Meghan DeBolt is the Executive Director of Blue Zones Project® – Walla Walla Valley. Meghan holds a Master of Public Health from Emory University and a Master of Business Administration from Oregon Health Science University.
Born and raised in the area, Meghan and her husband returned to the Walla Walla Valley to raise their children after a decade of traveling the country. Over the past 10 years, Meghan has served as the Public Health Administrator and Chief Health Strategist for the Greater Walla Walla Valley and Umatilla County in Northeastern Oregon. In this role, Meghan focused on the overarching strategy for community health and has pioneered work in healthcare transformation in rural Eastern Oregon and Washington—one such effort being bringing Blue Zones Project to the area.
Meghan enjoys Downshifting by spending time with her family, playing outdoors, and traveling in her free time.
My Power 9
Being a Power 9® practitioner for most of my life, recently I feel most drawn to the Power 9 elements that focus on putting Loved Ones First and Purpose.Return to Our Community
Katie DePonty joins the Blue Zones Project® – Walla Walla Valley team as the Organization Lead. Katie grew up in Spokane before moving to Southern California for college at the University of Redlands, located next to one of the original blue zones—Loma Linda. It was meant to be. She moved to Walla Walla in 2006 to begin working at Whitman College, where she worked in the enrollment department and in conferences and events.
Katie is passionate about Walla Walla and enjoys giving her time to organizations such as Community Council, Children’s Home Society, and Visit Walla Walla. One of Katie’s favorite pastimes is attending live music shows. Big or small, she loves them all. Be sure to ask her about her experience helping plan the Gentlemen of the Road Festival a few years ago.
My Power 9
Downshift. Taking time to relax and reduce stress is important to a healthy lifestyle. A few of the ways I do this regularly are reading, going for a walk, or enjoying a glass of wine while catching up with a close friend or family member. This Power 9® could be different each day depending on what you need to reduce your stress; what’s important is making the time.Return to Our Community
PUBLIC POLICY ADVOCATE
Emily Brown joins Blue Zones Project® – Walla Walla Valley as the Public Policy Advocate. Originally from Walla Walla, she is excited to have returned to her hometown to help build a healthier, more vibrant community.
Before joining Blue Zones Project, Emily was the Community Engagement Manager for the North Dakota Department of Commerce in Bismarck. There, she helped implement local community and economic development initiatives. She has also worked in community organizing, local food, and community planning.
Emily received a master’s degree in Community and Regional Planning from the University of Oregon in Eugene and has a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Science from Willamette University. She is passionate about health equity, community, and sharing quality time with those around her. Outside of work, Emily loves spending time outdoors with her family, reading, and exploring local food and craft beer scenes. She lives in Walla Walla with her partner and their two dogs.Return to Our Community
Rebecca Thorpe joins the team as the Engagement Lead for Blue Zones Project® –Walla Walla Valley. Rebecca is a mission-driven person who values health, wellness, and community. Blue Zones Project ties together her life passions. Over the last 20 years, she has honed her health and wellness skills as a fitness instructor, yoga teacher, aquatic director, and marketer. She also has experience working with local nonprofits, staging large and small events, working with volunteers, giving presentations, building websites, and filming and editing videos.
Originally from Reno, Nevada, Rebecca has lived in Walla Walla for over 20 years. She is busy raising teenagers and her dog and loves teaching yoga, walking, skiing, and spending time with friends and family.
My Power 9
Family First & (working on) Plant Slant. I naturally make family first because they are my life! I also love to move naturally with friends and by myself to reconnect and get grounded. I am working on the Plant Slant and eating many more vegetarian dishes! It turns out—I love them!Return to Our Community
SENIOR EVENTS & OFFICE SPECIALIST
Erica joins the Blue Zones Project – Walla Walla Valley team as the Senior Events and Office Specialist and is excited to work with the community again. Erica grew up in Houston, Texas and moved to attend Whitman College where she received her Bachelors degree in Economics and Spanish. After graduating, she chose the friendly small town over high humidity and six-lane highways. Erica previously worked as a Marketing Consultant at the Walla Walla Union-Bulletin where she learned more about the community and its small town values. She is super excited to not only connect with the community again but help improve their health. Erica’s favorite topics include Texas, Trucks, and Tacos.
My Power 9
Downshifting is important to keep the professional and personal life balance. I downshift with my hobbies which include collecting comic books and woodworking. As a workaholic it’s important to take time to downshift and destress from the days work.Return to Our Community