Our Staff

Chris Hager
Executive Director


Growing up in New Hampshire, Chris fell in love with fishing and the outdoors. After graduating with a degree in Biology with an emphasis in ecological conservation, Chris moved west and started a career in the private sustainable fisheries sector. He switched careers 3 years later to work for a handful of conservation companies and nonprofits. He holds seats on both the Governor's Task Force for the Outdoors and Backcountry Hunters and Anglers Volunteer State Board. Outside of work, Chris can be found fly fishing or hunting various game species.

Alix Soliman
Operations Manager


Alix comes to us with a B.A. in environmental studies concentrated in international law and policy from Lewis & Clark College, as well as 6 years of experience in journalism. Growing up kayaking and canoeing in Illinois, her determination to work in conservation originated from her concern for the declining water quality she observed in the Fox, Du Page, Des Plaines, and Kankakee Rivers. She is passionate about fisheries conservation and community engagement, and helps the Steelheaders with digital media management, marketing strategy, event planning, volunteer coordination, and donor relations.

Betsy Emery
Organizer and Outreach Coordinator


Betsy is currently finishing her M.S. in the Forest Ecosystems and Society Program at Oregon State University. Her research investigates how people's environmental values, ethics, and beliefs influence their acceptance of different forest management strategies. Prior to graduate school, Betsy spent 5 years establishing the City of Flagstaff, Arizona’s Open Space Program, where her work focused extensively on coordinating with community groups and stakeholders to develop natural resource plans, projects, and policies that reflected community values and aligned with state, local, and federal regulations. When she isn't self-isolating during the coronavirus pandemic, you can find her perusing psychology books at Powells or backpacking in the Mount Jefferson Wilderness.

Leslie Hinea
Office Manager


Leslie Hinea is a long time member of the NW Steelheaders, and a board member of the Sandy River Chapter. She was Treasurer from November 2009 – August 2011, has over 20 years experience in project management and office management, and 8 years experience in bookkeeping for small business. Leslie is responsible for doing the associations' bookkeeping, payroll, financial reporting, and permit applications. When she’s not keeping the books for the Association, she enjoys cooking, gardening, spending time with family and friends, making the occasional wedding cake, and of course, fishing.

Allena Vestal
Confluence AmeriCorps Education and Outreach Coordinator


Living and growing up in Hawai'i allowed Allena to appreciate the outdoors. She pursued a degree in education to share her passion for conservation with young people, and worked with many organizations on O'ahu during summer breaks through KUPU. Having recently completed the Masters of Arts in Teaching program at Pacific University, she is ready to make connections and expand her knowledge in Oregon. Allena handles Fish Eggs to Fry activities (rearing salmon and trout in the classroom), Garden for Wildlife outreach, planning for Family Fish Camp, Eco-Schools USA engagement.