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Board of Directors

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Dorothy Whalen

Dorothy has fond memories of being a “free-range” child while spending summers with her grandmother in northern Michigan where nearby woods and lake provided the background for many day-long adventures. Because of Wild Bear, Dorothy’s granddaughters get to enjoy some of the same joys of exploring the great outdoors, just a little more supervised.

Dorothy has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan, College of Engineering, a Master of Business Administration from the University of Southern California, and a Masters’ in human development and family studies from Colorado State University. She last worked as an adjunct instructor at Front Range Community College teaching sociology and gender courses. She retired at the end of the fall 2014 semester after 16 years of teaching. Dorothy is a docent at the Rocky Mountain Quilt Museum besides her service on Wild Bear’s board.  She enjoys traveling with her husband and one of her greatest joys is watching the elk as they walk behind her house.

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Amber joined Wild Bear’s board in 2014 out of a desire to give back to the community and her passion for environmental education. By day, Amber is a content marketer and freelance writer. Amber has a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Boise State University and a Masters’ in holistic health studies with a focus on environmental health from St. Catherine University.

Born and raised in Minnesota – with a two-year stint in Idaho – Amber moved to Nederland in 2012 with the intention of trying something new, living more intentionally and surrounding herself and her family with the great outdoors. For fun, Amber enjoys teaching yin yoga, mountain biking, hiking with her puppies, identifying wildflowers and relaxing in the sunshine.

Laura Wilkins

Laura and her husband moved to Nederland after living in Illinois when her only daughter enrolled in college. Laura joined the Wild Bear board in 2016. She has always had a passion for fostering education through animals and nature which explains her work with the Brookfield Zoo since 2002.  She now works remotely for the zoo in Brookfield, IL as their Manager of Budgeting, Forecasting, and Grant Administration. Laura graduated with a bachelor’s in accounting and an MBA from Benedictine University in Lisle, IL. She is also a Certified Public Accountant.

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Dave McElvain

Dave joined Wild Bear in 2017, shortly after moving to Nederland. A native of Delaware and southeastern Pennsylvania, Dave earned a bachelor’s in Economics from Pennsylvania State University. He has worked in housing and in IT, first as a carpenter, than working as a builder.  Moving to IT, he worked as a network consultant for a number of years and then as a Realtor for Long & Foster in the mid-Atlantic.

Dave and his wife came to Colorado looking for adventure and better opportunities to be outdoors. He enjoys travel, motorcycling, skiing, hiking, brewing, and photography.

Sally Brady
Board member and Community Engagement Committee Co-Chair

Sally has lived in the Nederland area for over 20 years. Growing up in eastern Pennsylvania, her late father was an ornithologist who influenced her interest of bird watching and the environment.  Summers were spent by the ocean in Cape May Point, NJ, where migratory birds are historically counted. She traveled with her father on many birding trips from Maine to Brazil, building an avian glossary.  Sally’s family business  was a retail art and photo supplies store. Sally earned a fine arts degree, and uses many mediums to express her art, recently creating papier mâché songbirds (check them out at Wild Bear.)  During her time in Nederland, Sally has worked for a local HVAC service company as a customer service representative. As she prepares to retire, she is dedicated to serving Wild Bear to enrich its mission statement.

Brian Curtis
Board member and Community Engagement Committee Co-Chair

Brian is a few months shy of being a native Coloradan, having moved to the state just before his first birthday. Since then, he’s gotten around … including stints in Maine, Scotland, Sweden, Washington (both the state and DC), Vietnam, France and Australia. With an undergraduate degree in Sociology and Economics, an MA in Cultural Studies, and an MBA, Brian has – perhaps overzealously – pursued his passion for learning. It is due to this dedication to the power of education, along with his love for the outdoors, that Brian joined the board of Wild Bear in 2018. When the sun is shining, Brian can usually be found with his wife and dog, doing all the usual things that Coloradans enjoy: skiing, biking, hiking, climbing, paddling, and drinking good beer.

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Hillary Katz

Both of Hillary’s elementary-age children have attended Wild Bear since age 5. Hillary joined Wild Bear’s board in 2019 to give back to the programs that have nourished her family for the past number of years. Hillary grew up in Western Massachusetts and from a young age has always had a penchant for travel and exploration. By the time she was 21, Hillary had visited five continents, exploring the wild lands and natural spaces to learn about the ecology of each. Hillary attended Prescott College in Arizona with a focus in Natural History and Sustainable Communities. After Prescott, Hillary moved to Colorado and has been here for more than 15 years. When not working, volunteering, or mothering Hillary can be found adventuring in the wilds outside of Nederland. She enjoys, hiking, wild crafting, birding, snowboarding, cross-country ski touring, high altitude gardening, and kayaking.

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Jacob R. Harmon
Vice Chair and Fund Development Committee Chair

Jacob’s love of the mountains began growing up in rural north Georgia. After high school, Jacob explored the mountains of the Pacific Northwest. Then, after living in the Sierra Nevada for nearly a decade, Jacob and his family moved to Colorado, and finally to Nederland in 2019. Shortly after arriving in town, Jacob joined the board of Wild Bear in the hopes of sharing his passion for outdoor education and the appreciation of wild places.

Jacob brings more than 15 years of non-profit leadership experience to the Board of Directors and currently serves as the Executive Director of Voices for Children, a child-welfare organization in Boulder. Jacob earned his B.A. in Literature from Reed College in Portland, Oregon and his Masters’ Degree in Literature and Environment from the University of Nevada, Reno. He is currently working to earn an MBA from the University of Colorado.