Meet Our Team

MEET OUR TEAM

The Sawtooth Association is lucky to have a dedicated board, staff and volunteers who work together to meet our mission. We are always looking for volunteers to help with special events and programs. Please join our mailing list to learn about volunteer opportunities or check out the link below to see if we have any employment opportunities!

Staff & Summer Crew

Lin Gray
Executive Director

Lin returned to the Sawtooth Association in January 2020, after enjoying five summer seasons working with and for the Sawtooth Association from 2009 to 2013. She is an Idaho native and thrilled to be working for SIHA again in the Sawtooth National Recreation Area. She is a graduate of Hampshire College and the University of Idaho and spent several years as an environmental education instructor in both Idaho and California. Most recently Lin was the director of the Sacajawea Interpretive, Cultural, and Educational Center in Salmon, Idaho. Lin believes there is always more to learn about the places we love, and conservation and preservation efforts only endure when we help create personal connections to the land around us. She is excited to expand the work of the Association and create new opportunities for visitors and the community.

Erica Cole
Business Manager

Erica grew up in Guilderland, New York. She came to the Sawtooth Valley in 2003 for a summer job. Captivated by Stanley, she made it her year-round residence in 2006. Erica spent 19 years working for Idaho Rocky Mountain Ranch and is excited to transfer those skills into the SIHA business manager position. Her desire to learn is evident through her A.A.S degrees in Administrative Assistant, Business Administration and Hospitality Management as well as continuing her education through online classes during the winter months. She loves to hike in the summer and cross country ski in the winter. Other hobbies include reading and writing.

Clare Vergobbi
Summer Programs Coordinator

Clare grew up in Salt Lake City and has been visiting the Sawtooths every summer since they were five, a trip they spent the entire year looking forward to. They are ecstatic to join the SIHA crew. Clare earned degrees in Ecological Restoration and Environmental Studies at the University of Montana, and has enjoyed stints working as a wilderness ranger, doing interpretive work for the Utah Department of Natural Resources, and managing an organic farm in Missoula. Clare believes in the importance of community, education, and collaboration as we navigate the challenges of the world together and is excited to be a part of that work in the Sawtooths. They’re a fan of a good meal, a good hike, and a good book.

Megan Nelson
Museum Docent

Megan is a Wisconsinite who has resettled in Idaho. She holds a BA in History and is currently pursuing her Master’s degree at Boise State University with plans for a career in the museum world. This is Megan’s fifth summer with SIHA (!!) and she loves both Stanley and SIHA. One of her favorite spots in town is the Stanley Museum! As SIHA’s docent, Megan works with the museum’s collection, improves and develops interpretive displays, and organizes our History Day event. The best part about working at the Stanley Museum is interacting with the visitors who connect with the local history. In her free time, Megan loves hiking, reading biographies, and sitting on the beach at Redfish Lake!

Heath Bagley
2023 Naturalist

Heath is finishing his associates in Biology at the College of Western Idaho and plans to pursue Natural Resources at Boise State next spring. Native to Boise, he is passionate about preserving its local ecosystem and teaching people about conservation. He likes to go biking the greenbelt and hiking with his friends on the weekend, though he often enjoys quality time alone in nature. Heath is also an artist and takes inspiration from the natural world and spends a lot of time scribbling in his sketchbook. He is looking forward to working in a unique environment and meeting new people.

Hali Bedenharn
2023 Naturalist

Hali has a Bachelors of Science in Environmental Sustainability and Geography from the State University of New York at Oneonta. Growing up hiking and birdwatching in the Adirondack and Catskill Mountains, the importance of understanding, appreciating, and protecting the natural environment was instilled in her at a young age. She is passionate about educating and inspiring the next generation to become stewards of the environment as well. During her spare time she enjoys reading, hiking, and meditating near bodies of water. This will be her first summer in the Sawtooths and she is very excited to explore and learn all she can about the area’s natural wildlife, vegetation, and landscape and share this knowledge with others.

Brian Hagens
2023 Volunteer

Brian is a native of Michigan who spent the past 19 years as a sales rep with Riddell Sports in New England and southern Wisconsin.  Prior to that, he worked as an athletic equipment manager at four different institutions (University of Southern California, Murray State University, the University of Michigan and Western Michigan University).  Brian graduated from Western Michigan University with a B.A. in Secondary Education/History. Recently liberated from the corporate world, Brian and his wife Sue are the proud parents of a Smooth Collie who is joining them on their Sawtooth adventure.

Sue Hagens
2023 Volunteer

Sue was raised in West Virginia and completed undergraduate studies at the University of Vermont and earned a master’s degree from Miami University.  Sue spent the majority of her career in higher education working at three different institutions.  Most recently, Sue worked in the financial industry in Madison, WI.  She enjoys pursuing outdoor activities, walking her dog Wally, and exploring new places.  Sue is excited to join the SIHA crew alongside her spouse Brian and experience the SNRA.   

Ian Maupin
2023 Historic Specialist

Ian recently graduated from Northwest Nazarene University with a bachelor’s degree in History and a minor in Political Science. He hopes that his position with the SIHA team will be a terrific experience and a way to exercise his education in historical research. Ian grew up on an Eastern Oregon ranch and this is his first time visiting the Sawtooths. He particularly enjoys history with direct ties to his heritage in the American West, making Stanley a fascinating spot for him with its rich history of fur trapping, sheepherding, mining, and cattle ranching. Ian enjoys doing anything outdoors, be it hiking, fishing, or enjoying nature in silence. He also likes to read, write, cook, and exercise.

Joseph Meihak
2023 Naturalist

Joseph is majoring in Wildlife Management and Conservation at Cal Poly Humboldt in Arcata, California. Once he graduates, he plans to work in carnivore conservation and ecology. Joseph is from Colorado and enjoys all the outdoors have to offer; hiking, biking, bird watching, canoeing, and finding new places to explore and learn about. He is excited to spend the summer being in and learning all about the Sawtooths.

Fiona Neely
2023 Naturalist

Fiona is a rising senior at Elon University located in North Carolina. She is pursuing a degree in environmental studies with a concentration in land management. Recently, she began research on the ecological succession of the Piedmont forest in North Carolina and is excited to explore the forestry in the Sawtooths. Growing up outside of Washington D.C., she found love for the smaller facets of nature that suburbia living brings. However, as she just spent her past fall semester studying in the Himalayan Region of the Kingdom of Bhutan, she is thrilled to be living and working in the mountains once again.
 

Board of Directors

W. Stewart Wilder, President

Stewart is a native of Cleveland, Ohio and graduated from Indiana University with a B.S. in Geology. He first visited the Sawtooth country at the age of 13 to visit relatives who came into the area in 1924.

Stewart married Debbie Osborn, daughter of Marie (Idaho’s first Nurse Practitioner) after a blind date set up as teenagers by Marie and Stewart’s Aunt Marjorie and Uncle Martin Pollock.

After 20 years working in the mining industry in gold and silver in the Yankee Fork country and iron ore mining in Minnesota and Newfoundland, the Wilder’s relocated to Boise.

The Wilder’s connection to the history of the Sawtooth Country and stories of the many old timers led to Stewart’s interest in SIHA’s mission, especially its oral history work. He joined the board in 2013 and has served as board president since 2019.

Stewart is active in Senior Care and Medical Staffing in Boise and serves as president of LiveWilder Foundation for youth suicide prevention, Idaho Suicide Prevention Coalition and Co-Chair of the Idaho Suicide Prevention Action Collective as a mental health advocate with a focus on public policy.

The Wilders share part-time residency in the Sawtooth Valley and enjoy fly fishing, hiking, and prospecting, but most of all connecting with the varied personalities of the past and present who make the Sawtooth experience a living story.

Terry Clark, Vice President

Terry divides his time between Lower Stanley and Hailey, Idaho. He is passionate about sharing his love for Central Idaho with visitors and locals alike.

In 2010, Terry retired from the U.S. Forest Service after a 34-year career that took him to National Forests in six states. He spent almost half his career here, on the Sawtooth National Forest.

In 1989, when he first laid eyes on the Sawtooth Mountains from Galena summit, he knew he had found his place in space. He has been dedicated to preserving, protecting, and enjoying it ever since.

Liesl Schernthanner, Treasurer

Liesl has her roots “just over the hill” in the Smoky Mountains, having been born and reared in the Wood River Valley.  Always eager to hear stories from Old Timers, her interest in learning about the region and its history began in early childhood and has grown with time.

After a career in applied human-environmental research and subsequent years of supporting science in Antarctica, she moved to Obsidian in 2013 with husband, dog, and horses, and has made the Sawtooth Valley home since then, with occasional excursions to work in Antarctica conserving historic sites and monuments.

She strongly commends the work of SIHA and believes it is important to preserve, enhance, and promote regional heritage to inform and inspire those who live, work, and visit the area.

Roland Miller, Secretary

Roland first arrived in the Sawtooth Mountains as a Student Conservation Association volunteer in 1980. From 1981 to 2001, he spent 17 more summers in seasonal roles for the Sawtooth National Recreation Area including natural interpreter, backcountry ranger, and Forest Protection Officer. From 1983 to 1984, Roland worked at Grey Towers/The Gifford Pinchot Institute for Conservation Studies in Milford, Pennsylvania. He ended his service at Grey Towers as the lead natural and cultural interpreter.

Like most of the residents of Sawtooth Valley, Roland wore many hats. Trained in high-angle and whitewater rescue, he was active as an EMT for the Stanley Ambulance and participated in many backcountry rescue operations. For ten years, Roland entertained guests at the Idaho Rocky Mountain Ranch with guitar and vocals.

Roland earned both his BFA and MFA in Visual Art from Utah State University. He recently completed his 32-year career in higher education as a Photography professor and then as Humanities dean at the College of Lake County in Grayslake, Illinois.

Roland’s photography of the United States’ space program includes projects documenting the abandoned space launch and test facilities around the United States and the Space Shuttle Program. He completed a project collaboratively photographing the interior of the International Space Station with Italian Astronaut, Paolo Nespoli. Roland’s photographs are included in numerous permanent museum and archive collections. He is happy to have the opportunity to give back to an area that has given him so much joy.

Gary Gadwa, Past President

Gary is a 1978 graduate of the University of Idaho with a M.S. in Wildlife Management. Gary devoted 28 years to protecting, perpetuating, and managing the fish and wildlife of Idaho during his career with the Idaho Department of Fish and Game (IDFG). Electing to work in the field, Gary spent the majority of his career within the Sawtooth National Recreation Area (NRA), the Sawtooth Wilderness, the southern end of the Frank Church Wilderness, and the White Clouds. His work in these very special wilderness and backcountry areas provided Gary with extensive opportunities to experience the country via horseback, trail cycle, snowmobile, kayak, raft, as well as aircraft as few, if any, others have ever done. His wildlife field studies included research on wolverine, elk, sheep and goats with opportunities to trap and relocate many other species from bats to small carnivores, lions, bears, and all major native big game. Gary twice earned recognition as Idaho Conservation Officer of the Year, the only IDFG Enforcement Officer with this honor. Gary is committed to preserving and interpreting the natural and cultural history of Idaho, and has been “addicted” to learning everything about the Sawtooth & Salmon River history since becoming acquainted in the early 70s with several central Idaho “pioneers”. Gary also serves on the board of the Stanley Clinic, as Commander of Sawtooth Search and Rescue, is a key EMS and fire department volunteer, and is active in Homeland Security as an amateur radio emergency coordinator. In 2004, Gary received the second annual Sawtooth Society Bethine Church Sawtooth NRA Service Award, the first such award having gone to his wife, Laurii, who also is instrumental to SIHA. Gary and Laurii raised and educated two children in Stanley and have been year-round residents since 1979. Gary enjoys hunting, fishing, hiking, Harley riding, trail cycle riding, snowmobiling, restoring old Fords, amateur radio, and photography.

Ed Cannady, Director

Ed is a Ketchum, ID-based photographer specializing in mountain sports and landscapes. He is an avid backcountry skier, hiker, backpacker and mountain biker.

Ed worked for USFS for 30 years, many of them spent as a backcountry manager in the SNRA.

J. Bernice Hartz, Director

Bernice’s professional career centered in secondary public education in the areas of geography and history in addition to serving as a field hockey coach, student council advisor and department chair in several Pennsylvania schools. Her Bachelor and Master degrees were awarded at Shippensburg University.

Employment with the US Forest Service in the Sawtooth NRA included three assignments within the visitor information services/visitor service division with much of that time serving at the Redfish Lake Visitor Center. Bernice received the initial Bethine Church award while employed by the US Forest Service.

In addition, she was employed as a teacher’s aide at the Stanley school and an instructor for Elder Hostel and volunteered on the Gem Community, the Stanley Independent School Board, the Sawtooth Mountain Mamas, and as a Redfish Center naturalist.

In Arizona she volunteered as a cave tour guide at Kartchner Cavern State Park for fourteen winter seasons and has served six years in the Pima County Sheriff Auxiliary.

It has been a joy to share the beauty, history and flora/fauna with many visitors in central Idaho. SIHA offers numerous opportunities to enhance the appreciation of the Gem of Idaho.

 

Vacant, Director

SIHA currently has a board vacancy. If you are interest in joining our board of directors, please reach out!

Paul Hill, Director

Paul and his wife, Ann, have been coming to the Sawtooth NRA since the 1990s. After a 35 year business career in Atlanta, Georgia, including ten years in private law practice and 25 years in executive management positions (including chief executive officer) at two major banks headquartered in Atlanta, Paul and Ann retired to live in Stanley and Ashland, Oregon.

Both are active in a number of civic and community organizations in both locations, including the Sawtooth Society and the Oregon Shakespeare Festival (Paul has served on both boards). Paul’s passions, which serve him well as a director of SIHA and the Sawtooth Society, include a love of things wild and a fascination with American history.

Amelia Jones, Director

Amelia has a love of the Sawtooth National Recreation Area because of a deep family connection. She had a career as a professor of mathematics before returning to Utah and Idaho. Until recently she and her family owned and operated Smiley Creek Lodge and she continues live in the area seasonally.

Amelia currently manages Needlepoint Joint, a retail establishment in Utah, and in her free time enjoys knitting and embroidery, cooking, gardening and the historic, artistic and natural resources of our world.

Susan Kim, Director

Susan retired from her professional career as a pediatrician in 2020. She earned a bachelor’s degree from Duke University, a medical degree from Vanderbilt University, and a master’s degree from the University of Pennsylvania. After her pediatric residency at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, she and her husband moved west to raise their family and quickly fell in love with the Sawtooths. They now split their time between Stanley and Boise. 

After retirement, Susan returned to the classroom to receive a certificate from Boston University in genealogical research and in 2023 she debuted her own genealogy business. Her love of the Stanley area, respect for history, and recognition of the importance of preservation is a natural fit with the mission of SIHA.

Jenny MacNichol, Director

Jenny, board member since 2020, was born in Northern California and raised in Portland, Oregon. Jenny is a retired internal medicine physician, having practiced for 30 years in Portland.

She and her husband, Carter, have been coming to the Stanley Basin to recreate and spend time with the MacNichol family at the Headwaters Ranch in Obsidian since 1982. They have two adult children who also visit regularly.

Jenny loves the many outdoor opportunities available in the Sawtooths, including hiking, fishing and horseback riding. Jenny’s long history and rich experiences in Stanley have made her passionate about preserving important local history and natural resources to share with visitors, residents and generations to come.

Becky Obletz, Director

Becky was born and raised in Boise, ID. She spent her weekends exploring the Sawtooth Mountains from her family cabin in Grandjean.

Becky is a retired physical therapist. She received a bachelor’s degree from Stanford University and a graduate degree in Physical Therapy from Pacific University.

Becky married Doug Obletz in 1989 at Idaho Rocky Mountain Ranch. They have two sons; Sam and Nick. Becky and Doug spend summers in Stanley and their winters in Portland, OR. Becky’s hobbies include hiking, mountain biking, trail running, and the many other outdoor opportunities that the Sawtooth Mountains provide.

Dave Pinney, Director

Dave graduated from high school in suburban Chicago and headed west to study at the University of Idaho. He married his wife, Melissa, in 1987 and graduated with a degree in Electrical Engineering in 1988. After graduation, they moved to Boise where they raised their two children, Kyle and Christine, both now adults. Dave spent 30 years designing computer memory chips before retiring in 2018.

Dave and his family developed a significant love for the Sawtooth Mountains and the town of Stanley. They built a home there in 1995 and spent many summer weekends and holidays up in the mountains. Now, in retirement, they consider Stanley their home.

Dave is also a director for the Salmon River Clinic in Stanley and a founder/director for the Pulaski Users Group, another great nonprofit dedicated to the stewardship of our public lands in Central Idaho.

Caitlin Straubinger, Director

Caitlin is a Florida native and cultivated her love of the outdoors while leading backpacking and paddling trips throughout the southeast and the Appalachians. After a stint working in the Colorado high country, Caitlin moved to Idaho in 2014 and has been busy exploring our wild rivers and diverse landscapes on foot, bike, and boat with her husband.

She served as the SIHA Lead Naturalist in 2019 and loves everything about the Sawtooth National Recreation Area. Caitlin currently works as the Community Engagement Director for Selway Bitterroot Frank Church Foundation and enjoys connecting with people and helping turn their passion for wilderness into meaningful action.

In the Sawtooths, you can often find her on the boardwalk at the Redfish Visitors Center looking for beavers, paddle boarding around an alpine lake, or on a trail with her dog.