Featured Intern: Sherry Moldenhauer

sherryHere at the TWP office, we are continually asking each other, “What would we do without our talented interns!?” These dedicated individuals donate their time, energy, and brain power to making our programs a success by helping with grant research and writing, translations, crowdfunding, and other tasks necessary for running a nonprofit organization. At any given time, we have an average of 5 interns working with staff to run our programs. Our interns come from diverse backgrounds and bring fresh ideas to our office.

One of these amazing interns is Sherry Moldenhauer, one of our National Development Interns who has worked with TWP’s Development Director, Heather Herrell, since Fall of 2012. Sherry has been an important part of our recent grant writing cycle and brings a unique natural resource management background to our Team. Sherry is most passionate about helping to raise funds for our Tribal Renewable Energy Program and enjoys working with an environmentally-friendly organization. She has been especially inspired by the Lakota culture and the work of our Tribal Program partner, Lakota Solar Enterprises.

“Every Tuesday and Thursday, Sherry arrives with a cheerful smile and dedicates five hours to researching and writing grants to support our Tribal Renewable Energy Program and Food Security Program. Thank you, Sherry, for all that you do for TWP!” – Heather Herrell, Development Director

On her free time, you can find Sherry exploring the alpine terrain of Colorado, reading, and doing yard work with her dog by her side.

Learn about current volunteer and internship opportunities at our website!

Intern Spotlight: Cate Stone

by Pete Iengo, Volunteer Manager

Cate Stone, National Program Rockstar (Intern)

The TWP team has many pleasant and colorful characters turning the gears of sustainability, and this month’s Featured Intern, Cate Stone, is certainly no exception.  Having Cate around is a joy.  She is a dedicated conservationist with a smile and presence that fills up the room!

Originally from Pennsylvania, Cate was en route to Alaska with her good friends when their magic school bus broke down in Idaho.  Revised final destination: Fort Collins!

Soon after Cate discovered TWP here in Fort Collins, she applied and was hired.  Serving as National Program Intern, she works closely with Program Director Lacey Gaechter on our new Food Security Program, as well as bringing renewable energy to Native Americans through our Tribal Renewable Energy Program.

“What TWP is doing is pretty incredible!” Cate said when commenting on our community-based approach in Fort Collins and in the other communities we serve.   In particular, Cate is referring to the work we do on Native American reservations.  It wasn’t until her internship that she began to see for herself the level of poverty that can exist on the reservations of the West.  Cate had the opportunity to go to the Pine Ridge Reservation and work with a team of volunteers and our partner Henry Red Cloud on a recent project.  “I feel lucky to get to volunteer on the Rez, it makes it all feel real.” she commented on the experience.

We are very lucky to have Cate on board here at TWP!  It won’t last forever, though.  Cate is excited to get out there and see the world, and aspires to finding a niche in environmental anthropology, focusing on clean water systems in Latin America. Where ever you end up Cate, we know you’ll do great things; thank you for your hard work and dedication!

Intern Spotlight: Daniel Sidder

by Pete Iengo, Office and Volunteer Manager

Daniel Sidder
Daniel Sidder, TWP star intern

This month’s volunteer spotlight falls on our dearest Daniel Sidder. Daniel is originally from Littleton CO, but moved up to Fort Collins to attend Colorado State University (CSU) and become a member of its growing, forward thinking community. With a driving interest for conserving our natural world and working towards a sustainable global environment, Daniel decided to pursue a degree in Natural Resource Management.

“Becoming part of the TWP family all just kind of came together”, Daniel exclaims. “First I rode my bike by and saw your sign in front of the house, and then I did my research and loved the mission. I knew it would be a good fit.”

He sure was right! By bringing a positive attitude, a drive for change, advanced English/Spanish translation abilities, and fantastic writing abilities, Daniel has become a part of both our Development and International teams.

When asked what Daniel has learned in his time at TWP, he mentions his increased awareness of the importance of funding and economics in the non-profit world. “When what is good for your wallet is also good for the environment, it’s a win-win,” he said when speaking about the effect of TWP’s community based programs on the people we serve. He went on, “When you do good things and people see that, it all starts to come together.”

Daniel has recently graduated from CSU with flying colors. Moving forward, his goal is helping people connect with the natural world in ways that will encourage them to conserve and appreciate what the planet has to offer.

To this end Daniel recently accepted the Naturalist Leadership Program Coordinator position with the Maria Mitchell Association. He will be spending his summer days designing curriculum and teaching 13-15 year old kids about the ecology on Nantucket Island. In his spare time you might even catch him sailing through Nantucket sound, the breeze running through his hair…

Thanks for all your hard work Daniel; Team TWP wishes you nothing but the best!!!

Featured Volunteer: Kari Lanphier

by Pete Iengo, Keeper of the Office and Volunteer Coordinator


Kari Lanphier_Featured Volunteer
Kari plugging away at her work, always with a smile!

A huge part of who we are at TWP is directly attributed to our wonderful volunteers and interns. This month’s featured volunteer, Kari Lanphier, exemplifies the commitment and caring spirit that every organization dreams of having in a regular volunteer!

In August 2010, Kari moved to Fort Collins to study geology at Colorado State University.  It was her first day in town when she stopped by our office: “I’ve heard of you guys, and I like what you’re doing.  How can I help?”  And so the Kari era begins…

Over a year later Kari is still volunteering, and she is more committed and skillful than ever.  Starting out as our Regular Office Volunteer, Kari quickly morphed into a more complex role as Development Intern, where she manages much of our media and data files.  Her work at TWP compliments her class work too.  Kari takes the hard skills she learns here and applies them directly to her course of studies.

When Kari takes a break from her studies and volunteer efforts, she likes to spend time exploring the outdoors, rock climbing, backpacking, and learning about new things.  It’s the hunger for knowledge that drives Kari, she exclaims, “I want to keep learning and finding things I am good at so I can teach others and pass that knowledge along.”

After school Kari wants to work in geology and spend some time in Pacific Northwest with her future Husky dogs, Nanook and Cookie.  Wherever Kari ends up one thing is for certain: she is an unstoppable bundle of knowledge and spirit who will be a true asset to whatever endeavor she takes on.

From all of us at Trees, Water & People, thank you Kari for being a strong member of the community, a friend, and an amazing human being!

Volunteer Spotlight: Birch Hincks, Superstar

Birch Hincks has already been our Featured Volunteer for her hard work and sparkling personality around the Trees, Water & People office. Now we get to give her another very special thanks, this time for the month of service she just spent at our project site in Pine Ridge, South Dakota. Birch lived in and worked on the Red Cloud Renewable Energy Center (RCREC), helping improve the living quarters for trainees as well as generally improving and expanding the training campus with RCREC employees Henry Red Cloud and Leo Bear. She did an amazing job of reaching out the to the Pine Ridge community, reconnecting with previous solar air heater recipients to see how they are doing. In addition, Birch travelled with Henry and his crew to conduct installations and trainings on the Great Plains. Thank you Birch…we all love you!

Featured Volunteer: Zach Vander Meeden

Zach Vander Meeden, TWP Volunteer & Marketing Intern

In Zach’s tenure as a Trees, Water & People volunteer, he has lent a hand with anything that we needed, from researching the carbon offset market to shoveling a foot of snow out of our parking lot and assembling furniture. We can count on Zach to help at special events, outside of his regular volunteer duties. Great with a shovel and always good-humored, Zach has been an amazing help and a pleasure to have as a volunteer. Most recently, through his work at Best Buy, he won the $1,000 Tag Team Award for Trees, Water & People. This award recognizes the volunteer efforts of Best Buy employees by financially supporting the organizations where employees volunteer. Thank you for all your hard work and commitment to Trees, Water & People, Zach, and thank you for taking your dedication one step further by applying for (and winning!) the Tag Team Award to support our programs!

“Volunteering with TWP has definitely been a highlight of my life since moving to Fort Collins two years ago. Not only are the people who work there awesome and extremely friendly, but even in a volunteer role, you can see the difference that TWP’s programs make in the lives of those that they serve. Every penny that goes through the nonprofit is put to work. I’m honored to be associated with such an exceptional organization like TWP.”

Featured Volunteer: Tia Thompson

Tia Thompson, TWP Tribal Development Intern and Volunteer

Tia started as a volunteer with Trees, Water & People in the summer of 2009. Since then, she has been a versatile and invaluable part of our team, always willing to help wherever possible.  This September, Tia came as a volunteer on TWP’s first Lakota Adventure, and once again proved indispensable, taking over food preparation and tech support.  While the Adventurers enjoyed tours of South Dakota, Tia stayed at camp to catch up on the school work she was missing to be with us (not to mention making sure food was piping hot when guests returned to camp).  We can’t thank you enough Tia!