NVOBC Board

Board of Directors

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Stephanie Forté

President

Stephanie Forté is the founder of Forté PR, a brand communications agency in the health, fitness, and outdoor recreation space. For nearly two decades, she has been a key player in the brand identity architecture for national brands and non-profits.

Based in Las Vegas, Stephanie has been a longtime advisor for Save Red Rock and was a founding board member of the HERA Ovarian Cancer Foundation, She received HERA's Power of One Award. She was also a founding board member of the Smiles for Survivors Foundation.

As a freelance writer, Stephanie's essays and articles have appeared in magazines like Prevention, Glamour, Desert Companion, Climbing, Rock & Ice, and Cerca Adventures, among others.

A former professional rock climbing athlete, Stephanie is an avid cyclist, hiker, snowboarder, and paddleboarder. Connect with her on LinkedIn.

Tim Healion

Tim Healion

Vice President

Tim's 35-year career in food & beverage in Northern Nevada including having been instrumental in starting the legendary Deux Gros Nez and The Pneumatic Diner. His current business adventure is with the Laughing Planet Café in Reno, which advocates for locally sourced and super healthy food.

Tim has advocated for health and well-being from the local community to the state legislature. He has promoted and managed local, regional, national, and international events including the Mighty Tour de Nez Celebration of Cycling, which under his reign, became a top 5 multi-day bicycle race on the national calendar and experienced international television coverage.

As a self-proclaimed “outdoor geek”, Tim has acknowledged the tie between good food and the outdoors. “We get a lot of support and business from those who live here and also from those who visit the area because of what the area has to offer in regards to playing outside.”

Meghan Wolf

Meghan Wolf

Secretary

Meghan is Patagonia’s Environmental Activism Manager based in Reno, overseeing the company’s campaigns to protect our lands and waters. She started with Patagonia in a retail store in 1999 and was hooked on working with a business that had a triple bottom line, giving equal weight to people and the environment as much as profits.

Shortly after moving to Nevada in ’05, she began volunteering with Friends of NV Wilderness and discovered the wonders of the state’s public lands. She went on to serve on the Board of Directors for 13 years. Knowing firsthand the benefits of the outdoor recreation economy coupled with the basic need for people to have access to nature, Meghan co-founded the Nevada Outdoor Business Coalition. She loves most outdoor recreation activities, including trail running, mountain biking, xc skiing, all of which were reasons for moving to Nevada – for its endless outdoor treasures. Connect with Meghan on LinkedIN.

Lou Bubula

Louis Bubala

Treasurer

Louis Bubala advises clients in bankruptcy and financial disputes as an attorney with Kaempfer Crowell. He also is on the executive committee for the American Bankruptcy Institute’s Southwest Bankruptcy Conference held in Las Vegas most years. Lou volunteers as secretary and director for Friends of Nevada Wilderness, dedicated to preserving all qualified Nevada public lands as wilderness. He mixes the law and outdoors as a volunteer attorney for The Nature Conservancy. He and his family live in East Washoe Valley, minutes from BLM, the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest, Washoe Lake State Park, and Scripps Wildlife Management Area. Connect with Louis on LinkedIn.

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Dan Hooper

Board Member

Originally from New Zealand, Dan grew up surfing and mountain biking. Dan found his passion for the mountains and snowsports in college and started his career in the outdoor industry as a ski instructor.

Over the last twenty years, Dan has held leadership roles at ski areas around the United States. Landing in Las Vegas a decade ago, today Dan serves as Lee Canyon’s general manager, overseeing operations, future development, and Lee Canyon’s Play Forever environmental initiatives. Lee Canyon is a part of Powdr, an adventure lifestyle company.

In 2021, Dan was recognized as one of Las Vegas’ 40 Under 40 for his accomplishments in evolving Lee Canyon into an inclusive, year-round outdoor recreation area with an emphasis on conservation. Connect with Dan on LinkedIn.

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Carlo Luri

Board Member

Carlo grew up in New York City's urban confines but has always been drawn to the great outdoors. He moved to Nevada in 1996 for a job opportunity but ended up staying for outdoor recreation. When Carlo isn’t outside, you’ll find him managing government affairs for the Bently Heritage Estate Distillery in Minden, Nevada.

Passionate about paddling, skiing, cycling, and climbing, he is a tireless advocate for outdoor recreation. He also sits on the boards of the Carson Valley Trails Association, Alta Alpina Cycling Club, and Visit Carson Valley. He is particularly excited about the nexus between outdoor recreation and economic development and has a vision of Nevada as a sanctuary for people who live the outdoor lifestyle. Connect with him on LinkedIn.

Verna Mandez - photo

Verna Mandez

Board Member

Verna Mandez is a lifelong Nevadan and daughter of a Cuban Immigrant. As an activist and community organizer, Verna has focused her work and studies on the impacts environmental degradation has on communities of color and low-income communities, and how Nevada can be a leader in clean energy and environmental policy.

Verna is currently the Deputy Director of the Nevada Conservation League - a local nonprofit focused on environmental policy both in Nevada and Federally. Before her time at the Nevada Conservation League, Verna Mandez worked for U.S. Senator Catherine Cortez Masto in Nevada, where she assisted with the Energy and Natural resource portfolio and led the Southern Nevada, Transportation, Science, and Technology portfolios.

Before her time at the office of Senator Cortez Masto, Verna worked as a Community Organizer at Battle Born Progress, and Political Assistant for the Bring Back Solar campaign. Her work has centered around various issues including the preservation of public lands, access to renewable energy, and ensuring historically marginalized communities are at the center of environmental policies.

Advisory Board

NVOBC_Colin Robertson

Colin Robertson

Board Advisor
Nevada Division of Outdoor Recreation

NVOBC_TomClark

Tom Clark

Board Advisor

Victoria Cousino

Victoria Cousino

Board Advisor

Victoria grew up in the rural Vermont countryside where the vast wilderness fostered a sense of curiosity and creativity. After moving to New Mexico to attend graduate school she fell in love with the desert southwest and eventually relocated to Las Vegas to pursue a career in architecture.

Victoria takes pleasure in introducing others to the natural and sometimes unexpected beauty and outdoor opportunities that southern Nevada has to offer, and advocates for keeping these spaces open and accessible for all. Victoria’s passions include trail running, mountain biking, and landscape photography. Connect with Victoria on LinkedIn.

Dean DiGidio

Dean DeGidio

Board Advisor

Dean considers himself fortunate to have been the Store Manager for REI in Reno since the store opened in 1999. Since then he's experienced many of the wild places in Nevada.

He's passionate about REI's credo that a life outdoors is a life well-lived and believes that time exploring in nature is a valuable experience for us individually and as a community. Dean believes that the connections area residents make spending time outdoors not only supports a healthy community but it is increasingly understood how this activity helps drives the local economy.

He is proud to work at REI, which is committed to working with the other businesses that are a part of the newly formed Nevada Outdoor Business Coalition to advocate for conservation in service of recreation.

NVOBC_Jared Fisher

Jared Fisher

Board Advisor

Big Jim Sage

Big Jim Sage

Board Advisor

A resident of Southern Nevada since 1947, "Big Jim's " life has evolved around mules, horses, cattle, and the mountains and desert.

As a kid, his folks took him to work on ranches in Red Rock Canyon where he fell in love with its beauty. In 1994, he and his family established Cowboy Trail Rides so others could enjoy its majesty and beauty from the back of a horse or mule.

Cowboy Trail Rides pride themselves in the rugged climbing trails they've built and maintain, that give guests unspoiled views of Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area.

Jim was a part of the NVOBC's executive committee because he believes in strong advocacy to help keep lands open for our residents and guests to enjoy and appreciate thru fun and educational activities.  He wants to ensure continued use of these lands for future generations.

Jim a member and packing director for Back Country Horsemen of America's Bristlecone Chapter and Friends of Red Rock and Friends of Nevada Wilderness.

Join us in strengthening Nevada’s outdoor economy