The Committee

The Willamette Light Brigade committee members are as unique as the bridges of Portland.

Here are some of them

Paddy Tillett - President

Until 2018, Paddy Tillett served as chair & spokesperson since Willamette Light Brigade was established in 1987.  Paddy is an architect, urban designer and city planner with four decades of international professional experience.  He is a principal in the Department of Planning and Urban Design at ZGF Architects LLP.  He practiced in several countries around the world before coming to live in Portland, Oregon in 1982.  “Willamette Light Brigade brings visibility to art and architecture after dark as an expression of Portland’s creativity and civic awareness.”

Jeff Schnabel - Vice Chair

Jeff Schnabel is a professor in the Portland State University School of Architecture.  He has studied architecture, landscape architecture, and art.  His interests have merged in the study of the nighttime condition and large scale projected light installations.  He organized the Illuminated City Symposium which brought together international light artists and researches to demonstrate the potential of light in urban settings.  Jeff is currently collaborating on an NEA grant to light the historic passenger elevator in Oregon City.

Ed Slavin - Chair

After growing up in Detroit and working for General Motors stamping out fenders and hoods for Cadillacs, Ed Slavin heeded the call to “go west, young man”. At 19 he again joined another ‘General’ in CA’s Bay Area, but this time it was General Electric Lamp Division. He began his career in the lighting industry unloading boxcars full of lamps. When he moved to Oregon in 1999 he partnered Northern Illumination Co., a firm which is now a Sustaining Member of IES. Ed’s degrees include a B.S. from Calif. State Univ., Hayward (majors in Economics and Marketing) and an MBA from St. Mary’s College.

When he’s not working or continuing the engineering degree he began 20+ years ago, he enjoys biking, motorcycling, running, snow skiing and volunteering for WLB and the Lymphoma and Leukemia Societies.

Don Carlson - Treasurer

Don’s public service work included positions in all levels of government in Oregon including local, regional and state. He even got called back after retirement to help several agencies adjust their budgets during the recession. As a resident of SE Portland, Don has served on a variety of neighborhood and non-profit boards. He especially enjoys his time with the Willamette Light Brigade, not only because of the group’s wonderful mission to turn our bridges into things of delight at night, but also because of the opportunity to work with fun and interesting people. “If you are looking for a way to improve our community and have some fun doing it, come join the Willamette Light Brigade!!”

Mike Beard - Web Chair

E. Michael Beard is the owner of ErrolGraphics. Mike’s company develops and markets prints and posters for local events and of landmarks, including a series of nationally-recognized bridges and buildings, from San Francisco’s Golden Gate to New York’s Twin Towers. Mike believes that our city’s visual signature is tightly tied to our bridges and that enhancing their beauty increases pride and appreciation of our city’s identity, both locally and nationally. Mike continues to offer his expertise and time to improve the design of WLB’s web site and to raise awareness of WLB and funds for its projects through a variety of bridge art retail products.

Jonah Cohen - Development Director for the PWLF

Jonah Cohen was born and raised in Brooklyn, NY. After studying architecture at the Cooper Union he headed west to the promised land of Oregon. As managing principal of Hacker for 25 years, Jonah cultivated a practice based on his conviction that when people thrive, their work, organizations, and communities thrive as well. Jonah has led numerous projects for Hacker including the High Desert Museum in Bend, Oregon Shakespeare Festival’s experimental theater in Ashland the Columbia River Gorge Discovery Center in the Dalles. Recently, Jonah collaborated with world renowned Architect Kengo Kuma as Project leader for the Portland Japanese Garden Cultural Crossing Project.  Jonah served as president of the Architecture Foundation of Oregon from 2011-12 and serves on the Advisory Board for First Stop Portland, an educational group that facilitates global delegations interested in Portland’s model of urban sustainability.

Alisha Sullivan - PWLF Director

Chris Moore - Webmaster

Chris Moore is the owner of Moore Web Exposure and has been designing and developing websites in the Portland area since 2008.  Chris is originally from California but has been living in Portland since 2005.  When he isn’t building websites Chris likes spending time on Mt. Hood snowboarding and going on hikes with his wife and Golden Retriever.  Chris is responsible for the development of the Willamette Light Brigade’s new website.

Former members whose contributions still influence the Willamette Light Brigade

Pauline Anderson

Pauline Anderson, Pres., is a native Portlander. She reared five children here, taught 7th and 8th grades and was elected Multnomah County Commissioner for District 1. Among other initiatives during her eight-year term she convened a stakeholders group to talk about how to beautify the downtown bridges which unite east and west Portland. Almost unanimously (one lone dissenter wanted only to paint the Hawthorne Bridge indigo) the group decided that decorative lighting was the enlightened way to beauty: Willamette Light Brigade was born.

Jean Bucciarelli

With a philosophy degree in hand, Jean Bucciarelli started out as a middle and high school social studies teacher in New Delhi, India. After 18 years service with Multnomah County, Jean retired in June ’03. In this new phase of her life she’s focusing on travel, photography, and more active involvement in WLB and a few other rewarding volunteer efforts. Jean was turned on to bridge lighting by her then boss, County Commissioner Pauline Anderson. Jean likes connections, and the distinctive Willamette River bridges are the connectors of the east and west sides of Portland and Multnomah County. She has continued with Willamette Light Brigade because esthetic lighting of the bridges is a ‘sparkling’ civic opportunity. Besides, “The WLB group is a real joy — creative, hard-working and, light(s)-hearted.”

Kim Lindstrand

Kim, of KL Lighting Associates, was previously senior sales representative for Amtech Lighting Services and a lighting specialist for PGE’s Efficiency Services Department. She enjoys tracking lighting and controls technologies for efficient lighting solutions to enhance commercial and industrial environments, for both new construction and retrofits. When asked why she wanted to join WLB, she said, “My passions for lighting and politics piqued my curiosity. As we delved further in to these projects, I found myself really appreciating the architectural beauty of these bridges and wanting to join the process of re-lighting them aesthetically.”

M’Lou Christ

A community action consultant, M’Lou provides assistance with special projects and organizational management, primarily for non-profits. M’Lou began volunteering for WLB in late ’96 and in ’98 took on WLB’s administrative functions. “It’s a shame our city’s central natural feature, the Willamette, and the notable structures that span it are nearly invisible every evening. Lighting the architectural highlights of our bridges will bring their charm into our city’s nightly view.”

Sharon Wood Wortman

Sharon Wood Wortman, the author of The Portland Bridge Book, is married to a bridge engineer and for many years took people bridge- walking for a living. She thinks Portland is just short of heaven for work and play (She is not sure which part of her life is work and which part is play). She joined the Willamette Light Brigade because of the group’s positive purpose, energy, and resolve. “If the bridges were lighted, we could be inspired by these amazing structures beyond dawn to dusk.”

Irene Jensen

Irene is a Senior Loan Officer for North West Funding Group, Inc. She has volunteered for a variety of groups through the years. She said she learned that this organization existed when she saw a 1997 news clip about lighting the bridges and featuring Paddy. I thought, “What a wonderful way to give a little back to the community and city that give me so much joy. ‘I’m proud to show off our city, especially its best features, the bridges. My goal is to be a productive volunteer for the lighting of the bridges into the new millennium.”

Gil Johnston

Gil spent 30 years at PacifiCorp, first in the energy dept. and then as head of community relations. Then he transferred his talents to Milestone Unlimited, a consulting firm that specializes in executive coaching and training. As soon as WLB was created Gil saw it “as a way to spur economic development: showcasing Portland’s bridges, its key public structures, with new, efficient lighting technologies would bring attention to the city and its riverfront.” As an avid boater, he also looks forward to lit bridges enhancing his evening river trips with friends and clients. Gil knows that view could really help the local cruise industry.

Jim Larpenteur

One of WLB’s founders and its treasurer for many years, Jim is a recently-retired downtown Portland lawyer who specialized in business law matters and complex purchase and sale transactions. During the 40+ years Jim practiced law with the firm of Schwabe, Williamson & Wyatt he was extremely active in various community affairs in addition to WLB.