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."
Liz Howe, Board Member
A former board member encouraged Liz to check Free Geek out. She was immediately attracted to our commitment to both recycling and education. When we invited her to join the board, she jumped at the chance — and we're glad she did!
Liz has built a career around her passion for building strong, trust-based relationships. She’s worn many hats over the years, including third-party recruiter, HR strategist, and more. Liz loves riding her motorbike around the state, especially to Hood River. When she's not at work or Free Geek, you can find her in St. Johns or spending time with her husband and their cats.
"I've got an HR background, so I really enjoy helping FG with people-related issues and concerns...I think we're doing some great things to make the lives of both our employees and our volunteers better."
Kim Ferrill, Board Member
Kim first visited Free Geek while getting her Master Recycler certification through the City of Portland. She was struck by Free Geek’s commitment not just to helping the environment, but to digital inclusion efforts in the Portland metro area.
Kim has a background in law, with experience in various fields including web development, product creation and marketing, and project management. She is an avid bicyclist and Dragon boat enthusiast. Kim participates in an all-woman Dragon boat team called SOAR, made up of breast cancer survivors and their supporters. They paddle 3 times a week — rain or shine!
"I was very impressed with how organized and community friendly Free Geek was…We are more than electronics recycling."
Mark Ralston, Board Secretary
Mark dropped off some used electronics at Free Geek years ago and the nonprofit stuck in his mind. When he was looking to volunteer in the community, he was thrilled to find that the Board had an open position.
With a lifelong interest in environmental issues, Mark’s career has included the development hazardous waste regulations, toxics use reduction, and the promotion of energy efficiency in the Northwest. Mark's passions include biking, hiking, landscape photography, and a good IPA!
"Free Geek has accomplished great things."
Erich Merrill, Board Member
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 degree, 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."
Meet Our Staff
Alana Epstein -- Public Services Staff
Amber Rose Forbes -- Chief of Staff
Amber Schmidt -- Manager of Technology Refurbishment
Anthony Carrillo -- Technology Refurbishment Staff (SDA)
Brandon Brink -- Free Geek Store Associate
Christopher Himes -- Technology Refurbishment Staff (A/V)
Clay Scott-Wyard -- Free Geek Store Associate
Cliff Fortune -- Technology Refurbishment Staff (SDA)
Dan Bartholomew -- Executive Director
Darryl Kan -- Facilities and Warehouse Associate
Durran Champie -- Receiving and Sorting Associate
Emily Wong -- Public Services Staff
Hilary Shohoney -- Manager of Development
Ian Hawkins -- IT Administration, Technology Refurbishment Instructor & Technician
Jeff Churchill -- Manager of Customer Experience
John Ashcraft -- Chief EH&S Compliance Officer, Manager of Receiving and Recycling
John West -- Technology Refurbishment Instructor & Technician
Julie McGowan -- Public Services Staff
Kristen Purdy -- Receiving and Sorting Associate
Lacey Osteen -- Recycling Associate
Michael Perry -- Technology Refurbishment Instructor & Technician, Reuse Staff (Mobile)
Michael Westwind -- Bookkeeping Associate
Omar Vargas -- Public Services Manager
Pico Mitchell -- Reuse Staff (Mobile), Technology Refurbishment Instructor & Technician
Randy Primeaux -- Free Geek Store Associate
Rebecca Goldberg -- Development and Marketing Associate, Public Services Staff
Ron Spray -- Receiving and Sorting Associate
Sara Rasmussen -- Digital Inclusion Manager
Scott Forbes -- Technology Refurbishment Instructor & Technician
Steve Nichols -- Reuse Encore Fellow
Suzan Lee -- Online Sales Associate
Tom Gilmore -- Technology Refurbishment Instructor & Technician
Travis Karson -- Technology Refurbishment Staff (SDA)
Vince Winter -- Technical Support Associate
Wes Dierdorff -- IT Administration
Zach Beyman -- Online Sales Associate