About Spanish Peaks Alliance for Wildfire Protection

Our Story

Spring Creak Fire seen from La Veta
Click photo to enlarge

Following the devastation from the Spring Creek Fire in 2018, Spanish Peaks Alliance for Wildfire Protection, a non-profit Colorado corporation with 501(c)(3) federal tax-exempt status, was created, with the mission to collaboratively protect the Spanish Peaks area and wildlife from the impact of destructive events.

SPAWP facilitated the transition of a team of interested and concerned citizens, various governmental agencies and organizations as we took the early work done by the USFS Community Mitigation Assistance Teams (CMAT) from a concept to a functioning organization.

It was clear to SPAWP that fire mitigation should not just be left to the individual property owners, and that a concerted effort to minimize the impact of wildfires and flooding had to be established.

SPAWP is servicing projects and restoration efforts in Huerfano County, Alamosa County, Costilla County, and Las Animas County.

Our Mission Statement

Our mission is to collaboratively protect the Spanish Peaks area and wildlife from the impact of destructive events.

Our Objectives

  • To formulate, update and use the master plan generated for the Spanish Peaks region to identify critical areas for reduction of high-density fuels in surrounding forests, protection of high value watersheds and creation of wildfire defensible spaces around dwellings, property and infrastructure.
  • To educate the public on the need and benefit of wildfire mitigation activities on both private and public lands.
  • To support Firewise Communities through outreach, funding for their activities, training and professional expertise and to encourage formation of additional Firewise Communities.
  • To secure matching grants for property and home owners to encourage reduction of ground fuels and creation of wildfire defensible spaces on their properties.
  • To secure funding and coordinate with relevant agencies to mitigate wildfire risks to evacuation routes to permit safe and timely evacuation in case of wildfire.
  • To coordinate and collaborate with county, state and federal agencies to obtain funding to mitigate wildfire risks, protect watersheds, infrastructure, wildlife and communities, and create healthy forests and landscapes.

The SPAWP Logo Artwork Story

Hello and welcome to our Organization, please allow us to explain what Our Spanish Peaks Alliance for Wildfire Protection Logo artwork Represents – You’ll notice the familiar beloved sister mountain silhouette of the Sangre de Cristo Spanish Peaks Mountains with the threat of the over cast of the red wildfire flame looming, over the Snow White covered peaks that provides the snow melt helping to supply the critical watershed for our communities rivers drinking water supply. We ultimately work to help protect these lands, wildlife, communities and river systems from overly devastating fire damage, hence notice the blue river in the logo is purposely shaped like an ” S ” which stands for SPAWP!” …It is said that the many explorers found or buried gold in these mountains, all we can say is that the area is golden to our hearts 💕 which brings me to our Mission Statement….Thank you in advance for your support!

The "Simple Six" SPAWP Value Objectives & Deliverables

  1. Increasing Public Volunteer hours – That benefit communities and Grant required matching objectives.
  2. Increasing the people/organization Member Contact List – all attendees to any function or project “must” provide all: name, address, email and phone numbers or they should not attend or be admitted.
  3. Asking every participant – Raising money by Memberships, Donations, Community Organization, Business Sponsors – sustaining the organizations operations, Executive Directors & Mitigation Coordinators positions and the survival of the Non-profit to do the work.
  4. Increasing the number of people educated/served – As in our mission statement and Grant project requirements.
  5. Increasing the number of High Value Alliances* – * Repeated personal connections with High Value Alliances, other Non-profit charities, Govt Agencies, Fire Fighting Agencies, Corp Sponsors, Grantors, Foundations, etc.
  6. Increasing the total number of Acres Mitigated – As in our mission statement and high priority objective of project and grant work.

Board of Directors

Leadership Team

Craig Yenzer - President
Craig Yenzer

President

Craig Yenzer graduated from Oklahoma State University with degrees in physical education and mathematics. Coach Yenzer began his coaching career in Newkirk, Oklahoma, eventually becoming the Head Football Coach and Athletic Coordinator to the Midland High Bulldogs. Craig was honored by the Texas House of Representatives with a Joint Resolution congratulating his excellence in his 38-year career in education, coaching and administration.

Craig developed many skill sets during his coaching career including organization of programs, working with budgets, personnel and staffing management, community advocacy, and relations development. He was a contributing member of the administrative staffs of two large Texas High Schools.

Craig and his wife Tammy have been coming to Cuchara for over 40 years. Their love for Cuchara is now five generations deep.

Cody Siebert - Vice President
Cody Siebert

Vice President

Cody Siebert’s mantra is: “Fire and water are as real as the air and soil; we seek harmony among them, not to be consumed by them!”

Cody is a graduate of FBI Infragard Alliance, Sector Chief Leadership Academy, a partnership for protection in seeking alliances between the private sectors and government/municipal agencies to promote support, learning and exchange of information relevant to the protection of critical US infrastructure from natural or instigated disasters.

She is also a graduate of US Chamber of Commerce leadership training, which is focused on developing leadership skills and offering new approaches and solutions to community issues. She brings special knowledge in the areas of grants fiduciary responsibilities, community disaster recovery organization, and farming and ranching work processes that align with mitigation and recovery from flooding and wildfire damage. Cody and her husband, John, are part-time resident of Cuchara, CO, having lost their former home of 16 years in Forbes Park in the 2018 Spring Fire.

Brad Snow - Secretary
Brad Snow

Vice President

Brad Snow is a part time resident of Cuchara and is otherwise in Austin, Texas. He is a self-employed environmental consultant who focuses on the investigation, risk assessment, and remediation of contaminated soil, groundwater, and surface water at industrial sites. Health and safety considerations are crucial elements in implementing his work.

Brad’s professional experience includes enterprise-wide strategic planning, management of business operations, project management (including subcontractor management), sales and proposal preparation, and technical and regulatory consulting for private sector clients in a wide variety of industries. He holds B.S. and M.S. degrees in Geological Engineering from the Missouri University of Science and Technology. Brad is a registered Professional Engineer and Professional Geologist in multiple states.

He is very involved in his church’s activities, particularly for missions-related work and church planning and governance. Brad is very passionate about the natural environment and its preservation.

Sherri Jones - Treasurer
Sherri Jones

Treasurer/Secretary

Sherri Jones holds a B.B.A. in Accounting and has been a Certified Public Accountant for 35 years (public firm and self-employed.)

Sherri has been a Fee-based Financial Advisor for 18 years and is a Graduate of Leadership San Angelo. Sherri’s volunteer work has included: Cuchara Chapel (current Treasurer); San Angelo Cultural Arts Council (President); Junior League of San Angelo (Project Leader and Committee Chairman); Angelo Civic Theatre (Fundraising Chairman); Leadership San Angelo Alumni Assn. (Committee Chairman); Texas Theatre 1929 Restoration Feasibility Committee (Chairman).

Sherri has been married for 40 years to Bill Jones (part time resident of this valley for 67 years). Together they have three kids and 4 grandkids and split their time between San Angelo, TX and Cuchara, CO.

Directors At Large:

Steven Davis
Steven Davis

Director at Large

Steven Davis and his wife Lisa Garrison relocated to Cuchara, Colorado in early 2020 after purchasing a home there in July of 2019. Steve loves spending his weekends hiking the many trails around the Spanish Peaks area.

Steve has a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Houston. He began his career as an aerospace engineer designing solid rocket motors for space, tactical and strategic applications used by NASA and the U.S. military branches. He transitioned into software development for NASA’s Space Shuttle Ascent Guidance, Navigation and Control flight software and data analysis in the aerospace industry.

Steven has worked for the last twenty-one years as a Director of Data Science, a Technical Director, and a Technical Architect in the marketing, advertising, and consulting industries. He has specialized in building technical solutions, designing digital marketing campaigns, and generating business insights using data analytics. He has done work for many client companies. From large Fortune 500 brands like Google, Sherwin-Williams, BASF, ConAgra Foods, and Bayer; to U.S. government agencies like the FDA, FEMA, and CDC; all the way down to small local non-profits.

Rob Golding
Rob Golding

Director at Large

Rob Golding retired in late 2022, as Chief Executive Officer of Rodeo Austin, a 501(c)3, the 6th largest Rodeo in North America and Austin’s biggest entertainment event with over 550,000 in attendance in 2022.

Prior to Rodeo Austin, Rob served as a Founding Principal and CEO of Live Oak Gottesman, a leading commercial real estate development and services firm which Rob and his Partners sold to an internally grown management team.  Rob holds a Bachelors degree in Banking and Real Estate as well as, a MBA.  His career began in commercial banking where he ultimately served as CEO of Texas Commerce Bank (now J P Morgan Chase) in Austin, Texas.  After banking, Rob enjoyed a 15+ year career in executive search and management consulting building “C Suite” teams for Fortune 100 pharma/biotech clients and private equity technology companies. 

Rob and his Wife, Nan and two children have called Austin home for more than 40 years. He has been involved at the board level with numerous local and global organizations including The Urban Land Institute, Capitol Area Council of the Boy Scouts of America, the Salvation Army, Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce, Austin Crime Commission and the Austin Economic Development Corporation, among others.  Since retiring, Rob and Nan spend much of the year at their home in Cuchara, Colorado and the Valley they have loved for more than 30 years.

Dawn Lervik - Project Director
Dawn Lervik

Project Director

Dawn Lervik has an MS in Mechanical Engineering and worked most recently as an R&D Product Development Project Manager with Keysight Technologies until her retirement in late 2021. She grew up in Bismarck and attended North Dakota State University as well as Arizona State University. Her work experience in the electronics and automotive industries have taken her to Michigan, Arizona, California before settling 20 years ago in Colorado.

Dawn has a passion for working with talented teams to improve process, resolve issues and creatively solve problems. As a new board member, she is excited to use her professional expertise working with the fantastic SPAWP team as a grant program manager which provide financial support for the adoption of forest fire mitigation best practices in Huerfano county and surrounding areas.

Dawn and her husband Jason, a Professor of Mechanical Engineering at University of Denver, currently live in Monument, Colorado. They spend significant time enjoying and exploring the beautiful Cuchara Valley and surrounding area, based out of their home near the Cuchara Mountain Park.

Executive Director

Lisa Garrison
Lisa Garrison

Executive Director

Lisa Garrison  My husband and I bought our Cuchara home the summer of 2019.  We are here 9-10 months of the year.  I grew up in Colorado Springs but have lived 20+ years in Kansas City.  I have a diverse background as an engineer and human factors specialist in the aerospace, telecommunications and process control industries.  Degrees include a BS in aerospace engineering and a MS in human factors engineering. After working for several large corporations, I saw an opportunity to bring new and innovative operating practices to the industry.  In 2000, I opened my own consulting company and have been very fortunate to travel the world and call Cuchara home.

My passions are animal welfare, cooking, wine and slow hikes to enjoy the scenery. Cuchara truly is a unique and special place.  I see volunteering and working for SPAWP as a way to help preserve and protect this wonderful community.

Wildfire Mitigation Specialist

Pending Position
Pending Position
Pending Position
Pending Position
Pending Position

Committee Chair Assignments

  • Nominating and Advisory Council: Marshall Moore, Ron Jameson, Will Jones, and Craig Yenzer
  • Grants: Brad Snow and Lisa Garrison
  • Grant Administration: Dawn Lervik, Brad Snow and Lisa Garrison
  • Fundraising and Membership: Marnee Camp and Cody Siebert
  • Outreach and Project Implementation: Marshall Moore and Craig Yenzer
  • Finance: Sherri Jones.

Advisory Council Members

  • Marshall Moore – Chair
  • Ron Jameson
  • John Robinson – Firewise Communities
  • Will Jones
  • Marnee Camp
  • Cody Siebert
  • Dawn Lervik

Previous Board Members

Honoring our past Retired Board Members for their hard work and dedicated volunteer service to the support and preservation of our SPAWP Charitable Nonprofit Organization and Communities.

  • Retired Director At Large – Sanford Rodger Thompson, Jr. MD.
  • Retired President – Doug Fry
  • Retired Board Member – Will Jones
  • Retired Secretary/Treasurer – James Ramsey
  • Retired Board Member – Sandy Magruder
  • Retired Director – Janna Laudato
  • Retired Board Member – Jim Littlefield
  • Retired Board Member – Daniela Lawrence
  • Retired Board Member – Dawn Lervik
  • Retired Board Member – Cody Siebert
  • Board Founding Member – Mark Worgan
  • Supporting Founding Member – Jim Berg
  • Supporting Founding Member – Paul Branson