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 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 where he is able to blend his passion for outdoor recreation with his passion for local, healthy, and organic food. He has been working in the field of Outdoor Education and Recreation for over 10 years now, working as a graduate assistant at the University of Alabama before coming to Adams State University. Here at Adams State 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 brings experience to ASU from a variety of outdoor disciplines.
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.
Olive, RGFP Farm Dog: Olive is a Blue Heeler mix and the loyal companion to our Farm Manager, Jesse Marchildon. She enjoys keeping an eye on the land and helping herd the chickens at the Farm Park. In the off season, she enjoys naps in the sun and long walks along the Rio Grande.
Amanda Falkner, RGFP Community Engagement Coordinator: Falkner joined the Farm Park team in 2018 through the AmeriCorps VISTA program. She recently moved to Colorado from Rochester, NY. She received a Bachelors of Science in Community and International Development from the University of Vermont, with minors in Nutrition and Food Sciences and Food Systems. Amanda has community development experience in the U.S. as well as Kenya and Peru, and is excited to learn about development in the San Luis Valley.
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.