Colorado Open Lands

Who We Are

"Putting our land under a Conservation Easement with Colorado Open Lands has fulfilled our goal of saving a small piece of paradise for others to enjoy in the future. Working with COL was a delight! Every question answered... every detail handled...easily and smoothly.” Deb Lathrop, Moon Mountain Ranch

Our Board of Directors follows a business-like approach to advancing our mission and is comprised of a cross-section of business, civic, agricultural, political and conservation leaders. This unique group of individuals provides strong governance, fiscal responsibility, and the organization’s entrepreneurial spirit. Armed with a skilled staff, Colorado Open Lands is sophisticated enough to tackle large, complex projects (we hold the largest donated conservation easement in Colorado), but agile enough to be lean, responsive and effective in the private real estate market.


Colorado Open Land's Board Bios


Dr. Donald Aptekar, arrived in Colorado 40 years ago to train in Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of Colorado and has been in private practice at Rose medical center for over 35 years.  He has been involved in delivering over 12,000 babies who are all native Coloradoans.  Along with his medical practice he has served as medical director of Rocky Mountain Planned Parenthood and currently works as a national consultant on hereditary Breast and Ovarian cancer syndromes.  He is an avid fly fisherman and enjoys biking, hiking, skiing, travel and art. He and his wife, Harriet Moyer, spend a lot of time on the Atlantic coast in their home in Ogunquit, Maine where they are learning about birding.


Back to topRye Austin, grew up in Colorado with a passion for the outdoors. He is the Executive Director of the Malone Family Land Preservation Foundation which protects the agricultural heritage and natural beauty of properties across the United States.  Mr. Austin is an Executive Board member of the Denver Area Council of the Boy Scouts of America. He holds a B.A. in Economics from the University of Colorado at Boulder and an M.S. in Real Estate from the University of Denver.  His interests include hunting, fly fishing, bicycling, and telemark skiing.


Back to topIngrid Carlson Barrier, is a proud Denver, Colorado native.  In her career as an attorney, she has served as a Deputy District Attorney in Denver, as a lawyer in private practice with a natural resources litigation emphasis, and now serves as an attorney for the Colorado Attorney General's Office.  She loves to take advantage of urban and rural Colorado outdoor spaces with her husband and two daughters.





Back to topCarolyn F. Burr, a shareholder with Welborn Sullivan Meck & Tooley, specializes in water law and represents clients throughout Colorado in all seven of the state’s water divisions.  Carolyn grew up on a ranch in North Park, where she fell in love with magnificent landscapes.  She is proud to be part of Colorado’s leading land conservation organization, which also helps preserve the state’s agricultural heritage.



Back to topRussell Caldwell, is the President of The Russell Caldwell Company, a municipal financial advisory company formed in the last quarter of 2012 after thirty-one continuous years in the municipal bond business.  His career spanned six firms all of which were based in Denver, Colorado.  Additionally, Mr. Caldwell served as Director of the Division of Commerce and Development for the State of Colorado from 1976 to 1981.  Mr. Caldwell has been a guest lecturer at the University of Colorado School of Business, the Mesa Sate College MPA program and has taught a technical series on assessment district finance at the Denver Regional Council of Governments.



Back to topRob Deline, is the president of Monaghan Management Corp., a real estate management company specializing in agricultural and commercial properties in the west.  A second generation native of Colorado, he is primarily interested in raising wheat, cattle, and thoroughbred horses.  He enjoys farming, ranching, and hunting.





Back to topWendell Fleming, fell in love with Colorado on a ski trip to Vail in her teens.  She ski-bummed in Aspen for a season, and has lived in Colorado for over 32 years.  Long active in Denver’s nonprofit community, she is the executive director of the LARRK Foundation, whose mission is to improve the lives of at risk youth in Colorado.  Previously, Ms. Fleming practiced law at Holland & Hart with a focus on intellectual property and commercial litigation, and later with the Klapper Firm.  Ms. Fleming has served as Chairwoman of the Women’s Wilderness Institute, a Boulder-based organization that provides girls and women with transformative wilderness experiences, and on the Middlebury College alumni board.  She is an avid skier and hiker, and has climbed over 35 of the Colorado fourteeners.  She is married to Stephen Cunningham and has three sons.

Back to topRebecca Frank, is from Grand Junction and has lived on the Western Slope since 1973.  She enjoys the great outdoors especially fly fishing and adding birds to her life list.  Rebecca is a Colorado native and grew up in Denver.  It's an honor and a pleasure for her to serve on the Colorado Open Lands’ Board.




Back to topFord Frick, is a 45 year resident of Colorado with family ties to Colorado dating back four generations.  He is a Managing Director and the Chairman of BBC Research & Consulting, a Denver based economic, market and policy research firm.  He directs the firm’s real estate, resorts and tourism practice.  Ford is married with two grown daughters, who live in New York City, but who claim that absence only makes the heart grow fonder.



Back to topLarry Hauserman, is co-Chairman of the Board of FirstBank Holding Company of Colorado, having worked for the organization for over 28 years.  Formerly Chairman of Children’s Hospital, he has served on the Board for the last 10 years.  He is a member of many community organizations.


Back to topCharlie Kurtz, has lived in Colorado his whole life and is the president and owner of Brown Lumber sales, as well as a partner in Confluence Energy, the largest beneficial user of the beetle kill timber in Colorado.  Additionally, he is the director of the Charles H. Kurtz Family Foundation, and the manager of Kurtz Family LLC, a family holding company with ranching and real estate interests.  His leisure interests include skiing, tennis, fishing, golfing, and biking.


Back to topPete Leavell, moved to Colorado in 1978.  He is currently the Chairman of the Board of Governors of The Alliance for Choice in Education (ACE).  He loves to hike, ride and fish at the 4UR and around Creede in the La Garita Mountains.





Back to topWill Morgan, is a Colorado native and has lived everywhere else, but always comes back to Colorado.  Currently, he is Director of Impact at Sonen Capital, an investment management firm dedicated to impact investing.  Will has also worked in international development and business planning.  He spends as much time as he can in the snow!




Back to topPaul Phillips, has practiced environmental and land use law, policy and litigation for more than 30 years.  His experience includes Environmental Protection Agency enforcement actions under the Clean Air Act, RCRA, and the Clean Water Act.  From 2000 to 2008, Paul served on Holland & Hart’s Management Committee, ultimately as Chairman, overseeing substantial growth in the firm.  He has also served as Chair of the firm’s Natural Resources Department and Leader of its Environmental Group.  Mr. Phillips has served on the board of the Colorado Legal Aid Foundation, the Colorado Plateau Archeological Alliance, the Trust for Land Restoration, and other civic and pro bono organizations.  Mr. Phillip’s loves hiking and backpacking in the Colorado Rockies, bagging the easy 14ers, rafting the desert canyons of Colorado and Utah, and bringing back a long-neglected hay field and orchard in Taos, New Mexico.


Back to topCharlie Russell, is a principal of the public relations firm C.A. Russell Partners.  He has served on the Board of Directors of Colorado Open Lands since 1993 and as Chairman since 2002.  He is a past director of Colorado Trout Unlimited and the Colorado Trail Foundation.  He is a past recipient of Trout Unlimited’s national Conservationist of the Year and the Sol Feinstone Environmental Award by the State University of New York.



Back to topTim Schultz,has served as President of the Boettcher Foundation since 1996.  A Colorado native, Tim is from Grand Junction.  In the past, Tim has served as County Commissioner of Rio Blanco, Commissioner of the Department of Agriculture, Commissioner of Division of Wildlife, Executive Director of the Department of Local Affairs, and Chairman of the Colorado Economic Development Commission.  From 1991 until the beginning of his tenure at the Boettcher Foundation, Tim was the President and Chairman of Colorado Open Lands. Tim continues to be deeply involved in the state of Colorado and has maintained his ties with Colorado’s rural communities as organizer of the Denver Rustlers, a group that supports young Coloradoans at the Colorado State Fair.  Tim loves to hunt birds and big game throughout Colorado.


Back to topWes Segelke, was born and raised in Northeastern Colorado near the town of Brush. His family members continue to live there and have been involved in ranching and related livestock ventures since the early 1900's. Wes and his family have a smaller livestock and recreational ranch in Northern Colorado near Red Feather Lakes where they spend enjoyable times throughout the year. Wes has been on the Board of COL for about ten years and finds the experience to be interesting and rewarding as he feels it to be important to preserve the beauty of our State and open lands for future generations.


Back to topRod Slifer, is a Colorado native and has been in Vail since its beginning in 1962.  He served as Mayor 11 of the 16 years he served on the Town Council.  He is a partner in Slifer Smith & Frampton, a Real Estate Brokerage firm.  Rod resides in Vail with his wife Beth and daughter Alexandra.




Back to topDick Stermer, has lived in Colorado full time since Thanksgiving 1997, and has been enjoying Colorado and specifically Custer County since 1990.  He and his wife Audrey spend a good deal of their time with their four children and eight grandchildren; traveling; nurturing and supporting several mostly local, non-profits.  They also handle most of the routine duties of a property manager for their family LLLP.




Back to topBob Troyer, is the First Assistant U.S. Attorney for the District of Colorado (he serves on the Board in his individual capacity).  He has been a trial lawyer for 23 years, and prior to his current position he was the Chair of the litigation department at Hogan Lovells LLP’s Denver office.  Before he turned to lawyering, Bob was a commercial salmon fisherman in Alaska, a high school English teacher, a landscaper, and a soccer coach.  He was born in Colorado, and has lived here permanently for the last 21 years.  He spends all the time he can training German Shorthair Pointers and chasing upland birds around the Western United States.


Back to topBill Vollbracht is from Wichita Kansas and has been in Colorado since 1960. He is Chairman of Land Title Guarantee, a company he founded in 1967.  He enjoys golf, staying at his ranch in Evergreen and visiting with his two grandchildren.  Being on the COL Board has been a rewarding experience participating in the preservation of Colorado land for future generations



Back to topJennifer Weddle,is the Co-Chair of Greenberg Traurig’s National American Indian Law Practice and has wide-ranging experience in Indian law, handling a variety of matters for tribal and non-tribal clients.  She has experience in the areas of tribal jurisdiction and natural resources development on tribal lands.  Jennifer is a frequent speaker on tribal rights, Indian Law matters and Native Americans’ unique racial and political perspective on legal diversity issues.




Back to topRoland Williams has been a Colorado resident for over twenty years and resides in rural Westcliffe, CO. He retired in 2008 as a Principal and Vice President from Harris and Associates, a California engineering and construction management firm.  A community activist, Williams serves on several non-profit and community Boards. Roland currently serves as a Commissioner of the State Commission of Judicial Performance, Board vice chair of Westcliffe Center for the Performing Arts, and chair of the Custer County Democratic Central Committee.  He has served as a member of the Colorado Minority Business Advisory Council, vice chair and Board member of Sustainable Ways Westcliffe, and Board Chair for Jazz in the Sangres.


Back to topJohn Woodard, has spent over 25 years in the private equity industry.  He began his career in The First Boston Corporation’s Management Buyout Group, where he worked with the team that would go on to form Vestar.  In 1988, he left to join Wesray Capital Corporation, whose principals provided Vestar’s initial seed capital.  Two years later, John joined Vestar as a Vice President.  He later spent two years as a Managing Director in the private equity practice at The Blackstone Group, but returned to Vestar in 1998 as a Managing Director in the Denver office.  He led the firm’s Industrial practice, served on its investment committee and spent three years in Japan running Vestar’s Asian operations.  John earned his BA in Economics, with honors, from Williams College. Originally from Atlanta, Georgia, he has lived in Denver for the last fifteen years with his wife and three sons.  He enjoys cycling, fly fishing and skiing.


Back to topRuth Wright, Moving to Colorado in the late 1950s, Ruth witnessed huge population growth and has worked for decades to preserve Colorado’s natural heritage.  After enjoying great success as a citizen conservation activist, Ruth was elected to the Colorado House of Representatives in 1980, where she held the role of House Minority Leader from 1986-1992. While serving in the House of Representatives, Wright continued to be a champion for the environment, earning recognition from groups such as the Colorado Wildlife Foundation, the ACLU, and the Sierra Club.  With a passion for open space, Ruth is an enthusiastic member of the COL Board.

Back to topColorado Open Lands' Staff Bios

Brandy Bertram, Director of Development,
joins Colorado Open Lands with a continuum of business leadership experience gained through 15 years of service in the non-profit, financial, legal and educational sectors. Through her roles as Executive Director, Deputy Director, CFO and COO, Brandy has enjoyed developing and executing operational, programmatic, and revenue development strategies that have increased sustainability and accelerated impact for the organizations she has served. She has been named a Denver Business Journal 40 Under 40 winner as well as a CoBiz Magazine Top 25 Young Professional. When not in the office, you can find Brandy exploring Colorado and the world with her husband Daniel, and partaking in a wide range of culinary delights!

E-mail address: bbertram (at)

Phone: 1.303.988.2373 Ext: 222

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Tony Caligiuri, President and CEO,
recently concluded his six years of service with the National Wildlife Federation, most recently serving as Senior Vice President, Conservation and Education.  Prior to that, he served for eighteen years as Chief of Staff for U.S. Congressman Wayne T. Gilchrest.  He received his B.A. in Political Science from Washington College in Chestertown, Maryland.  Tony, who grew up on a farm, is an avid hiker and lover of the outdoors.

E-mail address: tcaligiuri (at)

Phone: 1.303.988.2373 Ext: 226


Back to topCheryl Cufre, Director of Land Stewardship,
joined Colorado Open Lands as a Land Steward with over nine years’ experience with Geographic Information Systems.  Growing up on a small farm in Wisconsin, Cheryl moved to Colorado in 1996 and fell in love with its short-grass prairies.  Cheryl has a M.S in Rangeland Ecosystem Science from Colorado State University and a B.A. in Geography and Environmental Studies from the University of Colorado.  Her interest in rangeland ecology has also led her to the semi-arid Chaco ecosystem of Argentina where she worked with ecologists and ranchers in developing improved range management strategies for subsistence ranching. 

Email address: ccufre (at)

Phone: 1.303.988.2373 Ext: 219


Back to topAmanda Nims, Senior Conservation Project Manager, Program Director, Sangre de Cristo Acequia Association
Amanda Nims
joined Colorado Open Lands in 2010, after working as a Land Protection Specialist for The Nature Conservancy (RI) and a Conservation Projects Coordinator for the Mount Grace Land Conservation Trust (MA).   Before this, Amanda was a Program Technician for the USDA's Farm Service Agency, working mainly with New England dairy farmers.  Amanda grew up on her family’s farm in Western Massachusetts, and has a deep love of land and the hard work required to take care of it.    She holds a bachelor’s degree in Geography from the UMass, Amherst, and an associate’s degree from Greenfield Community College (MA).   Amanda loves to cook, is the president of the South Meadows Cemetery (circa 1793), and is thrilled to be a part of the Colorado conservation community.

Email address: anims (at)

Phone: 1.303.988.2373 Ext: 215


Back to topJoel Nystrom, Land Stewardship Specialist,
joined Colorado Open Lands in 2013 after working with The Nature Conservancy (CO) and Colorado Parks & Wildlife.  Joel holds a Master of Environmental Management from Duke University with a concentration in Ecosystem Science and Conservation, and a B.A. in Sociology from Texas A&M University, where he focused on socio-environmental interactions.  Joel is excited to help COL protect and steward Colorado’s amazing open spaces and natural heritage.

Email address: jnystrom (at)

Phone: 1.303.988.2373 Ext: 214


Back to topSarah Parmar, Director of Conservation,
focuses her time on the Southern Sangre de Cristo landscape, home to Colorado's oldest agricultural communities.  Sarah came to COL from the hot Arizona sun where she completed her M.S. in Agricultural & Resource Economics, conducting research on land and wildlife issues, especially on the law of conservation easements. Her passion for Western land protection stems from her background growing up as the fifth generation on a cattle ranch in Southeastern Arizona, where her parents and their ranching community established the Malpai Borderlands Group, a collaborative conservation organization.  Sarah also serves as Vice President of the Board of Directors of Revision, a Denver-based community development nonprofit and is on the Board of Directors of the Colorado Watershed Assembly.

Email address: sparmar (at)

Phone: 1.303.988.2373 Ext: 220


Back to topJohn Peters, Conservation Project Manager

John Peters brings over 9 years of experience working in the land conservation field to Colorado Open Lands. Since 2006, John has worked for Virginia Outdoors Foundation (VOF) in both stewardship and new easement capacities. Prior to VOF, John interned with Pacific Forest Trust located in San Francisco. John has a B.S. in Environmental Policy and Planning from Virginia Tech and recently received a M.S. in Natural Resources from Virginia Tech's Center for Leadership in Global Sustainability, where he focused on network creation, partnering and collaboration. John enjoys experiencing different cultures, music, exploring and is excited to live in Colorado.

Email address: jpeters (at)

Phone: 1.303.988.2373 Ext: 224


Back to topStephanie Rohdy, Land Protection and Stewardship Fellow,
comes to Colorado Open Lands from Bend, Oregon where she has been pursuing an interest in land conservation and stewardship by volunteering with Deschutes Land Trust, working with the Oregon Natural Desert Association and the Trust for Public Land, and mapping vegetation in Crater Lake National Park.  As an intern with the Trust for Public Land in Central Oregon, Stephanie developed and implemented a stewardship plan for the 101-acre Crooked River Canyon project. Prior to graduating from Portland State University with a M.S. in Geography in 2013, she spent time teaching environmental education programs in Montana, Colorado, and Washington. She is happy to return to Colorado with her husband and show him some of her favorite places to hike, bike, and ski!

Email address: srohdy (at)

Phone: 1.303.988.2373 Ext: 217


Back to topChristine Strickland, Community Outreach Manager,
Christine Strickland
has worked in the non-profit environmental field for over 20 years on issues ranging from public lands management, grazing impacts, and wilderness user management to private land conservation, corporate sustainable development, and land re-acquisition for conservation purposes.  A former Land Protection Fellow at Colorado Open Lands, her 14 year career at COL has spanned conservation easement acquisitions, managing the Fellowship Program, and most recently grant writing, major donor relations, and community events.  When not raising money for land conservation, Christine can be found chasing after her two small children and hiking, bicycling and cooking with her family.

Email address: cstrickland (at)

Phone: 1.303.988.2373 Ext: 212


Back to topJordan Vana, Director of Programs,
joined Colorado Open Lands in 2013 as a result of COL’s merger with Colorado Conservation Trust.  At CCT, Jordan helped Colorado land trusts and public open space programs improve the pace, quality and permanence of their work through CCT’s core programs, including the Future Conservation Leaders Fellowship program; the Transaction Loan program; the Capital Loan program; the Colorado Conservation Partnership; and the Community Engagement program.  Prior to joining CCT, Jordan spent 7 years as Director of Conservation for the Wyoming Land Trust, prior to which he was an attorney in Billings, Montana, focusing on real estate, commercial transactions and estate planning.  Jordan and his family enjoy volunteering, skiing, and hunting.

Email address: jvana (at)

Phone: 1.303.988.2373 Ext: 221


Back to topLeslie Volkar, Director of Communications,
comes to Colorado Open Lands after serving for five years at Colorado Conservation Trust.  Prior to that, she gained five additional years of complementary experience at a Denver-based urban design firm, coordinating marketing, promotion, and event planning efforts.  She attended Pennsylvania State University, earning a B.A. in Advertising and Public Relations, and a M.A. in Media Studies, with a research focus in the theory, practice, and ethics of nontraditional marketing strategies.  Leslie enjoys all facets of design, graphics, and typography, and indulges in many creative pursuits that let her explore those interests.

Email address: lvolkar (at)

Phone: 1.303.988.2373 Ext: 213

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Julie Whipple, Bookkeeper, has worked the past five years as an independent contractor for ABC Accounting and Bookkeeping Services, providing accounting services to a wide range of businesses and non-profits.  She has over 20 years of experience in accounting, previously working in public and private industry accounting departments in roles as accounting manager and assistant controller.  Julie is a graduate of Colorado State University and is a licensed CPA. Volunteers & Contractors


Back to topTessa Goldhamer, Volunteer Land Protection Assistant,
is a former Partner at the Denver law firm of Holland & Hart where she practiced real estate law for 18 years.  She worked as the Planning Director for Greenwood Village in the early 1970's and served on several committees at the Denver Regional Council of Governments.  Her undergraduate studies were in architecture and urban planning.

Back to top Elizabeth H. Richardson, Stewardship Volunteer,
worked for Colorado Open Lands for 11 years before retiring early in 2002.  She was the Government Affairs Coordinator at Rocky Mountain Energy Company (formerly a subsidiary of Union Pacific), and Administrative Assistant to Governor Richard D. Lamm. A graduate of Radcliffe College, Elizabeth has Masters Degrees in both Public and Business Administration.  She continues to be a valuable asset to Colorado Open Lands.

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