Board of Directors

Grove T. Burnett, Founding Teacher and Board of Directors

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.

Mark ColemanMark 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

Melissa MormanMelissa Morman, President, Board of Directors

Austin, TX

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.

jim norton

Jim Norton, Executive Director

Santa Fe, NM

Jim Norton attended the very first meditation retreat at Vallecitos 20 years ago and has been coming back to the ranch ever since. A graduate of Williams College with a degree in biology, he also did graduate work at Yale University’s School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. Jim has had a distinguished career in non-profit, education and government sectors. He brings a wealth of executive and management expertise and experience to his leadership position at Vallecitos. In addition, he brings 20 years of meditation practice and an intimate knowledge of the ranch and the management of its lands and facilities. Jim was Regional Director for the Wilderness Society for twelve years in Santa Fe, New Mexico where he led legislative campaigns in Washington, DC and the Southwest to protect public land and successfully add 2.5 million acres to the National Wilderness Preservation System. For eight years he served under Governor Bill Richardson as Director of the Environmental Protection Division where he provided strategic leadership for five programs within the Environment Department, developed a comprehensive climate change program in New Mexico, including mandatory reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, and enforced environmental regulations resulting in approximately $500 million of penalties for coal, oil and gas facilities. Jim has taught science in the Santa Fe schools for 9 years. He has served on many non-profit and government Boards and Commissions.

Mary PowellMary 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.

ErinTreatHeadshotErin Treat, Guiding Teacher

Durango, CO

Erin lives in Durango, Colorado (just 3 hours from the ranch!) and has been actively practicing mindfulness and meditation for nearly 20 years and teaching since 2005. A graduate of Spirit Rock’s Community Dharma Leader Training, she is currently being trained by Joseph Goldstein, Jack Kornfield and others to teach intensive retreats at Spirit Rock and the Insight Meditation Society. She serves on the teaching council of the Durango Dharma Center and is a faculty member of the Vallecitos Mountain Ranch. She currently gives talks, leads classes, and teaches meditation retreats in the southwest and nationwide. She also teaches mindfulness trainings in a variety of secular settings, from the military to healthcare professionals. Erin maintains a private practice in which she offers a somatic, mindfulness-based approach to working with trauma and as a practicing body worker for 18 years. Erin loves the ranch and the land. “Vallecitos is my favorite place in the world to teach! What an incredible setting to support our deepest liberation.” We are thrilled about her expanded leadership role at Vallecitos.

Linda Velarde, Co-Founder

Taos, NM

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.