Our Board and Staff

Current Board Members 2019

Kent Ingram, Board Chair, Littleton

Kent grew up in Denver in an outdoors family where his dad introduced him to hunting in 3rd grade, hunting rabbits near Brighton.  Youth pursuits in the outdoors included fishing all up and down Bear Creek near Evergreen for trout and trapping. He attended Western State College, earning a B.A. and M.A. in Business Administration. From there he entered banking where his career spanned 40 years, the last 17 years banking businesses for Colorado Business Bank. Kent always has been involved with non-profits, and was honored as the third recipient for the William Funk Award for Building Community in 1993.   A lifelong Coloradoan he did live in Alaska for 4 years in his 20s, while in banking there, doing it all in unguided hunting and fishing. Some experiences there were having a flood come through his tent one evening while mountain goat hunting, leading to hypothermia; having a brown bear harass his moose camp for multiple nights on the Alaska Penninsula, netting a whopping 15 lbs. of moose meat from an otherwise hard earned bull moose backpacked 5 miles earlier; and on a third try harvesting a large male grizzly from inside his tent, while on a sandbar alone in the Alaska Range.

Back in Colorado Kent settled down and married Linda and had 3 daughters.  They, too, fly fish and one hunts big game and turkeys with Kent.  In 2002 Kent became involved with Colorado Wildlife Federation, moving up to Treasurer then to President 2006-2007 then again 2013-2015.   Kent also served on the 2005 Big Game License Allocation Committee, was Sportsmen Co-Chair of the then DOW Sportsmen’s Advisory Group 2007-2009, and is serving on Colorado Parks & Wildlife's Sportsmen’s Roundtable, 2013-present. He is an active elk and deer hunter, turkey enthusiast, and fly fisherman.  Philosophically Kent stands for average sportsmen and sportswomen interests, protecting public lands, improved OHV enforcement, against high fence shoots, and maintaining public support for our proud hunting and fishing heritage.  

John Smeltzer, Director and Former Board Chair,  Ft.Collins and Iowa
John joined the CWF Board in 2005 following his retirement as Public Services Manager (Asst. Director - Field Operations) for the Colorado Division of Wildlife (CDOW). John's early professional career includes 3 years as a science teacher in Iowa, his home state. While working for the CDOW, John served as a wildlife researcher; a staff specialist in the Law Enforcement Unit; regulations manager, and Human Dimensions section manager in addition to role as Asst. Director. John is a biology graduate of Westmar College, LeMars, Iowa and Colorado State University, Fort Collins. He is married (Marsha) and has two adult children (David and Katie). He belongs to a variety of hunting, fishing and conservation organizations. John joined the CWF Board in 2005. 

Mike Hora, Director at Large, Lyons

Michael Hora is a native of Illinois who enjoys living in Colorado. A long time business executive, he now spends much of his time honoring the land and learning about all things wild in Colorado. Michael seeks a responsible balance between the interests of those who own land and those for whom outdoor pursuits in the future depend upon good decisions today.

Mark Phillips, Director at Large, Montrose

Gary C. Miller, Director at Large, Estes Park

Gary C. Miller is a wildlife biologist who has worked at Rocky Mountain National Park, the Colorado Division of Wildlife, and currently as a private consultant. His professional and personal interest and experience is in the conservation of "all things wild" - game and nongame species; prairie, mountain, and wetland communities.  Or, in the words of Aldo Leopold (one of his heroes), "...to keep every cog and wheel..." of our natural world.  A lifelong hunter, angler, and birder, he sees growing the next generation of thinking and voting conservationists as our most important challenge. Gary and wife Kathy live in Estes Park, and enjoy sharing their habitat with ungulates, creatures with carnassials, and numerous avian animals.  


Ashley Rust, Director at Large, Denver

Ashley RustAshley Rust is a native to Denver and an outdoor enthusiast. She is the mother to three little boys whom she hopes to expose to wildlife watching, hunting, and fishing. Ashley is an affiliate professor of environmental science, water quality, and fish ecology at Metropolitan State University. Ashley has started a student club for CWF at Metro to engage students in wildlife habitat improvement and issues. She spends her free time in Colorado's mountains exploring trails and streams with her family and fishing.

Joe Stengel, Director at Large, Littleton

Bill Black, Nebraska and Evergreen

Robin Knox, Evergreen

Robin Knox, a Colorado resident for 35 years, recently retired after 42 years of work in the fisheries and aquatic resource management arena. He was the Coordinator for the Western Native Trout Initiative, a National Fish Habitat Partnership, for 8 years after 27 years as a fishery biologist and the assistant chief of fisheries for the Colorado Division of Wildlife. Robin was actively involved with the sport-fishing industry for over 15 years, serving on the government affairs committee of both the American Sport-fishing Association and the American Fly Fishing Trades Association which are the fishing tackle manufacturers trade associations. He has a Bachelor of Science degree in zoology from the University of Illinois, and a Master’s degree in Fishery Science from the University of Missouri.  He lives in the beautiful foothills of Colorado west of Denver with his wife Laurel, and loves to fish from his Hobie kayak.

Brent Miller, Arvada


 Greg Benzmiller, Colorado Springs


Joshua Torrez, Denver and Idaho


Robert Meulengracht, Lakewood

Alexa Miles, Denver

Alexa has lived in Denver for the past 16 years and loves taking advantage of its easy access to the outdoors. Alexa has a degree in environmental studies from the University of Montana and a masters in landscape architecture from CU Denver. She met her husband while working for Outward Bound and has spent the last 10 years doing environmental compliance and permitting for numerous federal agencies.  She has a young son and daughter who are starting to appreciate hiking, exploring, and admiring wildlife. She enjoys spending her free time in the mountains and on the rivers of Colorado re-experiencing their beauty and wonder through the eyes of her children.  They have also given her a renewed sense of responsibility to advocate for their protection.

Dave Winters, Golden

Dave has worked for more than 35 years as a professional fish, riparian/wetland and rare species biologist.  He served as the Regional Aquatic Ecologist for the US Forest Service and was a core member of the Forest Service Roadless Rule planning team. He is very involved in issues that burgeoning population growth in Colorado has on fish and wildlife resources and associated activities. He is a avid sportsman. Dave believes that water quality and quantity will be the largest issues for fish and wildife in Colorado.




Lew Carpenter, NWF Regional Representative - Colorado 

Region 10 Director, NWF Board of Directors, Scott Gilmore

Chairs of Issues Committee - Walt Graul And Kent Ingram

Executive Director, Suzanne O'Neill


Suzanne is a former practicing lawyer and consultant to professional services firms.  She received her law degree at University of Texas School of Law and master degree in Environmental Policy and Management from University of Denver.   Suzanne is an avid wildlife photographer and also enjoys fishing, her sheep and llamas, and gardening.



Communications/Media, Todd Malmsbury

Technology Consultant, David Nealey, Ph.D.

Directors Emeritus

  • Dennis Buechler
  • Jim Goddard
  • John Rold
  • Colleen Gadd

Past Presidents

  • 1952 - 1954 Herb Hockstrasser
  • 1955 - 1957 William H. Corlett
  • 1958 - 1959 H. Ray Macht
  • 1960 B.K. Linder
  • 1961 Harry G. Sims
  • 1962 Ross Russell
  • 1963 Douglas L. Gilbert
  • 1964 - 1966 A.J. Christiansen
  • 1967 - 1968 Robert F. Gantnier
  • 1969 Ralph R. Hill
  • 1970 Gilbert N. Hunter
  • 1971 - 1972 Hans W. von Barby
  • 1973 Robert F. Gantnier
  • 1974 Ed Merrick
  • 1975 - 1976 Lt. Col. Clifford A. Baker
  • 1977 - 1978 David G. Merrifield
  • 1979 - 1980 Delwin E. Benson
  • 1981 William H. Miller
  • 1982 John Cross
  • 1983 - 1984 Bob Black
  • 1985 Wayne Sandfort
  • 1986 Wally Gallegher
  • 1987 Gordon Woelfle
  • 1988 John Volker
  • 1989 Steve Flannagan
  • 1990 Eric Kelly
  • 1991 - 1992 Chuck Olmstead
  • 1993 - 1996 Peter F. Michaelson
  • 1997 - 1999 Dennis Buechler
  • 2000 Michael Dowling
  • 2001 Dennis Buechler
  • 2002 - 2005 Suzanne O'Neill
  • 2006 - 2007 Kent Ingram
  • 2007-6/2013 John Smeltzer
  • 6/2013 - present Kent Ingram


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