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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Eli Cohen, Board Treasurer

ecohen@friendsofflagstaff.org

Eli Cohen was born and raised in Winnipeg, Canada, in a family steeped in social and communal service traditions. After living in Toronto and New York City, Eli arrived in Flagstaff in early 2013.

Following the completion of a B.Sc. in Actuarial Mathematics and Computer Science from the University of Manitoba, Eli has worked in the Insurance, Financial Services, and IT industries for over 30 years. During his career he has learned the value of administrative oversight and process, coordinated planning, and financial management. Eli currently works primarily as an independent IT consultant,
supplementing his professional endeavors with work as a volunteer manager for local festivals and as an occasional substitute teacher.

On a communal level, Eli has been a volunteer and participant in one form or another since his early teens. Upon reaching Flagstaff he made the decision to lend his skills to a variety of local non-profit organizations and campaigns spanning the fields of civic engagement, social justice, environmental sustainability, the arts, education, and healthcare.

It is Eli’s belief that both personal and shared community are strengthened by the participation and inclusion of all a community’s members. He is proud to help grow that vision here in his new home.

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David McCain, Board Member

dmccain@friendsofflagstaff.org

Having grown up in a small town shadowed by the Rocky Mountains and lived in San Diego, David now calls Flagstaff home. He moved here in February 2012 to join his partner, Katie, who is a physical therapist in town.

After focusing on internal challenges (i.e. recurrent depression) for much of his life, he now lives his passion of helping people experience more joy in life by communicating more effectively through his business, Communicating with Heart (www.communicatingwithheart.com).

He has thoroughly enjoyed his 5-year tenure on the board. As Board President, he saw the organization through 2 Executive Director transitions and helped F3 increases it’s organizational capacity. His personal interests include many (almost all) forms of exercise, time in nature, time with his partner, and playing with his dog, Star.

He is thrilled to be on the Board of Directors of F3 to further evolve his passions and dedicate his time and energy to making Flag even better!

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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


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.