Over the weekend of September 18th-20th, the Cascadia board and staff got to meet face to face for our second annual CascadiaNow! board retreat held in Seattle, WA. The weekend was a lovely opportunity for many of the board and staff to meet in person for the first time. It was also great timing, as we got to welcome two new members, Whealon Costello, and Tanner Colvin, and involve them in our strategic planning for 2016 and the next several years.

Friday night was an informal gathering held at Brouwers Cafe in the Fremont neighborhood of Seattle. We got to meet over drinks and happy hour, getting to know one another better, and also having a fun stakeholder exercise to help us brainstorm a bit more about the Cascadia movement.  Saturday, we launched into it at the Good Shepherd Center in Wallingford, to discuss how we felt 2015 went, along with reviewing our four strategic objectives that we had set the previous year. In addition, we also had a wonderful opportunity to table at the Ballard Sustainability Fair, and had a wonderful crew help us hold down the table there while our meeting was ongoing.  Sunday, we met for brunch in Phinney Ridge, saying our farewells, and already planning for our next meeting!

The retreat was incredibly important for a variety of reasons, the primary being that our last retreat, held by our founding board of directors and working and helping craft our initial strategic plan and priorities, was held last September, while CascadiaNow! was just starting it’s 501(c)3 application process with the IRS. This second meeting allowed us to come together, all the amazing things we’ve been able to achieve in the past year, but also, to be able to look forward with our feet a little bit more grounded than we’ve been able to do in the past.  The board of directors for CascadiaNow! is also spread so far across the Pacific Northwest, most of our planning and meetings happen remotely. Having this in person meeting is something we’ve set as a high priority for ourselves, and after such a great round of discussion, are considering whether we can realistically meet even more often, maybe twice a year rather than once. 

A huge thank you to our lovely board of directors, Nate Jensen, Megan Leatherman, Josh Mahar, Michael Hodges, Whealon Costello and Tanner Colvin, and to our staff Naomi Botkin, Kelley Kavanaugh, Bethany Clochard, Andrew Schlosser for all of their hard work, as well as all of the amazing supporters and volunteers for without who’s time, this movement would not happen or be possible. 

Thank you all so much!

– B