BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Joel Holtrop, Chair
Joel D. Holtrop served as the Deputy Chief of the National Forest System Deputy Area at agency headquarters in Washington D.C., from March 2005 until October, 2011. In this capacity, he oversaw the strategic and national program leadership for the 193 million acre National Forest System of forests and grasslands located in 42 states and Puerto Rico. He retired from the US Forest Service following a 35 year career throughout the US. Since his retirement in 2011, Holtrop has become Board Chair of The Corps Network, a national organization providing leadership to the nation’s 151 Service and Conservation Corps, annually enrolling more than 30,000 young men and women in service. He is also leading the effort of the National Association of Forest Service Retirees to work with Global Parks and the International Conservation Caucus Foundation to pursue the concept of an International Conservation Corps, tapping the skills and interests of retired natural resource professionals to do volunteer conservation work in developing countries. Joel is an avid outdoor adventurer and traveler.
Charlotte Baron, Vice Chair
Vice Chair of the Board of The WILD Foundation, an avid world traveler, nature lover, and volunteer, Charlotte Baron is also a professional systems and management analyst. She earned a Master in Public Administration, Finance and Policy Analysis (MPA) in 1980. Charlotte has been a Director, and the Vice President/Treasurer of both Fulcrum Publishing and Fulcrum Group since 1985, building on a career that included work with numerous US government departments. The number of her interests – international and ethnic cultures, skiing, hiking, scuba diving, reading, and more – are matched only by the many non-profit organizations which have benefited from her goodwill and skills as a volunteer and/or trustee, such as the Denver Public Library, Denver Art Museum, Auraria Library, Tesoro Foundation, and others. Never one to slow down or give half-measure, Charlotte has added quality time with her three grandchildren to her list of enthusiastic pastimes.
Ed Sanders, Treasurer
Ed Sanders has a long-standing interest in the environment with a current focus on eco-tourism and alternative energy systems. He is sole proprietor of Sanders International, specializing in alternative energy, energy efficiency, and environmental technology transfer and is serving as interim CFO and consultant at HOMER Energy, provider of the world’s leading software for optimizing hybrid energy systems. His organization, Eco Tourism International, provides specialized ecotourism-related business consulting services to government planners and private developers.
Ed has extensive experience as a manager and entrepreneur in international finance and policy. He is a former Associate Director of the President’s Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and Staff Director of the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee. He graduated with a Ph.D. in economics from Yale and taught the environmental finance course to graduate students in the University of Denver’s College of Environmental Policy and Management program. He has been a member of several Boards of Directors. WILD is thrilled to have him join our team as a member of the Board of Trustees and as our Treasurer.
Vance joined WILD as president in 1984 after 15 years in international business and non-profit management. An innovative leader known for bridging the interests of people and nature, he has lived extensively overseas, worked in over 55 countries, and helped to establish many non-profit organizations. An acknowledged expert in international nature conservation and wilderness protection, including strong friendships and working partnerships with traditional and indigenous community leaders, he serves on the boards of numerous organizations such as the Cheetah Conservation Fund, Friends of Peace Parks, Fulcrum Publishing, Wilderness Foundation (UK), International Conservation Caucus Foundation, and others. He is also a co-founder and President of Wilderness Foundation Global (based in South Africa), and the Founder/Co-chair of the Wilderness Specialist Group (part of the World Commission on Protected Areas, within the International Union for the Conservation of Nature). He is the prolific author/editor of many publications in numerous countries. A native of the U.S. Piedmont region, he graduated magna cum laude from West Virginia University. For more information about Vance, please visit his wikipedia page.
Clay has worked at the Rocky Mountain Institute since 2011. He is currently a Senior Director where he leads its India Program helping to promote India’s clean energy targets. Clay has worked on energy strategy in more than 15 countries to help solve complex challenges in the energy sector.
Prior to joining RMI, Clay worked in viticulture, marketing, and social-business incubation. As a Wilderness Emergency Medical Technician, he has led expeditions in the Sierra Nevada, Himalaya, and Rocky Mountains.
Clay was appointed by Aspen City Council to the Aspen Next Generation Advisory Commission and is a member of the Aspen Institute’s Society of Fellows.
He holds a BA in Ecology and Philosophy from the University of California at Santa Cruz and an MBA in Natural Resource Management from Bainbridge Graduate Institute (Presidio Graduate School).
Swati, an Indian national, works for the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) where she facilitates the participation of governments in the Bonn Challenge, manages key partnerships like the Global Mangrove Alliance, and supports IUCN’s presence at global climate and biodiversity negotiations. She is a Steering Committee member of the Nature Needs Half coalition and obtained her MPA in Environmental Science and Policy as a Fulbright fellow at Columbia University. In her previous role at the Wildlife Conservation Trust in India, she helped organize inter-governmental consultations on trans-boundary ecosystems and designed and managed donor-funded projects on biodiversity protection and community development around key tiger reserves. She was the Assistant Editor of Sanctuary Asia for five years, where she piloted an India-Pakistan initiative to declare the Siachen Glacier a trans-boundary peace park and managed a series of national-level roundtables on tiger conservation. She is the co-founder of the Antarctic Youth Ambassador Programme and organised the first South Asian Youth Summit on Climate Change to involve youth from the global south in climate policy. In her spare time, Swati loves to scuba dive and volunteers at a local rehabilitation centre for injured wildlife.
Lindsay Ellis is a scholar and activist who uses her understanding of written argumentation to support healthy ecosystems and quality education. Lindsay has a Ph.D. in English and Education from the University of Michigan and an M.A. in Humanities from the University of Chicago. She is an Associate Professor at Grand Valley State University. At GVSU, she serves as Director of Writing Across the Curriculum and the Lake Michigan Writing Project. She has been a visiting scholar at the University of Amsterdam, where she studied argumentation and conflict resolution. She has taught summer institutes on the teaching of writing to K-12 teachers for the last ten years. Lindsay is also on the board of the Ellis Foundation, which directs grants to environmental sustainability and education in equal measure. She is passionate about educating citizens to understand science and each other, to contextualize their needs within human and non-human ecosystems of competing interests, and to collaboratively design solutions to meet global challenges. Her love of writing encompasses not only the critical logic of argumentation but also the attentiveness of poetry to the natural world.
Jonathan believes we as humans can achieve nearly anything when we stand in solidarity, and the WILD Foundation is the premier organization to stimulate action and unite our diverse planet. He currently works full-time at his own business, Born Custom Guitars, where he practices sustainable manufacturing. Jonathan is also an active investor and conservationist and has two wonderful sons and a loving wife. He moved to Boulder, CO in 2009 from the Chicago, IL area so that he could be more connected with nature, develop a career doing what he loves, and live in a community with similar cultural and environmental ideals. Jonathan loves adventure and you can find him skiing, snowboarding, scuba diving, mountain biking, fishing, hiking, camping, travel, science, music, and playing guitar.
As a dreamer, he balances his novel ideals with strong analytical skills and a practical business acumen. Jonathan’s M.B.A. and background in finance and entrepreneurship combined with idealistic ambitions provide a unique perspective and ability to objectively evaluate what can be accomplished and how to do so. His greatest wisdom comes from listening to others.
Lena Georgas is a an actor currently living in Los Angeles. She can be seen on the little and big screens, and on the stage. She holds a B.A. in Drama from Vassar College. Her care for the environment started at a very early age, but it was the relocation of her family to South Africa in 1997 that catapulted this passion to a new height. Lena also works with the Youth Policy Institute in LA, a non-profit that transforms Los Angeles neighborhoods by providing communities access to quality schools and wrap-around services that begin at the cradle and go through college and career. She is the proud mother of a 17.5 lb terrier mix named Ray Allen who was saved from a meat market in South Korea. In her spare time, Lena enjoys writing and photography.
My grandfathers taught me to respect the Earth. Creating award winning gardens, innovative programs (Betty Ford Alpine Gardens in Vail and the Center for Alaskan Coastal Studies in Homer, AK), taking risks (freestyle aerialist and Air Castles hot air balloon champagne flight service in Boulder), pioneering new paths (one of the first women attending US Air Force Academy, and digging deep within (Lifespring councilor, Conscious Evolution guide, Social Synergy, tribal native spiritual ecology) all characterize ways of knowing I enjoy playing in to deliver wild soul serenity. Bringing young leaders to WILD9, 9th World Wilderness Congress, infused an urgency, lightheartedness and idealism to save at least half of Earth’s wilds. Mentoring emerging women and teen leaders brings up voices needed to be heard now. I have organized the first TEDx events since 2009 in Alaska and currently organize TEDxVailWomen in Vail, Colorado. Guiding a teen contingent to Rotary’s Global Peace Forum for the Green Path to Peace, I am honored to offer my talent, treasure, relations to preserve Earth for my son’s sons’ generations.
Currently the Executive Director of Abercrombie and Kent Philanthropy, Keith is dedicated to utilizing eco/cultural tourism as an economic tool for the sustainable development of local and regional economies. He was previously the Tourism Business Advisor for the World Wildlife Fund in Namibia (Southwest Africa) and has worked in Asia, Africa, Central Europe, the Middle East, and the Americas with a focus on the economics of cultural heritage and nature-based tourism on rural communities. Keith is also the Managing Partner of the Bentwood Inn, located in Jackson, Wyoming, USA.
Keith earned a Bachelor of Science from the University of Vermont and a Master of Arts (international economics) from Johns Hopkins University School for Advanced International Studies. He was a Fulbright Scholar in Belize, studying the expenditure patterns of visitors to archaeological sites.
Founder and President of the International Conservation Caucus Foundation (Washington, DC), a very active and growing, bi-partisan initiative to inform and educate policy-makers on critical issues in international conservation and environment. Dave is a prominent champion of democracy and human rights and has been active in conservation, politics and private business for over 25 years. Dave has represented U.S. policies abroad in various capacities and is a recognized expert in Sub-Saharan African politics. He has addressed the United Nations, authored foreign policy articles, and led many Congressional tours to Africa — where he now concentrates his attention on developing U.S.-southern African business/political ties. He has also played an important role (with explorer Michael Fay, a WILD Trustee) in establishing the new national park system in Gabon (West Africa), and in gathering support and momentum for the US-lead Congo Basin Tropical Forest Initiative.