Board of Trustees

CFI’s Current Board of Trustees

Chair: Dr. Dee Garceau, Filmmaker; Professor of History, University of Montana, Missoula, MT

Vice Chair: Xandra Odland, BEACON Elementary Programs Coordinator

Treasurer: Robert Greenberg, Retired Director, Four Corners Behavioral Health, Moab, UT

Secretary: Tom Rees, Retired Construction Contractor, Moab, UT


Ryan Anderson, Retired Teacher, Castle Valley, UT

Sue Bellagamba, Canyonlands Regional Director, The Nature Conservancy, Moab, UT

David Brown, Business Owner and Photographer, Moab UT

Walt Dabney, Retired Southeast Utah Group Superintendent, Moab, UT

John Groo, Owner, Smart Systems,  Mesa, CO


Ex officio: Karla Joy VanderZanden, Co-founder and Executive Director, Canyonlands Field Institute, Moab, UT

Apply to be considered to serve on CFI’s volunteer governance Board of Trustees or to serve on a committee.


The volunteer governance board provides oversight and leadership in the following categories:

  • Strategic Planning
  • Program direction
  • Fundraising
  • Financial and risk management
  • Board development

Trustees are current members of CFI and familiar with CFI’s educational mission. Trustees commit to active participation, to the leadership of finite, well-defined projects,  to contribute financially and to be actively involved in raising additional funds towards fulfilling CFI’s mission. CFI Bylaws require a minimum of three positions. Currently, the Board is made up of seven or more individuals. Residence in Moab is not required. 

TERM: The term of service is three years. A trustee may be re-elected for another term. A trustee may reapply after a waiting period of 12 months following the second term. See below on situations that may arise that would affect continued full service during a term. The Executive Director/CEO serves in a non-voting capacity with no term limits. 

OFFICERS: Chair or Co-Chairs, Vice- Chair or Co-Vice Chairs, Secretary and Treasurer elected for one-year terms. Officers may be elected for two consecutive one-year terms as long as they are still within a second term time frame as trustee.  

BOARD MEETINGS: Are held four times a year with committee or project meetings held in the in-between months. Meetings are held at the CFI headquarters/office or at another suitable business location in town. The day of week and time of day would be set annually.    Trustees may attend remotely by telephone or internet. Board training for new members is held periodically as needed. Additional training for the board on special skills and issues as well as planning retreats would be additional to the regular board meetings.  Social gatherings but not meetings or retreats may take place at private homes. Trustees are asked to participate in at least one CFI program or event each year.  

The annual schedule of meeting dates and time is set each October for the following year. As per CFI Bylaws,  special meetings of the board can be called with 30 days and written notice to all trustees. Vote without a meeting can be taken if trustees and CEO unanimously vote to waive the right to a meeting and vote unanimously on the item proposed. Trustees are asked to declare any potential or actual conflicts of interest annually.

Trustees who for personal circumstances must step down from full involvement for more than 60 days are asked to resign for the short term; they may be re-elected to serve when fully available. This protocol is considered best practice for non-profit boards due to responsibility/liability concerns and to keep the organization fully supported with an active board.

A quorum is made of a simple majority of trustees. Additional board protocols are outlined CFI Board Bylaws which are available upon request. CFI subscribes to best practices and ethics as outlined by Utah Non Profits Association. 

COMMITTEE or TASK FORCE meetings are held in between board meetings. Most of the actual board work is done through the committees who then make recommendations to the full Board. Committees may include staff and other CFI members.  Committee meetings are usually one to one and half hours in length; additional committee protocols are outlined in the Bylaws.

OVERALL TIME estimate required: Approximately four hours a month for various meetings and an estimated additional four hours/month for assignments, attending training, or conducting events.

 PROGRAM PARTICIPATION: Trustees are asked to participate annually in at least one CFI adult/family or school program (or visit one in action.) Nominees for trustees should be current members of CFI and visit or attend a CFI program prior to selection. Participation is viewed as an important opportunity to refresh on CFI’s mission, interact with staff and to bring guests as new friends for CFI. Trustees may take a 50% discount on fees or may request to work the trip as an assistant (“swamper”) if qualified,  and which would include pre and post-trip work.  

MONETARY CONTRIBUTION: CFI trustees are expected to contribute significantly during their board tenure. We ask each trustee to commit to contributing $500 each year, either in cash, donated goods or services that are essential for CFI operations and general support. Such services do not include volunteer board and committee work.   All trustees are asked to be current as dues-paying (cash) members at the level appropriate for personal circumstances, and to give to special additional campaigns at some level.

For budgeting purposes, trustees are asked to communicate their annual individual pledges (amount and months) with the CFI development staff. Many granting agencies ask summary or range of board contributions; by your election to the board, we assume permission to make this information available.  

RECRUITMENT AND TRAINING: Any member or staff person of CFI may propose a candidate to serve as a trustee. The Executive Committee oversees Board Governance and is designated to actively recruit and interview potential candidates.   Potential candidates meet with the CEO/Executive Director and at least one other trustee to review key issues, CFI’s strategic plan,  finances, and expectations of trustees. New trustees may join at any time of the year. New trustees will be provided a board notebook (digital or paper) by CFI staff which contains recent minutes, financial statements, and strategic plan.  Within 90 days of coming on the board, a new trustee is expected to partake in general board training, either sponsored by CFI or nonprofit agencies, reading, video, or resources.

Please contact for additional information and application.