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Larry Greene
co-Founder | strategic director

Larry Greene is founder and CEO of Navigating Our Future (NOF), a 501 ©(3) non-profit organization committed to building healthy communities through respectful dialogue, deliberation, consensus-building and effective action. He is also co-founder of San Juan Islands Community Network (SJICN), an NOF subsidiary that is a community-driven solutions journalism network dedicated to the goal of establishing a self-sufficient, healthy and resilient San Juan Islands community. Larry was previously founder, CEO and President of Network Direct, Inc., a mass media direct marketing company, until he sold it in 2005 to exclusively focus on his social mission work. A long-time islander (36 years), Larry was a co-founding member of Spring Street International School, serving on the Board of Directors, as well as a co-founder of the Institute for Village Studies. He shares his love and passion for the islands with his wife, Jill, and Goldendoodle, Shanti.

Heather Nicholson
co-founder | director | producer

With a penchant for media work, Heather has developed communications and documentary media to ensure a future for Southern Resident killer whales and a human society that can flourish naturally beside them. Hailing from a frigid clime where she housed in pioneered solar homes, she’s been in the San Juans for three decades, veers toward the creative and is the owner of a specialty construction business. Heather finds value and joy in every individual's story, non-human or human; each story reveals that common ground matches our diversity and that we possess a superb but often untouched ability to innovate and adapt sensibly in meeting all needs.

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Ryan Palmateer
co-founder | director | producer

Ryan is a self-professed “nerd” who loves to tinker with all things electronic. Having worked as a video producer for WaMu Theater, Benaroya Hall, and contributing hundreds upon hundreds of hours to freelance video projects, Ryan brings a keen eye behind the camera lens as well as experience in video project management, development and editing. He founded and has served as the San Juan Islands Electric Vehicle Association chapter president since 2017, leads the San Juan County chapter of the citizens climate lobby, helped establish Transition San Juan Island and the Salish Sea Transition Hub, and has a passion for protecting the natural environment.


Ryan believes that telling the story of the San Juans through the unique perspectives of its inhabitants will ultimately create a strong bond of community collaboration. Ryan lives on San Juan Island with his girlfriend Meagan.

David Geist
production | visual procurement

David Geist moved to Friday Harbor 38 years ago to work for the Whale Museum and research Dall’s porpoise. He was drawn to the island not only for the remarkable wildlife and natural beauty, but also for the appeal of becoming part of a small and tight-knit community. Since then, he has worked at Westcott Bay Sea farm as a hatchery technician, owned a fine dining restaurant in Friday Harbor (Café Bissett), trucked in organic vegetables and wine to local businesses, and managed Front St. Cafe (now the Blue Water Grill). Other gigs throughout David’s nearly four decades in the islands include landscaping, making jewelry, guiding, real estate, architectural photography, and tile and stone contracting (which he’s been doing for the last 25 years). David also has a second life managing vacation rentals in Sayulita, Mexico, where he is the co-founder of Sayulita Recycling and helped establish a Civil Protection station.

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Zach Milkis
copy editor | story consultant

Zach Milkis is a writer, editor and multimedia storyteller who spent his formative years escapading through the madronas and obsessively observing orcas on the west side of San Juan Island. A graduate of Spring Street International School, Zach embraced the gifts of an experiential education built around global travel—but always loved returning home to the islands to reconnect, reflect and rejuvenate. Zach is currently based in Seattle where he works in content marketing, though he relishes every chance he gets to escape back to the breezy and brilliant west side of SJI where he still feels at home.

Mark Kyle
webmaster | social media consultant

Mark Kyle first visited the San Juan Islands in the early ’80’s while on summer break from architectural studies at the University of Florida. Mark fell in love with the islands on that first visit and vowed to one day live and retire here in an earthship home built with his own hands in harmony with Nature.


It wasn’t until the spring of 1999 when Kyle, having retired from a 3D visual effects company he had built in the ’90’s, made a move to Shaw Island. However, Mark’s passion for applying technology to visual storytelling and a unique opportunity in the developing world of 3D console gaming, led Kyle back into the corporate world—first through leading an international team of computer artists to build content for the original XBOX launch (from Shaw Island), then executive stints with EA Sports in Florida/Vancouver and LucasArts in San Francisco. 


Upon retiring again in 2011, Kyle spent several years hiking, climbing, skiing, and adventuring in the diverse mountains and high desert cliffs of Utah. In the Spring of 2019 Mark moved back to the San Juan Islands. He is passionate about using art, technology, and performance to bring awareness to the climate crisis and to work together in designing a future in the islands that is truly self-sufficient and respectful of one another and the Planet.


Due to COVID-19, Mark is currently residing in Florida to help care for his mother and expects to return to the San Juans in early 2021.

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