Staff, board and advisers

Aspen Historical Society

The expressive Freddie Fisher, in the the 1954 Winterskol parade in Aspen, seeking to inform the community about its water future.

STAFF

BRENT GARDNER-SMITH
Brent is the founder and executive director of Aspen Journalism. His related media experience includes serving as executive director at Aspen Public Radio, working in communications at ProPublica while earning his master’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri, and reporting at the Aspen Daily News and The Aspen Times.

CURTIS WACKERLE
Curtis is editor of Aspen Journalism. He produces investigative and in-depth reporting and serves as the editor and reporter on the Connie Harvey Environment Desk. He is the former editor of the Aspen Daily News and has a degree in journalism from the University of Montana. Photo courtesy Craig Turpin.

HEATHER SACKETT
Heather is managing editor at Aspen Journalism and the editor and reporter on our water desk. Heather has worked as a reporter at the The Denver Post and she earned her master’s degree in journalism from the University of Colorado. Her reporting has been recognized by the Colorado Press Association.

FREELANCE JOURNALISTS

LAURINE LASSALLE
Laurine is reporting this summer for the Connie Harvey Environment Desk and is also producing “Tracking the Curve,” where we are sharing COVID-19 data. Laurine is pursuing her master’s degree in journalism at the University of California at Berkeley, with an emphasis on multimedia, investigative, and data reporting.

DALE ULLAND
Dale is a freelance copy editor. He has also worked as a reporter, features editor, page designer and copy editor in his journalism career, including at The Fort Collins Coloradoan and The Denver Post, where he was employed for more than 20 years. Dale has a master’s degree in creative writing from the University of Montana.

ELIZABETH STEWART-SEVERY
Elizabeth has covered the environment as a reporter for both Aspen Journalism and Aspen Public Radio. She was the founding editor of the Connie Harvey Environment Desk and continues to report for the desk. She has a bachelor’s degree in journalism and a master’s degree in education, both from CU.

TIM COONEY
Tim is a freelance writer and former Aspen Mountain ski patroller. The Aspen Daily News, The Aspen Times, The Avalanche Review, Aspen Sojourner, Ski and Powder have published his work. He has a bachelor of arts degree in government and philosophy from the University of Denver.


We’re also working with, or have worked with, the following freelance journalists:

David Williams
Sarah Tory
Catherine Lutz
Tom Lotshaw
Allen Best
Lauren Blair
Bethany Blitz
Alison Margo
Madeleine Osberger
John Colson
Paul Andersen
Bob Ward
David Frey
Tim Mutrie
Devon Meyers

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Tim McFlynn, chair, is executive director of Public Counsel of the Rockies and a mediator with Aspen Dispute Resolution. He was co-founder of both Pitkin County Open Space and the Manaus Fund. He has served as board president of Aspen Center for Environmental Studies, Wilderness Workshop and Western Resource Advocates.

Mark Harvey, treasurer, is a local rancher, writer, filmmaker and photographer. He is also on the board of EcoFlight, and he has been on the boards of High Country News and Aspen Center for Environmental Studies. Mark is Connie Harvey’s son, the namesake of the Connie Harvey Environment Desk.

Michael McVoy is an investment adviser at Raymond James Financial Services in Aspen and the former co-publisher of The Aspen Times. In the nonprofit sector, he serves on the Pitkin County Retirement Board and the Roaring Fork Transit Authority Board and leads the Roaring Fork Community Development Corporation.

Judith Zee Steinberg worked professionally in the international energy sector and serves as a board member at the Aspen Music Festival and School, Aspen Santa Fe Ballet, Jazz Aspen Snowmass, and J Street, in Washington, D.C. She has also served on the boards of Aspen Public Radio and the NPR Foundation.

Harry Teague is the founder of and principal designer at Harry Teague Architects. His work includes the Benedict Music Tent, the Joan and Irving Harris Concert Hall, the Bucksbaum Campus of the Aspen Music Festival and School, and the Anderson Ranch Art Center. He is also on the boards of the Aspen Science Center and Future Generations University.

JOURNALISM ADVISORY BOARD

Dave Danforth is the founder and former owner of the Aspen Daily News. The paper, which has the slogan “If you don’t want it printed, don’t let it happen,” was founded in 1978. Danforth sold it to local buyers in 2017. He also co-founded The Conway Daily Sun, the (Palo Alto) Daily News, the Berkeley Daily Planet and the Santa Monica Daily Press.

Charles Davis is dean of the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Georgia and is co-author of “Principles of American Journalism.” He also spent 14 years as a faculty member at the Missouri School of Journalism and served as executive director of the National Freedom of Information Coalition.

Charlie Firestone is the former executive director of The Aspen Institute’s Communications and Society Program and vice president of The Aspen Institute. Firestone was also director of the Communications Law Program at the University of California at Los Angeles and adjunct professor of law at the UCLA Law School from 1977-90.

Laura Frank is executive director of COLab, the Colorado News Collaborative. COLab was launched in 2020 as a project of the Colorado Media Project with support from the Colorado Press Association and in partnership with newsrooms across Colorado. It is a media resource hub and statewide coalition helping journalism transform and thrive.

Carl Hulse is the Chief Washington Correspondent for The New York Times with more than three decades of reporting experience in the nations’s capital. Hulse is also the author of “Confirmation Bias: Inside Washington’s War Over the Supreme Court, from Scalia’s Death to Justice Kavanaugh.”

David Krause has been the editor of The Aspen Times since February 2017. Before that, he spent nearly 17 years at The Denver Post, first as night sports editor and an assigning editor, and then as deputy city editor. He has also worked for the Denver NBC affiliate as a sports producer and for newspapers in Loveland and Oklahoma City.

Catherine Lutz is an Aspen-based freelance writer, reporter and editor. She contributes to a wide range of publications, including Aspen Sojourner and The Aspen Times, and edits for a number of clients, including The Aspen Institute. A longtime local journalist, Catherine is the former managing editor of the Aspen Daily News.

John Masters is the executive director at GrassRoots Community Network, a position he has held since 2001. He has also worked as program director at Aspen Television Channel 8, as owner of Masters Studio, a video and television production firm in Aspen, and as senior video and television producer at Mammoth Mountain Ski Area.

Curtis Robinson, chair, is senior counsel for media strategy at CRAFT Media Digital. He is the co-founder of Roaring Fork Sunday, a former editor of the Aspen Daily News and a member of Aspen Journalism’s Publisher’s Circle. He has also helped develop books with Hunter S. Thompson and Douglas Brinkley.

Carolyn Sackariason is a reporter at The Aspen Times, where she covers city hall. She has previously worked as news director at Aspen Public Radio, editor at the Aspen Daily News and publisher of the Snowmass Sun. Carolyn is also a co-owner of the Santa Monica Daily Press in Santa Monica, Calif.

Vivian Schiller is the executive director for communications, technology and innovation at The Aspen Institute. She has also served as CEO of NPR, global chair of news at Twitter and general manager of NYTimes.com. She was a founder of the Civil Foundation and is also a strategic adviser to Craig Newmark Philanthropies.

Steve Skinner is the general manager of KFFR, a public radio station in Winter Park. He has also served as general manager at KDNK in Carbondale, program director at Aspen Public Radio, and a DJ at KSPN and KSNO. Steve is a weekly columnist for the Aspen Daily News and the Winter Park Times.

Andy Stone and his wife, Linda Lafferty, co-authored “Light in the Shadows,” a novel about Caravaggio. Stone is also the author of “Aspen Drift,” a novel about journalism in Aspen, and “Song of the Kingdom.” Andy has also worked as a reporter, editor, columnist and publisher at The Aspen Times.

Nancy Watzman is director of Lynx LLC. She is a strategist specializing in developing and managing collaborations and partnerships to support journalists, technologists and researchers. She is former director of, and remains an adviser to, the Colorado Media Project.

Mike Webb is senior vice president for communications at the News Literacy Project. Before joining NLP in July 2019, Mike served as a vice president at BerlinRosen, a public-affairs firm in Washington, D.C. He was also director and vice president of communications at ProPublica and led sales and marketing efforts at Honolulu Civil Beat.

FINANCIAL AND LEGAL ADVISERS

Mike Marolt is a CPA in his native Aspen, a KPMG Peat Marwick alumnus and a member of the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame. His accomplishments include the first skiing descents of numerous mountain peaks in the Himalayas and shooting and producing the movie “Skiing Everest.”

Denise Jurgens is a CPA and partner at Reese Henry and Company, where she has worked since 1984. She has an extensive background in auditing and accounting services, including internal control procedures and organization governance, and a deep knowledge of IRS rules for not-for-profit organizations.

Ken Ransford is a Basalt-based attorney, investment adviser and CPA specializing in income-tax and estate-tax law for small businesses, individuals and nonprofit organizations. Ken serves as the secretary of the Colorado Basin Roundtable, and he holds a voting seat representing recreational interests.