Las Cruces Staff
Michelle grew up in California and moved out to Arizona in 2009 to go to NAU for a B.S in Forestry. She joined Arizona Conservation Corps in the summer of 2012 as a Corpsmember and loved the experience so much that she decided to come back after graduating and serve on six more crews. Working her way from Corpsmember to Program Coordinator, Michelle enjoyed working with crews in the Verde Valley helping to forever remove invasive plants along the Verde River. Michelle has now shifted to Program Coordinator with Conservation Corp New Mexico in Las Cruces. When she is not working, she enjoys going on Norris family backpacking trips and adventuring to anywhere she hasn’t been yet.
Genevieve grew up in Indiana, but always yearned for adventures in the mountains of the west. After getting a bachelor’s degree in broadcasting from Ball State University, she headed for Arizona and tried to make a name for herself in the world of classic rock radio. While living there, she fell in love with the beauty and ruggedness of the desert, and changed her career path to one that would keep her outdoors. She joined an Americorps trail crew in the fall of 2009 and never looked back! She has worked with Southwest Conservation Corps in Salida CO, Arizona Conservation Corps in Tucson AZ, and Nevada Conservation Corps in Reno NV. To further continue her outdoor education she went back to school at New Mexico State University for another bachelor’s degree in Fisheries and Wildlife Ecology. She has lived in nine different states and spent one summer in Panama chasing ecology and wildlife seasonal positions. She is now ready to inspire others towards a life of conservation and land stewardship. In her free time you can find her sitting under a tree with a book, paddling her kayak, watching nature shows, or attempting yoga poses.
Conservation Corps New Mexico is also supported by Arizona Conservation Corps Staff
Paul joined the Arizona Conservation Corps in May of 2015, bringing with him experience working with a number of conservation corps across the country. Starting in 1995 as a Crew Leader with the Minnesota Conservation Corps, his passion for corps has translated into a career of progressive leadership at corps organizations. After three seasons in Minnesota and directing the summer program, he moved to Oregon and worked with the Northwest Youth Corps in a variety of positions. In 1998, he joined the Vermont Youth Conservation Corps (VYCC), starting as a seasonal Field Assistant but quickly moving into a year round staff position. After a collective 14 years working with VYCC, including most recently as Chief Operating Officer, Paul moved to Arizona to become the Executive Director of Arizona Conservation Corps. As Executive Director, Paul is responsible for the Arizona Conservation Corps and Conservation Corps New Mexico operations. His primary focus is developing and maintaining projects and partnerships in support of these programs and providing supervision and guidance for the team of approximately 25 year round staff.
Russell grew up in the burgeoning metropolis of Phoenix, AZ. In search of a cozier and less sweltering place to live, he moved up to Flagstaff in 2003 to get his degree in History Education from NAU, and spent his summers as a camp counselor in nearby Prescott. After finishing up with school, he decided to put the ideas and knowledge he had gained from his education and camp experience to practice by taking a job with AZCC in September of 2008. Between the stunning locations, rewarding work, appalling caloric intake, and lifelong friendships here at AZCC, he would have a hard time doing anything else. When he's not out saving the world, one trail at a time, he likes to eat Mexican food, hike, canoe, play sloppy blues riffs on his guitar, root around in the garden, ride his bicycle, play astonishingly nerdy games, and most of all, sit out on the front porch with good friends and a grill full of brats.
Joel began his foray into conservation in August of 2014 as a Field Crew Supervisor for the local crew program. Prior to AZCC, Joel worked in outdoor recreation as a field leader and in outdoor education as a camp leader at the magnificent Grand Canyon National Park. Through those experiences he quickly found that the natural world is where his heart is. Since then, he has dedicated himself to experiential education in all its forms. Most notably, the local crew program at AZCC has presented Joel with the opportunity to impact the community both environmentally as well as at a grassroots level through the professional development of Corpsmembers. Outside of work, you'll find him painting and hiking all over Arizona!
Lee joined AZCC after spending 20+ years with the Montana Conservation Corps as a regional supervisor, program director and director of partnerships. He grew up in North Carolina but headed west to attend college in Colorado. He started his outdoor careers leading wilderness programs with adjudicated youth in New Mexico. He spent 7 years with the Colorado Outward Bound School interspersed with times as a counselor at a community college, a high school teacher and perpetual graduate student. He returned home and worked with the North Carolina Outward Bound School for 3 years before coming back out west and discovering the world of national service and conservation corps. Lee is married and he and his wife, Teresa have a teen age daughter, Sadie. Lee joins the AZCC team as an Associate Director focusing on Local Programs.
Having developed a strong connection to the land during his early Boy Scout days growing up in Maryland, Tucker first moved west to Arizona in 2008 to attend Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff. After graduating from NAU in 2010 with a Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Studies, Tucker began his conservation career as a member out of the Flagstaff CREC office. Since that time, he has led various field crews for both AZCC and the SCC Ancestral Lands program on the Navajo Reservation. After serving as a Field Supervisor for SCC Durango, Tucker moved back to Arizona in 2014 to coordinate AZCC’s local programming in Tucson & Phoenix. In 2017, Tucker will be moving into a new and exciting role as the Program Director for AZCC’s Individual Placement program. In his free time, Tucker loves to be outdoors hiking and backpacking across the stunning southwestern landscape or cheering on his hometown Baltimore Ravens.
Matt began as a corps member in 2012, and worked his way up through leadership and staff as Field Program Coordinator, and to his current staff role as the Training and Logistics Director. He is often in the office but relishes every opportunity to go back in the field and get dirty doing work with crews. Matt is a Wilderness First Responder and a Wilderness First Aid Instructor through Desert Mountain Medicine. He graduated from the University of Arizona with a B.A. in Political Science.
Allison has been part of the AZCC family since 2006 and has worked with service and conservation corps programs since 2003. Allison was born and raised in the Green Mountain State of Vermont. After earning a B.A. in Human Studies with an emphasis in Environmental Studies from Warren Wilson College in Asheville, NC, Allison moved across the country to Durango, CO and became a Crew Leader with Southwest Conservation Corps (SCC). Allison has served in several capacities with conservation corps programs over the years including a Corpsmember on the Leadership Development Program crew with Northwest Youth Corps (NYC), a Crew Leader, VISTA, and Program Coordinator with SCC, and as a supervisor with American Conservation Experience (ACE). Today Allison serves as the Regional Director and is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the Flagstaff Office of the Arizona Conservation Corps program. Outside of work, Allison enjoys spending time with her wife Jamie, gardening, playing soccer, cross country skiing, and traveling.
Afton was born and raised in Flagstaff, Arizona. She began her career as a 17-year-old Youth Conservation Corps member with the Coconino Rural Environment Corps (CREC) in 2000. That is where she caught the "corps bug", and spent the next nine years working in different roles at CREC. In 2006, Afton was awarded Corpsmember of the Year, and it was at this point that she decided to dedicate her career to protecting Arizona's natural environment. After her time at CREC, she spent two seasons on a fire crew with the Coconino National Forest. Following that opportunity, Afton joined American Conservation Experience to manage and grow their restoration program. Now, after seven years of expanding that program nationally, and developing herself both personally and professionally, she was excited to return to her home region to conserve and protect Arizona's natural wonders. When not working, Afton can be found playing with her puppies and horses, and going on adventures, hiking, fishing, hunting, and kayaking.
Andrew was born and raised in the Tucson area, and grew up with Saguaro National Park West as his backyard, and spent his childhood hiking with his parents and riding his mountain bike around the desert. After graduating from the Evergreen State College in 2015, Andrew relocated back to Tucson to serve as an AmeriCorps VISTA and then as a VISTA Team Leader. Andrew continued to work in AmeriCorps program management and joined the Arizona Conservation Corps/Conservation Corps New Mexico staff team in 2019. Andrew loves spending his free time camping, hiking with his partner and her dog Lou, petting cats, and cooking delicious food for his friends and family.
Celia has been working with AZCC since 2003, when it was in its infancy as the Youth Corps of Southern Arizona. Celia is responsible for the overall administrative management of AZCC and feels very honored to contribute to the mission of AZCC. In this role she oversees administrative tasks for the daily operations of AZCC and the administrative staff of Conservation Legacy. Celia was born in Chicago to Mexican parents and was fortunate to have lived in both countries at various stages of her life until she settled in Tucson over 25 years ago. When not at work, Celia enjoys spending time with her husband and two children.