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2015 Board of Directors

Todd Fessenden, President
Todd Fessenden is the Director of Operations with Eagle River Water and Sanitation District (ERWSD) the largest downstream water drinking water and wastewater provider directly downstream of the Eagle Mine. Todd has worked in the water treatment field since 1997 and holds multiple water treatment and distribution licenses in Colorado and California. Todd holds an associate’s degree in Water Science from Ventura College and is interested in protecting public health and preserving the environment for current and future generations. Todd lives in Eagle, Colorado with his wife Laura and three sons Charlie, Dylan and James. His interests include spending time with his family, martial arts, songwriting and surfing.

Timm E. Paxson, Vice President
Retired Chemist with Royal Dutch Shell specializing in chemical process support
Past Board Member of Eagle River Watershed Council (ERWC)
Past Board Member Eagle River Water & Sanitation District
Present Board Member of Eagle Mine Ltd
Volunteer Betty Ford Alpine Gardens

Timm Paxson earned his PhD degree at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) in 1974 and subsequently was hired by Shell Chemical Company (a subsidiary of Royal Dutch Shell) at their technical center in Houston Texas.

Initially, Timm was part of a basic research group and published several technical articles, was awarded over 10 patents, and spoke a number of times at American Institute of Chemical Engineers conferences. Timm finished his 30-year career as a technical consultant for several chemical processes which were located in the US, France, England, and the Netherlands.

Timm and his wife Elizabeth retired in 2004 and moved to Vail, where they have resided for 10 years. Both soon got involved in volunteer work, and Timm’s chemical and scientific background readily lent itself to technically related ERWC projects. These included water quality below the Eagle Mine Superfund site and monitoring selected sites along the Eagle River Restoration Project (ERWC sponsored and coordinated) below Edwards.

He and his wife enjoy skiing, gardening, hiking, backpacking, and travel. Since moving to Vail, Timm has climbed all of Colorado’s 14ers, an endeavor begun in 1971 when he was stationed at a physiology lab in Denver when serving in the US Army.

Susan Pollack, Treasurer/Grant Administrator
Susan is a native of Colorado. Born and raised in Pueblo, she attended the University of Colorado where she received a Bachelor of Science degree in Business with an emphasis in marketing in 1966. In 1970 Susan returned to CU where she received an MBE (Masters in Business Education), which prepared her to teach at a Community College. While there, she also received a Finance degree, which she used for twenty years at Public Service Company of Colorado where she managed the sale of long term securities (over $2 billion worth of securities), the daily investment of cash, the pension fund, shareholder services and investor relations. Susan moved to Vail, Colorado in June 1992. Along with her daughter, she purchased a property management business. She sold the business in 1996 and now does financial management and bookkeeping for several small businesses. Susan is a member of the Vail-Eagle Valley Rotary Club. She served as Secretary, President and Membership Chairperson and as Assistant Governor for the three Eagle Valley Rotary Clubs. Susan is a past member of Board of Walking Mountains, a natural science school in Eagle County and the Eagle River Watershed Council. She is currently a member of the Eagle River Watershed Council, Eagle Mine Limited board serving as Grant Administrator. Susan loves to participate in many of the outdoor activities in the Vail Valley including skiing, snowshoeing, hiking, and bicycle riding. Susan’s daughter, son-in-law and two granddaughters live in Edwards.

Mercedes Quesada-Embid, Ph.D., Director
Associate Professor
Colorado Mountain College

Mercedes joined Eagle Mines Limited as a board member in 2015. She believes in the importance of participating in community initiatives that inform the public and help to improve the health of socio-ecological systems. She is currently an Associate Professor of Sustainability Studies at Colorado Mountain College’s Vail-Eagle Campus. She joined the College in 2011 to both teach in, and help to build, their new Bachelor’s program. Mercedes works with faculty, staff and students toward continuous enhancements of the Sustainability Studies degree and the expansion of a culture of sustainability across all of CMC’s campuses. Mercedes has been teaching at the university and college level since 2004, nationally and abroad, and very much enjoys inter-and trans-disciplinary learning. She believes that service, experiential learning, and critical inquiry are key elements to successful knowledge acquisition. She is intent on cultivating an academic experience in the classroom that is meaningful and relevant to students’ daily lives. Mercedes holds a Ph.D. in Environmental Studies, a Master’s in History, and two Bachelor’s degrees: one in Spanish and the other in the Biological Sciences. Her professional and personal background help to keep her attuned to the search for whole picture solutions for social, ecological and economic justice in our world today. She has a strong desire to have a positive impact on the injustices prevalent in our communities and larger societal framework. Her forthcoming book and journal article publications reflect this perspective. She holds active memberships in several national and international associations in the Sustainability and Environmental Studies fields. Mercedes loves being with her family. On the weekends she can often be found playing table-top games with her husband and reading some intriguing nonfiction. They most revel in spending time with their daughter, who was born in spring 2014.

Keith Kepler, Director
Keith has over 30 years experience in water resources and water quality engineering. He is a registered Professional Engineer, with a B.S. in Agricultural Engineering and a M.S. in Bio-Environmental Engineering. Keith’s career began with water quality planning studies conducted after passage of the Clean Water Act. He initially served as project manager for an intensive study of the water quality impacts of irrigation return flow in Larimer and Weld Counties, Colorado. Subsequently, he led water quality planning activities for a six county area surrounding Montrose, Colorado. In this role, he prepared a study of mining impacts in Ouray County. Keith subsequently joined the Colorado Division of Water Resources, where he spent 24 years. During this time he analyzed water rights applications, supervised state involvement in the designated groundwater basins, and led engineers and technicians in the administration of water rights. His final assignment was to lead a team charged with bringing groundwater use in the Arkansas River Basin into compliance with the Arkansas River Compact. Keith retired to Eagle County in 2004. He served on the board of the Eagle River Watershed Council for two terms, and has served on the board of ERWC-Eagle Mine Ltd. since it’s inception. Keith enjoys skiing, golf and other outdoor activities.

Darell Wegert, Director
Darell has been involved in Town of Minturn government for twenty years serving as town councilman, planning and zoning, and mayor. He was the assistant track coach for Battle Mountain High School for ten years and a Buddy Werner ski coach for twelve years. Darrel served on the Board of directors for Eagle River Water and Sanitation over a period of twelve years (term limited in April 2014) and was a Board member for Eagle Valley Community Fund, known as The Rummage Sale for fifteen years. He served on the Eagle County Open Space Advisory Committee for two years and is currently serving on the board for Eagle River Fire Protection District for three years. He also currently serves as a board member for Swift Eagle Charitable Foundation for ten years. He’s been a board member of the Eagle Mine Ltd. since the fall of 2014. Darrel has lived in Minturn (on the Eagle River) for thirty nine years with his wife Valerie and three sons. For the past twenty three years, his family lived less than a quarter of a mile from the Eagle Mine tailings pond, so he is familiar with the history of the Gilman mine and its closing. Subsequently he is also aware of the contamination of the Eagle River and surrounding areas, including Cross Creek and Belden.

Josiah “Joe” Macy, Director
Joe is a past Eagle River Watershed Council Board President (2006); Fly fishing Guide; Vail Resorts Governmental Affairs (retired); Eagle Valley Land Trust Board. Joe has expertise in water quality and quantity, fisheries, riparian values, local government.

Seth Mason, Director
Seth received his M.S. in Land Resources and Environmental Sciences from Montana State University and his B.A. in Environmental Studies from the University of Colorado, Boulder. He specializes in hydrological modeling; stream characterization; deployment and operation of data collection and management systems; and development and coordination of water quality monitoring and assessment activities. Seth works extensively with city and county governments, federal agencies, and 501(c)3 organizations. Seth currently serves on the Board of Directors of Eagle Mine Ltd., the United State Rafting Association, and the Mount Sopris Nordic Council.