Board of Directors

Michael Chavira

Michael is the Co-Founder and Managing Partner at Axiologic Solutions, a government services provider in the Intelligence Community. A graduate of the University of Wyoming with a BS in Mechanical Engineering, he became a nuclear officer and then an intelligence officer in the United States Navy. Before starting Axiologic Solutions, he worked at Booz Allen Hamilton as a systems engineer where he was able to apply his system engineering skills to develop and integrate sensor systems for the US Army and our war fighters. Learning the value of a strong education during his military career, he continued his education and earned an MBA from the University of Massachusetts, Michael then went on to earn a Masters in Systems Engineering from the University of Virginia followed by a Masters in Finance from American University. Today, he is driven to create a challenging and fun, entrepreneurial work environment that balances a small company idea-driven culture with large company stability and growth. Over the last twelve years, Michael has worked to grow Axiologic Solutions from two employees to over 300 employees with approximately $100 million in revenue. Michael has recently been named to the board of Directors for the Buffalo Bill Center of the West Museum in Cody, WY and with City Kids in Washington DC.

Michael currently resides in Maryland. When he’s not working, he is enjoying his time with his growing family and often travels to his home state of Wyoming where he enjoys sharing his passion for the outdoors with his family and friends. Michael also has a passion for fitness and has completed 6 iron man races and is anxious to start training for more triathlons.

Sarah Cryder

Executive Director and President

Sarah joined City Kids Wilderness Project in November 2017. She has extensive strategic business planning and project management background. Prior to joining City Kids, she worked with local and national charter and district schools, foundations, entrepreneurs, and nonprofit service providers with a mission focused on improving education and life outcomes for underserved children. Sarah has also consulted with the D.C. Public Schools to implement evidence-based mental health intervention pilot programs, research successful national pilot interventions, and evaluate program outcomes through data-driven metrics. Sarah holds a Master of Public Policy from Georgetown University and a Bachelor’s degree from Boston College.

Maria Damon

Maria Damon serves as Director of Strategic Initiatives for the Environment for Development (EfD) Initiative, an environmental economics institute focused on research, policy, and academic programs in developing countries. Dr. Damon is widely published in the fields of environmental policy, green growth, and development economics.  Prior to joining EfD, Damon was on the faculty at New York University’s Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service.  She holds a Ph.D. in Economics from the University of California, San Diego and an A.B. in Economics from Cornell University.  She also completed a National Science Foundation Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeship (IGERT) doctoral program on marine biodiversity and conservation with Scripps Institution of Oceanography.  Prior to NYU, Damon was an Assistant Professor at the Evans School of Public Affairs at the University of Washington.  She also served a one-year appointment as the Staff Economist for Environment and Regulation at the White House Council of Economic Advisers, and worked as a researcher at The World Bank’s Office of the Chief Economist for Latin America.  Maria lives in Wilson, WY with her husband and 3-year old son.

Gerry de Leon

Gerry de Leon is the Chief Financial Officer at Dynepic, Inc. He is an experienced finance and accounting professional with more than 15 years of experience in both public accounting and private industry. During his career, Gerry has led engagement teams across various sectors including commercial, non-profit, and Federal Government, advising on all matters accounting and finance. Gerry has a BS in Accounting from the University of Maryland. Gerry also serves on the board of Cuba Skate.

Rachel Lettre

Rachel Lettre has worked in the outdoor industry for over 20 years specializing in program development, partnership building, risk management, and staff management. Rachel’s experience includes engaging underserved populations in urban communities, designing and delivering training, creating innovative partnerships and assessing risk in programs.  Rachel has served as an external Safety Reviewer for Outward Bound and is currently working with MobilizeGreen to develop and deliver Youth Conservation Corps programs for diverse high school age students. Previously, Rachel spent 17 years at the Student Conservation Association in various leadership positions and most recently served as the Eastern Regional Program Director. In this role, she worked collaboratively with federal, state and local land management agencies, non-profit organizations, and partner organizations to develop and run innovative conservation service programs throughout the Eastern US. Prior to SCA, Rachel worked as an environmental and outdoor educator in residential, backcountry and urban settings. Rachel received a B.A. in Outdoor Recreation and Resource Management from Indiana University and a postgraduate degree in Outdoor Education from Edinburgh University.

John Sachs

John Sachs recently retired as a partner at Latham & Watkins, one of the largest law firms in the world. As co-founder of Latham’s Global Project Development and Finance Practice, he represented developers, lenders and governments in the development, financing and acquisition of large infrastructure projects in the US and other countries, including power projects, oil and gas projects, water projects and transportation projects. In recent years, he focused heavily on renewable energy projects and participated in the development and financing of hundreds of wind power, solar power, geothermal power and hydroelectric power projects all over the world. John is a graduate of Yale College and Harvard Law School.

John is a third generation Washingtonian with a keen interest in hiking, biking and skiing. He, his wife Lynn and their two twenty-something boys have travelled extensively, including recent trips to hike the Inca Trail and the glaciers of Patagonia.

P. Kevin Smith

P. Kevin Smith is Managing Partner of Invictus Advisory Group, LLC. Kevin is a proven leader with success in Commercial and Public Sector ventures with deep technical competence, analytic skill and ability to quickly produce results. He has traveled extensively throughout the Americas, Asia, Europe, the Middle East and North Africa; growing start-up ventures; driving revenue for various Fortune 100 companies; successfully implementing solutions and strategies for numerous Public and Private sector entities (Accenture and Computer Sciences Corporation). Most recently, Kevin joined the founding team of LTU technologies (in 2005) and grew the company’s revenue from nascent start-up to significant annual sales and profitability; ultimately leading the company to acquisition by JASTEC, Inc (TSE: 9117).

A graduate of Morehouse College, presenter/participate in various advanced leadership and training programs at the University of Pennsylvania and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He is regularly cited in business trade journals and endeavors to consistently share industry subject matter expertise at various conferences and speaking engagements.

Kevin is a Member of Urban Land Institute, serves on the Board of Directors of Brainfood DC, and the Emerson College Preparatory School of Washington, DC.

Mary Speyer

Board Chair
Mary Speyer has been involved in political fundraising for more than twenty years and has worked on various campaigns, operated her own business and participated in grassroots lobbying efforts. Mary has experience in fundraising, project development, event planning, and marketing. Her most recent activities include extensive travel to Tanzania, where she and her daughter co-founded a non-profit organization to build schools, promote early childhood educational programs and support infrastructure projects in rural villages throughout Arusha, Tanzania.

She has also been involved in major fundraising endeavors for The Sidwell Friends School. She currently serves on the boards of various organizations based in Washington, D.C. and Jackson Hole, Wyoming. She oversees the philanthropic activities of the Alexander C. and Tillie S. Speyer Foundation based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She is an avid hiker, marathoner and outdoor enthusiast. Ms. Speyer resides in Washington, D.C. and Jackson Hole, Wyoming with her husband, Jim Speyer and their three children.

Whitney Tome

Whitney Tome has worked with fishermen, environmentalists, advocates, political strategists, government employees, and thought leaders to develop the approach and solutions needed for the problem. Combining her facilitation skills, knowledge of environmental issues, and understanding of people, Whitney is able to walk into any room, ask the right questions, develop a strategy in the moment, and leave everyone with action items and tasks.

Whitney is currently a principal at the Raben Group, and previously served as the director of diversity and inclusion at the National Parks Conservation Association where she led, defined, and crafted metrics and measures for the organization’s diversity and inclusion efforts. Whitney has advised complex ocean stakeholder processes as a Program Manager and Mediator at the Meridian Institute including facilitating public meetings for regional ocean planning bodies that included state, federal and tribal partners.

Whitney earned a bachelor’s degree in political science from Middlebury College and a J.D. from American University’s Washington College of Law. She also won the International Chamber of Commerce’s (ICC) International Mediation Competition in Paris, France.

Lisa Weddington

Lisa serves as the Attendance Control Officer with the United States Postal Service, and also has a separate venture in the health and wellness field. Her son is a City Kids program alumnus and a recent college graduate. As a City Kids parent, Lisa brings a welcome voice to the Board. She has been a consistent City Kids advocate and volunteer ever since her son started in the program. Lisa has also been a long time City Kids ambassador at USPS, hosting giving campaigns to benefit City Kids through the United Way / CFC.

Dhivya Venkataraman

Dhivya is a Portfolio Manager for Education Grantmaking at the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation. She supports the Equity by Design portfolio, focused on promoting equity in schools. Dhivya brings over ten years of experience in supporting education and social impact organizations to address their most pressing strategy and talent challenges.

Before joining the Foundation, Dhivya worked as an independent education consultant for two years and was an Associate Partner on Bellwether Education Partners’ Strategic and Talent Advising teams for five years. Dhivya worked with a range of education organizations including nonprofit organizations, school districts, charter management organizations networks, and foundations, strengthening efforts to improve outcomes for under-served students in the United States. Prior to Bellwether, Dhivya worked at IBM Global Business Solutions in its public-sector division. Dhivya advised federal clients, such as the Navy and EPA, on improving their core operations and financial management systems. In addition, Dhivya worked in international development, assisting governments with initiatives in economic development, health care, and education.

Dhivya holds master’s degrees in public policy and business administration from Georgetown University and a bachelor’s degree from The George Washington University. She is an alumna of the Education Pioneers Graduate School Fellowship.

Emeritus Board

Fran Barnes | Patrick Collins | Barbara Haas | Summer Haltli | Matt Liddle | Ann Luskey | Nicole Luskey | Randy Luskey | E. Adams Miller | Amy Patel | Neil Patel | John Resor | Kitty Resor | Gary Silberberg | Rob Wallace

Advisory Board – DC

The Advisory Board is made up of talented professionals who share an interest in youth development, philanthropy, and the outdoors.  They participate in outreach and fundraising, provide expertise and counsel on areas of personal and professional expertise, and have the opportunity to volunteer and participate in City Kids programming. The Advisory Board is an exciting way to network and connect with others in the DC region who are committed to supporting extraordinary opportunities for DC youth. If you would like to learn more, or apply to be on the Advisory Board, please contact Dan Ebert, Associate Director of Development and Communications, at

Jen Adach | The American Academy of Actuaries

Catherine Babcock | KIPP DC

Georgia Basso | United States Forest Service

Audrey Borisov | Vmware, Inc.

Ali Hollman | Cityblock Health

Anya Lagasse | KCI Technologies

Melissa Pewett | The Wilderness Society

Sarah Reardon| REI

Alex Tilsley | The Urban Institute

Jackson Advisory Council

The Jackson Advisory Council (JAC) is made up of full and part-time residents of the Jackson, WY area who share an interest in youth development, philanthropy, the outdoors, and stewarding the future of Teton County. Members participate in social events, as well as fundraising, volunteerism, programming, and providing support with City Kids program related activities such as introductions or potentially hosting a City Kids intern as a part of the City Kids Career Exploration & Internship Program. If you would like to learn more, or apply for membership in the Jackson Advisory Council, please contact Dan Ebert, Associate Director of Development and Communications, at

Kate Falk | Pottytunities

Jennifer Ford | Frederick Mountain Group

Greer Freed | Womenfolk

Cindee George | Compass Real Estate

Latham Jenkins | Live Water Properties

Megan Jenkins | Homestead Magazine

Shelby Read | Community Foundation of Jackson Hole

Amanda Robertson | Rodeo

Dorothy Stout | JAC Member

Daniel Sundquist | Exum Mountain Guides

Charles Turquie | Compass Real Estate

Eric Waters | Utah Jazz