Evening of Advocacy Recap - September 24, 2022

On Saturday, September 24, more than 70 Mountaineers donors and climate advocates joined forces to elevate our signature conservation and advocacy fundraising event. The highlight of the evening was the candid conversion among our climate experts. Learn more about the event and mark your calendar to join us next fall to support conservation and advocacy.
The Mountaineers The Mountaineers
September 26, 2022
Evening of Advocacy Recap - September 24, 2022

Together with our End of Summer Bash sponsored by REI Co-op, we’ve raised just shy of $40,000 to support The Mountaineers Conservation and Advocacy program.  Our community has a long and rich history as a regional leader advocating on behalf of the natural world, and our successes would not be possible without your dedication and commitment to protect the places we love.

We gathered at the beautiful Miller Nash LLP office on Pier 70 in downtown Seattle and enjoyed stunning weather and beautiful views of the Puget Sound. While bidding on works of art by local artists and munching on catering by El Gaucho, attendees engaged in heated conversations about The Mountaineers advocacy efforts and the best paths forward to have the biggest impact.



After dinner we headed upstairs for our panel discussion, moderated by Mountaineers Conservation & Advocacy Director Betsy Robblee. After a welcome and land acknowledgment, Betsy grounded the conversation in the history of our work and where we're going. As our draft strategic goal to Advocate on Behalf of the Natural World reads: “The Mountaineers has always been a fierce defender of the natural world. In response to intensifying climate change and increasing recreational use of public lands, we must strengthen our capacity to help protect the outdoors for future generations.” 

We have some ambitious goals to equip our members with innovative tools to advocate for conservation and climate and minimize our impact on the environment - including working towards becoming a Net-Zero organization. With the leadership of many who were in the room, we hope to encourage the outdoor community to ensure that future generations can enjoy the places we love. And we're able to do this thanks to the support of our donors, as more than 75% of our conservation and advocacy  of this work is funded by charitable contributions.

The highlight of the evening was the candid conversation among our panel of climate experts, who shared why organizations like The Mountaineers help them feel optimistic about the future of our planet and the places we love. The panelists included:

  • Senator Reuven Carlyle represents Washington’s 36th Legislative District (Northwest Seattle). Senator Carlyle successfully championed the historic Climate Commitment Act and other ambitious laws, which he termed “winning the Super Bowl of climate action.” Thanks to Senator Carlyle’s hard work, we are the second state in the nation to create an economy-wide cap and invest program to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. 
  • Helen Cherullo is the Executive Director of Braided River, the conservation imprint of Mountaineers Books. Through her leadership, Braided River tells visual stories that inspire a wide audience to protect threatened landscapes, wildlife, and communities. Through Braided River books and programs, and working with photographers and authors, donors, and grassroots groups, Mountaineers Books achieves conservation wins like no other publisher in the country.
  • Mark Kroese is the General Manager for Sustainability Solutions in Microsoft’s Environmental Sustainability team. His team oversees Microsoft’s sustainability product strategy, customer and partner engagements, engineering incubations, and the $1 billion Climate Innovation Fund. At The Mountaineers, we also know another side of Mark. He’s a former Mountaineers board member, a Mountaineers Books author, and lifelong climber. Mark’s passion for his work is rooted in his experience as a mountaineer witnessing the negative impact of human activity on the environment, including biodiversity loss, disappearing glaciers, and forest fires. 

We heard from Senator Carlyle about why this is such an exciting time for climate policy and why he felt we were seeing  historic bills, such as the recent passage of the Inflation Reduction Act coming on the heels of Washington State’s Climate Commitment Act, passing at this time. We heard from Helen about why she believes grassroots efforts are so important and effective, and on the heels of that Senator Carlyle encouraged all attendees - and readers of this blog! - to use their personal capital to get to know your local representatives to leverage those relationships to advocate for climate change, and to make sure you're representatives know who you are and that you're paying close attention.

"We have credibility. We're seen as an organization that is not necessarily red or blue. We're coming from a foundation of prioritizing the outdoors... By providing an avenue to get our members voices heard, we can really make a difference," said Helen.


"I'm going to encourage you to choose to use your personal relationship capital to develop direct one-on-one relationships with your legislators to tell them "I'm a climate voter. I'm a climate activist." You need to go to Olympia and defend the integrity of climate action.... You are the group of folks within The Mountaineers who have a deep sense of civic engagement. Know your legislators by name and have them deeply invested in your support. Be purposeful. Show up with intentionality and grace and significant engagement to know what they're doing. They need to know that you have their back and that you have high expectations of them," said Senator Carlyle.

We also heard from Mark about Microsoft's billion dollar Climate Innovation Fund and ongoing commitment to sustainability. Mark spoke about empowering customers and partners to create change and ultimately drive systems change at a global scale. When asked about why a large company like Microsoft cares so much about sustainability, Mark shared, "It's partly because it's intrinsically the right thing to do and there's also a pragmatic reason: if we don't take better care of the planet, it will negatively impact economies of the world and future business results." 

The resounding message of the night was clear. "We need to take fossil fuels out of our daily lives as much as we possibly can," said Senator Carlyle. "And it's critical to build personal relationships with your legislators and leverage that capital for change."

We’d like to thank Senator Reuven Carlyle, Helen Cherullo, Mark Kroese, and moderator Betsy Robblee for their leadership, and for sharing their thoughts on how Mountaineers members can continue to move the needle on the climate crisis. 

The climate crisis and other challenges we face are big, and they can be overwhelming. But lately there’s so many reasons for hope. We’ve passed historic climate legislation in Washington State and Washington DC and witnessed powerful grassroots movements made up of young people, artists, and Indigenous peoples. We believe that the climate and biodiversity crisis is the work of our lifetime. And we're grateful for your support and partnership in this journey.


It is not too late to pledge your commitment with a gift to support The Mountaineers conservation and advocacy work. Our fiscal year closes this Friday, September 30, so please visit our website to make your gift today.

Special Thanks

Thank you to our generous host and sponsor Miller Nash, beverage sponsor Tinte Cellars, our esteemed panel, local artists, Board members, and many more, but, our biggest thanks goes out to you! We are deeply grateful for your time and philanthropy, and the role you play in making the mission of The Mountaineers a reality. We couldn’t do it without you!