President & CEO
Mary Mitsos joined the NFF in July 2001 and serves as President and Chief Executive Officer. Prior to that, Mary was Director of Community-Based Forest Stewardship at the Pinchot Institute for Conservation where she provided leadership for the program in sustainable forestry and sustaining rural communities. She brings expertise in a range of topics relating to the protection and sustainable management of forest ecosystems and sustainable development. Her specialized interests are in collaborative stewardship, contracting mechanisms on public forestlands, conservation-based development and strengthening the working relationship between local communities and forestland managers. Read more...
She is currently a member of the Managing Partner team that provides assistance to non-profits that are participating in The Ford Foundation Community-Based Forestry Demonstration Program. With more than two decades of experience in the natural resources field, Mary holds a Bachelor of Arts in International Business from the University of Colorado-Denver. In addition, she earned a Master of Science in Natural Resources, and a Masters of Arts in Applied Economics, from the University of Michigan, where she completed her Masters project on Sustainable Management of Common Property Resources. She served on the steering committee of the Seventh American Forest Congress Communities Committee, as a Board member of the National Network of Forest Practitioners and serves on the advisory board for the W.A. Franke College of Forestry & Conservation at the University of Montana.
Executive Vice President
Ray A. Foote joined the NFF in April 2013, as Executive Vice President. Based in Washington, DC Ray has 26 years’ experience in nonprofit organizations, 19 of them in conservation related work. Most recently, he served for nearly seven years as Vice President of Development for the National Parks Conservation Association where he planned and oversaw the successful “Renewing Our Promise” campaign which exceeded its $125 million goal by $9 million. Ray has worked with federal agencies, community-based groups, volunteer leadership, elected officials on local, state, and federal levels, and all sectors of the philanthropic community. Read more...
He has held leadership positions at the Washington National Cathedral (Senior Director of Membership & Development) and Scenic America (Vice President, Program Development). Ray began his nonprofit career in corporate development at the National Trust for Historic Preservation. He holds a Bachelor's Degree and Master's Degree in History from the University of Pennsylvania and has spoken at conferences nationwide. Ray serves on the Advisory Board of Scenic Virginia, and has served on the Environmental Quality Advisory Council of his own Fairfax County, VA, and the national board of Earth Share.
Vice President, Field Programs
Marcus Selig joined the NFF in January 2013. He serves as the Vice President, Field Programs. He has over 10 years of experience working with government agencies, the private sector, and non-profit organizations on forestry and environmental issues. Prior to joining NFF, Marcus managed Arizona forest programs for the Grand Canyon Trust, where he helped lead the Stakeholder Group of the Four Forest Restoration Initiative – a 2.4 million acre forest restoration project on northern Arizona’s National Forest – and helped develop various funding mechanisms to support forest restoration activities. Read more...
Marcus also spent 3 years practicing environmental law in Washington, DC, where he primarily focused on climate change-related issues and the use of financial incentives for developing renewable energy and energy efficiency projects. Before attending law school, Marcus was a research scientist at Purdue University, where he studied natural forest regeneration, forest plantation establishment, and the effects of forest management on carbon sequestration. Marcus earned a Master's Degree in Forest Biology and Bachelor's Degree in Forest Resources Management from Virginia Tech, and a Juris Doctor from Indiana University School of Law.
Shereé Bombard joined the NFF in July 2003 and serves as the Director, Administration responsible for supporting the NFF President, as well as working with the NFF Board of Directors, the Chairs of the Audit & Finance Committee, Nominating & Governance Committee, and National Forest Leadership Council on logistics and minutes for the NFF Board & Committee meetings. She manages the human resource functions, risk management, and ensures the NFF technology is competitive and up-to-date and infrastructure is maintained taking on projects to this end. She assists NFF staff in many ways. She also manages the agreement signature, tracking, scanning, and filing process. Before joining the NFF, she spent a total of 24 years serving in the United States Air Force with the last nine years being assigned to the Montana Air National Guard. Read more...
She completed her degree program through the Community College of the Air Force, and completed many courses at the Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and University of Maryland, as well as graduated from many leadership and senior leadership programs. The education and training received prepared Shereé to hold a variety of positions with responsibility in the Human Resource career field to include: Personnel and Casualty Manager, Staff Writer, Retention Manager, and Recruiting Supervisor. Shereé enjoys serving and giving to another type of mission driven and caring organization--the National Forest Foundation.
Zoe Bommarito joined the NFF in May 2018 shortly after graduating from Michigan State University. Prior to joining NFF, Zoe gained invaluable experience working for several natural resources management organizations including the National Association of State Foresters and the Department of the Interior in Washington DC. Zoe loves to write about forests and also manages NFF's social media channels, blog, content creation partnerships, newsletter, and other digital platforms. Zoe also manages NFF's annual National Forest Week campaign. Originally from Michigan, she looks fondly on the Great Lakes region and grew up fishing, hiking, camping and exploring outdoors.
Arizona Program Forestry Supervisor
Mark joins the NFF as the Arizona Program Forestry Supervisor. Through his diverse career he’s chased mountain lions, Mexican Spotted owls, Golden eagles, ancient archeology, rare plants and invasive species, though chasing fire and opportunities for proactive forest management have always remained his passion. With a B.S in Forestry from Northern Arizona University, Mark’s interests have led his career to positions with the National Park Service, City of Flagstaff Fire Department (FFD), Arizona Department of Forestry and Fire Management (DFFM), private forest management industry and non-profit organizations. Read more...
Mark served an active role in development, planning and implementation of the Flagstaff Watershed Protection Project. He has been a longstanding active member of the non-profit Greater Flagstaff Forests Partnership (GFFP) and has served as president since 2012. Through GFFP, Mark increased his reach serving as a national member of the Fire Adapted Communities Learning Network and helping found the Arizona Fire Adapted Communities Learning Network. Mark served as chair of the Arizona Interagency Coordinating Group’s Firewise Sub-Committee, as a member of the Ponderosa Fire Advisory Council, and various roles in numerous other wildland fire, forestry and community collaboratives. Many of Mark’s efforts and accomplishments have received local, state and national recognition and will yield beneficial forest health, resiliency and community protection outcomes for decades to come.
When he’s not busy pursuing his professional passions, Mark can often be found hiking the canyons and mountains of the southwest, floating down desert rivers, playing in the woods with his daughter or simply napping under the beautiful ponderosa pine trees surrounding his northern Arizona home.
Reforestation Partnerships Manager
Mindy Crowell joined the NFF Team in March of 2020 and serves as the Reforestation Partnerships Manager. Mindy holds a Master’s Certificate in Natural Resources Conflict Resolution from the University of Montana along with experience in developing and implementing public engagement campaigns, facilitation, fund development and a Communications Degree from Gonzaga University. As a former co-host and producer on the Outlandish podcast, Mindy loves hearing about the stories and adventures people have on our public lands and she is passionate about positively impacting America’s favorite national real-estate. Mindy is excited to be a part of the Tree Planting Team’s efforts, 50 Million For Our Forests, investing in healthy forests for today and for future generations. When she’s not engaging with her team at NFF, Mindy can be found out trail running with her beast of a dog, Archer, spending time with her husband, Daniel, or enjoying a lovely glass of wine with a good book.
Director, Marketing and Communications
Colleen Coleman joined the NFF in February 2019. She is the Director of Marketing and Communications focused on planning and leading go-to-market at the NFF. She provides strategic and practical direction on marketing initiatives and cause-related marketing programs to strengthen the NFF brand with the public, donors, funders, partners, media, and others, as well as building awareness broadly about the National Forest System. Previously at REI, in 2015, she led the national “Opt Outside” campaign, where her work as a campaign integrator resulted in more than 1.4 million people getting outside on Black Friday. On a local level, she was the project manager for the Wild Olympics and REI partnership, doubling the campaign’s social media following with a grass-roots approach. Read more...
Colleen’s experience includes B2B/B2C marketing, strategic planning, go-to-market strategy, product launch, key partnership management, process optimization, fundraising, influential communication, and team leadership. She has extensive understanding of retail and wholesale, and has worked in the outdoor and adventure travel industries for more than fifteen years. She holds a degree in Ski Business from Colorado Mountain College and a degree in Marketing from the Western State College of Colorado. She is a member of Camber Outdoors (formerly Outdoor Industry Women’s Alliance) and is Six Sigma certified. When she’s not in the office, she enjoys long-distance trail running, skiing, backpacking, stand up paddling and adventure travel. She lives in Seattle, Washington, with her husband Alex and their two dogs, Sam and Arrow.
Darla Cotton joined the NFF team in April of 2019 to lend her expertise in support of the President & CEO in the Missoula office, as well as administrative collaboration for the full management team. As a Missoula native, Darla grew up and spent much of her career in the timber/recreation-centric industries of western Montana and has a keen appreciation for working and recreating on our public lands, as well as living in the wildland-urban interface. Having filled roles in the public, private, and non-profit sectors, Darla has established a multifaceted background, bringing a depth of credentials in finance, administration and operations to the NFF.
Director, Southern Rockies Program
Rebecca Davidson joined the NFF in September 2016. Rebecca is the Director, Southern Rockies Region, covering programs in Arizona and Colorado. She has over 15 years of experience working on natural resource issues, across agencies and jurisdictions, including in multi-stakeholder collaborative and partnership endeavors. Prior to joining NFF, Rebecca worked as a Senior Analyst in the Salt River Project (SRP) in the Water Rights and Contracts group. At SRP, Rebecca worked on issues associated with water policy and management, strategic watershed initiatives, and the development of projects to protect water supplies while also promoting watershed restoration and stream conservation activities. In a partnered effort between NFF and SRP, Rebecca helped develop and implement the Northern Arizona Forest Fund, which is now being cited as a unique model for innovative watershed investment funding mechanisms.
Before SRP, Rebecca worked for the Arizona Game and Fish Department, and gained experience in federal land planning, natural resource and wildlife management, environmental regulations, and endangered species biology and monitoring. Rebecca has a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science from Northern Arizona University, and a Masters in Environmental Law and Policy from Vermont Law School (VLS).Rebecca fancies herself a ‘climate geek’ and in her spare time, serves as a Teaching Assistant to a VLS Climate Law and Policy class, travelling with students to UNFCCC climate negotiations around the world. She also loves every moment of spending time with her daughter, a self-proclaimed ‘desert rat’, kicking around streams in the desert southwest.
Director, Conservation Connect
Karen DiBari joined the NFF in September 2006 and is Director of Conservation Connect, the NFF’s technical assistance program in support of collaboration. In her time at the NFF, she has grown Conservation Connect from its beginning to the suite of services now offered: collaborative process assessment, design, and facilitation; web-based peer learning sessions; workshops; a library of best practices and tools; partnering with research and academic institutions; and convening of in-person workshops. She is an experienced facilitator, and has worked with collaborative groups in Idaho, Utah, Montana, Florida, and North Carolina. Karen graduated from the University of Montana with a Master's of Science in Environmental Studies, and earned a Bachelor's Degree in Geography from Dartmouth College.
Sarah Di Vittorio
Northern California Program Manager
Sarah Di Vittorio joined the NFF in September 2017 as the Northern California Program Manager. She serves as project manager and facilitator for the Lake Tahoe West Restoration Partnership, a collaborative, landscape-scale effort to restore the resilience of the west shore's forests, watersheds, recreational opportunities, and communities to disturbances. Sarah also facilitates the San Gabriel Mountains Monument Collaborative on the Angeles National Forest. Prior to joining the NFF, Sarah facilitated collaborative policy efforts throughout California on a diverse range of policy topics including forest management, coastal protection, and public health. Read more...
Having completed undergraduate studies in forestry and a doctoral dissertation on the policy and politics of watershed restoration in the Feather River watershed, she brings a deep background and passion for Sierra Nevada communities and forest ecosystems to her role at the NFF. Sarah holds a Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley, in Environmental Science, Policy and Management and a Master of Science from the University of Colorado, Boulder, in Environmental Studies.
Hannah Featherman joined the NFF in September of 2011 and is the Communications Manager. She graduated from Michigan State University with a degree in Arts and Humanities and Professional Writing. Prior to joining the NFF, she worked for the Michigan Nature Association and the Michigan Association of School Boards. Hannah manages a broad range of NFF communications projects and programs, including the It's All Yours campaign. She grew up in the “thumb” of Michigan, spending lots of time on the lakes and exploring outside. When not working, she’s often a volunteer stage manager for community theatre productions or exploring the public lands throughout the region.
California Program Manager, Southern California
Dania Gutierrez joined the NFF in February 2019 as the California Program Manager in Southern California. She works with NFF staff to provide project management and program development support. Prior to joining the NFF, she worked for the LA Better Buildings Challenge and the Green Sports Alliance, where she brought together key stakeholders to develop strategies and programs that encourage sustainable business practices at the intersection of the public and private sector. Dania also has several years of experience managing environmental education and community outreach initiatives for various NGOs. With a passion for public lands, Dania is excited to bring together her experience in project management and stakeholder engagement to protect Southern California forests. Dania has an MS in Natural Resources and Environment, with a focus on environmental education and environmental policy, from the University of Michigan, and a BS in Wildlife Conservation from the University of Florida.
Robin Hill joined the NFF in October 2013 as the Controller. She has over 18 years of accounting experience in the healthcare industry. Robin attended the University of Montana earning a Bachelor’s Degree. with an emphasis in Financial Management and a Masters of Accountancy (MAcct). Robin is originally from Great Falls, Montana but spent her summers exploring the woods of northern Minnesota. When not at work, Robin is busy running her four amazing kids to sporting, music and drama events. She is excited to bring her accounting knowledge to a great organization that gives back to the community.
Tree Planting Associate
Britt Holewinski joined the NFF in April 2019 as the Tree Planting Associate. Originally from Michigan, Britt obtained a B.A. in English with a Specialization in Environmental Economics from Michigan State University. After graduating, she moved to New York City to study at Columbia University, earning a Master of Public Administration in Environmental Science and Policy. Britt went on to work in project management at NSF International before moving to Montana for an AmeriCorps service term with the City of Missoula through Energy Corps.
With the City of Missoula, Britt worked on greenhouse gas emissions projects, climate resiliency work, and zero waste projects, including helping to develop ZERObyFIFTY: Missoula’s Pathway to Zero Waste. After AmeriCorps, she completed a NOLS course in Chilean Patagonia, exploring the Andes by mountaineering and sea kayaking. Outside of work, Britt is probably outside, hiking, camping, and climbing.
Conservation Connect Program Manager
Ben Irey joined NFF in April of 2017. He is the Conservation Connect Program Manager, the NFF’s learning network serving community-based groups and Forest Service employees involved in collaborative stewardship. Ben conducts web-based peer learning sessions, maintains an online library of best practices and tools, convenes in-person workshops, and facilitates collaborative groups. Ben has over 15 years of experience in engaging stakeholders in public land conservation. Before joining the NFF, he worked as a social scientist for Ecosystem Research Group, where he facilitated collaborative groups and performed socioeconomic assessments for public land stakeholders. Read more...
Ben has a Master’s degree from the College of Forestry and Conservation at the University of Montana, where he studied stakeholder perspectives regarding the relative importance of ecosystem services coming from the Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness.After earning a bachelor’s degree in Resource Conservation from the College of Forestry and Conservation, Ben spent a decade on trail crews and as a wilderness ranger in the Northern Rockies before landing behind the visitor information desk at Lolo National Forest. Ben spends his free time either seeking domestic tranquility on twenty acres of trouble in the Bitterroot Valley or seeking wild experiences in the mountains and rivers of the West.
Gunnison County Stewardship Coordinator
Joe moved from the Pikes Peak Region to the Gunnison Valley to join the NFF in the spring of 2020. His background is in nonprofit management and environmental stewardship. After graduating with a degree in geography from the University of Colorado in Colorado Springs in 2008, Joe worked for a local mayoral campaign and an energy conservation start-up. He then spent a decade at the Rocky Mountain Field Institute as the organization’s Program Director. At RMFI, Joe managed land conservation projects on public lands throughout Southern Colorado and Utah. Project locations include the Waldo Canyon burn scar, Pikes Peak, Garden of the Gods, Indian Creek, and the Sangre de Christo Mountain Range. Read more...
Throughout his career Joe has honed his leadership and communication skills at trainings hosted by organizations such as the Center for Creative Leadership and Patagonia’s Tools for Grassroots Activists Workshop. In addition to his work at RMFI, Joe has volunteered with various organizations including as a board member for One Nation Walking Together and as the chair of the City of Colorado Springs Trails, Open Space, and Parks citizen advisory committee where he worked with city officials to appropriate tax-payer funds to land acquisition and conservation projects.
Joe is in the midst of earning a Master’s of Environmental Management degree at Western Colorado University, where he is focusing on Sustainable & Resilient Communities. Joe looks forward to integrating into his new community of Crested Butte and exploring the 2 million acres of public land that surrounds the valley. Joe grew up hunting and fishing on the Allegheny National Forest in western Pennsylvania, the same stomping grounds as environmental luminaries Ed Abbey, Gifford Pinchot, and Rachel Carson.
Director, Conservation Awards
Adam Liljeblad joined the NFF in July 2006. He is the Director, Conservation Awards and currently oversees the national grantmaking program and helps coordinate conservation partnerships. Previously, he worked with the Aldo Leopold Wilderness Research Institute and The University of Montana, studying social issues related to the management of public lands and resources. Adam has a strong interest in community based-conservation and effective natural resource stewardship. He serves on the Board of Directors of the Missoula Nordic Ski Club, volunteers regularly with a local sustainable agriculture organization, and served multiple appointed terms to a local open space advisory committee. Read more...
He holds a Master’s degree in Resource Conservation from the University of Montana, and a Bachelor’s degree in Natural Resource Management from the University of Alaska Fairbanks. In his spare time, Adam enjoys cross-country skiing, road and mountain biking, hiking, gardening, cooking and reading.
Hunter Joined the NFF in June 2019 as an Accountant. Prior to joining NFF, Hunter graduated from Mars Hill University in Western North Carolina with a Business Degree in Accounting and Economics in 2017. While originally from Ohio, Hunter moved out to Montana shortly after graduating and gained experience in the accounting field through the healthcare industry. Hunter spends his time outside of work on the local rivers and hiking up to alpine lakes to fish.
Digital Marketing Manager
Jessica McCutcheon joined NFF in September 2019 as the Digital Marketing Manager. She graduated from the University of Montana with Master’s Degree in Political Science. Prior to joining NFF, Jessica cultivated her communications experience in a number of varied positions. Most recently, she acted as Communications Manager for a small, regional conservation non-profit. Jessica is a Montana native and grew up where the plains meet the Rocky Mountain Front. When she isn’t at work, she spends her days tending to her garden, hiking, fishing and skiing with her family and her nights as the lead crooner of a rock & roll band.
California Program Manager - Tahoe Area
Matt Millar joined the NFF in 2019 as California Program Manager in the Tahoe Area. Prior to joining the NFF team, he worked for the City of Flagstaff Fire Department as the Operations Specialist for the Flagstaff Watershed Protection Project. In this role, he worked with city and US Forest Service staff to support planning, outreach communication, and management of various forest thinning and fire risk reduction projects in key watershed areas important to the City of Flagstaff. In addition to his time with the Flagstaff Fire Department, Matt worked as a wildland firefighter on engine, helitack, hotshot, and wildland fire module crews across the Western United States. Matt received a Master of Science in Environmental Science and Policy from Northern Arizona University, and a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Sacramento State University. In his off time, Matt enjoys trail running, backpacking, and exploring around in our beautiful public lands.
Conservation Programs Officer
Kerry Morse joined the NFF in 2018. As the Conservation Programs Officer, Kerry Morse manages our grant award programs in support of the strategic conservation goals of the NFF and its local, regional and national partners. Kerry brings a broad range of skills and experience with conservation causes and organizations to the NFF, having worked for over 15 years in a variety of capacities including program management, development, administration, outreach and communications. Prior to joining the NFF in December 2017, Kerry worked for nearly a decade at The Sierra Fund in northern California. Other noteworthy positions include the Rural Institute at the University of Montana and The Nature Conservancy of Montana. Kerry received her B.A. in Liberal Arts from St. John’s College in Annapolis, Maryland. When not working, she can be found playing Irish music on fiddle and tenor banjo, cooking, hiking, cross-country skiing, and exploring backroads in her home state of Montana.
Associate Director, Development
Luba Mullen joined the NFF in June 2014 and is the Associate Director of Development. Luba is currently based in the Greater Washington, DC area, her diverse career has spanned roles, sectors, and countries. Immediately prior to joining the NFF, Luba has been growing the foundation support for the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children. Before that, she led corporate and foundation partnerships to support Independent Sector’s Annual Conference. Prior to moving to the U.S., Luba worked at Preng & Associates, Inc. in Moscow, Russia helping to bring top-notch executives to natural resources companies working across the country. She began her career in the Russian Far East as a grants program manager with the Eurasia Foundation, an international development organization. Read more...
Luba earned a Master’s Degree in International Relations and Development Studies from the University of East Anglia in Norwich, England and a Bachelor’s Degree in English from the Russian Far East State University in Vladivostok, Russia. When she is not writing proposals or talking with supporters, Luba loves spending time outside with her husband, an environmental scientist, and their two young daughters. She is thrilled to join the NFF to help continue engaging American companies, foundations, and citizens like you in protecting our nation’s iconic treasure - beautiful forests - for many generations to enjoy.
Development Database Associate
Katie Neher joined the NFF in June 2019 as the Development Database Associate. She supports the Development and Communications teams through donor recruitment and stewardship as well as database management. Katie grew up in the Bitterroot Valley, on a farm that stands in the aboriginal territories of the Salish, Kalispel, and Ktunaxa people, where she was surrounded by national forests and wildlife refuges that taught her to love public lands. Since graduating from Carleton College with degrees in English and Music and a concentration in Medieval and Renaissance Studies she has worked in education, natural resources economics, and social service. These wide-ranging experiences deepened her passion for helping foster individual and community engagement with the natural world at every level from casual recreation to decision-making and policy. In her spare time she enjoys reading in the park, singing, and playing games with friends.
Colorado Program Manager
Emily Olsen joined the NFF in 2014. As the Colorado Program Manager, Emily works to strengthen the NFF's impact in the Southern Rockies by leading programs that enhance forest health and connect communities to public lands. Her work is possible because of durable partnerships with nonprofit, business and community partners. A member of the NFF team since 2013, Emily previously facilitated stakeholder groups, interactive webinars and workshops through Conservation Connect. Emily has also worked to as a facilitator, mediator and policy analyst at the Center for Natural Resources and Environmental Policy. Read more...
She holds an M.S. from the University of Montana College of Forestry and Conservation, where she specialized in forest planning and policy and received a certificate in Natural Resources Conflict Resolution. These days she pursues her passion for the outdoors by hiking, backpacking, climbing, Nordic skiing and spending as much time as possible on Colorado’s public lands with her husband and daughter.
Conservation Partnerships Manager
Marlee Ostheimer joined the NFF in January 2013. She is the Conservation Partnerships Manager. Marlee holds a Bachelor's Degree in Environmental studies from the University of Montana where she also studied Nonprofit Administration and Resource Conservation. Marlee grew up in Montana and found her love of nature hiking in the hills and forests around her home. Prior to working with the NFF Marlee worked and volunteered with several conservation and local food and agriculture organizations, including a year working in Bozeman with Gallatin Valley Farm to School as an AmeriCorp VISTA. Outside of work Marlee enjoys playing outside with her son and dog. Marlee is excited to be working with the NFF to restore our public lands.
Tree Planting Coordinator
Monica Perez-Watkins joined the NFF in March 2018. She is the Tree Planting Coordinator. Monica has worked for several environmental and conservation organizations in a variety of capacities, including communications, outreach, program management, and wildlife field work. Monica has an M.S. in Environmental Studies from the University of Montana and a B.S. in Wildlife and Conservation Biology from Ohio University. Monica is excited to support the NFF's efforts to improve and reforest our national forests for the benefit of both humans and wildlife. In her free time, Monica enjoys reading, drawing, hiking, trying to improve her kayaking skills, and playing with her dogs.
Conservation Finance Program Manager
Spencer Plumb joined the NFF in March 2017 as the Southern Rockies Program Associate. He is a social scientist focusing on issues of natural resource management and policy. Spencer spent a year (2015-2016) with NFF as the Southern Rockies Program Coordinator helping manage the Northern Arizona Forest Fund. Prior to (re)joining the NFF, he finished his Ph.D. and worked as postdoctoral fellow at the University of Idaho, researching federal and state natural resource policy and Payment for Ecosystem Service programs in the Americas. Spencer holds a Ph.D. in Natural Resources from the University of Idaho, a M.S. in Environmental Science and Policy from Northern Arizona University, and a B.S. in Organizational Communication from University of Portland.
California Program Coordinator
Evan Ritzinger joined NFF in September 2017, after receiving his Master’s in Environmental Science & Management from the Bren School of Environmental Science & Management at the University of California, Santa Barbara. He is the California Program Coordinator for the Tahoe Area. Evan earned his Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Science from Boston University. His diverse background includes experience in project management, environmental policy, institutional analysis, carbon emissions reductions, and environmental field work. When not at work (and sometimes at work), you can find Evan outdoors. He especially enjoys hiking, mountain biking, skiing, and photography. Evan is thrilled to be working with the NFF to protect the natural areas to which he has always felt drawn.
Southern California Program Associate
Brian Robey joined the NFF in March 2019 as the California Program Associate for Southern California. Prior to joining NFF, Brian was a project manager in the public sector. His work focused on urban agriculture, forestry, and ecological restoration projects. He earned his Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Science and Business Administration from the University of Redlands. His background also includes experience in legislative advocacy, trail restoration work, volunteer management, and air quality improvement. When not working, Brian can be found hiking with his dog in the San Gabriel Mountains.
California Program Coordinator – Tahoe Area
Trevor Seck joined the NFF in March 2020 as a California Program Coordinator for the Tahoe Area. Prior to joining NFF, he worked for the US Forest Service and other state land management agencies across the Western United States. His work primarily focused on the implementation of forest restoration projects, timber sales, and fuel reduction projects. His background also includes the development of timber sale contracts, administering fuel reduction projects, and tracking and reporting accomplishments on public lands. Trevor received his Bachelor’s degree in Forestry and Natural Resources Management from California Polytechnic State University of San Luis Obispo. When not working, you can find Trevor rock climbing, backcountry skiing, or trail running with his dogs on our treasured public lands. Trevor is excited to join the NFF team working to protect and restore our public lands.
Director, Pacific Northwest Program
Patrick Shannon joined the NFF in December 2015 as the Director of the Pacific Northwest Program. He has over 20 years of experience working in conservation and natural resource management for a variety of nonprofit organizations across the country. Prior to joining the NFF, Patrick was the Forest Program Director for Sustainable Northwest where he led the organization’s work supporting the creation and development of collaborative forest restoration agreements on National Forests in the Pacific Northwest. He brings knowledge in ecological restoration, landscape-level planning and implementation and National Forest management. Read more...
Patrick earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from the University of Minnesota – Duluth and a Master of Science degree in Forest Resources from the College of Forestry at Oregon State University. When not working Patrick can be found wading in a river fly fishing or backpacking the myriad of trails in the Pacific Northwest.
Director, Eastern Field Program
Mark Shelley joined the NFF in April of 2015 as the Director of the Eastern Field Program. Mark has been actively engaged in building community support for conservation efforts across the nation for more than 20 years and counting. He came to NFF from the Pew Charitable Trusts, where he was a Field Officer for Field Operations, working on public lands and marine fisheries campaigns. Prior to working at Pew, he served as the Executive Director for the Southern Appalachian Forest Coalition for 10 years where he was responsible for coordinating a network of southeastern conservation groups working to protect, connect and restore the forests of this beautiful region. Mark built his conservation career serving in the military, working for Marriot and earning a Business/Marketing degree from Virginia Commonwealth and an Environmental Science degree from Shippensburg, University of Pennsylvania. Read more...
His home is the Blue Ridge Mountains, in the shadow of the Black Mountains and the highest points east of the Mississippi R. (in Asheville, North Carolina) – close to another similarly famous home, the Biltmore and the Cradle of Forestry and not far from Curtis Creek, the first tract of land purchased under the Weeks Act, which created the Pisgah National Forest – which initiated the process for establishing all National Forests east of the Mississippi River. Ideally close by are Shining Rock and Linville Gorge – two of the areas that became the first formally designated Wilderness areas of the new National Wilderness Preservation System in 1964.
When not working diligently to bring folks together to protect America’s backyard, you can find him playing in it – trail trudging, biking, canoe/kayaking and just about anything out of doors.
Northern Rockies Program Manager
Dani Southard joined the NFF in October 2018 as the Northern Rockies Program Manager. She provides support to collaborative efforts as well as regional conservation and restoration projects in Idaho and Montana. Dani has over 15 years of experience working on natural resource issues through the non-profit sector. She has personally served on numerous multi-stakeholder collaboratives focused on public lands related issues. Prior to joining NFF, Dani was the Central Idaho Director for the Idaho Conservation League and oversaw ICL’s public lands and community conservation programs in central and eastern Idaho. During this time, Dani led the effort to establish the first Dark Sky Reserve in the United States. Dani has also worked with the Joint Fire Science program examining strategies to increase public acceptance of smoke from prescribed fire. Read more...
Dani has a Master’s degree in Environmental Social Science from Oregon State University and a Bachelor’s degree in Natural Resource Management and Rangeland Ecology from Colorado State University. Dani and her family enjoy being on rivers, camping in our national forests, and generally just getting outside to enjoy every season.
Arizona Program Manager
Sasha Stortz joined the National Forest Foundation in 2020 as the Arizona Program Manager. She has over 12 years of experience working in collaborative natural resource management with land managers, researchers, Tribes, and other stakeholders. Prior to joining the National Forest Foundation, Sasha led a collaborative planning program at Northern Arizona University, where she facilitated multi-stakeholder groups developing strategies around issues such as climate adaptation, forest restoration, post-fire restoration, conservation prioritization, water resources, and Tribal co-management. Read more...
She’s also studied threatened waterfowl in the Alaskan arctic with the US Geological Survey, worked as a Program Associate with the US Institute for Conflict Resolution, and led programs across the globe for National Geographic Student Expeditions. Sasha received her MS in Environmental Sciences and Policy from Northern Arizona University and her BA in Biology at Lewis & Clark College. When she’s not at work, she enjoys mountain biking and hiking with her family in her Arizona backyard, and fishing in her home-state of Alaska.
Director, Reforestation and Partnerships
Wes Swaffar joined the NFF in June of 2012. He is the Director of Reforestation & Partnerships. He holds a Master's Degree in Environmental Science and Policy from Northern Arizona University, where he investigated the feasibility of funding based watershed partnerships for supporting landscape-scale forest restoration. Prior to joining NFF, Wes has worked for the United States Forest Service in a variety roles, from Wilderness Ranger to Trail Crew Leader. When he’s not focused on ecosystem service partnerships at NFF, Wes enjoys fly-fishing, hunting, and exploring National Forests on foot and on bike.
California Program Associate
Bri Tiffany joined NFF in March 2019 as the California Program Associate in the Tahoe Area, after receiving her M.S. in Environmental Science & Policy and a Graduate Certificate in GIS from Northern Arizona University. While at NAU, Bri researched the impact of federal boundaries on the regional effectiveness of bark beetle management. She also interned with the Forest Health Protection unit of the United States Forest Service in Flagstaff. Prior to moving to Arizona, she worked with a variety of nonprofit groups and completed her Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Earth Science at Washington University in St. Louis. Bri has managed field research teams, worked alongside the New York Department of Environmental Conservation to improve public access of recreation areas in the Adirondacks, and led environmental education programs for students in the St. Louis Public Schools District. She is excited to bring her passion for our National Forests and their continued health to NFF.
Director, Conservation Partnerships
Dayle Wallien joined the NFF in November 2013 and is is the Director of Conservation Partnerships. Prior to joining the NFF, Dayle was the Executive Director of the Western Nebraska Community College Foundation. Dayle is an attorney and spent nine years in a private law practice, in Fairbanks, Alaska, and in Scottsbluff, Nebraska, where she focused on business law, environmental law, and litigation. Before attending law school, Dayle worked for the U.S Forest Service, in the Range Department, on the Okanogan National Forest and then as an Initial Attack Firefighter on the Malheur National Forest Rappel Crew in eastern Oregon. Dayle earned a Juris Doctorate from the University of Washington School of Law and a Bachelor’s in Physical Geography, Natural Resources Management, with a minor in Environmental Studies. When she is not at work or volunteering, Dayle enjoys distance running, hiking, mountaineering and skiing, usually in a National Forest.
Leah Zamesnik joined the NFF in December 2019 as the Partnerships Coordinator within the Conservation Connect team. The daughter of a Navy pilot, she grew up living in multiple countries and states but is very happy to have settled in the mountain West. Prior to joining NFF, she worked for smaller conservation organizations in Jackson, Wyoming where she partnered closely with the Forest Service on multiple collaborative projects, including Wilderness inventories, educational outings, new direction for Big Horn Sheep management, and multiple NEPA projects. Leah graduated from Colorado State University with a Master's of Science in Human Dimensions of Natural Resources, and earned a Bachelor's Degree in Psychology from the College of William and Mary. In her spare time, you can find her in a hammock reading, chasing her dog anywhere he wants to go, failing at self-taught craft projects, and video-chatting with her nieces.