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
Vice President of Strategic Partnerships
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.
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 daughters (ages 1 and 3).
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.
Leslie provides administrative support to Yellowstone Forever’s President, Heather White, and the executive and senior leadership teams. 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.
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.
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.
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.
Vice President of Employee & Volunteer Engagement
Kathy’s role is to develop and implement programs and services to enhance Yellowstone Forever’s employee and volunteer experience with the goal of attracting and retaining the uniquely talented people required to achieve YF’s mission. Previously, she spent her career helping other organizations have high-performing, engaged workforces at Accenture, Booz Allen Hamilton, and Jabian Consulting. Kathy was born in Indianapolis and attended Indiana University, then spent almost 30 years in the Southeast before coming west. Through YF, she wants to help ensure that wild lands are preserved the way they are intended. In her free time, Kathy enjoys playing outside with her husband, John, and dog, Kephart. When in Yellowstone, her favorite activities are hiking, paddling and skiing in the backcountry.
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.