Kristina Fisher, President
Kristina is a lifelong Santa Fean who has been passionate about advocating for the Santa Fe Watershed since she participated in water quality monitoring along the Santa Fe River as a high school student. Since 2002, Kristina has worked at Think New Mexico, a results-oriented think tank dedicated to improving the quality of life for all New Mexicans, where she currently serves as Associate Director. In 2008, Kristina graduated first in her class from the University of New Mexico School of Law, where she served as Editor-in-Chief of the Natural Resources Journal. She is now an adjunct professor at the law school. Kristina is a recipient of the national Harry S. Truman Fellowship for Leadership and Public Service and the Morris K. and Stewart L. Udall Award for Excellence in Environmental Studies. She is active in land, water, and environmental justice issues throughout New Mexico, and participates in ecological restoration service projects with organizations including the Albuquerque Wildlife Federation and the Quivira Coalition.
Rebecca Sobel, Vice President and Secretary
Rebecca is the Principal of Action Oriented, an organizing and campaigning consulting firm that caters to non-profits. She primarily works on energy and climate issues, and has also organized around water protection in New Mexico, helping to designate the state’s headwaters under the Clean Water Act. Previously, Rebecca directed the NM Coalition for Clean Energy and has worked for WildEarth Guardians in Santa Fe, 350.org, and Greenpeace
Giacomo Zafarano, Treasurer
Giacomo Zafarano, a native of Santa Fe, has natural business acumen, but his true passion is performing. He began singing and acting at a young age through school music and drama programs (he counts Gene Kelly and Bugs Bunny as some of his earliest influences). His dance training began with the Ballet de Santa Fe youth company under the direction of Endelecia Prince. After graduating from the University of New Mexico, with a B.A. in Linguistics (Magna Cum Laude), he went on to perform professionally in Las Vegas, Nevada, and on cruise ships. He continues to perform locally and regionally in various commercial, industrial, and theatrical venues with dance and theatre groups and film and television. Giacomo also now works in commercial real estate asset management while continuing to expand his intellectual, athletic, and artistic boundaries. With strong ties to the community and nature, his long-time interest and desire for the health and return of the Santa Fe River have led to his involvement as treasurer of the board with the Santa Fe Watershed Association.
Francois-Marie Patorni retired from the World Bank 2001, where he was managing the Water Policy Reform Program, helping countries build capacity and make policy choices for sustainable water resources management. His recent volunteer activities include: member of the Board of the Piedmont Environmental Council, dedicated to protecting the natural resources in nine counties of Virginia; co-founder of RappFLOW (Rappahannock Friends and Lovers of our Watershed), a non-profit to protect the Rappahannock river watershed in Virginia; member of the advisory Board of the UNESCO-IHE Institute for Water Education; Past-President of the International Network for Participatory Irrigation Management; member of the American Water Resources Association and of other professional networks promoting better environmental policies. He moved to the Santa Fe area in 2004.
Jerry is Professor Emeritus of Environmental Science and Management at New Mexico Highlands University. He has worked for state and federal resource agencies and is currently engaged in research projects with the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish, New Mexico Environment Department, U.S. Forest Service, and Trout Unlimited. His primary area of interest is in the use of aquatic macroinvertebrates as indicators of environmental quality, i.e., effects of prescribed burns, effects of fire and flooding, and effects of fish toxicants. Collaboration with his wife Donna and colleagues produced an index of biotic integrity for evaluating the conditions of surface waters of the state by NMED. His secondary research interest is on the distribution of Plecoptera (stoneflies) in the southwest. He is a member of the City of Santa Fe’s River Commission.
John Utton, a partner in the Albuquerque law firm of Sheehan, Sheehan & Stelzner, P.A., focuses his practice on water rights administrative law and water planning; water rights litigation and adjudications; and land use planning and development law. Utton has taught seminars on advanced water law and natural resources writing at UNM’s Law School. John lives in Santa Fe along the river and has been long time river advocate.
Dave moved to Santa Fe with his wife Mary in 2010 after retiring from 17 years of service at AMGEN (formerly Applied Molecular Genetics). While at AMGEN Dave had various roles and responsibilities including sales, sales management, leading the oncology training department, and as senior marketing manager. He is certified as a management trainer and played an active role in the management development program. He is also certified in instructional design and adult learning principles. In his last role he was responsible for brand planning and management. Dave is a registered yoga teacher who volunteered teaching mindfulness based yoga for people with cancer and worked as a hospice volunteer as well as a volunteer for the No One Dies Alone program (NODA). In 2011 Dave completed his requirements for the Upaya Zen Center’s chaplaincy program and was ordained as a Buddhist chaplain with an emphasis in environmental chaplaincy and systems theory. Dave is a volunteer educator for the Santa Fe Watershed Association and also volunteers in the upper watershed doing restoration ecology and conducting rapid stream riparian assessments. Dave, Mary and their schnoodle Oscar live on the river and are sponsors of the second reach of the river through the SFWA Adopt The River program.