Current Conditions

as of February 27, 2024 6:27pm
0.1 in | 45.4° F | 43.6° F | SSW 2.1 MPH gust to 2.4 MPH | 107.92' above sea level

About

Lake Oswego Corporation

Stewards of Oswego Lake since 1942

About Us

For more than 80 years, we – the Lake Oswego Corporation – have been stewarding, improving and preserving the scenic beauty of the 415 acres of Oswego Lake, Lakewood Bay and lakefront properties. Development and maintenance of the lake, bays and waterways have been privately funded for more than a century.

Our shareholders and easement members, numbering more than 4,000 local households, entrust us to manage the waterways and surrounding land to promote habitat protection, water quality and watercraft and swimmer safety. We underwrite the resources needed to manage the lake’s infrastructure needs, including water flows and testing, flood control, dredging, hydroelectric power generation, dock and access maintenance, and dam safety coordination.

Although the Lake is best known for its scenic beauty and the recreation opportunities that it provides, a significant responsibility of LOC is to preserve the lake and waterways as a source of hydroelectric power.

History

In 1850, what is now incorporated as the City of Lake Oswego was founded and a dam and sawmill were erected by Albert Duram. The water flowing from the dammed-up lake established the power generation for the mill. Soon, the city became Oregon’s first iron town, considered the state’s first large manufacturing enterprise. Although it had been raised by the dam, the lake – originally called Sucker Lake – was still only about 225 acres.

From 1867 to 1882, the Oregon Iron & Steel Company built the first charcoal iron smelter on the Pacific Coast and then constructed two iron furnaces. In years following, the company focused on pipe casting, and a canal was constructed to bring in water from the Tualatin River. A flume line was also constructed below the dam to power the newly installed hydroelectric plant, which was completed in 1908. The casting plant closed in 1894, and the company continued operations as a pipe foundry until 1928. During this period, the area was marketed for commercial and residential development.

Lakewood Bay, to the east of Oswego Lake, was excavated out of a seasonal wetland between Oswego Lake and the Willamette River. It was maintained separately and known as the “Duck Pond” before a ridge of basalt was blasted to create a canal between the two water bodies.

The expanded Oswego Lake began as a reservoir serving the early mills. Over the years, additional dams were built, eventually raising the water level 24 feet above that of Sucker Lake and more than doubling the size of what was now a power generation reservoir. Today, the bodies of water and several tributaries of the former Sucker Lake encompass the whole of what is called Oswego Lake and Lakewood Bay.

The Lake Oswego Corporation (LOC) was formed in 1942 when the Oregon Iron and Steel Company deeded to LOC the bed of the Lake, the rim property (including related property rights), and certain other parcels in the area. As a condition of the property transfer, LOC must preserve the waterways and surrounding properties.

Substantial costs are required to provide safety patrols, manage water quality, remove silt from the lakebed, maintain the dams and other infrastructure, and purchase and maintain equipment for the operation of the Lake. These activities are funded by annual assessments and license fees, which are paid solely by residents with deeded access to the Lake.

The LOC employs an operations team to maintain and operate lake infrastructure, including three dams and a power generation facility, a dedicated safety patrol staff, water quality staff, and marina staff to operate the boat ramp and marina.

As part of this growing community, we work diligently in our mission to maintain, preserve and improve Oswego Lake and Lakewood Bay on behalf of this community and City of Lake Oswego, Oregon.

Board of Directors

Executive Board

Justin Harnish
President

Justin Harnish

“I feel strongly that Oswego Lake is our city’s crown jewel, and that it’s critical for it to remain as one of our most important natural resources.”

Justin Harnish serves as Lake Oswego Corporation’s (LOC) board president and also serves as the board vice president of Oswego Lake Country Club. He’s a third generation Oregonian, Lake Oswego resident and is proud to now be raising his family here. After graduating from the University of San Diego, Justin eventually made his way back home and became the owner of Harnish Company Realtors, specializing in Lake Oswego residential real estate. He is deeply passionate about our lake and community and has served on many local boards, including the Lake Oswego Schools Foundation Board for four years.
Doug Woodcock
Vice President

Doug Woodcock

“It has been a privilege to live on Oswego Lake for over 30 years and I take the board’s mission to preserve and protect the lake very seriously.”

Doug Woodcock and his wife Charlotte have raised their family in the same house on Oswego Lake for the past 30 years. The original appeal of living on the lake – watersports, natural beauty and the community of lake residents – holds as much appeal for the Woodcocks now as it did in 1993. As a longtime resident and avid lake user, Doug understands the critical importance of issues like water quality, boater safety and access. Now retired after a 35-year career in finance and investment banking, Doug brings many years of experience in budgets, finance and governance to the board. He has served on the LOC’s Safety and Finance committees and is currently vice president of the board. Doug is a passionate advocate for the lake and is thrilled at the opportunity to continue his board voluntarism and service.
Rick Johnson
Treasurer

Rick Johnson

“I am continually learning just how much work (a lot!) is involved in keeping the lake in the condition we expect and so easily take for granted.”

Rick Johnson and his family have lived in Lake Oswego since 1994 and enjoyed the Lake Grove swim park before moving to the Lake in 2007. He and his wife have three sons who have grown up in this community, are now graduated from college and are working in the area. As a board member, he strives to work with our talented, volunteer board members and professional LOC staff to preserve the quality of the lake and all it provides. With a degree in Geology and work experience in groundwater hydrology, an MBA in Finance, and having started and run a financial services firm serving public and private pension funds, foundations, and endowments for the last 18 years, he brings a wide scope of expertise in service as board treasurer.
Amy Gaddis
Secretary

Amy Gaddis

“I am deeply engaged and supportive of the excellent water quality and maintenance operations and look to future lake projects to support healthy life on the lake.”

Amy Gaddis and her husband, Byron, moved to the lake shore in 2014 and, at the time, had never been on the lake in their nearly 20 years of living in Lake Oswego. They enjoy cruising in their classic wood Chris Craft, exploring on their paddleboards, and swimming off their dock. With her background in chemistry, and engineering, Amy is very interested in the overall lake ecosystem and impressed with the water quality work that is being done. She is passionate about being involved in future lake projects that maintain and improve water quality and the quality of life on the lake. Amy currently serves as LOC’s board secretary.

Members at Large

Katy Brown

Katy Brown

“I am an ardent advocate of Oswego Lake. While I am proud to represent all neighbors of the lake, my priority is the lake itself and the commitment and work it takes to keep this community treasure healthy.”

Katy Brown Troftgruben and her family lived in Lake Oswego for a decade before relocating to the main canal in 2015. She joined the LOC board in 2018 with a mix of media and business experience. She is the Vice President of Global Communities at Evanta, a Gartner Company, which facilitates collaboration programs for Fortune 1000, C-level executives and she previously enjoyed a two-decade career in broadcast journalism, including 15 years on air at KATU-TV in Portland. Katy chairs the board’s Communications Committee. She is committed to acting as an ambassador for the lake and its health to make sure it continues to serve as the centerpiece of our city.
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Jeff Edelson

“The LOC Board’s commitment to protecting the health of Oswego Lake and the interests of the community is remarkable. I am fortunate to be able to work with this exceptional group.”
Jeff Edelson and his wife, Jennifer, have lived on West Bay since 2010. Jeff is a partner at the Portland law firm Markowitz Herbold PC, where he has practiced for more than 30 years. Jennifer is a full-time Language Arts teacher at McDaniel High School in NE Portland, and part-time fitness instructor at Reed College. Jeff’s years of legal experience in litigation, client counseling, arbitration, mediation and business advice give the board a pragmatic but deliberative voice. Jeff’s willingness to ask the tough questions in a collaborative and respectful framework adds an important dynamic to the board.
Grant Hanson

Grant Hanson

“As a board member, I will continue to work diligently with the Lake Corp.’s capable staff to maintain and improve our lake in order to protect its value and quality now and into the future.”

Grant Hanson and his family are active users of the lake – boating, paddle boarding and kayaking several days a week. As lakefront residents, they witness the daily caretaking of the lake by the Lake Corp staff – the responsive and courteous Lake Patrol, the conscientious water quality maintenance team and the friendly crew at the LOC office. Grant feels strongly about his work on the board as chair of the Safety Committee. He brings expertise in strategic planning, problem solving and budgetary oversight to the board that he developed over his 35+ years at Nike. He values working with other community members to continue the tradition of effective and committed oversight of our lake.
John Medak

John Medak

“There are so many aspects of the lake to enjoy and preserve. I want to do all I can keep the lake healthy and vibrant for generations to come.”
John Medak was born and raised in Lake Oswego. After attending the University of San Diego and starting his career in commercial real estate in San Francisco, he moved back to Lake Oswego where he met his wife, Kristie. He served on the board of the Mountain Park HOA prior to moving to Oswego Lake. He, his wife and two daughters enjoy the lake in all its capacity. John is an avid, year-round water skier and water sports enthusiast. He has assisted with the Lake Corp. Ski & Wakeboard Extravaganza for several years. It is one of his favorite days on the lake! John currently chairs the Long-Range Planning Committee and also serves on the Safety Committee.
Stuart Smith

Stuart Smith

“We are fortunate to call this our home for two decades and I want to continue to help this outstanding organization to make the most out of all of the wonderful opportunities in
this community.”

Stuart Smith and his family have called Oswego Lake home since 2004. He has served as a member of the LOC board since 2015 and has provided expertise as part of the board’s development, finance and legal committees in various roles. Stuart has also served on numerous boards over the years and prides himself in bringing a respectful and pragmatic approach to finding solutions. He is honored to apply his legal and financial background to enhancing the lake experience for all as a member of the board.
Katharyn Thompson

Katharyn Thompson

“My family and I enjoy spending time on our beautiful lake both in and on the water. The lake is the crown jewel of this larger region and I want to help ensure its long-term use for this generation and many to come.”
Katharyn Thompson and her family moved to Lake Oswego 27 years ago and fell in love with the community. She served as president of the Blue Heron Easement Association for 12 years, is the board liaison to the Lake Oswego Easement Officers Association and is the chair of the LOC’s Easement Committee. Katharyn’s professional experience includes 38 years as a forensic accountant, of which she was a partner in an international CPA firm for more than 20 years. She is happy to serve on the LOC board of directors, with a goal of ensuring that Oswego Lake remains the special gem that it is.
Larry Thompson

Larry Thompson

“I stand committed with our qualified and engaged board members to do all we can to preserve the lake and better our community.”
Larry Thompson, his wife, Lynn, and their two children absolutely love this community and have called Lake Oswego home since starting their family two decades ago. Larry owns a local insurance agency specializing in coverage for community associations, commercial and personal insurance. He is also a retired army officer, an avid do-it-yourselfer and active in his kids’ school and sporting activities. His skill set comprises risk management, communication and decision making. Larry was previously LOC board president from 2018-2022.
Scott Wittenberg

Scott Wittenberg

I have a profound appreciation for the breathtaking beauty that the lake’s surroundings provide, and I am wholeheartedly dedicated to ensuring that our community remains steadfast in its commitment to serving as devoted stewards in preserving the delicate ecosystem of the lake.
Scott Wittenberg is proud to be a native Oregonian, born and raised in the Willamette Valley. He and his wife have lived on the main lake since 2009. His background in the technology industry brings a unique perspective to the board and the LOC’s processes and procedures. Scott believes that preserving and protecting our beautiful lake’s value and quality is something we can all agree is essential. In addition, he is the chair of the board’s Events Committee, which is committed to providing family friendly, safe and entertaining events for shareholders and easement members. Scott is committed to working with our lake community to continue to preserve the lake’s character and maintain our valued quality of life.

Staff

Jeff Ward
General Manager

Jeff Ward

“We believe in the beauty and use of the lake and we strive to steward this important resource to ensure its stays a valued community asset for many years to come.”
Since 2007, Jeff Ward has served as the General Manager of the Lake Oswego Corporation. Jeff provides continuity and a single point of contact for lake residents and Board members, and clear guidance on staff priorities. This has proved to be invaluable as the lake has become more desirable and a popular address for Lake Oswego residents. Over the years, Jeff has become the go-to expert on the lake and its history, for shareholders, easement members, local realtors and city staff. His love of people allows him to work well with stakeholders to find solutions that work for everyone. Jeff and his wife own a 10-acre farm where they diligently steward the land and water sources, while repairing and enhancing the riparian zones around two fish streams on their property. Jeff has a love of music and animals and can often be seen serenading his mules and dogs with his bluegrass guitar chops.
Christina Bailey
Office Manager

Christina Bailey

“With my wealth of experience, exceptional leadership skills, and passion for excellence, I strive to ensure smooth and excellent service for shareholders, easement members and the public.”

Christina Bailey is the dedicated and experienced Office Manager at the Lake Oswego Corporation, where she has been a valued member since the summer of 2008. With over 15 years of experience in public accounting, Christina started at Lake Corp. as a bookkeeper, but her hard work and commitment to excellence quickly saw her job duties expand to managing the marina, boat licensing, special event coordination and shareholder communications. Christina’s versatility and expertise have been invaluable to Lake Corp., and she is widely respected for her attention to detail and unwavering professionalism. Outside of the office, Christina enjoys spending time outdoors and engaging in various activities such as golfing, gardening, boating, and spending time with friends. She and her husband, Doug, are nearing the empty-nest phase of life and are excited for the new adventures that will bring. Christina is a crucial member of the LOC team, and her contributions have been instrumental in ensuring the continued success of the organization.
Mark Rosenkranz
Water Resources Specialist

Mark Rosenkranz

“Oswego Lake is a wonderful resource that provides enjoyment for recreational users and habitat for wildlife. My goal is to maintain a healthy lake where both humans and wildlife can coexist and enjoy the services the lake provides.”
Mark Rosenkranz has been the Staff Scientist for the Lake Oswego Corporation since 2002. He is responsible for all aspects of water quality monitoring and treatment, including weekly lake sampling, watershed monitoring, phosphorus reduction treatments, dredge planning, and permitting. Mark has a master’s degree in Environmental Management from Portland State University and is a Certified Lake Manager from the North American Lake Management Society (NALMS). He is a founding member of the Oswego Lake Watershed Council, Past President of the Oregon Lakes Association, board member of the North American Lake Management Society, and a member of the International Society of Limnology. Mark’s focus is reducing the concentration of phosphorus in Oswego Lake that drives summer algae and cyanobacteria blooms. This effort involves in-lake treatment and watershed improvements that reduce high nutrient runoff into the lake.
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Operations Manager

Gabe Winfrey

“I not only work with the team here to maintain lake infrastructure including water quality systems, I also help shareholders with waterfront development through permitting and inspections. An important part of my job is maintaining certification of both personnel and equipment that is vital to the operation.”
Gabe Winfrey has been with the Lake Oswego Corporation since 2009. He graduated from the University of Oregon with a bachelor’s degree in urban and natural resource planning in 2008, and shortly after began working for Lake Corp. as a seasonal operations crew member. Gabe worked in this role while also completing a graduate degree in Geographical Information Systems from Portland State University. He transitioned to his current role as Operations Manager in 2013, where he oversees lake infrastructure operation and maintenance including aeration, powerhouse, and dam operation. Gabe also manages herbicide and alum treatment, as well as debris and tree removal. Additionally, he performs building inspections for waterfront development of boathouses and docks. He is a member of the Oregon Lakes Association and the Western Aquatic Plant Management Association. Additionally, he joined the Oswego Lake Watershed Council in 2021 as a board member to represent the Lake Oswego Corporation as a stakeholder. Gabe enjoys staying active playing sports and in the outdoors. He lives in West Linn with his wife and two children.
Jeff Grant
Lake Patrol Manager

Jeff Grant

“I love that I’ve had the opportunity to return to the lake to manage and promote safety for our users so all can enjoy this incredible community asset.”
Jeff Grant re-joined the Lake Oswego Corporation in 2009 as the Lake Patrol Manager. Previously Jeff worked as a Lake Patrol Sheriff’s Deputy from 1975 to 1980. Jeff grew up in Lake Oswego, attending schools at Our Lady of the Lake and in the public sector. Jeff retired after 31 years from the Lake Oswego Police Department where he served in many different positions, including dive team member, patrol, training, and as Detective Sergeant in the narcotics division. Off duty he enjoys skiing, boating, travel and his hobby of locksmithing.
Sean Griffin
Operations Foreman

Sean Griffin

“Over more than a decade, I’ve worked with the team to ensure Oswego Lake remains a strong and viable community asset, and that water quality stays healthy.”
Sean Griffin moved from Pennsylvania to Oregon in 2008 to attend Portland State University. In 2012, he graduated from Portland State with a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Science. Sean joined the Lake Corp.’s operations staff shortly after graduation and now serves as Foreman. Sean also serves as an off-ice official for the Western Hockey League’s Portland Winterhawks since the 2012-2013 season. He lives in Gresham with his wife Tiffanyanne.
Laurent Nickel
Operations

Laurent Nickel

“I use my years of experience in plant management to promote both a healthy lake ecosystem with native aquatic plants and a healthy watershed with native plantings. These form the foundation that enable the lake fauna to thrive.”
Laurent Nickel was born and raised in northwest Portland. He graduated in 2008 from Pacific Lutheran University with degrees in Environmental Studies and English. After working for several counties in Washington State doing water quality monitoring and invasive plant control, he started as a seasonal operations team member at the Lake Oswego Corporation in 2011. In 2014 he was brought on permanently as our lead herbicide applicator. Laurent takes care of aquatic and terrestrial plant management for the lake an supports all other operations activities. In his spare time, he’s likely out in his boat salmon or steelhead fishing on local rivers, and as lifelong musician, at night you might find him in one of Portland’s jazz clubs playing his upright bass.
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Marina Lead

Sara Milhollin

“Over more than a decade, I’ve worked with the team to ensure Oswego Lake remains a strong and viable community asset, and that water quality stays healthy.”
Sara Milhollin is an Oregon local who moved up from Southern Oregon to Portland in 2012 after graduating high school. Although she’s never had any prior experience with boats, she was eager to join the marina and learn the ways of the Lake Oswego Corporation. She loves working in customer service and never gets tired of the view of the lake from the office. Sara enjoys kayaking and photography in her spare time.