Board of Directors

© Pete Oxford / Wild Wonders of Europe

Dr. Marilynn Cowgill, Chair

Marilynn joined the WILD team as a Trustee in January 2009, becoming a Director the following year. With a Doctorate in business and 15 years of experience with a Fortune 500 Financial Services Company, Marilynn has educated undergraduates, graduates and professionals on leadership, management and strategy. Her passion has been working with organizations, teams and individuals to help them develop their businesses and work together more effectively. As a native of Boulder, Colorado, she has always enjoyed spending time in and advocating for nature. She finds the relationship between humans and nature vital, and has been initiated into the Inca shamanic lineage. She relates to nature by hiking and weaving, which gives her an opportunity to translate the beauty of nature into art. Her present passion is a new business of her own, Essential Elements, through which she creates high-end luxury garments and accessories.

Charlotte Baron, Vice Chair

Vice Chair of the Board of The WILD Foundation, an avid world traveler, nature lover, and volunteer, Charlotte Baron is also a professional systems and management analyst. She earned a Master in Public Administration, Finance and Policy Analysis (MPA) in 1980. Charlotte has been a Director, and the Vice President/Treasurer of both Fulcrum Publishing and Fulcrum Group since 1985, building on a career that included work with numerous US government departments. The number of her interests – international and ethnic cultures, skiing, hiking, scuba diving, reading, and more – are matched only by the many non-profit organizations which have benefited from her goodwill and skills as a volunteer and/or trustee, such as the Denver Public Library, Denver Art Museum, Auraria Library, Tesoro Foundation, and others. Never one to slow down or give half-measure, Charlotte has added quality time with her three grandchildren to her list of enthusiastic pastimes.

Ed Sanders, Treasurer

Ed Sanders has a long-standing interest in the environment with a current focus on eco-tourism and alternative energy systems. He is sole proprietor of Sanders International, specializing in alternative energy, energy efficiency, and environmental technology transfer and is serving as interim CFO and consultant at HOMER Energy, provider of the world’s leading software for optimizing hybrid energy systems.  His organization, Eco Tourism International, provides specialized ecotourism-related business consulting services to government planners and private developers.

Ed has extensive experience as a manager and entrepreneur in international finance and policy. He is a former Associate Director of the President’s Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and Staff Director of the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee.  He graduated with a Ph.D. in economics from Yale and taught the environmental finance course to graduate students in the University of Denver’s College of Environmental Policy and Management program.  He has been a member of several Boards of Directors. WILD is thrilled to have him join our team as a member of the Board of Trustees and as our Treasurer.

Vance G. Martin, President

Vance joined WILD as president in 1984 after 15 years in international business and non-profit management. An innovative leader known for bridging the interests of people and nature, he has lived extensively overseas, worked in over 45 countries, and helped to establish many non-profits. An acknowledged expert in international nature conservation and wilderness protection, he serves on the boards of numerous organizations such as the Cheetah Conservation Fund, Friends of Peace Parks, Fulcrum Publishing, Wilderness Foundation (South Africa), Wilderness Foundation (UK), International Conservation Caucus Foundation, and others. He is also the founder and current co-chairman of the IUCN Wilderness Specialist Group, and has edited and authored many publications. A native of the U.S. Piedmont region, he graduated magna cum laude from West Virginia University. For more information about Vance, please visit his wikipedia page.

Joel Holtrop

Joel D. Holtrop served as the Deputy Chief of the National Forest System Deputy Area at agency headquarters in Washington D.C., from March 2005 until October, 2011.  In this capacity, he oversaw the strategic and national program leadership for the 193 million acre National Forest System of forests and grasslands located in 42 states and Puerto Rico.  He retired from the US Forest Service following a 35 year career throughout the US.  Since his retirement in 2011, Holtrop has become Board Chair of The Corps Network, a national organization providing leadership to the nation’s 151 Service and Conservation Corps, annually enrolling more than 30,000 young men and women in service.  He is also leading the effort of the National Association of Forest Service Retirees to work with Global Parks and the International Conservation Caucus Foundation to pursue the concept of an International Conservation Corps, tapping the skills and interests of retired natural resource professionals to do volunteer conservation work in developing countries.  Joel is an avid outdoor adventurer and traveler.

Cristina Goettsch Mittermeier

Cristina Goettsch Mittermeier is one of conservation photography’s strongest proponents and experienced practitioners.  As founder and former President of the International League of Conservation Photographers, and currently one of only seven Sony Global Artisans of Imagery, Cristina focuses on the delicate relationship between nature’s most spectacular and endangered wildlife and Earth’s vanishing traditional human cultures. This unique view of people and nature lies at the heart of her work and is the key to understanding why her images are so poignant and beautiful. Her ultimate mission is to reconnect people’s lives to nature through the use of photography. For Cristina, photography did not come as a first career choice. She was trained as a marine biologist and through the years became a biodiversity conservation consultant. The need to pick up a camera came after she had already published a number of scientific papers dealing with the loss of biodiversity and human cultures and she found herself short of words to express her emotional connection to the issues in which she was involved.

Kat Haber

My grandfathers taught me to respect the Earth. Creating award winning gardens, innovative programs (Betty Ford Alpine Gardens in Vail and the Center for Alaskan Coastal Studies in Homer, AK), taking risks (freestyle aerialist and Air Castles hot air balloon champagne flight service in Boulder), pioneering new paths (one of the first women attending US Air Force Academy, and digging deep within (Lifespring councilor, Conscious Evolution guide, Social Synergy, tribal native spiritual ecology) all characterize ways of knowing I enjoy playing in to deliver wild soul serenity. Bringing young leaders to WILD9, 9th World Wilderness Congress, infused an urgency, lightheartedness and idealism to save at least half of Earth’s wilds. Mentoring emerging women and teen leaders brings up voices needed to be heard now. I have organized the first TEDx events since 2009  in Alaska and currently  organize TEDxVailWomen in Vail, Colorado. Guiding a teen contingent to Rotary’s Global Peace Forum for the Green Path to Peace, I am honored to offer my talent, treasure, relations to preserve Earth for my son’s sons’  generations.

David Barron

Founder and President of the International Conservation Caucus Foundation (Washington, DC), a very active and growing, bi-partisan initiative to inform and educate policy-makers on critical issues in international conservation and environment. Dave is a prominent champion of democracy and human rights and has been active in conservation, politics and private business for over 25 years. Dave has represented U.S. policies abroad in various capacities and is a recognized expert in Sub-Saharan African politics. He has addressed the United Nations, authored foreign policy articles, and led many Congressional tours to Africa — where he now concentrates his attention on developing U.S.-southern African business/political ties. He has also played an important role (with explorer Michael Fay, a WILD Trustee) in establishing the new national park system in Gabon (West Africa), and in gathering support and momentum for the US-lead Congo Basin Tropical Forest Initiative.

Magalen Bryant

A private investor and supporter of numerous conservation enterprises, Mrs. Bryant (Maggie) is fully committed to the cause of intelligent nature preservation. She serves on the board of directors of the Dover Corporation and Carlisle Companies and is the former chairperson of the National Fish & Wildlife Foundation. Maggie is also a recipient of the Chevron Citizen Conservationist Award.

Britt Hosmer

Brittany Hosmer, LEED AP grew up on the southern coast of Maine and started her work in South Africa in 2000 for a small, family owned and operated safari company. Britt holds a Bachelor’s of Technology Degree with Honors (BTech Hons) in Ecotourism Management (Natural Sciences and Business Management) from Tshwane University in Pretoria, South Africa.  As Britt’s passion grew, her path in Africa took her from the tourism industry; wildlife capture, relocation, and monitoring assignments; nationally qualifying and registering as a certified Field Guide and private pilot; working with communities on business development projects in rural areas; and as a consultant for various NGOs and nonprofits.  Currently based in central Texas, Britt combines an out of the box creativity, and international experience in order to mutually benefit the unique resource or project, the local community, and all stakeholders.