Staff & Board
Core Leadership Coordinator
Read Gretchen's Bio
Education & Outreach Coordinator
Read Renee's Bio
Health & Justice Coordinator
Read Marissa's Bio
Marissa has a Bachelor of Science from Northern Arizona University where she focused on plant biology and a Master of Community & Regional Planning from the University of New Mexico where she focused on Indigenous Community Planning as well as Historic Preservation & Regionalism.
Following her academic pursuits, Marissa devoted her professional life to working in community and cultivating a strong relationship with community elders who helped her develop a stronger understanding of social & environmental justice based issues that affected her community. Marissa maintains a strong dedication to addressing such issues in her work and hopes to cultivate systemic change with other like-minded individuals.
Marissa is overjoyed to have been chosen to be a part of the RMSA Staff Team and looks forward to cultivating a strong organization that lifts up the needs of the communities we serve.
Read Frances' Bio
Board of Directors
Joseluis Ortiz y Muniz
Read Joseluis' Bio
Shannon Francis (Hopi/Dineh)
Read Shannon's Bio
Shannon is the Executive Director for Spirit of the Sun, Inc. in Denver. Spirit of the Sun received the 2020 Human Rights Award from Youth Celebrate Diversity. Shannon co-created and led an Indigenous Permaculture Community Garden Project with the Four Winds American Indian Council. Shannon has received the Justin B. Willie humanitarian award (2014) on the Navajo Nation as well as the Cesar E. Chavez female leadership award (2015) for her work with Indigenous gardening, food justice, and community building projects.
Shannon co-created the Indigenous agricultural project at Woodbine Ecology Center in Sedalia, CO. She taught Indigenous gardening workshops Native communities at the Denver Indian Center. She has presented at the Front Range Bioneers, the Star School, Indigenous Farming Conference White Earth, MN, The Denver Green Festivals, Dartmouth College, Haskell Indian Nations College, Fort Lewis College AISES Conference, and the Teaching Outside the Box Environmental Education Conference.
Shannon has six wonderful children and three amazing grandchildren that are her inspiration to make this a better world for all future generations to come.
Read More About Val
In 2020 she graduated from the University of Southern California with a BS in Business Administration where her emphasis of study was Social Entrepreneurship. Her education brought her to where she is currently “studying economics as if humans mattered” by learning about cooperative and collective enterprises, the power of mutual aid, and how we can steer this neoliberal ship consciously in a different, sustainable direction.
Some questions that guide her day-to-day are:
How do we engage youth so they can experience spiritual ecology and healing for themselves? How do we mitigate colonization 2.0 (gentrification) in our communities? How do we create economic opportunities and pathways for those same youth so they might have land based, agricultural professions that are dignified and pay fairly?
Her day job is as a Co-Program Director of the Rio Grande Farm Park in Alamosa, CO and she moonlights as owner and operator of Buena Vibra Foods, a small food distribution business serving the Northern New Mexico area with high vibrational foods from the farms in her community. She is excited to now serve on the RMSA board as she believes that seeds and the knowledge they carry are an immense tool that must be leveraged to establish true food sovereignty, develop cultural consciousness and inspire the next generation.
When she has free time, you can find her either welding in her workshop, looking for hot springs in the mountains, or pretending to know how to play the drums.
Read Kelley's Bio
Previous Board of Directors and Staff
Co-Founder, Executive Director, IT, Seed Teacher
Read Bill's Bio
John ‘JC’ Caccia
Co-Founder, Board Member
Read John's Bio
Operations & Development
Read Jackee's Bio
Read Don's Bio
Read Emily's Bio
Co-Founder, Deputy Director, Public Relations
Read Belle's Bio
Program Director and Executive Director
Read LA's Bio
Read ST's Bio