Board of Directors
Officers and Directors
- Mimi Levitt; President Emeritus; UT
- Peter Corroon; President; UT
- Chris Mikell; Vice President; UT
- Richard Thomas; Treasurer; UT
- Becky Holt Johnson; Secretary; UT
- Nicholas Besobrasov; CA, UT
- Dan Bishop; UT
- Patrick de Freitas; UT
- Cassie Dippo; UT
- Jim Ehleringer; UT
- John Holland; VT
- Lucy Jenkins; UT
- Peg Kramer; PA, UT
- David Arnold III; Milton, MA
- Brad Barber; Salt Lake City, UT
- Skip Branch; Salt Lake City, UT
- Laura M. Briefer; Salt Lake City, UT
- Margot Churchill; Bass River, MA
- Fred Churchill; Bass River, MA
- Michael Goldstein, MD; CA
- Shannon Gordon; Redmond, WA
- Jack Hoag; Wayland, MA
- Tim Hogen; CT
- Barbara Hoffman; New York City, NY
- Austin Hoyt; Dartmouth, MA
- Felicity Forbes Hoyt; Dartmouth, MA
- Loren Kroenke; Salt Lake City, UT
- Fay Michener; New York City, NY
- Jeff Niermeyer; Salt Lake City, UT
- Felix G. Rohatyn; New York City, NY
- Dick Schatten; Farmington, CT
- Elfriede Shane; Alta, UT
- Pat Shea; Salt Lake City, UT
- Skip Silloway; Salt Lake City, UT
Mimi Levitt – President Emeritus
Mimi Levitt first became aware of environmental issues while attending the North Country School outside Lake Placid, N.Y., where she also learned to ski and found her love of the mountains. She received a B.S. degree in Early Childhood Education from Finch College in N.Y.C., and traveled west after college to ski. While working at the front desk of the Alta Lodge she was introduced to the owner Bill Levitt. Mimi later married Bill, who was the Mayor of Alta for a stunning 34 years.
Mimi first became active in supporting efforts to protect and preserve Alta’s environment when the Town of Alta was threatened by a series of lawsuits. She organized the Alta Defense Fund (now Friends of Alta) which was instrumental in supporting the Town to stave off heavy intrusions of time-shares and condo development in the key watershed area.
Mimi is the daughter of Nickolas Muray, a famed photographer. She and her brother discovered some forgotten negatives of Frida Kahlo after her father’s death, and have reintroduced them through the Nickolas Muray Photo Archives, of which she is the President.
As President of Friends of Alta, she has been a leader in gaining support for acquiring threatened land in Albion Basin. She is also an advisory committee member of Alta Community Enrichment (A.C.E.); previously served on the Alta Fire Department and is a strong skier and photographer. She also enjoys tennis, golf and horseback riding at her get-a-way place in Moab, Utah.
Email her here: email@example.com
Member since 1981
Peter Corroon – President
Peter Corroon has an extensive background in government, community leadership, commercial and residential real estate, construction, civic affairs and small business development. He was elected Salt Lake County Mayor in 2004 and served until 2008. He has served as President of the Salt Lake Vest Pocket Business Coalition, a group of locally owned and managed independent businesses, and was appointed as a Small Claims Court Judge in Salt Lake’s Third District Court. He served on the boards of the National Association of Counties, the Salt Lake Chamber of Commerce where he received the Best Elected Official award, the Economic Development Corporation of Utah, the Salt Lake Convention & Visitors’ Bureau, the Utah Technology Council, and the United Way among other organizations.
Mayor Corroon has a long record of public service. He was responsible for starting a non-profit affordable housing company to serve unmet housing needs in Salt Lake City. Over the years he has also provided volunteer legal advice in Spanish to community members who had little or no proficiency in English. He also served as Vice President of the Salt Lake Chapter of Habitat for Humanity. He holds a Juris Doctor from Golden Gate University School of Law, a Master of Science degree in Real Estate Development and Finance from New York University, and a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering from Carnegie-Mellon University. He has taught finance and real estate development courses at Westminster College and Salt Lake Community College. Mr. Corroon and his wife, Amy, reside in Salt Lake City with their three children.
Member since: 2013
Chris Mikell – Vice President
Chris’ first Alta experience was a post college ski trip in 1986, which eventually became an annual trip. He was blown away by the rustic nature and raw beauty of the Albion Basin, the geology and mining history of the area, and of course, by the world’s best powder skiing. In 1991, he decided to end the annual ski trips and moved to Utah with his wife Sue. His daughter was raised a skier on the slopes of Alta and Snowbird. Chris is a hydrogeologist that works primarily as an environmental and groundwater resource consultant. He is the co-principle at Collins & Associates, an environmental engineering firm that plays a large role in Alta’s and the Salt Lake Valley’s drinking water. Chris has also spent time cleaning up contaminated soils and groundwater at industrial and Superfund sites in the western United States and developed a model Drinking Water Source Protection Ordinance that has been adopted by many cities in Utah. Along with being a FOA board member, he also serves on the Utah Ground Water Association Board, which focuses on Utah’s water well industry. With Chris’ scientific background, he brings specialized knowledge to the FOA board that helps with understanding the Albion Basin as a watershed along with projects like FOA’s hydrologic study.
Member since: 2012
Richard Thomas – Treasurer
Richard Thomas learned his love of the outdoors from his father during innumerable family and Scout camping and skiing trips in the Cascades of Central Washington and the Allegheny Mountains of Pennsylvania and West Virginia.
A resident of Alta for over twenty years, Richard has witnessed steady growth in Little Cottonwood Canyon, both public and private. He strongly supports the efforts of Friends of Alta to assist the Town in its legal battles to enforce its zoning decisions, to maintain the watershed and to conserve the natural heritage of the Albion Basin. Richard is a long-time member of the American Association of Individual Investors and the Society of Professional Journalists. In addition to his affection for the Alta community and his experience observing financial markets and trends, Richard brings his knowledge of graphic design and communication to the Friends of Alta organization.
Throughout his early childhood in Utah, Richard was regaled with anecdotes about his great uncles, Roy and Earshel Newman. They told exciting stories about their mining adventures in the Central Wasatch, during the decades before skiing Alta’s powder snow was economically more important than finding gold or silver. Roy became renowned as the “Blind Miner” of Big Cottonwood Canyon when he continued working his claim there many years after an explosion took his vision. Earshel looked out for his brother over those many years, and during the thirties, he was a mining engineer at the Live Yankee Mine in American Fork Canyon. In winter he would ride the tram buckets across avalanche paths to ski over the ridge into Little Cottonwood Canyon and down to his cabin in Holladay. Sometimes Earshel would visit Alta’s Mayor Watson along the way, and has humorously told of his difficulties skiing down after sampling a potent beverage called a “Pinecone”, so named for the fir branch flavoring the brew.
Member since: 2004
Becky Holt Johnson – Secretary
Becky Holt grew up in Salt Lake City, spending her childhood exploring the Utah outdoors with her family. The Cottonwood Canyons and particularly the Albion Basin were always family favorites for weekend hikes and camping trips. After high school, she attended St. Lawrence University in Canton, New York, where she received a B.A. in Economics. Quickly realizing, however, that while upstate New York is a beautiful place, the Adirondacks are not quite the Wasatch Range and mountains of the West she was much more familiar with. Returning to Utah, she worked in the dining room at the Alta Lodge. One season turned into several, making her way around the mountain, working in the Alf Engen Ski School Office and selling lift tickets, while keeping up some shifts at Alta Lodge here and there. In the off season, she kept busy with an English teaching stint in Thailand, volunteering and traveling in Chile and Peru, and working in the San Juan Islands, always getting drawn back to Alta for the winter.
Moving back to Utah full time, she attended the University of Utah, S.J. Quinney College of Law, receiving a J.D., with a certificate in Environmental and Natural Resources Law. Throughout graduate school, Alta was the local escape, whether for pre-class powder runs in the resort or hiking around the side country on the weekends. She currently practices with Lear & Lear, LLP, in Salt Lake City, specializing in natural resources law, and as an Alta pass holder, still takes advantage of getting up the canyon when the storms call, and to spend time with old and new friends in the Alta community. Becky is thrilled to be living in Salt Lake City, with its unparalleled access to skiing, biking and hiking, and is looking forward to taking an active role in the local communities and long term conservation of the area’s unique natural and recreational resources.
Member since: 2013
Mr. Besobrasov is the Founder and the Chief Executive Officer of Alupka Asset Management, headquartered in Del Mar, California. The firm is a registered investment advisor providing direct investment advice to individuals, institutions and non-profit organizations. Prior to forming Alupka Asset Management, Nick has over 25 years’ experience in the financial industry in many different capacities.
Nick is a graduate of Hobart and William Smith Colleges in 1981, where he majored in Economic Development and History. He attended Aiglon College, a secondary high school in Villars-Chesiere, Switzerland and serves on the Board of their Alumni Association. Nick is actively involved with numerous other environmental causes in the San Francisco Bay Area and in Teton Valley, Idaho. Nick has lived much of his life overseas including Viet Nam, Hong Kong, Sri Lanka, Madrid, London and Switzerland. He is currently residing in Encinitas, California. His wife of 25 plus years, Ellen Krimmel, is Director of Design and Merchandising at PRANA, an outdoor active wear clothing company.
Member since: 2009
Dan Bishop is the youngest member on Friends of Alta’s Board of Directors. Dan hales from Sandy, Utah and is a passionate third-generation Alta skier. He first joined Friends of Alta’s Advisory Committee in 2017, and was elected to the Board of Directors in 2018.
Dan became aware of Friends of Alta as a young child, and his interest in protecting Alta’s environment grew as he took an Atmospheric Science course in college where the instructor was writing her PhD dissertation on snow falls throughout the Wasatch Range and its impact on the Great Salt Lake-Lake Effect. Dan grew up drinking Little Cottonwood Canyon water, and protecting the watershed has become one of his greatest passions.
Dan began his career in Investment Banking and currently works in Corporate Finance with an emphasis on Operational Strategy. Dan graduated from the University of Utah, where he studied Economics.
Member since: 2018
Cassie was born in New York City the same year that her parents built a house in Alta. Several years later, in 1959, they bought the Alta Lodge. She can legitimately say she’s been connected to Alta her entire life. Cassie spent her childhood summers exploring the “nooks and crannies” of Alta as well as strolling among the wildflowers of Albion Basin with her family. By the age of ten she was doing it on her own. Cassie is never more at peace than when she is hiking among the mountains of Alta. Cassie and her family have traveled extensively, but never have found mountain meadows that could compare with the abundance and diversity of flowers found in her own “backyard” – Alta. It is a treasure that must be preserved.
During her adult life Cassie has worked in Alta at the Alta Lodge. She spent fifteen years lobbying for Utah Common Cause at the state level, serving on both the local board, as board member and board chair, as well as serving on the Common Cause National Governing Board. Cassie was a board member and chair of the JCC School Advisory Board (Now the McGillis School) and is presently a member of The Utah Nordic Alliance (TUNA) Board. Cassie teaches part time at the McGillis School in Salt Lake City.
Member since: 2011
Patrick de Freitas
Patrick came to Utah 44 years ago to visit his big brother, then in graduate school at the University of Utah. He had planned to stay two weeks but got distracted. One distraction was discovering Alta and the Albion Basin. Their combination of habitat, views, wildlife, character, and magic make it a place well worth protecting.
Patrick has a background in management with organizational and entrepreneurial experience with both for-profit and nonprofit groups. He has been intimately involved in the initiation and startup of several organizations including a bookstore, three philanthropic foundations, a summer-stock theater company, an archival and record keeping service, a citywide volunteer tree care program, and a biotechnology company. In many of these ventures, he was principal, founder, or co-founder. By rough count, he’s served as a director of more than twenty nonprofit organizations. Most recently, he chaired the boards of both Western Resource Advocates, which works regionally to protect the West’s land, air, and water (no small task), and Wasatch Community Gardens, which works to empower people of all ages and incomes to grow and eat healthy food. Patrick was born and raised in England, received his Masters degree in Public Administration from the University of Utah and, for reasons that are sometimes unclear to him, lives in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Member since: 2017
Jim Ehleringer is a professor at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City. He joined the Biology Department faculty in 1977 and is recognized as an expert in plant ecology. Jim founded the University’s Global Change and Sustainability Center, which serves as the nexus for research, teaching, and outreach for global change and sustainability activities. His research focuses on ecological, environmental, and forensic applications using naturally occurring stable isotopes. He has published over 490 scientific articles and books.
Jim was elected as a member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences and has been recognized for his scientific contributions as recipient of the Rosenblatt Prize for Excellence and election as a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, a Fellow of the American Geophysical Union, and a Fellow of the Ecological Society of America. For teaching and student mentoring, Jim was awarded both the American Geophysical Union’s international Excellence in Earth and Space Sciences Teaching Award and the University’s Student’s Choice in Teaching Award. He cofounded a spinoff company, IsoForensics Inc., to apply stable isotope analyses in forensics, ranging from hair analyses to trace the origins of unidentified murder victims to food analyses to identify adulterated foods.
Jim and his wife Edna moved to Utah in the late 1970’s, where they both established educational careers, raised a family, and put down roots. Together Jim and Edna enjoy fishing, traveling, gardening, and spending time in the Wasatch Mountains. They have two married children, Jeff and Josh.
Member since: 2018
John grew up in Yorktown Heights, NY where he founded the high school ski team and went on to a successful collegiate alpine racing career at New England College in Henniker, NH. After graduating college he returned to his roots in Yorktown and coached the high school ski team and XC/track team while beginning his career as a middle school teacher. In 1971 he came to Alta with the then owner of Hickory and Tweed Ski shop in Armonk NY. Ted Johnson had invited Jim Ross, out to look into the feasibility of opening a second shop at Snowbird as the resort prepared to open. Although the second shop never materialized, John was smitten by Alta and has returned every year since. In 1973 he arrived at Alta for Christmas break and shared with friends Bino, Toby, and Cassie Levitt that he was spending 6 weeks the following summer in East Africa. All 3 joined him along with 3 other NY/Alta friends on a trip that would create life long bonds.
John returned to Utah in the fall of 1976 to spend a year of graduate work at the University of Utah developing environmental curriculum while working at the Alta Lodge during the winter. In 2002 he collaborated with Robert Kennedy Jr. and the Riverkeeper to produce an instructional video for the Stroud Research Centers Leafpack Network. Over the years he has been on numerous forums and committees with a focus on protecting watersheds. Since 1990 he has been active in a number of environmental organizations in Weschester County NY including the Yorktown Land Trust, Teatown Lake Reservation and Wolf Conservation Center. John retired from teaching in 2004. John sold Green Mountain Running Camp this past year after 40 years as the founder/director. He presently lives full time in Lyndonville Vt.
Member since: 2012
Lucy grew up in upstate New York, skiing at Greek Peak. Her passion for skiing led her to attend the University of Colorado in Boulder and then to move to Utah in 1976 for law school. She lives in Sandy, not too far from the mouth of Little Cottonwood Canyon, and skis and hikes at Alta regularly. She has observed changes to Alta and Little Cottonwood Canyon over the past 39 years. She feels very connected to Alta and enjoys participating in FOA’s efforts to conserve and protect Albion Basin. Lucy Jenkins is a shareholder at Jones Waldo and serves on the Board of Directors. She is also chair of the Environmental Law Practice Group. Her areas of focus include Environmental Law, Energy and Natural Resources Law and Estates and Trusts. She was named as one of the Best Lawyers in America for Environmental Law, 2012-2015.
Member since: 2015
Peg served as Chair for the financially successful Friends of Alta 2011 benefit in New York City. Peg and her husband Michael’s courtship took place at Alta during the 1980s despite the fact that they call Philadelphia home. Peg and Michael also own a home in the Village at Sugarplum (on the Alta Bypass Road) and spend as much time as possible in their westward home. They have raised their three children, Max, Annie and Sam, to be Alta loyalists cherishing Little Cottonwood Canyon in all seasons. Annie served as the first Bill Levitt Fellow in 2010. Peg feels very strongly about protecting their local community, whether it be weeding out invasive species or weeding out controversial political “pollutants.” As avid hikers, they have enjoyed worldwide expeditions as a family. The Kramers are community–minded, both nationally as well as internationally, and have volunteered their services on the health, educational and environmental fronts.
Member since: 2012