Conservation Legacy Central Staff
Stacey joined Conservation Legacy in June of 2016. She was born and raised in the Washington DC area but followed her family to Durango, CO in 2000. She was a landscaper, gallery manager and realtor before finding her true calling with numbers. Several careers in various aspects of accounting make her excited to be part of the growth of Conservation Legacy. In her spare time she enjoys hiking, rafting, camping, cooking, gardening and traveling with her boyfriend and dogs.
Jennifer Bartlett is the Director of Member and Staff Support for Conservation Legacy. She began in August 2011 as the Director of Administration and came to us from youth development programs in Southwest Colorado; with a year and a half break while spending time at Boys & Girls Clubs again. She received her Bachelors of Science Degree from Northern Arizona University in Parks and Recreation Management with an emphasis in Community Recreation in 2002. Since then, she has been committed to youth-serving organizations. She was the Director of the Community Learning Center with Flagstaff School District’s after school programming, Director of Resort Recreation with Fairfield Resorts, Director of the Southern Ute Community Action Program’s Youth Services Division, the CPO of the Boys & Girls Club of the Southern Ute Indian Tribe and the Unit Director of Boys & Girls Club of La Plata County. Additionally, Jennifer has a history of volunteering with La Plata Electronic Round Up Foundation, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Regional Substance Abuse Partners (AmeriCorps), Southern Ute Community Action Program, Leadership La Plata, Girls Scouts, High School Soccer Coach- to name a few. She has been trained in Project Venture and Character Counts evidence-based curriculum. In addition she continues to participate in leadership development programs such as AMEX Leadership University, Leadership La Plata, BGCA Leadership University; and recently was honored to receive the 2017 Barbara Conrad Award with the Durango Chamber of Commerce. Though raised on the coast of Southern California, the Rocky Mountains called her name and she never went back. From trail running with her fur-kids, to mountain biking and snowboarding; Jenn now calls the mountains “home.”
Jennifer graduated from Fort Lewis College in 2009 with a Bachelor of Arts in Exercise Science with a minor in Marketing. Previously, worked in the corporate world for industries ranging from Commercial Real Estate, Ecommerce, and Finance. Jennifer and her fiancé relocated to Durango in December of 2016 and are fortunate to call Durango home again. When not at work, Jennifer loves to hike, cook, and spend time with family and friends.
AJ joined Conservation Legacy in May 2016. Born and raised in Pennsylvania, AJ traveled to Durango, CO for a summer job in 2000 and has yet to leave. Following a decade of work in the field of criminal justice, AJ decided to re-purpose her skills and set off on a new career path. While still committed to empowering individuals through meaningful public service, AJ has enjoyed pursuing this goal through the numerous service and work opportunities offered by Conservation Legacy. Outside of the office, AJ enjoys running, hiking, and exploring the outdoors with her husband, daughter, and dog.
Susan joined Conservation Legacy in 2018, bringing with her 25 years of experience in non-profit and educational settings. She mastered the ins and outs of non-profit management during her 15 years at the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education, a national, membership-based organization in Washington, DC, devoted to advancing the preparation of our nation’s educators. She also served as Assistant Dean at the University of Southern Maine’s College of Education before pursing her love of history through volunteer and part-time work at the Smithsonian’s American History Museum. One of the highlights of her career was her time as a high school social studies teacher in Fairfax County, Virginia, where she teamed with an English Language Learner specialist to co-teach the department’s integrated courses for ELLs and native English speakers. Immediately prior to joining Conservation Legacy, Susan worked for the DACOR Bacon House Foundation, which operates a center for international dialogue housed in an historic mansion blocks from the White House; in this position, she was pleased to serve as a leader and advocate for historic preservation in general, and specifically for the important historic role that the DACOR Bacon House played in U.S. history. Susan grew up in the Southwest, including Albuquerque and Denver, loves hiking and camping, and has a keen sense of stewardship in all she does, from mentoring young people and caring for the environment to leading non-profit organizations as they fulfill their critical missions of service.
Rose joins the Conservation Legacy team with a background in visual communication and conservation. Her life changed when she decided to work for a trail crew in Alaska for a summer. This experience jump started her passion for conservation work and led her to wrangle rattlesnakes (and tourists) during an internship with the NPS, work as a conservation photojournalist, apprentice on an organic farm in California, and install passive and active water harvesting systems in the desert. She is thrilled to apply her skills to her position as Communications and Alumni Coordinator for Conservation Legacy. In her spare time, you can find her climbing rocks, eating cool food, making pottery, and taking pictures.
Jeff Davis has worked with Conservation Corps programming since 1998. He has held various positions over the years and is excited to now work within Conservation Legacy support office. Jeff is originally from the East Coast, but has been living out west for the past 15 years—primarily in Colorado, Alaska, and Arizona. A graduate of Prescott College, Jeff enjoys reading, writing, music, cooking, public lands and hot springing. An avid traveler as well, Jeff has journeyed through all 50 states, Mexico, Canada, South America and the Caribbean.
Mat joined Conservation Legacy in June 2015. Originally from Zuni, New Mexico Matt has called Durango, Colorado his home for the past nine years where he received two degrees in both Accounting and Marketing from Fort Lewis College in 2013. Within that time Mat took on leadership roles and was heavily involved with student organizations such as the American Indian Business Leaders (AIBL) national organization, Wanbli Ota, and Beta Alpha Psi (Accounting Geeks Galore). After graduating Mat worked in corporate accounting for a year and joined Conservation Legacy. During his free time Mat likes to run half marathons, attend concerts and live events, hike, cook, and find the courage to study and complete the Certified Public Accountancy (CPA) exam.
Jennifer Hayden is the Payroll and Personnel Coordinator for Conservation Legacy. She attended the University of Washington in Seattle in the early 90s and is currently a full-time online student at Southern New Hampshire University going for her Business degree with an emphasis in Human Resource Management. Originally from Philadelphia, she has lived in Washington, Oregon and New Jersey. This is her second time living here in Durango. As often as she can, Jennifer enjoys camping with her husband and three kids and riding trails in their side-by-side.
Teresa joined Conservation Legacy in 2018 to focus on Grants and Agreements. She has a background in environmental education, adult education, outdoor education and land conservation. She has a degree in Environmental Studies from the University of California, Santa Cruz and has worked in both state and national parks. She is well versed in federal, state and foundation grants administration, nonprofit finance and partnership development. She is thrilled to be part of Conservation Legacy and supporting the dual mission of youth skills development and on-the-ground conservation work. Teresa loves running trails with her dog Skipper and sewing all kinds of projects.
Rebecca has been with Conservation Legacy since November 2017. She started as a Program Coordinator with the Stewards program and then moved over to support staff as the Member Administration Manager. After graduating from Temple University with a degree in Psychology, she signed up for AmeriCorps NCCC. She completed a year-long term as a Corps member, traveling around the Southeast working on a variety of projects from building homes to trail maintenance to disaster relief. A year of national service wasn’t enough so she went back to serve as a Team Leader with the inaugural class of AmeriCorps NCCC-FEMA Corps. These experiences led her to getting a Masters in Public Administration while having a variety of positions with a mental health nonprofit. Born and raised in South Jersey, she has also lived in Philadelphia and Burlington, VT before moving to Durango. In her free time Rebecca loves exploring the outdoors with her husband and 2 awesome dogs. Whenever they can, all 4 of them cram into her CRV for epic road trips anywhere the road takes them.
Michael has been working with Americorps programing since 2011 when he served with Coconino Rural Environmental Corps (CREC) and has been dedicated to conservation youth programing ever since. Since his time with CREC he has worked in various training roles at Southeast Conservation Corps, American Conservation Experience, Arizona Conservation Corps and now Conservation Legacy. In his role as Training Specialist, he supports Conservation Legacy programs in their ever evolving training development needs. Originally from Tennessee, Michael attended the Maryland Institute College of Art and is still an avid painter and maker. When he isn’t on a work site he enjoys exploring public lands, being a history nerd and attempting to grow his own veggies. Michael is based out of Asheville, NC.
Andrea previously worked for both large and small government contracting companies as a Financial Analyst and Accountant. This is her first time supporting a non-profit and she's excited about the change of environment. Originally from Washington D.C., she has lived in Colorado for the past seven years. She has relocated to Durango due to a transfer her husband received with the BLM. She's thrilled to have finally made Durango her home. On weekends, you'll find her hiking with her four-legged son, working on her golf game or watching college football.
Alyssa is originally from Huntsville, Alabama. She moved to California to pursue her interests in the outdoors and attend UC Davis to study Restoration and Biodiversity of Forest Ecosystems. Her love of the mountains and the flora in the region took her into the Sierra Nevada’s to explore high alpine plant diversity and to walk amongst the Bristlecone Pines. After graduation, she moved to the High County of Colorado. After 10 years in Summit County, Alyssa and her family moved to Durango, to start their exploration of the Southwest. In her free time, Alyssa loves high alpine hikes, hanging with her family (dogs included), mountain biking, cooking, and reading a good novel.
A long season of crew leading in 2011 with Southwest Conservation Corps was the beginning of her love affair with the West, conservation work and this organization. Jenna jumped on as staff in 2013 as a recruiter with Arizona Conservation Corps and has since taken on the role of Communications Director with Conservation Legacy. Michigan is her home, where she grew up with lakes and trees and music and art. She has a degree in Graphic Design and is happily combining her love of design with her passion for people, the environment and the connection between the two. In her spare time, she's playing soccer, planning adventures, hiking, cooking and biking, biking, biking...
Hilary joined Conservation Legacy in November of 2017, after moving to the southwest in May. She grew up in New England, but has always been pulled to the beauty and expansiveness of the west, and spent two years living in Oregon after college before moving to Colorado. She graduated from the University of New Hampshire with a degree in Environmental Conservation Studies, and has worked in a variety of environments and roles, including management, administration, and communications, but her strongest skill and leverage point is bookkeeping. Hilary enjoys practicing yoga, crafting, and exploring by car and foot, and is excited to try some (slightly) more extreme hobbies now that she’s made the move to Colorado!
Jay began his adventure with corps at the Vermont Youth Conservation Corps (VYCC) in 2009. After three seasons in Vermont, Jay was sent to North Carolina to help pioneer a new partnership between the VYCC and the Conservation Trust for North Carolina to help bring youth into the outdoors for North Carolina’s first statewide conservation corps. Looking for a chance to expand his Corps repertoire, Jay spent the next year as a Field Boss at the Utah Conservation Corps mainly supervising chainsaw crews and working on eradicating Russian Olive from the Escalante canyons in southern Utah. For two years in the great Gem State, he served as a Program Coordinator for Idaho Conservation Corps. Jay then joined the Arizona Conservation Corps in 2017 as Logistics Coordinator, and moved to Conservation Legacy's Central Staff as Business Operations Coordinator in 2019. Jay spends his spare time climbing, skiing, and exploring the wilderness.
Amy joined Conservation Legacy in 2003. During her tenure, the organization experienced significant growth and she has been a part of all aspects of organizational development. She has overseen business and finance operations, supported marketing and communications, managed federal grant implementation and provided support to advocacy and partnership development efforts. She also helped to develop, and continues to provide support for, two emerging regional corps programs—the Southeast Conservation Corps and the Great Appalachian Valley Conservation Corps.
Prior to positions in senior leadership, Amy held various other roles in the organization and developed some of the signature Conservation Legacy programs including the Ancestral Lands Program, Veterans Fire Corps and the Stewards Program. She oversaw the development of these programs, developed key relationships with partners, managed staff and obtained resources necessary for growth. She also helped implement key operational models including the crew leader development program and disaster response crews.
When Amy first began her career with Conservation Legacy, she was heavily involved with field operations, recruitment, training and technical skill development. Her interest for conservation work started with the Green Mountain Club in Vermont and her connection to hard work outside began while working alongside her father in the family business on masonry, landscaping and construction projects.
She is currently a Commissioner for the Colorado Governor’s Commission on Community Service, Vice-Chair of the Southwest Institute on Education and Conservation (SIEC) and is an alum of the American Express Leadership Academy. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her family, recreating outside, gardening and coaching girls youth hockey
Rob joined Conservation Legacy in 2012 as the Executive Director of Southwest Conservation Corps Sonoran Desert which became the Arizona Conservation Corps in 2014. Rob also served as the Interim CEO and President and Chief Operating Officer of The Corps Network (The national association for service and conservation corps) in Washington DC and as the Executive Director of the Washington Conservation Corps.
After receiving a Bachelors degree in Accounting/Business from Central Washington University, Rob worked three years for a CPA firm and the Washington State Auditor's Office. He then began a twenty year career working for the lead environmental agency for Washington State - the Department of Ecology as the Director of the Washington Conservation Corps.
Rob’s passion has always been in working with youth and the outdoors. In addition to his career work, he was a volunteer youth coach in several sports for 17 years and also served as a commissioner for 17 years with the Washington State Commission for National and Community Service (AmeriCorps) and Arizona Governor’s Office for Service and Volunteerism.
Michael had his first corps experience in 2009 as an AmeriCorps member with Southwest Conservation Corps in the Sonoran Desert and has been at it since. He has also worked as a field leader with SCC and SCA, and in a number of program management roles for Arizona Conservation Corps. As Field Operations Director, Michael works closely with staff across the organization to help its programs lead the way in safety, quality, and training. Although his accent sometimes gives away his Minnesota roots, he now lives in Durango, Colorado where he can often be found rock climbing and trying to keep up with his cattle dog.
Belinda joined Conservation Legacy as the Controller in September of 2017. In her position, she is responsible for maintaining and overseeing the organization’s financial and accounting services. She has over ten years of experience in the finance and accounting fields. Prior to joining Conservation Legacy, Belinda was the Controller for a local government agency and spent many years with for-profit organizations as an accountant. She graduated summa cum laude with her Bachelor’s degree in Accounting from Fort Lewis College in Durango, Colorado.
In her free time, Belinda enjoys being active in her church such as helping with fundraising efforts for the youth program. She also enjoys watching her children’s many extra-curricular activities, playing board games with family, and enjoying the beautiful outdoors.
Amber Wong, originally from New York City, joined Conservation Legacy as the Digital Content Coordinator in 2019. After obtaining a joint Environmental Studies and Anthropology degree from Franklin & Marshall College, she served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in the Philippines. She then continued her conservation career as a Wildlife Research Technician on numerous jobs in Belize, New Mexico, India, and Arizona. Formerly a Recruiter for the Arizona Conservation Corps, she happy to stay with the Conservation Legacy family. After moving many times in the past few years, she is happy to call Tucson, AZ home now. Outside of work Amber is hiking, climbing, dancing, or out on Mt. Lemmon with her pup Ada.
Board of Directors
Andrew O. Moore serves as Director, Youth and Young Adult Connections at the National League of Cities’ Institute for Youth, Education and Families, where he has worked since 2004. The YEF Institute is a foundation-funded “action tank” that helps municipal leaders implement practical solutions on behalf of the children, youth, and families in their communities. Drawing support from several national foundations, Moore’s current roles with the Institute include overseeing an initiative to enlist cities more fully in the growing movement to connect children to nature, in conjunction with the Children & Nature Network; supporting a growing national network of Dropout Reengagement Centers and spreading practical lessons learned through the recent book, Reengagement: Bringing Students Back to America’s Schools (Rowman and Littlefield, 2016); and leading an exploration of municipal leadership roles in juvenile justice system reform and jail use reduction.
Earlier, at the organization now known as The Corps Network, Moore spent 15 years building the nationwide network of service and conservation corps. He holds degrees from Princeton University and the University of Pennsylvania’s Fels Institute of Government, and serves on the boards of the National Youth Employment Coalition and Conservation Legacy.
Enrique Figueroa serves as the chief executive and administrative officer of the Roberto Hernández Center at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee as well as the Assistant to the Provost for Latino Affairs. He works extensively with the Latino community of greater Milwaukee in areas of program development, research, outreach and community empowerment through education. Enrique holds a Ph.D. in Agricultural Economics from UC-Davis and worked as a professor at Cornell University. He was appointed as Deputy Under Secretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs at the US Department of Agriculture in the Clinton Administration where he was responsible for a two billion dollar budget and a workforce of nearly 15,000. He was one of the first staff members at the California Conservation Corps in the 1970s and is a recognized national scholar, administrator, and Latino community leader.
Loretta retired from 33 years of service to the State of Colorado,Department of Natural Resources in 2014. She is an experienced professional with demonstrated success in strategic planning, natural resource management and environmental restoration. Loretta is recognized as an excellent communicator, results-oriented self-starter and problem-solver. She has a strong background in local, state and federal governmental affairs. Loretta has a BA from Colorado State University.
Loretta is currently working for Environmental Learning for Kids (ELK), a Denver non-profit. ELK is dedicated to education opportunity fostered by science and natural resources within the urban environment. She is overseeing the development of ELK’S open space restoration and environmental education center project in the Montbello neighborhood.
Karen, commonly referred to by her nickname Rudy, has over 15-years experience as both an administrator and funder for environmental, arts, and cultural organizations throughout the Southeastern United States. In 2015, she returned to her artist roots as co-owner of Cloverdale Forge, a blacksmith shop using traditional forging techniques to hammer custom works for both the home and garden. When she leaves the anvil, Karen consults with the Winnipeg, Manitoba based Creaddo Group who provide strategic guidance to organizations so they can maximize their social impact throughout the community.
Over the past 22 years, Baker Easley has led numerous environmental, volunteer, and youth-development oriented nonprofit organizations, with a focus on strengthening their programs and helping them grow to new levels. During that time, she founded or helped start 7 different youth and civilian service corps programs, both in Colorado and nationally. Prior to joining Volunteers for Outdoor Colorado in 2007, she founded the Colorado Youth Corps Association where she served as its Executive Director for 11 years.
Robert Burkhardt recently retired after 21 years as Head of School of the Eagle Rock School and Professional Development Center in Estes Park, CO. Previously he served as the first Executive Director of the San Francisco Conservation Corps and before that as the Chief Deputy Director of the California Conservation Corps. Robert was instrumental in the founding of the CCC Backcountry Program and was one of the first Board Presidents of the National Association of Service and Conservation Corps, now The Corps Network. He has also worked as a teacher and circus performer and currently is a newspaper columnist for the Estes Park News. Robert has won numerous awards including the Sargent Shriver Award for Distinguished Humanitarian Service and the Class of 1962 Service Award from Princeton University.
Nelson serves as Director, Agriculture and Rural Economy, at the Millennium Challenge Corporation, Washington DC. He has eighteen years' experience in the design, implementation, monitoring, evaluation, and management of non-governmental and governmental programs aimed at poverty alleviation through agriculture and natural resources management in Niger, Ghana, Burkina Faso, Chad, Liberia, Ethiopia, Togo, Mauritania, and the United States. Nelson has a Ph.D in Arid Lands Resource Sciences from the University of Arizona. Nelson previously served as Country Director for the Peace Corps and as Vice-President of SCC.
Larry grew up on a working farm in an Irish farming community in Iowa, graduated from the University of South Dakota, traveled to Europe and then moved to California where he became one of the first staff members of the newly created California Conservation Corps (CCC). Larry ended up working with conservation corps for over 30 years from 1976 to 2006, the majority of that time with the CCC where he served as a Crew Supervisor, Regional Deputy, Operations Officer and Center Director. From 1993-1995 Larry served as the first Executive Director of the original state-operated Arizona Conservation Corps. During his career Larry developed the CCC's Salmon Restoration Program, managed disaster relief programs, developed multiple AmeriCorps programs and designed many of the CCC's orientation, case management and training programs. Larry is currently retired in northern California and enjoys sharing his knowledge with todays next generation of conservation corps enthusiasts.
Cornell Torivio, a member of the Acoma Tribe, previously served as Southwest Conservation Corps Board member (2006-2008) and is the founder and first Director of SCC’s Ancestral Lands program. Cornell was born and raised in San Bernardino California. He enjoys the outdoors and has a new passion in getting fit and healthy. He states, “My experience and knowledge I have gained through many years of life and education have giving me the ability to teach others, in the fields of culinary arts, preservation, conservation and restoration of prehistoric and historic structures, log cabins and viga restoration and treatment. Most important is the knowledge I have gained in the field of conservation, program development and youth outreach. And,most important to me is having a buffalo dance group that performs across the United States.” Cornell was awarded the Heritage Preservation Award of New Mexico for his knowledge and expertise in restoring the San Estevan Mission at Acoma Pueblo. In addition to founding the SCC Ancestral Lands office, he also started and led SCC’s first historic preservation crews. Cornell wanted to conclude his bio with the following:
We the willing, led by the Unknowing,
Are doing the impossible for the
We have done so much with so little,
That we are now qualified, to do Anything with Nothing...
Philan is Towering House Clan and born for Edgewater Clan. She is originally from Tolani Lake Arizona located on the Navajo Reservation. Currently she is employed as a Tribal & Program Liaison to the Coconino County District 4 Supervisor and tasked with relations and communications between tribal communities. Philan is an alum of the Coconino Rural Environment Corps, which is now a program of Arizona Conservation Corps and Conservation Legacy. She served two terms as an AmeriCorps Mentor and was selected as one of The Corps Network's 2012 National Corpsmembers of the Year. She currently serves on the Opportunity Youth Network's National Council of Young Leaders and is the Chair of the Native American Parent Advisory Committee for Flagstaff Unified School District.
Dawnafe Whitesinger (White Mountain Apache) grew up on the Fort Apache Reservation, and is now a resident of Pinetop-Lakeside. She serves on the Navajo County Board of Supervisors representing Navajo County District 5 and also serves on the White Mountain Youth Corps Board of Directors. Dawnafe has a strong love of her community, and has spent the majority of her life working in the education system to better the lives of children and their families. She started as the Curriculum Specialist for the Dishchii'bikoh (Cibecue) Community School, and now serves as the Director of Instruction Programs for that organization. She serves as the Chairperson of the school's Leadership Team, on the First Things First White Mountain Apache Regional Partnership Council as the Vice-Chairperson, and as the treasurer for the Sunrise Park Resort Board of Directors.
Stephanie Wu is the Senior VP & Chief Program Design and Evaluation Officer for City Year, one of the nation’s largest and most well-known national service programs. City Year addresses education issues by partnering with public schools in 27 urban, high-poverty communities. Stephanie leads the design, execution, and evaluation of City Year’s Whole School Whole Child services. She oversaw the program research and development initiative that fueled the organization's strategic shift toward addressing the nation's urban education challenge. Stephanie is also the founder of City Year’s Summer Academy, the organization’s intensive training program for staff and senior corps. Before taking on her current role, Stephanie served as Co-Chief Operating Officer, Senior VP of U.S. Site Operations, and Senior VP for Human Resources. Stephanie is a graduate of Boston University and came to the organization from the private sector in 1988, serving as a founding team leader in City Year’s original summer pilot.
S. Elwood York, Jr served from 2012-2016 as the Wilderness Program Leader for the US Forest Service and currently serves as Acting Deputy Director for Employee/Labor Relations for US Agency for International Development. Elwood is a 30+ year veteran civil and criminal trial attorney. He served as the Director of Pretrial Services for Monroe County, FL, Interim Director of the D.C. Dept. of Corrections, Municipal Judge in Houston, and Principal Attorney General and Acting Director of the Bureau of Corrections for the Dept. of Justice in the U.S. Virgin Islands. Elwood has been a part of several national award-winning teams that address the needs of underserved youth by fostering civic engagement, research, and wilderness stewardship. He is a staunch advocate for wilderness, education, and environmental conservation.