Mickey Fearn has been a public servant, parks, recreation, and conservation professional for over 50 years. He is currently a Professor of Practice in the North Carolina State University’s School of Natural Resources.
From 2008 to 2013 he served as the National Park Service’s Deputy Director for Communications and Community Assistance. His responsibilities included Community Engagement and Outreach, Communications, Public Affairs, Strategic Planning, Youth Programs, International Affairs, Partnerships, Legislative and Congressional Affairs, Policy, State and Local Assistance Programs.
Before his tenure at the National Park Service, Mickey worked in Seattle, where he held positions as:
In addition, Mickey led the creation of the architecture to end youth violence in the City of Seattle, and developed programs connecting young people with nature.
Mickey served as a Washington State Parks and Recreation Commissioner for 12 years. Prior to his work in Seattle, Mickey worked for the Governor of California and the California Department of Parks and Recreation as Community Outreach Specialist. He served the Mayor of Oakland California as the Coordinator of Special Projects, Community Outreach and Community Organization.
Mickey serves on the Boards of Directors of Groundwork USA, the City Parks Alliance, the Core Network, Northbay Environmental Learning Center, on the Board of Advisors for the University of Vermont Rubenstein School of Natural Resources, and on the State Park Leadership School Board of Regents.
Mickey earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Recreation and Park Administration from California State University, Sacramento, and his Master of Science Degree in Recreation and Leisure Studies from the University of Oregon.
Dr. Suzanne Bartlett Hackenmiller is an OB-Gyn and Integrative Medicine physician who resides in Cedar Falls, Iowa. She completed OB-Gyn residency at Western Pennsylvania-Temple University in Pittsburgh and is a fellowship graduate of the University of Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine. She is board certified by both the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology and the American Board of Integrative Medicine. She holds additional certifications in herbal medicine and is a certified forest therapy guide. She currently serves as medical director for the Association of Nature and Forest Therapy and as medical advisor for the organization, AllTrails.
She is the author of an award-winning children’s book about autism called “A Friend Like John, Understanding Autism,” and speaks nationally and internationally about autism, integrative medicine, and nature therapy. Her book, “The Outdoor Adventurer’s Guide to Forest Bathing,” by Falcon Guides, was released in July 2019. Suzanne and her husband Joe are avid outdoor enthusiasts and lead workshops combining outdoor adventure and the mindful practice of forest bathing.
Sandy Schultz Hessler’s passion is to help people and teams catalyze the power within for maximum health, growth and success. She has over 30 years experience in business from blue chips to start ups along with a lifetime of study on human potential and consciousness.
She began her career in brand management at Procter & Gamble, then cofounded a start up called Imagitas which sold to Pitney Bowes in 2005 for $265 million. She has taught leadership, communications and marketing at Tufts, Miami of Ohio and Harvard Kennedy School where she served as Assistant Dean, running the office of career advancement, field experience and internships for students. For the last six years she has co-created and taught the Start Up Intensive—a 20-week intensive entrepreneurial training program in Jackson Wyoming through Central Wyoming College—while also doing private leadership coaching and consulting. She has her undergraduate degree from Northwestern University, and advanced degrees from Harvard, Miami of Ohio and the University of Santa Monica.
Whether she’s running a brand, climbing the world’s tallest mountains, raising five beloved children, teaching, or co-founding a start-up, Sandy lives her life joyfully and intentionally.
Len Necefer, Board Chair: A member of the Navajo Nation and the founder and owner of NativesOutdoors, which shares the photos and stories of indigenous people outdoors and in outdoor recreation, Dr. Len Necefer (ELP ’17) holds a Ph.D. in Engineering and Public Policy from Carnegie Mellon University, a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Kansas, and is a graduate of the United World College of the American West. His current research interests focus upon the intersection of society, culture, and technical environmental and energy system modeling. In his free time Len is an avid mountaineer, climber, cyclist, and amateur race car driver and mechanic.
Frederick Reimers is a correspondent for Outside Magazine, writing on such topics as the political impact of the outdoor industry and the health benefits of being outdoors. He is the former editor of Canoe and Kayak magazine and has contributed to Men’s Journal, Sports Illustrated, Powder, and Bloomberg Business. He grew up at century-old canoe tripping camp Keewaydin in Temagami, Ontario, where his father was the director, and spent nine years leading expeditions for Outward Bound in Utah, Colorado, Alaska, and Mexico. He helped pioneer whitewater runs in Peru, India and Washington state. His family has called Jackson Hole home since 1991.
Jess Saba, of Good Point Projects, supports socially and environmentally focused businesses and leaders. Jess develops and manages corporate philanthropic giving programs that support conservation, restoration and preservation of land, water and wildlife. She is a member of the B Corporation Climate Leadership Collective.
Jess grew up in the White Mountain National Forest in New Hampshire, where she developed a deep appreciation for pristine and protected ecosystems. She created the Cast Iron Dinner Club to introduce people to the joys of cooking outdoors. Jess hopes to preserve access to outdoor experiences for future generations.
Gerben Scherpbier (ELP ’17) is a Masters of Public Policy student at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, where he is focused on public lands and outdoor recreation. Prior to starting at the Kennedy School, Gerben was the Youth Programming Manager for the Appalachian Mountain Club’s Youth Opportunities Program in Boston, Massachusetts.
Gerben spent four seasons working as a ranger in Yellowstone National Park—two as a crew leader with the Youth Conservation Corps, and two as a protection ranger. He studied earth science and economics at Dartmouth College and served as the president of the Dartmouth Outing Club and the director of their First Year Trips outdoor orientation program.
Tanner Yess (ELP ’16) was raised by scientists, and grew up paddling, pedaling, and planting trees. Whether on the trail or in the lab, he learned how to hustle in settings that lacked diverse representation. After earning a degree in environmental science and restoration, he worked on a fishing vessel in the Bering Sea. His Peace Corps service involved resource management, education and eco-tourism. During graduate school, Tanner helped form Greater Cincinnati’s Tri-State Trails Coalition. He is a National Park Service Mountains to Main Street Ambassador; SHIFT Emerging Leader; and recipient of the 2018 Murie Center Rising Leader Award. As part of Groundwork USA he builds programs that connect communities to nature through recreation, science, and jobs. Tanner’s passion is creating new pathways for urban youth to access green careers.
Julie Pierce Williams is Principal of Kirtan Solutions, a boutique consulting firm committed to building high-performing, high-impact organizations that work to improve opportunities for others. Known by many as the “Transformation Guru,” Julie specializes in solving unique business problems and community challenges. With over 35 years of experience in the corporate, non-profit and federal space, she has transformed organizations and communities across the country. She is an accomplished gender, diversity and racial equity expert and author, as well as a gifted organizational management change authority.
Julie was as an Appointee in the Obama Administration where she was the architect of “Every Kid in a Park” – President Obama’s program to provide fourth graders free access to federal lands and waters. Enacted into law under the 115th Congress, Julie orchestrated seven federal land management agencies, multiple national business and community partners and led the inaugural initiative focused on reaching urban, rural and children of color.
Julie takes on large-scale engagement, leadership development, workforce management, diversity and business initiatives that create change and drive impact. She served as a lead member of the Design Team for the WK Kellogg Foundation’s national Truth, Racial Healing and Transformation initiative, a community-based process to plan for and bring about transformational and sustainable change, addressing the historic and contemporary effects of racism.
Julie holds an M.A. in Psychological Counseling with an emphasis on Racial Identity from Teachers College, Columbia University and she is a proud undergraduate alumna of the historical black college Clark Atlanta University. Julie sits on the Board of Directors of Harlem Grown, The Corps Network, and The Center for Jackson Hole, and she serves as an Adviser to Brains On! And The Potrero Group.
At SHIFT, we believe the coalition of stakeholders working to protect our natural world has the potential to become a movement. Outdoor recreationalists, land managers, health care professionals and conservationists realize their greatest opportunities for effectiveness when they address issues of common concern with a unified voice. Working together to achieve shared objectives, our ability to champion public health and our natural world in a time of unprecedented threat is extraordinary.
One of the greatest threats to the movement’s success is fragmentation. Compartmentalization of work, replication of effort, lack of communication between principals, and conflict between natural allies are just a few of the challenges that conspire against a united whole.
Jackson Hole wildlife biologist Olaus Murie used to say, “It’s going to take all of us to do it.” Until our efforts to protect our natural world represent the rights and interests of all people, we won’t be strong enough to succeed.
By uniting natural allies and combining the protection of the natural world with health, business, and responsible recreation, The Center for Jackson Hole’s programs advance ideas and initiatives that are revitalizing the American conservation movement. In an increasingly partisan political landscape, these programs also represent a uniquely nonpartisan effort to protect our natural world. With your help, we look forward to creating a unified framework for its stewardship.