads Lilja -- Receiving and Sorting Associate & Public Services Associate
Margaret Jacobsen -- Public Services Associate
Michael Perry -- Technology Refurbishment Instructor and Technician, & Technology Refurbishment Staff Member (Mobile)
Michael Westwind -- Bookkeeper
Mike Klepfer -- Receiving and Sorting Associate
Omar Vargas -- Manager of Public Services
Pico Mitchell -- Software IT Administrator & Technology Refurbishment Instructor and Technician/Staff Member (Mobile)
Randy Primeaux -- Sales Associate
Ron Spray -- Receiving and Sorting Associate
Ryan Hebert -- Sales Associate
Savannah Stillwell --Human Resources and Administrative Associate
Stephen Couchman -- Receiving and Sorting Associate
Sterling Stoll -- Sales Associate
Tom Cox -- Business Development Executive
Tom Gilmore -- Technology Education Coordinator
Travis Karson -- Technology Refurbishment Staff Member (SDA)
Tyler Davis -- Annual Funds and Events Associate
Vince Winter -- Tech Support Associate
Wes Dierdorff -- IT Administrator
William Toscano -- Receiving and Sorting Associate