Joe has more than 25 years of experience in the nonprofit sector. He originally started by working with the homeless in Washington DC after graduate school at George Washington University. He likes to say that his “unofficial” title at Calvary Women’s Shelter was “Chief Gopher” because of his diverse responsibilities which included office management, databases, facilities maintenance and opening the shelter. After Calvary, he spent almost 10 years in youth services in Illinois and Colorado including five years as a Camp Fire USA Council Executive Director in both Illinois and Colorado. In addition to working with the homeless and youth, Joe has led organizations that work with disabled adults, the poor and working poor and feral and stray cats (getting them spayed or neutered). He is a life-long chess enthusiast and is the former President of the Colorado State Chess Association. He enjoys the outdoors including hiking and biking. He also enjoys the occasional computer game. Joe has been married to Julia since 2008 and they cohabitate with two tolerant cats.
Director of Adult Programs
Lexi grew up in Arizona and completed her Bachelor’s of Science in Parks and Recreation Management with an emphasis in Outdoor Leadership and Education at Northern Arizona University. Since graduating she has worked ten seasons for the U.S. Forest Service. Her passion to educate, work with people and conserve public lands has led her to positions as an Archeologist and Wilderness Educator in Arizona, Wilderness Ranger in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness of Northern Minnesota, 3 seasons on a Wildland Firefighter in Northern California and locally on the Routt National Forest in Timber Management. Her passion for the outdoors and people continues into her personal life including mountain/road biking, trail running, backpacking, thru-hiking, canoeing, camping, rock climbing, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing and anything else that takes her outside- all always better with good company.
Water Education Coordinator
Gaby is the Water Education Coordinator for K-12 programs. She is originally from Bogota, Colombia, but has lived in North Routt at the base of Hahn’s Peak since 2015. Gaby graduated from Colorado College with an Environmental Science Major in 2015. Her passions combine environmental science and education, leading her to become a Certified Environmental Educator by the Colorado Alliance of Environmental Education in 2018. Gaby is also a certified Early Childhood Professional Level III with PDIS in the state of Colorado and has several years of experience leading preschool-college aged students in nature-based learning pursuits. Gaby finds joy in recreating, learning, and teaching outdoors and is excited to share such passion with the Yampa-White-Green River Basin community in her Water Education position with Yampatika.
Sue Hansen is a long-time local and outdoor enthusiast. She has a B.S. in International Business and Marketing from the University of Colorado at Boulder, a resort management degree from CMC, and is a certified massage therapist. She owns and manages SK Hansen, Inc., a company that provides bookkeeping, property management, massage, notary and pet sitting services. She brings these skills and organization to Yampatika. Growing up as a Girl Scout, Sue believes in the importance of outdoor education. When she is not working, you can find her bicycling, gardening, skiing and enjoying outdoor music festivals. She also enjoys traveling and exploring faraway places. One of her life goals is to trek in every major mountain range in the world.
Karen Vail is a Steamboat native and has been involved in Yampatika from its beginning–way back in the early 1990s. Karen received a B.S. in Horticulture, with a concentration in Botany from Colorado State University, and earned her Master’s Degree in Gardening from the Royal Horticultural Society in England. She rode the “big yellow bus” for a year on Audubon Expedition Institute during her first year towards a Masters in Environmental Education, finishing up at Antioch in New England. She runs her own landscaping business, and has recently published a phenomenal book with Mary O’Brien: “Edible and Medicinal Plants of the Southern Rockies”. Karen also published a book of beautiful wildflower photographs, entitled “For the Joy of Wildflowers: Colorado Creations.” She has also created a DVD of local wildflowers.
Seasonal and Professional Naturalists
- Jeff Milliken
- Kristy Milliken
- Mary O’Brien
- Courtney Weidel
- Enrique Maestas
Board of Directors
- Holly Hampson, Mercer, President
- Rachel Masters, Dax Mattox State Farm Insurance, Vice President
- Elliott Ludy, A. Scott Colby, PC, Treasurer
- Leslie Steen, Retired Teacher, Board Secretary
- Carol Davidson, Retired Marketing Professional, Director at Large
- Greg Friedman, FW Group, LLC, Director at Large
- Donnie Haubert, Sleeping Giant Financial Services, Director at Large
- Betsy Wilbanks, Native Excavating, Director at Large
- Brett Bruyere, CSU
- Melissa Dressen, US Forest Service
- Shari Fryer, Fryer & Associates, Inc.
- Jaime Letson, Letson Enterprises, Inc.
- Libbie Miller, Colorado Parks & Wildlife
- Ed MacArthur, Native Excavating, Inc.
- Ward Van Scoyk, Attorney