Our Leadership

Gretchen Carnaby

Gretchen is a garden designer who has contributed over 30 years of leadership and expertise to Salem’s public landscapes, including Deepwood and Bush’s Pasture Park. She is co-founder of Friends of Bush Gardens, the Lord & Schryver Conservancy, and the Salem Hardy Plant Society.  In addition to bringing plants and people together, Gretchen is passionate about protecting wild, natural places.

Karl Roth

Karl Roth has over twenty years of experience in the fields of architectural and environmental design and has worked on residential and commercial projects across the country. Outside of architecture, Karl enjoys reading, fine art, and exploring the world with his wife and young children.

Christine Chute

Christine was employed from 1983 to 2010 by the State of Oregon in several positions, but mainly as an Assistant Attorney General for the Oregon Department of Justice.  When Christine was retired, I was the section manager for a group of 18-20 attorneys who advised state agencies (Department of Transportation, Corrections, Secretary of State, Higher Education, etc.) on legal policy, legislation, liability matters, etc.


Christine was also a frequent writer, speaker, and trainer of other attorneys and state employees, specializing in administrative procedures and rulemaking.

When Christine retired in 2010, Governor Kitzhaber appointed her as the public member of the Oregon Board of Pharmacy, which regulates pharmacists, pharmacies, and drug manufacturers in Oregon, and adopts the schedules of controlled substances for state law purposes.

Christine has been active on the boards of nonprofits since he college days. Her favorite thing about nonprofit boards is that a small and dedicated group of people can make small but significant differences in the lives of others (with relatively little effort).

Kathy Savicki

Kathy is a clinical social worker, newly retired after a long career developing and managing mental health programs. She was a founding member of Salem Hardy Plant Society and volunteered with Friends of Bush Garden. A native Oregonian, Kathy spends as much time as possible tending her large country garden in the Eola Hills.

Michael Slater

Michael Slater is an organizer, advocate, and nonprofit executive. He has over twenty years’ experience in nonprofit organizations that have worked to address problems of inequality. Outside of work, Michael is passionate about public landscapes, environmental policy, and urban design.

Ellen Jenson Stevens

Ellen Jenson Stevens has a long history of service to the community since moving to Salem in 1974.  Currently, she serves on the Historic Preservation, Parks, and Gardens Committee of the South Central Association of Neighbors (SCAN), whose boundaries include Bush’s Pasture Park and Pringle Park. Ellen is also a long-time volunteer and board member of the Salem Public Library Foundation.

Leslie Coleman Zeigen

Leslie has been very active in community affairs since moving to Salem 40 years ago. She co-founded and served as board chair of Friends of Bush Gardens. Leslie helped lead the campaign to save and restore the historic Elsinore Theatre in 1981. She currently serves on both the Salem Art Association and Willamette Heritage Center boards.