Board of Directors


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Mike Caulkins, Board President

MCaulkins@friendsofflagstaff.org

Mike grew up in Silicon Valley, and spent much of his youth stomping around in the creeks, hills and woodland areas near to (and far from) his suburban home town of Los Altos, CA. He did many years of schooling around the west (with the most recent stint occurring in Vancouver, BC, Canada), and along the way collected 2 energetic young boys and a wonderful partner.

Mike received a BA in Psychology from the University of Colorado at Boulder, an MSc in Kinesiology from ASU, and a PhD in Education from Simon Fraser University in Canada. He now works at NAU as an instructor in the University College, teaching first year seminar classes that looks at the human relationship to place, and how people from different cultures conceive of ‘wilderness.’

Mike believes that civic engagement and active political involvement for all citizens is essential to a healthy and vibrant democracy. He is passionate about land use, development, education, and open space. He joined the board of F3 early in 2014, and is honored to work alongside the dedicated and thoughtful individuals who are associated with F3.

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Emily Melhorn, Board Vice President

emelhorn@friendsofflagstaff.org

Emily Melhorn is originally from Gettysburg, PA but has lived most of her adult life in the Western States. After spending several seasons moving around with the NPS, she wanted a place to build community and call home, and chose Flagstaff to be that place.

She received her BA in Creative Writing at Hamilton College, and is currently a masters candidate at NAU in the Sustainable Communities program and also receiving a Community Planning certificate. She enjoys traveling for the new perspectives it gives her. She is also a writer and enjoys reading non-fiction on a variety of subjects and watching documentaries. She also enjoys patroning the arts: attending gallery openings and concerts, or even attending lectures where she can gain new insight on an issue.

Emily is very grateful for the opportunity to serve on the F3 Board and support their visions. She is particularly interested in smart (affordable) growth strategies that preserve historic character and make alternative transportation a priority. She supports a local production economy and reducing environmental impacts. She hopes to increase citizen awareness and engagement with these issues and more during her time on the F3 board.

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Susie Garretson, Board Treasurer and Member

Susie was born and raised in Blythe, California to community minded and active parents who loved to roam the desert searching for archaeological sites and water ski on the Colorado River.  College consisted of majoring in Chinese at the University of Southern California and then graduating from University of Northern Colorado with a BA in Elementary Education.  After teaching in southwest Colorado for several years, in 1978 she moved to Flagstaff to found the Flagstaff Athletic Club with her then husband.  She is proud to have served as Owner/General Manager of Operations for 23 years.  After a few years of retirement she went to work at Coconino County as the Executive Assistant for County Supervisor Mandy Metzger, serving for eight years.  Currently she works at the County part time as the Coordinator for the three Diversity Councils.

Following in her parent’s footsteps, Susie has been active in the community serving on various boards and committees:  Soroptimist International of Flagstaff; Shepherd of the Hills Youth Committee; Coconino County Juvenile Detention Community Advisory Board; Flagstaff Leadership Founding Board; Coconino Community College Foundation Scholarship Committee; Flagstaff Arboretum Board; Friends of Flagstaff’s Future Board (served two full terms in it’s early years and re-upped in 2019); Museum of Northern Arizona Board of Directors; Flagstaff Arts Council.  She currently volunteers with the Flagstaff Literacy Program.  She also has worked on campaigns for County Supervisors Carl Taylor and Mandy Metzger, as well as propositions for the County Jail, Mountain Line, and Coconino Community College.

In her personal life, Susie is proud of her two grown sons, Patrick and Jesse.  Susie is doing her best to be semi-retired but keeps finding good causes to participate in.  However, she does manage to find time to travel, hike, explore, go for long walks with her two dogs, read, movies, and have fun with friends.

Susie believes that we are all so lucky to live in this beautiful area on the Colorado Plateau, and that we all have a responsibility to make it a little better in the best way we can.  She believes Friend’s of Flagstaff’s Future is crucial to this effort and hopes that more citizens will decide to join and participate.  She is honored to serve on the current board with its energetic, caring and knowledgeable members.  Keep Flagstaff Funky!

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Darren Bingham, Board Member

Looking to better himself, his surroundings, and his planet, Darren Bingham chose to attend graduate school in the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences (SBS) at NAU. Here he is a master’s candidate in the Sustainable Communities program. In the second year of his program, Darren is diligently working to create and complete his thesis. His field of study centers around environmental mediation in the areas of solid waste management & recycling, marketing and social engineering, and City planning. This allows him to create unique solutions that challenge inequality and alter our collective direction. Fascinated by the intersection of disciplines, values, and people, Darren looks to facilitate collaborative teams to solve societal issues.
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Rachel Ellis, Board Member

Originally from Santa Fe, NM, Rachel found her way to Arizona through her undergraduate education at Prescott College. She studied social justice education and political science while also getting her Arizona teaching certificate. She’s taught high school, led countless outdoor education trips throughout the west, worked for a sustainability non-profit, and was the Education Director at Flagstaff Climbing. She’s now in graduate school at NAU in the Master of Arts in Sustainable Communities program. She’s passionate about people and landscapes in the southwest and committed to furthering a variety of justice issues in the region

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Eric Nolan, Board Member

Eric Nolan is originally from Los Angeles, CA and moved to Flagstaff in 2010 to pursue a better quality of life. Having found this, Eric works on community and ecological initiatives to improve and strengthen a better quality of life for everyone through social and environmental justice endeavors.

Eric came to Flagstaff to pursue, and complete, an undergraduate degree in the Environmental Sciences at Northern Arizona University (NAU). He has also received a masters degree in Sustainable Communities and is currently completing a doctoral degree in the Curriculum & Instruction program at NAU’s College of Education. His doctoral work explores teaching and learning methods of college-level Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (or STEM) education by critically evaluating STEM’s socio-political dimensions.

Eric’s work in the community, and classroom, stems from a belief that knowledge is power and that power is best handled with an informed and educated society built on the premise that social and environmental justice is not only possible but essential for an integral democracy to function. He also believes that diversity is one of humanity’s greatest strengths as life itself is exceptionally diverse. He recognizes that a person’s cultural background (e.g., socioeconomic, tradition, language, religion, morals/ethics, ideologies and philosophies, and values), cognitive ability (e.g., intellectual, emotional, relational, spiritual, humor, and creativity), gender expression (e.g., gender identification and sexual expression), physical form (e.g., physical ability and talent), and age (e.g., intergenerational understanding and communication) play an integral role in how we come together in a social construction of our shared reality. Through this lens, he strives to work with community members to uphold the values and mission statement of Friends of Flagstaff’s Future.

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Marilyn Weissman, Board Member

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Mary Poore, Board Member

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Marcus Ford, Board Member

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Nat White, Advisory Board Member

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Jim Babbitt, Advisory Board Member

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Sandra Lubarsky, Advisory Board Member

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Ethan Aumack, Advisory Board Member

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Bill Towler, Advisory Board Member


If you love Flagstaff and are interested in taking an active role in protecting and enhancing our quality of life, F3’s Board of Director’s could be the place for you.  F3 is a volunteer, member-based organization. Our staff work part-time. Thus it falls to the Board and members to help get a lot of the work done.

In general, board members spend at least 10 hours per month on a variety tasks including the monthly Board meeting, helping to organize and implement a variety of F3 events, attending community meetings such as City Council or City Commission meetings.