Board of Directors

Teresa Martinez, Board Chair

Teresa holds a B.S. and M.S from the Department of Fisheries and Wildlife in the College of Natural Resources from Virginia Tech. She’s worked for the Appalachian Trail Conservancy, the Continental Divide Trail Alliance, and since 2012 has been the Executive Director (and co-founder) of the Continental Divide Trail Coalition. She serves on the Trail Leadership Council of the Partnership for the National Trails System and has served as the Chair of the Federal Advisory Committee to aid the USFS in the development of the Pacific Northwest National Scenic Trail. Teresa is actively involved in the creation of equitable spaces for all people in the outdoors and currently serves as the Chair of the Board for the Next100 Coalition.

Ángel Peña, Vice Chair

Ángel Peña is the Executive Director of Nuestra Tierra Conservation Project. He was born and raised in the Rio Bravo valley and is a first generation American and father of three. As a Cultural Resource Specialist for New Mexico Wild (2012), Wyss Fellow (2014), & as the Rio Bravo Director at the Conservation Lands Foundation (2016), Ángel has had the opportunity to support and lead amazing teams that ultimately secured protections totaling millions of acres across the American Southwest. Angel is a founding member of the Next 100 Coalition (2016), he actively works to identify new ways in which we can increase the diversity and inclusion of the histories, culture, knowledge and people represented in our public lands and spaces. 

Cassandra Carmichael, Treasurer

Cassandra Carmichael is the Executive Director of the National Religious Partnership for the Environment where she oversees the advocacy and programmatic work of an alliance of 7 major national faith organizations. She is a senior fellow in the Environmental Leadership Program and a previous board member on the Chesapeake Bay Alliance, and has served on the White House Faith-Based and Neighborhood Advisory Council Task Force on Climate and Environment and the Advisory Council of the Green Bible. She received her graduate degree in environmental education from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point.

Eboni Preston Goddard, Secretary

Eboni Preston Goddard is the Southeast Region Associate Director and National Park Service Diversity Lead for the National Parks Conservation Association. Led by a call to action, Eboni is a management professional with a background in non-profit administration, program operations, partnerships, and workforce development. She holds a BA from Duke University, an MSW from Columbia University, an MBA and MPA from Kennesaw State University, and currently pursuing a PhD in Public Policy from Southern University and A&M College. Outside of work, Eboni is an avid hiker and Crossfit enthusiast.

Ben Gabriel

Ben (he/him), is currently  Executive Director of Wild Montana. Before joining Wild Montana, he served as executive director of Friends of Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks based in Las Cruces, New Mexico. He’s also worked in higher education, parks and recreation, and nonprofits across the country. He holds a B.S. in recreation studies from Ohio University and a masters in higher education administration from New Mexico State University.

Ava Holliday

Ava (she/her) believes a sustainable future is dependent on simultaneously working towards social and environmental justice. She has devoted the last decade to working and researching in this field. As a graduate student at the University of Washington in the department of Anthropology, she was able to deepen her understanding about justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion efforts and challenges in environmentalism, conservation, and outdoor recreation. She left graduate school to put theory into practice at the Avarna Group, an organization that supports outdoor and environmental organizations to integrate equity and justice into every aspect of the organization.

Xavier Morales, Ph.D

Xavier Morales, Ph.D., MRP, is the executive director of Praxis Project, a national organization dedicated to supporting communities building power for health. Xavier is a longtime advocate for community-driven initiatives to achieve health equity and environmental justice. Xaviwe currently serves on the board of the Urban Peace Initiative, and was until recently, the Chair of City of Berkeley sugar sweetened beverage tax expert panel. A former Peace Corps volunteer (Hungary), is originally from Sanger, Ca and studied environmental sciences at the University of California, Berkley and city and regional planning at Cornell University.

Karyn Bigelow

​Karyn is a Co-Executive Director at Creation Justice Ministries. She has served in policy and analysis roles at Bread for the World, focusing on the intersections of climate change, food security and racial equity. She is a committee member of the American Baptist Churches’ Creation Justice Network and in leadership of the Pan African Young Adult Network. She earned her M.Div from Pittsburgh Theological Seminary and her undergraduate degree in social relations and policy from Michigan State University. She is currently pursuing a MSc in Global Food Security and Nutrition focusing on sustainability. Karyn is a trained beekeeper.

Juan Pérez Saéz

Juan (he/him/el), is currently the Executive Director of Environmental Learning for Kids (ELK). Previously, he served as the Senior Manager for Strategic Partnerships with the Wilderness Society. He played a leading role in designing and implementing advocacy campaigns driving federal policy to protect public lands, climate, and western communities. Juan has a Bachelor of Engineering in Environmental Management from the University of Panama, and a Master of Science in Environment and Natural Resources from The Ohio State University. Juan is actively engaged with his community as a board member for the Cottonwood Institute, a Commissioner for The Colorado Governor’s Commission for Community Service, and a member of the Colorado Outdoor Recreation Advisory Council.