Panel Discussions | Next-Gen Engagement and Cultural Relevancy

Participants self-select to one of three panel discussions to explore a related topic with subject-matter experts. Following each discussion, participants convene in small groups to interact directly with panelists.

Session 1: Building a Better Pipeline

Location: Teton Room

The creation of professional development opportunities for emerging leaders and young staff members across sectors of the stakeholder coalition can help develop a more diverse workforce and constituent base. Panelists discuss how to move the next generation of stewards past volunteer/youth corps positions to longer-term career pathways.

Panel Host: Drew Lehnerd


– David Vela,  Superintendent, Grand Teton National Park


–  Maite Arce, Executive Director, Hispanic Access Foundation

Brenna Muller, Program Manager, Outdoor Alliance for Kids; Nearby Nature Program Manager, The Sierra Club

Alex Klein, Vice President and General Manager, Grand Teton Lodge Company and Flagg Ranch Company

Joshua Tuck, Regional Youth Volunteer Program Manager Assistant, National Park Service

Session 2: Outdoor Recreation and Cultural Relevancy

Location: Grand Room

Active engagement with the outdoors has produced some of the country’s strongest and most inspiring conservation leaders. Today, with the constituencies of conservation aging, outdoor recreation offers a remarkable opportunity to reinvigorate our economy, public health and the protection of our public lands—but only if it becomes more relevant to and inclusive of communities of color and urban millennials. This panel discussion looks at some of the success stories in the efforts to do just that.

Panel Host: Sawyer Connelly


– Grace Anderson, National Manager, Inspiring Connections Outdoors Program, The Sierra Club


Aparna Rajagopal-Durbin, Co-Founder, The Avarna Group

Georgina Miranda, Founder, Altitude-Seven

Ed Cantu, Director for Consumer Insights & Planning, Lopez Negrete Communications

Bob Ratcliffe, Director, Conservation and Recreation Programs, National Park Service

Session 3: The Millennials’ Take

Location: Timberline I

In this panel discussion, self-selected participants from the Emerging Leaders Program present their perspectives on Next-Gen Engagement and Cultural Relevancy as it relates to outdoor recreation and America’s public lands heritage. What do they believe we need to know in order to successfully engage their generation of stewards?


Chloe Decamera, Appalachian Trail Conservancy


Alfosnso Orozco, Latino Outdoors


Leandra Taylor, Middle Rio Grande Education, Employment & Environment Alliance

Maya Hunger, Emerging Leaders Program

Jas Jones, Student Conservation Association

Janet Valenzuela, Good Heart Project

Christian Gering, Conservation Legacy/Environmental Stewards


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