Western Resource Advocates has benefited greatly from the commitment of strong and diverse board leaders. Learn more about each of our board members below.
Front row, L to R: AJ Grant, Patrick de Freitas, David Robertson, Ken Ransford
Elaine Walsh Carney
Ms. Carney has 25 years of service to the nonprofit and government sectors. Her areas of expertise include the facilitation of collaborative processes, creation and implementation of strategic plans, capital campaign planning and management, in addition to volunteer training and coaching. She specializes in facilitation, mediation and negotiation. In February 2010 then Wyoming Governor Dave Freudenthal appointed Ms. Carney to serve a four-year term on the State of Wyoming Agriculture and Natural Resources Mediation Board. Ms. Carney is listed on the U.S. Institute for Environmental Conflict Resolution National Roster of Environmental Dispute Resolution and Consensus Building Professionals. Her experience as a consultant in the non-profit and conflict resolution fields and her previous work as an Instructor for the National Outdoor Leadership School provide a strong foundation for her current work. Elaine is a graduate of St. Lawrence University where she studied Environmental Anthropology and African Studies and has completed graduate level courses at Antioch University and the Harvard Program on Negotiation.
Ms. Carney’s passion is developing and supporting a “Culture of Philanthropy” in the organizations that she serves. She currently serves on the Board of Directors of Western Resource Advocates and 1% for the Tetons, for which she is also a founding member. Elaine recently served as a volunteer on the Trust for Public Land’s “Save the Hoback” Campaign where in 90 days, they raised the $8.75 million needed to purchase Plains Exploration and Production's (PXP) 58,000 acres of oil and gas leases and permanently protect the Hoback Basin in Wyoming. She served on the Board of Directors of the Center for the Arts in Jackson, Wyoming from 2010 – 2012 where she led the efforts to raise $1 million in general operating funds annually. Elaine served as the Advisory Council Co-Chair of the National Outdoor Leadership School from 2007 - 2010 and participated as a general member of the council from 2003 to 2007. Elaine enjoys spending time with her husband John at home in Jackson, Wyoming where they enjoy and explore the Northern Rockies together.
Chelsea Congdon Brundige
Ms. Congdon Brundige is writer and producer with First Light Films, an independent film and television company based in Snowmass, Colorado. She has worked in environmental conservation with the Natural Heritage Institute in California and as a water resource specialist with the Environmental Defense Fund in California and Colorado. She has served on many committees, funds, and trusts, and is an accomplished public speaker. Ms. Brundige has written for popular and scientific journals on issues ranging from land and water rights of Native Americans to environmental dispute resolution, water pollution control programs, and international relations related to water resources. She has an undergraduate degree from Yale University and an M.A. from the Energy and Resources Group at the University of California in Berkeley.
Patrick de Freitas (Chair of the Board)
Mr. de Freitas has a background in management, with organizational and entrepreneurial experience with profit and nonprofit groups. He was the chair of the boards of directors of both the Institute for Conservation Leadership in Washington D.C. and the Laird Norton Family Foundation in Seattle. Mr. de Freitas was born and raised in England, lives in Salt Lake City, and holds a Masters degree in Public Administration from the University of Utah.
Andrea J. Grant
AJ Grant is president of Environmental Communication Associates, Inc. (ECA), a national consulting firm located in Boulder, Colorado that specializes in social marketing and communicating complex environmental issues to the public. Ms. Grant is a founding partner and Chief Green Officer of The Big Green Company, Inc., a multimedia children's education/entertainment company. Their Emmy Award-winning PBS children's show, Big Green Rabbit, brings environmental and health topics to audiences around the world.
Ms. House is a botanical consultant and researcher for Indigenous Peoples environmental issues and policies, and is a consultant to the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, D.C. She is a member of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Recovery Team for Endangered Plant Species, and has worked for the Nature Conservancy's Indigenous Lands Program. Ms. House is a tribal member of the Navajo Nation, and lives in San Juan Pueblo, New Mexico.
Mr. Morgan has been a trial lawyer in the Denver Public Defender's Office and a partner in his law firm for forty years. He also worked at the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research and researched legal issues for the Department of Health, Education and Welfare concerning delivery of federal services to Native American tribes. Mr. Morgan has been a staff lawyer in the Denver office of the Environmental Defense Fund, and on the boards of directors of Audubon Colorado, the Yellowstone Association, and the Sonoran Institute. He has a B.A. in Economics from Stanford University and a JD from the University of Colorado School of Law.
Mr. Ransford is an attorney, investment advisor, and CPA specializing in income and estate tax law for small businesses, individuals, and non-profit organizations. He has served on the boards of the Environmental Center of the Rockies, the Aspen Center for Environmental Studies, the Aspen Valley Land Trust, American Whitewater, and the Colorado Chapter of Associated Fundraising Professionals. Mr. Ransford has presented at the Land Trust Alliance national conference and the Colorado Bar Association Continuing Legal Education meeting. He graduated from the University of Colorado School of Law in Boulder and from the University of California at Davis.
Mr. Robertson is a retired software designer, and has also been involved in mining history. He has been a long-time member of the Colorado Mountain Club, and served on the Boulder County Parks and Open Space Advisory Committee. He has been very involved in conservation issues and the preservation of the Alaska National Wildlife Refuge, and serves on the board of the Alaska Conservation Foundation.