Our Key Volunteers and Staff
Diane Hodiak, Executive Director – Dhodiak@350deschutes.org
In addition to being the co-founder of 350Deschutes, Diane started 3 other nonprofit organizations. She has worked in various management positions for nonprofit organizations, from program director to public relations and executive director. After she completed her MBA, she became a management consultant to nonprofit organizations in management, planning and fundraising. At that time, she was a regular conference/seminar presenter and co-authored two books for nonprofits. She is currently the volunteer host for CarbonFreeda’s Powerup, a radio show about climate change for KPOV 88.9, Central Oregon.
Satya Austin-Opper, Campaign Coordinator – firstname.lastname@example.org
Satya received her B.A. in Environmental Studies from Lewis & Clark College in Portland, OR. Originally from North Carolina, she grew up with a deep personal connection to the natural world, which ultimately inspired her to dedicate her education and career to protecting it. Satya believes in the power of outdoor education as a tool to connect people to nature and inspire environmental protection. She has tried to foster that sense of personal responsibility in others through her years of experience leading backcountry trips for both children and adults. Additionally, in college, Satya interned for the school’s Office of Sustainability for 3 years, where she worked with the institution to plan and promote climate programs and sustainable initiatives.
Sarah Buchanan, Director of Community Engagement & Energy
Sarah received her B.S. in Natural Resources with a specialty in water policy and law from Oregon State University in Corvallis before moving back to Central Oregon. Sarah was born and raised in Bend which has instilled a deep interest in the outdoors as well as the challenges our planet is facing today, seeing firsthand how climate change and a growing population have altered the landscape in Central Oregon. She is passionate about community driven change, and thinks that Central Oregon can be a leader in climate solutions if we put our minds to it and work together! During her time at OSU, Sarah was a member of the University Legislative Scholars program, which connects students with the rulemaking process at the state level, which ignited her interest for changemaking through policy and organization. Outside of work, you can find her on a bike, skis, or (very) slowly learning to play the mandolin!
Ella Hayden, EV Ambassador
Ella graduated from Central Oregon Community College with an Associates of Arts in June of 2022 at 18 years old. She was born and raised in Redmond, Oregon. Growing up in central Oregon has given her a deep love and appreciation for nature and the environment. Over the past year, that appreciation has only increased as she has traveled to Europe and New Zealand as part of a gap year. Working on small farms and in communities focused on sustainability abroad gave her the perspective that this cause is a global effort, even on the smallest scale. She has a huge passion for equity and inclusion in our community. She hopes that as part of her position with 350 Deschutes and COCC, she will be able to help reflect these demographics in our community programs for the environment. She plans on returning to school in the fall to study Sociology and Anthropology as an undergraduate to eventually become a civil rights lawyer, advocating for people’s rights and the rights of the planet.
Kay Whiting Watanabe – Board Chair
As a committed advocate of sustainability, Kay served as a Managing Director for the Billion People Project (501c3), an innovative social network seeking to mobilize people around the world to preserve the environment through small, everyday actions. As a member of 350 Deschutes, she is bringing not only a passion for our environment but understands the urgency of taking action. Kay also brings over 30 years of marketing and communications experience in the information technology industry, most recently as Global Head of Digital Transformation Communications for the international conglomerate ABB. Kay served three terms as commissioner (five years as Chair) in Redwood City, CA and holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in business from St. Mary’s College of California.
John Reuland – Treasurer, Officer
John is an avid volunteer for many birding and environmental organizations. Addressing climate change is also among his many passions and concerns. Retired now, his career experience includes many years in the financial industry working in operations and as a consultant to financial investment operations within the banking industry. Born with an affinity for detail and numbers, John sees this volunteer opportunity as an ideal fit
Jeff was the founder and CEO of Community GoBio, an alternative fuel company that collected waste oil from 200 participating restaurants to be made into cleaner biodiesel. He serves his community through service on the boards of 350 Deschutes, the Deschutes Soil and Water Conservation District, and recently as the Chief Financial Officer of the Nikua Training Center. Jeff seeks and prefers work that sustains, conserves, and enhances our quality of life.
Jeff German is a solar and renewable energy professional. Jeff’s experience spans over three decades and includes new equipment, technology roll-outs, sales and marketing and citizen advocacy throughout the US and the world. Jeff has dedicated his career to working with traditional industries such as construction, banking, industrial and design industries to facilitate the practical application and smooth transition to renewables. A Business Development professional dedicated to the education and installation of E-Mobility equipment that includes Electric Vehicle Charging hardware and Software networks. Jeff’s professional experience includes several years of business development and sales in the solar industry; which includes battery storage and micro-grid applications.
Jason Wey – At Large Board Member
Jason Wey is the Wholesale Risk Manager for Beneficial State Bank, a B Corp and CDFI with a vision for an economy that restores our planet and extends prosperity to all. He has 20+ years of experience in the financial services industry and currently serves on the Bend Chapter Board of the Risk Management Association (RMA). Jason also has a passion for the outdoors and physical activity, having volunteered for entities such as National Ski Patrol and on the board for the Montrose Recreation District in Colorado. In his free time, he enjoys spending time in the outdoors with his wife, son, and two daughters skiing, whitewater rafting, and hiking.
Brennan Breen – At Large Board Member
Brennan Breen is a professional in the energy industry with experience working with process design, environmental compliance, and operational support. Brennan believes in the importance of connecting environmental education and storytelling to industry professionals in order to drive climate action. In his undergraduate at the University of Arizona, he was a member of the Arizona Institute’s of Resilience Earth Grant program, a Student Compost Specialist with the Office of Sustainability Compost Cats, an Environmental Compliance Intern with Raytheon, and a volunteer with UArizona Divest.
As the executive director of COBLA, the Central Oregon Black Leaders Assembly. COBLA works to uplift the underserved, from jobs to basic services and needs. Originally from Toledo, Ohio, Ric has lived in Bend for more than 20 years. He is also a former submarine veteran and business owner.
Jasmine is a content creator and business owner who specializes in independent publishing projects. My background is in corporate communications, public relations, and marketing strategy. I am passionate about the continual transformation of the communications industry and the emerging digital and technological trends that are reshaping our shared global landscape.
Jonathan W Smith
Small business owner, Vice Chair CTWS-Land Use Planning Committee, CTWS Fish and Wildlife Committee, CRITFC Commissioner, Warm Springs Community Action Team Board of Directors.
Greg was raised on a small farm in Sahuarita, Arizona by an economically disadvantaged family . His parents instilled in him a strong sense of compassion and desire to work hard for the people in his community. Over 10 years ago Greg moved to Bend and became involved with Jobs with Justice and CAUSA after seeing first hand the abuses of workers. During his time as a community organizer, Greg has developed extensive relationships with labor unions, the Latino community, and elected officials across the state. Greg has fought tirelessly on behalf of his community for Drivers Cards, Organizing Hospital Workers, Ban the Box Legislation, A Better Oregon Revenue Campaign, and Protection from Racial Profiling Legislation. He looks forward to carrying on his work on the campaign trail and in the Oregon State Senate.