board of directors

Board of Directors

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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

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Tom Clark
President

For 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.


Will Roger

Will Roger Peterson
Vice President

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 (Resource Advisory Council) Member, Chairman 3 years, Currently RAC NCA Subgroup Member, Burning Man Cultural Co-Founder, Member and Former Chairman of the Board, Burning Man Project. 

Will states “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 like-minded individuals.”


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Stephen Zideck
Treasurer

Stephen is a 5th generation Nevadan celebrating the diversity of the people and the places that make up Nevada.  He worked at Truckee Meadows Community College for 35 years teaching Developmental Mathematics and in administration as the Campus Technology Officer.  Presently he is a freelance audio recordist for the film and video industry.  He has a BS in Accounting and Information Systems from the University of Nevada, Reno.  Stephen has been an active participant as a volunteer in community organizations.  He served six years as treasurer for Planned Parenthood in Northern Nevada, volunteered with Special Olympics, provided audio support for many community events and volunteers with the American Red Cross.  Stephen has often had his feet on the Black Rock Desert. As a young boy he took road trips with his grandmother and family to experience the area.  He has hiked, enjoyed the hot springs and camped there frequently.  Stephen has participated in the Burning Man event for 19 years and is aligned with the principles of the Burning Man community.  He is also a high-power rocketry enthusiast attending many of the Tripoli / AEROPAC events and has his level 1 certification.  In addition to rocketry, Stephen’s interests include photography, film making, outdoor activities, teaching, science, ham radio, graphic arts, electronics, music, and Philosophy.  He is a team player and is always willing to be an active participant.


Lisa Nash
Secretary

Lisa moved to Gerlach in 2014 and previously managed the year-round activities of Burning Man’s northern Nevada properties. She now works as a land use planner based out of Reno and volunteers with art projects in northern Nevada. She has been coming out to the Black Rock Desert for over 15 years and fell in love with the desert on her first trip. She has a BS in Geological Engineering from NM Tech and has been active with conservation and environmental groups and projects for her entire career. Lisa is currently on the Economic Development Committee and Gerlach Fire Department.


Megan Berner

Megan Berner is a Reno-born visual artist. She taught photography and video classes at the University of Nevada Reno and Truckee Meadows Community College for 9 years before transitioning to a job as the Public Art Program Coordinator for the City of Reno. Coming from a multi-disciplinary and non-traditional art background, Megan is interested in using artwork in innovative ways to activate public space and create opportunities for citizens and artists to engage with the community, and connect people to their environment. 

In her artwork, Megan explores the ways we interact with our environment—how we form relationships with the space around us and how those connections influence our interpretation of the world around us. She has been awarded several residencies including The Arctic Circle Expedition in Svalbard, Norway; PLAYA in Summer Lake, Oregon; and Friends of Black Rock High Rock in the Black Rock NCA. Megan’s work has been shown nationally and internationally and is part of multiple collections including the Center for Art and Environment at the Nevada Museum of Art, University of Arizona Art Museum, the University of Iowa Special Collections, and Southern Graphics Council International Archive.


Dave Cooper
Dave Cooper

Dave came to the Black Rock Desert in 2001 as the first BLM Manager for the Black Rock Desert – High Rock Canyon Emigrant Trails National Conservation Area and 10 associated wilderness areas. He led the effort to develop the first award-winning collaborative Resource Management Plan for the 1.2 million acres of public lands that make up the NCA and wilderness areas. He also authorized special recreation permits for numerous activities and events that take place in the Black Rock country such as Rocket Launches, Land Sailing, and the annual Burning Man event. Dave retired in 2009 after 33 ½ years of federal government service and providing visitor services to the public in Illinois, Idaho, Oregon, Colorado and finally Nevada.  Dave still provides logistical support for large wildfires throughout the United States. He is on the Board of Directors for the Friends of Black Rock High Rock and now makes his home in the tiny town of Gerlach NV, the gateway to the Black Rock Desert. 

“Now I have time to explore this vast remote region, hike the canyons, traverse the mountain ranges, enjoy the solitude, watch the dark skies at night, learn more of the emigrant trail history, soak in the hot springs, and continue to provide visitor services”.


Shelley Fallon

After graduating from UMass Dartmouth with a BFA, Shelley moved to the area in 1988. She fell in love with the Black Rock Desert after taking a road trip with a friend in the early 1990s. Shelley has owned Fallon Multimedia for over 20 years, working as a creative, focusing her talents as a graphic designer, illustrator, and planner through interpretive planning and design. She has worked on interpretive projects with organizations including the Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Forest Service, Nevada Department of Wildlife, State of Nevada, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Tahoe Fund, and several counties in both Nevada and California. Her main goal is promoting stewardship and a connection to our natural resources and cultural history through interpretive education. She is a 25-year Burning Man participant.

and has been involved in running theme camps and creating art for the event. Shelley is a fine artist, musician, and equestrian who enjoys riding in the local wilds. She has a 16-year old daughter, and they enjoy camping, hiking, rockhounding, fossil hunting, and always searching for the best views they can find.


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.


Chandra
Chanda Keefe

Chanda 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.


beth

Beth Penland

In 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.

Beth is an experienced communications professional who can translate complex issues into clear messages that engage targeted audiences.



Jeffrey S Rosenfeld

Raised in New England he learned his appreciation for the outdoors in the White Mountains.  After earning degrees in Environmental Management from RIT and Business Administration from Northeastern he spent decades working in Biotechnology, Environmental Restoration, Green Technology, and Healthcare acquiring certification as a LEED-AP, Lean Six-Sigma Blackbelt, and PMP along the way.

Prior to joining Friends of Black Rock High Rock, Jeff founded the Wildwood Open Lands Foundation with the vision of creating an organization whose mission was to promote the conservation of natural and cultural resources. The efforts of FBRHR and WOLF dovetail towards the preservation of this unique region.

He now lives with his wife and children on the North Shore of Lake Tahoe. The family has a passion for travel and feels drawn to open spaces. When not exploring the desert Jeff can often be found skiing, hiking, mountain biking, fishing, and paddling in the Sierra Nevada backcountry.


Jerry Snyder

Jerry Snyder

Jerry is an attorney by day, a notorious bon vivant come nightfall, and an experienced leader of abstractly defined, multi-faceted adventures. Jerry has been practicing law for nearly two decades in California and Northern Nevada, both in private and government practice. Jerry focuses on litigation in areas of construction law, water law, corporate governance, real property law, business torts, and intellectual property.

Jerry is active in the Reno community. In addition to FBRHR, he is a board member of Black Rock Labs, a non-profit that provides solar arrays for underserved communities; The Generator, a free community maker space; and the Western Folklife Center.  

When Jerry is not practicing law, he makes art, listens to music, cooks, and camps, sometimes all at once. Jerry created the Ichthyosaur Puppet Project, a large-scale, public sculpture permanently installed in the Terry Lee Wells Nevada Discovery Museum. 


Kurstin Graham


Marnee Benson