With over 12 years of town and regional planning experience, Shawn possesses a deep desire to maintain Teton Valley’s tremendous qualities and apply the lessons he’s learned throughout his professional career to his role as director of VARD.
Shawn obtained a BS in Urban Planning from the University of Utah in 2001 and a Masters in Public Administration from the University of Wyoming in 2011. Shawn has worked in a variety of communities in the Intermountain West, including Jackson Hole. He has contributed his professional skills to serving in governmental, private-sector, and volunteer capacities. Though a native of Kaysville, Utah, Shawn’s family was one of the original homesteaders in Teton Valley. While working as a planner for the Town of Jackson, Shawn moved to Teton Valley, a place he loves and knows well because of his deep family roots and fond childhood memories of visiting his large extended family that lived here. He is also an avid skier and mountain biker.
Program Director / Staff Attorney
An Idaho native, Anna credits her ten years of experience guiding on rivers throughout Utah, West Virginia, California, Oregon, and Idaho as the cornerstone of her interest in resource management. After studying ecology in Nunavut and Nepal, she earned her B.A. in Biology, with a French minor, from Colorado College in 2000. After college, she worked in plant genetics and diabetes research for the U.C. Berkeley Plant Gene Expression Center and U.C. San Francisco Department of Medicine. Anna then retired her petri dishes and went to law school, earning her Juris Doctor from the University of San Francisco in 2006. She specialized in land use and water law, interned with the Attorney General’s Energy Task Force, and worked at a private water law practice focused on California Clean Water Act litigation. Upon graduation, Anna returned to Idaho to work for another private water law practice in Boise which focused on transactional work in the Snake River Basin Adjudication. She joined the VARD staff in 2007, focusing on program work in the cities and county. She is also a member of the Idaho Bar. Anna currently serves on the Driggs Parks Committee and has served on the Teton County Economic Development Steering Committee. She is also Pathways Chair for the Teton Valley Trails and Pathways Board of Directors, and has served on the Board of the Driggs Downtown Community Association.
Program & Development Associate
Niki Richards was born and raised in the Shenandoah Valley in Virginia and has called Idaho home for over 20 years now. She earned a Master’s Degree in Public Administration with Environmental Science emphasis from Idaho State University in 2008. She serves on the Idaho Walk Bike Alliance Board and has been a consultant working with many diverse communities over the past decade as a planner and project manager. Niki values VARD’s mission and is dedicated to wild places, responsible development, and preserving quality of life in the Teton Valley. She enjoys snowboarding, biking, clean air, clean water, and all things outside, as well as raising her awesome son, very sassy cat, and Border Collie/Aussie ball of energy. There is no other place she would rather call home.
Meg Heinen has been a proud Teton Valley resident for the last 24 years. She grew up in Rochester, lived for a stint in St. Paul, MN before moving to Boston in 1987. In Boston she worked for an investment firm specializing in the Low Income Housing Tax Credit program. In 1993 she had a calling to move out West and ended up in Jackson where she quickly adapted to the small, rural, mountain-town lifestyle and learned to enjoy and thrive in the outdoors – skiing, hiking, backpacking, biking etc. While in Jackson she worked for Croakies/Life-Link in marketing and at Riddell Advertising as an account executive working with national, outdoor-industry accounts such as Mountain Hardwear, Simms, Winston Fly Rods, to name a few. When Jackson lost its luster, she and her husband moved to Teton Valley where they’ve raised two wonderful children, a few dogs and couple of cats. Her family spends the summers camping, backpacking and hiking and in the winter – skiing (and shoveling snow!). She worked for many years at the Teton Valley News, as the advertising director and General Manager. Most recently she was employed as the Media Relations Manager with CityPASS until COVID-19 brought the travel and tourism industry to a halt, and is now enjoying working for VARD to help move its mission forward so we can all continue living the dream that brought us here.