Oregon Public Broadcasting

April Baer grew up in the Midwest and came to Oregon Public Broadcasting in 2004. Prior to creating State of Wonder, OPB’s weekly journal of arts and creative work, she reported on government, politics, crime and courts, military affairs and other subjects, and spent five years hosting OPB’s Morning Edition. Before coming to Oregon, she’d worked as a studio engineer, host, reporter, and occasional music host at several stations in Ohio. April lives in Portland.


Dave Chun is the paddle designer and a co-owner of Kialoa. A long time outrigger paddler, he learned his craft, in a makeshift shop located on the back porch of his parents’ home in Kailua, Hawaii. Dave and Meg Chun moved Kialoa to Bend, Oregon, in 1992, where they manufacture products for paddlers.
Ben Hull is the founder and principal creative at Connell Hull Company, a design studio offering creative solutions for a range of disciplines. His design/build work transforms commercial spaces, retail environments, restaurants and residences.Ben understands space to be a transformative opportunity, a thing which can direct an experience. As a designer and craftsman, Ben uses common materials to engage awareness to his designed spaces, so those spaces can tell their
story – making beauty out of the ordinary. As a practicing artist, Ben merges his sculptural and art installation background
with his passion for design and architecture.

The all-new Nest is the first travel trailer to be conceived, developed and brought to market by designer, fabricator and long-time camper, Robert Johans.

In 1984, Mr. Johans’ career after art school began in Los Angeles as a paste-up artist for a national magazine. Within ten years, he became president and creative director of his own marketing and corporate communications company, Creative Beast. Throughout his 20-year professional marketing career, furniture design and building was a consistent and gratifying hobby.
After moving in late 2006 with his wife, Audrey, to Bend, Oregon, Robert began to pursue one of his other hobbies: camping trailer renovation. With that saw the beginnings of The Egg Plant — a restoration and modernization facility for vintage molded fiberglass trailers such as Boler, Scamp, Trilium, and many others. Campers from around the country have brought their trailers to The Egg Plant for Robert’s vision and skills.

Informed by his years of design experience and invaluable customer input via The Egg Plant, plus his own comprehensive research in both the RV and camping industries, the inspiration for Nest Caravans was born.


Shannon Lester is a product and landscape designer who holds a degree in Landscape Architecture from Washington State University. After a sojourn in Italy where she experienced landscape and design, Shannon returned to the Pacific Northwest to focus on custom residential and commercial landscape design, wetland restoration, land use and city planning projects.In 2012, Shannon and her husband, Drew, built upon their design/build landscape company by introducing their mid-century, modern-inspired planter company, Steel Life. Here, Shannon promotes sustainability and gardening for success, so homeowners can enjoy all the other activities Central Oregon has to offer.

Steel Life planters have been recognized by many nationally accredited industry professionals and magazines including Martha Stewart, Sunset, Better Homes and Gardens, 1859 Oregon, People and Dwell magazine. The Steel Life collection has also been featured on NBC’s American Dream Builders, HGTV Designstar, Showtime’s House of Lies and Californication.

On her blog, “Blooming Desert’s Daily Dirt.,” readers can enjoy posts about her plant nursery visits, experiences at design and garden trade shows, and gardening struggles in the High Desert. In her most popular post series, Garden to Glass, she offers cocktail recipes that incorporate ingredients from her 1/4 acre garden.

Shannon lives in Central Oregon where she teaches seasonal succulent and floral arrangement workshops, including at West Elm in Portland.  Workshops in Bend this Fall:  October 23rd @ Armature Bend/November 9th Deschutes Public Library.