Building A Better Bend
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City of Bend
Brian is a native Oregonian and has lived in Bend since 1991 with his wife and two daughters. He has worked as a land use planner in the public and private sector in a variety of roles and jurisdictions at the federal, county and city levels. He was a founding member of the Deschutes Land Trust and currently works for the City of Bend.  
Our Board Members
Harcourts The Garner Group Real Estate
Sandy is a native and lifelong resident of Central Oregon. She has held an Oregon real estate license since 1979 and has practiced continuously since then with realty companies in Redmond and Bend. Building on this success, Sandy formed The Garner Group as an independent real estate company in January 2008. She has earned many regional, national and international sales awards over the course of her career.  

Compass Commercial
Erich, SIOR, is a founding partner of Compass Commercial. He has more than 28 years of experience in commercial real estate. From 2000-2012, he assisted his clients in successfully completing sale and lease transactions totaling more than $428 million in value. Over his career, Erich has effectively completed more than 800 lease transactions and 175 property sales. Erich has earned the Top Producer award at Compass Commercial for eight of the last 13 years. 
Stacey Stemach
Stemach Design & Architecture
Stacey started his career in New England and relocated to Bend in 2003, first working as a project manager for many public agencies in Oregon. He has provided expert guidance on a variety of urban-situated office, industrial and housing facilities across Central Oregon. Stacey’s passion for careful, unique design and a dedication to holistic sustainability has led to a number of successful, award-winning solutions for urban renewal and building renovation. 
John Gilbert
Karen Swirsky
Dale Van Valkenburg
Brooks Resources Corporation
Dale is an Oregon native who grew up in a small town in the mountains of southwestern Oregon. He and his wife Charlotte have lived in Bend since 1990, and have raised their two children as Bend natives. He has had an active role in shaping the fabric of Bend as a planner for Deschutes County, with the law firm of Bryant Lovlien & Jarvis, with the City of Bend, and now as the Director of Planning & Development for Brooks Resources. Dale enjoys the wide range of outdoor activities outside his doorstep in Central Oregon.

Brian Harrington
Acadia Properties
John Gilbert owns Acadia Properties a company that develops urban in-fill locations with a focus on mixed-use and higher density residential developments. He is also co-owner of Pacific Crest Affordable Housing, which develops apartment buildings for low-income seniors.  These projects are among the most environmentally sustainable affordable housing projects in the United States. Originally from New York City, he now lives in Bend with his wife and two children. 

Gretchen Palmer
Central Oregon Builders Association
Gretchen is principal of Palmer Homes and Palmer,LLC and has been in the residential building industry for more than 33 years, working with her husband and business partner, Vern Palmer. They've built more than 3,000 homes throughout Central Oregon. Since 2009, Gretchen has served as Director of Education for the Central Oregon Home Builders Association, providing continuing education for contractors, Realtors, architects and designers and the general community. 
Erich Schultz
Karen has lived in Bend since 1989 with her husband, Nils Eddy. She is a land use planner with both private and public experience. Karen has served on many state and local boards and committees, including the Oregon Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee, and is the main author of a national award-winning publication, Main Street, When a Highway Runs Through It. She has been a BBB board member for the last 8 years.
Garrett Chrostek
Bryant, Lovlien and Jarvis
Garrett focuses his practice in the areas of land use, real estate, and municipal law. Garrett is experienced in drafting ordinances and agreements, researching and adjudicating municipal code provisions, completing real estate transactions, and navigating regulatory regimes that result in efficiency and cost savings to his clients. Prior to joining BLJ, Garrett worked on a variety of legal and administrative matters for the City of The Dalles pertaining to land use, public contracting, and economic development. 
Pinnacle Architecture, Inc.
Peter Baer is President and Founder of Pinnacle Architecture. He is dedicated to enhancing communities and lives through Pinnacle’s projects. Specializing in affordable housing, rural healthcare, senior housing, and public service projects he actively helps his clients transform their visions to reality. Raised in Central Oregon, Peter is committed to building a community he’s proud to call home.