Board of Directors and Foundation Board of Directors

The Colorado Open Lands Board of Directors is comprised of individuals who give generously of their time and resources to ensure our success. With backgrounds in land, water, law, finance, business, and philanthropy, they provide invaluable expertise and wisdom to guide Colorado Open Lands’ practices and activities. Members serve on the COL Board of Directors and the COL Foundation Board of Directors.

Board of Directors

Dr. Donald Aptekar
Dr. Donald Aptekar arrived in Colorado 40 years ago to train in Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of Colorado and has been in private practice at Rose medical center for over 35 years.  He has been involved in delivering over 12,000 babies who are all native Coloradoans.  Along with his medical practice, he has served as medical director of Rocky Mountain Planned Parenthood and currently works as a national consultant on hereditary Breast and Ovarian cancer syndromes.  He is an avid fly fisherman and enjoys biking, hiking, skiing, travel and art. He and his wife, Harriet Moyer, spend a lot of time on the Atlantic coast in their home in Ogunquit, Maine where they are learning about birding.
Rye Austin
Rye Austin grew up in Colorado with a passion for the outdoors. He is the Executive Director of the Malone Family Land Preservation Foundation which protects the agricultural heritage and natural beauty of properties across the United States. Mr. Austin is an Executive Board member of the Denver Area Council of the Boy Scouts of America. He holds a B.A. in Economics from the University of Colorado at Boulder and an M.S. in Real Estate from the University of Denver. His interests include hunting, fly fishing, bicycling, and telemark skiing.
Thomas (T.A.) Barron
Thomas (T.A.) Barron of Boulder is a best-selling author of over thirty books, many focused on the importance and power of nature, including the Merlin Saga. Mr. Barron, a Rhodes Scholar and graduate of Princeton, also completed a joint J.D.-M.B.A.. After a successful business career in New York City, he returned to his native Colorado to fulfill his true passion as a writer. Tom is a Trustee of Princeton University and has served on the national Board of Directors of the Wilderness Society, recently receiving their highest honor, the Robert Marshall award. He has also served on the Colorado Nature Conservancy Board of Directors.
Carolyn F. Burr
Carolyn F. Burr, a shareholder with Welborn Sullivan Meck & Tooley, specializes in water law and represents clients throughout Colorado in all seven of the state’s water divisions. Carolyn grew up on a ranch in North Park, where she fell in love with magnificent landscapes. She is proud to be part of Colorado’s leading land conservation organization, which also helps preserve the state’s agricultural heritage.
Rob Deline
Rob Deline is the president of Monaghan Management Corp., a real estate management company specializing in agricultural and commercial properties in the west. A second generation native of Colorado, he is primarily interested in raising wheat, cattle, and thoroughbred horses. He enjoys farming, ranching, and hunting.
Wendell Fleming
Wendell Fleming fell in love with Colorado on a ski trip to Vail in her teens. She ski-bummed in Aspen for a season, and has lived in Colorado for over 32 years. Long active in Denver’s nonprofit community, she is the executive director of the LARRK Foundation, whose mission is to improve the lives of at risk youth in Colorado. Previously, Ms. Fleming practiced law at Holland & Hart with a focus on intellectual property and commercial litigation, and later with the Klapper Firm. Ms. Fleming has served as Chairwoman of the Women’s Wilderness Institute, a Boulder-based organization that provides girls and women with transformative wilderness experiences, and on the Middlebury College alumni board. She is an avid skier and hiker, and has climbed over 35 of the Colorado fourteeners. She is married to Stephen Cunningham and has three sons.
Susan Fox Pinkowitz
Susan Fox Pinkowitz, a Denver native, runs a private real estate investment company, which she founded upon returning to Colorado following a successful career in international business. Ms. Pinkowitz has a long history of volunteer work for nonprofits throughout the Denver area, and has also worked at the grassroots level on many environmental and land use causes in different Colorado counties, including Jefferson, Park, Clear Creek, and Lake. She was integral in developing a healthy food environment for University Park Elementary, creating a model which has been replicated in many other public schools. Ms. Pinkowitz is a graduate of Stanford University.
Rebecca Frank
Rebecca Frank is from Grand Junction and has lived on the Western Slope since 1973. She enjoys the great outdoors especially fly fishing and adding birds to her life list. Rebecca is a Colorado native and grew up in Denver. It’s an honor and a pleasure for her to serve on the Colorado Open Lands’ Board.
Ford Frick
Ford Frick is a 45 year resident of Colorado with family ties to Colorado dating back four generations. He is a Managing Director and the Chairman of BBC Research & Consulting, a Denver based economic, market and policy research firm. He directs the firm’s real estate, resorts and tourism practice. Ford is married with two grown daughters, who live in New York City, but who claim that absence only makes the heart grow fonder.
Pete Leavell
Pete Leavell moved to Colorado in 1978. He is currently the Chairman of the Board of Governors of The Alliance for Choice in Education (ACE). He loves to hike, ride and fish at the 4UR and around Creede in the La Garita Mountains.
Charlie Kurtz
Charlie Kurtz has lived in Colorado his whole life and is the president and owner of Brown Lumber sales, as well as a partner in Confluence Energy, the largest beneficial user of the beetle kill timber in Colorado. Additionally, he is the director of the Charles H. Kurtz Family Foundation, and the manager of Kurtz Family LLC, a family holding company with ranching and real estate interests. His leisure interests include skiing, tennis, fishing, golfing, and biking.
Tate McCoy
As an Executive Vice President for Lockton Companies, LLC, Tate McCoy is a member of the executive committee responsible for all financial decisions associated with the Denver, Las Vegas, and Phoenix offices. In addition, he is responsible for procuring new clients and maintaining a portfolio of existing clients. In his role as Producer, Tate brings expertise in the areas of multi-family real estate, private equity, and manufacturing to assist clients in the development of comprehensive risk management programs.
Paul Phillips
Paul Phillips has practiced environmental and land use law, policy and litigation for more than 30 years. His experience includes Environmental Protection Agency enforcement actions under the Clean Air Act, RCRA, and the Clean Water Act. From 2000 to 2008, Paul served on Holland & Hart’s Management Committee, ultimately as Chairman, overseeing substantial growth in the firm. He has also served as Chair of the firm’s Natural Resources Department and Leader of its Environmental Group. Mr. Phillips has served on the board of the Colorado Legal Aid Foundation, the Colorado Plateau Archeological Alliance, the Trust for Land Restoration, and other civic and pro bono organizations. Mr. Phillip’s loves hiking and backpacking in the Colorado Rockies, bagging the easy 14ers, rafting the desert canyons of Colorado and Utah, and bringing back a long-neglected hay field and orchard in Taos, New Mexico.
Norton Rainey
Norton Rainey is the President and CEO of ACE Scholarships, a foundation based in Colorado that provides tuition scholarships to children of low-income
families. Now in its fifteenth year, ACE has provided more than 15,000 scholarships and funding commitments exceeding $26 million. Norton attended the University of Colorado on a golf scholarship and received his degree in business marketing. He is actively involved in the Denver community and is the founder of Men of Faith, a quarterly breakfast series targeted to men in the Denver area. He is also the founder of Rough Riders, a quarterly breakfast series that features local and national political leaders. Norton is the coach for his boys’ competitive baseball team, plays golf and enjoys fly fishing. Norton and his wife,
Kara, have been married for 12 years and have two sons and one daughter.
Brian Ross
Brian Ross served as the Executive Director of Colorado Conservation Trust from 2008 through 2013, when it merged with Colorado Open Lands. Prior to that, he worked in private real estate for Jones Lang LaSalle. Brian is a Colorado native whose love of our natural environment can be traced to his youth when he would ride his horse in the former wheat fields of west Denver, and worked as a wrangler in Rocky Mountain National Park.
Charlie Russell
Charlie Russell is a principal of the public relations firm C.A. Russell Partners. He has served on the Board of Directors of Colorado Open Lands since 1993. He is a past director of Colorado Trout Unlimited and the Colorado Trail Foundation. He is a past recipient of Trout Unlimited’s national Conservationist of the Year and the Sol Feinstone Environmental Award by the State University of New York.
Wes Segelke
Wes Segelke was born and raised in Northeastern Colorado near the town of Brush. His family members continue to live there and have been involved in ranching and related livestock ventures since the early 1900’s. Wes and his family have a smaller livestock and recreational ranch in Northern Colorado near Red Feather Lakes where they spend enjoyable times throughout the year. Wes has been on the Board of COL for about ten years and finds the experience to be interesting and rewarding as he feels it to be important to preserve the beauty of our State and open lands for future generations.
Gail Schwartz
Originally from Chicago, former Senator Gail Schwartz fell in love with Colorado at the age of 12 on the top of Longs Peak. Prior to her political career as a state senator, professionally Senator Schwartz worked on community economic development and ski area planning. As a resident of Pitkin County and the Roaring Fork Valley for over 40 years, she is committed to preserving Colorado’s majestic environment, while protecting water, natural resources, and agricultural lands.
Dick Stermer
Dick Stermer has lived in Colorado full time since Thanksgiving 1997, and has been enjoying Colorado and specifically Custer County since 1990. He and his wife Audrey spend a good deal of their time with their four children and eight grandchildren; traveling; nurturing and supporting several local non-profits, as well as a couple from their home back east, namely John Hopkins Hospital and St. Vincent de Paul of Balt. They also handle most of the routine duties of a property manager for their family LLLP.
Bill Vollbracht - Director Emeritus
Bill Vollbracht is from Wichita Kansas and has been in Colorado since 1960. He is Chairman of Land Title Guarantee, a company he founded in 1967. He enjoys golf, staying at his ranch in Evergreen and visiting with his two grandchildren. Being on the COL Board has been a rewarding experience participating in the preservation of Colorado land for future generations
Amanda Weaver
Dr. Amanda Weaver of Wheat Ridge is an urban agricultural researcher and senior instructor of geography at University of Colorado at Denver. She
owns the thirteen-acre Five Fridges Farm, which is permanently protected under conservation easement with Colorado Open Lands. Dr. Weaver frequently
hosts agricultural demonstrations on her property where she keeps bees, grows vegetables, tends goats, and makes cheese and yogurt. Dr. Weaver received her first bachelor’s degree from the University of Minnesota, a master’s degree from the University of Texas at Austin, and a Ph.D. at University of Denver.
Jennifer Weddle
Jennifer Weddle is a Denver resident and the Co-Chair of Greenberg Traurig’s National American Indian Law Practice. She has wide-ranging experience in Indian law, handling a variety of matters for tribal and non-tribal clients. She has experience in the areas of tribal jurisdiction and natural resources development on tribal lands. Her work also includes significant public lands, water and endangered species work. She handles complex inter-jurisdictional disputes often centered on natural resource management issues.
John Woodard - Treasurer
John Woodard has spent over 25 years in the private equity industry. He began his career in The First Boston Corporation’s Management Buyout Group, where he worked with the team that would go on to form Vestar. In 1988, he left to join Wesray Capital Corporation, whose principals provided Vestar’s initial seed capital. Two years later, John joined Vestar as a Vice President. He later spent two years as a Managing Director in the private equity practice at The Blackstone Group, but returned to Vestar in 1998 as a Managing Director in the Denver office. He led the firm’s Industrial practice, served on its investment committee and spent three years in Japan running Vestar’s Asian operations. John earned his BA in Economics, with honors, from Williams College. Originally from Atlanta, Georgia, he has lived in Denver for the last fifteen years with his wife and three sons. He enjoys cycling, fly fishing and skiing.
Ruth Wright
Moving to Colorado in the late 1950s, Ruth witnessed huge population growth and has worked for decades to preserve Colorado’s natural heritage.  After enjoying great success as a citizen conservation activist, Ruth was elected to the Colorado House of Representatives in 1980, where she held the role of House Minority Leader from 1986-1992. While serving in the House of Representatives, Wright continued to be a champion for the environment, earning recognition from groups such as the Colorado Wildlife Foundation, the ACLU, and the Sierra Club.  With a passion for open space, Ruth is an enthusiastic member of the COL Board. 

Foundation Board of Directors

Ingrid Carlson Barrier
Ingrid Carlson Barrier is a proud Denver, Colorado native. In her career as an attorney, she has served as a Deputy District Attorney in Denver, as a lawyer in private practice with a natural resources litigation emphasis, and now serves as an attorney for the Colorado Attorney General’s Office. She loves to take advantage of urban and rural Colorado outdoor spaces with her husband and two daughters.
Russell Caldwell
Russell Caldwell is the President of The Russell Caldwell Company, a municipal financial advisory company formed in the last quarter of 2012 after thirty-one continuous years in the municipal bond business. His career spanned six firms all of which were based in Denver, Colorado. Additionally, Mr. Caldwell served as Director of the Division of Commerce and Development for the State of Colorado from 1976 to 1981. Mr. Caldwell has been a guest lecturer at the University of Colorado School of Business, the Mesa Sate College MPA program and has taught a technical series on assessment district finance at the Denver Regional Council of Governments.
Martin Herz - President
Martin Herz grew up exploring the woods of Southern New England. After living in California and Chicago, he has now called Colorado home for more than fifteen years. Martin spent several decades in the commercial real estate industry, primarily focused on arranging debt transactions for apartment and healthcare facility owners. He is now focused on managing investments for a small family office and being an active father to his two children. Martin earned a B.A. in Biology from Pomona College and a M.B.A. with a concentration in Finance from The University of Chicago Booth School of Business. Martin holds the Chartered Financial Analyst designation. In his free time, you can find Martin hiking or cycling all over the Front Range. He is an avid telemark skier, and an aspiring alpine touring racer.
Will Morgan
Will Morgan is a Colorado native and has lived everywhere else, but always comes back to Colorado. Currently, he is Director of Impact at Sonen Capital, an investment management firm dedicated to impact investing. Will has also worked in international development, social enterprise and philanthropy. He spends as much time as he can in the snow!
Dan Pike
Dan Pike has worked in the conservation real estate field for over forty years in both the for-profit and non-profit sectors. He has completed many complex conservation transactions involving a wide-range of legislative, administration and private-sector real estate tools and incentives. He has served on several non-profit boards and public commissions, has managed several organizations, and is a frequent public speaker.

After working in the Illinois and Washington D.C. offices of The Nature Conservancy, Dan came to Colorado in 1975 as Director of the organization’s Rocky Mountain Field Office, managing programs in Colorado, Utah, New Mexico and Wyoming. A founder and principal in the Western Land Group, he specialized in completing land exchanges with government agencies from 1981 to 1996. Dan was hired as President of Colorado Open Lands in 1997. He was a founding Board member of both the Gunnison Ranchland Conservation Legacy, a non-profit agricultural land preservation group in Gunnison County, and the Mountain Area Land Trust in Evergreen, Colorado. He is past Vice-Chairman of the Colorado Coalition of Land Trusts, and has served on several committees for the Land Trust Alliance. He has also served on three Governor’s Open Space Commissions, and was the first chair of the Conservation Easement Oversight Commission, established by the legislature to provide oversight to the State’s conservation easement program.

Dan received his BA from Northwestern University, and is a graduate of the University of Colorado Real Estate Institute.

Rod Slifer
Rod Slifer is a Colorado native and has been in Vail since its beginning in 1962. He served as Mayor 11 of the 16 years he served on the Town Council. He is a partner in Slifer Smith & Frampton, a Real Estate Brokerage firm. Rod resides in Vail with his wife Beth and daughter Alexandra.
John Woodard - Treasurer
John Woodard has spent over 25 years in the private equity industry. He began his career in The First Boston Corporation’s Management Buyout Group, where he worked with the team that would go on to form Vestar. In 1988, he left to join Wesray Capital Corporation, whose principals provided Vestar’s initial seed capital. Two years later, John joined Vestar as a Vice President. He later spent two years as a Managing Director in the private equity practice at The Blackstone Group, but returned to Vestar in 1998 as a Managing Director in the Denver office. He led the firm’s Industrial practice, served on its investment committee and spent three years in Japan running Vestar’s Asian operations. John earned his BA in Economics, with honors, from Williams College. Originally from Atlanta, Georgia, he has lived in Denver for the last fifteen years with his wife and three sons. He enjoys cycling, fly fishing and skiing.

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