Staff, board, and advisors

The Benedict Building in Aspen, home to Aspen Journalism.

STAFF

BRENT GARDNER-SMITH
Brent is the founder, executive director and editor-in-chief of Aspen Journalism. He’s also been a reporter at the Aspen Daily News, The Aspen Times and KSNO. Brent was executive director at Aspen Public Radio from 2003 to 2007, and he worked at ProPublica in 2010 while earning his master’s degree in journalism from the U. of Missouri.

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

ELIZABETH STEWART-SEVERY
Elizabeth is editor of Aspen Journalism’s Connie Harvey Environment Desk, and covers the environment in collaboration with Aspen Public Radio and The Aspen Times. An award-winning broadcast journalist, she has a bachelor’s degree in journalism and a master’s degree in education, both from CU.

FREELANCE JOURNALISTS

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. His Aspen Journalism story “Taming the Snow Beast” won a 2018 award for best story-and-picture combo from the Colorado Press Association. He has a B.A. in government and philosophy from DU.

CATHERINE LUTZ
Catherine 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.

SARAH TORY
Sarah is a freelance reporter and a correspondent for High Country News. Her her work has appeared in The Atlantic, Hakai, Mother Jones, Slate and The Colorado Independent. Sarah studied literature at Williams College and received a master’s degree in creative nonfiction writing from Columbia University.

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.

DAVID WILLIAMS
David is a Vail-based freelancer whose work has appeared in more than 50 publications, including The New York Times and the Colorado Springs Gazette. His work has been recognized by the the Society of Professional Journalists and the Colorado Press Association.

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 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, 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, DC. She’s 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, with 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 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 vice president of journalism at Rocky Mountain PBS and founder of the I-News Network, which merged with RMPBS. She was an investigative reporter at the Rocky Mountain News specializing in in-depth reporting that requires data analysis and deep public records research.

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’s 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’s held since 2001. He’s 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, CA.

Vivian Schiller is the executive director for communications, technology and innovation at the Aspen Institute. She’s 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 advisor to Craig Newmark Philanthropies.

Steve Skinner is the general manager of KFFR, a public radio station in Winter Park. He’s 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 weekly columnist for the Aspen Daily News and the Winter Park Times.

Andy Stone is the co-author, along with his wife Linda Lafferty, of “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’s also worked as a reporter, editor, columnist and publisher at The Aspen Times.

Curtis Wackerle is editor of the Aspen Daily News, where he’s worked since 2006. He’s now served in every facet of local journalism, including covering city hall and general assignment reporting, serving as managing editor from 2010-2015, and then as editor. Curtis is also a debate moderator, editorial board member, opinion writer and podcast guest. He has a journalism degree from the University of Montana.

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 in countering online dis- and mis-information, conducting investigations, and increasing newsroom sustainability. She is former director of and remains an advisor 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 Washington public affairs firm. He was also director and vice president of communications at ProPublica and led sales and marketing efforts at Honolulu Civil Beat.

FINANCIAL AND LEGAL ADVISORS

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.