Internship Program


Chris Hager
Executive Director

(503) 746-9609

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

(503) 746-9608

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
Advocacy and Campaign Manager

(503) 746-9610

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.

Kristina Peterson
Confluence AmeriCorps Education & Outreach Coordinator

Growing up in the Portland community, Kristina found her passion for environmental education through her time volunteering with MESD Outdoor School. She eventually went on to the University of Oregon and received a B.S. degree in Environmental Studies and double minors in Biology and Special Education. Her passion for environmental education has led her to serve in multiple roles as a camp counselor, youth director, garden educator, volunteer, and environmental education director. She has served with organizations like YMCA Camp Seymour, Riverdale Grade School, Tualatin Hills Park and Recreation District, Eugene Science Center, and Oswego Lake Watershed Council. Kristina has spent the past year serving on the Board of Directors for the Lake Oswego Sustainability Network, primarily working with the interfaith action team. In her spare time, Kristina enjoys hanging out with her dog, cooking, kayaking, and immersing herself in the natural environments that Oregon has to offer. While this year will look different compared to past ones, Kristina is excited for the opportunity to continue to provide educational programming for students and the community through Fish Eggs to Fry, family fishing events, and the Garden for Wildlife program. She will also support NWF's Eco-Schools USA and Schoolyard Habitats during her service term.

Ben Kayser
Digital Content and Communications Intern

Growing up in Portland, Ben has been fishing his whole life. While fishing on the many rivers of Oregon with his father, Ben developed a love for the outdoors. As a child he joined the boy scouts, which developed in him a sense of duty to maintain and rebuild the natural spaces of the Pacific Northwest. He is excited to be a part of Northwest Steelheaders and hopes to help bring meaningful change to the fisheries of the PNW. Ben is a senior marketing major at the University of Portland. After graduating, he plans to work in the apparel industry to find creative ways to eliminate pollution and exploitative labor practices.

Brittany Leffel
Advocacy and Organizing Intern

As a Colorado native, Brittany grew up with easy access to the outdoors, but it was her time in Bend, Oregon where she began advocating for public lands. As an active member of the Oregon Natural Desert Association, she served as an Outreach and Events Intern. Brittany is in her final term at Portland State University where she is studying Urban and Public Affairs and Sustainability. She is passionate about understanding how the Pacific Northwest can balance energy interests while restoring fish populations. After obtaining her B.A., she would like to continue to be involved in shaping the future of the Columbia River. When she isn’t working or studying, Brittany can be found hiking or hanging out with her partner and 2 dogs, Cherokee and Kenobi.