Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Our Staff & Board


The Park People's work is a team effort of residents, volunteers, supporters, and community partners. Leading the charge, our staff works tirelessly every day to support and improve our parks, city trees, and neighborhoods, and a dedicated Board of Trustees guides our organization's strategy and development.

Join our team! Applications now being accepted for two positions: Volunteer Coordinator and Program Associate.

Kim Yuan-Farrell, Executive Director

Kim has been a “Park Person” for 11 years. Kim oversees and guides all aspects of The Park People’s operations and activities. She works with our board on strategic organizational development, shapes programmatic goals, and develops partnerships in the community. Prior to becoming Executive Director, Kim served as Program Manager for four years, directing The Park People's urban forestry programs. She has a master's degree in Environmental Management (Yale University's School of Forestry & Environmental Studies) and a bachelor's in Anthropology and Environmental Studies (Santa Clara University).  She was Colorado-raised and has more than 15 years of nonprofit experience with organizations in Colorado, California, and Connecticut.  Kim is an alum of the Denver Community Leadership Forum and has served on Community Shares' Board of Directors, the national Arbor Day Foundation’s Alliance for Community Trees Advisory Committee, the Trust for Public Land's Climate Smart Cities Denver Technical Advisory Team, and the City of Denver’s Emerald Ash Borer Steering Committee.  Kim is passionate about the power of urban forestry, parks, and community-driven efforts to cultivate resilient, sustainable communities.

Leah Jean Shafer, Director of Programs

Leah earned her master's degree in Landscape Architecture (University of Colorado Denver) and bachelor's in Environmental Studies (University of Colorado Boulder).  Her strong interdisciplinary background includes local and international experience in park management, resource conservation, arboriculture, landscape design, and civic planning. Having worked in both non-profit and commercial settings, she maintains USGBC LEED accreditation as well as her Master Gardener Certificate. Dedicated to environmental stewardship, sustainability, and community development, she is particularly passionate about civic well-being and increasing our urban tree canopy.  Leah is delighted to oversee the Denver Digs Trees and Community Forester programs, as well as various neighborhood-specific projects including Greener, Healthier Globeville Elyria-Swansea. A life-long outdoor enthusiast and Colorado native, she enjoys hiking, travelling, skiing, homebrewing, gardening, tree-gazing, and exploring our beautiful planet.

Lindsay Cutler, Program Associate


Lindsay comes to us with 18 years experience in ecology and landscape design for private and government clients. For the past 8 years, Lindsay has owned and operated a small landscape design-build firm in Denver, CO providing ecologically sensitive landscape designs for residential clients. She also founded a school farm dedicated to regenerative practices. Prior to that, Lindsay worked as a Field Ecologist, conducting botanical surveys throughout the Intermountain West. Lindsay earned her Masters in Landscape Architecture from UC Denver and a Bachelor’s in Geography and Environmental Studies from UCLA. A life long hiker, backpacker and self-described ‘plant nerd’, Lindsay is loving the opportunity to share her passion with the Denver Digs Trees and Community Forester community as the Urban Forestry Program Associate.

Mike Haaf, Mile High Tree Champions Project Coordinator

With a Bachelor of Landscape Architecture degree (University of Florida), Mike has experience in the public and private sectors of planning, design and construction of parks, retail centers, corporate campuses, sports complexes and residential communities.  He believes in building healthy communities with sustainable practices that can ensure our future generations will be able to appreciate our surrounding natural environment.  He is a Colorado registered Landscape Architect, and in 2012 received his Arborist certification from the International Society of Arboriculture, Rocky Mountain Chapter.  Ultimately, it was Mike's growing passion for trees and community service that brought him onto The Park People team.  As the Mile High Tree Champions Project Coordinator he works to increase corporate community engagement and broaden the reach of our program in support of our city trees.  Mike relishes the opportunity to involve the Denver community in the benefit of trees, to preserve and enhance canopy in the built environment, and inspire a new generation of environmental stewards.

Diana Anick, Executive Assistant

Diana moved to Denver in 1988 to earn a Master’s in International Management from the University of Denver.  After working in Belgium in the early 90s, she returned to Colorado.  She has over 20 years of volunteer leadership experience while raising her kids and moving around the country, as well as traveling on medical and building mission trips to Ghana and Guatemala.  Diana grew up in Pennsylvania hiking, biking and camping around the PA mountains and exploring the US in an RV.  She continues enjoying family and friend time in the Rockies, the Denver area, and traveling both domestically and internationally.  With the recent losses of her father and Golden Retriever, her family is remembering them with Tribute Trees in various Denver parks.  Because of this, she is happy to manage the Park Legacy program, to help others share their love of family, friends and nature.  

Board of Trustees

Executive Committee
Mark Bailey, Vice President
Tim Buchanan
Laurie Chahbandour, President
Laurie Choi-Brochu, Vice President
Melissa Crowley
Susan Eslick
Mark Lauriha, Past President
Caroline Rassenfoss, Secretary
Hank Saipe
Andy Shopneck, Treasurer

Bill Cook
Chris Fisher
Allegra "Happy" Haynes, Ex Officio
Michelle Lippitt
Michael Naes
Wolfe Repass
John L. (Larry) Wiberg, MD








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