Santa Fe, NM
Grove is a nationally known meditation teacher and trainer in the practice of mindfulness. He is co-founder and guiding teacher of the Vallecitos Mountain Ranch and has practiced meditation for over 25 years. He trained with internationally renowned meditation teacher Jack Kornfield at the Spirit Rock Meditation Center. He has taught mindfulness trainings for the Yale Law School, lawyers and judges, and many nonprofit organizations. Grove has had a distinguished career as an environmental lawyer and is co-founder of the Western Environmental Law Center, a nonprofit environmental law firm. He has been named six times to The Best Lawyers in America which lists the top 1% of the nation’s lawyers. He has lived in Santa Fe since 1972.
Leigh was born and raised in Maine and attended New York University, the University of New Hampshire and University College London. Leigh graduated magna cum laude from the University of New Mexico with a Bachelor of University Studies degree in Mythological Studies. Leigh joined the Vallecitos staff in 1998 and has been Executive Director since 2004. She has lived and worked in Europe, and has traveled in Central America, Mexico, the Caribbean, Africa and the United States. Leigh was introduced to mindfulness meditation practice in 1998 at her first retreat experience at Vallecitos, and continues to explore the spiritual practices and beliefs of diverse traditions. She has a deep interest in language, history, travel and the power of nature and wilderness to guide, heal and inspire. Leigh resides in Taos, New Mexico with her husband, Matthew.
Kate is co-owner and General Manager for KTAOS Solar Radio, Luna Radio, the KTAOS Solar Bar and KTAOS Solar Center in Taos, NM. She oversees the business management, advertising sales, technology and programming departments for the radio stations as well as special event production, marketing and promotion, and food and beverage operations for the bar and venue. After first working with Vallecitos Mountain Ranch as a radio marketing consultant, Kate attended her first mediation retreat at Vallecitos Mountain Ranch in 2011 and has been sustaining a meditation practice, and her dedication to the retreat center, ever since. She has lived in northern NM for 20 years and has lived in Taos since 2006.
Mark Coleman, M.A., Board of Directors
Mill Valley, CA
Mark is a psychotherapist, coach, and mindfulness consultant, has taught mindfulness meditation retreats internationally since 1997. He is a meditation teacher at Spirit Rock Meditation Center and teaches regularly with Jack Kornfield and Sharon Salzberg in the vipassana (insight meditation) tradition. Coleman leads wilderness meditation retreats from Alaska to Peru and is author of Awake in the Wild: Mindfulness in Nature as a Path to Self-Discovery. www.awakeinthewild.com
David Grey is an educator, graphic designer, and occasional photographer. He is the Chair of the Graphic Design Department at SFUAD, Founder of Sun Mountain School of Contemplative Art and Publisher of the Cottage Scholar.
Melissa Morman, President, Board of Directors
Melissa has been part of Builder Homesite, Inc./NHT since its formation. She has held several roles within BHI/NHT, starting as VP of CRM/BHI, and then as Chief Operating Officer/BHI, and now splits her time between running the NHT subsidiary, managing the Pro business unit within BHI, as well as continuing to manage and facilitate both consortiums (Builders & Manufacturers).
Prior to BHI, Ms. Morman was at ClientLogic, a leading provider of integrated infrastructure and customer relationship management solutions. She held several executive positions, including VP of Sales, General Manager, Client Management Officer, where she worked with the sales field to assess the viability of new startup ventures as potential clients, and then finally as Integration Officer, where she led the integration of newly acquired companies into the parent company. Prior to ClientLogic, Ms. Morman spent 10 years at R.R. Donnelley & Sons in a variety of positions—sales, global account management, as well as front line supervision.
Ms. Morman serves on the Board of Vallecitos Mountain Ranch, a wilderness retreat center specializing in transformational experiences, and is also a member of Impact Austin, a leading Austin non-profit who awards multiple $100k annual grants to worthy non-profits who have the potential to impact Austin positively via Culture, Education, Environment, Family, and Health & Wellness.
Ms. Morman received a Bachelor of Science degree, Cum Laude, from Ohio University in November, 1982.
Mary Powell, Board of Directors
Santa Fe, NM
Mary has been a Vipassana practioner for over 20 years. During that time she did intensive retreats at the Insight Meditation Society in Barre, Mass. In the past couple of years she has done month long self retreats both at home and at a remote cabin in the mountains. Recently she completed the 2 ½ year Community Dharma Leader training through Sprit Rock Meditation Center. For many years she has taught the “Introduction to Meditation” class at the Santa Fe Vipassana Sangha where she chairs the Education Committee.
Mary has always been interested in practicing in nature. She lived for 5 years in an off the grid cabin near Pecos, where she was first introduced to meditation.
Santa Fe, NM
Clare has been practicing as a Nurse Practitioner in Santa Fe and surrounding communities for 20 years. Before that she was an Outward Bound instructor leading courses around the U.S. and developing the program for older women in O.B. She has done medical volunteerism in Nepal and Tibet and has traveled and led treks in Asia since 1988. Despite having spent much of her life in the outdoors worldwide she finds Vallecitos to be one of the most magnificent and inspiring places for mindfulness practice and wilderness exploration.
Santa Fe, NM
An attorney and director of conservation land transactions, Steve has pursued a life-long interest in the connection between land and people and the protection of invaluable resources. First as a practicing attorney and then as Senior Vice President of The Trust for Public Land for many years, Steve engaged in land transactions and protection activities for critical landscapes in the southwest and across the country.
With a personal interest in mitigating impending climate change, Steve also assists several environmental and land conservation organizations in New Mexico. He has enjoyed a long association with Vallecitos Mountain Ranch, continuing to find inspiration and rejuvenation in its spectacular natural beauty, thoughtful stewardship and associated mindfulness practices.
Don Usner, Secretary, Board of Directors
Santa Fe, NM
Born in 1957 in Embudo, New Mexico, Don earned his undergraduate degree in Biology and Environmental Studies at the University of California at Santa Cruz and went on to manage an ecological reserve in Big Sur, California, where he co-authored and took landscape photographs for his first book, The Natural History of Big Sur, published by the University of California Press. It was also at Santa Cruz that Don was introduced to meditation practice.
Don returned to New Mexico in 1988 to complete an M.A. in Geography at the University of New Mexico, then produced his second book of writing and photography, Sabino’s Map: Life in Chimayó’s Old Plaza, published in 1995 by the Museum of New Mexico Press. He has since written and photographed for several more books, including Route 66 On Tour: Legendary Architecture from Glenrio To Gallup; Benigna’s Chimayó: Cuentos from the Old Plaza; Valles Caldera: A Vision for New Mexico’s National Preserve, by Don and co-author William deBuys; and, most recently, a chapter in The Plazas of New Mexico, edited by Chris Wilson. He continues to cultivate his lifelong interest in cultural and natural history as he works as a writer and photographer in Santa Fe. His photographs appear in all of his books and many other publications.
Throughout his development as a writer and photographer, Don has maintained an interest in and involvement with meditation practice and Buddhist inquiry. He first participated in a meditation retreat at Vallecitos in the fall of 2006, when he experienced the transformative effect of combining meditation practice with the beauty and solitude of the Vallecitos landscape.
Carl Roberts, Ranch Foreman
Spring Creek Ranch, NM
Carl has spent over three quarters of the summers of his life in the mountains surrounding the Vallecitos Mountain Ranch in northern New Mexico. He went to school in Los Alamos, NM and southern Colorado, followed by four years of army service where he had the opportunity to see other parts of the world. Following the military, he returned home to the mountains and worked construction until he was hired at the Vallecitos Ranch as caretaker from 1989 to 1992. During those three years, he met and married his lovely wife, Sheila. They spent their first year of marriage at the Vallecitos Ranch as a working honeymoon. He was hired as the ranch foreman in 1999. Carl is performing the same job at Vallecitos that his grandfather did in the 1920s and 1930s; Carl’s grandfather also helped build the main lodge. He’s proud to continue taking care of the land as his grandfather did, and feels fortunate to have the opportunity to work at and share the Vallecitos Mountain Ranch and live with his wife and two sons, Wade and Brian, at Spring Creek Ranch, which is located about four miles southeast of the Vallecitos Mountain Ranch.
Linda is a native of Velarde, NM, a 450 year old traditional Chicano village located along the northern Rio Grande River. She grew up working on her family’s fruit farm and is deeply committed to preserving the unique culture and way of life of northern New Mexico. Linda has been very active in the environmental movement for 25 years and is an experienced community organizer. She serves on local and national non-profit boards, including the Seva Foundation, is fluent in Spanish and has traveled and worked in Mexico, Guatemala and El Salvador on public interest projects. Linda works with the Council of Elders in Guatemala helping raise funds to repurchase sacred sites. She has practiced meditation in the Vipassana tradition for many years, including training with Joseph Goldstein, Jack Kornfield, George Mumford and Thich Nhat Hanh. She has studied with the Huichol Indians in Mexico, and has co-taught Curanderismo (traditional Mexican folk healing) workshops at Ghost Ranch in New Mexico. In 1998, Linda received the Martin de la Cruz award from the International Congress of Traditional and Indigenous Medicine for her work in maintaining Curanderismo. Linda belongs to a traditional, pre-Colombian Aztec ceremonial dance group, Danza Azteca de Anahuac, where she is the Malinche (fire carrier and keeper). Linda is also co-founder, along with Grove Burnett, of the Vallecitos Mountain Ranch, a wilderness ranch and contemplative center for the nonprofit and activist community, located 45 miles west of Taos.