GEROD RODY – President and Founder
I’m Gerod Rody, who thought up and co-founded OUT4S, and I now serve as Board President. I’m often the face of the organization, in addition to performing data entry and anything else that needs doing. My day job is at Pinchot University as Director of Marketing, where I love all things that creatively share “brand” as an authentic story. I also graduated from the Bainbridge Graduate Institute at Pinchot with an MBA in Sustainable Business in 2009, and met fellow graduate and OUT4S co-founder Julian O’Reilley there on our woodsy orientation.
I maintain a healthy obsession with all things Swedish and am interested in running, great food, creativity and adventure. I started up OUT4S initially to meet great people (and maybe get a date). Since then, the people I’ve met have become my family. Over the past several years, I’ve seen OUT4S evolve into the beginning of a movement that crosses all sorts of lines, threatening to connect the gays and the greens in ways no one thought possible and help redefine the oft-narrowly used term sustainability into something that sparks action toward our vision of a Fabulous Planet.
JENNIFER FREY – Vice President
I’m Jennifer Frey, committed volunteer turned Board Member. After the 2011 Pride Parade, I searched for volunteer opportunities with LGBTQ environmental non-profits to help clean up after this yearly celebration and found OU4S. I started as a volunteer for the annual dinner and began planning the 2012 Earth Gay and Greener Pride events. Since then I have continued planning for the ever fun and sexy EarthGay, Greener Pride and OUT at the Beach events, while recently accepting a position on the Board. My roots in sustainability started at the age of two when I used my sandbox pail to collect the construction scraps from the home my family built and I graduated into pulling, straightening nails from salvaged lumber to the full range of construction tasks before I had a drivers license. In college I interned at a sustainable best management practice think tank for the residential building industry, where I helped develop designs that were presented to former Vice President Al Gore and a team from the EPA. Currently I am a Project Manager with Sellen Sustainability, providing sustainable construction consulting and training services primarily for the Pacific Northwest and Las Vegas regions, with over 20 years of experience in the built environment. I am most passionate about conserving natural resources through efficiency and closed loop recycling systems. In my spare time I paint encaustics (pigmented beeswax), take photographs, and study at Bainbridge Graduate Institute.
BRENDAN COOK – Secretary (incoming)
I’m Brendan Cook, Out4s board member based in San Francisco, CA. I work at the Center for Resource Solutions, a renewable energy focused non-profit that focuses on market and policy solutions to our energy situation. My past work and education have taken me around the world where I had the life changing experience of living in Hungary and Sweden to receive my MSc in Environmental Policy Sciences and Management through the interdisciplinary Erasmus Mundus program. My sustainability interests were influenced by growing up in the deserts of Arizona and has only expanded through hands on learning in permaculture, surrounding myself with sustainability enthusiasts, technical work and community organizing. I’m excited to be involved in queer and environmental community organizing in my current San Francisco Bay Area home (and beyond) where being a part of the LGBTQ community is important to my daily life, as is gardening!
MATT LANDERS – Secretary (outgoing)
I’m Matt Landers, one of the newest Out for Sustainability board members. I am the Public Policy and Communications Coordinator for the Greater Seattle Business Association (GSBA), the largest LGBT and allied business chamber in the country, where I work to combine business development with social action and leadership in the LGBT and allied community. Originally from Connecticut, I gradually moved West over the last decade (with a few detours to Spain), acquiring degrees in Geography from Macalester College in St. Paul and the University of Oregon. With my particular academic background, choosing where to live was a very deliberative process, but Seattle took the prize without too much competition. I moved here for both the natural and human environments, and I can’t get enough the Pacific Northwest. I love getting out to the mountains as often as possible, although I’ve recently been distracted by walking around and exploring more of my new city.
I’m Ryan Hicks, and I am enthusiastic to bring my background in non-profit development and LGBT community fundraising to Out for Sustainability. I love the vision A Fabulous Planet set forth by this organization. It’s short, it’s elegant and makes a truly compelling message to our constituents. It says we’re more than a niche subset of the environmental activist community, our strength is in building a fabulous coalition of free thinking idealists and hard working pragmatists to advance an environmental and social justice agenda for others to emulate. It’s the reason I want to devote my time and energy to supporting this organization.
Currently I serve as Board Treasurer for Out for Sustainability and work as Development Director for Three Dollar Bill Cinema, which produces the Seattle Lesbian & Gay Film Festival among other community film programs. Previously I worked in the sustainability sector as Business Sustainability Intern at REI and Sustainable Industry Analyst Intern for the State of Washington Office of Economic Development. I am also passionate about the arts having previously worked in fundraising for Northwest Folklife and Bumbershoot. I have an MBA from Seattle University and a B.A. from Reed College with a major in art history. I love to cook being a big supporter of the Capitol Hill Farmers Market. I’m an avid reader, collector of vintage paperbacks, music lover and general pop-culture aficianado.
I’m Alister Fenix, one of the newest members of the Out for Sustainability board. I have been a proud member of the LGBTQ community and an activist for environmental stewardship and social justice for over 20 years. Professionally I am the Chief Cartographer and GIS Manager at Ecotrust, a hybrid organization in Portland, Oregon that works at the intersection of social, economic and environmental change. I am also an Associate Professor and mentor at the Pacific Northwest College of Art where I teach students about the power of mapping and spatial awareness for social and environmental advocacy. In other words, I teach young artists to be guerrilla mappers for good.
My love of mapping and graphic communications took root at a very early age. I spent much of my youth drawing maps on my own, reimagining the way the world could be as I drew trees and meandering rivers over the grid lines of Southern California road maps. In college I had come to the understanding that the loss of biodiversity was intricately tied to the loss of cultural diversity, and have been actively working to make a simultaneous impact on both ever since. As I have grown professionally I have found that cartography ties my penchant of science with my love of art, and is a powerful tool that can inspire action, better management of our natural resources, and help shape another view of our world and our place in it. In my spare time I am creating the first queer historical atlas of Portland, Oregon mapping over a hundred years of our vibrant and robust culture. When not mapping you will most likely either find me out exploring the wild with a camera in hand or next to a fire at sunset with a smile to share.
Emeritus Board Members
MELANIE COERVER – Board Member Emeritus, 2010-2014
Melanie Coerver is a tireless champion of new ideas and big adventures. She led the growth of Earth Gay from 100 folks to 175, to 300 to multiple cities and left off with the vision of Earth Gay as another way to show pride around the globe as an ongoing program. Her big smile and boundless enthusiasm made the organization stronger, expanded our volunteer base and invigorated the board with delicious meals at her beautiful home.
JOHN CARROLL – Board Member Emeritus, 2012-2013
John started out as the project manager of Coming Out Local, the first big event we’d ever done. His wry humor and can-do attitude took our ambition into reality. The improvements made from that event brought OUT4S to another level of excellence and his background and skill enhanced the board with the ability to scale and refine our mission and execution.
JULIAN O’REILLEY – Co-Founder, Board Member Emeritus, 2008-2013
Julian O’Reilley is a key reason OUT for Sustainability ever came into being. Her roles ranged from co-founder with Gerod, planning events and making connections, to engaged board member advocating for ever higher standards of practice and alignment with our mission. Julian served on the board (the one she helped create) for our first five years and helped lau nch every major program in those first few years.
Elan Keehn was one of the early OUT4S board members, discovering the organization quickly after moving back to Seattle and quickly making an impact. She nurtured the team of board members and volunteers, actively involved with Earth Gay, Coming Out Local, and many other projects. She advocated for youth involvement leading to more all-ages events and targeted outreach.
RYAN HAWKES – Board Member Emeritus, 2011-2013
Ryan Hawkes came to OUT4S through the Coming Out Local dinner as a key volunteer in 2010. He brought us new level of due diligence asking “why” for every new idea, serving as board secretary, and bridging our big vision with practical steps to get there. Ryan’s advocacy for diversity, process, and team development made OUT4S stronger, as did his successful management of Greener Pride in 2013.
Cynthia Buhr was more than just the first lawyer on the OUT4S board. She brought an ability to see the implications of any decision, getting into the gritty details of strategy and logistics. Her expertise in organizational development resulted in board insurance, revised and realistic bylaws, and a stronger application for our nonprofit status.
Bart Reynolds was one of our early sponsors as the then owner of Poco Wine Room. He came to the organization with a passion for the environment and community systems. He brought quiet wisdom and an easy smile, helping the organization reach its 501(c)3 status and simpler practicalities like a proper PO Box and improved financial systems.
ARIYAH DESOUZA – Board Member Emeritus, 2009-2011
Ariyah DeSouza first met OUT4S at GreenFest Seattle in 2009! Over the next 2 years she served as Vice President and Treasurer. She wrote over a dozen articles, sewed napkins, led strategic planning, organized events and advocated for every greater definition of diversity (like not staying only in Seattle).
SCOTT LANSING – Board Member Emeritus, 2009-2011
Scott Lansing moved to Seattle, googled “green gays,” found OUT4S and started volunteering. After helping with every single thing we did for months, it was only natural that he apply to the board. He has served as Secretary, helped organize events like Earth Gay 2010 and advocated for the highest integrity in every action we undertake.
CORY-JAMES CLOUSE – Board Member Emeritus, 2009-2011
Cory James Clouse was one of our first volunteers, tabling at GreenFest in 2009. Since then he served as Treasurer, Secretary and founded the Finance Committee. He wrote our initial bylaws, incorporated us as a registered Charity and worked extensively to ensure our organizational sustainability.