On Point :
direction, training and vision
Deston Denniston, MS, CPI
Executive Member, VETC
Deston (US Army, '88 -90) is the Executive Member of VETC. He has led over 2000 hours of trainings and seminars on Permaculture, ecological design, sustainable livestock production, and natural building, reaching over 1200 people in Hawaii, California, Oregon and Washington since 2000. He holds a Masters in Agriculture from WSU and holds a Permaculture Teaching Certificate awarded by PINA organizers in 2005. VETS_CAFE was registered as a Permaculture Teaching Agency in 2014. As Executive Member of VETC, Deston will advocate for members initiatives to the board for funding.
Deston is passionate about integrated animal polycrop systems, managed intensive grazing, natural building, charcuterie, barbqueing, hiking, biking, fishing, hunting and travel.
Angie grew up in the foothills of the Shasta-Trinity National Forest in rural Northern California. She joined the Navy at age 19, in 2001, like many do, with a dream of earning an education through service. She was stationed on the guided missile cruiser USS Cowpens out of Yokosuka, Japan which was the first naval ship to fire ordinance to initiate Operation Iraqi Freedom. She worked as a combat air traffic controller until 2005, when her active duty enlistment ended.
Angie holds a 2 year trades degree in residential construction from Portland Community College, and has participated in several community building projects for economically disadvantaged Portlanders. She is skilled carpenter, craftsperson and natural builder. She studied natural building during an apprenticeship with natural builder Bernhardt Masterson. She currently works as a construction foreman for a distinguished residential remodeling company. She is furthering her education with a certificate in Residential Building Inspection.
Angie is an active veteran and peace advocate. She is a co-host for “Veteran's Voice” on KBOO Community Radio, and has completed her fourth year as a counter-recruiter in the Portland Public School District. She enjoys art, journaling, being with friends, and spending time in nature.
Ernie and Erica Wisner,
Permaculture & Fire Science
Ernie and Erica Wisner are from Tonasket, WA. Best known for their innovative rocket mass heater designs, they are world leaders and trainers in rocket stove technology. They have made over 700 rocket stoves all over the world. They were introduced to this type of work when Ernie did a two year apprenticeship with Ianto Evans of Cob Cottage Co., who originally developed this type of technology 30 years ago.
Ernie and Erica now spend their time touring the world teaching workshops on how to build these energy efficient, natural heaters. They are also working to design and build a Underwriters Laboratory (UL (safety organization)) listed stove, which would eliminate insurance issues. They have also been active in building code issues. In 2013, they were featured in a 4 DVD film series covering an entire workshop which they split into four sections: Fire Science, Sneaky Heat, Boom Squish, and Hot Rocket. Additionally, Village Video produced a film with Ernie and Erica called How To Build Rocket Mass Heaters in which they again teach how to build and maintain these heaters. Adding to all of this, Erica and Ernie have written two books, The Art of Fire and The Rocket Mass Heater Builder’s Guide.
Ernie served in the US Navy as an Aviation Boatswain's Mate Equipment (ABE) cat-2 on the USS Dwight D Eisenhower (cvn69) from 1986-1990. Ernie and Erica's passions, aside from fire and permaculture, include sailing and boatbuilding. Ernie and Erica are Founding Members of VETC.
Hazel Danene Speer,
& Natural Building
Hazel joined the Army to get off the family farm in rural Oregon, and for an education. After a four year tour she got out to have her first child, and left an abusive marriage. While raising three daughters as a single parent she worked as a victim's advocate for domestic violence/sexual assault, started scultping, and began working with Headstart. After several years, burned out, she went to some secluded hot springs with her daughter to get away from the 4th of July noise. There she found Buddha's Playhose, and a copy of the Cobber's companion. Being a sculptor she decided to build a cob house herself; she liked the idea because it seemed rather like a giant upside down clay coil pot.
Hazel then attended a 'Getting Off the Treadmill' at Cob Cottage with Ianto Evans and enrolled in Ecological Design courses at the North American School of Natural Building. For the next decade, she developed a homestead in rural Oregon called Treesong using Natural Building and Appropriate Technology. Since taking a PDC & Optical Surveying from Siskiyou Permaculture, she's staked key-lines & placed pond sites on her forested mountain site. Hazel now integrates Forest Gardens with goats, chickens and rabbits. At her site, Treesong, she has hosted WWOOFERs from all over the world during the last 5 yrs. Hazel completed her Teacher Training Certificate from Cascadia Permaculture in 2015. Hazel is a Founding Member of VETC