Justin grew up in Seattle, WA. After receiving an undergraduate degree in Environmental Studies from Colorado College in Colorado Springs in 2007, Justin spent several years working at retreat centers and learning to grow organic vegetables and fruit. Since arriving at Lost Valley in 2010, he has been working in the gardens here to grow fresh, organic vegetables for our business and community. Currently, Justin also oversees the operations of the organization here, in the realms of finance, human resources, organizational development, legal issues, networking and fundraising, and communication with the Board of directors. Read the LETTER FROM THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR.
Amber Jones, Residential Site Manager
Job duties include writing/managing rental agreements, hosting community interviews, approving new tenants, resident orientation, managing Maintenance, Infrastructure, Visitors, Guests, and Hospitality, website content, tabling, tours, donations, and human resources. Office hours are 9:00 to 5:00 Monday through Friday with midday lunch hour and Monday, Wednesday, Thursday meetings.
Amber lives adjacent to an inviting Oak Savannah in “Yurtville,” in the meadow. She has excelled at many roles including: Property and Facilities Manager, Volunteer Coordinator, Visitor Coordinator, Leader of the Community Petal, and mother of two young children. Her studies in psychology and Social Work degree have taken her to Mexico, the Dominican Republic, and Jamaica. Amber thrives on the level of activity provided in this hard-working community, quickly finding creative solutions within problems and exercising flexibility with every decision.
She and her partner, Jeff, choose Steiner education techniques and environments for toddler Terra, and continue to practice Elimination Communication with River, born Mother’s Day, 2012, at home in the yurt. Jeff and Amber share a passion for alternative architecture, especially designs utilizing Earthbag Building (a.k.a. Super Adobe) and natural plasters. Together, they dream of a food-forested future for multiple families sharing acreage where a few small homes harbor a diversity of bio-mimetic principles such as gray water filtration, rainwater catchment, humanure composting systems, and other closed-loop systems that maximize nature’s abundance in a manageable environment, rewarding wildlife and future generations as much as its creators. Until then, Amber gives the majority of her time to enhancing the quality of life at Lost Valley by holding many of the necessary administrative roles and responsibilities of the non-profit.
colin(@)lostvalley.org (541) 937-3351 ext. 202
Colin grew up in Massachusetts, but has experienced very much beyond that. He has degrees in anthropology and religion, has worked in Africa for a total of a year, lived in a tiny indigenous village in South America for nearly a year, and has traveled or worked in various other places. Most recently before coming to Lost Valley he taught environmental education to 5th- and 6th-graders in the mountains of New Hampshire and Southern California, and led backpacking trips with teenagers for three summers.
Colin came to Lost Valley in the fall of 2010, and for a year and a half was Program Director, in charge of all courses and events. He is transitioning into his new position of Director of Permaculture Systems. This is a vital role for Colin, as it exemplifies what Lost Valley is after — seeking to live in more responsible ways with the earth and each other. His main directive is to get more permaculture systems operational at Lost Valley, focusing on hard systems such as greywater, rainwater catchment, composting toilets, natural buildings, solar water heating, solar cooking, and smaller projects. The social side of sustainability is less of a work focus for Colin and more of the reason he came to and has stayed at Lost Valley, fed by positive energy of ethically driven and independent people who stimulate and create.
In his spare time, Colin likes stimulating conversation, learning about and experiencing different places, and hiking up big mountains to see amazing views.
Michael Rencewicz, Events Director
Michael grew up in New Jersey and received a B.A. in General Literature at Reed College in Portland, OR. Since then Michael has lived in a variety of places, both large and small, including New York City, St. Petersburg, Russia and Ukiah, California. For the last four and a half years, he has been living in intentional communities and retreat centers.
Michael’s work at Lost Valley started as a laborer in the gardens. He recently transitioned into the role of Events Director, hoping to bring wholesome and healthy events to Lost Valley that can help strengthen Lost Valley’s business performance in 2013. In his spare time, Michael teaches Kudalini yoga, goes for hikes and listens to kirtan.
rick(@)lostvalley.org, (541) 937-3351 ext. 250,
Rick Valley has lived in 10 states and two other countries, but has called Oregon home for 2/3 of his life. With degrees in anthropology and education and extensive time in Latin America, he turned to horticulture upon his eventual return. Finding permaculture happened soon after, and studying with Bill Mollison in 1986 made it his life. He has been coming to Lost Valley to teach or participate in workshops and conferences since the first conference (Restoration Forestry) but finally took the Land Steward position and moved here in 2004. “Having known the land for a good time and seeing many changes as well as learning from many visitors has been a wonderful background for the Land Steward position, and working with forest, stream, meadow, community and gardens is fun for someone who enjoys holistic design.”
Willow Crandall, Hospitality Coordinator
willow (@) lostvalley.org
Willow grew up in Springfield Missouri, where she studied Leadership and team building for several years. Some of that time was spent at sea off the coast of Oahu learning to live and grow through community. She also spent five years as part the Ozarks Wilderness Explorations, a group that discovered and mapped caves all around the Mark Twain National Forest, and somehow found the time to guide a group of students on a 40+ mile kayak tour. Willow is sort of magical, we’ve decided.
Spontaneously moving to Oregon Summer of 2011 she quickly found herself exploring a wide variety of personal growth and communication workshops and classes, such as Network For New Culture and Summercamp at Lost Valley in August of 2011. These workshop had quite an impact and she moved to LVEC shortly after with the intentions of building and maintaining healthy, supportive and long lasting connections among all beings.
She now provides childcare, works in the garden, preserves food (while pursing a path in holistic nutrition) and does all sorts of other, important coordinating. And remember, she’s magical.
Mary Alexander, Marketing and Event Coordinator
Mary grew up in Wisconsin and came to Lost Valley from Louisiana where her two children now attend college. Having survived a vaguely optimistic way of life in suburban society, she realizes sustainable communities that do well by embracing one another and the earth are vital, and an essential model to help heal the earth. She holds a Bachelors of Science in Nursing, and has decades of management experience in publishing, education, research and healthcare. She contributes to Lost Valley event management, outreach, marketing, and social media communication.
Mary enjoys an active life of learning and adventure. She is often out exploring natural Oregon, stacking rocks, beach combing, hiking and foraging the forest, inspiring spiritual engagement, and directing the new community based mushroom research center. Yoga, metaphysics, community activities, creating and building things, photography, and finding her willful dog, Bongo, are vital diversions.
Accounting, Bookkeeping, Ext. 207, finance(@)lostvalley.org
Visiting and Tours, visit(@)lostvalley.org
Lost Valley Educational Center
81868 Lost Valley Lane
Dexter, OR 97431
Telephone: (541) 937-3351*
Fax: (541) 937-2243
* Please note that there are currently more office phones than there are people able to answer them. Many staff are called out of the office or into meetings to keep the place flowing smoothly, and personal numbers are often provided. Cell phones reception is spotty here.