Donna Mabry,Chair: Donna has a BA in Human Resources from the University of Kansas. She is also a certified electrician and had her own business in commercial, residential and maintenance electrical work in Kansas City for 10 years before moving to Alamosa nine years ago.Since that time, she has worn many different hats but most recently is the owner and operator of Body Tune-Up, a boutique gym offering small group classes and personal training. Donna loves cooking, enjoys good food, and feeding people makes her happy.
Renee Mackey, Vice Chair: Renee has lived in the San Luis Valley since coming here as a full time volunteer for La Puente Homeless Shelter in 1993. She has worked in the non-profit arena since then in both direct service and leadership roles. Most recently she worked for the Healthy Habits program to educate, enrich, and excite farmer’s market shoppers with simple recipes and samples that utilize the offerings of our local producers. She considers her most important job to be instilling the values of community involvement, respect for the land, compassion and curiosity into the hearts and minds of her three young children. In the meantime she is a La Leche League leader and is lucky enough to get paid to make soup.
Brian Puccerella: Brian is on the board of the Rio Grande Farm Park and will direct and coordinate the Outdoor Adventure Camp and handle the paddleboard purchasing and lending for this project. He has worked in the field of Outdoor Education and Recreation for over 5 years now, working as a graduate assistant at the University of Alabama before coming to Adams State University. Here at Adams, Brian oversees the adventure program and works with students to build a program culture of integrity and quality. In addition, he helps to coordinate and teach for the Adventure Leadership & Programming minor through the Human Performance & Physical Education department. He is a certified Climbing Wall Instructor and Single Pitch Instructor with the American Mountain Guides Association and brings experience to Adams from a variety of outdoor disciplines. Brian received his Bachelor of Business Administration in Management from Texas Tech University before going on to receive his master’s degree in Sport Management with an emphasis in Adventure Education from the University of Alabama.
Lucia Lucas Nicolas: Lucia is a Guatemalan Maya Q’anjob’al immigrant who came to Alamosa in 1986 to reunite with her husband Francisco Lucas who was already in the United States. She became a legal permanent resident in 1990. Lucia currently works at the San Luis Valley Regional Medical Center doing housekeeping in the surgery department. Lucia and Francisco are well respected and viewed as the leaders of the Guatemalan community in Alamosa. Lucia serves as an interpreter for the Guatemalan community as she is trilingual in the English, Spanish and Q’anjob’al languages. She has three children and two grandchildren. Lucia has been an active participant in Pastoral Maya since 1996. Pastoral Maya now known as Maya Heritage Community Project, addresses the urgency of education, the desire to maintain important aspects of Maya culture, spirituality, health and safety, and the needs of the communities and families still in Guatemala.
Luette Frost: Luette graduated from Kenyon College with a BA in International Studies and Anthropology in 2001 and received an MA in Education from Adams State College in 2006. She moved to the San Luis Valley in 2002 as an Americorps Volunteer for La Puente Home. Ms. Frost has been actively involved with the Alamosa Community Gardens and created the Coordinator Position in 2003. She has worked with the Valley Food Coop and the Alamosa Farmers Market. Frost taught Sixth Grade World History in Monte Vista where she created a curriculum based on the history of food throughout the World. In 2008, she became the SLV Program Coordinator for the Integrated Nutrition Education Program, a University of Colorado hands-on nutrition education program for K-5 teachers in underserved schools. Frost is also on the Board of the San Luis Valley Local Foods Coalition and continues to be an active community organizer.
Pedro Baltazar: Pedro is a Guatemalan Maya Q’anjob’al immigrant who arrived in Alamosa in 1993. He came to United States escaping the war between the military forces and guerillas in Guatemala. In 2001 Pedro was able to bring his wife and children to reunite with them. In 1993 he worked for the Rakhra Mushroom Farm for almost 8 years and later found employment at Asplundh where he has been working for the last 12 years. Pedro is a member of the Guatemalan Maya Q’anjob’al community and speaks Spanish, Q’anjob’al and is also learning English. He has a 24 year old son, a 22 year old daughter and a 3 year old grandson. Pedro is involved with the Rio Grande Healthy Living Park because he believes that planting and growing crops from the land is very important. Pedro learned from his father how to work in the fields and this is why he wants to share with the community how this is done in his home country of Guatemala.
Julie Mordecai, RGFP Director: Julie is the director of the Rio Grande Healthy Living Park of which she led the campaign to purchase the property with a team of amazing community members. She owns and operates the Complete Non Profit, which provides resources for non-profits in Colorado. Previously she was the Executive Director of the Colorado Alliance of Boys & Girls Club raising well over 6 million dollars in resources and offsets. She worked with the Boys & Girls Club movement for over 9 years, first serving as the Chief Professional Officer of the Boys & Girls Clubs of the San Luis Valley. Julie is on the board of the Denver Film Society. Julie has a MA in Higher Education, Administration & Leadership from Adams State University. She has a BA in Environmental Studies and an Elementary Education Credential from the University of California, Santa Barbara.
Patrick O’Neill, Land Manager: Patrick is an agronomist and employee-owner with a San Luis Valley-based company, Agro Engineering, Inc. He advises farmers on agricultural pest management, compost and compost tea utilization, soil chemical and microbial balances, soil fertility, plant nutrition, and irrigation scheduling. Activities at the Rio Grande Healthy Living Park with the community of Guatemalan farmers working there have included, on a volunteer basis for the past several years, helping organize plantings, land preparation, seed procurement, compost applications and trouble-shooting crop production issues as they arose, alongside the farmers. Prior to working at Agro Engineering, Patrick served as a Franciscan Mission Service lay missioner in Brazil, working as an agronomist with farmers possessing limited land and economic resources. Areas of emphasis during his service in Brazil included project development and training in community food security and sovereignty, seed production, soil conservation and fertility management, and biological pest control. Patrick also worked as coordinator of a community supported agriculture program on a diverse organic vegetable farm, and as a farmhand on his parents’ homestead vineyard, both in California. He speaks both Portuguese and Spanish, with English being his primary language.
Liza Marron, Director SLV Local Foods Coalition: Liza is the founding director of the San Luis Valley Local Foods Coalition in rural southern Colorado. She has been a community organizer with a focus on social justice, wellness and prevention for many years. Ms. Marron has a Master’s Degree in Community Counseling and a Bachelor’s degree in Spanish. Her skill set includes grant writing, government, visioning and strategic planning, non-profit management, finance, coalition building, economic development, education, fund raising, public speaking, and managing a budget. She serves on the Community Advisory Council for LiveWell Colorado, the Community Advisory Board of the Rocky Mountain Prevention Research Center, the Mountain Valley School Board President, the Treasurer of The Saguache County Sustainable Environment and Economic Development and is the Treasurer of the Valley Food Coop Board.