Meet the Team

Staff Members

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Heidi Anderson   (she/her/hers)

Executive Director

Heidi has five years of non-profit and programming experience serving as Executive Director of the Children’s Museum of Eastern Oregon and the Panhandle Humane Society. She's incredibly passionate about TMPF's mission and her experience in managing educational programming helped the Students Stewards Program flourish since she began working here as AmeriCorps Program Director.

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Allie Baracani   (she/her/hers)

Operations Director

Allie received her B.S. in Public Health from the University of Nevada, Reno. After working various jobs in the healthcare system she followed her passion for business administration and enrolled in the University of Nevada, Reno MBA graduate program. Working with the Truckee Meadows Parks Foundation allows her to combine her love of the outdoors with her education background. When not in the office she can be found rock climbing in the Truckee/Tahoe region, camping, or rollerblading through Idlewild Park.    

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Chantel Dominguez   (she/her/hers)

Programs and Events Director

Chantel is our Programs and Events Director. She received her B.A. in Anthropology from the University of Nevada, Reno and, after spending 4 years in Chicago, is thrilled to be back in Nevada promoting environmental sustainability and healthy lifestyles through her work with the Parks Foundation. In her free time, Chantel enjoys eating and cooking with friends, game nights, coffee, and exploring Nevada’s great outdoors.

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Devin Sandoval de Genovese   (he/him/his)

VP of Education

​Devin served nearly two years as a Naturalist Educator for Truckee Meadows Parks Foundation before starting as Student Stewards Program Director. He is originally from Grass Valley, California. He received his B.A. in English from the University of Nevada, Reno, with a minor in Spanish  In his free time, Devin enjoys riding mountain bikes and dirt bikes, and exploring Nevada's great outdoors. As VP of Education, Devin is excited to be a part of the continued growth of TMPF, and hopes to inspire the community through the SSP program. 

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Elena Larsen   (she/her/hers)

Nature Study Area VP

Elena served as a Naturalist Educator for TMPF in the spring and summer of 2018 and is now working as the VP of Rosewood Nature Study Area.  She's a local, and is extremely excited and proud to be working to restore an abandoned open space back to a functional ecosystem in her hometown.  In her free time, Elena can be found obsessing over dogs or participating in trivia nights.

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Hannah Lansverk Sonnenberg   (she/her/hers)

Youth Education Director

​Hannah is the Parks Foundation's Student Stewards Program Manager. She began her time here as an AmeriCorps Naturalist Educator in 2018. Originally from Bozeman, MT, she received her B.S. in Biology from Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma, WA and has spent the last several years working for non-profits in Montana and Connecticut. Hannah is an avid birder and is looking forward to sharing her love of science and the natural world with her new community!

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Matt DeBray   (he/him/his)

Communications Manager

Matt is the Communications Manager for Truckee Meadows Parks Foundation. After serving with TMPF as an AmeriCorps VISTA in 2017 he worked to promote AmeriCorps programs throughout Nevada for four years and is excited to be back at the place that started his journey in the nonprofit world. Matt studied Radio Television Production at the University of Montana and brings over a decade of experience to the TMPF communications team. When he isn't working you can find Matt watching baseball, hiking with his family, or being pulled behind a boat.

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Jay Howard

Trails Program Manager

Jay is our new Trails Program Manager, and will be working to implement the goals of the Truckee Meadows Trails Initiative. He comes to us after a 30 year career with Nevada State Parks. His time with State Parks involved several years being a recreation specialist for the Nevada Tahoe Resource Team, and 13 years as park supervisor for Lake Tahoe Nevada State Park (Sand Harbor, Spooner Lake and Backcountry, Cave Rock, and Van Sickle). Jay loves the outdoors and is an avid hiker and mountain biker. And let's not forget, professional volunteer. Jay enjoys working with the Thunderbird Lodge Preservation Society and Tahoe Mountain Bike Patrol.

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Ashley Butler

Camp Manager

Ashley is local to Northern Nevada but has spent her fair share exploring other areas. Like many locals that leave the area, something about Reno drew her back and she is happy to call Northern Nevada her home base once again. She graduated from the University of Nevada, Reno with a B.A. in Speech Communications and Journalism. Ashley's career has offered opportunities in the nonprofit sector, government and education. She has always had a passion for exploring and connecting with nature. She welcomes the opportunity to help the youth of our community build a relationship and appreciation for the outdoors as well. 

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Sara Monks

Office Associate

Sara was born and raised in Chicago, Illinois. After earning her Bachelor of Arts in English Studies from Illinois State University, Sara used her love for travel to give back to communities across the country through AmeriCorps service. She served as a Corps Member with AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps (NCCC) in Iowa, then as Construction Crew Leader with New Orleans Habitat for Humanity and closed her service chapter as VISTA Leader with Truckee Meadows Parks Foundation. After working for other Reno based non-profits, Envirolution and the Great Basin Institute, Sara is beyond excited to return to the Parks Foundation as our Office Associate! In her spare time, Sara enjoys hiking, yoga, reading, podcasts, and spoiling her cats rotten.

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Totes McGoats

Invasive Species Manager

Totes McGoats and his goat friends are in charge of eating invasive plant species on the property at Rosewood Nature Study Area. The removal of these plants helps clear areas for revegetation with native plants.

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AmeriCorps VISTA Members

@tmparksfoundation

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Stephanie Le

Youth Recreation Coordinator

Stephanie Le is the Youth Recreation Coordinator for Truckee Meadows Parks Foundation.

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Erin Larsen (she/her/hers)

Communications Coordinator

Erin graduated from Western Washington University with a BA in Communications in 2020. She is excited to work with the Truckee Meadows Parks Foundation as the Communications Coordinator, because it allows her to combine her love of the outdoors and volunteering as an active member in her community. Outside of work Erin loves hiking, swimming, rock climbing, and drinking lots of coffee. 

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Leland Peterman

Nature Study Area Development Coordinator

Originally from New York, and most recently living in California, Leland moved to Reno with his fiancé and two dogs for exciting new opportunities and mountain access! With a huge passion for the outdoors, he is thrilled to be contributing to the development of the Rosewood Lakes restoration efforts. In his free time he loves to be camping, climbing, playing music, or working on his home.

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Ann McLaughlin

Membership Development Coordinator

Born and raised in the West, Ann has a life-long love of the Sierras. Recently completing her master’s at UNR in communication studies, she is looking forward to joining the Truckee Meadows Parks Foundation team as their Membership Coordinator and making new friends in the community. Eager to share her enthusiasm for the outdoors she looks forward to inviting locals to come outside and reap the benefits of our lovely open spaces. In her spare time, she can be found in the garden with her cat or on an “explore” in one of the nearly 200 wonderful parks in our area!

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Shaye Rogers

VISTA Leader

Shaye recently completed an Americorps term in Avon, Colorado with Youthpower 365. She has a trade school diploma in Culinary Arts, and plans to pursue a degree in Nonprofit leadership. When she is not serving with the Truckee Meadows Parks Foundation, she can be found watching her favorite Netflix series or cooking a delicious meal!

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Caroline Grossman

Student Stewards Program Outreach Coordinator

Caroline earned a BA from the American University School of International Service in Washington, DC where she studied Environmental Sustainability and Global Health; she also minored in French and Art History. She grew up recreating outdoors in upstate NY and western MA, but is passionate about preserving access to the outdoors everywhere. She relocated to the Reno-Tahoe area after leaving DC in May 2022 to complete a State-National Americorps position where she worked on preserving access to the near 200-mile Tahoe Rim Trail system. In her free time, she enjoys trail running, camping, second-hand apparel, and artwork. She is excited to apply her previous experiences to TMPF as an AmeriCorps VISTA to inspire young environmentalists, create healthier ecosystems, and even healthier lives!

AmeriCorps State/National Members

AmeriCorps Wetland Restoration Technicians

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Irene Dickison

Wetland Restoration Lead Technician 

Irene was born and raised in Reno and graduated from Cal Poly Humboldt in 2020 with a degree in Zoology and a minor in Studio Art. She has spent the last few years working in different places across the country such as upstate New York surveying insects for a farmscape ecology program, working with the Entomology Department at the Audubon Insectarium in New Orleans and most recently an Invertebrate Zookeeper for the Toledo Zoo in Ohio.  She has a strong passion for lesser loved creatures like invertebrates and reptiles. In her spare time Irene enjoys exploring the local landscape, keeping pet reptiles and invertebrates and making a variety of art. She hopes to teach people to love the unloved and understand their important roles in our ecosystems.

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Hayden Wright

Wetland Restoration Technician 

Hayden is from Shingle Springs, CA, and I am currently enrolled at UNR. He grew up on a nature preserve, and my ultimate career goal is to be a watershed management/restoration ecologist. The mission of TMPF really resonated with him since it fits perfectly into the fields he is interested in.  He is looking forward to learning about Nevada plants. In his free time, he likes to go trail running, fishing, and hiking. He really enjoys traveling and exploring new places with friends. This is Hayden's second term as a Wetland Restoration Technician!

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Courtnay Lewis

Wetland Restoration Technician 

Courtnay earned a Bachelor's in Environmental Biology from Colorado State University, Pueblo in 2017 after having worked in hospitality for many years. Courtnay is originally from Texas, but has lived and worked all over the West as a biological science field technician. She joined Americorps in October as a wetland restoration technician because Nevada was calling to me. She's really excited about working on this project and with this group of people!

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Suzanne Bernard

Lead Rosewood Nature Study Area Education Coordinator

Suzanne is the Lead Rosewood Nature Study Area Education Coordinator.

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Sara Rutherford

Rosewood Nature Study Area Education Coordinator

Sara is the Rosewood Nature Study Area Education Coordinator.

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Brittany Leavitt

Naturalist Educator

Brittany is originally from a small, rural town in southern Nevada. She grew up herping with her family in the mojave desert. She attended UNR and studied MANY things before settling on Wildlife Ecology. Her summers in college were spent teaching STEM camps and she was a substitute teacher during the school year, which made her fall in love with education. Currently, she is finishing up a degree in both elementary and secondary science education. Seeing a kid get excited about science is unlike any other feeling. If you ever have a question about reptiles or toads, she is your go-to gal!

Board of Directors

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Katie Palani

President

As an active member of the Parks Foundation since 2017, Katie and her two kids, Rowan and Holly, have adventured though many of our region’s parks, trails and open spaces with the Parks Foundation family. She’s been to years of Discover Your Parks Walks (how she found the foundation initially), many Junior Naturalist programs through seasons of AmeriCorps VISTA educators, and a few Trails Challenge adventures. As a new teacher for Washoe County, Katie also sees tremendous value in the programs that TMPF offers to underserved children and families in our communities through the Student Stewards Program and of course, summer camp. We live in an incredibly diverse, accessible region with so much to offer, and Katie is happy to be a part of this team that helps develop awareness, appreciation and stewardship of our open space. She’s a Reno native, has graduated twice from UNR, finally found her passion in education and loves teaching (which is mostly learning). When she’s not in the classroom, you’ll find her with her own kids, exploring Peavine from their front door with the rescue dogs, baking something delicious, skiing, hiking, camping, her nose buried in a guidebook, but more often deep in conversation.

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