WOOP WOOP!! Today marks one year of being a 501(c)(3) non-profit and we are extremely excited! This last year was filled with many great memories, challenges, and accomplishments, and we have come out stronger and farther along than any of us had expected. We launched our first official program: Visual Ballads, conducted six booth events over the summer at the Sail-in Cinema in Everett, and started plans for seven programs, three projects, regular events, and an in-depth YouTube channel and podcast! We are beyond grateful for everyone who has followed us along this journey through our social media or newsletter, and for those who have donated to our mission. Although I could go on and on about what the last year has brought, how thankful I am for all your support, and what is to come this next year, I would like to dedicate this post to the people who have made all these wonderful things happen. Conservation Made Simple would not be growing at the rate it is if our team didn’t put blood, sweat, and tears into this organization day in and day out. Keep reading to meet them!
President and Founder
Hello! My name is Cameron Winkler and I am the founder and president of Conservation Made Simple! I live in Snohomish, Washington and keep myself very busy with Conservation Made Simple and running two businesses on the side. Conservation Made Simple is such an incredible opportunity to create a positive impact on the world around me and allows for a chance to unite like-minded people who desire to make conservation work their main goal in life! I thoroughly enjoy getting to work with this amazing crew of passionate people and look forward to seeing this organization grow to add more changemakers to the team. Outside of CMS, I enjoy being an entrepreneur in multiple endeavors, filming, hanging with friends, and being heavily involved in my local church. I plan to make CMS my future and I can’t imagine it any other way!
Hi! My name is Isabel Quimby and I am the Vice President of CMS. I currently live in Bellingham, Washington and I am in school studying environmental education and sustainability at Western Washington University. CMS has been a place for me to connect with passionate, hardworking individuals and work towards a common goal of creating a healthier planet. In my free time I love to scuba dive, make art, and experiment in the kitchen with unique plant-based recipes. My hope is to create a career that supports my environmental conservation endeavors as well as open a business in the near future where I can sell my art.
Ahoy! My name is Ryan Taisey and I am the Treasurer of CMS. I live in Everett, Washington, on a boat with my beautiful wife and four wonderful kids! I am currently working multiple jobs and running a photobooth business to one day support my family as we sail around the world! We are so excited to supply unique stories and photos to CMS while we circumnavigate the world from our sailboat home. Every day I look forward to bringing my experience in finance and sailing to the CMS team.
Hello! My name is Jack Holmes and I am the Secretary of CMS. I live in Seattle, Washington, while pursuing a degree in Biology at Seattle University. What excites me about this organization is the ability to explore my passion for environmental sustainability and wildlife preservation/protection through education and outreach. I think it is important to be aware of our (human) impact on the environment and how current practices cannot be sustained for generations to come without intervention. Outside of CMS, I enjoy running for long periods of time, making musical sounds with my voice, population genetics and conservation biology, eating plants, capturing moments and/or moving images with various photographic devices, and pondering my existence on a daily basis. I am hoping to become a science teacher in the future!
Head of Environmental Programs
Hello! My name is Jeni Ronald and I am the Head of Environmental Programs. I am from Mound, Minnesota, but currently live in Seattle while I am pursuing a degree in Marine and Conservation Biology at Seattle University. CMS is everything I am looking for to make a change in this world—to bring people together and help our environment. I wanted to be involved so I can work directly with animals and ecosystems to restore and see positive results of conservation work. When not working on CMS you can find me playing volleyball, running my freelance photography business, and exploring new places around Washington! My future plans are to finish my degree, continue working for CMS, and to do more work directly with animals, whether that be reintroduction of species, rehabilitation, or education.
Head of Oregon Operations
Hi! My name is Laura Pena and I am the Head of Oregon Operations for CMS. I live in Corvallis, Oregon, where I attend Oregon State University working toward a degree in pre-veterinary medicine. CMS is a great opportunity to get involved with my community and the environment. I want to contribute everything I can to making sure the ecosystem around me is safe and healthy. When not working on CMS, I have been volunteering at a humane society as well as working with a farrier throughout Oregon. I love working with animals and making them feel happy, loved, and healthy. Eventually, I would love to be a veterinarian and work with large exotic animals.
Head of Public Image
Hello! My name is Liz and I am the Head of Public Image. Conservation Made Simple is a constant source of inspiration for me. I love working with so many passionate people who are all pushing the envelope of what is possible to better our relationship with the environment. I am currently working as a marine mammal technician on the Olympic Peninsula. This means that I assist in research efforts on Gray whales, sea lions, and other local marine life. I’m also the stranding coordinator, so when animals wash up on our shores, I’m responsible for learning as much from them as I can and sharing that data with other scientists in the region. I love hiking, reading, and I recently took up surfing! My work is my passion and I truly love being able to come home each day knowing that I helped advance our understanding of our place in the natural world. Eventually I would like to go back to school and be able to lead my own research projects. In the meantime, I’m happy spending my days learning in the great outdoors.
Head of Fundraising
Hello! My name is Malcolm Fox and I am the Head of Fundraising for CMS. I live in San Antonio, Texas, where I am a full time undergraduate student at Trinity University pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in Religion and a minor in Arts, Letters, and Enterprise. CMS is an avenue for me to build my non-profit business experience and to have a positive impact on the environment. I enjoy filling my time with grant writing, fundraising, and nonprofit management. I plan to work in the nonprofit fundraising and management sector while researching abroad in multiple countries!
Head of Events
Hi! My name is Alex Aarona and I am the Head of the Events team for CMS. I am from Waimanalo, Hawaii, but currently live in Seattle, Washington, while studying Marine and Conservation Biology and Environmental Science at Seattle University. To me, Conservation Made Simple means being aware of your impact on the environment and learning how to best support and care for it. I am excited to be involved with Conservation Made Simple in order to promote healthy environmental practices within myself and others! Currently, I am working as both a resident assistant for Campion Hall and a study group facilitator for the general biology series. When not knee deep in this, I can be found diving into conservation science, musical theatre, discovering new coffee shops, and promoting self-care! After attending grad school, I want to work in conservation research back home in Hawaii.
Head of Education Outreach
Hello! My name is Carlene Harmon and I am the Head of Education Outreach for CMS. I live in Bremerton, Washington and stay busy working as an administrative specialist for in service engineering at the Naval Undersea Warfare Center and being an active volunteer for Hood Canal Salmon Enhancement Group and for the SEA Discovery Center. CMS fulfills my desire to be involved in educating the public and inspiring the community about the environment that they live in, and to teach them how to help conserve and protect the life around us. I love doing field research and working on issues surrounding water quality, salmon, storm water, water sheds, conservation, pollution, ocean acidification, garbage in our oceans, public education, and teaching kids cool facts. In my down time I also enjoy photography, bird, fish and plant identification, GIS, hiking, and kayaking. I am working towards being a water quality field technician and am learning about data collection and analysis and restoration projects. I also want to work with the public by presenting and talking with kids and teaching or leading groups to beaches, trails, rivers or educational programs.
Head of Technology and Design
Hi! I am Tyler Dowd and I am the Head of Technology Design. I live in Azusa, California, where I am studying seminary full time at Azusa Pacific University. I believe in what CMS is doing and I want to aid them in their goals using my talents. I enjoy conducting research, playing music, learning new technological software, doing marketing and graphic design, and creating animation shorts. My career goal is to become a theology professor, worship pastor or potentially a missionary.
I would like to also thank our many volunteers who help our day to day operations:
They contribute endless hours of their time to make sure that CMS runs smoothly behind the scenes. We couldn’t do it without them.
Conservation Made Simple would not be the thriving community it is today without the dedication of this incredible team. I can’t wait to keep working and growing with each of them as we watch CMS come to life.