Biographies of the OCWC Board Directors 2016
Chair and Vice Chair
Charlie Ester, Chair, is a 32-year veteran of SRP, is currently manager of Water Resource Operations. This group is responsible for watershed monitoring, runoff forecasting, reservoir operations planning, emergency reservoir operations, and drought preparedness. He has been in this position for 18 years. Previously, he was a hydrologist in the same division. Charlie is a 1983 Hydrology graduate of the University of Arizona.
When away from work, Charlie is an avid cyclist and enjoys both mountain and road biking as well as hiking and camping in the great outdoors. He loves weather watching and thunderstorms, and finds some time to do a little gardening.
Laura Jones, Vice Chair, is the Community Outreach Coordinator with Friends of Verde River Greenway. She has over 20+ years of non-profit management, human resources and volunteer management experience. She has lived in Clarkdale for the last eight years where she was co-owner of a local deli and has become an active member of the community through volunteer work with Big Brothers/Big Sisters, Verde Valley Land Preservation VVLP) and Friends of the Verde River Greenway (FVRG).
Her position requires her to spend an extensive amount of time talking with private landowners on the Verde River and its tributaries, especially along Oak Creek. This time has given her an understanding of the concerns of private landowners and public land managers alike. In addition to her professional experience, Laura has a Master's of Education (MSEd) in Counseling and a Non-Profit Management Certificate from Columbia University's Graduate School of Business.
Laura loves living the small town life in her historic Clarkdale bungalow and is an avid kayaker and spends as much time on water a she can.
Cindy Dunn, Secretary and Director of Cornville, Arizona, has been working for Arizona Game & Fish Department for 24 years. She started her career in research working on stream surveys throughout Northern Arizona and then was part of the Glen Canyon Environmental Study on the Colorado River before moving into the hatchery system. In 1995 Cindy moved from Canyon Creek Hatchery near Forest Lakes to Page Springs Hatchery near Sedona, Arizona. She was recently appointed as the Western Regional Hatchery Manager overseeing Page Springs, Bubbling Ponds and Sterling Springs Hatcheries all of which are located on Oak Creek.
Cindy is a native Arizonan and a graduate of Arizona State University. She enjoys hiking along Oak Creek, dog agility training with her corgi, Chuzzle, and traveling.
Kathy Dunham, Treasurer and Director
After completing the Master Watershed Program in 2010, Kathy began volunteering with water sampling. For the past 4 summers, she has assisted team leaders in obtaining baseline samples at strategic areas throughout Oak Creek. Kathy has also been part of the “Hot Shot” team which involves water sampling after storm events. In addition to volunteering time with litter clean up in Oak Creek Canyon and along Oak Creek, Kathy has been involved as Assistant Project Manager with the OCCOP.
Kathy’s early career included 10 years in banking as a loan workout specialist and teaching loan operations and then 12 years as a Certified Legal Assistant in a law office. For the past 20 years, her career has been in real estate. She owned an independent brokerage company in Houston for 10 years. After moving to Sedona in 2009, Kathy opened an independent real estate brokerage company here. Simultaneously, for six years, she was Vice President and on the board of directors of a closely held corporation that manages over $50,000,000 in assets. That responsibility ended November 30, 2012.
Kathy has been on the board of OCWC since January 2013 and have been the Treasurer since 2014. Sedona is her home; she is very passionate about water and plans to be of service to the OCWC for many future years!
Iain Emmons, Director, received a BS in Zoology from Oregon State University in 1998. He has worked as a wildlife technician and researcher for federal, state, and private land management organizations for over 15 years; he has conducted survey and monitor efforts for a variety of federally threatened and endangered fish, birds, and herpetofauna in Hawaii and the western United States. Iain moved to Flagstaff with his wife Regan in 2009, and since 2010 he has conducted surveys and research of federally threatened narrow-headed and northern Mexican gartersnakes across their US range, including an ongoing monitoring effort of the narrow-headed gartersnake population in Oak Creek Canyon, Arizona. He has studied the habitat use, diet, and spatial ecology of northern Mexican gartersnakes for over three years as part of his Master’s thesis project, during the first telemetric study of the species in wild habitats. His research results were used to inform the northern Mexican gartersnake federal listing package, and are an important component of critical habitat designation for the species.
Iain’s interests outside of work reflect his deep love and passion for wild places, and include fly fishing, hiking, backpacking, climbing, and photography. He has spent many hours fly fishing Oak Creek Canyon in search of wild trout, and writes a blog called Oak Creek Angler (www.oakcreekangler.blogspot.com) that documents his piscatorial pursuits along the stream and throughout the American Southwest.
Bob Kampfe, Director and Volunteer Coordinator, is a Certified Master Watershed Steward from the University of Arizona, Maricopa County Cooperative Office. Bob’s main focus, as a Master Watershed Steward, is to support the Oak Creek Watershed Council and it’s volunteer group, “Friends of Oak Creek.” He has his formal education from Northern Arizona University-Flagstaff, AZ (Organic Chemistry) and the University of Arizona- Tucson, AZ (Turf Grass Agronomy).
Raised in Flagstaff and Sedona, Bob has always felt the need to come back to Sedona/Oak Creek Canyon, to make a positive difference, which he has found, by volunteering with “Friends of Oak Creek”, as it’s volunteer coordinator. Along with volunteering with Friends of Oak Creek, Bob continues to support the mission of the Oak Creek Watershed Council, by consistently traveling up to Sedona from Chandler, to participate with OCWC meetings and OCWC out reach programs.
Bob is currently on the following boards; City of Chandler’s Neighborhood Advisory Committee (Chair), which advises the Mayor and City Council on how to strengthen the City of Chandler’s neighborhoods, Cooper Commons HOA (Secretary). Past Board Director for LD 17 (Vice Chair), and a current elected office holder (precinct committeeman). His current volunteer commitments include, but not limited too; Grand Canyon Association, University of Arizona Master Garden and Watershed Steward Programs, City of Chandler’s “For Our City”, Grand Canyon National Park Volunteer-Vegetation Crew, University of Arizona Project WET.
Bob currently resides in Chandler, Arizona with his wife of 18 years and enjoys retirement from over thirty plus years, as a land development professional. Having held positions as a project manager, division manager and director.
Bob is an avid outdoorsman that includes hiking, fly-fishing and hunting. Bob likes to consider himself a stay home husband, taking care of our two spaniels’, vegetable garden, and most important, and his wife, who is currently working in the banking industry. Bob interest includes music, cooking, stock market, craft beer, wine, politics, college sports, Native American art, and environmental issues (Clean Water & Water Conservation) and mentoring our youth, with water issues. Bob’s affiliations include; Arizona Hydrological Society, University of Arizona Wildcat Club, Oak Creek Watershed Council, Trout Unlimited, and the Grand Canyon Association.
Lee Luedeker, Director, began a career as Wildlife Manager for Arizona Game and Fish Department in 1973, assigned to the Sedona–Flagstaff area. He graduated from Texas A&M University in 1973 with a BS degree in Wildlife Management. Lee served as co-chair of the Stakeholder's Advisory Group (SAG) at Camp Navajo Arizona National Guard Training Center, tasked with a 10-year contamination remediation process. He also served a term as City of Sedona Parks and Recreation Boardman.
His affinity for the rugged geology of the Oak Creek and Sycamore Creek canyons extended his professional service beyond 40 years. He has shared the diversity of wild habitats with many of its critters, often toward optimal co-existence with an increasing human imprint.
David Peck, Director, moved from Upstate New York to the Paso Robles area of California at the age of six. Two of his aunts had purchased a large ranch there, and asked that his father move the family out west so he could manage the ranch. Growing up on that ranch was what gave David a great appreciation for the outdoors.
David married in 1986; he and his wife moved from San Luis Obispo, CA to Sedona in 1990 (two months after their first visit here). They actually bought a house in the Village of Oak Creek on their first day ever in Sedona.
In 1994, David and his wife moved to Forest Houses Resort in Oak Creek Canyon as managers of the resort. They left the resort in 2000, but have remained in Oak Creek Canyon. In the 20 years now that they've lived next to Oak Creek, they have gained a great appreciation for the beauty tranquility it has added to their lives.
David has been employed by the City of Sedona since 2001, and is currently an Associate Engineer with the City. David is also a board member of the OCWC. David's hobbies include avid table tennis playing, music, reading, and hiking.
Amina Sena, Director, is a hydrologist with the US Forest Service, and serves as the Watershed Specialist on the Red Rock Ranger District. She received a BS in Watershed Management and a Master of Life Science degree with a concentration in Natural Resources Management from New Mexico Highlands University.
Amina has experience in an integrated approach to watershed health, including collecting and analyzing water samples; riparian health assessments and restoration techniques; soil-condition assessments; road maintenance and construction; GIS mapping; benthic macroinvertebrates surveys; and finally integrating these biological, chemical, and geomorphologic characteristics into holistic land-management recommendations. As the lead Soils and Watershed Specialist on interdisciplinary teams for range, fisheries, timber, watershed, and recreational management projects, Amina collects data and designs best management practices to reduce potential impacts to watershed health. She serves as a member of the Board on the Oak Creek Watershed Improvement Commission.