Renee Mackey, Chair: Mackey 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, and currently serves as the Vice President on the Rio Grande Farm Park’s operating committee. Mackey is a deputy at the local farm KW Farms and 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.
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 been 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 Stat University, 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 ASU 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.
Francisco Lucas – Lucas has been involved as a farmer and community leader with the Rio Grande Farm Park since the start of the program. Lucas is the Outreach Coordinator and Farm Liaison for the Rio Grande Farm Park and has been since 2015. He founded Espiritu Maya, which works to preserve the health, agriculture, and spiritual culture of the over 400 members of the Guatemalan community in Alamosa. Lucas also works full-time for Trinidad State Community College, presents issues and represents the Guatemalan community throughout the country, is a member of the Advisory Council of Conamigua working for the rights of immigrants and refugees in Guatemala and the United States, serves on the Board of Alamosa’s Immigrant Resource Center, and is a council member for the Pastoral Mayan Project.
Julie Mordecai, RGFP Director:Mordecai has been the Director of the Rio Grande Farm Park since 2015. Mordecai owned and operated the Complete Non Profit, which provided resources for non-profits in Colorado and New Mexico. She was the Executive Director of the Colorado Alliance of Boys & Girls Clubs for 4 years and helping them raise well over 6 million dollars in resources and offsets. She had been with the Boys & Girls Club movement for over 9 years, first serving as the Executive Director of the Boys & Girls Clubs of the San Luis Valley. Julie is currently on the board of the Foundation for Community Colleges and the Denver Film Society. She has a BA in Environmental Studies and an Elementary Education Credential from the University of California, Santa Barbara and an M.A. in Higher Education, Administration and Leadership at Adams State University.
Jesse Marchildon, RGFP Farm Manager: Marchildon has been with the Rio Grande Farm Park since March of 2017 and manages the Farmer Incubator Program. Born and raised in Alamosa, he left the Valley for ten years to obtain a BA in Anthropology and Spanish Literature and developed a passion for healthy, local food systems. Since 2013, he has studied permaculture and has helped develop family and community farms in New York, California, and Hawaii.
Marlena Antonucci, RGFP Community Engagement Coordinator: Antonucci joined the Farm Park team in 2017 through the AmeriCorps VISTA program. She recently moved to Colorado from Tampa, Florida where she received a Master of Arts degree in Art History. Her graduate research focused on farming as an artistic practice. She believes that art can change perspectives toward farming from a utilitarian job to a practice that cultivates social, economic, and environmental development.
Peter Wise, RGFP Education Coordinator and Farm Park Assistant: Wise joined the Farm Park team in 2017 through the Mennonite Voluntary Service program. He has a B.A. in Physics from Goshen College, has spend a semester in Tanzania, and has a passion for community-driven social change.
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.