Board of Directors

Brian Beitner

Boulder, Colorado

Brian Beitner formed the institutional global equity investment firm Chautauqua Capital Management in January 2009, following three decades in the investment industry at leading firms.

Brian also serves on the board of Alliance for Climate Education, an organization that educates young people on the science of climate change and empowers them to act. He has served on the board for the Trust for Public Land, the Dairy Center for the Arts and Wildlands Restoration Volunteers.

Brian earned a B.S. in Public Affairs and an M.B.A. from the University of Southern California. He holds a certificate for Global Investing from INSEAD and received his C.F.A. charter in 1989.

John Belkin

Aspen, Colorado

John Belkin has been a practicing attorney in Colorado since 1998, working in the areas of real estate development, land use and planning, land conservation, environmental law, mining and government relations. John is with the law firm Garfield & Hecht, P.C., and is formerly the Crested Butte town attorney. He has served as a federal law clerk, U.S. House of Representatives staffer and as an aide in the Executive Office of the President. Originally from New Britain, Connecticut, John is a graduate of Hobart College and Quinnipiac University School of Law. John’s interests include skiing, ice climbing and mountain biking, and spending time with his German Shepherd Emily.

Seth Cothrun

San Luis Obispo, California

Seth Cothrun consults nonprofit and private sector clients on marketing & communication, executive management and strategic planning. He is a 2018 Aspen Institute Fellow; a member of Class IV of the American Express Leadership Academy at ASU Lodestar Center; and, currently serves as Chair of the AMEX global alumni network’s Committee on Innovation & Communications. Seth spent the last half decade as a senior executive at Sonoran Institute, playing a leadership role in refocusing the organization’s mission while rebuilding brand, marketing and development strategies in the U.S. and México. Previously, he managed business development and marketing initiatives throughout the Americas in the institutional asset management space, working with some of the largest public and private funds in the world. The early part of his career was spent as a program manager in the U.S. Forest Service throughout the West, in addition to serving nationally on Type 1 Incident Management and Burned Area Emergency Rehabilitation teams tasked with managing high complexity wildland fire incidents and post-fire effects. He has also lived and worked in México as a photographer. He holds an M.A. from University of Chicago in Anthropology & Latin American Studies and a B.A. from University of Arizona in Anthropology & Latin American History. He is a native of the Sonoran Desert and loves the Bighorn Mountains of Wyoming where his wife is from.

Jay Dean

Lafayette, California

Jay Dean, a life-long conservationist, is creative strategy director for the John Muir Land Trust (jmlt.org), and was chief marketing officer of The Trust for Public Land for 10 years and publisher of its award-winning Land&People magazine. Jay has served on the board and as an adviser to several environmental groups, including EarthShare and ecoAmerica. During the corporate phase of his career, he was an executive vice president of Young & Rubicam, and chief marketing officer of SRS Acquiom. In his spare time he is the proud proprietor of gardencraftsman.com, and is often outside covered in either sawdust or trail dust. He lives in Lafayette, California.

Bob Fulkerson

Reno, Nevada

Bob Fulkerson is the development director and co-founder of the Progressive Leadership Alliance of Nevada. He worked as Executive Director of Citizen Alert, a statewide grassroots environmental justice organization, from 1984 to 1994.  He has also served as adjunct faculty at the UNR School of Social Work, teaching classes on oppression and privilege. A fifth-generation Nevadan, Bob was on the staff of Senator Paul Laxalt while attending George Washington University. Bob serves on the boards of High Country News and the David J. Drakulich Veterans Art Foundation. He is a 2006-2007 fellow in the Rockwood Leadership Program’s yearlong national fellowship for transformative leadership in the nonprofit sector, and a recipient of the “Leadership for A Changing World” Award from the Ford Foundation. Bob received the Arcus Social Justice Leadership Fellowship at Kalamazoo College in 2011. The City of Reno recognized him as one of 150 citizens who’ve made a difference since the city’s founding 150 years ago. Bob’s premier loves are his grandson, family, yoga, folk music, the Great Basin and Sierra Nevada.  

Anastasia Greene

Seattle, Washington

Anastasia is a Philadelphia native — a city girl at heart who grew up in Virginia. When she was eight years old, she fell in love with the wild outdoors as a Girl Scout and continues to embrace that spirit of exploration to this day. In finding a connection to nature in her own life, she realized an injustice that exists: Public lands don’t always benefit us all. Anastasia strives for a world where all people are fortunate enough feel the connection to the outdoors that she has. She works on projects that ensure equitable access to nature, as well as initiatives that give people of color a voice in the outdoor conversation.

Anastasia currently works as the Senior Manager Corporate Communications and Cause at GoPro. She recently moved to Seattle from Washington, D.C., where she worked on climate and energy.

Anastasia is on the associate board of City Kids Wilderness Project — an organization aimed at providing enriching life experiences by introducing D.C. children of color to the great outdoors. She speaks on environmental communications and justice at institutions such as the University of California – Los Angeles, University of Washington and George Mason University. 

Wayne Hare

Grand Junction, Colorado

A long-ago transplant from the East, Wayne Hare became a native Westerner while working as a ranger with the Bureau of Land Management in western Colorado and, prior to that, rangering for the National Park Service at Canyonlands and Rocky Mountain national parks. Since then he has retired and is enjoying exploring the West. Before changing to public land management, Wayne spent many years in the business world of information technology. He then served as a team-building instructor for Outward Bound in Boston and as assistant director of Outdoor Programs at Dartmouth College in New Hampshire, and worked on several projects with the National Park Service to increase the cultural diversity of the agency's staff and visitors. He has written and spoken about the lack of diversity on public lands and its causes and effects.

Laura Helmuth

Rockville, Maryland

Laura Helmuth is an editor specializing in science, health, and the environment. She has been a writer and editor for Science magazine’s news department, the science editor for Smithsonian, the science and health editor for Slate, and the news director for National Geographic. She is now the health, science, and environment editor for The Washington Post. She is the past president of the National Association of Science Writers and serves on the advisory board of Spectrum, an autism news magazine. She has a Ph.D. in cognitive neuroscience from the University of California, Berkeley. A hiker and birdwatcher, she comes West whenever she can.

Samaria Jaffe

San Rafael, California

Samaria Jaffe is executive director at the Point Reyes National Seashore Association. She has more than 15 years of community organizing, fundraising and conservation experience. Before joining PRNSA, she was at The Trust for Public Land, developing conservation and fundraising programs for communities across northern California, primarily in the Sierra Nevada. She played a lead role in some of the Sierra Nevada’s most visible open space campaigns in recent years, Martis Valley and Royal Gorge at Donner Summit. She is inspired by community-driven conservation and stewardship. Samaria is a graduate of St. John’s College in Santa Fe, NM, and spent much of her youth exploring the trails and beaches of Point Reyes.

Nicole Lampe

Portland, Oregon

Nicole Lampe is vice president at Resource Media, a nonprofit communications firm that specializes in conservation campaigns. Nicole heads the organizations water program, and has worked to safeguard coastal access and clean water for nearly a decade. She helps groups like UNESCO, the Blue Business Council and Azul Project connect resource policy to peoples plates and pocketbooks. Her work extends from the Sacramento Delta to the Chesapeake Bay, and the Great Barrier Reef to the Galapagos. Nicole previously managed public affairs for The Trust for Public Land’s western regional office, and is an avid hiker and camper. She grew up raising sheep in central California, but currently lives in Portland, Oregon.

Marla Painter

Albuquerque, New Mexico

Born and raised in California, Marla now resides in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Her education focused on interdisciplinary environmental studies. She has worked in the Intermountain West since the mid 1970s, including a stint at Nevada’s Foresta Institute for Ocean and Mountain. She’s also done community organizing around issues including nuclear waste disposal and the impact of military training activities, and has worked to build an environmental movement inclusive of all the West’s cultures. Marla has also worked as staff, volunteer and fundraiser for political candidates committed to the environment and human rights.

Bryan Pollard

Farmington, Arkansas

Bryan Pollard is a citizen of the Cherokee Nation and the director of Programs and Strategic Partnerships at the Native American Journalists Association. He is formerly the executive editor of the Cherokee Phoenix, the first Native American newspaper, originally published in 1828. Bryan is the founding editor of Street Roots, a nonprofit focused on issues that affect the homeless and low-income community on the local, regional and national levels. He has taught journalism at Sequoyah High School and an Indian boarding school in Tahlequah, and has served as a mentor for numerous journalism workshops including the Oklahoma Institute for Diversity in Journalism, the UNITY News and the NAJA Student Projects and Project Phoenix. He lives in Farmington, Arkansas.  

Raynelle Rino

Oakland, California

A long-time environmental education professional, Raynelle began her career in the sciences as an ecology field researcher then moved onto environmental education and social justice at the grassroots organizational level. Her love for nature and youth development brought her to teach in unique settings like alternative high schools, environmental justice neighborhoods, parks, and juvenile justice facilities. In 2016 Raynelle started Rino Consulting Solutions, a nature-based consulting firm that provides coaching services for professionals and build bridges between mainstream environmentalism and people of color. Its mission is “to support and inspire the leaders of today to live in the confidence of their identities as they move through a world in the midst of social, racial, and environmental transformation.” Raynelle is a graduate of Humboldt State University with a B.S. in Biology, a Rising Leaders and 2042 Today fellow, and lives in Oakland with her husband and daughter.

Estee Rivera Murdock

Estes Park, CO

Estee Rivera Murdock, is the executive director at the Rocky Mountain Conservancy, which produces educational publications, offers seminars, supports research, and provides philanthropic support to Rocky Mountain National Park and other public lands partners in Colorado and Wyoming. Born and raised in southern Arizona, Estee previously worked for the National Park Service for nearly a decade. She has an MA in geography with a focus on Hispanic community engagement and public lands and geographic information science. She also holds a B.A. in anthropology and Spanish literature, all from the University of Arizona. She currently resides with her husband and daughter in Estes Park, CO.

Rick Tallman

Denver, Colorado

Rick is a veteran entrepreneur, philanthropist and the founder of Renova Capital Partners, a Denver-based private investment partnership focused on sustainable infrastructure. Rick was the founder and chairman of Main Street Power Company — recently sold to AES and now branded AES Distributed Energy. Rick established his reputation as a successful entrepreneur by founding and leading a variety of early-stage companies through initial public offering or acquisition. Among these, Water Quality Management Corporation was a pioneer of municipal water utility privatization. Mr. Tallman served as a company commander in the U.S. Army during the Persian Gulf War, serves on a variety of corporate and nonprofit boards and frequently lectures on the subjects of social entrepreneurship and sustainability. He holds a bachelors and a masters degree in engineering from the Colorado School of Mines.

Luis Torres

Santa Cruz, New Mexico

Luis Torres, who has served on the board of High Country News since 1996, has been a community organizer since the 1960s. His work in community forestry began in the late 1980s, when he was employed by the Southwest Research and Information Center. Mr. Torres helped organize the Madera Forest Products Association, which worked on developing a new forestry economy based on cutting small trees, and he co-founded the National Network of Forest Practitioners.

Andy Wiessner

Snowmass, Colorado

Andy Wiessner, has been on the board of High Country News since 1986, and is the organization’s longest-serving board member. Andy is a public land consultant with Western Land Group, which specializes in federal land exchanges and land use issues. He served a tour of duty in Vietnam in 1969-70, and worked as staff assistant and counsel to the U.S. House of Representatives Subcommittees on Mines and Mining (1975-1976) and the Subcommittee on Public Lands in Washington, D.C. (1977-1985). Andy serves on the board of the Wilderness Workshop based in Carbondale, CO, and the Wilderness Land Trust, a nonprofit specializing in the acquisition of wilderness inholdings. Other past board service has included organizations such as: Eagle Valley Land Trust, American Wilderness Alliance, Clear Creek Land Conservancy and Eagle County Citizens for Open Space.

Florence Williams

Washington, DC

Florence Williams has served on the board of High Country News board since 2005. Florence is a former High Country News intern and staff writer who has gone on to write for many publications, including High Country News, The New York Times, The New Republic and Outside Magazine, where she is contributing editor. She has earned awards from the American Society of Journalists and Authors and other organizations, and she is the author, most recently, of The Nature Fix: How Being in Nature Makes You Happier, Healthier and More Creative (2017).

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