RMFI is pleased to announce that Jolie NeSmith has been selected to lead the organization as RMFI’s new Executive Director and she will begin her role effective March 13 th . Jolie brings years of non-profit management experience, an impressive background in conservation and wilderness leadership, and a passion for protecting our public lands. Jolie has served the last five years as the Executive Director of PikeRide, the first ever non-profit bike share program in Colorado Springs. Jolie’s experience building and establishing PikeRide will serve her well in hernew role at RMFI.
Previously, Jolie served as the Southeast Region Manager for Special Olympics Colorado, as the Southwest Region Unit Leader for AmeriCorps NCCC, and as a Programs Specialist for the City of Longmont. Additionally, Jolie has experience working directly with RMFI through her position with AmeriCorps NCCC, supervising work on the Manitou Incline and revegetation efforts in the Waldo Canyon burn scar. Jolie is skilled at building long-term strategic partnerships and known for her ability to connect with teams, volunteers and supporters to create positive community
impact. Jolie earned a Master of Social Work from the University of Denver with a concentration in Conservation Social Work and Non-Profit Management. A longtime resident of Colorado Springs, Jolie is active in the community and is excited to give back to the parks, trails and open spaces that we all enjoy. When she isn’t working to improve the lives of the community, Jolie can be found enjoying one of the many trails around town, or out on a ride with her lab/great pyrenees pup, Gypsy.
Please join us in welcoming Jolie (and Gypsy) to the RMFI team!
Carl comes to RMFI with a wide range of natural resource knowledge and experience. An enthusiastic environmental steward and public servant, Carl is excited to join the passionate and dedicated RMFI team. Carl served several seasons as a member of an AmeriCorps conservation corps, worked as a natural resources intern with the National Park Service in Denver, and served as a Wilderness Fellow with the US Forest Service in Lake Tahoe, California. Carl earned his master’s degree in Natural Resource Management and Policy from the Indiana University School of Public and Environmental Affairs in May of 2019. Carl grew up in Austin, Texas, where he enjoyed hiking around the rolling Texas Hill Country, swimming and fishing its numerous lakes, rivers, and springs. On the weekends you can find Carl playing a game of pick-up basketball, out for a bike ride, or on a stream bank struggling to untangle his fly line.
Volunteer & Partnership Coordinator
Calla is originally from Metro Detroit where she spent her days dreaming of moving to Colorado. Over ten years ago she made the move and has been cultivating a love for our public lands ever since. Wanting to find a way to give back, she joined the Board of Directors for Friends of Cheyenne Cañon and became a Pikes Peak Regional Certified Crew Leader where she has spent the past 4 years volunteering for our parks. Combining her background in the outdoor industry with her passion for our outdoor spaces and volunteerism Calla is starting her 2nd year with RMFI. Calla fills her weekends by enjoying the local trails, and her love for sharing meals and a good beer with friends.
Elizabeth grew up in Colorado and early experiences instilled in Elizabeth a lifetime love of nature and being outdoors. Elizabeth is recharged by hiking, especially Colorado 14ers, backpacking, snowshoeing, climbing, and fishing. Elizabeth fell in love with trail work as a volunteer for the Dixon Trail project and thought it would be awesome to work on a trail crew someday so in 2020 Elizabeth earned a degree in Outdoor Leadership and Recreation Technology. Elizabeth’s dream of working on a trail crew came true in 2021, with her first season as a RMFI Field Instructor. In 2022 Elizabeth became a Field Coordinator and enjoyed leading projects on some of her favorite trails including Dixon Trail and the Devils Playground trail on Pikes Peak. Starting in 2023 Elizabeth will be taking on her new role as a RMFI Program Manager.
Over the years, Elizabeth worked a variety of exciting jobs including hiking guide, backcountry camp caretaker, historic interpreter, program coordinator, art department manager, and arts/crafts instructor. Elizabeth has more hobbies and interests than time, but that keeps life interesting! When she isn’t outdoors, Elizabeth enjoys time being creative in her art studio at Cottonwood Center for the Arts. Combining interests in history and hiking, Elizabeth annually hikes Pikes Peak in handmade moccasins and an 1850s style “Bloomer dress” to celebrate the history of the first recorded woman to climb Pikes Peak.
This is Otzma’s third year at RMFI and second year as a program manager! After growing up in Arizona with not much direction, she really found her passion for the outdoors and conservation when she did an 8-month gap year program traveling and studying development around the world. From there, she moved to California where she spent a year and a half as a Corpmembers with American Conservation Experience and then almost 3 years on the California State Parks Monterey District Trail Crew. Otzma then came to us as a Field Coordinator in 2021 and has been loving every minute of it since. Outside of work you’ll typically find Otzma at the gym, on the trail, or spending time with friends. If you have the chance to work with her, she’ll most likely chat your ear off or try really hard to make you laugh.
Lindsay was born in Central Illinois but grew up here in Colorado Springs, Colorado. She attended Colorado State University in Fort Collins, receiving a BS degree in Natural Resource Management with a Minor in Rangeland Ecology. After graduating Lindsay spent a season working at Castlewood Canyon State Park as an Interpretive Ranger leading school groups on hikes around the park. Lindsay has worked multiple seasons for RMFI during the summer and for the City of Colorado Springs during the winter. Lindsay is WFR certified and would like to further her training to become a Wilderness EMT.
Bronwyn was born in Maryland but moved many times during her childhood including a stop in Dallas, Texas where she became a life long Dallas Cowboys fan. She landed in Colorado in 1981 and loved it so much that she has stayed put. She graduated from Colorado State University in 1988 with a degree in Accounting. She has been married for 30 years and has two children. Her daughter is a preschool teacher in Denver and her son attends Northern Arizona University where he is working towards a degree in Photography. She has been the bookkeeper at Coaltrain Wine & Liquor for the past 16 years and has been a RMFI volunteer for the last 7 years. She is an avid hiker and enjoys skiing during the winter. Her other passions are baking and Christmas.
Born and raised in Colorado Springs, CO, Arlo is a self-proclaimed dirtgrub who finds endless joy in living, playing, and working with mother nature. If he isn't falling off of his climbing proj or trying equally as hard not to fall off of a mountain bike, it is likely you’ll find Arlo hiking some of the fine trails Colorado has to offer. Make no mistake though, Arlo’s dirtgrub-ism IS backed by a college degree and a reputation for joyously completing skilled rock work. He can't get enough of it.
This is Arlo's third season working with RMFI and his second as a field coordinator. He is also a graduate from UCCS, achieving a BA in Geography and Environmental Studies in addition to a minor in sustainability. Throughout his years in college, Arlo developed a deep connection to the natural world, finding himself particularly enamored with forest and alpine ecosystems. Arlo participated in Earth Crops in 2020 where he fell in love with trail work and found a real sense of direction for his passion. For Arlo, working for RMFI means being able to act as a steward of the earth, turning academic knowledge and technical skills into meaningful action. Rolling around in the dirt is just a bonus.
Thom is a New England native, having been born in Rhode Island and raised in Massachusetts. He spent a lot of his free time growing up exploring the woods of New England and camping amongst the maples and elms. After graduating from UMass Boston with a B.S. in Environmental Science, Thom found himself with the opportunity to intern with the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection working on Water Quality Certification throughout the state. Following a stint working as an environmental scientist for an environmental consulting firm, Thom realized that it was time to pursue his true passion - conservation. In 2020 he convinced his fiancé to move across the country with him to Colorado so he could chase his dream of being a part of conservation efforts in the majestic Rockies. He is extremely excited to begin his second season with RMFI and continue to be a part of the important work that RMFI does and he hopes to leave a positive impact on the incredible landscapes of Colorado.
Kelly grew up playing outside whenever she could, from climbing the trees in her backyard to running wild at her family's ranch in Wyoming. The outside has always been dear to her heart and soul. She is excited to return to RMFI for her fourth season. Giving back to the land that gave her so much as a kid.
Mikayla grew up alongside the Severn River in Annapolis, Maryland where she developed her call to environmental stewardship through her experiences as a student advocate for the Chesapeake Bay. She graduated from the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, MA with a B.A. in Biology and Minors in Geoscience and Environmental Studies. After college, she joined the Biogeochemistry Lab at the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center in Edgewater, MD where she contributed to research on the effects of global change on coastal wetlands. In addition to her fieldwork in the marsh, Mikayla enjoyed connecting with citizen scientists in her role as the volunteer coordinator for her lab. She's excited to join RMFI to continue cultivating a public conservation ethic with community volunteers through meaningful restoration projects in Colorado!
Oliver is originally from New Jersey but is excited to be living in Colorado Springs which gives him more opportunities to explore his passions for mountain biking and hiking. Oliver just graduated from Hamilton College in May 2021 with a B.A. in Biology and a minor in Environmental Studies. Over the past couple of summers, he spent his time as a wilderness guide for Overland Summers leading backpacking and bike touring trips in Maine and Montana. Oliver is excited to be joining RMFI as a Field Instructor so that he can combine his passion for outdoor leadership with his interest in preserving beautiful natural spaces.
Nicole, a Colorado Springs native, has a special place in her heart for the Rocky Mountains. This is Nicole’s first season of trail work and she is stoked to be working outside. She is currently studying environmental studies at Pikes Peak Community College and is just going with the flow...wherever life takes her. She hasn’t traveled outside the southwest in her entire life and she is craving new places, new people, and new opportunities. She loves her pets, her plants, and her people.
Born and raised in Colorado, Robbie has grown up with a love and deep respect for the outdoors. His hobbies include hiking, mountain biking, climbing, caving, and backpacking! As a firm believer in conversation and restoration, he is excited to start his journey with RMFI. To further open his horizons to the possibilities of the outdoors and learn and gain new skills! He sometimes says all you need is your dog a hammock and a place in the woods to have a good time!
Growing up in North Carolina; Justin took advantage of the beautiful Appalachian mountains building a love, respect, and appreciation of the outdoors. Upon joining the Boy Scouts as a youth he began to learn the importance of being a steward and protector of the environment. So far in Justin's life journey, he has been a chef moving around the country with his wife of the Air Force, honing his knowledge and skills from many different regions of cuisine. Always yearning for more time and a want to contribute to the well-being and preservation of the land, Justin has finally found the opportunity in RMFI to make that change to a field that can fulfill his wish of working with a community of like-minded individuals providing meaningful impacts to the environment. Justin is excited to spend this season soaking up all knowledge provided and leaving a positive impact on the beautiful lands and communities of Colorado.
Grace is originally from the Appalachian mountains of North Carolina. Following her passion for the outdoors, Grace earned a B.S. in Recreation Management with a Minor in Child Development at Appalachian State University. After college Grace converted a work van into a camper van and traveled throughout the country. After her travels, she decided to set up “camp” in Manitou Springs, CO. Having a deep respect for outdoor spaces and land conservation, she is very excited to start her first season working with RMFI. Grace is WFR certified and is grateful to be able to help others, especially in challenging situations and environments. Grace is most in her element on ridgelines, cracking cheesy jokes.