Michelle Zimmerman, Acting Chair
Representative: Non-profit Organizations; Breckenridge, CO
E-Mail Address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Term Expires: July 2020
Michelle Zimmerman is active in natural resource conservation, renewable energy (solar PV) development, and business planning and development. She works specifically on the sustainability of open spaces and trails, conservation of public lands and wildlife, and applications for balancing the use of and demands on our lands in the West with the need for their protection.
Michelle is currently the Senior Project Manager for Colorado with Cypress Creek Renewables. Michelle's career has focused on responsible solar energy development for nine years and she spent eight years in land conservation as the executive director of both the Southern Rockies Ecosystem Project and the Rincon Institute as well as served on the Colorado Division of Wildlife Habitat Stamp Committee.
She has served on a number of conservation-focused non- profit boards and is in her second term on the CPW Commission. Michelle loves spending time in wild and open spaces, mountain bike racing, snow skiing, backpacking, hunting, and participating in community events and activities.
Marvin McDaniel, Acting Vice-Chair
Representative: Member at Large; Sedalia, CO
E-mail Address: email@example.com
Term Expires: July 2021
Marvin McDaniel is retired having spent over 30 years in the public utility industry with Xcel Energy who is recognized as an industry and national leader in delivering renewable energy and reducing carbon and other emissions. Protecting the environment is one of Marvin's core values as well as a key focus for a more sustainable energy future. He has a keen focus on engaging our youth in the outdoors and preserving the outdoor heritage that is a hallmark of the State of Colorado.
Marvin also has a strong interest in supporting disadvantaged children in Colorado and serves on the board of trustees of the Alliance for Choice in Education and Big Brothers Big Sisters of Colorado, Inc.
A native Coloradan, he spends as much of his free time as possible enjoying the outdoors including fishing, hunting, biking and hiking in the mountains.
Marvin earned a Bachelor of Science degree in business administration from Colorado State University and a Master of Business Administration degree from Regis University. He is a certified public accountant (inactive) in Colorado.
James Vigil, Secretary
Representative: Agriculture; Trinidad, CO
E-Mail Address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Term Expires: July 2020
James "Jim" Vigil is a Colorado native and former Las Animas County Commissioner who runs his family's farm on the Purgatoire River. Vigil served in the U.S. Marine Corps in the late 1960s before obtaining a Bachelors degree from Metropolitan State College in Denver and a Masters of Business Administration from the University of Denver.
Vigil pursued a career as a financial analyst in the mineral development and banking industries. He has also served on the faculty and in the administration of Trinidad State Junior College.
Representative: Sportspersons; Wray, CO
E-mail Address: email@example.com
Term Expires: July 2023
Betsy came to Colorado from upstate New York as a seasonal employee at Steamboat Lake State Park in 2003 following a completed thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail the year before. During her time in Colorado, Betsy has worked as a crew leader for Rocky Mountain Youth Corps in Steamboat Springs, taught science at the Cal-Wood Education Center in Jamestown, and developed day-programming opportunities for adults with developmental disabilities for Community Link in Boulder County.
Blecha graduated from the State University of New York at Cortland College with a degree in Recreation and Leisure studies and holds a Master’s degree in Nonprofit Management from Regis University. Upon graduation from Regis, Betsy moved to rural Jackson County where she spent 10 years working on many community development initiatives. In 2014, she was elected County Commissioner of Jackson County and served one term. As commissioner, she was involved with rural broadband development projects, increasing early childhood services and initiated a variety of projects that supported the burgeoning outdoor recreation industry in Jackson County.
Betsy is an outdoor pursuits enthusiast who enjoys camping, fishing, hunting and biking. She has recently moved to Wray where she continues her community development work in addition to helping with the family farm and ranch.
Carrie Besnette Hauser
Representative: Outdoor Recreation and Utilization of Parks; Glenwood Springs, CO
Term Expires: July 2019
Dr. Carrie Besnette Hauser is president and CEO of Colorado Mountain College. CMC has been a leader in outdoor education for decades, offering dozens of degrees and programs in outdoor recreation leadership, sustainability studies, natural resources, avalanche science, ski area operations and others.
Hauser has also held leadership roles at the Kauffman Foundation, Metropolitan State University of Denver, the Daniels Fund, and the Western Interstate Commission on Higher Education. She holds a bachelor's degree from the University of Arizona, earned her master's and Ph.D. degrees from UCLA, and is a graduate of the Advanced Management Program at the Wharton School of Business.
An outdoorswoman and athlete committed to access and equity issues, Hauser has summited Mt. Kilimanjaro, climbed to the Mt. Everest basecamp, and is nearing completion of Colorado's "14ers." She held the proud title of "Swamper" while working many summers for Hatch River Expeditions in Grand Canyon National Park and currently serves on the national board of American Rivers. She and her husband enjoy skiing, hiking, boating, biking, and exploring the Rocky Mountain West and remote places around the world.
Representative: Sportspersons; Denver, CO
E-mail Address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Term Expires: July 2022
Charles graduated from the University of Wisconsin in 1973 and Wisconsin’s Nicolet National Forest was where he first began to fly fish and hunt ruffed grouse. Charles went on to become a CPA with Arthur Andersen & Co. which took him from Milwaukee to New York then Toronto and finally to Denver. Charles graduated from the University of Denver College of Law in 1985. He and his wife Anne bought a second home in Grand Lake in 1994 and spend their leisure time fly fishing the waters of Grand County.
Charles is the Past President of the Colorado Bar Association and Chair of a Standing Committee of the American Bar Association. He has and continues to be an active member of the Colorado legal profession working with the Colorado Supreme Court and the State of Colorado on various committees, boards and commissions.
Charles is a Life Sponsor and prior Denver Chapter President of Ducks Unlimited, a Life Member, prior Colorado Board Member and current Headwaters Chapter Board Member of Trout Unlimited and a Centurion Member of the Ruffed Grouse Society.
Executive Director of the Department of Natural Resources
Gov. Jared Polis has appointed Summit County Commissioner Dan Gibbs to serve as executive director of the Colorado Department of Natural Resources. Gibbs currently serves as a county commissioner in Summit County and has served in that role since 2010. Prior to his tenure as a commissioner, Dan represented Summit County in the Colorado House of Representatives and in the State Senate.
Prior to finalizing the new role, Gibbs will sit for a confirmation hearing before the state Senate’s Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee. If approved, Gibbs’ nomination will go before the Colorado state Senate for confirmation.
“It’s an amazing honor, and I thank Gov. Polis for granting me the opportunity,” Gibbs said. “Colorado’s unique natural resources are so integral to our identity as a state, and I can’t overstate how humbling it is to be joining the dedicated team that’s tasked with guiding our collective stewardship of these resources.”
Gibbs is also a certified wildland firefighter and plans to make wildfire mitigation a priority at the state level.
Director of Colorado Parks and Wildlife
E-mail Address: email@example.com
Governor Jared Polis announced Dan Prenzlow as the new Director of Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW). Dan is a Colorado native and brings over 33 years of experience with the agency to his new role. He has a lifelong dedication and passion for Colorado’s natural resources and recreation opportunities.
“I am extremely pleased that Dan Prenzlow has agreed to lead Colorado Parks and Wildlife,” said Governor Polis, “Dan’s extensive experience and his knowledge of the challenges and opportunities for Colorado Parks and Wildlife is a tremendous asset for our state. Our wildlife, state parks, hunting, fishing, and outdoor recreation is what makes Colorado, Colorado. Dan is the right individual to build on the sustainable hunting, fishing and wildlife protection legacy of Parks and Wildlife while enhancing our awe-inspiring outdoor recreation opportunities for Coloradans and visitors from across the world.”
Dan Prenzlow received his BS in Wildlife Biology from Colorado State University in 1985. Following in the footsteps of his father, Prenzlow joined the Division of Wildlife in 1986 as a District Wildlife Manager patrolling the Castle Rock area. He was then promoted to Area Wildlife Manager in 1992 based in Meeker, where he served until 2005 when he became Southeast Regional Manager based in Colorado Springs. He is married to Brenda Prenzlow and has two daughters, Danika and Alaura.
Representative: Production Agriculture; Aspen, CO
Term Expires: July 2022
Passionate about leaving the world better for future generations, Eden Vardy is committed to supporting and implementing environmental solutions, namely around agriculture. Vardy has had the honor and privilege of living in Colorado for over 30 years, and enjoys the majority of his days outdoors.
Eden Vardy has a BA in Sustainable Food Systems and an MS in Integrated Eco- Social Design. Dedicated to continuing our state's legacy around agriculture, Vardy is the founder and executive director of The Farm Collaborative, a Roaring Fork Valley nonprofit and farm that connects children and the community to nature and their food source, and solves global climate challenges through local food production.
Vardy is also a regenerative agriculture adjunct faculty for Colorado Mountain College, the CEO of The 2 Forks Club (an organization that makes 0% interest loans to burgeoning community farmers and local food entrepreneurs), the VP of the board of Compass for Lifelong Learning (which oversees the Aspen and Carbondale Community Schools), an avid percussionist, and a very proud husband and father.
Commissioner of Agriculture
Kate Greenberg was appointed the Colorado Commissioner of Agriculture by Governor Jared Polis in December 2018. As commissioner, Greenberg will lead the department’s daily operations, direct its 300 employees, and oversee the agency’s seven divisions: Animal Health; Brand Inspection; Colorado State Fair; Conservation Services; Inspection and Consumer Services; Markets; and Plant Industry.
“For the last ten years, I have dedicated my work to those who work the land. Throughout that time, I have sat around dozens of kitchen tables, worked with hundreds of farmers and ranchers, and have been a fierce advocate for family agriculture and its essential role in what we value most about Colorado,” said Greenberg. “I have worked the land, and worked on behalf of those that work the land. I have no delusion that the challenges family agriculture faces in this state and nation are deeply complex, or that the responsibility to deliver smart, innovative, and bold ways forward for Colorado agriculture is urgent.”
Luke B. Schafer
Representative: Member at Large; Craig, CO
Term Expires: July 2022
Luke Schafer is avid sportsman and recreationist with a particular affinity for hunting, fishing, boating and camping all across the west's vast public lands. He served two terms on the Colorado Parks and Wildlife Habitat Stamp Committee and is also a former member of the BLM Northwest Resource Advisory Council.
Since graduating from Central Michigan University in 2004 with a bachelor's degree in political science, Luke has worked for Conservation Colorado and is currently the organization's West Slope Director. His personal and professional passion is advocating for Colorado's public lands, waters and wildlife, with a particular focus on fostering collaborative conservation opportunities.
Representative: Sportspersons and Outfitters; Meeker, CO
Term Expires: July 2021
Marie Haskett is the owner and operator of JML Outfitters and Horse Crazy camp for kids. She is a 3rd generation outfitter, taking over the business from her mother. Marie started Horse Crazy Camp for Kids and has introduced hundreds of children to horses, riding and the great outdoors. JML provides services to hunters, fishermen and recreationalists alike.
Ms. Haskett spends most daylight hours, 365 days a year, outdoors -- riding horses, fishing, hunting and watching wildlife are professional and personal pastimes.
She is a long-time supporter of the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation and the Colorado Outfitters Association (COA). Over the years, Marie has volunteered through the COA by hosting kids’ camps teaching archery, horseback riding, fishing and general outdoor activities, as well as participating in CPW’s Cast, Blast ‘n Twang days.
Ms. Haskett is an active Board Member of the Colorado Outfitters Association, and the Northwest Colorado Outfitters Association. She is a past board member of the Meeker Chamber of Commerce, White River Neighborhood Group, Platte River Chapter of the COA, and served 8 years on the DORA Outfitter Licensing Board.
Marie holds a Bachelors degree from Metro State University in Accounting. With over 20 years experience in the field, she brings her financial sense to the commission table.
Marie believes that children and wildlife are our collective future. Her time is spent making memories for people and protecting the future of wildlife for everyone.
Robert William Bray
Representative: Agriculture; Redvale, CO
Term Expires: July 2020
Robert William Bray is the owner and operator of Bray Ranches, a 20,000-acre working cattle and sheep ranch in the San Juan mountains that is managed for wildlife habitat and hunting for deer, elk and black bear. He is also a former director of CoBank, a national cooperative bank that provides financial services to agribusiness and rural power and water providers. He also served on the Farm Credit Board of Directors for 25 years.
A Colorado native, Bray graduated from Colorado State University and worked as a banker before returning to run the family ranch in 1979.
Bray is also a member of the Colorado Cattlemens' Association, the Colorado Farm Bureau, Colorado Woolgrowers, the Colorado Outfitters Association and the San Miguel Sage Grouse Working Group. He previously served on several Division of Wildlife committees and was a Wildlife Commissioner from 2005 to 2009.
Representative: Outdoor Recreation and Utilization of Parks Resources; Boulder, CO
Term Expires: July 2019
Taishya Adams is an avid rock climber, skier, hiker and backpacker. Adams serves as a Senior Technical Consultant at the American Institutes for Research (AIR). In this role, Adams develops, implements, and monitors a coordinated strategy to build the capacity of state education agency staff, districts leaders and partners to increase the academic outcomes of the students in their states.
Adams also serves as the Colorado co-lead for Outdoor Afro. Outdoor Afro is a national organization that celebrates and inspires African American connections and leadership in nature. Adams is the founding Board President for New Legacy Charter School – a charter high school and early learning center for teen parents and their children in Aurora, Colorado. Adams is committed to ensuring equity (e.g. access, representation, meaningful participation and quality) in all her endeavors. She holds a MA from George Washington University in International Education and a BA from Vassar College in Political Science and Film Production.
Visit our "Leadership Team" page for bios on other members of CPW's leadership.