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Speakers

Speakers 2018-05-01T05:40:47+00:00

Conference Speakers

TOM ADAMS
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 BECKER
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 BENITEZ
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 BLACK
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 CALDWELL
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 CATLETT
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 DUGAN
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 FRANK
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 GUEVARA
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 HAMBLEN
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 HAROUTUNIAN
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 HEINRICH
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 IRION
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 KORENBLAT
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 LANG
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 MIYAGISHIMA
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 MONTGOMERY
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 MURCH
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-FEENEY
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
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 PACHECO
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.
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.
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 SMALL
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 SNYDER
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 STEINBORN
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 SUGGS
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 UDALL
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.