Meet Our Board.

Through regular meetings, the Collaborative Board offers substantive expertise and critical stakeholder perspectives to its oversight role, representing the entire geographic scope of the project area to assure consistency, coordination and integration across the County.

Responsibilities include:

  • Overall oversight/direction to CAP implementation

  • Budget development and oversight

  • Secure annual funding support

  • Coordination of working groups

  • Project approval, oversight, decision-making

  • Accountability oversight – including tracking and reporting

  • Education and outreach oversight – ensuring consistency/branding of sector education and outreach

Gail Garey

Board Chair – City of Steamboat Springs, City Council Member District I

Gail Garey began her first term on City Council after winning the District I seat in the November 2021 election. Her campaign represented that present and future generations have the opportunity to live and work in this community and enjoy all it has to offer.

Prior to securing her council seat, Garey created her own business, Impact 360 Strategies, which empowers businesses to accelerate environmentally and socially sustainable practices. She has decades of community engagement and public service, including serving as a board member for the Yampa Valley Sustainability Council and Organics Task Force. 

As her children were growing up, Garey actively volunteered in the schools and with SSWSC. While working in the telecommunication industry, she served as a board member for the Colorado Rural Technology Program, chair of the Corporate Caucus for the Western Cooperative for Educational Telecommunications and was appointed to the Colorado Advanced Technology Institute Commission.

Mathew Mendisco

Board Co-Chair – Town Manager, Town of Hayden

Mathew was born and raised in Colorado with a diverse background both personally and professionally. Growing up in a small town on the western slope of Colorado, and being raised by first- and second-generation grandparents of Hispanic and Basque origin, he grew up in a house of diversity and perspective. After graduating high school Mathew attended Fort Lewis College graduating with a degree in political science and a minor in economics. He finished his education with a masters from CU Denver in political science with an emphasis in public policy and leadership. Mathew has served as a political analyst, management assistant, and management consultant before becoming the Town Manager in Hayden where he serves as the Chief Executive Officer of the Town overseeing all operations, policy implementation, and financial management for the Town. When he is not working Mathew enjoys spending time with his family, being outdoors, music, reading, serving on various community organizations, and enjoying the simple things in life.

Geoff Blakeslee

Yampa River Project Director (retired), The Nature Conservancy

Geoff Blakeslee recently retired from The Nature Conservancy after 24 years as the Yampa River Project Director with extensive experience in ranching, land conservation, and water policy. In addition, Geoff served on a number of local community boards including: Bureau of Land Management Resource Advisory Council, The Yampa White Green River Basin Roundtable, Yampa Valley Beef Board, Community Agriculture Alliance, Yampa River Legacy Partnership, The Colorado Water Conservation Board, and the Integrated Water Management Planning Committee.

Some areas of significant accomplishments include co-founding Yampa Valley Beef, a local beef marketing cooperative. Geoff was appointed by Colorado Governor Ritter to the Colorado Water Conservation Board, and collaborated in the development of the first environmental and recreational water needs assessment for the Yampa, White and Green River Basin Roundtable.

Geoff graduated from Colorado State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Animal Science. Geoff enjoys white water rafting, cross-country skiing and cycling.

Scott Cowman

Director of Environmental Health, Routt County (alternate)

Scott Cowman has 25 years of professional experience in the Environmental field. Since 2015 he has been the Director of Environmental Health for Routt County. Prior to his work with the County, he was a Watershed Manager for the US Forest Service and an Environmental and Reclamation Manager on mined lands in Northwest Colorado. His expertise includes project management, air quality, hazardous waste, waste diversion, clean water, and consumer protection. Scott serves on the Yampa River Fund Board and Steering Committee, and recently worked with a team of local stakeholders to update the Greenhouse Gas Inventory and develop the Climate Action Plan for Routt County. He has a degree in Natural Resource Management and Watershed Sciences from Colorado State University and is a lifelong resident of Routt County.

Tegan Ebbert

Community Development Director, Town of Hayden (alternate)

Bio forthcoming.

Michael Geanious

Trustee, Town of Yampa

Steve Johnson

President and General Manager, Yampa Valley Electric Association

Steve brings over 25 years of experience in electric cooperative management and operations. In addition to 3 years with broadband Internet start up, Luminate Broadband. He is responsible for the delivery of safe, affordable and reliable electricity throughout Northwest Colorado. At Steve’s direction, YVEA staff has been involved in and supportive of local greenhouse gas inventories. He has also supported the work of the City’s green team to facilitate STAR certification and the City of Steamboat EV Readiness Plan. Steve is an expert in Stationary Energy and currently working to ready the grid for electrification of transportation.

Sarah Jones

Board Treasurer – Director of Social Responsibility, Steamboat Ski and Resort Corporation

Sarah B. Jones, Director of Social Responsibility, has more than 25 years of experience investigating, evaluating and presenting information about environmental issues. At Steamboat Ski and Resort Corporation (SSRC), she oversees operational sustainability, works with local municipalities to advance climate action, and partners with local government agencies and nonprofits on the preservation of local natural resources. Before joining the team at SSRC, Jones was Executive Director of Yampa Valley Sustainability Council for 7 years. She has also worked as an environmental consultant, managing both the technical and administrative aspects of multi-site environmental clean-up programs. She received her B.A. in Biology, Environmental Studies from Colby College, and her M.S. in Geology, Environmental Geochemistry from University of Colorado, Boulder.

Nikki Knoebel

Mayor, Town of Oak Creek

Nikki has lived in the Yampa Valley for 28 years. Her passion for all things South Routt starts with Oak Creek where she lives and as the Town’s Mayor. Her focus is on public service and her enthusiasm for helping people and her local community. Nikki supports numerous local initiatives such as the South Routt Summer and After School Kids’ programs, and the Oak Creek Labor Day, Hockey Association and South Routt Recreation Association committees. You are also likely to see Nikki on the ice playing hockey and on the alpine slopes or ski trails of Routt County, embracing her other passions that our beautiful community offers.

Sonja Macys

Routt County Commissioner, District III

Bio forthcoming.

Dakotah McGinlay

City of Steamboat Springs, City Council Member District III (alternate)


Dakotah McGinlay outpaced three other candidates to earn her first seat on City Council during the November 2021 election. Her campaign centered around community character, sustainability and health & safety.

McGinlay’s journey into public service started when she was in middle school, raising money with passionate friends for Haitian tsunami victims and to spread child abuse awareness. As a Colorado native, previous business owner and local farmer she understands small businesses and is committed to addressing the challenges they face.

At Colorado Mountain College, McGinlay served as president of the Beekeeping and Food Clubs as well as a member of Amnesty International. During her time on campus, she focused on zero waste initiatives, recycling study and compost education. In addition, she has worked with Yampa Valley Sustainability Council, SoBoat (Sober Steamboat), Community Ag Alliance and the Humane Society as well as several wildlife and marine conservation groups. She has fostered partnerships between agriculture outlets and Lift Up, Yampa Valley Autism Program, Community Cultivation, The Health Partnership and YVSC. 

Sheila Symons

Town Administrator/Clerk, Town of Yampa (alternate)

I have been with the Town of Yampa as their Town Administrator/Clerk for the last 2 years. I was laid off from my 25 year career as a corporate travel agent due to Covid.  I was blessed to receive the job as my Town’s Administrator a couple months later. I am finally doing a job that I feel I can make a difference with in all aspects of life. 

David Torgler

Town Administrator/Clerk, Town of Oak Creek (alternate)

David works as the Town Administrator/Clerk for the Town of Oak Creek, beginning in 2020. In this position he works with community leaders to provide municipal services, e.g. water, wastewater and electric utilities; land use planning, police, parks, local elections, and child care programs within amounts funded by local taxpayers. David has a Master’s degree in Public Administration specializing in Urban Management and has served communities in western Colorado since 2010. Together with his wife Carmen, they are members of a wine club in Delta County, Colorado where they grow and harvest grapes, press and ferment them and bottle the wine. They participate in church activities, including service to the community, providing meals to people in need, highway clean-up, graffiti removal and landscaping help. As a Rotarian, David has worked with club members to provide wheelchairs and walking aids to remote mountain communities in Columbia, raised funds to provide drinking water facilities for rural communities in Mexico, and raised funds for students working on nursing degrees and trade related training. David enjoys time with family and friends hiking in Colorado’s mountains and sharing good meals with games and stories.

Tim Wohlgenant

Executive Director, Yampa Valley Community Foundation

Tim is the Executive Director of the Yampa Valley Community Foundation. Established in 1979, YVCF serves Routt and Moffat County communities by supporting the enhancement of education, arts and culture, health and human services, recreation, and the environment. Prior to joining the Yampa Valley Community Foundation, Tim directed the For the Love of Colorado coalition – a collaboration of water stakeholders from across the state seeking to address the funding gap standing in the way of full implementation of Colorado’s Water Plan. 

From 2014 to 2018, Tim served as the Chief Operating Officer for The Trust for Public Land. In this role, Tim worked with leadership across the organization to carry out strategic initiatives and address challenges that confront a fast-paced, complex national land conservation organization. Tim joined the Trust for Public Land in 2007 as Colorado State Director. Under his leadership the Colorado office raised over $92 million to protect some of the state’s most precious and threatened lands for public enjoyment, and to design and build parks and natural areas where they are needed most in the Denver metro area.

Earlier in his career, Tim devoted ten years as a principal with Western Land Group, Inc., a private consulting firm specializing in public land exchange facilitation. Working in concert with Federal and State agencies, he successfully completed a number of complex, multi-party transactions involving the acquisition of conservation properties throughout the West. From 2002-2007, Tim worked with Steamboat community leaders, Routt County ranchers, and with the BLM and Colorado State Land Board managing the federal land exchange which resulted in the permanent protection of Emerald Mountain and its many public benefits. Tim holds an M.S. from the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies and a B.A. in Biology from Brown University.