CMS Board Member Biographies

2020/2021 CMS Board of Directors

(All Board Members are volunteers)

The general CMS Members are required to vote annually on the slate of Board of Directors for the coming year. Voting is a requirement to maintain our 501(c)(3) non-profit status. Your vote confirms/re-affirms the all-volunteer CMS Board is acceptable to you. The Board positions (President, Vice, Treasurer, etc.) are voted on by the elected Board of Directors.

If you are interested in joining the CMS Board, please send an email to president@cascademyco.org.

Cheshire Mayrsohn (currently President)

Cheshire is the current CMS President (since 2014), she is a founding member of CMS, and has been on and off the Board of Directors, serving as newsletter editor, foray coordinator, vice president, and speaker coordinator.  Cheshire is a recently retired botanist for the BLM and has been foraging for edible plants and mushrooms since childhood.  Her interest in mushrooms of the Pacific Northwest started with attending Freeman Rowe’s Biology of Mushrooms class at LCC in 1983.  She has been an integral part of creating the mushroom display at the Mount Pisgah Arboretum (MPS) Mushroom Festival since its inception in 1983. Her interest in mushrooms and lichens and knitting has led her to become a local expert on dyeing fiber with lichens and mushrooms. She is also active with NW Lichenologists and does the lichen display at the Mushroom Festival.

Chris Melotti (currently Vice President & Speaker Coordinator) 

Chris is a Wildlife & Ecology Consultant, a former BLM Wildlife Biologist, and grew up in Pennsylvania in a mushroom loving family.  After attending LCC’s Biology of Mushrooms taught by the famous Freeman Rowe in 1995,  Chris became part of the core group that puts together the Mushroom Display at the annual Mount Pisgah Arboretum Mushroom Festival and subsequently formed the Cascade Mycological Society. You will usually find Chris staffing the Edible and Poisonous Mushroom Display at the Mt. Pisgah Mushroom Festival. He also gives Guided Mushroom Walks at the Yachats Mushroom Festival. Chris has served on the CMS Board continuously since it’s inception.  Chris often leads CMS forays, and frequently gives talks on the Ecology and Biology of Mushrooms at local community events with his wife, Molly Widmer, another founding CMS board member.

Matthew Johnson (currently Foray Coordinator)

Matthew JohnsonMatthew Johnson first started foraging for mushrooms in the mid-’80s.  In 1989 he was lucky enough to attend  Freeman Rowe’s Biology of Mushrooms class at LCC.  Since that time he has helped each year to put together the annual Mount Pisgah Mushroom show.
He first joined the CMS Board in 2002 but had to quickly resign because he got a job offer in the  Republic of Palau, a small island nation in the Western Pacific.  He re-joined the Board in 2005 when he returned.  Over the years he has served in various officer position on the board.  He has led many a foray for CMS and also leads mushroom walks each year at the Yachats Mushroom Festival.
Matthew is a banjo player, a SCUBA diver, a photographer, an amateur anthropologist, and a dad.  He is also an attorney, as is his wife Meredith, who is a former Board member and past President.  Matthew & Meredith have a nine-year-old daughter, who is an avid if reluctant mushroom picker, that won First Place in the Best of Show at the 2015 Mushroom festival with a potentially new species of Hypomyces.

Erin Brown (currently Recording Secretary)

Erin has been an avid outdoor enthusiast for a long as she can remember. Born and raised in Spokane, WA, she relocated to Springfield, OR in 2008. Prior to the move, she was a Park Ranger in North Cascades National Park. As an amateur photographer, she has always had a passion for nature photography and is drawn to the diversity of color, texture, and shape of mushrooms. She began foraging wild edibles on her own about 15 years ago after several years of ‘just looking’. Erin joined CMS in 2016 and enjoys going on forays with her 10-year-old daughter Madison and 8-year-old son Parker. They don’t like to eat them much (except when she turns Pseudohydnum gelatinosum into gummies), but they sure have eagle eyes. Erin currently works for the Springfield School District as a substitute Educational Assistant and also enjoys volunteering at her kid’s school. Pastimes include camping, fly fishing, floating rivers, hiking, pottery, reading, knitting, and cooking… to name a few. Erin joined the CMS board in March of 2019.

Lee Yamada (currently NAMA liaison)

Lee Yamada has been foraging for and cooking wild edible mushrooms since he was 7 years old, a mere 75 years.  He has traveled to Europe, South America, and Asia with his wife Phyllis in search of mushrooms.  And, has catered mushroom featured dinners at numerous wineries in his native California. It was a mushroom identification class taught by David Arora (author of Mushrooms Demystified and All that the Rain Promises) in the early 80s that started Lee on his quest to learn more about fungi.  He would eventually become an assistant foray leader for David and also lent a hand with the cooking at the Annual David Arora Thanksgiving Weekend Wild Mushroom Workshops.  Lee was an early member of the Santa Cruz Fungus Federation formed in 1984 by David and his students.  And, when David was ready to hand over the reigns as Director of the Santa Cruz Fungus Fair; Lee stepped up and organized the fair from 1993 until 2003. On a national level, Lee is a lifetime member of the North American Mycological Association (NAMA) and served as their foray chairperson from 2001 to 2003, while Phyllis served as President of NAMA. CMS was very happy to welcome Lee to their Board of Directors, shortly after Lee & Phyllis relocated from California to Eugene in 2016.

Bob Blanchard (currently CMS Board Member at large)

Bob and his wife Debbie moved to Eugene from northern California in 1981.  In 1998 Bob was fortunate enough to meet Marcia Peeters, who, with other local mycologists, was about to start a local mushroom club – the Cascade Mycological Society.  Having photographed mushrooms for a couple of decades and having a keen interest in learning more about them, Bob was thrilled when Marcia asked if he’d like to be part of founding the club.  Bob said he’d be glad to attend the meetings without saying a word, absorbing all he could about mushrooms – giving a new meaning to Sponge Bob.  Bob has been active in CMS ever since, helping out with the Mount Pisgah Arboretum mushroom festival, and joining the board in 2019.  Bob is also an avid birder, photographer, and woodworker. Bob joined the CMS board in March of 2019.

 

A big thank you to Pavel Gubanikhin who has served on the CMS Board as Treasurer for the past 8 years.
Pavel has agreed to help train a new treasurer. We hope he will also occasionally pop into a Board Meeting.
Sandy Patton is currently the Webmaster and Newsletter Editor and a non-voting member of the CMS Board.