Panel Speakers

Billy Rankin -President, High Country Citizens' Alliance

Billy has been an ambassador for the natural world for the past 18 years. He moved to Crested Butte as a young outdoorsman and loved the intact ecosystem surrounding town and how easy it was to get out into the woods to recreate. Billy spent 15 years taking Outward Bound courses into the backcountry. Billy engaged hundreds of students and helped them understand the importance of the natural world while trying to instill wilderness ethics in his students. Billy is a Leave No Trace (LNT) Master trainer and helps teach other outdoor professionals how to teach LNT Ethics. Most recently Billy was on the Crested Butte town council where he helped with the acquisition of open space and supported smart deliberate growth, keeping the surrounding environment at the forefront of every political decision. Billy joined the board at HCCA in hopes of helping the organization fulfill its mission of protecting the amazing environmental attributes of this valley.

Jeremy Rubingh - Board Member, HCCA,Environmental Film Producer & Activist

Jeremy Rubingh is an Environmental Studies graduate of the University of Vermont where he wrote a thesis on the environmental degradation on the Tibetan Plateau taking place as a result of the Chinese occupancy. Focusing on journalism, ecological design and international issues in college, Rubingh, the sixth generation of his family in Colorado, has now turned his efforts towards local and western environmental issues. As a filmmaker he has explored local mining issues with a film about Red Lady, which went on to win many awards including the best environmental film at the Taos Mountain Film Festival, the Best Short at the Colorado Environmental Film Festival, and was an official selection of the Boulder Adventure Film Festival and has been exhibited in traveling film festivals from Alaska to Antarctica. Rubingh is currently working on a film project examining the connectivity of the wild places left in Western Colorado and the impacts of growing development in the West. This film was made while riding on horseback from Carbondale, CO to Aztec New Mexico this past summer. In addition to his filmmaking efforts, Rubingh works as an organizer and consultant for a variety of conservation groups and serves on the board of directors for the High Country Citizens' Alliance, as well as the Gunnison County Planning Commission.

Maya Silver - Community Energy Coordinator, Office for Resource Efficiency

Maya joined ORE in 2008 as the Energy Action Plan Coordinator, facilitating an energy planning process. As the Community Energy Coordinator, she is contracted with the Governor's Energy Office to connect Gunnison & Hinsdale Counties with state, utility and local energy programming and funding opportunities. She has worked on event planning at the World Bank and as a coordinator for an oversight team on a Turkish dam project. She holds a BA from Oberlin College.

Erika Vohman - Founder, Maya Nut Institute

Maya has worked in Central America since 1992 and founded the Maya Nut Institute (formerly The Equilibrium Fund) in 2001 with the goal of helping rural Central American families "Find balance between people, food and forests". Erika has a Bachelor's of Science in Biology from the University of Colorado and a Master's of Science in Agronomy from the University of California, Davis. She is an avid traveler, kayaker, biker, hiker, skier and gardener. Originally from Atlanta, Georgia, Erika has lived in Crested Butte since 1995 and is a member of the Gunnison and Crested Butte Noxious Weed Commissions.