Meet our Crackedpots Board Members

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Tess Beistel
Board Member, Co-founder, & Member since 1998

Tess moved all over the place during her growing-up years and has nested in Portland for the last twenty-one years. She earns her living as a garden designer and is nuts about having clients use garden art made from recycled materials. Formal education includes two master’s degrees, one in English Literature and the other in Public Administration.

One of the co-founders of crackedpots, Tess has served continuously on the Board since 1998. In addition to environmental activism, she is deeply interested in peacework, meditation, Hospice volunteering and enhancing the existing community gardens program in Portland. Her car is Sweet Pea, her cat is Olive and her favorite color is green.

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Jane Comerford
Vice President & Member since 1999

Jane is a 4th generation Oregonian who has been involved with crackedpots since 1999. She’s a graduate of U of O and Howard University (DC), and a happily retired community college administrator. When she is not dumpster diving, she tries to keep mentally and physically fit by reading (lots!), playing tennis, delving into local history, and traveling to places like Cuba. Jane lives with her partner Joan, two goats and two cats. 

Christine Carlson
President Member since 2013  

Chris is a relatively new resident of Oregon. She lived and worked in a small Ohio town for many years, but tired of the lands. So like a rolling stone she headed west. After a stopover in Santa Fe,  she continued rolling west to the hip city of Portland. She is a retired dilettante and spends her time reading, gardening, traveling, dabbling, and enjoying the good life.   


Photo by Givaga/iStock / Getty Images
Photo by Givaga/iStock / Getty Images

Earnest P. Wilkinson
Board Member since 2005

Ernie attended a number of schools, ending up at PSU. He also did a hitch in the Oregon National Guard. His professional career was spent with a non-profit recycling educational company, but he now calls himself semi-retired, meaning it’s possible he’ll work again but at this time he’s happy it’s not necessary. He likes his family, his dog, making wine, riding bikes, walking, helping crackedpots, and minimizing his impact on our planet. “When considering making my mark on the world, I imagine using an eraser and making a world that is less marked up.”

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Camille Wright
Board Member since 2014

Camille grew up in New York where she graduated from Cornell University with a degree in Human Ecology prior to moving to the Great Northwest in 1974.  She lived in Corvallis, Bend and McMinnville Oregon, moving to Seattle to earn her MBA at the University of Washington before settling down in Vancouver for the past 26 years to work for Hewlett-Packard as a financial analyst and accounting services manager.  She’s been happily retired for 9 years and stays busy traveling, reading, making scraps of fabric into quilts, building houses and doing committee work with Evergreen Habitat for Humanity in Vancouver.  She has also served in several leadership roles at her church in Portland.

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Michael Wade
Board Member since 2014

Born and raised on the South Coast of Oregon. OSU grad in econ and bus admin – major interest – development economics. Current activities – Friends of Portland Community Gardens, Friends of Occupy Portland, First Unitarian Church, Social Justice – Economic Justice Action Group, Unitarian Universalist Voices for Social Justice. Career – Software installation and implementation analyst, covering applications from accounting through strategic planning. Married with two grown children and one growing (5 months in the womb) grandchild. Bike rider who likes hiking and fishing. Also, pretty handy around the house. Community gardener for 25 years.

Patti Smith
Board Member Since 2015

With over 35 years in the resale/retail business, from the vintage jewelry and collectibles circuit to the recycled rag industry, I continue to celebrate the familiar saying"everything old is new again"...With my election to the Cracked Pots board...the reuse tradition that runs through me will be carried on with recycling and reclaiming trash to treasure, with this fine organization.

Donna Zeiber
Board Member Since 2015

A native midwesterner, Donna graduated with a degree in Fine Arts and Psychology from Anderson University in Indiana but has had a fascination with trash as art, sustainability and recycling since Oscar the Grouch’s “I Love Trash” hit single on the first Sesame Street Album. She relocated in Portland 3 decades ago and currently works as an interactive design director for an animal rights non-profit. When not working her day job she dedicates most of her time to volunteering with crackedpots/reclaim it and to the aesthetic and functional redemption of abandoned objects, giving new life to the discarded and reimagining salvaged materials.