You are here:

Lunch with Leaders

Ashley Patterson

Danielle FowlesAs Executive Director of Wasatch Community Gardens, Ashley leads the organization in its committment to promoting youth and community gardening and education.  She has 20 years of entrepreneurial, management, and leadership experience in the nonprofit, higher education, and small business sectors.  Ashley has been involved with Wasatch Community Gardens for more than a decade.  She was responsible for communicating sustainability initiatives and mentoring students to complete sustainability oriented projects at the University of Utah.  She is a graduate of the U of Washington with a Master's degree in Environmental Health. 

 Danielle Fowles

Danielle FowlesDanielle is Tread Lighly!'s Education and Training Program Manager. She has developed and manages the volunteer training and national outreach program. She is formerly the Grassroots and Legislative Affairs Coordinator for a national member-based association. She has recrutied, trained, mobilized and overseen advocates to influence motorized recreation related issues. She has a bachelor's degree in political science from the University of Utah. She has worked with numerous volunteers at the local, state and national levels. 

Steve Bergstrom

steve bergstromSteven has been with Intermountain Healthcare for over thirty years with experience in the Supply Chain, environmental preferred purchasing, vendor certification/relations, and inventory management. He was promoted to Director of Sustainability for Intermountain Healthcare in 2010. He is currently on the board of Utah Recycling Alliance, the Health Care Without Harm Health Care Climate Council, Practice Greenhealth member, a member of the Salt Lake City Chamber of Commerce - Clean Air Committee, and Water Committee, Natural Resource Business Council, and served on several energy committees for the State of Utah.


Eric Peterson

Eric PetersonEric Peterson is the Assistant Director for the Environmental Health Division, Salt Lake County Health Department. He has five years professional experience working for the U.S. Department of Defense conduction land condition surveys and flora analysis in central Alaska, and sixteen years of environmental health experience with the Salt Lake County Health Department. He currently directs business operations for 81 employees, and oversees education, regulation and enforcement for 23 environmental health programs including Air Pollution Control, Food Protection, Temporary Mass Gatherings, Housing, Body Art, Massage, Tanning, Cosmetology, Schools, Noise, Zoonosis, Waste Water, Swimming Pools, Drinking Water, Household Hazardous Waste, Landfills and Waste Processing Facilities, Ongoing public and environmental health initiatives including development of climate adaptation strategies and planning for the local community, regulation of electronic smoking and e-juice manufacturing, regulation of solid fuel burning and small area point sources of air pollution.

Catherine Kahlow

Cathy KahlowCatherine has over 30 years of experience in public land recreation, trails, wilderness and interpretive programs administration with the National Forest Service. Currently, she is the Salt Lake District Ranger for the Uinta Wasatch Cache National Forest. She is responsible for land management for the Wasatch front from Weber Canyons to Draper. She manages lands that hold four ski area permits such as Solitude, Brighton, Snowbird and Alta. She manages a busy and diverse land area that receives millions of recreation visits a year. She also manages Mill Creek Canyon in cooperation with Salt Lake County. She administers three congressionally designated Wildernesses such as Mt. Olympus, Twin Peaks and Lone Peak. This area also serves as a major source for culinary water for Salt Lake City.

Randall Tolpinrud

randal tolpenrudeRandall Tolpinrud is the President of Pax Natura, an organization that works to preserve the rainforest and create a more sustainable future worldwide. 





Bill Barron

On Behalf of the Earth...

bill barronAs we see the instability of our natural world and in the world humanity has created; it seems clear that there is much uncertainty as to what our future may hold. From the extinction of species to the dislocation of people from their homes, failed states, economic disruption and job scarcity, we face an unprecedented time in history which will only be more difficult to remedy as time passes. At the center of this lies the problem and the solution: climate change. The urgency to which we must address climate change cannot be ignored. It is the future generations who will face the consequences, and it is up to us to start focusing on creating solutions.

Our country has the opportunity to play a leadership role using our current political and economic system to a greater good, by enacting legislation that would provide a direct and transparent way to reduce emissions, stimulate the economy and create jobs in a way that could be duplicated worldwide. This is a critical component to how we can address this issue and is the inspiration for my campaign for US Senate in '12 and Congress in '14 (http;// where I highlightedan approach called fee and dividend, which charges a steadily increasing fee on carbon emissions at the source (mine, well, or port of entry), with 100% of the revenue returned to households. Starting at $15/ton of CO2 the first year and adding $10 per ton to this fee each year, it would begin to bring about a shift away from our dependency on fossil fuels and point our economy towards a more sustainable way of being. This solution would lead to the development of clean renewable energy, while significantly reducing CO2 emissions. By returning 100% of the revenue to households, this legislation doesn't increase the size of government but rather eases the transition for citizens away from a carbon-based economy. Together we can redirect the path we are on, and take on climate change in a form that matches the scale of the problem. (

Richard A. Carter

richard carterA native of Salt Lake City, Utah and a current resident of Arlington, Virginia, Rick Carter graduated with a Bachelor's Degree from the University of Utah's College of Social and Behavioral Science in Geography/Urban Planning and a Master's Degree in City and Regional Planning from The Ohio State University. He also affiliated with and was president of the Delta Sigma chapter of the Kappa Sigma Fraternity. Most recently, Rick served as vice president of Federal Government Relations and ran the Washington, DC office for National Grid, an international energy company based in London, UK. The Washington office serves as the company's primary contact and representative with Congress, the Administration, Federal agencies and various energy and environmental organizations. It also provides governmental, political and strategic planning expertise to National Grid's various lines of business including gas and electric transmission and distribution, electric generation, strategic planning and environmental services. Prior to joining National Grid, Rick served in a similar capacity and was the Director of Federal Government Relations and Chief Lobbyist for PG&E Corporation's Washington office, one of the largest energy utilities in the United States based in San Francisco. Before moving east, Rick was the Director of Government and Community Relations for the southern third of Pacific Gas and Electric Company's northern and central California service territory working with federal, state, county and local elected and agency officials. Prior to his involvement with governmental affairs, Rick was a project manager and project coordinator for major energy generation and transmission facilities with responsibilities for siting, environmental review, agency negotiation and public involvement and issue resolution. Rick volunteers his time teaching and mentoring adults, college and high school students in the community. In his free time, Rick heads to the Rocky Mountains, the Pacific Coast, the Southwest red rock deserts or to the top of the nearest Wasatch Mountain ski run. He has offered to be a contact to mentor students about career options, particularly in environmental policy.

Sumner Swaner

sumner swanerSumner Swaner has over 26 years of progressively responsible business, government and nonprofit leadership and experience. He established an Architectural/Landscape Architectural/Land Use Planning business in 1987. His expertise is in Green Infrastructure planning, Landscape Architecture, implementation of sustainable land use development, conservation and preservation. Swaner is the founder of Center for Green Space Design, a nonprofit organization dedicated to enabling communities to strategically locate, value, and plan for both open lands preservation and responsible development.


Julie Suhr Pierce

julieDr. Julie Suhr Pierce is the Socioeconomic Specialist and Environmental Justice Contact for the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Land Management for the Great Basin (which includes Idaho, Nevada, and Utah); she is primarily responsible for oversight (and for some analysis) of economic, social, and environmental justice resources for BLM planning and NEPA processes within the region.

Jason Berry

jasonJason Berry is the Senior Program Manager at Willdan Energy Solutions, Intermountain West Energy Services. Jason has over decade of experience working in the clean energy sector conducting renewable and energy efficiency resource assessments, energy policy design, energy program design and implementation for state, federal and private clients/markets. Jason also taught at the U of U for 5 years about Utah’s and the West’s Energy Resources.



Brittany Ingalls

Brittany Ingalls is the Conservation Coordinator at the Swaner Preserve and EcoCenter, where she helps manage 1200 acres of crucial wetlands and wildlife habitat in Park City. She oversees many of the ongoing conservation and restoration projects on the Swaner Preserve, many of which are powered by interns and volunteers. Brittany also plans the adult education programming at the Swaner EcoCenter, which includes presentations from researchers and guided tours led by experts, on topics ranging from astronomy to botany to ornithology.  Brittany graduated from the University of Utah with a bachelors in Parks, Recreation, and Tourism.

Katherine Veeder

Katherine Veeder is the Education Director at Swaner.  Katherine oversees all youth education programs, ranging from the preschool reading program to school field trips to summer camps.  Katherine works closely with a small staff and volunteers to reach roughly 3000 youth each year through guided programs, as well as advises on passive programming at the EcoCenter.  Katherine graduated from the University of Utah with a dual BS in Environmental and Sustainability Studies and Political Science.

Last Updated: 2/21/17