Staff & Board
Sarah Brown, Executive Director
Sarah has a lifelong passion for creating positive change in the areas of social services, economic development, and climate change. She is the recipient of a Fulbright Fellowship to research rural social innovation in Hungary as well as a fellowship to pursue her master’s degree in Public Administration at Cornell University. Previously, she ran her own farm in Carlton for a decade.
Sierra Golden, Associate Director
Sierra has many childhood memories of camping, hiking, and skiing in the Methow Valley. When she met her partner Brian, she was excited to learn he was raised in the Methow. They moved together to Black Canyon in April 2020. Sierra previously worked in fundraising and communications at Casa Latina and Agros International. She also spent many years working as a commercial fisherman and moonlights as a poet.
Tori Karpenko, Director of Campus Operations
Tori Karpenko is an artist, farmer, carpenter and non-profit leader. Tori first came to the Methow Valley in 2001 as the farm manager for Sunny Pine Farm. Tori lives south of Twisp with his son Tesh.
Patrick Law, Economic Program Director
Born and raised in New Hampshire, Patrick attended Lewis & Clark College in Portland, Oregon. He later landed in Seattle, where he helped manage a busy farmers market and food banks. Patrick began spending more and more time in the Methow Valley with friends until finally becoming a permanent resident in 2017. He worked for several small businesses before taking over the Fork food truck in 2019. When he’s not making banh mi, Patrick enjoys biking, hiking, reading, swimming, and hanging out with his dog.
Joe Bastian, Business Manager
Joe worked in the semi-conductor industry as a manufacturing engineer for 14 years before moving to the Methow in 2011. He lives on the south Fork of Gold Creek where he spends most of his free time either gardening or hiking, biking, climbing, skiing the Sawtooth range.
Lindsey Bryson, Retail Operations and Events Manager
Lindsey brings a passion for small business and deep experience in customer service and events planning to TwispWorks. Lindsey grew up in Twisp and still calls it her home. She has a degree in Public Relations from Washington State University.
Amanda Chapman, Facilities Manager
Amanda moved from Indiana to the Methow Valley in Oct 2022. She relocated with her partner, Gwyn, her two cats, Sammy and Benjamin and their dog, Whiskey Jack. They are full time RVers for now but have plans to homestead in the Methow Valley. She has a passion for environmentalism and sustainability practices along with hiking, kayaking, and camping in general.
Brianna Hartzell, Office Administrator
Brianna was born and raised in Washington and grew up hiking, climbing, and horseback riding. She holds a bachelor’s in Adventure Education from Prescott College in Arizona and moved to the Methow in 2011 to work for Outward Bound in Mazama. She lives in Twisp with her partner Matt. On her days off, she’s gardening, cruising around on her mustang named Fig, or on foot somewhere in the Pasayten Wilderness.
TwispWorks Foundation Board of Directors
The TwispWorks Foundation is the 501c3 non-profit organization that owns and operates the TwispWorks campus. The mission of the TwispWorks Foundation is to increase economic and cultural vitality in the Methow Valley.
Char Alkire, President
Char was born in Seattle, Washington. She became a part time valley resident in 2003. Fully retired after spending 40 years teaching in the field of science education, she and her husband of 44 years, now call the valley their home.
Initially moving to the valley for the recreation, Char quickly discovered the amazing Methow Valley community. She served on the board of the Methow Conservancy and has volunteered with numerous other organizations. Char is looking forward to serving on the board of TwispWorks, after being an advisory board member.
“It has been 10 years since the community gave TwispWorks the challenge to reinvent the TwispWorks campus into a modern community hub and economic engine for the Methow Valley. I am honored to serve on this board and help to create a sustainable and vibrant economic community.”
Rachel Hong, Vice-President
Rachel grew up in Vermont. After nabbing a bachelor’s degree in English Lit at the University of Virginia and a law degree from the University of Michigan, she spent a few years working in politics in the other Washington, and then as a corporate litigator in Seattle. Organic farm school seemed like the obvious next step, and several years farming on the Westside followed that. Eventually she settled in the Methow Valley, both near Seattle loved ones, and close in spirit to her idyllic Vermont childhood.
Today, Rachel is a part time lawyer, part time orchard worker. Otherwise, when she’s not out walking with her dog, she is usually on a bicycle or working in her garden. She was drawn to TwispWorks’ inspired, creative, and novel vision of rural economic and cultural development, and is looking forward to adding value to her community through service on the board.
Peter Speer, Secretary
Peter grew up in Bellevue, Washington and has been coming to the Methow since 1982. He became a part time resident in 2005 and moved here full time after his wife of 39 years retired in 2016. Peter continues to work in the field of Traffic Safety, where he created and managed a global business starting in 1984.
Peter and his family initially came to the Valley for skiing. Then one year they discovered the wonders of Methow Valley in the other three seasons! He now serves on the board of the Methow Valley Fly Fishers and has contributed to improvements in his local HOA.
Peter said he is looking forward to serving on the TwispWorks board. He added, “I have served on a number of Boards of Directors from a local Little League to a national trade association. I’m honored to serve on this board and hope to bring my experience to bear on the mission of supporting the economic and cultural vitality of the Methow.”
Dennis Weston, Treasurer
Raised in Soap Lake, Denny worked professionally as a CPA in the Seattle area after graduating from Central Washington University and later formed a private equity investment fund. Denny started visiting the Methow Valley as a part-timer in 1998 and moved here with his wife, Heidi, permanently in 2016.
Denny is an avid outdoorsman and musician. In addition to the many for-profit and non-profit boards throughout his career, Denny currently serves on the board of the Methow Valley Fly Fishers and previously served on the board of Methow Recycles.
Denny’s 38 years of experience working with entrepreneurs and early stage companies has given him many lessons-learned, many of them hard lessons, about growing businesses. He’s excited to have those experiences benefit our economy in the Methow Valley.
Sarah Gilman, Executive Member At Large
Sarah Gilman learned to love small-town life on Colorado’s West Slope, where she spent most of her adult life, building trails, collecting biological data, and mostly, working at a magazine about the American West. For a time, Sarah was perhaps best known for being the women’s wood splitting champion at the Carbondale, Colorado, Mountain Fair three years running. She has an absurd number of axes and mauls for someone whose current home does not include a wood stove.
She moved to the Methow Valley in 2018, to find her place in a tight-knit community again. Sarah is a freelance magazine journalist, editor, and illustrator with bylines and art in The Atlantic, Audubon, Hakai Magazine, High Country News, and others.
Sarah joined the TwispWorks board hoping to support the artists and businesspeople who make this valley so wonderful, and to help provide opportunities to others to do the same.
Kathy is the owner of Sunflower Catering and Main Event Rentals, businesses making their home on the TwispWorks campus. Kathy is also a third-generation resident of the Methow Valley. She brings her love of the Valley to everything she does!
Anne grew up in Seattle and moved to the Methow Valley in 1983 to spend the winter skiing after graduating from the University of Washington with a degree in Land Use Planning. She fell in love with the Mountain lifestyle and its community and never left!
After creating Central Reservations, she got her real estate license in 1985 and has been a real estate broker in the Methow Valley real estate ever since.
Anne raised two daughters in the Valley and has explored the many Valley trails and surrounding mountains on foot, skiis and bikes. She has been involved with Little Star School and other volunteer organizations over the decades. Anne brings her positive energy and knowledge of this diverse Valley to the Twisp Works Board and its effort to create a more economically resilient community.
Baylie is an illustrator and graphic designer who has lived in the Methow Valley on and off since the 90’s. After a high school career split between Liberty Bell High School and the Bush School in Seattle, she graduated from the University of Oregon with a degree in architecture, moved back to the Methow Valley where got her Montessori Teaching Certificate and spent 5 years working at Little Star School. Returning to Seattle in 2011, she launched her business Red Umbrella Designs, saw lots of great live music, learned how to country swing dance, tended some amazing urban vegetable gardens, and met the handsome fellow who is now her husband. Baylie, JB, and their son Arlo now live in Twisp. Baylie is excited to bring her perspective as an artist, an entrepreneur, and a new mom to the Twisp Works board.
Tom Robinson has been moving to the Methow since at least 2007. Maybe it was getting a 509 number or buying a pickup, but Tom is now anchored in the Valley with his wife Joan Wellman.
Raised in Seattle, Tom headed to college in Arizona, and guided outdoor courses in the Southwest before getting a PhD at Stanford. Then began a 30-year career as a management consultant. Tom also worked as a college professor before shifting to his final career as a Rolfer.
Tom loves to hike, ski, climb, raft, and ride bikes. He’s learning to farm a bit, too, moving handlines to irrigate regenerative pastures for hay and sheep. Tom wants to bring his love of building community and solving organizational problems to the TwispWorks board.
Stu first fell in love with the Methow Valley in the late 80’s and saved until he could build a small cabin with his wife Patty in Mazama in 1993. We moved here full time in 2016 when Patty’s dream log house/property (the Kicking Mule Ranch) became available in 2016.
Stu spent almost his entire veterinary career first as an associate and later an owner in a multi-doctor multi-location veterinary group in Seattle. Originally, Stu studied farm animal medicine, but after barely surviving camel medicine in the Peace Corp Morocco decided that dogs and cats were safer.
Small business has given me a great life and the opportunity to create a family. I want that same opportunity for anyone who also wants it. That is what TwispWorks is all about and that is why I’m all in.
Jo was born in Denmark and spent most of her childhood in a small village of about 300 people. She moved to the US via her job in medical research, and a few years later she visited the Methow Valley for the first time. Struck not only by the natural beauty but by the community feeling, which seemed not so different from what she grew up with, she kept coming back. About 15 years ago she and her husband finally bought a place in Twisp and have been spending as much time there as possible, hoping to call it their permanent home soon!
Jo has a degree in Comparative Literature from UW and works as a translator. In her spare time, she teaches ESL to refugees and enjoys hiking, biking, fishing, and immersing herself in the cultural events around the valley. She brings to the board a passion for life in small towns and a career in small businesses.
TwispWorks Foundation Advisory Council Members
Maggie Coon and Mark Wolf-Armstrong
Maud and Marc Daudon
Meg and Dan Donohue
Martha Kongsgaard and Peter Goldman
Jennifer Lewis and Bryan Jaffe