Heather’s role as the leader of Yellowstone Forever is to achieve the organization’s mission of connecting people to Yellowstone through outstanding visitor experiences and educational programs, and translating those experiences into lifelong support and philanthropic investment. She oversees an annual budget of $20 million and a staff of 65 year-round and 75 seasonal employees, in two offices and 11 Park Stores. Previously, Heather was the executive director of Environmental Working Group (EWG), director of education advocacy for National Wildlife Federation, and counsel to U.S. Senator Russ Feingold. She first visited Yellowstone when she was 11 as part of a cross-country national park tour with her dad, sparking a deep, lifelong commitment to conservation. She is an avid hiker and backpacker. Read full bio here >>
President & CEO
Stephen supports Yellowstone Forever’s Field Seminars, and the art and photography center programs at Old Faithful. He has worked in environmental education for 10 years, the last six with NatureBridge—Yosemite’s partner in education—as a field instructor and summer programs coordinator. Originally from Rutland, Vermont, Stephen earned a B.A. in Radio-Television Journalism from the University of Montana. He believes strongly that the public lands ideal needs to be constantly tended and renewed. He is proud to support quality educational programs for Yellowstone visitors, helping them connect to nature and public lands. When in the park, Stephen enjoys backcountry skiing, fly fishing, and Field Seminars. A scotch and board-game enthusiast, he also volunteers as U.S. Committee President for the Vietnam Friendship Village.
Gifts and Records Associate
Director, Young Patrons Society
Kara works to build Yellowstone Forever’s network of young professionals through events and fundraising. Previously, she held positions as Director of Stewardship at the University of Montana Foundation and Senior Director of Leadership Development and Volunteer Engagement at the humanitarian aid organization CARE USA. A native of Oregon, Kara graduated from Oregon State University and earned an MBA from Georgia State University. She feels great satisfaction in knowing her work provides an opportunity for young professionals nationwide to experience, connect, and contribute to the world’s first national park. When in Yellowstone she likes to simply savor the peace, serenity, and magic the park offers. She also enjoys spending free time with her family, watching her two young daughters experience the joys of life.
Senior Director of Park Projects
Jeff’s role is to establish and support strategic partnerships between Yellowstone Forever and the larger community, including the National Park Service, corporate partners, and other non-profits and groups. He was in the financial services industry, wholesaling mutual funds and annuities for Jackson National Life, before becoming the Director of Finance for the Yellowstone Park Foundation. Originally from Denver, Jeff earned a BS in Finance and Administration from the University of Colorado. He has a deep love of wild places, and most of all Yellowstone, which he feels honored to help protect so other people can enjoy it. In his free time he enjoys fishing and hunting, and his favorite things to do in Yellowstone are fly fishing and hiking in the park’s backcountry.
Foundations Relations Manager
Justin connects private foundations with priority Yellowstone projects requiring non-federal funding. Previously, he was Director of Education for the Glacier Institute—Glacier National Park’s educational partner—and Personnel Director for the Outdoor Recreation program at Pacific Lutheran University. A native of Kalispell, Montana, Justin majored in Biology and Environmental Studies at Pacific Lutheran University before earning an Executive Certificate in Nonprofit Fund Development from the University of Notre Dame. He is proud to raise funds for programs that promote the ecological stability and integrity of Yellowstone’s landscape. His favorite thing to do in the park is spend time above treeline “where the mountain goats roam.” At home in Bozeman, he enjoys trail running, mountain biking, and backcountry skiing, before heading home for a game of Scrabble and an IPA.
Alison organizes Yellowstone Forever’s accounting processes across receivables and payables, and assists the department with general ledger and other accounting functions. Previously, she worked in Group & Tour Services at Aspen Skiing Company and was a station manager at Yellowstone Park Service Stations. Alison grew up in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and attended the University of Minnesota as a Recreation, Parks, and Leisure Studies major, with a Spanish Studies minor. Through her work with Yellowstone, she hopes to help preserve the park for current and future generations to experience. During her free time she enjoys hiking Yellowstone’s trails.
Park Store Associate
Mikayla assists customers with purchases in Yellowstone Forever Park Stores, and helps them join or renew the Yellowstone Supporter program. A native of Olympia, Washington, she originally came to the park to work for Yellowstone National Park Lodges at Old Faithful. She currently attends Eastern Gateway Community College online as she works toward an associate degree in art. She plans to later earn a bachelor’s degree in wildlife management. Mikayla is passionate about preserving the natural ecosystem and helping others learn about conservation and local history. When in Yellowstone, she loves backcountry hiking, watching wildlife, and walking the thermal basins to watch geysers erupt. In her free time she also enjoys kayaking, photography, road trips, overseas travel, and spending time with her family and pets.
IT Support Specialist
Director of Gateway Partnerships
Director of Communications
Director of Operations
Vice President of Marketing & Communications
Wendie oversees Yellowstone Forever’s digital and print communications, media relations, advertising, marketing, and brand platform. Before coming to Yellowstone in 2009, she worked as a publicity director in the book publishing industry in Boston and New York. Wendie, who grew up near Chicago, earned a B.A. in English and Gender Studies from Coe College, and a M.A. in Irish Literature from Queens University Belfast. She works on behalf of Yellowstone so that future generations are able to have the same life-changing experiences in Yellowstone as her father did, she did, and her own children are now able to have. Wendie enjoys hiking and backpacking in the park, as well as trail running, skiing, and spending time outdoors with her husband and two young daughters.
Owen develops programs for youth, and teaches youth and other Yellowstone Forever courses. He has worked in public land stewardship and environmental education for several nonprofits and agencies, most recently as a snowcoach guide for TSS Wildlife Expeditions. Owen grew up in Salt Lake City and earned a B.S. in Environmental Studies from the University of Utah, before completing the Teton Science School’s Graduate Program. He hopes to contribute to the park’s preservation by sharing it with a variety of visitors. He especially enjoys bringing people into Yellowstone who may not have had a chance to experience it were not for YF’s programs. Owen’s favorite things to do in Yellowstone are hiking, fishing, and backcountry skiing. He also loves boating and camping, and is a voracious reader.
As Yellowstone Forever’s Controller, Erica manages the day-to-day accounting of the organization. Prior to coming to Yellowstone, she was the Office Manager for Schedulicity, Inc. in Bozeman, Montana. Erica, who is originally from Helena, Montana, holds a BS degree in Business, Marketing & Accounting from Montana State University. Her favorite thing to do in Yellowstone is to find waterfalls.
Thomas serves as chief legal advisor to the staff and board of Yellowstone Forever on a range of topics pertaining to operations, management, governance, employment, fundraising, and nonprofit tax. Previously, he was general counsel for Environmental Working Group, a national environmental health organization, where he oversaw all of its legal affairs and represented the organization before lawmakers and government bodies. Originally from Charlotte, North Carolina, Thomas earned his J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center and his B.A. in journalism from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he was a Morehead Scholar. He loves working in support of Yellowstone, which makes breathtakingly beautiful lands accessible to people from all walks of life. Thomas is an avid backpacker, nature photographer, and guitarist.
Deborah is responsible for selecting and developing products, and overseeing purchasing for Yellowstone Forever’s 11 Park Stores. Over the past several years, she held progressively more responsible positions within retail operations. Previously, Deborah was a Senior Account Manager for a nationwide distributor of computer software and hardware. She hails from Los Angeles and attended California State University Northridge, where she majored in sociology. Deborah is proud to have the opportunity to share Yellowstone with others and hopes they, too, will feel the connection to the outdoors and all of our parks. When in the park, you might find her looking at the mudpots and other thermal features, or sitting in a secluded spot on Yellowstone Lake. In her free time she also enjoys hiking and camping.
North District Park Stores Manager
James manages Yellowstone Forever’s retail stores at Mammoth Hot Springs, Gardiner, Bozeman-Yellowstone International Airport, and Quake Lake. Formerly, he was a location Manager for Xanterra Parks & Resorts at Yellowstone. Originally from St. Louis, he holds an Associate of Science degree in Film and Video Production. James is grateful for the opportunity to combine his love for Yellowstone with his career. His favorite thing to do in the park is explore the backcountry in search of wildlife. In his free time, he most enjoys taking photographs in and around Yellowstone.
Senior Director, Campaign/Special Projects
J.D. manages special fundraising campaigns and the bequest program for Yellowstone Forever. Previously, he was Director of Philanthropy for the Nature Conservancy of Montana, and Executive Director of Utah Wildlife In Need. J.D. was born in Southern California and lived for 35 years in Utah, where he earned a BS in Communication and Marketing from the University of Utah. His work at Yellowstone Forever is important to him because the park is the center of the most complete ecosystem in the lower 48 states, and J.D. is passionate about keeping it that way. His favorite thing to do in Yellowstone is watch visitors experience the park and its wildlife for the first time. He also loves to fish throughout Montana and Yellowstone with his wife and two goofy Labrador retrievers.
Employee Rewards Manager
Park Store Operations Manager
Lori oversees the operations of Yellowstone Forever’s 11 educational Park Stores, and manages a team of 50 year-round and seasonal employees. Previously, she was the Reservations Trainer & Senior Supervisor for Yellowstone National Park Lodges for 14 years. Lori grew up in Boise, Idaho, and attended the University of Idaho. She has been exploring Yellowstone since she was eight years old, and it was always her dream work in the park. Now that her dream is a reality, she is committed to helping people connect to the park and truly experience the area while they are here. Lori’s favorite things to do in Yellowstone are hiking, skiing, camping, backpacking, wildlife-watching, geyser-gazing, and sketching. She also enjoys running and trying out new recipes.
Gifts and Records Associate
Facilities Maintenance Manager
Director of Administration
Leslie oversees administrative functions and develops efficiency in administrative processes, assists the Executive Team with special projects, and helps to strategically create capacity in the organization. Previously, she was an Administrative Assistant with Bank of America for more than 21 years, most recently in the Global Wealth and Investment Management Division. A native of Orange City, Florida, she received a B.S. from the University of Central Florida. Leslie fell in love with Yellowstone during her first visit in the winter of 2012, inspiring her to move west and help preserve the park’s iconic landscape and delicate ecosystem for future generations. Her favorite things to do in the park are walking the Canyon rim trails, hiking Mount Washburn, wildlife watching in the Hayden and Lamar Valleys, camping, and exploring with her husband of 25 years, James.
As an Information Specialist in Yellowstone’s Forever’s Contact Center, Debbie’s job is to assist callers with their requests and get people excited about coming to Yellowstone. She has worked in the park in various capacities for more than 35 years, and wants to share her enthusiasm for it with others because Yellowstone is like no place else on earth. Debbie grew up in the San Francisco Bay area, and earned a BA in Sociology from Sonoma State College. When in Yellowstone, she most enjoys hiking and simply sitting and enjoying the peace and quiet. In her free time she also attends music festivals, walks half marathons, and visits other national parks.
Mary L. Fisher
Board Liaison/Operations Manager – Bozeman Office
Mary oversees operations at our Bozeman office, and serves as a liaison between Yellowstone Forever’s staff and Board of Directors. She is a Bozeman native and attended Montana State University. After working as an Office Manager for 20 years in the Skilled Nursing Home business, Mary returned to Bozeman and pursued a new career in the nonprofit sector. She wishes to help preserve Yellowstone so that it can be enjoyed by all, whether through the lens of a camera, a video, a personal visit, or a virtual classroom. Her greatest joy is spending time with her four grandchildren, and she also enjoys walking and sewing quilts. In Yellowstone, you might find Mary sitting near the bank of a river, eyes closed, just listening to the surrounding sounds.
Neala supports Yellowstone Forever’s marketing team by writing and editing print and digital content, and assisting with overall content strategy. Formerly, she was a research assistant for the Institute for Tourism and Recreation Research at the University of Montana, where she earned a B.S. in Parks, Tourism and Recreation Management. Originally from Missoula, Montana, she caught the outdoor bug while in college, working seasonal jobs for the U.S. Forest service, and in Acadia and Grand Teton national parks. Neala loves sharing the wonders of Yellowstone through storytelling, both in print and digital forms. Her favorite activities in the park are backpacking, cross-country skiing, and introducing family and friends to Yellowstone. She also enjoys hiking, attending plays, and cooking at home with her husband and two cats.
Director of Stewardship & Events
Marisa coordinates donor events that give Yellowstone Forever’s supporters the opportunity to learn more about the organization’s mission and connect more deeply with Yellowstone. A native of central Montana, Marisa earned a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Montana. College internships helped her develop a range of skills related to writing, customer relations, research, and more. She believes that working to connect people to such a unique place is a powerful and rewarding mission. Marisa’s favorite thing to do in Yellowstone is hiking, and she enjoys anything involving the outdoors, such as camping, skiing, and trail running.
Supporter Engagement Manager
Carolyn’s job is to integrate philanthropy and education by enhancing our supporters’ connection to Yellowstone. A Grand Rapids, Michigan native, Carolyn graduated with a B.S. in Outdoor Recreation Leadership and Management from Northern Michigan University. While in college, she undertook a variety of volunteer experiences in the outdoor leadership field, and spent summers working in Yellowstone for park concessionaires. She believes that wild places such as Yellowstone are critical to our spiritual health and in helping each of us determine how we as humans relate to the natural world. In her free time, she enjoys hiking and watching wildlife in the park.
Prospect Research Manager
Viola’s role is to research potential supporters for Yellowstone Forever. She has worked in the nonprofit sector for more than 15 years, most recently as Prospect Researcher for Marywood University. She grew up in Northeast Pennsylvania and earned a B.S. in Psychological Biology from Long Island University, followed by a Master’s in Public Administration with a concentration in Nonprofit Management from Marywood University. Preservation is a cause that is near to her heart, and Viola is excited to put her research skills to use helping to preserve an amazing national treasure. Her favorite thing to do in Yellowstone is viewing wildlife. In her free time, she enjoys reading blogs, making things with essential oils, zumba, nia, yoga, and volunteering at her local cultural center.
Chief Development Officer
Kelly is responsible for the strategic direction, development, promotion, implementation, expansion and assessment of all philanthropic avenues to increase revenue, support and organizational awareness for Yellowstone Forever. She has worked in fundraising as a nonprofit executive, volunteer leader, and consultant for more than a decade, and before her nonprofit career she worked in banking, international finance, mergers, and acquisitions. A Fresno, California native, Kelly earned a B.A. in Public Relations and Business Marketing from Pepperdine University. When not at work, she enjoys spending time with her husband, 5-year-old daughter, and her grown stepchildren and their families. Kelly is also an avid yogi and frequent hiker. Her favorite part of being in Yellowstone is experiencing the magic and wonder of the park through her daughter’s eyes.
Major Gifts Officer
Terry “J.R.” Hunt
Vice President of Technology
J.R. oversees Yellowstone Forever’s technology initiatives, and establishes and executes strategy for the organization’s information systems. With more than 15 years of IT-related experience, two of his past positions include VP and CTO of Product Development and Senior Director of IT. Hailing from Atlanta, J.R. received his Bachelor of Business Administration in Marketing from Georgia Southern University. He is grateful for the opportunity to serve the world’s first national park by leveraging technology for its staff, donors, and volunteers. In his free time he enjoys camping, kayaking, hiking, fishing, wildlife-watching, and skiing. When in Yellowstone you can find him hiking backcountry trails and fishing the Madison, as well as frequently stopping by Grand Prismatic Spring and Firehole Canyon.
Roger W. Keaton
Vice President of Finance
As VP of Finance, Roger is the chief steward of Yellowstone Forever’s financial resources. Previously, he was Director of Finance and Administration for the Yellowstone Association, and before that he worked in finance and accounting in various positions for the Seventh-Day Adventist Church. Roger graduated from Union College and earned a Master of Financial Services from Southern Adventist University. He is a Certified Public Accountant and Certified Fraud Examiner. A native of Bellevue, Nebraska, Roger grew up reading and dreaming about the West, and is proud to now help preserve this iconic western park. In his free time he roots for the Nebraska Cornhuskers football team and travels the world with his wife, Julie. He is fascinated by Yellowstone’s geography and history, and enjoys visiting some of the park’s lesser-known spots.
Contact Center Manager
As the Contact Center Manager, Laura oversees Yellowstone Forever’s team of information specialists. She and her team provide all aspects of customer service support including trip planning information, registering students for programs, and recruiting new supporters. Previously, she worked for Xanterra Parks & Resorts as the Front Desk Manager at their Old Faithful Lodge and Snow Lodge properties, and most recently as the Individual Reservations Manager at Central Reservations in Mammoth. A native of Florida, Laura earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Hospitality Management from Florida International University. Laura has a deep love for Yellowstone, where she enjoys hiking, fishing, and spending time in the outdoors with her husband and two dogs.
Social Media and Digital Content Manager
Matt manages strategic direction and content for Yellowstone Forever’s social media channels and other digital media areas. Originally from Orange, California, he worked as a middle- and high-school teacher and helped underserved students get practical work experience in their communities. Transitioning to a career in nonprofit organizations, Matt gained experience in nonprofit outreach and management. He holds a B.S. in Sociology from Northern Arizona University. Matt wanted to work in Yellowstone since he first visited the park at age nine, believing its extraordinary natural features and wildlife to be unmatched. His favorite things to do in Yellowstone are hike and take photographs in all seasons, particularly in winter. He also loves to spend time exploring the outdoors with his wife and three children.
Director of Employee & Volunteer Engagement
Erin develops and implements programs and services to enhance the employee experience at Yellowstone Forever. Previously, she was Zero Waste Coordinator at Eco-Cycle, and Waste Reduction Coordinator at High Country Conservation Center. Erin grew up in Vermont and earned a B.A. in Natural Resource Planning with a concentration in Community and International Development from the University of Vermont. She is proud to work on behalf of Yellowstone and play a part in preserving the wild and iconic place she gets to call home. She enjoys introducing friends and family to Yellowstone for the first time, whether through relaxing in the Lake Hotel sunroom, backcountry skiing, or running. In her free time, Erin skis and gardens with the help of her two dogs.
Director of Education – Retail
Director of Sustainability and Facilities
Director of Corporate Partnerships
Meredith researches, identifies, develops, and secures new mission-aligned corporate partners while maintaining relationships with Yellowstone Forever’s current partners. Originally from Laguna Beach, California, she holds a BFA from Loyola Marymount University, an MFA from Cranbrook Academy of Art, an MS in Social Entrepreneurship from the University of Southern California, and a Certificate in Fundraising from Boston University. She feels a great sense of honor and responsibility as part of the long tradition of citizens engaged in preserving Yellowstone. She believes that part of the park’s magic is that you will never have the same experience twice, and she makes sure to try something new each time she visits. She also enjoys hiking, cooking, and adventuring with her husband, son, and two dogs.
Cindy is responsible for purchasing retail inventory for Yellowstone Forever’s 11 Park Stores. Previously, she oversaw warehouse inventory distribution for a major souvenir supplier in Gettysburg, near her hometown of Littlestown, Pennsylvania. Most recently, she was the Mails and Files Clerk for Yellowstone National Park. Cindy believes strongly that Yellowstone is worth taking care of, and it is essential that the park is preserved and shared with future generations. Her favorite thing to do in the park is cross-country skiing in the sparkling white snow and crisp air, under bright blue skies. She also enjoys spending time with her grandbabies as well as sewing, knitting, decorating cakes, camping, four-wheeling, hunting, cutting firewood, and shopping.
Virginia teaches Yellowstone Forever Institute programs in the field, and provides office support for Institute program logistics. Previously, she was an Outdoor Science School instructor for Inside the Outdoors, and an intern for World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts at Our Chalet World Centre in Switzerland. She hails from Apple Valley, California, and earned a B.A. in Theater from Occidental College. Virginia, who is a Certified Interpretive Guide through NAI, loves helping visitors fall in love with Yellowstone and enjoys seeing the park through fresh eyes every day. On her days off, she likes to explore Yellowstone’s backcountry, hike, ski, watch wildlife, and generally experience the area with other people who call Yellowstone home.
Major Gifts Officer
As a Major Gifts Officer, Steve seeks to fully engage Yellowstone Forever supporters in the life of Yellowstone National Park. Previously, he served as Director of Philanthropy for Drayton Hall—a National Trust for Historic Preservation site—following a decade in higher education at Cornell and William & Mary. Originally from Ithaca, New York, Steve earned a degree in history from University of Georgia. He believes Yellowstone is essential, where a culture of conservation and respect for the natural environment is combined with outstanding education programs, cutting-edge technology, and the stewardship of loyal supporters. He is excited about introducing his children to Yellowstone, taking the #YellowstonePledge together, and exploring the park. He enjoys spending free time with his twin boys and working on his 1870s home near Charleston, SC.
Joshua works in Yellowstone Forever’s Accounts Receivable department, receiving and accounting for all donations and other income to the organization. Previously, he was Operations Assistant for Yellowstone Park Service Stations. He grew up in New Mexico and earned a Bachelor of Arts from Furman University. Joshua wanted to work on behalf of Yellowstone because he feels strongly that it is important to be a good steward of the environment. He enjoys fly fishing in Yellowstone and spending time in the outdoors with his wife and dog.
Zachary’s role is to develop exceptional educational programs in Yellowstone, and provide field staff the guidance and support needed to deliver them. He has more than 18 years experience as an outdoor skills educator in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, and for a decade was the Program Director for the Yellowstone Co-Op Employee Recreation Program. After growing up in Oklahoma and Northern California, he earned a B.S. in Tourism Management from California Polytechnic University. Zachary feels fortunate to call Yellowstone country his home, and wants to give back by doing what he can to assure the park’s wild and mysterious character is preserved for generations to come. He enjoys doing just about anything outdoors in Yellowstone, and sharing this special place with his children, family, and friends.
Director of Education, Institute
Robert leads Yellowstone Forever’s team of program managers and field instructors, who provide educational experiences for our guests. He worked for the National Audubon Society for 18 years in various roles, most recently as the Director of Bird-Friendly Communities, in which he provided leadership in designing and implementing a national strategy for urban habitat conservation programs. Robert grew up in Indiana, but has lived in Montana for more than 30 years. He holds a BFA in Graphic Design & Illustration from Washington University and an MFA in painting from the University of Montana. In Yellowstone, you will find him exploring with binoculars and skis or hiking boots. In his free time he also enjoys woodworking, birdwatching, canoeing, and spending time with his family.
Gifts and Records Coordinator
Development & Stewardship Coordinator
Lead Park Store Associate
Paula assists guests with purchasing merchandise in our Park Store, and with joining or renewing their support of Yellowstone Forever. Previously, she was a Juvenile Probation/Parole Officer in Texas and Kotzebue, Alaska. Originally from Longview, Texas, Paula earned a Bachelor of Social Work from the University of Texas – Pan American. She treasures Yellowstone because it enables her to explore a vast wilderness as well as view wildlife in its natural state. In her free time, she enjoys photographing wildlife and landscapes. You can usually find her in Yellowstone searching for the next great photo opportunity.
Information Technology Infrastructure Manager
Charlie plans, organizes, and manages overall IT operations to ensure the stability of Yellowstone Forever’s IT infrastructure. He has held positions in the retail, software as a service, and home automation industries. Charlie grew up in Cincinnati and earned a Bachelor of Business Administration in Management Information Systems from Ohio University. While he enjoys both hardware and software, he feels that his experiences working with people are the most enjoyable and valuable. Charlie relishes the opportunity to share his passion for the great outdoors with others, and be a part of an organization that promotes conservation. He spends his free time skiing, fishing, biking, hiking, and off-roading. When in Yellowstone, he enjoys swimming in the Firehole or Boiling River and backpacking deep into the wilderness.
Annual Fund and Society Coordinator
Director of Yellowstone Society
Shelly is responsible for stewarding Yellowstone Society supporters and providing them with opportunities to match their philanthropic interests to park priority projects. Previously, she was in marketing and communications roles for a global office furniture manufacturer. A native of Chicago, Shelly holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology. She is gratified that her position allows her to connect with people from diverse backgrounds who share a common passion and cause: to preserve this irreplaceable landscape and wildlife for all to enjoy. She loves doing just about anything in Yellowstone, especially visiting Old Faithful in winter via snowcoach, to ski the thermal basins and photograph her favorite park animal, bison. In her free time, Shelly also enjoys fishing, hiking, and bird hunting with her husband and German short-haired pointer.
Fleet and Logistics Manager
Cody maintains Yellowstone Forever’s fleet of 29 vehicles and provides support for Institute programs. Previously, he worked for Yellowstone National Park Lodges, driving snowcoaches in the winter and historic Yellow Buses in the summer, and giving tours on wildlife, cultural, and natural history. Most recently, he was a seasonal instructor for Yellowstone Forever Institute, specializing in family programs. Originally from Missoula, Montana, Cody received a B.S. in Parks, Tourism, and Recreation Management from the University of Montana. He hopes that his work contributes to keeping the park as it is for future generations to enjoy. His favorite Yellowstone activities are backpacking and exploring the park.
Volunteer Engagement Manager
Joshua teaches Yellowstone Forever Institute programs on natural history, develops college programs, and coordinates citizen science projects. His past work focused on ecological field research, especially avian ecology, throughout the western U.S. He grew up in Spearfish, South Dakota, and earned undergraduate degrees in Philosophy and Wildlife Biology & Management from the University of Wyoming, before completing a Masters in Environmental Studies from the University of Montana. Joshua believes that Yellowstone affords us an incredible teaching tool for cultivating ecological literacy by creating a meaningful connection to the park through art and science. He tries to spend as much time as possible backcountry skiing and wildlife-watching in Yellowstone. He also enjoys rock climbing, hiking, reading, painting, music, and eating in the company of good friends.
Chelsea Van Roekel
Chelsea develops and manages a cohesive merchandising strategy for Yellowstone Forever’s Park Store retail products, including promotional planning and product performance analysis. In the past, she was a manager at Mall of America’s Abercrombie and Fitch, and a Wrangler at Canyon Corral in Yellowstone. Chelsea grew up in Cincinnati and graduated from the University of Minnesota, where she majored in Animal Science with a minor in Business Management. Her first trip to Yellowstone, at eight years old, had a huge impact on her, and her family returned to visit year after year. She wants to help preserve the park so many other families can have that same experience. Chelsea loves hiking in the park, especially in the Lamar Valley and Roosevelt area. She also enjoys horseback riding, camping, and skiing.
Chief Operations & Education Officer
Ken is responsible for leading Yellowstone Forever’s operational and educational programs, including programs offered through the Yellowstone Forever Institute and educational programming for Yellowstone National Park, as well as leading YF’s human resources, retail, and finance departments. Before becoming the Director of Education for the Yellowstone Association in 2013, he served as Executive Director of Great Smoky Mountains Institute for 29 years. Originally from Dayton, Ohio, Ken holds a B.S. in Parks & Recreation from West Virginia University and a M.S. in Experiential Education from Mankato State University. Through his work at YF he hopes to engage people with Yellowstone in ways that develop a deep sense of stewardship. Ken enjoys hiking, playing music, canoeing, camping, skiing, birding, and exploring public lands.
Lead Park Store Associate
Vanessa provides visitors with park information, assists in training new employees, and encourages guests to help Yellowstone Forever support the park. After eight years as a paramedic, she worked for two summers with the Forest Service at Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center in Montana, followed by a season as a Safety/Security Officer with Yellowstone National Park Lodges. Originally from South Florida, Vanessa holds an associate degree in emergency medical services and is pursuing a Bachelor of Anthropology with a concentration in environmental sustainability. Vanessa hopes to pass along to others the awe and appreciation she feels for Yellowstone. Her favorite things to do in the park are watching wildlife in the Lamar Valley and touring the Lower Geyser Basin. She also enjoys hiking, camping, photography, and painting.
Park Stores District Manager
Bill manages Yellowstone Forever’s Park Stores in the park’s South District, which includes the popular Old Faithful location. Before moving to Yellowstone, he had careers in information technology and RV sales. He grew up in Rhode Island and earned a Bachelor of Science in Information Systems from Bryant University. Bill gets satisfaction from helping Yellowstone Forever support the park. His favorite things to do in the park are fishing, hiking, and taking photographs of its wildlife and landscapes. He also enjoys camping in the greater Yellowstone area.