The Board of Directors

Sanghata board of directors

The Sanghata Board of Directors serve as stewards helping the community provide the basic needs – the requisites – of the monastics living at the Pacific Hermitage. This support allows the monastics to live in accordance with the Vinaya (Buddhist monastic code) and to teach the Buddha Dhamma in the Pacific Northwest. The requisites include: food, clothing, shelter, and medicine.

Sanghata receives and holds monetary donations given to the Pacific Hermitage; pays bills, and provides requisites as needed by the monastics. We ensure that financial transactions are carried out legally, fairly, and in consultation with the monastics. We welcome inquiries from the community about the Sanghata organization, our finances, the requisites for the monastics, and the role of stewards.

For more information please contact: dana@sanghata.net.

Scott Benge | Sanghata Board President

Scott Benge


Scott is a retired business owner. He became a Buddhist practitioner in 2002 and has been inspired by the Theravadan monastic tradition. Scott has served on several for-profit and non-profit boards over the years. He resides with his wife Joan in Bend, Oregon.

Anna Siebenborn | Sanghata Board Vice President

Anna Siebenborn

Vice President

Anna, a White Salmon resident has had a life-long interest in meditation. She met the Hermitage monks in 2010 while they were walking alms in her neighborhood and has been a regular donor and practitioner ever since. Anna joined the Sanghata Board in 2016.

Dave Forslund | Sanghata Board Treasurer

Dave Forslund


Dave encountered Buddhism in 2000 and was inspired by its knowledge of the human experience. He has been practicing in the Theravada tradition since 2004. Dave has served on the board at Portland Friends of the Dhamma and with Sanghata since its inception. He currently resides in Portland.

Carole Melkonian | Sanghata Board Secretary

Carole Melkonian


Carole began practicing Buddhism in 1980; first living at a Zen monastery for four years, then studying closely with Thich Nhat Hanh. Since 1986, she has been studying in the Theravada tradition, meeting the monks of Abhayagiri in 1994. She has been serving as secretary for the Sanghata Board since it began.

Krissy Martin | Sanghata Board Member

Krissy Martin

Board Member

Krissy is a native of Thailand, who moved to Portland in 2010, almost at the same time the Pacific Hermitage was established in White Salmon. She grew up in Bangkok in a strongly Buddhist family, with both her parents actively involved in the neighborhood temple and also in supporting monks and temples all over Thailand. At home in Portland she enjoys gardening and loves to cook and to teach Thai cuisine while sharing her traditional Buddhist culture.

Debie Garner | Sanghata Board Member

Debie Garner

Board Member

Debie met the monks in 2010 when they began offering weekly meditation and Dhamma talks in White Salmon. She credits meditation, the teachings and the monks’ local presence with helping her to develop a more peaceful state of mind. She was invited to join the board in August of 2016.