Marilyn Alkire returns to the Mesa Verde Foundation Board having served from 2006-2016. Marilyn is a native Minnesotan, who moved to Colorado in 1974 where she attended law school at the University of Denver College of Law. Marilyn practiced environmental and natural resource law for a number of years, as an associate, and then partner, at Holme Roberts & Owen. After retiring, she focused her passion for the environment through support for national parks. She has served on the boards of the Yellowstone Association and the Western National Parks Association, which represents over 60 National Parks and Monuments, as well as the Mesa Verde Foundation She served as board chair for both the Mesa Verde Foundation (2009-2012) and the Yellowstone Association. Marilyn and her husband Alan Shaw are avid outdoor enthusiasts. They live in both Castle Rock, Colorado and Big Sky, Montana and spend a substantial amount of time every summer fly fishing at their fishing homes in Craig, Colorado and Ft. Smith, Montana.
Doug Bacon is the CEO of TGI Direct, a marketing support services firm based in Flint, Michigan that provides consulting, project management, manufacturing, and distributions services. Doug earned a BS from the University of Colorado at Boulder, Colorado. He was formerly a professional mountaineer working for the largest college accredited non-profit, private outdoor school in the country – The National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS). Doug also enjoyed a brief stint as a National Park Ranger at Hovenweep National Monument. He has and does serve on several boards and committees. Doug lives in Hartland Michigan with his wife Indy. They have two grown children, two grandkids, a wonderful daughter-in-law and a beautiful chocolate lab.
Todd Bacon retired in 2019 after a 38-year career running his own direct-mail services company in Denver. He has now turned his attention to his photography and writing. Active in a number of nonprofit organizations, Todd and his wife, Nancy, were the recipients of the 2017 “Lifetime Achievement Award for Volunteerism” from Metro Volunteers. His interests have included The Rotary Club of Denver, the Colorado Business Committee for the Arts, the Colorado Scholastic Art Awards, Trout Unlimited, and the Public Education and Business Coalition. Todd earned his BA from the University of Pennsylvania and MS in Natural Resource Policy and Political Science from Michigan State University before becoming the Project Director for the Public Lands Institute in Denver (now part of the Natural Resources Defense Council), where he spent six years.
Jerry Burk is a tax and estate attorney at Burk & Burk, Attorneys at Law in Centennial, Colorado. Jerry received her CPA from the State of Colorado in 1976 and graduated from the University of Denver Law School in 1982. Jerry’s passions are her family, travel, her horses and dogs, and of course, Mesa Verde National Park. Jerry lives in Parker, Colorado with her husband Gene.
Jim spent 17 years in the commodity business working for Cargill Investor Services, specializing in Financial Futures to global institutional customers on The Chicago Mercantile Exchange and Chicago Board of Trade. Since leaving the commodity business, he attended culinary school and started a catering and personal chef business. He has served on the Board of Trustees of the Fountain Valley School in Colorado Springs, where he served as chair of the Development Committee. He currently lives in Edwards, CO with his wife Janet.
Troy is the former United States Attorney for Colorado appointed by President George W. Bush, and is a partner in the Denver office of Greenberg Traurig LLP, the country’s largest law firm. An Adjunct Professor at the University of Colorado Law School, he also is the Chairman of the National Indian Law and Order Commission. He was appointed to the Commission, which advises the President and Congress on criminal justice and public safety issues concerning Native Americans and Alaska Natives, by U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. Troy lives in Morrison, Colorado with his wife Allison.
Andy is a Professor of History and Environmental Studies at Fort Lewis College in Durango, Colorado. He teaches popular college courses on wilderness, national parks, and environmental history. Andy is the author of America’s Country Schools, Sacred Objects, and Sacred Places: Preserving Tribal Traditions and Boomtown Blues: Colorado Oil Shale, which won the Colorado Book Award. He also edited Preserving Western History, which was voted one of the best books on the Southwest by the Tucson-Pima County Library. For the centennial of Mesa Verde National Park in 2006, he was a series editor for seven new books on Mesa Verde published by the Durango Herald Small Press. His most recent book, Outdoors in the Southwest: An Adventure Anthology (University of Oklahoma Press, 2014) won two New Mexico-Arizona Book Awards as well as the Colorado Book Award. Andy lives in Durango with his wife Stephanie.
Elaine, a graduate of Clarion State College and native of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, relocated to Denver in 2001. Her career history spans academia and the private sector. A Deanship at Carnegie Mellon University and twenty years in the rail transportation industry, managing international and domestic system integration projects, prepared her for her latest career—that of a community volunteer. Since relocating to Colorado, she has served on boards of various nonprofits. Elaine is passionate about her adopted State, the National Parks, all things Western, and her family. Elaine lives in Denver, Colorado with her partner Steve.
Jana is a native of Leander, Texas and a graduate of the University of Maryland and University of Maryland School of Law. Jana practiced law for 15 years at the state and local level, as well as through private practice, with a focus on legislative advocacy before transitioning to a full-time job as a musician and administrator at a large Episcopal church. After 25 years in the Washington, DC area, Jana and her family recently made the exciting move to Durango, Colorado where she has enjoyed exploring the outdoors with her husband David, who works for the Southern Ute Indian Tribe, her two children, and their adorable bernadoodle, Copper.
A graduate of the University of California, Berkeley, David has worked for a variety of financial firms, on and off Wall Street, for some 35 years. He now runs his own in Wyoming & New Mexico. He has served on several boards, including not-for-profits, and enjoys exploring the West, either on foot, skis or by small plane. David lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico with his wife of 25 years, Carla.
Ed Nichols is the executive director of the Joshua School, a program that serves students with Autism Spectrum Disorder and developmental disabilities.
Ed is a fourth generation Coloradan with an extensive background in business and community service. He has experience with large corporations (IBM) and entrepreneurial initiatives, with positions on both cultural and education nonprofit boards. He is well versed in fundraising and implementing strategic planning for nonprofit organizations. Ed previously served as both the President and CEO of History Colorado, and head of the State Historical Fund (SHF). He also served as Colorado’s State Historic Preservation Officer (SHPO). As a Colorado state agency, History Colorado operates the flagship History Colorado Center in Denver and eight other museum sites across the State of Colorado. The new History Colorado Center, a $142 million headquarters and museum, opened in April 2012 under Ed’s leadership. His philanthropic experience includes directing the $32 million Make History Colorado! Capital Campaign of the new center and his service as CEO of the $10 million annual grant funding program of the Colorado State Historical Fund (SHF). Ed has a BA in Science from Williams College and MBA in Marketing from Northwestern Kellogg School of Business.
Former governor of the Pueblo of Zia, Peter has been a Tribal Council member since 1967. Since 1977, he has served as the tribal administrator and treasurer. Peter is a traditional spiritual leader, holding a lifetime appointment as one of the tribe’s Keeper of Songs. He also is a traditional craftsman who tans deer hides and makes moccasins, bows, arrows, digging sticks, rabbit sticks and bone tools, using the same techniques employed by his Puebloan ancestors. His archaeological interests have led him to committee and board commitments with Crow Canyon Archaeological Center and Mesa Verde National Park. Peter has served on the Board of Directors of the Mesa Verde Foundation since 1996. He is the first Native American to serve as a Commissioner for the New Mexico Game and Fish Commission, appointed by New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson; his term ended in January 2007; Mr. Pino holds an M.B.A from University of New Mexico in Business Administration; a B.A in Industrial Education and an A.S in Electronics from New Mexico Highlands University. Peter lives in the Pueblo of Zia with his wife Stella.
Marion grew up in Rochester, New York. Marion received a BA from Wellesley College, an MBA from Stanford Business School and MA from Stanford University. Marion’s business career spans a variety of financial institutions, including Bankers Trust Company, Nomura Securities and, currently, Atrevida Partners (investment advisor and hedge fund manager). She has served on a number of non-profit boards and industry associations. Her interests include travel (including in an RV), classical music (especially opera) and western landscape and plein air art. She first visited Mesa Verde National Park in the 1950s on a family camping trip in a station wagon and is delighted to have the opportunity to serve its interests. Marion lives in Darien, Connecticut and Durango, Colorado with her partner Joseph.
Barbara is an enrolled member of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma and was born and raised on the Uintah & Ouray Indian Reservation, Utah. Barbara’s career of nearly 33 years was in the Federal Government, of which seventeen years were in Alaska. She worked on the implementation of the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act and the Alaska National Interest Land Claims Act. While in Alaska, Barbara learned to fly and attained her private pilot license with the ratings of Single Engine – Land and Sea. Since 2005, Barbara has been a Board of Directors member for the First People’s Center for Education (Sheridan, WY) and has been a Board of Directors member for the Mesa Verde Foundation since 2001. Her interests include fishing, fitness walking, reading, and studying Federal Indian Policy and Tribal-Government relationships. She continues to assist National Parks as a facilitator in tribal consultations. Barbara lives in Sun Lakes, Arizona
Mary Beth was formerly the Director of the Washington, D.C. Office of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and a consultant on international legal issues From 1996 to 2003, she served as the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Oceans and Fisheries in the Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs of the U.S. Department of State, with rank of Ambassador. Prior to 1996, Ms. West served in the office of the Legal Adviser of the Department of State, and also in the Office of the General Counsel of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Ms. West received her J.D. from Stanford Law School and a B.A. from the University of Michigan and lives in Los Angeles with her husband Rick.
Jim is an active community volunteer serving on the boards of the Iliff School of Theology, Four Mile Historic Park, Griffith Centers for Children, Shining Stars Foundation, V.J. Wilkins Foundation, and Hastings College (Emeritus) in addition to the Mesa Verde Foundation. As a retired Realtor, Jim enjoys history of the American West, fly fishing and portraying former Colorado Governor Ralph Carr (1939-43). Jim lives in Denver, CO.
Paul Yarka is currently a management consultant and has worked for consulting, technology, and energy firms in North America and across Europe and Asia. Paul received his BS and MS degrees from Syracuse University. He lives in both Charlotte, North Carolina and Morrison, Colorado with his wife Meg. Paul and his family have a passion for Mesa Verde National Park, the US National Park System, and southwestern US history, art, and culture. He first visited Mesa Verde National Park in the 1970s on a geology field trip and is honored to help serve its interests
Shannon Clifford has been working with non-profits for over 20 years. She has worked in both large and small organizations in the Denver area. She was formerly the Executive Director of the Denver Center for International Studies Foundation. Prior to that, Shannon was the Director of Development for the Hospice of Saint John and was instrumental in the establishment of the Foundation of Saint John, eventually becoming the Executive Director.
Shannon earned a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, from the University of Northern Colorado and a Master of Science in Nonprofit Administration, from Louisiana State University. She is passionate about local, state, and national parks, once exploring as far away as the Stone Forest National Park in the Yunnan Province of China. Of all the parks Shannon has visited, Shannon says Mesa Verde National Park is one of her favorites. She especially values the historic treasures of the area.
Shannon lives in the Denver metro area with her husband Todd, and has two sons, Ian, age 10 and Matt, age 13. Shannon has always loved our wild and historic lands. Her kids have helped emphasize the importance of preserving our history and educating future generations. She also believes strongly in the importance of philanthropic works and has dedicated her career to making a difference. Motivated by her love of Mesa Verde National Park and her belief in philanthropic work, Shannon will work diligently to guide the successful efforts of the Mesa Verde Foundation.
When not working, Shannon enjoys camping with her husband and their sons, traveling, reading and volunteering for multiple organizations.