Meet Jeff

Jeff Golden attended Harvard University as a National Scholar during the height of the Vietnam War and decided to swap the Ivy Halls for 20 acres in western Jackson County and a used chainsaw. He spent the 1970s growing food, managing forest land, building homes and guiding on the Rogue and Illinois Rivers.  He was the founding president of the Oregon Guides Association, the first-ever certified bargaining unit for whitewater river guides, and has been dedicated to building community with others ever since.

Knowing the Rogue Valley story

As production and operations manager for Medford’s public television station, Jeff developed the award-winning series The Downstate Gazette, one of the first showcases for environmental issues in Southern Oregon. He's focused on vital Southern Oregon issues ever since:

  • Correspondent and columnist for the Mail Tribune, Daily Tidings, and a variety of other periodicals

  • Public affairs producer for Southern Oregon Public Television

  • Host of JPR’s Jefferson Exchange (1998-2007)

  • Founding producer and host of SOPTV’s Immense Possibilities, which now broadcasts in 30 communities around the country

  • Author of Watermelon Summer, Forest Blood (a novel of the Timber Wars), As If We Were Grownups, UNAFRAID: A Novel of the Possible and Everything We Know About Leadership


  • Jackson County Commissioner, 1987-1991

  • Rogue Valley Council of Governments Director, 1988-1990

  • Chair, Jackson-Josephine Job Council, 1990

  • Chief-of-Staff to Oregon’s Senate President, 1993

  • Oregon State Criminal Corrections Council

  • Oregon State Film & Video Board


  • Co-founder of the Joe Hill Construction company, builder of custom homes, 1974-1975

  • Founder & lead consultant of Golden Communications, specializing in mediation, team-building and organizational excellence. 1991-2003

  • Founder/President of Immense Possibilities LLC, producing television programs highlighting great community projects that spur realistic hope, 2011-present

Community Service

Jeff has served as a volunteer member of the Board of Directors of:

  • The Rogue Valley Family YMCA

  • CASA of Jackson County

  • Oregon Special Olympic

  • The Oregon Council for the Humanities

  • The Pacific Non-Profit Network

  • Mediation Works (now RESOLVE)

  • The Oregon League of Conservation Voters

  • The Ashland Food Co-op

KC Golden (Climate Solutions, Chair), Tim DeChristopher (climate activist, Peaceful Uprising) and Jeff Golden at Divest Harvard.

KC Golden (Climate Solutions, Chair), Tim DeChristopher (climate activist, Peaceful Uprising) and Jeff Golden at Divest Harvard.


  • First-ever nominee from Oregon for the JFK Profile in Courage Award

  • Mediation Work’s Imagine Award for Community Peace-making

  • Senior Fellow of the American Leadership Forum of Oregon

  • Media Fellow of the Property and Environment Research Center

Primary Bragging Rights...

...come from the dedication, idealism, patience and slightly bizarre humor of Jeff’s two children, Daniel, 34, and Sarah, 32.  Jeff’s tremendously grateful for the support and counsel of his wife, Sarah Collard, a behavioral health administrator.  They share a home in North Ashland.




“Jeff’s service to our community and principled stands on the issues have been rock-solid for decades.”

- Oregon State Representative Pam Marsh