Staff and Board
SAGE is headquartered in Portland, Oregon. Our team includes two staff, ten volunteer board members, and other volunteers and pro bono advisors.
SAGE's Staff and Board of Directors
Steve Higgs, Executive Director
Steve Higgs leads SAGE’s efforts to engage people over fifty in causes and initiatives that are vital to the needs of children, youth, and future generations. He is responsible for implementing SAGE’s programs, and managing its communications and financial operations. He lives in Portland with his wife and two young children, who remind him that the well-being of future generations depends on the choices each of us makes today.
Steve can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and (971) 717-6570. You can also connect with Steve on LinkedIn at www.linkedin.com/in/stephenhiggs. For more information about Steve’s background, please click here.
Lisa Rome, Community Engagement Coordinator
Lisa coordinates SAGE’s outreach and communication efforts to help build our community of advocates for younger and future generations. She also co-designs and co-facilitates SAGE programs and events. Lisa holds a bachelor’s degree from Ohio University and an M.A. in environmental leadership from Naropa University. Her background bridges the fields of well-being, sustainability and systems science to forge solutions to heal and restore individuals, communities and our planet. She has additional expertise in group facilitation, wellness writing, and organizational culture-building. In her free time, she enjoys travel, skiing, yoga and getting outdoors.
David Michael Smith, Lead Trainer
As a former broadcast journalist and professional writer, much of David’s career has been devoted to working with non-profits, both at home and overseas. He sailed with the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society to chronicle efforts to save whales from illegal hunting. He worked with Medical Teams International in Haiti after the devastating 2010 earthquake and in Uganda to serve refugees from a nearby civil war. He has also co-produced several videos to feature non-profit organizations, including Oregon Health and Science University, Knight Cancer Institute, and Doernbecher Children’s Hospital. As a biographer, he has worked with individuals, families and businesses who have entrusted him with the stories of their lives. The result is 12 published books.
David can be reached at email@example.com and (971) 717-6570.
Sylvia Ayala, Encore Fellow and Project Manager
Sylvia co-manages projects at SAGE involving major events, systems enhancements and grants. She served for 20 years at Intel Corporation, supporting project managers and teams and managing multiple administrative responsibilities. She has strong organizational and planning skills, and a passion for working with elders and in community. Sylvia holds a Bachelor’s degree in business management from Concordia University. She loves to sing, listen to audio books, travel, spend time with her family, and anything on, near or in the water.
Sylvia can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and (503) 201-6973.
John Daggett, Board Member
Dr. John Daggett served Oregon’s public schools for over thirty years, including twelve of those years as superintendent of the Ashland School District. As a retiree, he remains active in education and has taught or supervised at the University of Washington, Lewis & Clark College, the University of Oregon, and served as an Oregon School Improvement Facilitator. He has studied the scholarship and practice of resiliency with a focus on schools for over twenty years, and collaborated with other institutions and individuals to build more resilient families and communities. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Education/English, and a Master’s Degree in Education/Psychology from Portland State University and a Ph.D. in Education Policy and Management with a focus on Organization Development from the University of Oregon.
Lori Davidson, Board Member
Lori Davidson is a marketing professional with thirty years of experience in business and nonprofit communications. She recently served as the Marketing Director for the Northwest Earth Institute. She also served as Marketing Director at Intel Corp for fifteen years, and as a Senior Director for National Fundraising for Oregon Public Broadcasting. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in business from the University of Wisconsin, and an MBA in marketing from Santa Clara University.
Ward Greene, President and Chair
Ward Greene is the Managing Partner of the commercial law firm of Greene & Markley P.C. He has practiced law for forty years, served as President of the Multnomah Bar Association and Vice President of the Oregon State Bar. In addition to serving on SAGE’s Board, Ward currently serves on the Board of Albina Opportunities Corporation. Ward has a B.S. in business from Florida State University, followed by a J.D. from Duke University.
Mary Markley, Board Member
Mary Markley has worked as the Alumni Director for Lewis & Clark Law School, and as an Account Manager for First Data Corporation. Mary has over 30 years of volunteer experience focusing on nonprofits that advance civic engagement. She is a former Board Member of the Multnomah Athletic Club, the Multnomah Athletic Club Foundation, Folktime (an organization for adults with mental illness), the University Club Foundation (served as President) and is a past member of the Junior League of Portland. She has a B.S. in Communications from Portland State University.
Diane Ponti, Board Member
Diane Ponti is a writer, editor, and storyteller, and has worked as a public school teacher and bond broker. She has 20 years of volunteer experience focusing on nonprofits that promote writing and literature, including as Board Chair for Literary Arts. Currently, Diane also serves on the Board of Portland Story Theater. She has a B.S from Oregon State University and an M.S. from Portland State University.
Dick Roy, Board Member
Dick Roy is the co-founder and Managing Director of the Center for Earth Leadership, which trains and empowers Northwest citizens to assume a leadership role in forging a sustainable culture. He left his law practice at Stoel Rives in 1993 and has served as a full-time volunteer for 24 years to advance the Northwest sustainability movement. He is the co-founder of numerous nonprofit organizations including Chess for Success, the Oregon Natural Step Network, and the Northwest Earth Institute. He has a B.S. from Oregon State University, an M.S. from Stanford in engineering, followed by a J.D. from Harvard Law School.
Jeanne Roy, Board Member
Jeanne Roy is the co-founder and Education Director of the Center for Earth Leadership. She is a recognized leader of Oregon’s environmental movement and has served as a full-time volunteer for 35 years. She is the co-founder of numerous organizations including Recycling Advocates, Portland’s Master Recycler Program, the Oregon Natural Step Network, and the Northwest Earth Institute. Jeanne serves as a continual advisor to public agencies on environmental policy matters. She has a B.S. in Humanities and Social Science from Oregon State University.
Elizabeth Schellberg, Secretary
Elizabeth (Liz) Schellberg is the Controller of Yule Tree Farms, LLC and a retired Certified Public Accountant. She has also worked for nonprofit and religious institutions. She has 20 years of work and volunteer experience with a variety of nonprofits – both in operations and board membership – involved in the environment, peace and justice, the arts, healthcare, and crisis intervention. She has a B.A. in philosophy from Washington State University and a Masters of Divinity from San Francisco Theological Seminary.
Randy Sell, Treasurer
Randy Sell is an experienced banker and, most recently, served as Senior Vice President & Private Banking Manager at Northwest Bank. He has over 25 years of volunteer experience focusing on nonprofits that help children, including serving as Board Chair of the Portland Parks Foundation, Trillium Family Services and Waverly Children’s Home. Randy has also served with the Oregon Ethics in Business, YMCA of Columbia-Willamette, St. Andrew Legal Clinic, University Club, and Loaves & Fishes. He has a B.S in Business from Oregon State University.