Co-founder, Executive Director
Amy has a BS in Energy Systems Engineering from Oregon State University and worked in construction for 15 years before becoming Kôr’s Executive Director. Amy has lived in Bend since 1996 and has seen first hand the change in our housing needs. She has a passion for sustainable building and design and is excited to bring that to Kôr. Amy is most happy outdoors, and believes that sustainability and affordable housing should go hand-in-hand.
Co-founder and Board Member
Jason owns Shelter Studio, Inc. in Bend, where he designs sustainable and net-zero energy homes. He is a designer whose primary focus is in renewable energy construction and sustainable design and technologies. He has a bachelors of science in Architectural Engineering Technology, and over 23-years’ experience in the architectural/design industry – including commercial and residential design. Jason volunteers in the community as a City of Bend Landmarks Board Commissioner and Bend Paddle and Trail Alliance Member, as well as at the Bend LaPine School District. He has also provided in-kind services to First Story add Neighbor Impact.
Rick holds a BS degree in Construction Engineering Management from Oregon State University and a Master’s in Business Administration from Washington State University. After graduating from OSU in 1990, Rick went to work in Portland, OR on large commercial projects for Hoffman Construction. He re-located to Bend in 1992 and began working for Heery International on regional new school projects (design through construction) through 2001. Since that time he has worked on both residential and commercial projects, with his most recent commercial work being for Central Oregon Community College on various projects including the new Science Building and the new Residence Hall. As a National Sustainable Building Advisor (NSBA), Rick is very knowledgeable of green building field standards and practices. He is a member of the OSU-Cascades Sustainability Advisory Committee. Rick believes strongly that safe and affordable housing is a key element to a healthy, thriving community. He is pleased to lend his construction and development expertise as a Kor board member. Rick enjoys the active outdoor lifestyle of bend and can be seen doing a variety of the recreational opportunities popular to Central Oregon with his wife of 26 years.
Board Vice President
Laura is a native Oregonian who left in 1985 to go to college but finally found her way back to her native state and to Central Oregon in 2005. Professionally Laura has more than 20 years of experience in both private and public sector leadership. She is the principal of Fritz Consulting which provides consulting services to nonprofit organizations in Central Oregon, including interim executive director, executive search, organizational assessment, strategic planning and leadership coaching services. She brings expertise in affordable housing programs and services, community development, nonprofit management, policy analysis and leadership training/development. Laura has volunteered for numerous Central Oregon nonprofit organizations, and also currently serves as a planning commissioner for the City of Bend. An enthusiastic athlete and outdoor lover, Laura spends much of her time running, skiing, biking and hiking with her family, friends and of course her dogs.
Ben is a proud alumnus of Kansas State University and has an MBA and Master’s of Accountancy. For the last 10 years he has worked in a variety of financial capacities including CFO, Controller, and CEO. After moving to Bend in 2016 he used that financial experience to transition to banking and is currently a financial consultant. His previous board positions include Treasurer of the Kansas regional Ducks Unlimited and Chairman of the Guardian Group Board. He is passionate about using sound financial strategy to improve the well-being of individual’s lives and the broader community. He and his wife Amy have 4 dogs, 2 frogs and a bird. When they are not working, they enjoy tackling home improvement projects, watching sports and making gourmet meals.
Joel has been a life-long resident of the Pacific Northwest and has grown to love its amazing people and beautiful landscapes. He has a BA from Washington State University in Cultural Anthropology with a heightened focus on Gender Studies. He is known for a creative approach and is always thinking outside the box in attempts to do something exceptional, with integrity. Joel has always been community minded and shows unwavering determination and persistence to make Central Oregon a better place, allowing more people to call it home. He has a natural ability to connect with and identify peoples’ true wants and needs and prides himself on being able to coordinate that into fruition. With an educational and professional background heavily focused in interpersonal communication, he is able to discuss ideas in efforts to truly understand them and relay those confidently when interacting with community stakeholders.
A backcountry skier, cyclist, and fly fisherman—to name just a few of his interests—Michael is a virtual junkie when it comes to his hobbies, including his love of brewing tasty batches of exotic-flavored kombucha and cider. His family roots hale from the fruit-growing community Wenatchee, WA, where he is now a partner with his brothers in their small family-owned and operated cherry orchard business of over forty years. Building community and connecting locally is what Michael is all about. Vocationally, he is a commercial construction manager with 28 years of experience, and a passion for green building. Prior to starting Brightwater Collaborative LLC in 2010, a construction and project management services company focusing on publicly-funded community projects, as well as commercial and bio-tech, he managed several major school construction projects for Bend LaPine School District for the 2006 Bond Measure, including the Miller Elementary School, the first LEED-Gold certified school east of the Oregon Cascades. Michael also serves as Secretary on the Board of Directors for The Environmental Center, and is Vice President of the Deschutes Chapter of Trout Unlimited. His current – and exhausting at times – pastime is playing and hanging out with his pup Skye.
Founding Board Member
Julia hails from South Florida and enjoyed an amphibious childhood swimming and diving. Eventually evolving legs sent her north to Florida State University and west to the University of Oregon. She has lived in Bend, Oregon since 2001. Watching her teenage daughter thrive in the high desert has been one of her greatest joys! Ms. Deskin teaches in the Health and Human Performance Department at Central Oregon Community College, and has had a private massage practice in Bend, Oregon since 2005. She is honored and excited to be part of the Kôr Community Land Trust project.