Janna grew up in rural southern Illinois hiking the hardwood forests. Her father was an avid fisherman and loved to take Janna and her mom on camping trips in National Parks. Janna got her college degree in parks and recreation management from the University of Illinois, a master’s from NYU and her law degree from Rutgers. Her professional career was divided between Parks Administration and college and law school teaching with an emphasis on natural resources and environmental law.
She is a former chair of the board of National Recreation and Parks Association and also served as chair of the Teton County Wyoming Parks Commission. She and her husband have been in the Teton Valley since the late 70’s and been full-time residents since 1998. They ski, hike, kayak, and play tennis when not opening the door to let the dog in or out.
David was born in California’s San Fernando Valley, which was known for growing walnuts, citrus, and corn. In ten short years, he watched the agricultural valley of his childhood become subdivided into 7,000 lots, thus giving rise to his interest in smarter, more sustainable growth.
He earned his BA in political science/economics from the University of California Los Angeles, and later earned his Juris Doctor from the University of California, Davis School of Law. He currently works out of Portland, Oregon and Victor, Idaho doing class action and intellectual property litigation. David thinks VARD is the most important non-profit supplementing critical government functions in the Valley, because without a protected environment the Valley’s charm will be a thing of the past.
Richard has a passion for the outdoors and beautiful places, like Teton Valley. He grew up in Southern California where development often ran amok and turned a beautiful place into something much less so. He also witnessed more reasonable development policies in neighboring Ventura County where agriculture still thrives. In his youth Richard was an avid backpacker and an Eagle Scout. He attended the University of Southern California, earning a B.S. in electrical engineering, and, after a stint as a Naval Officer assigned to the Atomic Energy Commission, he attended the University of San Diego School of Law where he received a J.D. degree with honors. After law school, he became a patent lawyer and served as a managing partner of a multinational patent law firm for over twenty years before semi-retiring and moving to the Teton Valley several years ago. He enjoys traveling, hiking, bicycling and skiing and still manages to do some patent work for a research laboratory when not out enjoying the natural beauty of Teton Valley. Richard is also actively involved with the Friends of Teton River.
Guch graduated with a degree in anthropology from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. She moved to Jackson, Wyoming in 1980. Guch was employed by the Jackson Hole Conservation Alliance as Director of Finance for the ten years prior to moving to Idaho. Guch and her husband, Chuck Spray, moved to Driggs in 2005 where they own and operate Guchiebird’s. Guchiebird’s offers artistic gifts and unique home décor with an emphasis on goods made in the USA.
Sandy served for 12 years as an elected member of a planning and zoning board in Massachusetts. During his tenure Sandy faced issues similar to those of Teton County such as preserving agricultural land and open space, grappling with commercial and residential sprawl, and conserving community character in a community with a large second-home-owner population. One of Sandy’s accomplishments, with support from The Nature Conservancy and the State of Massachusetts, was helping to conserve 1,200 acres of land that was slated for a 900 unit residential development. Sandy has been very involved in the Teton Valley community through volunteerism since he and his wife make made it their permanent home in 1997. Sandy and Mary are also conservation easement donors.
Alice has been a member of VARD since it was formed. She served one term as a Teton County Commissioner (Jan. 2007-Jan. 2009) and later served one year on the County Planning and Zoning Commission to complete someone’s term. She served on a sub-committee for the 2012 update to the Teton County Comprehensive Plan.
Alice and her husband Bob have lived in either Jackson or Teton Valley most of the time since 1969, while she taught elementary school on both sides of the Tetons. They lived in Victor for 11 years when their son was young, then moved to Jackson while he finished his schooling, and then moved back to Teton Valley in 2000. They have chosen to live here because of the quality of life offered by the outstanding natural resources and recreational opportunities.
In addition to a degree in education, Alice has a BA and an MA in Psychology, all from the University of Wyoming, where she met Bob. Although she grew up in the Midwest, there was no turning back after she came to Wyoming—her heart is in the West.
When Julie Stomper and her husband Derek came to the Tetons, “to ski for a winter,” over 15 years ago, they had no idea that they would wind up building a home, careers and raising a family here. As a parent of two young girls, Julie has a vested interest in helping her community develop in a way that balances the needs of a growing community with the preservation of its historic and natural beauty. When Julie is not enjoying outdoor adventures with her family she practices real estate and land use law in the Driggs office of the firm of Thatcher, Beard, St. Clair, Gaffney PA. Julie earned her B.A. in International Relations from Tufts University. She graduated from Gonzaga University School of Law with honors where she was the managing editor of the Gonzaga Journal of International Law.
Linda and her husband, John, have been part-time residents in the Valley for over 25 years. Their other ‘home’ is Edwards Colorado. Linda’s love of the natural world, Master’s in Environmental Education, commitment to land and resource preservation and passion for this Valley are what brings her to VARD’s board. She is interested in fostering good development practices and land use planning in Teton Valley. She is an avid outdoor enthusiast, teaching Nordic skiing in Beaver Creek, Colorado in the winter, while biking, hiking, running, and bird watching in the Tetons throughout the summer and fall. Her previous career was in advertising with Outside and Audubon Magazines. She also has been a partner in her husband’s marketing strategy consulting business.
G.L. (Lee) Simmons
Lee received a PhD from Catholic University of America in Nuclear Engineering and Mathematics. He came to the Teton Valley in 1989 and built a log home in Alta where he has lived ever since. His professional career began at Battelle Memorial Institute in Richland, Washington. He worked full time at the Center for Radiation Research of the National Bureau of Standards while attending Catholic University full time. He finished his PhD in two years and joined Science Applications International Corporation, a small science and technology company with 146 employees. As an engineer specializing in radiation effects and nuclear weapons proliferation, he held positions of increasing responsibility during his 25 year career at SAIC. At SAIC, he consulted for several Federal government agencies and was responsible for new business development and managing 400+ people. SAIC had 47,325 employees when he retired in 1996 to joined Enron Energy Services in Houston acting as its Chief Information Officer. Two years later Lee retired helped a start company, RETX, by raising $18 Million from a Canadian Telephone company. After operating the company for 7 years, it was sold to Schneider Electric.
In the Teton Valley, he started the Targhee Towne Water District in Alta and served as its President until 3 years ago. Today, he advises the Water District and serves as a member of several Boards, including a Solid Waste Disposal District in Teton County Wyoming. He, along with 5 other people, started an investment partnership which today has 75 general partners. Lee continues to consult for Government Agencies and to enjoy entertaining his grandchildren.
A year before Dave retired as a Geologist and the U.S. Regional President of BP Amoco Corporation, he and his wife, Susie, purchased a home in the Teton Valley. When Dave isn’t traveling he is skiing or out on a river somewhere. As an avid fly fisherman, you can often see him fishing on the Teton, South Fork, Henry’s Fork, and occasionally on the Rio Grande River in Argentina. David and Susie live on the Teton River where they conserved approximately 40 acres of riverfront and have been busy with riverbank restoration work. Dave is a board member of the Teton Regional Land Trust and in the past has served on the board of the Friends of the Teton River. As a board member of VARD, Dave hopes to ensure that the Teton Valley grows in a way that sustains the quality of life and natural beauty of the valley that we all experience today.
Susie is the mother of 3 grown children whom she raised while traveling around the world following her husband’s career. In her free time she has been a stalwart volunteer for numerous organizations both in the United States and abroad. While living in Egypt, Susie co-founded the Friends of Children with Cancer Foundation, which provides funds to cover health care expenses for children with cancer. When Susie returned to the United States, she founded a U.S. based foundation to help support the Friends of Children with Cancer. Both foundations now provide nearly all the medications required for Egyptian children with cancer. Susie and her husband, David, moved to Teton Valley in 1999. They were attracted to the valley by its natural beauty and quality of life, which they are both committed to conserving. When Susie is not volunteering for one of the many organizations in Teton Valley that treasure her dedication, she enjoys fly fishing, skiing, birding, hiking, and just being out in nature.
Richard is a graduate of Kenyon College and received a Masters degree from Dartmouth College. In 1996 he founded The Danforth Company, an advisory firm specializing in corporate advocacy, capital acquisition and marketing services. As an avid fly fisherman, Richard has spent many summers in Teton Valley angling the blue ribbon trout streams of the Yellowstone region.
In addition to serving on VARD’s Board of Directors, Richard is the Secretary of the Loyalhanna Watershed Association, a conservation group in western Pennsylvania and Treasurer of Junction Dance Theater. He was the Finance Chairman of the Ultimate Walk to Cure Diabetes, a 2003 expedition to the South Pole supported by the Royal Geographic Society in London, the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation in New York and the Honorable Alexandra Shackleton. He has also been a participant in the Children’s First America Director’s meeting in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.
Jeff has been involved with VARD since its inception in December 2001 as one of VARD’s founding board members. Until July of 2006 he served as VARD’s volunteer Executive Director. Jeff’s colorful background has provided him an array of experiences ranging from buying, renovating, and managing residential real estate in Manhattan to instructing courses in Alaska for the National Outdoor Leadership School.
Since moving to Teton Valley in 1995, Jeff has served as a chaplain at Teton Valley Hospital and Surgicenter, a hospital board member, the Scoutmaster for local Troop 185, a board member for the Alta Retreat Center, and Board President for VARD. He has also taught yoga at Yoga Tejas in Driggs. Jeff served on the Land Use Subcommittee during the revision of Teton County’s Comprehensive Plan: 2005-2010. He ran for Teton County Commissioner in 2004. He has also sat on the county’s planning & zoning commission. Jeff has two joy-filled sons, Nathan and Mitchell.
Georgie earned a BA in anthropology from Brown University and then moved to Lander, Wyoming to work as an outdoor educator for NOLS. She later became a mountain guide. After years of traveling, climbing and guiding, she has settled down in Victor. She looks forward to raising her two beautiful children and tending her organic market garden. She lives in her unique, family-built strawbale/timberframe house off the grid. Georgie hopes our county can incorporate innovative tools so that as our community grows, the integrity of our landscape, our community and our economy will be not be sacrificed.