Renee Hassle

Operations Manager
Renee [at]

Renee Hassle coordinates the daily office operations and provides Executive Administrative support a Carpe Diem West.  Renee brings years of successful experience organizing events, people, projects and deliverables. Prior to joining the staff at Carpe Diem West, she was the Department Head of the TV & FM Translator Department and the Public Works Office Manager for Pitkin County Government, in Aspen Colorado.  Renee’s love for the outdoors fuels her concern and commitment to work on a team dedicated and entrusted to facilitating long-term solutions to the water issues facing the West today.

Kristiana Teige Witherill

Program Manager
Kristiana [at] 

Kristiana Teige Witherill manages the Carpe Diem West Academy and provides research, communications, and logistical support to the Executive Director. In addition to her program work, Kristiana is the organization's Grants Manager. Prior to Carpe Diem West, Kristiana was the District Clerk for the Montara Water and Sanitary District in Northern California. She holds a Master of Environmental Science and Management from the Bren School at the University of California, Santa Barbara and a B.A. in Economics from Wellesley College. At the Bren School, Kristiana specialized in Water Resources Management, and completed a group thesis project exploring watershed management strategies for the US BLM to reduce mercury pollution in a tributary of the Sacramento River.

Kimery Wiltshire

CEO & Director
Kimery [at]

A born-and-raised daughter of the American West, Kimery Wiltshire has to be reminded that occasionally important things do happen east of the 100th meridian. For over twenty years, she has helped forge partnerships and develop strategic solutions to address western water and climate change challenges. From the Colorado River Delta to Montana’s Upper Clark Fork Basin, the effects of her work are as far reaching as Carpe Diem West, the network of water managers, scientists, land owners and policy makers that she helped build.

A long-time donor and foundation advisor, Kimery directed the William C. Kenney Foundation for ten years before founding Carpe Diem West. While protecting and restoring river systems in the western United States is her passion, Kimery’s capacity for instigating positive change extends to sustainability, community building, and social justice projects, as well—including the Diversity Network Project, the Sustainable Business Ratings System, Resources for Community Collaboration, and Girl Scouts Save the Bay. 

Senior Program Consultants

Rory Bakke
Senior Strategic Planning Consultant  

Rory brings more than 20 years of experience as an environmental strategist, planner, and Program Director for California cities, regional agencies and research institutes. Rory is currently the Director of Sustainability for the GreenBiz Group, where she is leading the development of new sustainability standards for companies, in partnership with UL Environment. She has served as a strategic advisor on several public bodies including the Mayor of Oakland’s Green Economic Development Task Force, and has also been a Senior Program Manager at StopWaste.Org, and a Senior Analyst for the County of Santa Clara’s Silicon Valley Toxics Reduction Program. She has created award-winning plans, programs and public policies that promote environmental stewardship. In addition to her degrees in environmental policy and sustainable business management from the University of California, Claremont Graduate University and the Presidio School of Management.

Sarah Bates
Deputy Director, Northern Rockies & Pacific Region, National Wildlife Federation

Sarah has written and spoken extensively on western water law and policy over the past two decades through university research appointments, conservation advocacy positions, and consulting work. Prior to her work with the National Wildlife Federation she worked with the Center for Natural Resources and Environmental Policy (formerly the Public Policy Research Institute) at the University of Montana, and maintains an active legal consulting practice. Bates is a graduate of the University of Colorado Law School (1988), where she subsequently returned to serve as the associate director of the Natural Resources Law Center from 1991-93.  She serves on the Board of Directors of the Montana-based Clark Fork Coalition and recently completed two terms as a member of the advisory board of the Ruckelshaus Institute of Environment and Natural Resources at the University of Wyoming. Bates has been a Carpe Diem West team member since 2007.

Belinda Griswold
Senior Communications Consultant 

Belinda Griswold is the Senior Program Director at Resource Media, providing communications strategy and direction for climate change and public health projects from the Oceans and Public Health team. She particularly enjoys working on campaign strategy and issue analyses. Her recent work includes a comprehensive framing analysis of climate change and water in the American West. Belinda is a former political reporter and editor, and a communications director with 10 years experience on electoral and grassroots campaigns. She is also a licensed attorney and mediator in both California and Washington. Belinda holds a bachelor’s degree in International Political Economy from the University of California, Berkeley and a J.D. from Northeastern University School of Law.

Sterling Grogan
Senior Consultant 

Sterling Grogan is an ecologist, water manager, and agriculturalist with over 40 years of experience in the U.S., Latin America, and Central Asia. His projects have included land reclamation, industrial ecology, and wildlife protection in Brazil, Chile, New Mexico and Venezuela, landscape ecology in Costa Rica, water management and agricultural extension in New Mexico and Tajikistan, and research and teaching in ecology and environmental policy in the U.S. As a teacher, consultant and lobbyist in the fields of energy, mining, agriculture and environmental policy, he has worked with universities, private industry, the World Conservation Union, regional water management agencies, and local, State, Tribal, Federal and foreign governments. He is a co-author of the New Mexico Watershed Protection Plan, managed the middle Rio Grande riparian forest, led the effort to develop New Mexico’s first Alternative Energy Plan, chaired New Mexico’s largest air quality agency, served on Federal recovery teams for endangered fish and birds, and is a Director of the Quivira Coalition. 

Dr. Holly Hartmann
Academy Director

Dr. Holly Hartmann was most recently the Director of the Arid Lands Information Center at the University of Arizona (UA). She is a co-investigator within the Climate Assessment for the Southwest (CLIMAS) and leads the scenario development team within the UA Science and Technology Center for the Sustainability of Semi-Arid Hydrology and Riparian Areas (SAHRA). Holly is a national leader in research related to the development of decision support tools for climate, water, and other resource management applications, especially linking research with the needs of decision makers and moving research into agency operations. Current research projects include quantitative verification of climate and hydrologic forecasts; improving communication of probabilistic forecasts and uncertainty; incorporating complex integrated models and climate change within a scenario planning framework; and decision support tool development. Holly has been a Carpe Diem West team member since 2008.

Catherine Porter
Senior Strategic Planning Consultant  

Catherine Porter is a consultant with decades of experience in global environment and development philanthropy. She organized the US NGO presence at the Earth Summit in Rio in 1992, for eight years was Executive Director of the Consultative Group on Biological Diversity, has served as Executive Director (pro bono) of Friends of the Ganges for the past 22 years, and, since 2002, has been chair of the board of Global Greengrants Fund. Since 2000 she has been involved with Carpe Diem West both as an advisor and as a project manger. Catherine brings critical thinking to issues of collaboration,international development processes, and the complicated world of NGOs finding their way among funders. She has worked in Latin America and India, and has had clients as varied as Ashoka, the Funders Forum on Antibiotic Resistance, the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation and the Collaborative on Health and the Environment.

Chantel Walker
Senior Strategic Planning Consultant - Carpe Diem West Academy

Chantel Walker is the lead consultant on the Carpe Diem West Academy for evaluation and program development. Chantel’s work focuses on strategic planning, executive coaching, program development and policy analysis for nonprofit organizations, foundations and government clients. She has twenty years of experience directing programs for both non-profit organizations and foundations focused primarily on community development to benefit low-income populations and under-served youth, most recently as the Director of Programs and Evaluation for the Marguerite E. Casey Foundation. Chantel has sat on the Board of Directors for numerous organizations including The San Francisco Redevelopment Agency, The State Bar of California, and The Association of Black Foundation Executives; she is currently a member of the Board of Directors for the Pacific Primary School and Chair of the Board for Zeum, San Francisco Bay Area’s arts and technology museum for children.


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