Board of Directors

Ellen Shinkle


Ellen first came to the area in 2002 to work as a guide for Deer Hill Expeditions in Mancos. After working in Wilderness Therapy for many years she officially settled in the area in 2008 when she bought a home and took over as the Field Director for Open Sky Wilderness Therapy. Ellen has a background in working with at-risk youth in all types of organizations and programs. She has a BA in Sociology and Spanish from UNC Asheville. She is currently working at Southwest Open School and running a few businesses of her own. Ellen is passionate about nature and being outside, working with people, especially teenagers, and trying to help save the earth.  She is an avid mountain biker, skier and weight lifter.  She loves watching movies and traveling to any place on the planet she can get to.

Ellen Shinkle

Vangi McCoy


Vangi McCoy is the Coordinator for the Montelores Early Childhood Council, serving Montezuma and Dolores Counties. She also serves on SCYC’s board, the Dolores Re4a School Board, San Juan BOCES board, Nurse-Family Partnership Community Advisory Board, Early Childhood Council Leadership Alliance board and teaches early childhood courses at the community college. Her BA is from Arizona State University in Elementary Education and MA is from the University of Denver in Educational Leadership and Policy, where she was a Buell Fellow. She is married with four grown children and an 8-year-old granddaughter.

Trisha Halencak


Trisha grew up in a small mountain community near Yosemite. She relocated to the area in 2012 and has enjoyed building her family here. She has a background in Early Childhood Education and parenting support programs. Currently, she is working at the Four Corners Child Advocacy Center providing services for children who have experienced or witnessed some abuse. Trisha enjoys spending time with her family camping, going to the river and riding her bike.

Chuck McAfee

Chuck McAfee


Chuck McAfee was born in Cortez, grew up on a farm in Lewis and graduated from M-CHS. He studied electrical engineering at the University of Colorado and then at Stanford University. His professional career was with Hewlett-Packard. Chuck and his wife MB returned to Southwest Colorado in 1998 to become re-engaged in their home community. Chuck is involved in the local and regional nonprofit realm where he serves a number of boards of directors. His favorite pastimes are conversation, laughing, and attempting to keep up with friends on local mountain bike trails.

Ansel Baker


Ansel Baker graduated from Montezuma Cortez High School in 2019 and is currently in college. He was homeschooled in Dolores through 2nd grade. He then moved to Carbondale, CO to attend a Waldorf school. In 2016 he returned to his home in Dolores and began to volunteer with Southwest Conservation Corps on high school crews, building school gardens, cabin restoration, and trail work. Ansel was also part of a Youth Advisory Council that worked with the Montezuma Inspire Coalition. He is college-bound and plans to major in engineering. Ansel enjoys reading, playing music on both the piano and stand up bass, fishing and spending time alone in wooded and mountainous areas

Ansel Bakerr