board of directors

Board of Directors


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    Chuck Dodd’s “Guide to the Black Rock Desert”.

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    August 26, 2018
    September 28, 2018
    November 27, 2018

Our dedicated voluntary Board and Advisory members provide thoughtful guidance and generous support to ensure that the mission and vision of Friends of Black Rock-High Rock remain focused on preserving this National Conservation Area for current and future generations.

Board of Directors

Michael Railey

Michael RailyMike first discovered the Black Rock Desert nearly 15 years ago while assisting Burning Man with permitting issues in the Gerlach area and was taken by the wide open beauty of the playa framed by the Calicos and Granite Range.  Mike began exploring the area and discovered that there was much more to the Black Rock Desert than meets the eye including pristine hot springs, historical sites, and remote recreational opportunities that cannot be found anywhere else.  Mike enjoys spending time in the region year round with his wife and four boys including rock-hounding, camping at Soldier Meadows and Stevens Camp and various FBRHR events such as Black Rock Rendevous, Persieids Meteor Shower, National Public Lands Day and more.  Mike and his wife Samantha have been attending Burning Man every year since 2006.

Professionally, Mike is a founding partner of Rubicon Design Group, a land planning firm based in Reno.  Mike’s background includes the design of numerous master planned communities in northern Nevada along with countless commercial centers, subdivisions, and real estate development projects across the west.  In addition to spending time in the Black Rock Desert, Mike and his family are active with local youth sports and enjoy getaways to the coast or paddleboarding at the numerous lakes in the Sierra.

Will Roger Peterson
Vice PresidentWill Roger

Will Roger Peterson – BFA, MFA, Fine Art; AAS, MS, Applied Science, Associate Professor, Assistant Director, Rochester Institute of Technology, School of Photographic Arts and Sciences, Former Northwestern Nevada RAC (Resourse Advisory Council) Member, Chairman 3 years, Currently RAC NCA Subgroup Member, Burning Man Cultural Founder, Chairman of the Board, Burning Man Project.

Public Lands are best managed by Friend Groups that have a vested interest in the specific areas that they serve. I support FBR/HR because it is the primary steward of the land that I love and care about the most. Supporting FBR/HR gives me an opportunity to spend time in this remarkable place and interact with other likeminded individuals.

Chanda Keefe

ChandraChanda is a dynamic business leader and collaborative community builder with 15+ years experience implementing enterprise-wide solutions for large financial services companies. She’s an expert problem solver and strategic thinker able to leverage a broad base of technical and business management skills to deliver value added solutions. Her extensive non-profit experience assists in community development at both local and global levels and she’s an accomplished event planner and fundraiser, skilled at motivating volunteers and logistical coordination of large-scale events.


Sharon Wells

sharonSharon has made her home in Sparks NV since 2006. In that year she discovered the Black Rock desert. For her it is a wonderful place to be and enjoy and is one of her favorite places to find peace and quiet. 




Dave Cooper

Dave Cooper

Dave is a retired Manager of the Black Rock Desert – High Rock Canyon Emigrant Trails National Conservation Area in NW Nevada.





Rebecca Gasca

Rebecca Gasca

Rebecca Gasca is a veteran Burner who fell in love with the Black Rock Desert while working on behalf of the American Civil Liberties Union of Nevada to engage with law enforcement at Burning Man. She is the founder and CEO of Pistil + Stigma, a boutique consulting firm focused at the intersection of government, regulatory, and community relations for bleeding edge policy issues, and co-founder and managing partner of Greenlight Drafts, a product-driven company providing cannabis compliance standard operating procedures, plans, and policies for responsible operators in the emerging medical marijuana industry.

As the former lobbyist for the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Nevada, Ms. Gasca was well noted for refreshing multi-partisan coalition building approaches and commitment to data-driven policy restructuring. Stemming from her experience with the ACLU, Ms. Gasca established Pistil + Stigma’s work stretching from energy policy and juvenile justice to national health care policies, as well as economic and business development.

Wayne de Geere III

wayneWayne is an entrepreneur, tech exec, adviser, and board member; a connector of people, places & things.





Tom Clark

tomFor more than 20 years, Tom has provided non-legal government and public affairs services on behalf of his clients before federal, state, and local governments and regulatory agencies.  He represents a variety of interests including but not limited to; renewable energy, energy, mining, mortgage professionals, insurance, gaming, emergency medical services, telecommunications and land development.

As the owner of Tom Clark Solutions, he provides the full spectrum of services to assist clients in achieving their business and political goals. Tom understands how to build relationships and devise strategies to get companies the results they seek whether it’s project permitting, legislative, local government or regulatory changes, business-to-business networking or political and community support for a business, project or campaigns. Tom also provides expert public relations services for clients and strategic consulting for community education campaigns as well as state and local political campaigns.

Margie Reynolds

Margie ReynoldsMargie has been exploring the Black Rock Desert since 1994 when she passed through the area searching for hot springs. She discovered Burning Man later that same year. Her love for Nevada and emigrant history led her to purchase a second home in Gerlach where she spends most of her time these days. When she’s not out exploring the outbacks of the Great Basin and Mojave she focuses on design, web development and marketing, favoring work that is tourism and public lands related. She has been in the advertising industry for over 25 years and currently works for SJ Marketing in Incline Village, NV.  She is the Gerlach representative for Nevada’s Cowboy Country territory, and sits on the Gerlach Economic Development Committee. She is also known to pick up a paintbrush now and again and recently painted a mural on the building which houses the Friends of Black Rock High Rock office in Gerlach.

Jim Neveln

JimJim is an independent construction professional in Reno, Nevada who loves the Black Rock Desert.




Kevin Williams

kevinA Reno native, Kevin spent his early years camping and hunting throughout Northern Nevada. When he joined a jeep club here and discovered first hand how bad illegal dumping was he joined up with KTMB (Keep Truckee Meadows Beautiful) to start making a difference. He discovered Friends of Black Rock High Rock on an outing in 2013 and has since been one of our organizations staunchest volunteers.  

Kevin is recognizable in that he is rarely without his three dog posse of Jack Russel terriers. Kevin feels that the night sky all of the animals, and miles of endless roads allow you rethink your place in the world.

Beth Penland

bethIn an information-cluttered world, it is critical to the success of any business initiative to frame your issue clearly, be transparent with your intentions and interact with — not just communicate to — your audience. I am an experienced communications professional who can translate complex issues into clear messages that engage targeted audiences.



Joe Childs

joeJoe relocated to the area from Austin, TX  and fell in love with the Black Rock NCA immediately. A “Friend” since 2009, Joe and his wife Cathy travel from their home in Carson City to the playa and surrounding area 8-10 times a year.  Always with his eyes towards the sky, Joe installed and maintains the weather station at our Visitor Center in Gerlach which benefits locals and visitors alike. As a Boy Scout leader (retired) for 20 years, Joe enjoys the challenges of camping in the wilderness and loves sharing the magic of the Black Rock with others.


Advisory Council

David Book

Sue Vaughan

More about our Mission and Vision »