OUR PEOPLE: SLVEC Staff
Bachelor of Science
Writing and Production Planning
Chris joined SLVEC in June 2000. She mobilized key local and regional constituencies to support legislation for the Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve Act 0f 2000 and received congressional recognition for her efforts. In coordination with the EPA Region 8, she enjoined with SLV community leaders to prioritize environmental health protocols which have since engaged over 1,000 households in educational forums for protecting their indoor air and water quality through mitigation and regular household maintenance. Chris developed a solar/transmission working group in 2009 that had a tremendous impact on renewable energy awareness and continues in pursuit of strategy for distributed solar generation. She has participated with core teams to develop other SLV conservation organizations including: Citizens for San Luis Valley Water, which opposed a trans-basin water diversion; EPA TAG Summitville mine oversight and clean up; Rio Grande Headwaters Landtrust: Sangre de Cristo National Heritage Area and is currently collaborating with Conejos Clean Water to structure a USDA RUS Solid Waste Management and EPA Recycling Plan for the SLV. Before moving to the SLV in 1988, she worked as an engineer with CNN Headlines in Atlanta, Georgia and NBC News in New York City.
Christine is the recipient of several awards:
EPA Environmental Stewardship Award, 2008.
The Jasper Carlton "Activist in the Trenches" Award, presented by the Rocky Mountain Wild BOD, 2015
Fund For Wild Nature Grassroots Activist of the Year, 2017
Communications Manager and Outreach Coordinator
Bachelor of Arts
University of Colorado Boulder
Having grown up in the San Luis Valley, always with a sense of awe and amazement for the natural world, Zaylah looks forward to building upon SLVEC’s efforts. Her love for bridging social and environmental justice topics led her to pursue a degree in Geography from the University of Colorado Boulder. She aspires to apply her interdisciplinary thinking skills to protect the serene natural beauty and rich human culture that radiates throughout the San Luis Valley. Using her writing skills to develop SLVEC’s monthly newsletter (please subscribe) and social media accounts, Zaylah is passionate about spreading awareness within SLV communities and visitors as to why and how we should protect this special place. Zaylah is also the co-publisher of Crestone: A Sacred Earth Journal, a publication in which highlights the ecological significance, cultural vibrancy, and innovative thinking found within Crestone, CO. In her free time, Zaylah can be found outside with a weaving project, practicing her Spanish, writing poetry, cooking for her family, or crafting.
Developer -Solid Waste Management Project
Bachelor of Science
University of Wisconsin
Job related courses at the Harvard's John F. Kennedy School of Government, Brandeis, and Boston University
Coming from experience with federal economic and community programs, John came out of retirement to join the SLVEC team in 2014. He served as research director for the Resources Development Group where he authored an economic development plan for the SLV, maintained a demographic information service, and conducted studies such as the economic impact on the community from the Adams Sate University upgrade.
Before coming to the Valley in the early 70's, John worked as a research analyst and planner for Wisconsin State Employment Service and Governor's Office.
An avid birder, John continues to travel extensively throughout the southwestern U.S. and South America.
He prepared comments to the Rio Grande National Forest for their 20- year management planning and assessment process in reference to the need for ecosystem priorities.
Volunteer Office Manager, Programs
Claire is a Colorado native of foreign parentage. She's got a good handle on group dynamics from her experience shepherding a small herd of dairy goats and sheep for the past 28 years. She also worked as a Registered Nurse in many SLV health facilities.
Claire and her hubby run away to the hills as often as possible with their horses. Volunteerism has been an integral part of her contribution, working for La Leche, area schools, 4H, SLV community event planning, Back Country Horsemen, and now SLVEC. This speaks to Claire has immense concerns over the legacies of the environment, health, energy, community,
parenting, and the economy that will confront future generations.
Daily, she aims to cultivate gratitude and hope.