Staff

Working to save the places you love.

We are a private, non-profit organization comprised of a small staff and many volunteers. As your regional land trust, we work in collaboration with communities, partners, and landowners, to protect forever the natural habitats, rural landscapes, and open spaces of west Puget Sound.

Sandra Staples-Bortner
Executive Director

Sandra has led Great Peninsula Conservancy as Executive Director since 2008. Conserving land and wildlife is her greatest passion and she feels privileged to work with others to protect the natural heritage of our beautiful region. Prior to joining Great Peninsula Conservancy, Sandra spent 24 years working for national conservation organizations. She has a B.S. in wildlife management from University of Maine and a M.S. in natural resources from Cornell University. She grew up on the coast of Massachusetts and has lived in the Pacific Northwest for 25 years. Her love of nature began at an early age – watching birds in her backyard and enjoying family boat-camping trips. She remembers corralling a few friends and siblings to pick up litter in her neighborhood on the first Earth Day. She is married with two grown sons and two young grandchildren.

Cindy Moore
Finance and Operations Director

Cindy joined Great Peninsula Conservancy as Finance and Operations Director in January 2018. She moved to Kitsap County with her husband and daughter in 1996 and fell in love with the beauty of the area. Cindy has worked in the financial industry since 1989, where she began her career at Rainier Bank. She took a ten year break from the banking industry in 1998 and managed a nonprofit rhubarb Growers Association. There she learned the ins and outs of a nonprofit, as well as how to process and grow rhubarb and make a delicious rhubarb pie. Cindy enjoys and loves the great outdoors; some of her favorite childhood memories are hiking and camping as a young girl. When Cindy is not at GPC you will find her in her garden, watching birds or sitting by her pond feeding her snapping turtles. She feels strongly about what Great Peninsula Conservancy is doing and is delighted to be part of such a great team and cause.

Katherine Tacke
Membership & Communications Associate

Katherine was excited to join Great Peninsula Conservancy in the summer of 2018 and pair her interest in writing with her love for the outdoors. She grew up across the water next to an undeveloped greenbelt and spent her childhood exploring, counting birds, searching for frogs, and watching the rain against a backdrop of evergreens. After graduating from the University of Washington, she worked in books and publishing for several years, most recently at the UW Press in the marketing department. Katherine lives in East Bremerton with her partner and two cats. In her free time she’s usually gardening, hiking, or reading.

Jonathan Decker
Conservation Director

Jonathan  is a Seattle native with a strong appreciation for Washington’s wild places. He joined Great Peninsula Conservancy as Conservation Director in 2016, excited about the opportunity of returning to the Pacific Northwest and leading GPC’s conservation program.  Formerly he was with Vermont Land Trust where he served as Regional Stewardship Manager. Jonathan holds a master’s degree in sustainable development and worked in the Philippines as a Coastal Resources Management Volunteer with the US Peace Corps. When he’s not working to support GPC’s conservation efforts, you can find Jonathan out on a trail or at Safeco Field. He enjoys working with landowners and partners to protect the natural habitats, working lands, and open spaces of the Great Peninsula.

Brenna Thompson
Conservation Associate

Brenna has served as Great Peninsula Conservancy’s Conservation Associate since August 2017. In this role she helps to manage GPC’s land protection projects, conducts geospatial analysis, and develops management plans for GPC’s new conservation properties. She completed a master’s degree in Environmental Management at Duke University in 2017, with a specialization in ecosystem science and conservation. During her time at Duke she interned as a landscape analyst for the Foothills Conservancy of North Carolina, and conducted conservation planning to prioritize parcels for future protection. She also spent six years with the African Wildlife Foundation from 2012-2017 working to secure funding for conservation and development projects in sub-Saharan Africa. She is originally from New Hampshire, and holds a BA from Colorado College in history and philosophy. In her free time she enjoys hiking, bird watching, and seeing live music.

Erik Pedersen
Stewardship Manager

Erik is a Bremerton native who enjoys overseeing much of the on-the-ground stewardship of Great Peninsula Conservancy’s properties, which includes writing management plans, implementing forest restoration projects, and coordinating volunteer land stewards. Erik came to GPC in 2010 and has worked on a variety of other projects, including grant writing, property acquisition, project mapping, and the organization’s push for accreditation. Erik holds a Master’s Degree in Public Administration and a B.A. in history, and loves skiing, kayaking and grilling up salmon on the weekends.