Board of Directors

Beth Helmke

Board Chair

Beth brings varied leadership experience from her professional background in the nonprofit sector, education, nature-based youth programming, and communications. She has a Bachelors in Molecular Biology and Masters in Nonprofit Management and currently works as Chaffee County Government’s Public Affairs Officer. She’s passionate about stewardship and sustainability and building a more inclusive and diverse outdoor recreation culture and community. Her love for trail running, summit seeking, and all manner of backcountry adventuring also ties in well with her involvement with Chaffee County Search and Rescue-North.

 

Rob White

Board Vice-Chair

Rob received a BS in Park & Recreation Administration/Biology with a Secondary Teaching Certificate from Central Michigan University in 1980, and a MS in Park Administration/Fisheries & Wildlife Management from Michigan State University in 1983. Since the year 2000, Rob was the Park Manager at the Arkansas Headwaters Recreation Area, one of 42 state parks within Colorado Parks and Wildlife. Rob retired from that position in July of 2020.

Layne Kottmeier

Board Treasurer

Layne Kottmeier, Certified Public Accountant of Kottmeier Valuation & Forensics based out of Salida, joined the GARNA Board as Treasurer in 2018. When she’s not whipping GARNA’s financials into shape, Layne enjoys hiking the beautiful public lands of the Upper Arkansas Valley.

Bonnie Davis

Bonnie grew up in the Caribbean islands and has lived in various countries around the world.  In addition to being bilingual, she is a Master Gardner with Colorado State, a rescue Scuba diver, and a wild mushroom identifier.  Bonnie has lived in Chaffee County since 2016.  Professionally, she has worked in sales, marketing, business development, and is currently a senior strategic analyst supporting Fortune 100 and 500 companies.  She has certifications in accounting, product and project management, and is a quality expert with the American Society for Quality. 

JW Wilder

JW Wilder is a retired Senior Ranger at Colorado State Parks, represents GARNA on the Arkansas Headwaters Recreation Area Citizen Task Force, and participates with GARNA’s Friends of AHRA volunteer group. JW started the Monarch Snowcat Tours, and was the first ranger at AHRA State Park. In his spare time, he enjoys skiing, racing Town Challenge at Monarch, rafting and traveling.

Truman P. Young

Born and raised in Colorado, and climbing in the Sawatch range since he was ten, Truman (Ty) got his BA from the University of Chicago and his PhD from the University of Pennsylvania, both in biology. He has taught, mentored, and carried out ecological research for over forty years in Kenya, Panama, and the western United States, most recently with the University of California and Colorado State University. He brings years of experience in environmental education and the ecology, restoration, conservation, and management of human-dominated landscapes, especially rangelands.

David Jennings

Dave is an ecologist and attorney, with a Ph.D. in Biology from the University of South Florida, and a J.D. from Vermont Law School. He has served on the GARNA Board since 2023, and his hobbies include traveling, reading, and exploring nature through hiking, camping, snorkeling, and wildlife photography.

Staff

Jason Marsden

Executive Director

Jake Vasquez

Gear Library 

 

Bianka Martinez

Youth, Equity and Outreach 

 

Cat Anderson

Public Programs 

Jessica Downing

Community Engagement & Chaffee Rec Adopter Coordinator

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