Board and Staff

Where Passion Makes A Big Difference

The People Behind Forever Our Rivers

Our mission is to help communities enhance river health in their neighborhoods and create more equitable access to rivers. Improving streamside habitat, protecting wetlands and bolstering base flows to support aquatic habitat are also priorities.

Tim Carlson

Tim Carlson

Board President and Secretary

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Tim is an environmental engineer with more than 40 years of experience. His career spans the range of restoration including soil, ground and surface waters, and riparian lands throughout the West. His work has focused on developing reasonable and rational solutions to environmental problems that were considered intransigent by many. Recently retired, he spent the previous 20 years working or consulting with nonprofits serving as president, executive director, research director, and consultant. This included founding the Tamarisk Coalition (now known as RiversEdge West) and consulting to the Walton Family Foundation. Typical activities provided to these nonprofits was guidance to numerous watershed partnerships in the Colorado River Basin to improve riparian habitat and river health, as well as researching and crafting innovative sustainable funding mechanisms for river conservation. These experiences led to the formation of Forever Our Rivers Foundation to address the complex issue of sustainable funding that focused on an innovative approach that wasn’t tied to traditional funding approaches.
Steve Ayers

Steve Ayers

Board Member

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Steve has spent 24 years in sales and marketing before returning to college and receiving a B. S. in Strategic Communications and Professional Writing in 2004. That same year he began a new career in journalism as a reporter for the Verde Independent and Camp Verde Bugle newspapers. During his eight-years as a journalist, he wrote extensively on the Verde River, environmental issues, local agriculture and Verde Valley history. He received over 40 statewide and regional journalism awards including seven from the Arizona Newspaper Association and the Arizona Farm Bureau Print Journalist of the Year in 2010. In 2013 he made yet another career change taking over as the Economic Development Director for the Town of Camp Verde. Over the last two years, he has been instrumental in developing a model that blends traditional economic development programs with asset-based, place-making initiatives and environmental conservation. He is a master home brewer who provides both marketing and craft beer expertise to the Board.
Donna D’Angelo Morrall

Donna D’Angelo Morrall

Board Member

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Donna is a Certified Financial Planner ™ professional with more than 10 years of experience and co-owner, with her husband Steve, of Clear Waters Financial Planning LLC. The firm donates 20% of its profits to local non-profits that strive to create a sustainable environment and future for Western Colorado. In addition to her expertise in financial planning and socially conscious investing, Donna also brings her experience as an environmental scientist to the Forever Our Rivers Foundation. Donna is an aquatic ecologist and has studied the impacts of deforestation on stream geomorphology, nutrient dynamics, and fish distributions since the early 1980s. She worked for 15 years for The Procter & Gamble Co. conducting stream research, environmental modeling and risk assessments. In her spare time, Donna enjoys outdoor activities such as hiking, camping, fishing and playing golf. She is also a member of the Great Old Broads for Wilderness.
Jim Francis

Jim Francis

Board Member

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Jim is a Professor Emeritus of Management at Colorado State University and the National President of Sigma Iota Epsilon, the honor society and professional fraternity of the Academy of Management. He is the founder and former director of the Beverage Business Institute and the Center for Professional Development and Business Research in the College of Business, where he created certificates in Beverage Business Management and non-profit management. As a management consultant to clients in the private and public sectors, he has worked with a wide variety of businesses and organizations and has served on boards of directors and advisory councils for corporations, public institutions, and not-for-profit organizations including NCAA Faculty Athletics, NCAA Council, Board of Directors of the College Football Association, Mountain-Pacific Sports Federation, Mountain West Joint Council, Student-Athlete Academic Committee, the Black Business Scholars organization and the local chapter of Sigma Iota Epsilon. He has also been an owner/operator of two small businesses and has worked for a Fortune 100 firm in organization development. Jim holds a Ph.D. and M.A. from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in Management/Organizational Behavior and Industrial Relations, respectively, and a B.A. degree in Economics from Central College of Iowa.

Chip Norton

Chip Norton

Board Member

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Chip has worked over 35 years, most of that time as a corporate officer, for a family-owned construction and construction management company specializing in development and management of water and wastewater treatment projects. Chip retired at age 55 and since 2005 began his second career as a full-time community volunteer, with an emphasis on river conservation. He is a founder of the Friends of the Verde River Greenway, a nonprofit watershed organization that has created successful collaboration between public land managers and private landowners working to restore riparian habitat. Within the Verde River watershed, he continues his work on all aspects of river conservation, including the development of collaborative partnerships, sustainable funding for conservation NGOs, riparian restoration, flow restoration, sustainable river recreation and tourism, groundwater pumping mitigation and sustainable land management. When not volunteering, Chip can be found rafting the Grand Canyon or other great rivers in the West.

Robyn Paulekas

Robyn Paulekas

Board Member

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Robyn Paulekas has extensive experience bringing people together to solve complex and often controversial sustainability and conservation problems, including those that relate to river health, restoration, and corporate partnerships. She is a Senior Mediator and Program Manager at Meridian Institute. She has led and supported both domestic and international projects on water, conservation, outdoor recreation, agriculture, and climate change—often working at the nexus of more than one of these issues. One highlight from her recent work has been to refine guidance for how food and agriculture companies can strengthen their sustainability commitments to address water quality impacts of the U.S. row crops they source. The draft recommendations encourage companies to support collective watershed action and other implementation support. Prior to Meridian, Robyn applied geospatial information to find solutions to water-related conflict in the Klamath Basin in Oregon. At the University of Wyoming Ruckelshaus Institute of Environment and Natural Resources, she supported multi-stakeholder dialogues on energy, climate change, and endangered species. In her free time, Robyn can be found adventuring in the mountains and on rivers with her husband and their two wild and curious sons.

Ann Johnston

Ann Johnston

Executive Director

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Ann joins Forever Our Rivers after 15 years in land and water conservation. As executive director of the Crested Butte Land Trust (CO), Ann conserved wetlands and other ecologically significant lands, local ranches, and hiking and biking trails. During her tenure, the organization tripled its operating capacity and achieved national accreditation. She completed several award-winning river restoration projects and was instrumental in bringing together diverse viewpoints to resolve a 30-year long conflict over the use and protection of Snodgrass Mountain.

Ann later served as the Russian River program manager for the Sonoma Land Trust (CA). She was responsible for creating a land and water conservation strategy to protect the natural processes of the river while meeting social and economic needs. Climate adaptation and the voices of underserved communities were key aspects of her conservation planning.

Ann is serving her second term as commissioner for the Land Trust Accreditation Commission (NY). Prior to that, she served an appointment by Colorado’s governor to the Conservation Easement Oversight Commission (CO). She holds a bachelor’s in journalism and a master’s in natural resources.

When not working you will find Ann outside with her husband Dave, enjoying the rivers and mountains of Colorado’s western slope.

Amy Moore

Amy Moore

Corporate Partnerships Manager

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Originally from Minnesota, Amy feels most at home when she's near water. Growing up, Amy spent her time catching minnows with her dad in a stream near their family farm and fishing on lakes and rivers in northern Minnesota. More recently, she has enjoyed kayaking, swimming, and rafting the waters of Colorado near her home in Glenwood Springs.

Amy brings extensive marketing and design experience to Forever Our Rivers Foundation, along with a love for cultivating meaningful relationships with others. Her previous experiences with a community foundation and volunteer service with local nonprofits have increased her knowledge of fundraising, grantmaking, and the collaboration it takes to keep moving nonprofits forward.

In addition to her time with Forever Our Rivers, Amy enjoys paddleboarding, kayaking, hiking, and traveling with her family. If you can’t find her in the great outdoors, then she’s most likely cuddled under some blankets, indulging in a great book.