2019 Conference Speakers

David Barfield
David BarfieldActivities Manager for Ted Turner Reserves
David Barfield is in his sixth year with Ted Turner Reserves, formerly Ted Turner Expeditions, and his third year as Activities Manager for Southern New Mexico. David was hired at Vermejo Park Ranch as a fly-fishing guide and later appointed to run the Ecotours on the Armendaris and Ladder Ranches. The Southern Ranches are the standard for conservation and efforts to save endangered species, but also have rich history, incredible wildlife, and diversity.
Toby Bloom
Toby Bloom National Program Manager for Tourism and Interpretive Services, U.S. Forest Service
Some of the current Forest Service initiatives Toby leads are the development of the National Forest Explorer Mobile App; strengthening recreation economies in forest gateway communities; working with Tribes to promote genuine interpretation and responsible visitation to native heritage sites on Forest Service managed lands; promoting healthy people and forests through innovative public lands and public health partnerships; and working with Interpretive Associations to improve visitor experience and appreciation of the National Forests. Before joining the USFS, she worked with local communities to develop ecotourism projects in high biodiversity areas of Latin America and the Caribbean as the Director of Wildlife Ecotourism for Humane Society International, as a technical expert for USAID in Honduras, and in several other consultancies in the region.
Amy Camp
Amy CampCycle Forward
Amy Camp, owner of Cycle Forward, is a trails and tourism consultant, a placemaker, and a professional coach. She helped to launch the nationally recognized Trail Town Program® in 2007, and now consults communities on how they can rethink trails and tourism. Her latest effort is advocating for what she calls “Triangle Trails” – a framework that encourages communities to consider the triple bottom line of People, Planet, and Profit when making decisions about trails.
She has consulted and led workshops throughout Appalachia, the Rust Belt, and other locations in the U.S. and Canada. Amy served on the Board of American Trails from 2012-17, acting as Board Secretary and Chair of the Hulet Hornbeck Emerging Leaders Scholarship Program. She lives in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where she first grew to love communities and began her work to help improve them.

Guadalupe Cano
Guadalupe CanoCouncilor for Town of Silver City
Guadalupe Cano is a native of Silver City, and comes from a long line of community activists. A love of the outdoors was fostered early in her life, as she was the only woman in the Gila Fly-fishers organization, for which she served as secretary for several years. As the District 4 Silver City Town Councilor in her third term she remains committed to making sure that seniors, the disabled, and those with lower incomes have a voice and access to opportunities for a quality way of life. She is actively involved in working towards a federal designation of Wild & Scenic for portions of the Gila and Mimbres rivers and their tributaries.
Sarah Cottrell Propst
Sarah Cottrell Propst Secretary of the New Mexico Department of Energy, Minerals, and Natural Resources
Sarah Cottrell Propst was appointed to serve as the Cabinet Secretary of the Energy, Minerals, and Natural Resources Department in January 2019. From 2012 to 2018, she served as the Executive Director of the Interwest Energy Alliance, a non-profit trade association that represents the nation’s leading companies in the renewable energy industry, bringing them together with non-governmental organizations in the West (Arizona, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah, and Wyoming). Propst was Deputy Cabinet Secretary of the New Mexico Environment Department after serving as Energy and Environmental Policy Advisor to New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson.
David Crider
David CriderOwner of Southwest Expeditions
David is a trailblazer for outdoor recreation in Las Cruces. His outdoor outfitting business, Southwest Expeditions, offers unique local Heritage and Adventure Tours throughout southern New Mexico. David believes that the scenic wonder that is New Mexico is revealed to the adventurous explorer of our state’s windswept mesas and hidden canyons and its forested mountains with wild rushing streams. The Rio Grande river also flows lazily through the arid desert that stretches out from the horizon to the luminous sunset provided another gem that can be explored in community or alone.
Michael Dax
Michael DaxNew Mexico Representative of Defenders of Wildlife
Michael Dax is the New Mexico Representative for Defenders of Wildlife in Santa Fe. Before moving to New Mexico, he worked in the Grand Canyon and Yellowstone National Parks as a trail groomer and tour guide. Michael earned a master’s degree in environmental history from the University of Montana where he began work on his book, Grizzly West, which focuses on the attempt to reintroduce grizzly bears to the Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness in Montana and Idaho. He was instrumental in helping to pass legislation in the New Mexico Legislature to establish and protect wildlife corridors, and has been deeply involved in legislative efforts to modernize wildlife management in the state.
Keveny Dugan
Keveny DuganCEO of Visit Bend in Bend, Oregon
Kevney Dugan has been the CEO of the Bend, Oregon, tourism bureau since July 2016, and oversees all aspects of Visit Bend’s operations. During his tenure at Visit Bend, he has built key relationships with tourism stakeholders, led presentations on economic development and sustainable tourism, and spearheaded efforts to bring 23 national championship athletic events to Bend. Born and raised in Michigan, Kevney holds a degree in psychology and business management from Hope College. He enjoys trail running, mountain biking, and fly fishing, and is grateful to have a career that lets him share those passions with Bend visitors and community members.
Stephanie Garcia Richard
Stephanie Garcia Richard New Mexico Commissioner of Public Lands
Stephanie Garcia Richard is the first woman and educator to be elected to the position of New Mexico Commissioner of Public Lands to oversee the State Land Office responsible for raising revenue off state trust lands to pay for New Mexico’s schools and hospitals. Born in Tucumcari and raised in Silver City, Stephanie learned at a young age the importance of serving others. During her tenure as a New Mexico State Representative and Chair of the House Education Committee, Stephanie championed laws to increase access to a quality education, transparency, and investments in renewable energy, job training, and economic development. As Land Commissioner, Stephanie will ensure we maximize the revenue earned from our land, while diversifying our investments, promoting outdoor recreation, and encouraging renewable and commercial development on state trust lands.
James Glover
James GloverOwner of Once a Day Marketing
James Glover has over 30 years of strategic branding, marketing and planning experience. As project manager and strategist, Glover leads new business development, client relations, project management, strategic planning and branding initiatives for communities, businesses and organizations. Glover was instrumental in supporting the launch of Farmington’s Outdoor Recreation Industry Initiative (ORII). Early in his career, Glover headed Total Entertainment, a media/marketing company that supported branding and marketing projects for major companies such as The Ritz Carlton, Hertz, US Air, The Four Seasons, The Upper Deck Company, Beckman Instruments, Toyota, American Honda, Computer Learning Centers, and Computer Sciences Corporation (CSC).
Steve Harris
Steve HarrisOwner of Far Flung Adventures
Steve Harris received his baptism in the Rio Grande in 1964 at Boquillas, Coahulila and has been an advocate for the great wild river ever since. Steve is an ardent student of the history and natural history of rivers in the US Southwest and Mexico. He is president of a Taos-based river outfitting business, Far-Flung Adventures, and executive director of the basin-wide streamflow advocacy group, Rio Grande Restoration.
Martin Heinrich
Martin Heinrich United States Senator
Elected in 2012, Martin Heinrich is a United States Senator for New Mexico. Heinrich serves on the Senate Energy and Natural Resources, Armed Services, and Intelligence Committees. He is the Ranking Member of the Joint Economic Committee and the Subcommittee on Emerging Threats and Capabilities. With a background in engineering, Heinrich brings a unique perspective to the Senate, where he is focused on creating the jobs of the future and protecting the vital missions at New Mexico’s national labs and military installations. He is a strong advocate for working families, a staunch ally of Indian Country, and a champion for New Mexico’s public lands and growing clean energy economy.
Carlos Herrera
Carlos Herrera Youth Advocate, Water Quality Scientist, Drum Maker
Carlos Herrera is a lifelong New Mexican and represents two diverse groups including the Cochiti pueblo and Hispanic heritage. He is a Water Quality Scientist working in various watersheds around the state working to advocate stewardship among the local communities often times working with students. His family is also well known for being drum makers and willow baskets weavers which is important for him to maintain his connection with his culture and to enforce the connections and dependence on the land around us. His upbringing at Cochiti, learning his native culture, has guided his work in natural resources and in other endeavors such a performing cultural demonstrations throughout the country and abroad. He is also an avid outdoorsman and can oftentimes be found fishing or hunting with his family. A life long goal for him is to help to have a positive impact on the environment and to create a brighter future for coming generations.
Julie Judkins
Julie JudkinsDirector of Education and Outreach at the Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC)
As the Director of Education and Outreach, Julie is responsible for developing and directing the ATC’s broader relevance initiatives to ensure programs, staff and partners reflect, invite and welcome all to the Trail. Julie has been with ATC since 2004. Prior to ATC, Julie served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Armenia, and also worked with Hurricane Island Outward Bound in Key Largo, an at-risk program for youth. She has a BA in Communications from North Carolina State University, and a Masters of Environmental Management through Duke’s Environmental Leadership program at the Nicholas School of the Environment. *https://www.appalachiantrail.org/a-walk-in-the-woods/share-your-story/julie-judkins

José G. González
José G. GonzálezFounder and Director Emeritus of Latino Outdoors
José G. González is the Founder and Former Executive Director for Latino Outdoors. He is an experienced educator as a K-12 public education teacher, environmental education advisor, outdoor education instructor and coordinator, and university adjunct faculty. His commentary on diversity and environmental outreach has been featured by High Country News, Outside, Earth Island Journal, and Latino USA, and he has been engaged in collaborations with the White House Council on Environmental Quality, U.S. Department of Interior, and the National Park Service. He has been recognized with several honors, including the National Wildlife Federation, Grist Magazine, and The Murie Center.
Michelle Lujan Grisham
Michelle Lujan GrishamGovernor of New Mexico
The first Latina Democratic governor in the U.S., Michelle Lujan Grisham brings to the office a lifetime of fighting against inequitable treatment and fighting for the rights of the vulnerable, all underlaid with a deep, abiding compassion for those in need of a little more. She campaigned on a message of pragmatic idealism, calling for enhanced investments in public education, aggressive support for a diversified state economy and creative solutions to the entrenched problems within state government. On April 2, 2019 Governor Lujan Grisham signed in law legislation establishing a New Mexico Outdoor Recreation Division of the Economic Development Department.
Keegan King
Keegan KingPolicy and Legislation Bureau Chief for the New Mexico Department of Indian Affairs
Keegan King is from Acoma Pueblo. Originally getting involved in politics through social justice organizing, Keegan gained valuable experience working to preserve petroglyphs and Native American history in Albuquerque. In 2005, Keegan became the Executive Director of the League of Young Voters New Mexico. Later as the League NM transitioned to New Mexico Youth Organized (NMYO), Keegan continued to build his knowledge in nonprofit management and civic engagement strategies. In 2009, Keegan founded Atsaya Consulting a 100% Native-owned political consulting company. In 2019 Keegan became the Bureau Chief for Policy and Legislation for the New Mexico Department of Indian Affairs.
Ken Ladner
Ken Ladner Mayor of Silver City
Ken was elected Mayor of Silver City in March of 2016 after having retired from Western New Mexico University. He hails from a background of academia, holding a PhD in Physical Chemistry and taught at WNMU for over 30 years and has served as Department Chair, Dean of the College of Science and Math, Vice President for Academic Affairs and Interim University President. He has served as a volunteer in many community organizations and groups including Silver City-Grant County Chamber of Commerce, Silver Schools District School, Silver City Main Street, and Boy Scouts of America.
Norman Maktima
Norman MaktimaFly Fishing Guide
Norman has been guiding for High Desert Angler since 1997. He started fly fishing when he was 7 years old and has developed a passion and career over the 22 years spent on the water. As a descendant of the indigenous Pueblo Culture, Norman is from Katishtya (San Felipe), Kawaika (Laguna), & Hopi Pueblos. He grew up on the Pecos River, which set the stage for Norman’s fly fishing accomplishments as a competitive angler who has won medals including the individual gold in the 1998 World Youth Fly Fishing Championship in Wales, UK. As a member of Fly Fishing Team USA Norman has helped the team to some very successful finishes over the last decade including a team Silver medal at the 2015 World Championships in Bosnia and a team Bronze medal at the 2016 World Championships in Vail Colorado. Before taking a break from competitive fly fishing, he ended with an individual gold at the 2018 National Fly Fishing Championships in Bend, Oregon.

Teresa Martinez
Teresa MartinezExecutive Director of the Continental Divide Trail Coalition
For much of her 30 year professional career, Teresa has worked throughout our entire National Trails System. From 1987-2007 she worked for the Appalachian Trail Conservancy, from 2007 to 2012 she worked for the Continental Divide Trail Alliance and since 2012 she has been the Executive Director (and co-founder) of the Continental Divide Trail Coalition. She serves on the board of the Partnership for the National Trails System and currently serves as the Chair of the Federal Advisory Committee to aid the USFS in the development of the Pacific Northwest National Scenic Trail. When not working on behalf of one of our National Trails, Teresa may be found exploring trails with her dog by bike, horse, and foot.

Howie Morales
Howie MoralesLieutenant Governor of New Mexico
Howie Morales was elected Lieutenant Governor of New Mexico in November, 2018, along with Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham. Prior to becoming the state’s 30th Lieutenant Governor, he served in the New Mexico Senate for 11 years on the influential State Legislative Finance Committee. As a Senator and now as Lt. Governor, Howie has been an outspoken fighter for conservation and New Mexico’s environment. He fought successfully year after year to stop the disastrous Gila River federal diversion plans and has mobilized citizens at the grass-roots level and spoken out forcefully to stop the U.S. Air Force from establishing a new, intrusive F-16 training mission over the Gila Wilderness and the Aldo Leopold wilderness.
Axie Navas
Axie NavasDirector of the New Mexico Outdoor Recreation Division
Axie Navas has a decade of professional storytelling experience in the outdoor industry. Before joining the New Mexico Economic Development Department as the state’s founding Outdoor Recreation Director, she led Outside magazine’s digital business as the Digital Editorial Director. At Outside, she created a digital strategy built around inclusively and advocacy that grew the website’s audience by 25 percent and led to its 2019 National Magazine Award nomination for General Excellence. She has always revered nature, thanks in large part to a childhood spent outside skiing, biking, and exploring the Rockies. Axie spent four years in Illinois to earn her degrees in Journalism and Spanish at Northwestern University, where she also served as president of the school’s collegiate road racing team.
Matthew J. Nelson
Matthew J. NelsonExecutive Director, Arizona Trail Association
Among Matt’s contributions to the Arizona National Scenic Trail over the past 18 years are trail design, archaeological surveys, volunteer trail construction, and explorations of the AZT on foot, mountain bike and horseback. His innovative approach to nonprofit leadership, natural resource management, marketing and developing partnerships helps sustain the Arizona Trail as well as the 30 gateway communities located within the trail corridor. Matthew has worked as an outdoor educator, Grand Canyon backpacking guide, archaeologist, Native American tribal liaison, editor and freelance photojournalist. He has more than 500 published articles to his credit and is the primary author of Your Complete Guide to the Arizona National Scenic Trail and the Arizona Trail Junior Explorer Handbook.
Grecia Nuñez
Grecia NuñezPublic Lands Fellow for New Mexico Wild
Born and raised in southern New Mexico Grecia has developed a wealth of conservation and organizing experience, recently finishing up a two year stint in the Peace Corps in Panama. Grecia has worked on the ground with a diversity of non-profit organizations and land management agencies including Groundwork Doña Ana, the National Park Service, AmeriCorps, and the Student Conservation Association. She led under-represented youth on environmental projects, including an archaeological survey of the Organ Mountain-Desert Peaks when it was being considered for designation as a National Monument. She has lived and worked in many wild places from Yellowstone National Park to Denali National Park.
Martyn Pearson
Martyn PearsonOwner of Gila Hike and Bike
Born in Norfolk, England, Martyn developed a love for golf and spent his youth competing across Southern England. In 2002 he traveled to America to play golf while attending college, and completed a Bachelors degree in English at WNMU. During his time at Western he purchased a mountain bike and discovered Boston Hill, Jeff Reese and Jamie Thompson. The rest is history. Martyn’s grandfather worked at Raleigh Bikes in Nottingham England, so the opportunity to work closely with Head Mechanic Bill Schum helped unearth a passion for cycling and bicycle repair that only compounded with time.

Taylor Phillips
Taylor PhillipsOwner of Jackson Hole EcoTour Adventures
Taylor Phillips has been in the recreation and tourism industry for 20 years. In 2008 he developed Jackson Hole EcoTour Adventures offering natural history and wildlife viewing programs into Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks. In 2016 EcoTour Adventures was awarded a concession contract to guide cross country ski and snowshoe programs into Grand Teton National Park. Through EcoTour Adventure’s dollars for conservation program they contribute 2% of sales back to NGO’s that help protect the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. Annually we connect over 7,000 visitors to the National Parks in Western Wyoming. Starting in 2020 we are starting to lead unique international programs into Southern Chile to view pumas.
Chris Ponce
Chris PonceChair of the Grant County Commission
Chris was born and raised in Silver City and retired from the Silver City Police Department as the Deputy Chief of Police after 20 years of service. He previously worked for the Grant County Sheriff’s office and Freeport McMoRan. He was elected to the Grant County Commission in November of 2018. His love of the mountains and hunting, fishing, and packing into the wilderness on horseback has rooted his life in Silver City. Recently he introduced and passed a Resolution in the County Commission calling for the protection of portions of the Gila River as a Wild and Scenic River.
Bob Ratcliffe
Bob RatcliffeDivision Chief for Conservation, Recreation and Community Assistance Programs, National Park Service
Bob oversees a portfolio that includes the new NPS Office of Outdoor Recreation; the Rivers, Trails and Conservation Assistance (RTCA) Program, National Trails System and National Rivers system among others. Previously, Bob served 24 years for the Bureau of Land Management in a variety of field and national leadership roles including over a dozen years as Deputy Assistant Director for Resources and Division Chief for Recreation and Visitor Services. He has spent much of the last four decades exploring public lands and developing new and progressive national policies conserving and restoring special places, enhancing visitor experiences, and partnering with gateway communities, recreation and tourism interests in promoting responsible recreation and encouraging community engagement while balancing protection of resources.
Jen Schroer
Jen SchroerSecretary of the New Mexico Department of Tourism
Secretary Jen Paul Schroer was appointed as Secretary of Tourism by Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham in January 2019. Prior to her appointment to Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham’s Cabinet as Tourism Secretary, Jen served as the President & CEO of New Mexico Hospitality Association, where she led the merger of two state level trade associations and went on to pass key legislation to help boost tourism development. Jen helped launch a series of cross-collaborative initiatives that helped bridge business and government to spur economic development, established an endowed scholarship fund for hospitality and tourism students, and enhanced continued learning opportunities for hospitality and tourism professionals by hosting professional development programming at statewide conferences.

David Simon
David SimonDirector of Albuquerque Parks & Recreation Department
Dave Simon has 27 years of experience in the parks and conservation field, including holding senior public service leadership positions in New Mexico. Mr. Simon was Director of New Mexico State Parks (2003-2010), Assistant Commissioner at the New Mexico State Land Office (2002), and worked 16 years with the nonprofit National Parks Conservation Association in Washington, D.C. and the Southwest. Dave is a past Chair of the City of Albuquerque Open Space Advisory Board, former Rio Grande Chapter Director for the Sierra Club, a former Board member of the New Mexico Parks and Recreation Association, and President of Eco Think LLC, a nature/outdoors-focused consulting practice.
Dave Stanton
Dave StantonCreative Director at Talweg Creative
In over twenty-five years as a creative director, Dave has led strategy and creative teams on some of the most iconic brands on the planet, including AT&T, Coca Cola, Delta, Georgia Pacific, Days Inn, and Bayer. At GSD&M and BBDO, Dave worked on projects as diverse as transitioning AT&T into the wireless age, product launches like the Motorola Razr and iPhone, and a groundbreaking ecotourism campaign for Panama that shifted perceptions of the country and grew tourism revenues significantly. He is the creative director at Talweg Creative, where he oversees creative strategy and design for New Mexico True.
Jeff Steinborn
Jeff SteinbornSouthern New Mexico Director at New Mexico Wild
As the Southern New Mexico Director for New Mexico Wild, Jeff helped establish the successful campaign to protect the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument. After serving for eight years in the New Mexico House of Representatives Jeff was elected to the New Mexico Senate in 2016. In office Jeff authored legislation to establish the Rio Grande Trail Commission and the New Mexico Outdoor Recreation Division.

Christy Tafoya
Christy TafoyaDirector of New Mexico State Parks
Christy Tafoya, an archaeologist by training, began her career with State Parks when she was selected as the first State Park Archaeologist in 1998. She held several positions in parks and managed the statewide Outdoor Classroom Program, which has provided hundreds of thousands of students with meaningful, hands-on experiences. Tafoya was appointed as Director of New Mexico State Parks in 2015 and was reappointed by Governor Lujan Grisham in 2019. She is the first woman to fill the top leadership role since State Parks began in 1933.
Joseph Brophy Toledo
Joseph Brophy ToledoYouth Leader Specialist, Traditional Leader, Herbalist, Spiritual leader, Storyteller, and a Member of the Pueblo of Jemez.
Joseph has served in the capacity as a healer and spiritual leader to the pueblo and non-native communities for over 4 decades now. He has worked with numerous indigenous youth groups, his is an adjunct instructor for the Institute of American Indian Arts, he has worked for as a creative consultant for Robert Mirabal Productions, he has served on the Native American Global Sports Committee, and has been instrumental in various international indigenous projects such as Pueblo Pathways Project and he has traveled to Mexico, Canada and Africa as a First Nations representative for Earth healing and environmental conferences and efforts. Brophy has the distinction of being the first Pueblo Governor to lead Indian Country to become members of the U.S. Olympic Committee.
Xochitl Torres Small
Xochitl Torres Small Member of Congress
Congresswoman Xochitl Torres Small represents New Mexico’s second congressional district, which covers all or parts of Bernalillo, Catron, Chaves, Cibola, De Baca, Eddy, Guadalupe, Grant, Hidalgo, Lea, Lincoln, Luna, McKinley, Otero, Roosevelt, Sierra, Socorro, and Valencia counties. Born and raised in New Mexico, Xochitl grew up in Las Cruces. After graduating Cum Laude from Georgetown University in just three years, Xochitl returned home to Las Cruces. A former Field Representative for Senator Tom Udall, she established his constituent services offices in southern New Mexico and worked to increase cell phone service, broadband, and
other communication lines in rural New Mexico. She worked with teachers, college instructors, and business leaders to create better job opportunities for local graduates. She also helped bring farmers, conservationists, and communities together to protect New Mexico’s water.

Tom Udall
Tom Udall(invited) United States Senator
Tom Udall has earned a reputation as a principled leader who has the integrity to do what is right for New Mexico and our nation. Tom began serving as United States Senator in 2009, after two decades of public service as U.S. Representative and New Mexico’s State Attorney General. He was re-elected to the U.S. Senate in 2014, and is now New Mexico’s senior senator. Tom serves on the Appropriations, Foreign Relations, Commerce, Indian Affairs, and Rules and Administration committees.

Francisco Valenzuela
Francisco ValenzuelaDirector of Recreation Heritage and Wilderness in Region 3 for the Forest Service
Francisco Valenzuela’s work brings partnership and community connection into the heart of sustainable recreation. Valenzuela helped guide the development of over $500 million in infrastructure, the largest comprehensively planned investment in recreation infrastructure and services in Forest Service history, at the Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument. His dedication to sustainable recreation development, research and policy have had a tremendous positive impact on the Forest Service facilities that connect visitors to outdoor recreation experiences and opportunities.

Brian Vallo
Brian ValloGovernor of the Pueblo of Acoma
Brian D. Vallo has over 25 years of experience working with Native American tribes throughout the Southwest. He is the founding director of the Sky City Cultural Center and Haakú Museum at Acoma, and director of the Acoma Historic Preservation Office. Prior to his recent appointment as Governor, Brian served as director of the Indian Arts Research Center (IARC) at the School for Advanced Research in Santa Fe where he led a national initiative on proper stewardship of Native American collections. Brian spearheaded the development and publication of protocols known as the Guidelines for Collaboration, a guide for how source communities and collecting institutions can work together to address the multitude of issues including long-term, culturally-relevant collections stewardship.
Garrett Vene Klasen
Garrett Vene KlasenOutreach Coordinator for New Mexico Wild
Garrett was born and raised in Santa Fe New Mexico. He has over thirty years of small business experience in outfitting, outdoor retail, product manufacturing/sales and ecotourism. As a young man he worked as a fly fishing guide in northern New Mexico. He also worked in outdoor retail and then owned and operated an international eco-tourism travel company for over 20 years. He has also the host and co-director of ESPN’s Fly Fishing America. Over the past decade Garrett was the Executive Director of the New Mexico Wildlife Federation and was the Southwest Director of Trout Unlimited’s Sportsmen’s Conservation Project (NM. AZ and CO). He also founded the New Mexico Chapter of Backcountry Hunters & Anglers. Garrett is currently the Chair of the NM State Land Office’s Conservation Advisory Board.

Dr. Margaret Walls
Dr. Margaret WallsSenior Fellow at Resources for the Future
Margaret Wells is an economist and Senior Fellow at Resources for the Future (RFF), an independent nonprofit research organization in Washington, DC. Dr. Walls’s research focuses on issues related to resilience and adaptation to extreme events, ecosystem services provision and valuation, and public lands and outdoor recreation. In her recent research, she has measured the local economic impacts of national monument designations. Walls currently serves on the board of the Association of Environmental and Resource Economists. Walls has published widely in peer-reviewed journals and is the author of 34 book chapters and published reports. Dr. Walls holds a PhD in economics from the University of California at Santa Barbara and a BS in agricultural economics from the University of Kentucky.
Dana Watts
Dana Watts Executive Director of Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics
Dana Watts has been the Executive Director of the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics since 1996. Watts began her career working on the hill and for the public affairs firm Ogilvy Adams and Rinehart in Washington, DC. She moved to Boulder in 1993 and has focused largely on public lands and conservation since. She has taken Leave No Trace from a conservation concept to an education, training and research powerhouse that reaches 15M Americans each year and is taught in 80 countries. Watts has served on several national
conservation and outdoor recreation boards including the Outdoor Industry Association and Colorado Fourteener’s Initiative. She has appeared in the New York Times, The Guardian, on NPR and the Today Show and was a nominee for Sporting Good’s Business Woman of the Year.

David Weinstein
David WeinsteinState and Local Policy Director of the Outdoor Industry Association
David Weinstein rejoined Outdoor Industry Association in 2018 as its state and local policy director. He works to engage the outdoor industry in state- and locally-based advocacy efforts; supports the creation of new funding and access for outdoor recreation through budget appropriations, legislation, and at the ballot box; and collaborates with current, and works to establish new, state offices of outdoor recreation around the country. He serves on the Board of Directors for both the Montana Conservation Corps and Alaska Wilderness League. David lives in Bozeman, MT and is an avid backcountry skier, mountain biker, hunter, angler, backpacker, and packrafter.

Angela West
Angela WestNational Director of Tourism & Community Service of the Bureau of Land Management
Angela has worked for over 35 years in the field of natural and heritage resource management at the local, state, national, and international level. She served as the BLM New Mexico Program Director for Outdoor Recreation, Interpretation and Education, Wilderness Management, and Off-Road Vehicle Management. She currently serves as the Washington DC Office National Travel and Tourism Program Manager for the Bureau of Land Management. Angela’s experience spans the Federal Government, private industry, tribes, international technical assistance, and the non-profit sector. Her work includes an emphasis on building intergovernmental and interagency cooperation and community partnerships; organizational outreach and marketing; strategic planning and training, and includes working with indigenous populations within the US, Canada, Mexico, Central America and Indonesia.

Dr. Kathy Whiteman
Dr. Kathy WhitemanDirector of Outdoor Programs for Western New Mexico University
Kathy is the visionary and founding Director of Western New Mexico University’s Outdoor Program. Launched in 2012, the Outdoor Program mission is to engage students in experiential adventure-based programming to advance ecological and civic literacy and practice social responsibility for a sustainable future. Since its inception, the program has served more than 2370 students and community members through activities including student leadership trainings, an outdoor gear rental facility, a state-recognized Search and Rescue team, First-Year Student Orientations, team building workshops, certification courses, outdoor trips, and academic coursework leading to a minor in Outdoor Leadership Studies.
Conference Caterer Melissa Woods
Conference Caterer Melissa WoodsOwner of Wheel House
Melissa Woods is a New Mexico native; she has traveled and worked abroad and blends many cultural influences into her regional cuisine. Her commitment to local, organic and non-GMO food fuels her creativity to constantly create new dishes to showcase foods natural taste and beauty. She earned her culinary degree at Johnson and Wales University in Providence RI in 1996 and began her cooking career with three seasons on Martha’s Vineyard. She continued her education while serving in the US NAVY and earned her BA in hospitality management while serving active duty. Her education path continued as she earned two masters degrees from WNMU in teaching and English and has completed her 500HR training as a yoga teacher. Melissa is the owner of Wheel House and lives in Silver City with her two delightful children and balances cooking for clients with teaching yoga and cooking at her downtown studio.

2018 Conference Speakers

TOM ADAMSDirector of the Utah Office of Outdoor Recreation
Tom Adams has been dedicated to Utah’s outdoor recreation industry for over 25 years. During that time, his passions in life have consistently followed his career path hand in hand. From the N.A. Sales Director for Petzl to a Ski Instructor at Brighton, it has been Tom’s personal goal to make every aspect of the outdoor industry more enjoyable and accessible for his clients, friends and family. Now as the Director of Outdoor Recreation for the State of Utah he helps to ensure that each resident or visitor will have the best possible resources to enjoy the range of outdoor recreation opportunities that Utah offers.
RALPH BECKERFormer Mayor of Salt Lake City and Utah House of Representatives
Ralph Becker is a 44-year resident of Salt Lake City where he served two terms as mayor (2008-2015). He also served in the Utah State Legislature as a member of the House of Representatives for 11 years (1996-2007), including five years as House Minority Leader. In 2015, Ralph served as President of the National League of Cities. In his political career, Ralph focused attention on serving the public interest through solution-oriented, inclusive governance practices. He became known for his work improving conditions for the LGBT community around discrimination; sustainability practices in cities and protection of lands and resources; and changes to improve equity in education, access to the outdoors, and community development.
LUIS BENITEZDirector of the Colorado Office of Outdoor Recreation
Luis stepped into his current role with the Outdoor Recreation Industry Office when the agency was established in 2015. His early career was spent conducting mountaineering, climbing, and skiing courses for the Outward Bound Professional development program. While Luis still guides for Outward Bound through his Endeavor Consulting Company, an even more intense occupation captured his imagination: high altitude mountaineering. Through Endeavor Consulting and other organizations, Luis has led parties of climbers to the summit of some of Earth’s most imposing peaks. His first of six summits on Mount Everest was in 2001 with blind athlete Erik Weihenmayer, and Luis has guided on the famed Seven Summits numerous times.
ANDREW BLACKDirector of Community Relations & Education, New Mexico Wildlife Federation
Born and raised in Santa Fe Andrew worked in the United States Senate as a Field Representative for U.S. Senators Jeff Bingaman and Martin Heinrich covering issues of health, education, immigration, veterans, sportsmen and public lands. In promoting sportsman conservation, Andrew also helped spearhead environmental coalitions that led to the protection of the Rio Grande del Norte National Monument, the Columbine Hondo Wilderness Area and the Valles Caldera National Preserve. Andrew works with the New Mexico Wildlife Federation as the Director of Community Relations, Education and Veterans Outreach. Andrew is an ordained Presbyterian Minister (PCUSA), an avid fly-fisherman, and passionate about the intersection of culture, community, conservation and collaboration.
MIKE CALDWELLMayor of Ogden, Utah
Mayor Mike Caldwell’s personal and professional involvement in Ogden’s revitalization and his love of Ogden drove him to political office in 2011. Caldwell is serving his second term as Ogden City Mayor. Before being elected, Mayor Caldwell was an integral leader in the collaborative efforts of key community businesses and government leaders to attract world-class events to the area. These events have given Ogden an opportunity to showcase Ogden’s recreation infrastructure, vast natural resources, economic development and volunteer spirit that have resulted in a direct economic impact for the community. Ogden has been touted for its success attracting and growing its outdoor recreation industry cluster.

Mayor Caldwell is an avid, accomplished and lifelong outdoor athlete who actively participates in the high-adventure recreation lifestyle of Ogden with his wife, two daughters and Weimaraner.

SUZANNE CATLETTPresident of the Escalante and Boulder Utah Chamber of Commerce
Suzanne Catlett is the President of Escalante & Boulder Chamber of Commerce and has been an advocating voice for the economic successes of rural, gateway communities. Suzanne owns and operates multiple businesses in Escalante including Nemo’s Restaurant. Serving the community is an important part of Suzanne’s focus, she is currently a member of the Board for The Garfield County Travel Council, School Community Council and Escalante Heritage Center.

As a Utah native, she enjoys family, golfing, hiking, kayaking and camping. By far, her favorite adventure is kayaking 80 miles down the remote Escalante River, an excursion that strengthened her lifelong love for the outdoors.

KEVNEY DUGANCEO of Visit Bend in Bend, Oregon
Kevney Dugan has been the CEO of the Bend, Oregon, tourism bureau since July 2016, and oversees all aspects of Visit Bend’s operations. During his tenure at Visit Bend, he has built key relationships with tourism stakeholders, led presentations on economic development and sustainable tourism, and spearheaded efforts to bring 23 national championship athletic events to Bend. Born and raised in Michigan, Kevney holds a degree in psychology and business management from Hope College. He enjoys trail running, mountain biking, and fly fishing, and is grateful to have a career that lets him share those passions with Bend visitors and community members.
RENEE FRANKFounder and Team Leader at Smart Living Team at Keller Williams
Renee has a B.S. in Biology and MBA from Auburn University in Alabama. She began her career with the USDA Soil Conservation Service, and moved to Las Cruces 37 years ago, working at White Sands Missile Range and then in several local hospitals in human resources and general management. After seeing her two daughters off to college, she went into real estate and became the first certified EcoBroker in Las Cruces, deciding to dedicate her real estate practice to learning about and educating others in green, environmentally friendly homes, energy efficiency and sustainable living. Having learned to love the outdoors as a child, hiking, swimming, and horseback riding in beautiful, natural environments, it was only natural for her to become a staunch advocate for the protection of our public lands through wilderness and national monument designations.
CISCO GUEVARAOwner of Los Rios River Runner
Cisco Guevara honed his storytelling craft around campfires deep in the river canyons of northern New Mexico. A river runner since his teenage days in Los Alamos, “the Atomic City,” he has become a New Mexico legend: instantly recognizable by his black hat, which was shaped—like the basalt rocks in the Rio Grande Gorge—by the organic power of the river, and famous for his vast knowledge of local lore. In 2010, he was named one of the Top Ten guides in New Mexico. Cisco’s stories range from his rebellious youth, to tales that draw on his Hispanic and Native American heritage, to hair-raising adventures in the wilderness, to haunting tales of love and loss. A headliner at the Taos Storytelling Festival for the past 11 years, Cisco performs regularly for groups in Santa Fe and Albuquerque, and has told his stories to rapt audiences as far afield as London and Paris.
CARRIE HAMBLENCEO & President of the Las Cruces Green Chamber of Commerce
Carrie Hamblen worked at KRWG Radio, the Las Cruces NPR affiliate, for 20 years. She was the local host of Morning Edition, Operations Manager, and has hosted her own public affairs program – Images. She has served on the Board of Directors for the Las Cruces chapter of Parents, Families, and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) and the Southern New Mexico PRIDE Board of Directors. She currently is the President of the Board of Directors for the Mesilla Valley Community of Hope and is a member of the J. Paul Taylor Academy Governing Council. She holds a Masters Degree in Communication Studies from NMSU and a Masters Degree in Public Administration. In her spare time, she likes to remodel the 1948 home she shares with her wife Char, make homemade candles and soap, and laugh around her firepit with friends and family.
KENJI HAROUTUNIANDirector of the California Outdoor Recreation Partners
Kenji Haroutunian is an independent agent for change focused on events and the great outdoors experience. Kenji’s acumen for business comes from 29-years in specialty outdoor store management and teaching outdoor skills (including advanced climbing and wilderness navigation courses) during/after completing his degree at UCLA. In 1999 he began working for Outdoor Retailer, building an authentic brand story and growing the business into one of the premier b2b shows in the world. Since 2011 he was elevated to Vice President for Emerald Expositions, directing the Outdoor Sports group. Kenji has spearheaded industry-focused programs, like FundSource OR, the Project OR design competition, Green Steps, The OR Virtual Design Center, and the Business of Backcountry Forums, all of which help attract core athletes, media and designers to the show and adds to the bottom line. A 2010 Access Fund ‘Sharp End’ awardee, Kenji serves on the Board of Directors of the Access Fund, is President of the Friends Of Joshua Tree and is a founding director of TeccSociety, an events-industry technology organization.
MARTIN HEINRICHUnited States Senator
Elected in 2012, Martin Heinrich is a United States Senator for New Mexico. Heinrich serves on the Senate Energy and Natural Resources, Armed Services, and Intelligence Committees. He is the Ranking Member of the Joint Economic Committee and the Subcommittee on Emerging Threats and Capabilities. With a background in engineering, Heinrich brings a unique perspective to the Senate, where he is focused on creating the jobs of the future and protecting the vital missions at New Mexico’s national labs and military installations. He is a strong advocate for working families, a staunch ally of Indian Country, and a champion for New Mexico’s public lands and growing clean energy economy.
DAN IRIONOwner of Taos Mesa Brewing Company
Dan Irion moved to Taos in November of 1998. In 2009, Dan sold his seasonal Pizza Restaurant in the Taos Ski Valley to pursue a new business, Taos Mesa Brewing (TMB), a Brewery and Music venue. After several years permitting and constructing, TMB opened its doors to the public in August of 2012. Since its inception, Taos Mesa Brewing has been both a proponent and a beneficiary of the Rio Grande Del Norte Monument. In March of 2013, TMB was honored to host the official public announcement ceremony attended by the NM Congressional delegation and then Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar. The close proximity of TMB’s founding location to two of the Monument’s key attractions (Rio Grande Gorge Bridge and Stagecoach Hotsprings) has been a boon to business as many of the Monuments visitors find their way to the Mothership for post-Monument refreshments.
ASHLEY KORENBLATWestern Spirit Cycling
Ashley Korenblat’s involvement with public land began when she served as President of Merlin Metalworks, a bicycle manufacturing company in Cambridge, MA. During that time she became chair of the International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA) and worked with the organization to establish relationships with federal, state, and local land managers. Ashley is currently the CEO of Western Spirit Cycling an outfitter based in Moab, Utah who runs multi-day bicycle trips throughout the US, and is one of the largest holders of recreation permits on the public lands system. Western Spirit also produces Outerbike, a consumer bike demo event. She was inducted into the Mountain Bike Hall of Fame in 2003. Ashley serves as a Managing Director for Public Land Solutions, a non-profit working with communities seeking to diversify their economies through investments in recreation assets to attract both visitors and businesses.
CHRIS LANGOwner of Organ Mountain Outfitters
Chris Lang is the founder of Organ Mountain Outfitters. He started the company in his garage as a way to help bring the community together and give back at the same time. Organ Mountain Outfitters takes $2 of every product sold and gives it back to the community, feeding one child for one week in the local public school lunch program. Organ Mountain Outfitters has quickly become an iconic apparel brand with a retail location and world-wide customer base.
KEN MIYAGISHIMAMayor of Las Cruces New Mexico
Kenneth Daniel Gallegos Miyagishima was born in Biloxi, Mississippi in 1963. He is of both Japanese and Mexican descent. He has lived in Las Cruces since 1971. He attended public schools and in 1985 graduated from New Mexico State University with degrees in finance and real estate. In 1984 – while still attending NMSU – Ken began his insurance and financial services business, which he still owns today. Ken has served as a Dona Ana County Commissioner, Las Cruces City Councilor, and Las Cruces Mayor. Under Ken’s leadership the City helped establish the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument, New Mexico’s largest National Monument.
ERIC MONTGOMERYVice President of Business Development of the Mesilla Valley Economic Development Alliance
Eric received his Bachelors and Masters degree at New Mexico State University. Eric has worked for the past decade in various public and private roles – including with the City of Las Cruces (including grant program management, economic development initiatives, and business outreach) and sales for a corporate headquarters with nationwide accounts. Now with over six years at MVEDA, and eight in economic development, Eric has worked with locating and expanding economic-base companies throughout Doña Ana County that have announced over 2,100 new jobs, over $240 million in capital investment, and $66 million in new annual payroll. He is also member of the New Mexico Industrial Development Executives Association (NMIDEA) and CoreNet Global (North Texas and Southern California chapters).
DEVAKI MURCHTrade Show Manager of the Grassroots Outdoor Alliance
Devaki Murch has been a cornerstone of the outdoor community since the 1990s. She got her start as a kayak guide on Kauai then established herself as a force to be reckoned with as the Community and Athlete manager for Prana. Her innovative approach to collaborating with partner brands to maximize the value of a team of shared athletes and brand assets brought a trademark stamp on the collective community experience at events.
She is a familiar face both behind the scenes and on the front lines of events and trade shows. Devaki is a natural connector throughout her career she has created and maintained long-lasting relationships in every aspect of the industry. Devaki’s professional and personal circles are one in the same and consist of retailers, athletes, brand directors, conservationists, road warriors, and social activists.
CAILIN O'BRIEN-FEENEYState and Local Policy Manager of the Outdoor Industry Association
Cailin joined the Outdoor Industry Association in 2015 to start a new program engaging the outdoor industry in state and local recreation advocacy. Previously he was the Policy Director at Winter Wildlands Alliance, worked on a range of recreation-conservation issues with Outdoor Alliance and ran the Idaho Outdoor Business Council. Prior to working “for the outdoors”, he worked in the outdoors – spending the better part of a decade as an outdoor educator and guide across the West. He holds a master’s degree in Natural Resource Management from University of Idaho and a bachelor’s in environmental studies from Lewis & Clark College.
ANNA OLSON President/CEO Jackson Hole Chamber of Commerce
Anna Olson moved to Jackson, WY in Nov 1996 from London, England. She joined Jackson Hole Mountain Resort (JHMR) the following September as the Communications Manager. Drawing on experience in the UK as Product Manager for 2 major tour operators including United Airlines, Anna combined her business degree with a marketing passion. Most recently Anna has taken over as the President/CEO of the JH Chamber of Commerce, where her vision is to build consensus, provide leadership and champion the interests of all 900 members recognizing the strong sense of community, surrounding legacy lands and small-town setting enjoyed by the residents of Jackson Hole. Anna’s community organization experience includes working with JH AIR, JH Central Reservations and the JH Travel and Tourism Board.
JERRY PACHECOPresident of the Border Industrial Association
Jerry Pacheco is the Executive Director of the International Business Accelerator, the only state-wide international trade counseling program, based in Santa Teresa, NM. He also is an industrial business recruiter based in Santa Teresa, New Mexico, founder and President of the Border Industrial Association, former Board Director of the Dallas Federal Reserve Bank-El Paso Branch, and a syndicated columnist on international affairs. He also serves on the New Mexico Advisory Committee of the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition. In 2013, he was named by Hispanic Business Magazine as one of the “Top 50 Influential Hispanics in the U.S.
RAY RASKER, Ph.D. Executive Director of Headwaters Economics
Ray is the Executive Director of Headwaters Economics, an independent, nonprofit research group. Headwaters mission is to improve community development and land management decision. Topics include: the economic role of federal lands; state tax policy; reducing wildfire risk to communities; expanding community trails and pathways; economic development; and free analytical tools for helping understand the link between the economy and the environment. Ray has written widely on rural development and the role of environmental quality in economic prosperity, and is well known in policy circles in the U.S. and Canada. He has a Ph.D. from the College of Forestry, Oregon State University, M.Ag. from Colorado State University, and B.S. in Wildlife Biology from the University of Washington.
RENAY SCOTT, Ph.D.President of Doña Ana Community College
Dr. Renay Scott became the 9th President of Doña Ana Community College in 2014. She previously served as Vice President and Provost of Owens Community College in Ohio . Her areas of scholarship include curriculum, instruction, assessment, education, and history with an emphasis on American history. She earned her Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction from Wayne State University and several Masters degrees from Michigan State University and American Public University. She also serves as the Senior Women’s Administrator for NMSU Athletics.
NATHAN SMALLConservation Wrangler of New Mexico Wild
Nathan is a third generation New Mexican, from a family of educators and ranchers. An avid sportsman and horseman, he was a strong advocate for the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument working with New Mexico Wild. After serving two terms on the Las Cruces City Council, Nathan was elected to the New Mexico House of Representatives in 2016.
JON SNYDEROutdoor Recreation and Economic Development Policy Advisor to the Governor of Washington
Jon Snyder is Washington Governor Jay Inslee’s Policy Advisor for Outdoor Recreation and Economic Development. He coordinates policy, legislation, budget items, and outreach related to outdoor recreation. He was appointed in December 2015 after serving on the Spokane City Council for six years and owning a regional outdoor magazine for nine years. Snyder served on the Washington Traffic Safety Commission, Spokane Transit Authority, and Spokane Regional Health District as well as having a leadership role in passing local ballot measures to fund parks, streets, libraries, and public transportation.
JEFF STEINBORNSouthern New Mexico Director of New Mexico Wild
As the Southern New Mexico Director for New Mexico Wild, Jeff helped establish the successful campaign to protect the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument. After serving for eight years in the New Mexico House of Representatives Jeff was elected to the New Mexico Senate in 2016.
WAYNE SUGGSOwner of Classic Homes New Mexico and Wayne Suggs Photography
Wayne Suggs is an award winning photographer and a Las Cruces, New Mexico native, who has photographed landscapes for over 40 years. Wayne captures the beauty of the Southwest and shares his images not only for others to enjoy, but to help increase awareness of the necessity to preserve our precious surroundings. Wayne has won numerous awards for his photography, including the 14th Annual New Mexico Magazine Photographer of the Year, the Oliver Award for his work on night photography with petroglyphs, and numerous others.
TOM UDALLUnited States Senator
Tom Udall has earned a reputation as a principled leader who has the integrity to do what is right for New Mexico and our nation. Tom began serving as United States Senator in 2009, after two decades of public service as U.S. Representative and New Mexico’s State Attorney General. He was re-elected to the U.S. Senate in 2014, and is now New Mexico’s senior senator.