Brent Gardner-Smith is the founder and executive director of Aspen Journalism. He’s been a reporter at The Aspen Times, Aspen Daily News and KSNO, and executive director at Aspen Public Radio. Brent also worked in communications at ProPublica in 2010 while earning his master’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri.
Curtis Wackerle is the editor of Aspen Journalism and the editor and reporter on the Connie Harvey Environment Desk. Curtis has also served as editor, managing editor and reporter at the Aspen Daily News, where he covered Aspen’s city hall. He has journalism degree from the University of Montana.
Heather Sackett is the managing editor at Aspen Journalism and the editor and reporter on the Water Desk. She has also reported for The Denver Post and the Telluride Daily Planet. Heather has a master’s degree from CU’s Center for Environmental Journalism and her reporting has been recognized by the Colorado Press Association.
Laurine Lassalle is Aspen Journalism’s data desk editor, where she works to catalogue and analyze local public data. She also heads our our “Tracking the Curve” project, documenting COVID-19 in Pitkin, Eagle and Garfield counties. She has a master’s degree in data and investigative journalism from UC Berkeley with an emphasis on environmental reporting.
Tim Cooney is an Aspen freelance writer and former ski patroller. Among others, the Aspen Daily News, The Aspen Times, The Avalanche Review, Aspen Sojourner, Ski and Powder Magazine have published his work. His Aspen Journalism story “Taming the Snow Beast” won 2018 best story/picture combination from Colorado Press Association. He has a bachelor’s degree in government and philosophy from University of Denver.
Hector Salas is a freelance writer based in Grand Junction. He received his bachelor’s degree in mass communications from Colorado Mesa University with an English minor. His previous work covers Latino issues specific to Western Colorado as well as the region’s political landscape during the 2020 presidential election.
Natalie Keltner-McNeil is a freelance environmental journalist originally from the Bay Area. She has a Bachelor of Science from the University of California, Berkeley, in Society and Environment, and a certificate in Journalism in the Digital Age from the UC Berkeley graduate school of journalism.
Allen Best wrote his first story about water in Colorado in 1977 when living in Kremmling. After that, he edited newspapers in Winter Park and in the Vail/Eagle Valley before relocating to metropolitan Denver in the late 1990s. Since 2003, he has written about climate change and the energy transition while deepening his work in water, both within Colorado and the Colorado basin.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Mark Harvey, president, is a local rancher, writer, filmmaker and photographer. He is also on the board of EcoFlight, and has been on the boards of High Country News and Aspen Center for Environmental Studies. Mark is Connie Harvey’s son, the namesake of the Connie Harvey Environment Desk.
Tim McFlynn, vice president, is executive director of Public Counsel of the Rockies and a mediator with Aspen Dispute Resolution. He was co-founder of Pitkin County Open Space and the Manaus Fund. He has served as board president of Aspen Center for Environmental Studies and Wilderness Workshop.
Denise Jurgens is a CPA and partner at Reese Henry and Company in Carbondale, where she has worked since 1984. She has extensive background in auditing and accounting and has a deep knowledge of IRS rules for not-for-profit organizations.
Cristal Logan is VP of Aspen Community Programs and Engagement at the Aspen Institute and oversees local public programs. A fourth generation resident of the Roaring Fork Valley, she has served on the boards of the Aspen Hall of Fame and the Aspen Chamber Resort Association.
Michael McVoy is an investment adviser at Raymond James Financial Services and the former co-publisher of The Aspen Times. He serves on the Pitkin County Retirement Board, the Roaring Fork Transit Authority Board and leads the Roaring Fork Community Development Corporation.
Jane Pargiter is the Conservation Director at EcoFlight. Jane has also served on the board of the Waldorf School on the Roaring Fork, and volunteers for English in Action and the Buddy Program. A native of South Africa, she once lectured in the Linguistics Department of the University of Witwatersrand.
Harry Teague is the founder of Harry Teague Architects. His work includes the Benedict Music Tent, the Joan and Irving Harris Concert Hall, and the Bucksbaum Campus of the Aspen Music Festival and School, and the Anderson Ranch Art Center. He is also on the board of the Aspen Science Center.
JOURNALISM ADVISORY BOARD
Dave Danforth is the founder and former owner of the Aspen Daily News. The paper, with the slogan, “If you don’t want it printed, don’t let it happen,” was founded in 1978. Danforth sold it to local buyers in 2017. He also co-founded The Conway Daily Sun, the (Palo Alto) Daily News, and the Berkeley Daily Planet.
Charles Davis is dean of the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Georgia and co-author of “Principles of American Journalism.” He spent 14 years as a faculty member at the Missouri School of Journalism and served as director of the National Freedom of Information Coalition.
Charlie Firestone is the former Executive Director of the Aspen Institute Communications and Society Program and a Vice President of the Aspen Institute. Firestone was also Director of the Communications Law Program at UCLA and an adjunct professor at the UCLA Law School, from 1977-90.
Laura Frank is the executive director at the Colorado News Collaborative. She pioneered collaborative journalism in Colorado as the founder of I-News, the nonprofit investigative news organization that merged with Rocky Mountain Public Media in 2013, the first such merger in the nation.
Carl Hulse is the chief Washington correspondent for the New York Times and a veteran of more than three decades of reporting in the capital. He previously served as the Washington editor of the Times and is the author of “Confirmation Bias,” an inside look at the Supreme Court.
David Krause was named editor of The Aspen Times in January 2017. Before coming to The Times, David worked for nearly 17 years at The Denver Post, first in sports and then as a news editor. He also worked at the Loveland Reporter-Herald in the 1990s. He is a graduate of the University of Oklahoma.
Catherine Lutz is an Aspen-based freelance writer, reporter and editor. She contributes to a wide range of publications, including Aspen Sojourner and Aspen Magazine, and works for a number of clients, including the Aspen Institute. Catherine is also the former managing editor of the Aspen Daily News.
John Masters is the executive director at GrassRoots Community Network, a position he’s held since 2001. He’s also worked as program director at Aspen Television Channel 8, as owner of Masters Studio, a video and television production firm in Aspen.
Curtis Robinson is senior counsel for media strategy at CRAFT Media Digital. He is the co-founder of Roaring Fork Sunday and a former editor of the Aspen Daily News. He has also helped develop books with Hunter S. Thompson and Douglas Brinkley, which probably involved a bit too much time at Owl Farm.
Carolyn Sackariason is a reporter at The Aspen Times, where she covers city hall. She has previously worked as news director at Aspen Public Radio, editor at the Aspen Daily News and publisher of the Snowmass Sun. Carolyn is also a co-owner of the Santa Monica Daily Press in Santa Monica, CA.
Steve Skinner is the general manager of KFFR, a public radio station in Winter Park. He’s also served as general manager at KDNK in Carbondale, program director at Aspen Public Radio, and a DJ at KSPN and KSNO. Steve is also a weekly columnist for the Aspen Daily News and the Winter Park Times.
Andy Stone is the co-author, along with his wife Linda Lafferty, of “Light in the Shadows.” Stone is also the author of “Aspen Drift,” a novel about journalism in Aspen, and “Song of the Kingdom.” Andy’s also worked as a reporter, editor, columnist and publisher at The Aspen Times.
Nancy Watzman is the former director of the Colorado Media Project and an award-winning investigative journalist, researcher, and strategist. She’s also worked with the Internet Archive, the Sunlight Foundation, the Center for Public Integrity, and the Center for Responsive Politics.
Mike Webb is senior vice president for communications at the News Literacy Project. Before joining NLP in July 2019, Mike served as a vice president at BerlinRosen, a Washington public affairs firm. He was also director and vice president of communications at ProPublica and also worked in communications at Honolulu Civil Beat.
FINANCIAL AND LEGAL ADVISORS
Mike Marolt is a CPA in his native Aspen, a KPMG Peat Marwick alumnus, and a member of the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame. His accomplishments include the first skiing descents of numerous mountain peaks in the Himalayas and shooting and producing the movie “Skiing Everest.”
Ken Ransford is a Basalt-based attorney, investment adviser and CPA specializing in income-tax and estate-tax law for small businesses, individuals and nonprofit organizations. Ken serves as the secretary of the Colorado Basin Roundtable, and he holds a voting seat representing recreational interests.