The volunteer board of directors of Grand Canyon Conservancy is composed of business and community leaders who commit their time and expertise for the benefit and improvement of GCC.
Teresa Gavigan is a business leader and attorney specializing in labor and employment law. She currently is Labor Networks Leader for Mercer. She has served on many nonprofit boards and currently serves on the boards of Leadership Philadelphia, Philadelphia Theatre Company and the Sunday Breakfast Club. She and her family fell in love with Grand Canyon and have visited it numerous times over the past 40 years to hike, take a mule ride, and enjoy the North and South Rims, including a Grand Canyon Conservancy river trip. Teresa is passionate about the mission of Grand Canyon Conservancy to preserve and protect our national treasure for future generations and to enhance the visitor experience.
Mitchell Walker spent the first 18 years of his life as a third-generation resident of Grand Canyon Village on the South Rim. He received a B.S. in accounting and finance from Trinity University and was a member of the men’s basketball team. Mitchell currently serves as Executive Vice President of Commercial Lending for Jefferson Bank in San Antonio. He is a member of the advisory board for University of the Incarnate Word’s HEB School of Business Administration and previously dedicated time as a board member for Big Brothers Big Sisters of South Texas and KIPP San Antonio’s finance committee. His unique Grand Canyon upbringing means he has a rare connection to the canyon, which he’s passed on to his wife and daughter on frequent visits.
Lizabeth Ardisana is CEO of ASG Renaissance, a technical and communications firm, and Performance Driven Workforce (PDW), a scheduling and staffing firm. She is an active business and civic leader in the Michigan and Hispanic Communities, serving on the board of Huntington Bank, Focus:Hope, Kettering University, Metropolitan Affairs Coalition, Michigan Colleges Alliance, Skillman Foundation, Michigan Economic Development Corporation, Mott Foundation, and United Way of Southeastern Michigan. Beth has worked on many projects with the national parks, including the restoration of the red buses in Glacier National Park, and she enjoys hiking and rafting in the Grand Canyon.
Ann Becker is Vice President of Sustainability for APS, leading the company’s environmental stewardship, social responsibility, and corporate governance functions. She previously served as Vice President and Chief Procurement Officer and Vice President of Environmental for APS, as well as Associate General Counsel for APS’s parent company, Pinnacle West Capital Corporation. Before joining APS, she practiced environmental law with the law firm of Foley & Lardner. Ann is on the board of Downtown Phoenix Partnership, and in 2017 she received the Most Influential Women in Arizona award from Arizona Business Magazine. Ann and her husband, Brett, enjoy hiking in northern Arizona and southern Utah.
Randall Brown is a partner in the international law firm of Haynes and Boone, LLP. He has more than 35 years of experience in intellectual property law and served as the chair of the firm’s Intellectual Property Department for 15 years. He currently serves on the board of the Dallas Opera, where he is the chair of the audit committee. He fell in love with the canyon on his first visit in 2003 and has since completed seven backpacking trips and two dory river trips. Randy is passionate about preserving and protecting this sublime and majestic landscape.
Awenate is the Chairman of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation’s Executive Committee, having been appointed by the Governor of Michigan in 2019. From 2015-2020, Awenate Cobbina was the Vice President of Public and Business Affairs for Pistons Sports & Entertainment (PS&E) and the Detroit Pistons, as well as the Executive Director of the Detroit Pistons Foundation. Previously, he served almost six years in the Obama White House, including roles in the Chief of Staff’s Office, Office of Legislative Affairs, and Office of Management and Budget, including as Special Assistant to the President and Policy Advisor to the Office of the Chief of Staff immediately before joining PS&E. Awenate has rafted the Colorado River through the canyon and would like to preserve it to allow future generations to experience all that the park has to offer.
Jason Coochwytewa (Isleta Pueblo/Hopi) is the Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer for Urias Communications, a brand management, advertising, and public relations agency, overseeing the day-to-day administrative and operational functions of the agency. A seasoned professional with more than 25 years of industry experience, with special expertise in multicultural markets (particularly Native American), he has been recognized with distinguished honors including the Phoenix Business Journal’s 40 Under 40, Outstanding American Indian Man of the Year by the American Indian Excellence in Leadership Awards, and 40 Under 40 in Indian Country awarded by the National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development. Expanding access and experience to Grand Canyon National Park for youth and people from diverse backgrounds is a priority for Jason.
Nigel Finney spent most of his professional career in airport management, retiring as Deputy Executive Director of the Minneapolis-St. Paul Metropolitan Airports Commission. The last years of his career were spent overseeing the planning and implementation of a $3 billion airport development and expansion program. Nigel is a graduate of Dartmouth College and has two masters degrees from Georgia Tech. He and his wife Jeanne currently divide their time between Tonto Verde, Arizona and Flagstaff, Arizona. His exposure to Grand Canyon began in the late 1970s and over the past 40 years has included numerous backpacking and hiking trips below the rim. Nigel continues to hike Grand Canyon several times a year and is passionate about preservation of this magnificent landscape.
Eric Fraint is president and founder of Your Part-Time Controller, LLC., a national accounting firm that works with over 500 nonprofit organizations in Washington DC, Philadelphia, New York, Houston, and Phoenix. Through his firm, Eric has been involved and has advised on a full range of nonprofit accounting, financial, governance, and fundraising issues and their related best practices. Eric has been an Adjunct Professor in Drexel University’s Graduate Arts Administration Program teaching classes on financial management and at the Fels Institute of Government at the University of Pennsylvania. Eric has served on many nonprofit boards and is currently on the board of the Magee Rehabilitation Hospital Foundation in Philadelphia. He is a frequent lecturer on nonprofit financial topics for various leadership organizations and has been quoted in the press as a nonprofit subject matter expert. Eric is a graduate of the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and a Certified Public Accountant. Eric’s love for the Grand Canyon is what drew him to GCC. He has hiked the Canyon’s corridor trails for many years and has rafted the Colorado River with GCC’s Field Institute.
Deb Gage is a business leader who has spent her career in healthcare information technology. Currently President and CEO of Medecision, she has founded and led organizations that provide advanced analytics, database, and decision support technologies to improve healthcare. Under her leadership, Medecision has transformed into a market-leading provider of big data, visualization, workflow, and engagement solutions. Deb holds a B.S. in economics from the University of Michigan, and an MBA from The Ross School at University of Michigan. She is active in several community and national organizations, including the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business and its Women’s Leadership Council, and the GTMRx Institute (Get the medications right). Deb is an avid hiker of Grand Canyon and frequent National Park visitor.
Charlie Galbraith (Navajo) is a partner at Jenner & Block LLP in Washington D.C. where he serves as co-chair of the Native American Law Practice and represents Native American tribes across the country. Previously, he spent a decade working for the federal government as a staff member to a U.S. Senator and an Assistant United States Attorney in Arizona, and as the White House tribal liaison for President Barack Obama. He is passionate about ensuring people of color are represented in the outdoors community and ensuring visitors can learn about the Native people of North America. He is an avid hiker and climber who is determined to continue to explore every corner of the Grand Canyon on foot or by raft.
Terri Kline is the retired President & CEO of Health Alliance Plan (HAP) and EVP of Henry Ford Health System (HFHS). Terri has spent 35+ years working in managed care and healthcare delivery, including executive roles at Health Care Service Corporation, United Healthcare, HealthSouth, and Aetna. Terri serves on the corporate Boards of Directors of Amedisys, Intersect ENT, Discovery Health Partners, SaVida Health, and Presbyterian Health Plan. She also serves on the Board of Trustees of Kalamazoo College. She is a Limited Partner and Member of the CEO Council at Council Capital. Terri received a BA in Biology from Kalamazoo College and an MPH in Epidemiology from the University of Michigan. Terri has been visiting and hiking the National Parks from an early age and has a special affection for the Grand Canyon and its spectacular, colorful vistas.
Alejandra Lillo is a founding partner and owner of Undisclosable Inc., a Los Angeles-based architecture and design firm. Her work has been widely published and exhibited at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, UCLA, The Chicago Athenaeum’s Museum of Architecture and Design and more. Alejandra has participated in many philanthropic enterprises, including co-founding Make It Right (the centerpiece of the 2009 Clinton Global Initiative) with Brad Pitt. Alejandra fell in love with Grand Canyon on a hike in 2016, and is passionate about committing her energy to preserving it for future generations.
Shantini Munthree consults, speaks, and writes on the topics of corporate positioning, brand strategy, business transformation and women/diversity. She is president of BRANDKIND, a socially conscious brand strategy company that connects brands with buyers through a greater purpose. Her clients range from large multinationals to early stage ventures and nonprofits. As a marketing business executive, Shantini has helped build and transform some of the world’s leading brands for Vanguard, Procter & Gamble, Miller Brewing Company, Sara Lee, and Caterpillar. She joins the GCC board as an extension of her commitment to the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
Mark Schiavoni recently retired as the Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer for APS, where he oversaw operations for APS’ non-nuclear generation, transmission and distribution, strategy, supply chain, resource management, environmental and sustainability, and customer service components. Prior to joining APS in 2009, Schiavoni held various leadership positions in the electric utility industry. He is a retired Naval Officer, having spent 22 years in the U.S. Navy. Mark and his wife Amy enjoy hiking in Grand Canyon and have been supporters of GCC’s Celebration of Art since its inception.
Stan Sutherland spent four years as a high school physics teacher before going to law school. He then became an attorney in the Solicitor’s Office at the U.S. Department of the Interior, followed by a position in the law department of S.C. Johnson & Son, where he retired as Deputy General Counsel in 2004. Stan has served on several nonprofit boards in Flagstaff, including Theatrikos Theatre Company, where he has also acted and directed. He holds a B.S. in physics from the University of Illinois and M.S. in physics from Purdue University and a J.D. from the University of Michigan Law School. Stan has backpacked rim-to-rim and to Clear Creek, and he and his artist wife Dawn have completed two 10-day river trips through the canyon.
Merl Waschler retired as the President and CEO of Valley of the Sun United Way, where he led a group of passionate community volunteers and staff committed to improving the lives of families and children in Maricopa County. Merl’s work allowed him to be an active business and civic leader most recently serving on the boards and committees of Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce, Expect More Arizona, Greater Phoenix Leadership, ACLU of Arizona, McDowell Sonoran Conservancy, Arizona Chamber of Commerce, and Governor’s P-20 Committee. In 2015 the Phoenix Business Journal included Merl in its list of the 25 Most Admired Leaders in the Valley. Along with his wife Susan, Merl enjoys hiking and exploring Arizona and New Mexico, and both are passionate about the preservation of the canyon and expanding access to those who might not traditionally have that opportunity.
Tyson Winarski is a registered patent attorney and adjunct professor at the Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law at Arizona State University and the University of San Francisco School Of Law. His law practice focuses on patent licensing and patent prosecution in Silicon Valley. Tyson is also the inventor of 31 patents in the areas of renewable energy, nanotechnologies, optical communication fibers, and social networking. Tyson also helped found Mesa Media, a non-profit corporation dedicated to revitalizing the Hopi language by creating Hopi language materials. Tyson has hiked the Grand Canyon rim-to-rim and has rafted from Lees Ferry to Lake Mead.