Trees, Water & People Staff

Richard Fox, Executive Director
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Sebastian Africano, International Director
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Gemara Gifford, Development Director
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Diane Vella, Finance and Administration Director
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Lucas Wolf, Assistant International Director
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John Motley, Assistant National Director
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Amanda Haggerty, Data and IT Manager
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Molly Geppert, Marketing Manager
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Kiva, Office Dog
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Richard Fox

Richard Fox, Executive Director and Cofounder

Executive Director and fearless leader, Richard Fox, cofounded Trees, Water & People in 1998 after a long career in forestry and natural resource conservation. Inspired by his passion for the environment and his love of people, he is TWP's "Keeper of the Vision", managing our day-to-day operations, building alliances, and planning for a greater future. In his free time, Richard enjoys gardening, fire spinning, and spending time with his children and grandchildren.

Sebastian Africano

Sebastian Africano, International Director

Sebastian Africano, Trees, Water & People's International Director, first joined TWP in 2005 as a Marketing Intern for our clean cookstove program in Honduras. He returned to TWP in 2009 and currently manages our clean cookstove, solar energy and reforestation programs in Central America and Haiti. He has a BS in International Business and Marketing from Penn State University, and was selected as a fellow of Santa Clara University's Global Social Benefit Incubator in 2011, and of Colorado State University's Center for Collaborative Conservation in 2012. When Sebastian isn't working abroad, you can find him tending to his garden with his wife and son (the cutest baby we know) by his side.

Jamie Folsom

Jamie Folsom, National Director

Jamie Folsom, the National Director for TWP, is a tribal member of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma with a background in program management, science education and communications. She manages the Tribal Renewable Energy Program to provide trainings and facilitate business development for Tribal families and communities that wish to invest in sustainable energy systems and affordable eco-friendly homes. She is devoted to working with Native communities from the perspective of improving overall community and environmental wellness. Jamie enjoys hiking, rafting, photography, indigenous foods, and hanging out with family and her dog Pasha.

Gemara Gifford

Gemara Gifford, Development Director

Gemara Gifford (aka “Gem”), is Trees, Water & People’s Director of Development. She first joined TWP in 2016 as an International Intern writing grants for our Climate Smart Agriculture program in Honduras. In her new role, Gem raises funds and develops projects for TWP’s International and National programs with an emphasis on biodiversity conservation and sustainable livelihoods. Gem brings to TWP her extensive background in wildlife conservation, community-based development, and a lifelong experience of working with marginalized communities, critters, and habitats in the US and Latin America. She completed her M.S. in Natural Resources at Cornell University as a Gates Millennium Scholar, and her B.S. in Zoology at Colorado State University as a Distinguished First Generation Student Scholar. When Gem isn’t writing grants or talking about birds, you can find her singing in Old Town, or blogging about student affairs in higher education.

Diane Vella

Diane Vella, Finance and Administration Director

Director of Finance and Administration since 2007, Diane Vella brings her years of accounting experience to maintain TWP's financial health, as well as managing our Human Resource Department. When she isn't crunching numbers, you can find her working with local animal welfare organizations, playing the piano, or cruising around town on her bike.

John Motley

John Motley, Assistant National Director

John Motley is the Assistant National Director. He works directly with the Tribal Renewable Energy Program to organize renewable energy workshops, solar furnace installations, and to develop local partnerships. John graduated from the University of Colorado at Boulder with an Environmental Studies degree focusing on renewable energy and development. Before joining the TWP family John worked for a national non-profit focusing on renewable energy and clean water protection. In his free time he likes to bike, hike, and attempt to plan his wedding with his fiancé.

Lucas Wolf

Lucas Wolf, Assistant International Director

Lucas Wolf spent most of the last five years learning the ropes of the USAID contracting world, but previously spent significant chunks of time in Central and South America. First, as a Peace Corps volunteer with the youth development program in Honduras, and then as a Rotary World Peace Fellow at the Universidad del Salvador in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Currently based in Nicaragua, Lucas will help to coordinate our projects in Central America. A Fort Collins guy through and through despite lots of years in other locales – he’s excited to be working for an NGO based out of his hometown that is also active in Central America, Haiti, and the Tribal Lands of the US.

Amanda Haggerty

Amanda Haggerty, Data and IT Manager

Amanda Haggerty joined the TWP team in 2009 as the Data and IT Manager. She has a Bachelor of Science in Natural Resource Management and Geographic Information Systems from Colorado State University. She has a passion for science and technology and enjoys having an opportunity to use her skills for good and not evil. When Amanda isn't querying the database, tinkering with our network, or staring at this website, she likes to work with her hands: sewing, knitting, or building things, like robots who will eventually take over the world...for good.

Megan Maiolo-Heath

Megan Maiolo-Heath, Marketing Manager

Megan Maiolo-Heath, TWP's Marketing Manager, has been with us since 2009, when she started as a young and idealistic intern eager to save the world. She has a Bachelor's degree in psychology from the University of Colorado Boulder and a Masters of Public Administration from the University of Colorado Denver. Megan enjoys finding new ways to use technology for social good and she is the voice of all of our communications. In her free time, she loves exploring the outdoors of Colorado by foot, bike, kayak, or snowboard.

Molly Geppert

Molly Geppert, Marketing Manager

Molly Geppert was born and raised in Fort Collins. She got her start at TWP as an International Development intern and has since moved up to marketing manager. She earned her Bachelor’s degrees in Environmental Studies and German at the University of Colorado, and her two Master’s degrees in Natural Resources and Sustainable Development and Internal Affairs through a dual degree program with American University in Washington, DC and the United Nations Mandated University for Peace in Costa Rica. Outside of the TWP office, Molly is either wrangling kids at her other part time job, playing board games with friends, or hanging out in the mountains with her family and dog.

Kiva

Kiva, Office Dog

Kiva is our beloved office dog and an important member of the TWP team. She is well known for giving free hugs and kisses to anyone that asks. She is also an escape artist, and frequently jumps out of windows to find her owner, Amanda Haggerty.