Our Team and Supporters
Heather Schinkel is a resource management professional with extensive experience managing multiple, complex programs and projects. As the Director of the Peaks to People Water Fund, she is responsible for overseeing operations and collaborating with our Working Group to ensure Science and Monitoring, Landowner Engagement, Fundraising and Investor Development, and Operational Excellence.
Growing up in Upper Saddle River, New Jersey, Heather took a keen interest in the natural environment at an early age. She received a Bachelors of Science in Biology from Lafayette College in Easton, PA and a Masters in Forestry from Duke University’s Nicholas School of the Environment in Durham, NC. Before joining Peaks to People, Heather held a variety of environmental leadership and policy management roles with the Fairfax County Park Authority, the Forest Stewardship Council and the U.S. Army.
Board of Directors
Robin Reid is the Director of the Center for Collaborative Conservation and Professor in the Department of Ecosystem Science and Sustainability at Colorado State University. For the last 3 decades, she has worked with communities in Africa, Asia and North America to bring the best of science to support community-based conservation. Her current work focuses on how collaborative governance at the community level works around the world and its social and ecological outcomes. Recently, with a collaborative team of diverse stakeholders, she co-founded Peaks to People, a new watershed investment fund for the American West.
Judy Dorsey is a valued collaborator offering 22 years of executive leadership in sustainability, innovation, entrepreneurship, and organizational development. She is founding President and Principal Engineer of Brendle Group, where she specializes in planning for climate neutrality, clean energy, and net zero energy and water initiatives. She has led the completion of more than 300 sustainability projects across 30 states. Judy is the recipient of numerous awards, including the 2012 M.I.T. Clean Energy Education and Empowerment Award, and the 2016 National Ski Area Association Industry Impact Award; and, she is currently featured at the Smithsonian Institution’s Places of Invention exhibit.
Alex Castino is a licensed Colorado attorney who has worked in land conservation for 5 years. Previously for Larimer County she acquired over 2,000 acres in fee and conservation easement and implemented the first perpetual water sharing agreement in Colorado. She currently manages Great Outdoors Colorado’s land protection grant programs, protecting Colorado’s premier lands and landscapes for future generations. When she’s not working to protect the outdoors, she enjoys them by mountain biking, sailing, hiking, camping, gardening, climbing and snowboarding.
Brian Janonis is retired as Executive Director of Fort Collins Utilities with over 40 years of experience in water related fields. During his tenure the High Park and Hewlett Gulch Wildfires dramatically impacted the Utilities water supply. Prior to the City, he was a principal/owner with RBD Engineering Consultants where he provided consulting services to water agencies throughout North America. He has previously served as a board member for the Water Environment Federation, Rocky Mountain Water Environment Association, Platte River Power Authority, and North Poudre Irrigation Company.
Rob Addington is the Forest/Fire Program Director with the Nature Conservancy’s Colorado Chapter. He specializes in fire-adapted natural systems and the application of science to ecosystem management and restoration. Rob has nearly 15 years of professional experience working in frequent-fire ecological systems, from longleaf pine ecosystems of the southeastern U.S. to ponderosa pine systems of the West. As a Peaks to People Water Fund Board member, Rob will be involved in helping to set strategic priorities for on-the-ground work and providing technical capacity for project development.
Mike Lester is the Director of the Colorado State Forest Service and has more than 30 years of professional experience in state and private forestry. Prior to being named Colorado state forester in 2013, Mike served as assistant state forester for the Pennsylvania Bureau of Forestry. He has worked with Procter & Gamble Paper Products Company and served as past president of the Society of American Foresters. Mike has the knowledge and experience needed to address the complex challenges facing our forested watersheds and the communities that depend on them.
Upon completion of our Feasibility Analysis in early 2014, Peaks to People established a Working Group to help progress the outcomes identified in the study. This group consisted of a variety of Northern Colorado businesses, organizations, landowners, and interested parties committed to protecting our forests and watersheds. Our Working Group met several times a year between 2014 and 2017 to help guide the development of Peaks to People. The group was comprised of four teams:
- The Fundraising and Outreach Team: Focused on identifying potential investors and grant opportunities to fund the future work of Peaks to People.
- The Landowner Advisory Group: Represented landowners’ viewpoints on program design elements, contracts and payment systems to ensure Peaks to People is a viable option for area land stewards.
- The Operations Team: Responsible for researching, designing, and creating the operational procedures that mandate Peaks to People.
- The Science and Monitoring Team: Ensured current and future demonstration sites are completed using a science-based methodology and that all data collected is used to aid in the ongoing development of the Watershed Investment Tool and inform future projects.
Working Group Members
Peaks to People continues to work with several members from our working group as well as some new participants as part of our Stakeholders Committee. Like our Working Group, this group also consists of numerous local businesses, organizations, landowners, and interested parties committed to protecting the Big Thompson and Cache la Poudre watersheds. This committee was formed in 2018 to ensure continued input from a diverse group so that the Peaks to People Water Fund functions successfully into perpetuity.
The Peaks to People Water Fund’s proof of concept phase, was jointly sponsored by the Center for Collaborative Conservation at Colorado State University and The Nature Conservancy. This phase was supported by an important group of funders who believe in the viability and potential of our cause. Upon completion of this period, Peaks to People intends to be self-sustaining through investments in the fund. Proof of Concept Phase funders included:
- The US Endowment for Forestry and Communities/EPA Healthy Watershed Consortium
(The U.S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities is a not-for-profit corporation that works collaboratively with partners in the public and private sectors to advance systemic, transformative and sustainable change for the health and vitality of the nation’s working forests and forest-reliant communities.)
- A Private Foundation
- New Belgium Brewing
- Odell Brewing
- The Community Foundation of Northern Colorado
- The Nature Conservancy
- The Center for Collaborative Conservation at Colorado State University
- Ed Warner
This project has been funded wholly or in part by the United States Environmental Protection Agency under assistance agreement 83590301 to the U.S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities. The contents of this document do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of the Environmental Protection Agency, nor does the EPA endorse trade names or recommend the use of commercial products mentioned in this document.