Board of Directors and Board of Trustees

The Human Access Project is a 501 (c) 3 not-for-profit organization located in Portland, Oregon.

The Board of Directors is all united by a common cause:  to transform the Willamette River and help people embrace it.     



Willie Levenson              Co-Owner, Popina Swimwear



Kirk Anderson Chief Information Security Officer, Cambia Health Solutions
Cherie Collins CEO, Stellaractive
Mike Faha Principal, GreenWorks
Dametris Harrison Operations Manager, McMenamins Elks Lodge
Nathan Howard President and Founder, East Fork Cultivars
Roy Iwai Multnomah County Water Quality Program
Ryan Kunzer General Manager, Duniway Hotel
Andrea Milano Youth and Technical Services Manager, Lake Oswego Public Library  (River Hugger Liaison)
Sonia Montalbano Attorney, McKean Smith Law
John Ostrander Partner, Elliot, Ostrander & Preston
Svetlana Pell Bureau of Environmental Services, Green Street Steward Manager
Mary Lou Soscia Rivershed Goddess
Rob Thompson Publisher, Portland Mercury
Tommy "T-Bone" Vandel Creative Director, Les Overhead
Jon Wippich

Owner/Designer, Dotzero Design



Scott Fogarty Executive Director, Friends of Trees
Greg Goodman Downtown Development Group
Mike Lindberg Former Portland City Commissioner (1979-1996)
Tad McCall Son of Audrey McCall and Iconic Governor Tom McCall
Chris Monlux Wonder Ballroom Owner, Monqui Presents Partner
John Russell  Russell Development
Charlene Zidell Director of Corporate Relations and Communications, Zidell Companies





Board Member Testimonials

I am a board member of the  Human Access Project because the mission is to connect  Portlander's with the Willamette River in meaningful ways. There have been many planning and design efforts over the years to promote connections between Portlander's and the Willamette River, some successful, some not. Many of our community's  collective efforts over the years have been focused on cleaning up the river and promoting natural riverbank habitat restoration.  We have successfully, implemented a $ 1.4 billion program for reducing combined sewer overflows to the Willamette River over the past twenty years, resulting in increased water quality in the Portland reach of the Willamette River. We have seen some riverbank restoration efforts in recent years that promote natural approaches to riverbank restoration, but we have a long way to go . We have recognized that human impact to riverine environments needs to be abated and have seen the adoption of no - wake zones in the Holgate Channel as a measure to protect natural resource values and recognize that there are carrying - capacity issues that are manifested in River use - protection discussions.


I am particularly interested in getting Portlander's to love and embrace the most significant natural resource within the city, the Willamette River. I want Portlander's to enjoy this resource for it's multiple benefits: public recreation; fishing; swimming; environmental education; fish and wildlife habitat; and economic development and public enjoyment/ entertainment.


The human access project looks to provide access to the Willamette River in the Portland central city area. I have interest in promoting creating public access that also embraces habitat protection and enhancement and promotes sustainable Stormwater strategies.


The primary reason that I was attracted to the Human Access Project was their focus on doing small incremental projects for providing human access to the Willamette River that no rational person or bureaucracy could say no to. 


Mike Faha, ASLA, LEED AP


GreenWorks, PC




John Muir famously said: “The gross heathenism of civilization has generally destroyed nature, and poetry, and all that is spiritual.”  From the heart of Oregon’s civilization,  HAP’s Willamette River work is real and spiritual penance to nature.


John Ostrander


Elliott, Ostrander and Preston




I grew up in Montana where I had some of the greatest experiences of my life on rivers. And I don’t even fish (much). I have floated many miles of water in rafts and innertubes. I have swum in rivers with friends, jumped into rivers from bridges, and felt the breathtaking natural power of rivers as they have surged around me.  


Rivers are a life force. They are the lifeblood of the land, bringing people, wildlife and communities together. But that has not been the case in Portland. For generations, the river that flows right through the heart of our city has been exploited, mistreated and forgotten.

Those times are over. Today, now that the Big Pipe has been installed, the Willamette River in downtown Portland is once again safe for human recreation. It’s a scientific fact. But negative perceptions still exist. Many local, seemingly rational residents are still afraid to go near the Willamette River downtown. And that’s a downright shame.


The Human Access Project is helping turn the tide. HAP is advocating for healthy, wise river development – clearing the way for new beaches, paths and river access that will draw people down to the water. I am honored to be a part of this grassroots movement. It’s invigorating to feel the power of people surging together in support of our river. I hope others join the “riverlution” and embrace this worthy cause. The river is waiting.      


Tom Vandel

Owner/Creative Director

Les Overhead