STAFF

Mark Sherwood

Mark Sherwood

Executive Director
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The Native Fish Society is the foremost organization advocating for the protection and conservation of the Northwest's native fish and the habitats that sustain them.

For more than six years Mark has helped River Stewards channel their passion for their homewaters and wild fish into meaningful conservation. This includes conservation campaigns to reform hatchery practices on Oregon's Sandy River and establish Wild Steelhead Gene Banks in Washington, promote successful catch and release through our Crush the Barb and Keep 'Em Wet campaigns, and protect thousands of rivers miles of critical salmon habitat in Oregon and California from the threat of mining.

Mark Sherwood joined the NFS staff in 2010 and has served the organization in a number of roles including Administrative and Development Assistant (2010), River Steward Program Director (2011-2014), Southern Regional Manager from (2014-2016) before his current position as Native Fish Society’s Executive Director.

Mark earned a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy and English Literature from Westmont College in 2007. During his summers he worked the Arkansas River Valley in Colorado as a rafting, backpacking, climbing and fly fishing guide. After graduation, Mark struck out on a childhood quest to live and fish in Argentina, which strangely also led him north to Bristol Bay, Alaska where he worked for two seasons as a commercial fisherman. Fascinated with the intersection between wild salmon and western culture, Mark moved to Portland, OR in 2008 to be at the center of wild fish conservation. Since 2014, Mark has lived on Oregon's Wild Rivers Coast in Gold Beach, OR.

Tom Derry

Tom Derry

Director of Wild Steelhead Funding
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Tom Derry joined the Native Fish Society staff in October 2005 as the Director of Wild Steelhead Funding. Tom and his wife Connie relocated to the Molalla River after years of living and working in central Oregon.

An ardent steelhead and trout angler and committed conservationist, Tom owned and operated the Kokanee Café for 11 years on the banks of the Metolius River in Camp Sherman. During his time on the Metolius, Tom was very active in fish conservation on both the Metolius and Deschutes rivers and was very involved in stopping the stocking of trout in the Metolius and returning it to a river managed for wild fish.

Through his years as a restaurant owner and fishing addict who frequents the great haunts of the Pacific Northwest, Tom has met many people from wide walks of life who share his concerns for native fish. Tom’s many connections assist the Native Fish Society in growing its membership and financial base.

Born in Portland, Tom’s recent return to the Willamette Valley finds him heavily involved in working to improve the Molalla River and its habitat for fish. In addition to his development duties, Tom serves as a NFS Molalla River Steward and is on the board of Molalla RiverWatch and the Molalla River Alliance.

Jennifer Fairbrother

Jennifer Fairbrother

Conservation Director
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Jennifer joined NFS in 2018 in the role of Campaign & Columbia Regional Director before becoming the organization's Conservation Director in 2020. Jennifer’s previous experience includes nonprofit environmental advocacy relating to federal public lands, assessing program outcomes for the EPA Office of Research & Development, and serving as a graduate intern to U.S. Congressman Peter DeFazio. Jennifer received her M.A. in Public Policy from The George Washington University in 2009.

A childhood spent in rural Oregon inspired Jennifer’s passion for the outdoors and the meaningful relationships that can develop between people and the places they inhabit. Jennifer maintains her connections to place and the Pacific Northwest through backpacking, hunting, fishing, skiing, and gardening. When not out adventuring, she and her husband work to restore their 120-year-old farmhouse and operate a small farm outside of Canby, Oregon.

Conrad Gowell

Conrad Gowell

Fellowship Program Director
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In 2018 Conrad became the Native Fish Society's Fellowship Program Director after serving as our River Steward Program Director (2016-17), North Oregon Coast Regional Coordinator (2013-2016) and Siletz River Steward since 2010. In his current role, Conrad recruits and manages a team of skills-based volunteers and contractors (NFS Fellows). These Fellows assist River Stewards with their watershed-specific conservation campaigns and help develop the advocacy tools NFS needs to increase the impact of our work.

Conrad completed his undergraduate degree in Natural Science from the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, Washington and has since worked with non-profit organizations, academic institutions, indigenous cultures, and fisheries consultants, aiming to advance the sustainable management and restoration of watersheds.

Conrad brings to NFS a policy, research and habitat restoration background with experience throughout the Northwest and Alaska. He is a lifelong advocate for wild fish whose consistent dedication has inspired community action.

Conrad lives in McMinnville, OR.

Tracy Buckner

Tracy Buckner

Operations, Women For Wild Fish
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Tracy Buckner joined NFS in 2012 and quickly filled the role as Administrative and Development Coordinator, later becoming our Operations Manager, as well as Auction Co-Chair. Tracy is one of the co-founders of the Women for Wild Fish initiative, which encourages and promotes women as leaders of science-based education, conservation, and wild fish advocacy.

A native Oregonian, Tracy has spent most of her life exploring the Pacific Northwest. As a kid, she would spend endless summer days with her grandfather fishing the Deschutes and area lakes. Family trips to all corners of the Northwest were a way of life. Tracy was fortunate enough to live abroad for 5 years and traveled extensively throughout Japan and the Far East. She has also spent time living in Arizona, Tennessee and Connecticut, always searching for the road less traveled.

Tracy continues to foster her need for all things wild and free and gets out in the world at every opportunity. When they aren’t rooting for their favorite soccer club, Tracy and her partner in crime, an avid fisherman, hunter, and flytyer, love to pack up their little teardrop and hit the road searching for adventure…and wild, native fish!

Kirk Blaine

Kirk Blaine

Southern Oregon Regional Coordinator
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Kirk Blaine joined NFS in March of 2020 as the Southern Oregon Regional Coordinator. Fairly new to the Pacific Northwest and Southern Oregon, Kirk made his way to the Native Fish Society working through community work focused on health and well-being in the Umpqua Valley. Previously, he was the Project Manager for Blue Zones Project Umpqua focused on transforming the community to live a healthier, happier lifestyle.

Born and raised in Wyoming, Kirk graduated from the University of Montana in Missoula with a B.S. in Business Administration focused on Marketing and Management. After school, Kirk moved to Colorado where he managed a private forest for diversification and regeneration of forest species. Kirk and his wife moved to Roseburg, Oregon in the spring of 2015 pursuing new careers to positively impact their community.

Outside of work, Kirk and his wife enjoy everything outdoors—skiing, rafting, hunting, fly fishing, and hiking. Kirk is excited to help conserve and protect wild places and wild fish for future generations to cherish and enjoy.

J Michelle Swope

J Michelle Swope

Washington Regional Coordinator
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J. Michelle was raised on the north end of the Hood Canal in Washington State. She grew up fly fishing and exploring the gorgeous rivers of the Olympic Peninsula. In 2016, seeing a great need for more active cold-water conservationists, she started Oly Women on the Fly, a group that focuses on teaching women fly fishing and fly tying, as well as conservation and stewardship.

When not sharing her knowledge of the fly with the people, you can find her guiding for trout, salmon and steelhead, teaching rowing, or fishing for that magical unicorn of the water on her favorite North Olympic Rivers.

J. Michelle has her Masters from Bastyr University in Applied Behavioral Science, specializing in organizational development and leadership training. She joined NFS in September of 2018 as the Washington Regional Coordinator. J. Michelle lives in Olympia, Washington, with the best fishing dog in the world, Duncan.

Sandra Coveny

Sandra Coveny

Development Director
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Sandra joined the NFS staff in December of 2019.

Sandra earned a B.S. in botany and an M.S. in Forest Science from the University of New Hampshire. Between degrees, she lived in Seattle and Olympia and worked to conserve late-successional forests. In graduate school, she used GIS to design a plan for re-wilding Vermont and co-founded the Society for Conservation GIS (SCGIS) - an international network of conservation activists including Tribes, indigenous communities and First Nations who use GIS to tell their stories.

After college, Sandra moved to Corvallis, OR and became the first Executive Director of the Marys River Watershed Council. During her 12 year tenure she raised over $4m, and implemented over 150 projects to restore sub-basins for fish habitat, and oak woodland prairies for Fender’s blue butterflies. The council was named by Oregon Solutions as a state leader in landscape-scale restoration and community based collaboration.

In 2007 Sandra moved to Portland, OR to work in the private sector on the Columbia River Estuary, prioritizing salmon restoration efforts and developing climate adaptation plans. She spent 2019 as Soil Scientist and Climate Adaptation Planner for the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs.

Favorite way to spend time when not at work: Refueling with family and friends, backpacking along rivers and high country ridges, backcountry skiing, domestic and international travel, canoeing, spying on eagles and other birds, and whale watching.

Isabelle Cetas

Isabelle Cetas

Administrative Assistant
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Isabelle was born in the arid Sonoran Desert where, like all people of the desert, she developed a deep appreciation for water. She spent much of her childhood swimming in mountain lakes and sailing on the Sea of Cortez. When she moved to the Pacific Northwest as a young person, she began fly fishing. Isabelle attended Whitman College in Walla Walla, where she studied Environmental Humanities — a major that focused on the intimate, and complicated, connection between people and place.

After college, Isabelle returned to Portland in 2015, where she managed a small business, selling curated consignment clothing and locally crafted goods. She began volunteering with the Native Fish Society in the summer of 2018 and was hired to assist with membership outreach as well as the auction and other events.

When she is not working, Isabelle can be found with her dogs and her partner, Ben, outdoors--hiking, fishing, skiing--or at home cooking and spending time with her family.

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