Imagine Corvallis Action Network
The Imagine Corvallis Action Network (ICAN) Advisory Board implements the Vision 2040 Plan. The Board, chaired by Corvallis Mayor, Biff Traber, includes representatives of the community’s major public, nonprofit and private institutions, and includes diverse representation from within the community.
Mayor Biff Traber
Biff Traber began his first four-year term as Mayor of Corvallis in January 2015, winning reelection in 2018. He served two terms on the Corvallis City Council in Ward 8 before being elected Mayor, and he currently serves on the board of the Oregon Cascades West Council of Governments (OCWCOG), as well as other local and regional boards. Before entering public service, Traber was an executive in the software industry.
At one time, Emily Barton was a single mother who struggled to survive in Corvallis on a single income. Her experience has made her passionate about civic engagement, dignity, and amplifying the voices of communities and individuals who are so burdened by their circumstances, their own personal power is subdued. Emily is excited about the prospect of raising the prosperity of Corvallis’s low and middle classes as a means to promote the overall growth of the City of Corvallis.
Emily has been a resident of Corvallis for 12 years. She is the mother of 2 boys raised in the Corvallis School District. At the district, Emily is a parent member of the DELTA equity advisory group.
A graduate of Oregon State University in 2013 as a non-traditional student, Emily graduated at the top of her class with a degree in economics and won the Outstanding Senior Award for her academic performance and her on-campus and community service. With experience in the non-profit housing sector and as a fundraiser and champion for underserved groups as the Development Director for Community Outreach, Emily is uniquely positioned to recognize the opportunities that exist for those navigating poverty and inequities. She’s excited to work with the Imagine Corvallis Action Network and the City’s Economic Development Department to raise the voices and circumstances of those in need so that we all can bring our skills, abilities, and innovative ideas to this dynamic community and achieve our 2040 vision.
Danielle previously worked as a case manager at a community mental health agency in Chicago, a senior center in the Chicago suburbs and at Senior and Disability Services in Albany. Now, she works with students using VA and/or military education benefits at OSU. She enjoys being a source of information and support for the people she works for. Danielle and her husband moved to Corvallis in 2016.
Rena Chen works in the field of college access and enjoys bringing people together to build community, solve problems, and learn from one another. Her academic background is in anthropology, environmental studies, and urban studies while her professional experience ranges from work focusing on startups and social enterprises to nonprofits and educational institutions. Rena currently volunteers for the Benton Habitat for Humanity, the Majestic Theater, and the United Way of Benton & Linn Counties on their Community Impact Committee. Rena is also is a board member of the Corvallis Young Professionals and Engineers for a Sustainable World. She is excited to serve on the ICAN board to help advance the Corvallis 2040 vision.
Barb Croney has spent her career working in healthcare and is currently the Vice President of Research & Education and Oncology Services at Samaritan Health Services. She and her husband’s goal was to live in a vibrant, medium-sized college town and they feel fortunate to have lived in their dream location of Corvallis since 2002. Barb has served on the boards of the Linn & Benton United Way and Heart of the Valley Children’s Choir and has spent countless hours volunteering in the Corvallis Public Schools, for Corvallis Little League and the Gerding Builder’s Marketmen American Legion Baseball program. She is very pleased to serve on the ICAN board with focus on the health and wellness of our community.
Miriam G. Cummins
Miriam G. Cummins (She/Her/Ella) was born in Zamora, Michoacan Mexico. She immigrated to Oregon when she was eight years old to the small coastal town of Coos Bay. She is the first generation in her family to have graduated high school and gotten a College Degree from OSU. Miriam is a mother of two beautiful children, an advocate, J.E.D.I., and a community leader. She enjoys spending time with her kids, going to the beach, playing video games, crafting, and painting. She loves all things Star Wars, Marvel, Legos, Pokemon, Harry Potter, and Lord of the Rings. In her spare time, you will see her trying to catch up on some reading, watching the latest Netflix shows, or playing Pokemon Go.
Kelly works at OSU, at the STEM Research Center as a Social Science Researcher. She is a mother to two boys in the Corvallis School District and her husband is a visual art teacher in a neighboring district.
Before moving to Corvallis six years ago, Kelly served on various local boards, including as an elected member to the Soil and Water Conservation District. For Kelly, civic engagement fulfills the need to be rooted in her community and is an investment for the community and her family. She is excited for the opportunity to bring more voices from the community to the table through ICAN.
I’m a Scot who grew up in the West Indies and came to the US in 1974. I’m retired from the System Office of the University System of Georgia, where I was a program evaluator focused mainly on collaborations between the university system and K12 schools. Earlier in my career I was a high school physics teacher. My wife and I moved to Corvallis in October 2018. Interests: Volunteer work related to social and climate justice, education, and community
Cindee Lolik is the General Manager of First Alternative Food Cooperative and the Board Chair of Visit Corvallis, Secretary of the Corvallis Sustainability Coalition and the Team Leader of the Economic Vitality Action Team of the Coalition. She participates in the Benton County CHIP Healthy Food Systems Work Group and in the Economic Vitality Partnership. Cindee has been involved with cooperatives since the early 1970’s and one of the cooperative principles is Concern for Community. Setting an example for this principle is something she strives for on a daily basis. Cindee feels that serving on the ICAN Board is another way to give back to a community actively working to meet the values of its collective vision for 2040 and beyond.
Hyatt Lytle, Council Liaison
Sean McGuire, Member
Ryan Noss is the Superintendent of the Corvallis School District. Prior to his appointment as Superintendent, he served as interim superintendent, as a special education teacher for six years, and a school and district administrator for eleven years. Ryan is a member of Corvallis Rotary Club; System of Care Executive Council, and the Confederation of Oregon School Administrators Work Group for Social Emotional Development. Ryan is excited to highlight the articulation of the District’s vision and that of the City of Corvallis.
Paul Odenthal is the senior associate vice president for administration and oversees public safety, insurance and risk management services, environmental health and safety, capital planning and development, real property, facilities services and transportation services. He is also designated to act on behalf of the vice president for finance and administration. Paul has over 30 years of experience leading large organizations in facilities operations and support services integration on both Navy installations and in the education environment. Prior to joining OSU, Paul served as executive administrator for facilities over the Beaverton Oregon School District’s 54 campuses. His career as an Navy Civil Engineer Corps Officer included serving as a naval base commander, integrating all aspects of community and safety services for over 30,000 people; Commodore of a Naval Construction Group, executing peacetime and combat construction, disaster recovery and humanitarian assistance operations worldwide; and Deputy Commander of Naval Facilities Engineering Command MidAtlantic, managing the infrastructure of the Navy’s largest region. He holds a both a bachelors and masters of science in civil engineering from Oregon State University, a Masters of Art in Military Operations from Air University, and he completed the Advanced Executive Program at the Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University. Paul is a registered Professional Civil Engineer in California and a Certified Energy Manager.
Kate Porsche serves as the Manger of the Corvallis/Benton County Economic Development Office. Previously she worked as City of Albany’s Economic Development and Urban Renewal Director. She serves as President of the Oregon Economic Development Association, and is a general urban renewal nerd. Her background in the public-sector paired with her work in communications, housing, and real estate have helped her to create strong public-private partnerships, focus on job creation, and guide the revitalization of her communities. Kate is a native Oregonian and a die-hard Beaver, having completed her Master’s degree in Public Policy at OSU in 2012.
For more than 15 years, Chris has served communities fighting social inequality, recovering from natural disaster, and working to solve local issues. After earning a B.S. from Southern Illinois University, Chris joined AmeriCorps NCCC to help people in need across the country. Chris worked in communities from New Orleans, Lousiana, to Camden, New Jersey, later becoming a federal disaster coordinator serving in the wake of Hurricanes Katrina, Rita, and Ike. Chris moved to Redmond, Oregon, in 2010, where he started his career in fundraising. Since that time he has raised more than $6 million for communities in Oregon. Chris serves on the board of Leadership Corvallis, Imagine Corvallis Action Network, and is an active Rotarian who lives in Corvallis with his wife Emily, and their children Logan (9), Cady (6) and Ellie (6).
Evan was raised in Corvallis, graduated from Oregon State University in 2004, and is a Class 40 Senior Fellow of the Oregon chapter of the American Leadership Forum. He is twenty years into his public safety career, with an eye toward improving organizational wellness and resiliency. Evan lives in Corvallis with his wife and two children and enjoys rowing on the Willamette as a member of the Corvallis Rowing Club. Evan previously served on the Downtown Advisory Board for several years, and is excited to collaborate with a diverse group of advisors in the implementation of the Corvallis Vision 2040 Plan.
On his social media pages, Curt’s descriptor reads “fulltime community enthusiast, some time marketing consultant, and all-the-time happy grandpa.” Underscoring the first is his service not only on the ICAN Advisory Board, but also on the City’s Budget Commission, the County’s Budget Committee, and the board of the Corvallis Benton County Public Library Foundation. Curt has been instrumental in election campaigns for Corvallis’ Livability levies, the County’s Health & Safety levies, the 9-1-1 Service District, and the School District’s Improvement Bond. Prior to his retirement and moving to Corvallis in 2005 to be near his grandkids, Curt was CEO of one of the leading advertising agencies in Silicon Valley, and he also has served as a Council member and Mayor for the City Morgan Hill, California.