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Juniper Group Executive Committee

The Juniper Group is governed by the Executive Committee. The Executive Committee meets regularly to establish the group goals, and plan and schedule the group activities. Their biographies are provided to understand their backgrounds and interests. Feel free to contact any of them (see the Contacts page) to pursue a common interest.


Deb Jackson Brewer

Deb BrewerDeb Brewer

I have been a Sierra Club member since Earth Day in 1970. I have a BS Environmental Studies from University of California, Davis and a Master of Environmental Planning from the University of Oregon. I worked for a municipal water and electric utility in Western Oregon for 28 years in Strategic Planning, Governmental Affairs and Sustainability. It's great to be in Central Oregon exploring all those wonderful places I wanted to visit during my busy years of work and raising children.

I am happy to be part of the Juniper Group of the Sierra Club because of its common sense approach to environmental planning and protection. I am one of the Hike Leaders and look forward to working with people of all ages to create policies and approaches that result in long term, balanced solutions to the numerous environmental challenges we face in Central Oregon.

Meriel Darzen

Meriel DarzenMeriel Darzen

I am thrilled to be a member of the Juniper Group Executive Committee. I’ve worked on environmental issues in some capacity since 2002 and it is my passion. I have experience with everything from wetland protection to sustainable building to tropical agro-forestry to endangered species. After graduating from forestry and law school at UW I worked for a land trust in South Puget Sound where I worked on conserving salmon habitat. Last summer I moved to Bend where I am now an attorney at a small firm in town. In my free time I volunteer for Legal Aid and I’m an assistant lacrosse coach for Bend United Girls Lacrosse. I’m also on the Sierra Club Eastside Forest Committee and I write comments on many of the current Forest Service projects on the Deschutes and Ochoco National Forests.

Mathieu Federspiel

Mathieu FederspielMathieu Federspiel

I became involved early in the environmental movement when books such as Silent Spring and Future Shock revealed critical problems with industrial society. I obtained my MS in Environmental Science from the University of Wisconsin. I have since worked in the computer industry while finding my way to Bend. As a lifetime member of Sierra Club I continue to feed my interest and involvement with environmental issues.

You can often find me out doors enjoying backpacking and hiking or various other activities. Since moving to Bend I have enjoyed exploring Central Oregon's high desert, the Cascades, and the Ochocos. I look forward to continuing to explore all the Pacific Northwest has to offer.

I am thrilled to be part of the Juniper Group, to work with knowledgeable people who are passionate about maintaining and improving the wonderful Oregon environment.

Alison Hamway

Alison Hamway Alison Hamway I have been an active member of the Sierra Club for over 30 years. Locally, I’ve been Juniper Group Outings leader in Central Oregon since approximately 1996, and I have been the Juniper Group Outings Coordinator for the past 10 years. I LOVE hiking, Nordic skiing, kayaking, and experiencing our forests, desert and rivers. I’m passionate about protecting the environment and the beauty of our area. My particular interest is hiking, and getting other people excited about protecting our natural surroundings by enjoying the wilderness areas around us.

I’ve lived in Bend since 1992, when I moved here for a job. I work full-time as a labor relations representative for a labor union. I have previously served as chair of the Central Oregon Labor Council, and chair of Central Oregon Jobs with Justice. I am also an active member of both the Nordic Club and ASCO (Archeological Society of Central Oregon).

Larry Pennington

Larry Pennington Larry Pennington I retired to Central Oregon after a career in nuclear plant operations and maintenance in the US Navy and in commercial power plants, followed by thirteen years of environmental remediation work at the Hanford nuclear reservation in Washington State. I have always been interested in the environment and conservation, but my retirement has allowed me the time to be active with organizations promoting those goals. I am an avid hiker and a skier, which brought me to the mountains and deserts of Central Oregon. I want to see the beauty that surrounds me here preserved for both myself and future generation. My primary environmental interest is preserving the desert grasslands, forests, wildlife, and clean flowing water that surround me daily in Central Oregon.

My perception is that today’s Sierra Club lost its focus on this founding grassroots identity when it adopted its broader campaigns against carbon-based energy sources and for action against world-wide climate change. We must do both. One of my primary goals is to return the Sierra Club back to its traditional John Muir roots of local campaigns and grassroots community activism.

David Stowe

David StoweDavid Stowe I grew up in Bend spending a great deal of my first 27 years exploring the mountains, lakes, rivers, forests, and high desert of Central Oregon. I those days, solitude could be had 5 minutes from town, and the forest began where the town ended. Wildlife was more plentiful, and people were much more scarce. After returning to the area after a 30 year stint running a public relations firm in San Diego, I was shocked and saddened by the changes in the area and the degradation of the local environment. I decided to try to do something about it, and try to protect this land that had taken care of me when I was younger. I am on the Ex-Com and the East Side Forest Committee for the Juniper group with the intent to do as much as I can to protect the local environment that we all love and cherish. I am a life member of the Sierra Club, a serially addicted hiker, and a lifelong lover of nature. I was on the board of directors and the executive committee for the San Diego Tracking team using wildlife transects to protect open spaces and connecting corridors in San Diego County. I also currently chair the Renewable Energy Committee for EDCO (Economic Development for Central Oregon), which is tasked with helping the renewable energy sector grow locally. I plan on staying engaged in environmental issues and promoting renewable energy here for as long as I am breathing.

Gretchen Valido

Gretchen Valido Gretchen Valido As pressure on our Central and Eastern Oregon environment increases due to development and government policy, it's more important than ever to have a strong Sierra Club presence. As volunteers, members of the Executive Committee make decisions affecting an array of issues within the environmental realm. It’s been a privilege to work with the Juniper Group's dedicated, hard-working Ex-Comm volunteers.

Since early 2002 I've served in various capacities for the Juniper Group including Membership Coordinator, Political Committee Chair, Ex-Comm Chair, and Oregon Chapter Political Committee member. Since 2006 I've served on the Oregon Chapter Ex-Comm and have served as the Chapter’s Counsel of Club Leaders delegate to annual meetings since 2007.

As for my background, I grew up in a rural Chicago suburb, headed to the University of Washington after becoming enthralled with the West's mountains as a kid, lived in the Bay Area much of my adult life, and moved to Bend in 1997. Why do I volunteer for the Sierra Club? Because nature matters! My conscience tugs at me with hope, reverence and respect when I look to the forests, sky and waters.

I believe strongly in the good work the Sierra Club has accomplished here and the important role it will continue to play. As a member of the Juniper Group community of people, I value the opportunity to work with them and act on my environmental concerns and vision for the future.