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Since 2014, Rebecca Jewett has been the President and Chief Executive Officer of Palmer Land Conservancy. She leads a dedicated and passionate staff in the conservation of southern Colorado’s most iconic landscapes including working farms and ranches, waterways, and outdoor recreation spaces.
Merging business savvy with nonprofit leadership, Rebecca brings a social impact lens to her work in both the nonprofit and private sectors. With over fifteen years of experience in the conservation and outdoor fields, she has guided and overseen significant regional planning initiatives and the strategic implementation of complex water and land conservation initiatives. Rebecca is also the co-founder of the tech startup, BoardSpot, which provides SaaS tools to improve the effectiveness of nonprofit boards.
Rebecca’s broad range of experience includes growing the capacity and impact of community-focused nonprofits, strategic planning, and business and operational development. She has extensive leadership experience holding executive and board member positions at numerous organizations, including founding or restructuring multiple companies and nonprofits. She received her Master of Environmental and Natural Resources Law & Policy (MRLS) from the University of Denver and a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Colorado College.
Rebecca serves as the founding chairman of the board for Keep it Colorado, as well as serves on the Land Trust Alliance's National Land Trust Leadership Council. She has been recognized by the Colorado Springs Business Journal as a Woman of Influence and Girl Scouts of Colorado Woman of Distinction. She also serves as a mentor to students and young professionals interested in the conservation field. Rebecca is deeply passionate about strengthening the impact of the nonprofit sector. As a 5th generation Coloradan, she is also personally committed to protecting Colorado’s magnificent landscape and natural heritage. She lives in Colorado Springs with her husband and two daughters.
Kristie serves as a strategic advisor and lead on external affairs to the President and CEO, and oversees all brand, marketing, philanthropy, and new market development at Palmer. Since 2019, Kristie has led Palmer's communications and philanthropy team, ensuring the implementation of strategic marketing initiatives, funding growth, and community engagement programming.
Throughout her career, Kristie has honed her craft as an organizational, brand, and communications strategist. She has worked in the water, wine, agricultural, and nonprofit sectors as a consultant, staff, and board member. In 2012, seeing the urgency and opportunity for impact, Kristie committed to private land conservation. Since that time, she has worked with diverse communities and land trusts, helping to build and amplify conservation across the West. Kristie believes deeply in the mission, people, and communities working tirelessly to protect land, nature, and water. Her vision is to support and strengthen the remarkable capacity for conservation throughout southern Colorado.
Originally from California, Kristie received her Bachelor of Arts in Economics from Sonoma State University. She moved to Westcliffe, Colorado, in 2006 and for the last ten years has lived in western Fremont County on her small ranch a stone's throw away from the Arkansas River, at the base of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. When she's not talking conservation, you will find Kristie out on the land with her daughter and horses.
Amy grew up exploring the White Mountains of New Hampshire and the Maine coastline with her family, which gave her a deep respect for nature and taught her the importance of conservation. She moved to Colorado to pursue a degree in Environmental Science at Colorado College, focusing on geomorphology and hydrology. Amy’s talents and passion for the environment led her to receive this year’s Heather Campbell Chaney Environmental Fellowship. She will spend her summer working with Palmer assisting in our land stewardship team.
Jeanine began her love with nature in her childhood years growing up in New Jersey. Abundant wooded areas and deep-rooted family farmlands were prevalent. She received her degree at UNC Charlotte where she subsequently honed her career and worked for an Italian woodworking equipment manufacturer for 22 years. After spending an exciting sabbatical living and working in Yellowstone National Park, her professional career in accounting and HR ultimately brought her to Colorado. Here, she has been living her dream amongst the beautiful landscape, abundant wildlife, and forests where she enjoys hiking, sight-seeing, and cross-country skiing. Jeanine and her family make it a point to visit America’s National Parks as often as life will allow, along with Colorado’s regional parks and fascinating historic areas. She enjoys music, playing the piano, singing choral music, and enjoys being the event and PR coordinator for a favorite local band. She has always been an advocate for land, wildlife, and environmental conservancy and is excited to be on the frontlines for southern Colorado as Palmer’s Finance Director.
Having spent her childhood on her grandparent’s farm husking corn and digging up turnips in North Carolina, Astrid has long felt connected to the land. After graduating from University of North Carolina - Charlotte with a degree in Public Health, Astrid headed west for Colorado Springs, sight unseen. For nearly a decade, she has worked in nonprofit development, helping to raise awareness and funds for the causes she cares deeply about in her community. As Palmer’s events and membership manager, Astrid is responsible for creating exceptional experiences for our members and helping them to connect with what they love most about southern Colorado. Out of the office, you can find Astrid biking the trails, boating on the Arkansas River, reading, or simply playing outside.
Dillon, an Alabama native, joined Palmer Land Conservancy after working for the Salazar Center for North American Conservation. As the Pueblo-based community conservation manager, he is responsible for helping to advance critical agricultural, and community-building projects that are of local, state, and national importance. Receiving his Masters of Business Administration from Colorado State University, Dillon is an avid outdoorsman who enjoys exploring wild places with a camera, bow, or fly rod in hand. When Dillon does have cell service, you can find him in the kitchen connecting his experiences from the field to his table.
Growing up in the southern part of the U.S, Savannah spent much of her childhood enjoying the Appalachian Mountains. She earned her Bachelor of Arts degree from Berry College in Georgia and has worked and lived on multiple ranches across the West, including Chico Basin Ranch, where she gained valuable hands-on experience in ranching and holistic land stewardship and management. Before Palmer, Savannah was with the Rocky Mountain Field Institute and studied holistic land management through the Quivira Coalition. Savannah resides on a ranch off Fountain Creek in eastern El Paso County and enjoys helping with vegetable harvests and livestock brandings, hunting for rare fossils, and romping around with her dog.
Ed’s background combines over 16 years of finance and real estate experience with a life-long love of open space and wild places. A North Carolina native, Ed moved West in 2005 to work in western ranch brokerage, representing a diverse set of clients including multigenerational ranching families, conservation groups, Fortune 500 companies, private equity funds, and ski resorts. Prior to joining Palmer, Ed served as an advisor, consultant, and board member for numerous Colorado land trusts, which solidified his passion for protecting western landscapes and communities. He holds both a Bachelor of Arts in Economics and a Master of Business Administration with a concentration in finance from Wake Forest University, giving him a quantitative, data-driven approach to conservation transactions. Away from the office, Ed can usually be found high in the mountains—trail running, camping, climbing, fishing, and hiking with his wife and two young daughters—or voraciously reading history and hosting the Mountain & Prairie Podcast.
Amber joined Palmer Land Conservancy in 2015, bringing with her over a decade of conservation and ecological experience. She currently oversees conservation in the Pikes Peak Region, as well as stewardship for all of Palmer’s protected properties. Born and raised in the Midwest, hiking, camping, cross-country skiing, and visiting Wisconsin's many lakes sparked an early love of the outdoors. Amber has worked for The Nature Conservancy, Fish and Wildlife Service, BLM, Colorado State University, the Great Basin Institute, and the Rocky Mountain Field Institute. She currently serves on the Arkansas River Basin Roundtable as the Environmental At Large Representative and is the Treasurer for the Arkansas River Watershed Collaborative. Amber received her Master in Ecology from Colorado State University, Fort Collins, and a Bachelor of Science in Biology and Wildlife from the University of WI – Stevens Point.
Lindsey grew up in an Air Force family, moving every few years. While her location changed, her love for exploring the woods, creeks, and all of the places in between always remained. When she moved to Colorado Springs in 2005 and witnessed its stunning scenery and outdoor recreation opportunities, Lindsey quickly realized Colorado was home. Lindsey holds a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration from Adams State University. When not working, you can find her volunteering in the community, spending time with family and friends, and enjoying the Colorado sunshine.
Emma is a lifelong nature lover who brings a passion for open spaces and a professional background in real estate consulting to Palmer. Emma began her career as an environmental planner in Boston, where she interpreted and secured complex regulatory approvals on behalf of diverse public, private, and institutional clients. Coming from a long family history in agriculture, she also gained firsthand experience in local food production as a field crew member at Appleton Farms, one of the oldest continuously operating farms in the country. Emma has a Bachelor of Urban and Environmental Planning from the University of Virginia’s School of Architecture and a Graduate Certificate in Natural Resource Management and Sustainable Ecosystems from Harvard’s Extension School. She is an avid hiker, gardener, and enthusiast of all things outdoors.
Growing up on a small lake in Massachusetts surrounded by conserved land, Lauryn discovered the great outdoors at an early age. She spent her youth exploring the New England woods, working at a local apple orchard, and teaching horseback riding at a summer camp before moving west. Lauryn holds a Bachelor of Arts in Digital Media Studies from the University of Denver. For the last ten years, she’s worked exclusively at nonprofit organizations developing storytelling and communications strategies. She joined Palmer Land Conservancy after several years with the Colorado Chapter of The Nature Conservancy, where she led a multitude of multimedia communications projects to highlight their conservation work across the state. When Lauryn is not working on Palmer’s latest storytelling efforts, you might find her out hiking, camping, or shooting wildlife photography.
Lee has always loved natural landscapes. His early years were influenced by the rich soils of the Pennsylvania Piedmont and the ancient craggy pinnacles of the Appalachians. Wanderlust and the expansiveness of the West, as well as skiing western powder, enticed Lee to complete a Bachelor of Science from the College of Forestry and Natural Resources, CSU-Fort Collins, and a Master of Arts in Teaching in Integrated Natural Sciences, Colorado College. He has spent more than thirty years in private and public science education, most recently working as a science curriculum specialist at Colorado College. He has visited conservation easements for Palmer Land Conservancy for 15 years and served on the Board of Trustees for four years. Lee vividly remembers his first Palmer property visit, sharing a property walk and stories of the land with 4th generation rancher, Robert. Currently, he is also a board member of the Rocky Mountain Field Institute.
A Colorado native, Ken has a life-long love of the outdoors. The grandson of a Cripple Creek miner, he was born and raised in Colorado Springs. Ken skied and hiked as a child and developed a passion for mountain biking as a student at Colorado State University in Fort Collins. Later, he became a private pilot like his father. Ken returned to Colorado Springs to start a business—AGL Drone Services, which provides "Solutions With Altitude"—and to raise his own family. In 2017, he began working with Palmer Land Conservancy to explore the potential of drone technology and its effectiveness for “visiting” conservation easement properties. As a licensed drone professional and technologist, Ken has pioneered “aerial solutions” that give Palmer Land Trust unique and comprehensive perspectives of conserved properties.
Prior to beginning her career as a park ranger, Melissa earned a Bachelor of Arts in Biology from St. Mary's College of Maryland and a Master of Science in Natural Resource-Based Recreation from Virginia Tech. As a college student, she spent five summers working for the Boy Scouts of America in New Mexico and developed a love for the Front Range of the Rockies. In 2013, she and her family moved to Colorado Springs, and she took a full-time position as a natural resource specialist for the City of Colorado Springs Parks Department from 2014-2017. Today, Melissa currently balances her conservation work with "mom duties" and volunteer jobs and serves on the Board of Directors of the Rocky Mountain Field Institute. In 2019 she served, for her first time, as a contract land monitor in the Pikes Peak Region. She is a certified interpretive guide and a Leave No Trace trainer who brings weed management expertise to the Palmer team. As a seasoned professional and a parent, Melissa recognizes the importance of conserving land to protect southern Colorado’s scenic backdrop, recreational opportunities, and clean water.
For 44 years, Rick’s professional career was focused on conserving soil and water resources as a Soil Scientist, Soil Conservationist, and District Conservationist. He graduated from the University of Wisconsin's College of Agriculture and Life Sciences with a Bachelor of Science in Natural Resources and a major in Soil Science. He began his career at the University of Wisconsin Cooperative Extension, moved to a Michigan Soil and Water Conservation District, and finished with a long stint with the USDA Soil Conservation Service/Natural Resources Conservation Service in Colorado. Based in southeastern Colorado, he learned of the work Palmer was doing—its efforts to conserve working agricultural lands, wildlife habitat, majestic scenery, and properties of historical significance—and resolved to inquire about part-time opportunities with Palmer when he retired from the NRCS. Rick joined Palmer to serve as a contract land monitor in 2015 and returns every year for the privilege of visiting the exceptional properties that Palmer protects and their owners who share his love of Colorado.