Randy Young Villegas- Founder and Director
As former manager of the Northern Jaguar Reserve in Sahuaripa, Sonora, Randy witnessed the environmental destruction from current agricultural systems that leads to jaguar persecution. Randy has experience in landscape restoration, permaculture, water harvesting, and natural building, and completed a diplomado program on agaves and mesquites to regenerate semi-arid zones through the University of Guanajuato. He has been involved in different aspects of community development and is a member of the Committee for Sustainable Rural Development for the municipality of Sahuaripa and president of the Sembrando Vida program for the Santo Tomás, Sehuadehuachi, and Pónida ejidos (community owned lands).
Allison Kreis- Development and Education Coordinator
Allison has more than 15 years of experience working as a keeper in the Mammalogy and Ornithology department of the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum. She has a passion for and direct knowledge of birds and mammals in the region. In addition to her community outreach and education work, she is documenting species found on the La Tierra del Jaguar demonstration site and in the surrounding area. Allison is also working to increase access to companion animal sterilization services and promoting animal welfare in the community.
Board of Directors
Russ McSpadden- Board President
Russ McSpadden is an activist, writer, videographer and creative media specialist at the Center for Biological Diversity. A former editor of the Earth First! Journal, he holds a masters degree in environmental history from Florida Atlantic University.
Colleen Iuliucci- Board Vice President
Hilarie Gianas- Board Treasurer
Matt Nelson- Board Member
Matthew Nelson is the Executive Director of the Arizona Trail Association (ATA) and has helped grow the nonprofit organizations operating budget by 400% over the past eight years. Before accepting the primary leadership position for the ATA in 2012, Matthew has worked as an outdoor educator, Grand Canyon backpacking guide, archaeologist, Native American tribal liaison, editor, and freelance photojournalist. He has more than 500 published articles to his credit. Matthew has a genuine love for conservation and the biodiversity of the states of Sonora and Arizona.
Mirna Manteca- Board Member
Mirna Manteca works as Conservation Biologist with the Mexican NGO Protección de la Fauna Mexicana (Profauna). Her work focuses on wildlife monitoring, restoration, community engagement, and fostering best management practices with local cattle ranchers and private landowners in Northern Mexico. She has worked to facilitate Sister Park relationships in the US-Mexico borderlands for the past 5 years. Assisting in the sharing of information, experiences, challenges, equipment, and resources, between 11 US and Mexican National Parks. Mirna has a Bachelors Degree in Biology with a focus on terrestrial resource management from the University of Sonora. She is a certified wildlife tracker, Ambassador for the Women for Wildlife Latin America Chapter, founder of Asociación Mujeres y Conservación, and a member of the IUCN Transboundary Conservation Specialists group. She loves monarch butterflies and nights serenaded by coyote songs.
John Heiman, Jr.- Board Member
John was born in Tucson, third generation. Oldest of 11 children. His first job was working in the retail grocery business in Tucson, where he worked for 20 years. Working his way into management and middle management. After a short sabbatical, he came back and worked in management in the Natural Food business. He then made a lifestyle choice and started his own company, Southwest Trekking LLC, an outfitter & guide service based in Tucson. His company offered guided hiking, biking, road and mountain, rock climbing, mountaineering and alpine treks. During that time he worked with a masters degree candidate of landscape architecture to establish an eco-tourism program on The Colorado River Delta. Working with local residents of the ejidos(sp), scientist, fishermen, businesses and municipalities. John just recently left the company to seek other adventures of life.
Omar Ore-Giron- Board Member
Omar is a Tucson based land restorer and native plant gardener, owner and operator of Native Roots Gardening LLC since 2007, providing design, consultation, and maintenance for rainwater harvesting landscapes. He has installed greywater, active rainwater harvesting cisterns as well as street storm water basins throughout the Tucson basin. Omar often collaborates with other landscape and restoration companies installing rainwater harvesting strategies, erosion control, and stream restoration. He has worked with many non-profits as a project manager, designer, workshop leader, and consultant. Currently, Omar spends his spring, summer and fall building stream and wetland habitats in Southwest US with Watershed Artisans, based in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Omar is an arborist, heavy equipment operator, and designer. He is also co-founder of Neighborhood Foresters, a neighborhood-based group that promotes stewardship of the commons by holding pruning workshops, tree and rain plantings and helping other neighborhoods hold their own.
Raymond Xylon Clamons- Board Member
Raymond Xylon Clamons is an architectural designer, natural builder and musician passionate about strengthening a sustainable community through architecture, landscape design and educational events. His companies Xylon Designs and Natural Building Works specialize in Sustainable Architecture, Water Harvesting Landscapes, Natural Building and Permaculture. Ray holds a Bachelor of Architecture from the University of Arizona and is a certified LEED Green Associate, Sustainable Building Advisor and certified in Permaculture Design from Sonoran Permaculture Guild. His commitment to endangered species conservation work has grown from a deep dive into the work of Jane Goodall with an understanding that we must help people in order to protect wildlife. He sits on the conservation driven boards of Edward Abbey Foundation and La Tierra de Jaguar.
Gino Mauceli- Board Member
Gino has lived in Tucson since 1972. He has been active in alternative building techniques for 25+ years, including Straw Bale, Adobe-Cob, and salvaged material construction. Including building an off-grid straw bale home in the Sierrita Mtns., using solar power and rainwater harvesting extensively He completed the Watershed Management Groups Water harvesting course. In his spare time, he is an avid music fan, and supports local musicians and live music venues in Tucson. Gino is excited to be involved with La Tierra del Jaguar and looks forward to making a difference on a larger scale.