Our Team and Supporters


Executive Director Heather SchinkelHeather 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

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.

Judy DorseyJudy 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.

Sandy Hicks

Sandra Hicks is a seasoned Environmental Engineer and EHS Manager with over 30 years of experience at Fortune 500 companies, including Intel, Trane, Kodak and Anheuser-Busch.  She has extensive knowledge of global environmental, health and safety regulations and requirements, EHS Management Systems and ISO 14001.  A 30+ year resident of Fort Collins, CO, Sandy is originally from Wisconsin. She is married to Charlie, a plant pathologist, and has two boys, one graduated from Colorado Mesa and is working in Eagle, CO, the other graduated from Colorado State and is in graduate school at University of Wyoming. She likes to bike, ski, swim, read and knit.

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.

Blake Naughton is the Vice President of Engagement and Extension at Colorado State University. Dr. Naughton is recognized for his expertise in education and administrative leadership, partnership development and performance management in higher education. Throughout his professional career, he has focused on demonstrating that higher education can transform lives by showing in measurable, relevant, and actionable ways how universities can best serve citizens and communities. At CSU engagement and extension, Dr. Naughton oversees several units including: the Colorado Water Center, CSU Extension, and CSU Extended Campus which all provide science-based community outreach programming that extends the services of the University across Colorado and beyond and seeks to help fulfill Colorado State University’s land-grant mission. He also serves as professor of human development focusing on how individuals, organizations, and communities benefit from lifelong educational programs and services.

Program Manager

Sandi Good is a Colorado State University graduate with a degree in Natural Resources Management and Conservation Biology. She has worked as a researcher for the U.S. Forest Service, the National Park Service, C.S.U. College of Natural Resources, the Center for Collaborative Conservation and the Colorado Natural Heritage Program.  She has lived in Fort Collins for almost 30 years. A long-time environmental advocate, Sandi founded the first student section of the Sierra Club in Colorado in 1995. When not working to protect wild places, she volunteers for Golden Retriever Freedom Rescue. Sandi most enjoys spending time in the great outdoors camping, hiking and boating with her family, traveling and gardening.

Working Group

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.

Founding Supporters

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 has since become 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.