Supporting Mesa Verde National Park
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Who We Are


Marilyn Alkire

Marilyn Alkire

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

Doug Bacon

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

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.

Sid Barth

Although Sid Barth lives at a lake community in Howard, Ohio, she freely admits that her heart and soul belong to the southwestern United States. Sid grew up in Denver and graduated from Colorado College with a degree in Liberal Arts & Sciences and a concentration in communications. Her 40+ year career spanned a variety of positions in graphic services and communications, culminating in her most recent position as Communications Manager in Public Affairs with Marathon Petroleum Corporation (MPC) in Findlay, Ohio. In addition to extensive publications, her responsibilities included acting as liaison with the indigenous communities near MPC’s Gallup, NM, refinery and serving as a member of the corporate Tribal Affairs Committee.

Sid and her husband Tim have three children, five grandchildren, a golden retriever grand puppy, and a Maltese-terrier mix. They spend a significant part of the year at their second home in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Monica Buckle

Monica Buckle is a consultant, curator and scholar specializing in Native American
arts and culture. She is an enrolled tribal member of the Cherokee Nation of
Oklahoma. Monica provides a Native dialogue for the representation of Indigenous
subject matter with her cultural knowledge and inter-tribal sensitivity. She is an
advocate for the cultural continuity and sustainability of Native communities. She
holds a Master’s Degree in Art Business from Sotheby’s Institute of Art, New York.
She served as a Docent at The Brant Foundation Art Study Center in Greenwich,
Connecticut. Currently, she is the Visual Arts Coordinator with the American Indian
Community House in New York City, a not-for-profit organization serving New York
City’s urban Native population. She is also a Development Committee Member with
the Fine Art Museum of Sedona; a museum that will serve as a cultural anchor for
Northern Arizona and the Verde Valley. Monica has a love of horses and oversees
riding and horsemanship programs for youth, adults and veterans with disabilities
and challenges at Pegasus Therapeutic Riding in Brewster, New York. She is
committed to enhancing relationships with the 26 associated tribes of Mesa Verde
National Park and supporting the preservation of Ancestral Puebloan and Colorado
Plateau culture.

Jerry Burk

Jerry Burk, Treasurer

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.

Ben Calabaza

Ben Calabaza (Kewa) has 19 years of marketing and design experience. He is a managing partner with iRoots Media, LLC, a design and marketing group based in Santa Fe, NM. Calabaza has led many local and national branding/communication projects, including most recently the Center for Native Arts and Cultures, ACLU Indigenous Justice Convening, the Museum of Indian Arts and Culture, the Native American Community Academy, and the Tribal Solar Accelerator Fund.

He was an adjunct instructor at the Institute of American Indian Arts for five years, where he taught Introduction to Digital Arts, the Art of Public Speaking, First-year Seminar, and Cross-Country Running. Calabaza also worked as the Public Relations Manager for the Wheelwright Museum of the American Indian (2108-2022) and assisted in gaining market position in the Santa Fe area through a comprehensive marketing plan, leading to first place in the 2019 ABQ Journal North Readers’ Choice Awards. He was also part of the team that received a C.F.W. Coker Award from the Society of American Archivists for innovative development in archival description or descriptive tools that enable archivists to produce effective finding aids for the Indigenous Digital Archive Treaties Explorer (

Ben also serves as Secretary on the Board of the Chamiza Foundation, a private foundation dedicated to the thriving of Pueblo communities. His interests include Pueblo traditional textiles, weaving and pottery.

Ken Cole

Ken Cole retired in 2018, following a 45 year career in public policy and regulatory affairs. From 2010, he was Senior Vice President of Government Relations and Regulatory Affairs for Pfizer, based in Washington DC. Prior to joining Pfizer, he served as Vice President of Global Public Policy at General Motors for a decade. Previously, he was Vice President of Global Public Policy and Government Relations at AlliedSignal, and later, Honeywell, for 22 years. Ken began his career at Amoco, as Regional Vice President, Public and Government Affairs in Denver. He has chaired numerous industry trade associations and charitable organizations. He and his wife, Elaine, live in Santa Fe, New Mexico. He currently serves as Board Chair of the School of Advanced Research (SAR). His visit to Mesa Verde National Park, as a ten year old, sparked a life long passion in the American West and the study and exploration of Native American Culture.

Bob Coombe

Robert Coombe is Chancellor Emeritus of the University of Denver. A faculty member in the department of Chemistry and Biochemistry there for many years, he also served as Chair of that department; Dean of Natural Sciences, Mathematics, and Engineering; Provost; and for the final nine years of his tenure at DU as Chancellor of the University. He has served on the Boards of several nonprofits and community organizations.

Bob holds a bachelor’s degree from Williams College and a doctorate in chemistry from the University of California at Berkeley. A physical chemist, his career in research spanned more than 30 years and he is the author or co-author of numerous peer-reviewed publications in science journals and books.

Bob and his wife Julanna live in Santa Fe where their lives are filled with community service, music and the arts, and the outdoors.

Stephanie Foote

Denver native Stephanie Foote graduated from the University of Colorado with a degree in Economics, followed by post-graduate studies in Civil Engineering.  After a career in the energy industry, she was elected to three terms on the Denver City Council, serving as President in 1987/88. Stephanie was then Chief of Staff to Denver Mayor Wellington Webb during the building and completion of Denver International Airport.

After retiring from the city in 2003, Stephanie was President of the Rocky Mountain Roundtable, an initiative of then Mayor John Hickenlooper that conducted a series of high-level policy discussions among academics, corporate CEO’s, elected officials, and other experts in conjunction with the Democratic National Convention.  In 2008, Stephanie became President and CEO of the Girl Scouts of Colorado, charged with the tasks of merging five statewide councils, developing and strengthening the new organization, increasing philanthropy, and growing the membership.  She retired in June of 2020.

In addition to serving on the Mesa Verde Foundation Board of Directors, Stephanie is currently involved with the Rotary Club of Denver, Score A Friend Inc., the University of Colorado Foundation, and Club 20 on the Western Slope.  Stephanie has decades of civic involvement, serving as the board chair of the Rose Community Foundation, the Girl Scouts of Colorado, Western State University, and the YMCA of Metro Denver. In addition, she has been a board member of various nonprofits including Colorado Ballet, Colorado Health Institute, the Institute of International Education, the Colorado Tourism Office, the Colorado Air Quality Control Commission,  and the International Women’s Forum of Colorado.

Shelby Settles Harper

Shelby Settles Harper is a Senior Policy Advisor with the Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties in the Department of Homeland Security. She’s a graduate of Fort Lewis College and the University of Colorado School of Law. She is a citizen of the Caddo Nation of Oklahoma and her interests include fiction writing, attending her kids’ sports events, and being outdoors. She lives with her family in the Washington, DC metro area. Shelby is proudly from Muskogee, Oklahoma.

Jana Leslie

Jana Leslie, Chair

Jana is a mom, wife, attorney, musician, native Texan, University of Maryland alumni, collector of Southwestern art, and lover of many genres of music. Her career has included serving as a legislative counsel to the Maryland General Assembly, the DC City Council and DC City government. She has worked as an attorney for a nonprofit trade association and at major law firms in both Maryland and Washington, DC; and as both a musician and a manager of nonprofit organizations, including growing and directing a large contemporary music program at an Episcopal church on Maryland’s eastern shore for almost a decade.

Jana’s husband’s law career representing Native American Tribes moved them from Washington, DC to the Four Corners Region in 2018 where now– instead of long walks around the National Mall, monuments, and the Capitol grounds–they enjoy weekend hikes in the La Plata and San Juan mountains with their two 75-pound Bernedoodles, Copper & Leo.

As the Chair of the Mesa Verde Foundation, Jana is honored to work with the Foundation’s outstanding Executive Director and staff, as well as her very accomplished colleagues on the Board, to promote and champion our shared unique national treasure, Mesa Verde National Park.

David Nagler

David Nagler, Immediate Past Chair

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

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.

Marion Robinson

Marion Swett Robinson, Vice Chair

Marion is a financial services professional, currently with Atrevida Partners, an investment advisor and hedge fund manager in Rye, NY. Her business career spans a number of global financial institutions, including Bankers Trust Company, Deutsche Bank and Nomura Securities. She has served on a variety of non-profit boards and industry associations. Her interests include travel (including touring in an RV), classical music (especially opera) and western plein air art. In addition to her position on the Mesa Verde Foundation board, she currently serves on the board of Finger Lakes Opera in Rochester, NY. 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 received a BA from Wellesley College and an MBA from Stanford Business School. She lives in Rochester, New York, and Durango, Colorado.

Virgil Scott

Virgil is a fundraising consultant, specializing in charitable estate planning and major gift campaigns. After a 12-year career in advertising and marketing, Virgil moved to the nonprofit sector, serving as a foundation leader for 17 years, including tenures as President & CEO of the Fort Hays State University Foundation in Kansas and the University of Northern Colorado Foundation. He began his fundraising consulting firm, Virgil Scott Consulting, Inc., with a passion to serve the nonprofit sector, to help organizations and leaders to excel. He enjoys helping individuals and nonprofits connect to have a transformational impact on their communities. Virgil has worked with nonprofits of all sizes throughout the Midwest and Rocky Mountain region in healthcare, long-term care, developmental disabilities, higher education and agriculture. He has served on many nonprofit boards that has included the Denver Rotary Club Foundation, Western Kansas Council on Estate Planning & Giving, Smoky Hills Public Television and the Topeka Advertising Federation. Virgil’s first trip to Mesa Verde was in 1983 when he lived in the Four Corners region. Mesa Verde holds a special place in the hearts of his family.

Virgil and his wife, Diane, are native Kansans and now live in Broomfield, Colorado with their daughter.

Mark Stevens

The son of two librarians, Mark Stevens was raised in Lincoln, Massachusetts, and has worked as a reporter, as a national television news producer and in public relations. His reporter stops included The Denver Post, The Rocky Mountain News, and The Christian Science Monitor. He also produced television news for The MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour. Following journalism, Stevens worked as director of communications for Denver Public Schools, Greeley-Evans School District 6, and the Colorado Department of Education. Since 2011, Stevens has owned and run his own communications firm, helping a variety of non-profits and education-related organizations with their communications needs. Mark and his wife Jody Chapel live in Mancos, a few miles from the entrance to Mesa Verde National Park.  

Jim Wilkins

Jim Wilkins

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.

Peter Pino – Advisor and Board Member, In Memoriam

Former governor of the Pueblo of Zia, Peter was a Tribal Council member for over 50 years. He served as the tribal administrator and treasurer beginning in 1977. Peter was a traditional spiritual leader, holding a lifetime appointment as one of the tribe’s Keeper of Songs. He was also a traditional craftsman, tanning deer hides and making moccasins, bows, arrows, digging sticks, rabbit sticks and bone tools, using the same techniques employed by his Puebloan ancestors. His archaeological interests led him to committee and board commitments with Crow Canyon Archaeological Center and Mesa Verde National Park. Peter served on the Board of Directors of the Mesa Verde Foundation starting in 1996. He was the first Native American to serve as a Commissioner for the New Mexico Game and Fish Commission, appointed by New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson, until January 2007. Peter held an M.B.A from University of New Mexico in Business Administration and a B.A in Industrial Education and an A.S in Electronics from New Mexico Highlands University. Peter’s passing was soon-after followed by his beloved wife Stella. They are survived by their son, daughter, and six beloved grandchildren, along with extended family at Zia Pueblo.


Shannon Clifford, 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 has over 25 years of experience working with nonprofit organizations and has served as the executive director of both large and small organizations.  She is passionate about local, state, national, and international parks, once exploring as far away as the Stone Forest National Park in the Yunnan Province of China.

Shannon lives in Colorado with her husband and their two sons. Her kids have helped emphasize the importance of preserving 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 works diligently to guide the Mesa Verde Foundation.

When not working, Shannon enjoys camping with her family, traveling, reading, and volunteering for multiple organizations.

Kim Paulin, Office Manager

Kim has been with the Mesa Verde Foundation since 2019. Among her many responsibilities, she manages the Mesa Verde National Park license plate program.

Kim has a bachelor’s degree in recreation with an outdoor emphasis and a Montessori teaching certificate. She spent her early career providing environmental education to schools, leading low and high ropes courses for school and corporate groups, and planning and executing recreational activities for elementary students. Kim went on to teach Montessori education to children ages 2 ½ to 6 years. After many years in the classroom, Kim took time away to raise her boys while volunteering for multiple organizations.

Kim is married to her college sweetheart, Matt. They have two boys, Josh (16) and Will (13), a golden retriever named Oliver and a cat named Liv. In their free time, Kim and Matt support Josh on the football field and at the track and Will at the hockey rink. As a family, they love traveling and spending time outdoors. Kim also enjoys photography.

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