Gregory Hicks, Board of Directors
Originally from the east, Greg fell in love with the Southwest’s mountains, rivers, and broad vistas as a young boy. He vowed to return. Greg moved to Albuquerque in 1971 to pursue his graduate degree in architecture. After several years of internship, he established his own Albuquerque-based architectural firm in 1980 and continues to practice architecture. The firm was established to provide architectural services for projects which enhance human endeavor, thus Greg has focused his career on institutional projects such as educational facilities at universities and public and private schools, medical clinics and hospitals, libraries, religious buildings, and historic preservation.
Greg also serves on the boards of two educational institutions. He was enticed to become a part of Vallecitos by its mission to assist people deepen the connection between their inner lives of wisdom and compassion with their outer lives of action and service, amid the stunning beauty and uniqueness of Vallecitos and its surrounding wilderness. He came to Vallecitos as a practitioner of meditation and a background in mindfulness. Vallecitos fulfills Greg’s commitment and desire to invest his energy and skills into organizations which advance human endeavor and help bring people to a deeper understanding of themselves and the world in which they live.
Heidi Cost, Board of Directors Secretary
Santa Fe, NM
Heidi has lived in Santa Fe, NM since 1978 and was honored to join the Board of Directors in May 2015. She graduated from Colorado College with a degree in photography and is the vice-president of a family-run company that specializes in vacation retreats in Akumal, Mexico. Heidi has been involved as a volunteer at the ranch since 2009 and has attended VMRC retreats yearly as a Retreat Manager. She sees the ranch and its beautiful setting in the Tusas Mountains as the ideal place to uniquely experience the wilderness life in a sacred and safe setting. She is committed to help protect, honor and share the legacy of Vallecitos, so that people can continue to experience a deeper awareness in this special place for generations to come.
Melissa Morman, 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, Melissa 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, Melissa spent 10 years at R.R. Donnelley & Sons in a variety of positions—sales, global account management, as well as front line supervision. Melissa 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. She received a Bachelor of Science degree, Cum Laude, from Ohio University in November, 1982.
Mary Powell, Board of Directors, Treasurer
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.
Robin Richard, Board of Directors, President
A three week Outward Bound Course in the Weminuche Wilderness of the San Juan Mountains introduced Robin to wilderness in 1987. Since that time, wilderness has been a friend, teacher, and sanctuary.
Robin returned to Durango, CO in 1989 to attend Fort Lewis College, graduating in 1994 with a B.A. in philosophy and a B.S. in chemistry. Late in college, she felt a calling to become a physician. After finishing medical training in Denver, she returned to southwestern Colorado in 2003, serving as a physician of general internal medicine.
The Dharma drew her in 2006 because it offered a way to develop a deeper level of compassion and kindness than she had previously known. Wilderness and nature have been an integral part of her practice as natural landscapes and their inhabitants are reminders of the importance of connection, kindness, and compassion and help her embody these qualities more authentically in all aspects of life. She has attended retreats at VRMC yearly since 2010, repeatedly drawn by the land for the sense of connection and spiritual home it offers.
The meadows, wetlands, river, and woods within and around VMRC help people bring more kindness, wisdom, and compassion into the world. The experiences people have at VRMC have positive impacts far beyond the Tusas Mountains. She feels grateful to have the opportunity to support VRMC and the people who visit it by serving on the Board of Directors.
Erin Treat, Guiding Teacher
Erin Treat lives in Durango, CO and serves as a Guiding Teacher of Vallecitos Mountain Retreat Center. She teaches intensive retreats at Spirit Rock and the Insight Meditation Society and serves on the Dharma Leader Council of the Durango Dharma Center. She gives talks, leads classes, and teaches meditation retreats in the southwest and nationwide. Erin teaches mindfulness trainings in a variety of secular settings and has maintained a longtime bodywork and counseling private practice in Durango. Her approach to sharing the dharma is influenced by her experience as a student of the Diamond Approach by A.H. Almass and by her deep love of embodiment and wild nature.
Jessica Denison, Operations Director
Kathryn Turnipseed, Board of Directors
Since 2008 Kathryn has served as Deputy Director of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of New Mexico assisting the Executive Director in managing and leading the organization. For 6 years her primary responsibilities focused on the internal management and support of the organization. In summer of 2016 her role changed to principally focus on raising funds and strengthening relationships with ACLU supporters.
Kathryn was introduced to the Dharma in Zagreb, Croatia where she was working with local anti-war activists across Bosnia, Croatia, Serbia and Kosovo. It offered a thread of clarity, possibility and true refuge in the midst of war. In 1996 she moved from Zagreb to Santa Fe and was introduced to the Santa Fe Vipassana Sangha. Dharma felt like home, a safe and trustworthy path to healing and wholeheartedness. Kathryn sat her first residential retreat at Vallecitos in 1997- it was a transformative experience and deepened her understanding and commitment to embracing and embodying dharma.
Since then she has sat numerous intensive retreats at Insight Meditation Society (IMS), Spirit Rock, the Mountain Hermitage and Vallecitos. In 2012 she graduated from the Community Dharma Leadership program at Spirit Rock and in 2014 completed the Integrated Practice and Study Program at Barre Center for Buddhist Studies.
Kathryn has been a member of the Albuquerque Vipassana Sangha since 1997 and served on the Board of Directors for many years. She lives in Albuquerque with her wife Tam.