Ken Salazar Co-Chair

Secretary Salazar is a beloved western native and founder of the Salazar Center. He is a former US Secretary of the Interior, Colorado Attorney General, and US Senator. As Secretary, he established the America’s Great Outdoors Initiative, and as the executive director of the Colorado Department of Natural Resources, he led the governor’s Great Outdoors Colorado Citizens Committee in helping to create the Great Outdoors Colorado Trust Fund. He currently leads WilmerHale’s efforts on energy, environment, natural resources, and Native American matters.

Tony Frank Co-Chair

Tony is the Chancellor of the Colorado State University System, home to Colorado State University in Fort Collins, CSU-Pueblo, and CSU-Global. Prior, during his 10-year tenure as President of CSU, he co-founded the Salazar Center and oversaw the naming of university as the most sustainable campus in the nation. His leadership has also been essential to the development of the CSU complex at the National Western Center in Denver, which will provide a platform for collaboration on issues at the intersection of food, water, and human and animal health.

Lise Aangeenbrug

Lise is a veteran conservationist and the executive director of the Outdoor Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Outdoor Industry Association. Prior to joining the Foundation, she served as the executive vice president for the National Park Foundation and the executive director of the Great Outdoors Colorado Trust Fund, in which role she was responsible for the overall management and operation of Colorado’s constitutionally chartered fund that benefits the state’s rivers, trails, parks, and open spaces.

Rye Austin

Rye Austin is the Executive Director of the Malone Family Land Preservation Foundation. The Foundation focuses on the conservation and preservation of working landscapes through the development, implementation, and dissemination of sustainable management practices resulting in improvement of forage, soil health, and carbon capture/sequestration. Rye currently serves on the Board of Directors of Colorado Cattlemen’s Agricultural Land Trust and is a Trustee of the National Western Stock Show Association.

Luis Benitez

Luis is the Vice President for government affairs and global impact at the VF Corporation, a $23 billion holding company that includes some of the outdoor industry’s most iconic brands. Prior, he led Colorado’s Outdoor Recreation Industry Office, during which time the state’s outdoor economy grew from $28 billion to $65 billion. Luis is a former Everest guide, and he currently sits on the advisory board for the Warner College of Natural Resources’ tourism programs at CSU.

Loren BirdRattler

Loren is the project manager for the Blackfeet Nation’s Agriculture Resource Management Plan (ARMP), which aims to create policy in land, conservation, water resource management, and holistic management practices, as well as agriculture and livestock regulation for both the Blackfeet Tribe and the US governments. He is also the Endowed Chair for the Native Studies Department at Montana State University, where he is working with the department to create an Indigenous Research Initiative that will align Native-based research at MSU with Tribal priorities.

Ann Castle

Anne is a senior fellow at the Getches-Wilkinson Center for Natural Resources, Energy, and the Environment at the University of Colorado Law School, where she focuses on western water policy issues. She served previously as Assistant Secretary for Water and Science at the US Department of the Interior and had practiced water law for nearly 30 years prior.

Susan Daggett

Susan is an associate professor of law in the Sturm College of Law at the University of Denver and the Executive Director of the Rocky Mountain Land Use Institute. She specializes in environmental and natural resources law and earned her JD from Yale University. She previously served as managing attorney in the Rocky Mountain office of Earthjustice and is a founding member of the Metropolitan Denver Nature Alliance.

Alex DeGolia

Alex is the Deputy Director of the Catena Foundation, where he manages funding for innovative efforts to decarbonize the economy and to support outdoor recreation economies in the Western US. Alex earned his PhD in environmental politics and policy from UC Santa Barbara, for which he evaluated motivations for different types of individual pro-environmental behaviors and their policy implications. 

Carlos Fernandez

Carlos is the State Director for The Nature Conservancy in Colorado. He works closely with the Colorado Chapter’s Board of Trustees as well as partner organizations, agencies, elected officials, and other key decision-makers to advance conservation in Colorado and around the world. Carlos is a native of Argentina and holds law degrees from Mendoza and Georgetown universities. 

Allegra “Happy” Haynes 

Happy is the Executive Director of Denver Parks and Recreation and a Denver native. She received a degree in Political Science from Columbia University and an MPA from the University of Colorado at Denver. Happy currently serves on several non-profit boards, including the Trust for Public Land, the Denver Museum of Nature and Science, and the Denver Botanic Gardens.

Tom Gougeon 

Tom has served as the President of the Gates Family Foundation since 2010, where he oversees investments in public education, natural resources stewardship, and community development throughout Colorado. Tom has served on the boards of numerous land conservation, urban redevelopment, environmental, and historic preservation organizations and is a former chair of Volunteers for Outdoor Colorado, The Nature Conservancy, the Urban Land Conservancy, and the Denver Water Board.

Jim Kelley

Jim is the founder and Managing Partner of the Colorado Impact Fund, which invests in Colorado-based companies meeting the dual criteria of achievable market rates of return and positive community impact. He is also co-founder and Managing Director of Vestar Capital Partners, a New York-based private equity fund, and he has served on the boards of the Denver Foundation, Great Outdoors Colorado, The Nature Conservancy, and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation.

Patrick Phillips

From 2009 to 2018, Patrick served as the Global Chief Executive Officer of the Urban Land Institute, where he led all aspects of the institute’s strategy, mission delivery, resource allocation, and business performance. Patrick’s career in the economic analysis of real estate and land use spans more than 30 years, and he is a frequent speaker on urban development issues. He has taught at Harvard’s Graduate School of Design and at the Carey Business School of Johns Hopkins University. 

George Sparks

George has been the President/CEO of the Denver Museum of Nature and Science since November 2004. His passion is public policy, particularly around science and education. He is a member of the Colorado Forum and is on the boards of Aspen Academy, Colorado Education Initiative, Colorado Music Hall of Fame, Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce, Denver School of Science & Technology, and National Western Stock Show Association.

Tim Stevens

Tim is the Montana Fund Advisor at The Kendeda Fund, which he joined in 2015 after more than two decades of experience in conservation in the Northern Rockies. In his role at The Kendeda Fund, Tim helps Montana-based non-profits work with communities to come together to identify workable solutions to recreation, resource management, and wildlife issues. Prior, he served as the Northern Rockies Regional Director and the Yellowstone Program Manager for the National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA) and as a conservation program manager for the Greater Yellowstone Coalition.

Dan Stiles

Dan is the Managing Partner of Stiles.Legal and provides counsel to organizations seeking to make a positive human impact, from the global climate change nonprofit founded and chaired by former Vice President Al Gore to the Colorado Cattlemen’s Agricultural Land Trust.  Dan serves on the Board of ICLEI USA and as a mentor for entrepreneurs with the Techstars-TNC Sustainability Accelerator. 

Gary Tabor

Gary is an ecologist and wildlife veterinarian based in Bozeman, Montana. In 2007, he founded the Center for Large Landscape Conservation to help people and institutions make better conservation decisions at the scale nature functions and now serves at the Center’s president. Gary has worked on behalf of large landscape conservation for over 35 years, including as the co-founder of the Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative, Patagonia’s Freedom to Roam wildlife corridor campaign, and the Network for Landscape Conservation.

Diana Wall

Diana is the Director of the School of Global Environmental Sustainability and a University Distinguished Professor at Colorado State University. She is the Science Chair of the Global Soil Biodiversity Initiative and is internationally renowned for researching Antarctic ecosystems. She is an elected member of the National Academy of Sciences.