NOS Board of Directors:
|Briony Coleman - President
Senior Environmental Coordinator
Newmont Mining Corporation
Briony Coleman arrived in Northern Nevada from Western Australia in mid 2011. Having spent plenty of time near the ocean and in Australia’s deserts, Briony has had a love of the natural environment and outdoor activities from an early age including throughout school, university and onwards. Since completing a Bachelor of Science in Natural Resource Management from University of Western Australia, focusing on arid zone land management, Briony has worked in the Environment and Social Responsibility Department of Newmont Mining at a number of their Australian operations, including in the areas of Central Australia, Kalgoorlie, Murchison and Perth. She now works for Newmont North America, and has a Masters in Community Relations from The University of Queensland, which had a focus on working with Indigenous Peoples. Briony is especially excited to assist NOS with encouraging Nevada’s children and the wider community to learn about and enjoy the natural sciences, with special focus on protecting and managing our environmental resources for the future.
Ron Leiken - Vice President
Ron Leiken has been in Northern Nevada for the last 13 years, previously in the Lake Tahoe area and other parts of Northern and Eastern California. He grew up on family camping trips as part of four wheel drive groups but grew more fond of self-powered outdoor recreation such as hiking, backpacking, mountain bicycling, road bicycling, cross country skiing, and snowshoeing. He is raising a child who has also become active in these activities, starting with his first rugged camping trip at six months old, and now running cross country across Nevada. Professionally, Ron has a Bachelor of Science in Natural Resource Management from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo; spent his early career years with the US Forest Service and State Parks in environmental and historical education/interpretation, then worked in environmental science, management, and permitting with consulting firms, manufacturing, geothermal energy (Ormat), and most recently in mining (Comstock and currently with Marigold). He also teaches an environmental regulations class at Truckee Meadows Community College in Reno. Ron is therefore well experienced and passionate about responsibility for mature stewardship of the natural world of Nevada, for both as individuals and as corporate citizens. This passion for the outdoors and sharing it responsibly, teaching children of all ages, and for being an experienced environmental professional and business manager, aligns well with the mission of NOS. Ron appreciates all the industries, lifestyles, and culture of Nevada, and very happy to bring his experience to the Board of NOS to contribute to the success of NOS’s mission.
|Russ Yowell - Treasurer
Manager, Ferguson -Winnemucca
Russ was born and raised in Pocatello, Idaho. Growing up and living in southeast Idaho gave him a respect and great love for the great outdoors. Russ grew up loving to play and participate in whatever sport was in season. His favorite old time memories are singing at family gatherings, camping and fishing, and exploring the mountains of southeast Idaho. Russ moved to Winnemucca, with his wife Cori and two young boys, Casey and Chad, in 1997 for his work. Russ has worked for Ferguson Enterprises for the past 30 years. Russ’s favorite new time memories are family gatherings, pitching horseshoes, riding bike with his grandson, cooking, and being on the NOS board.
Tony Lesperance - Board Member
Tony Lesperance retired from the University of Nevada in 1984 with the standing of Emeritus Professor, Animal & Range Science. He and his wife Nancy owned and operated an agriculture and mine supply business in Elko for 16 years, during which he was a county commissioner. He recently completed a three year tenure as Director, Nevada Department of Agriculture. They currently own and operate a small ranch in Paradise Valley. Tony is enthused by Nevada Outdoor School because of the opportunities it presents to our youth. He is a firm believer that every child that is exposed to the real "outback", no matter how brief that exposure is, will ultimately be a better and more knowledgeable citizen.
Tiffany Bengoa - Board Member
Tiffany Bengoa is originally from southeastern Idaho. Her earliest memories are of following her older brothers through the fields, creeks and wide open spaces that surrounded her home. In 1992, her family moved to McDermitt after purchasing a farm north of Orovada. In 1996 after completing a year of college in ID, she returned to NV to attend UNR where she received a B.S. degree in Speech Language Pathology and Audiology. In 2000, she moved to western OR with her husband (a Northern NV native), who was beginning Optometry School. While in OR, Tiffany worked as an Educational Assistant in Early Childhood Special Education and attended Pacific University to earn her Master of Arts in Teaching degree. After her husband completed Optometry School, they returned to Reno where her husband began practicing and Tiffany worked for the Washoe County School District. Shortly after their first child was born, they moved to Winnemucca where her husband joined a practice and Tiffany became a full-time stay-at-home mom. Tiffany is so grateful for the opportunity to be at home with her kids and is always on the lookout for fun and enriching activities. She greatly appreciates the resources and experiences provided by NOS and the ways in which they encourage children’s innate curiosity and love for the outdoors while fostering an understanding of the importance of our connection with and responsibility to the environment.
Julie Hughes - Board Member
Julie Hughes came to Elko, Nevada in 1994. With her family in Texas and Florida, she still considers NE Nevada her true home. Growing up on the back of a horse and on soccer and softball fields, Julie's first genuine taste of the outdoors was a summer job, in her senior year, at a week long wilderness camp in the Wenatchee Mountains of central Washington. Mentoring and teaching horsemanship skills while sleeping in wahl tents and cooking on camp fires sparked a love that eventually turned into a passion.
Julie has two adult children, one a professional fire fighter and the other a recent graduate with a BS in Agribusiness. She has been a volunteer Hunter Education Instructor for NDOW since 2001, a contributing writer and pro staff member for WomenHunters.com since 2005, the Vice Chair for BLM's NorthEast Great Basin RAC - representing dispersed recreation since 2012, and at one time, a sponsored field shooter for Archery Research (PSE) and a sub-guide/owner/operator of a guide service in Elko County.
She also holds a B.A. in Marketing and Public Relations and is currently the General Manager and morning show host for 95.3 KRJC in Elko, where she shares her adventures and passion with the community she embraces. An advocate for getting our youth outdoors and encouraging ethical behavior, Julie was excited to see the programs and activities that NOS offers the community.