The Board of Directors of Friends of the Verde River are composed of representatives that support Verde River stewardship efforts, including Verde Watershed Restoration Coalition, One for the Verde, and the Verde River Exchange.

  • Chip Norton President

    President Chip Norton, a third-generation Arizonan, lives next to the Verde River in Camp Verde. He retired from his project management career in 2008 and currently serves on several nonprofit, municipal and regional boards and commissions. Read more.

  • Tony Gioia Vice-President

    Vice-President Tony Gioia, a retired U. S. Postal Service worker and business owner, has also served on the Town Council and as Mayor for the Town of Camp Verde. Read more.

  • Brent Bitz Treasurer

    Brent Bitz Brent is a retired businessman whose career involved him in large scale commercial real estate projects throughout North America. Since moving to Sedona with his wife Dion in 2006, he has been an active member of the community. Read more.

  • Jeni O’Callaghan Secretary

    Jeni O’Callaghan is a third generation artist: “for me, art has always been just there, like breathing.” Her art reflects much of the southwest desert she grew up in and still lives in today. Jeni has been coming to the Verde Valley since her grandfather bought Rancho Tres Brisas on the Verde River in 1963. Read more.

  • Max Castillo

    Max Castillo was a Park Ranger IV and Verde River Greenway Coordinator with AZ State Parks from 1998 – 2015. He was a Park Ranger at Dead Horse Ranch State Park and Verde River Greenway since 1975. Read more.

  • Peggy Chaikin

    Peggy Chaikin has been involved with Friends since its inception. She has lived and worked in the Verde Valley and Flagstaff area since the 70’s. Read more.

  • Susan Culp

    Susan Culp is the principal of NextWest Consulting, LLC and has over 15 years of experience in natural resource management, research and policy analysis, conservation advocacy, community engagement, collaboration, and coalition building, and issue and political campaign management in the Intermountain West. Read more.

  • Jennifer Diffley

    Jennifer Diffley is a junior partner in Culp & Kelly, LLP, where she practices in the areas of water and natural resources law, providing support to a variety of non-profit, government, and investment clients on environmental issues and water policy. Read more.

  • Siera T. Russell

    Siera T. Russell is a citizen of the Yavapai-Apache Nation and a direct descendant of the Wipukepa, a separate people of the early Yavapais. Her indigenous ancestors resided in and around Oak Creek Canyon. Read more.

  • Marsha Foutz Founding Board Member

    Founding Board Member Marsha Foutz is the volunteer coordinator and a founding member of Friends of the Verde River. Read more.

  • Nancy Steele Executive Director

    Nancy is an executive manager with over twenty-five years of environmental management and research experience, using the tools of science and policy to catalyze change towards a more sustainable future. Prior to joining Friends of the Verde River, Nancy was the Executive Director of the Council for Watershed Health in Los Angeles. Read more.

  • Harry Sweet
    Harry Sweet

    Treasurer Harry Sweet is a Board Director of Friends of the Verde River and part of the advisory committee for the Business Conservation Partners program. Harry works in the wine industry and is also a river boating enthusiast.

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