Board and Staff

Working to preserve and protect Gold Butte National Monument

Shi-Lynn Campbell

Shi-Lynn Campbell

Director
Shi-Lynn, a long-time resident of Nevada, moved to Las Vegas in the early 1990s. He graduated from Cheyenne High and attended UNLV where he studied Marketing. Like many southern Nevada hikers, some of his favorite canyons to explore were erased from existence by the ever-reaching arms of growth and development. Witnessing the boundless sprawl of Las Vegas firsthand made him curious about how certain areas were protected and preserved. In 2016, while attending an outreach event and hike in Gold Butte, he fell in love with the area. Gold Butte supporters informed him of their petition for national monument status and he quickly signed up and began his journey in conservation.

Shi-Lynn has volunteered to lead hikes with several organizations. He currently leads hikes with his group, Hike Nevada. He is an adventure photographer and writer. He leads communications for multiple diversity, equity, and inclusion-based conservation organizations. Shi-Lynn joined the Board of Directors in 2021 and hopes to continue spreading awareness for Gold Butte National Monument. He believes that educating the public about the wonders of Gold Butte NM will lead more people to become advocates of the monument like him.

James Conwell

James Conwell

Director
James Conwell spends a huge amount of his time in retirement exploring the trails of southern Nevada in the winter and south-central Montana in the summer. His love of the outdoors stems from his childhood growing up in Red Lodge, Montana, a small town nestled in the Beartooth Mountains in the Absaroka Range northeast of Yellowstone National Park.
Before retiring, James spent about 22 years working as a lawyer for the federal courts in Montana and in private practice. After college and before law school, he served a tour in the U.S. Army’s Military Police Corps in Germany (West Germany, at the time) as a platoon leader, provost marshal, and battalion personnel/administration staff officer. He holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism and a juris doctor (law) degree, both from the University of Montana.
James has served on or been active with several boards and community volunteer organizations, including the Children’s Museum of Montana, the Paris Gibson Square Museum of Art, and the Knights of Columbus Council 9976. He now looks forward to working with others (including his wife of 31 years, Jenny, also a Friends of Gold Butte board member) to preserve and protect Gold Butte National Monument.
Jennifer Conwell

Jennifer Conwell

Director
Jenny, originally from Minnesota, grew up swimming and boating in the lakes region. After graduating from the US Military Academy in 1987, she met and married her husband, James, while both were stationed as Lieutenants in the US Army in Germany. Jenny and James returned to the US, attended law school together and enjoyed careers practicing law in Great Falls and Billings, Montana, while raising two children. In 1999, Jenny re-entered the military as a Judge Advocate in the Montana Air National Guard, and, in 2021, retired after a 27-year military career.
Jenny credits the mountains of Montana for sparking her obsession with hiking. Since relocating to Mesquite for the winters she is eager to turn her attention to exploring the deserts of the Southwest on foot and working for the preservation of Gold Butte National Monument.
Lois Etzel

Lois Etzel

Secretary
Lois moved to Nevada from New York after 38 years in public education, after retiring from her position as Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction at a school district on Long Island. Prior to this position, Lois held positions in public education as a high school principal, and as a chemistry, biology, and science research teacher. Lois received her Ph.D. in Science Education from the Science and Mathematics Education Centre at Curtin University in Perth, Australia. She holds a Master's Degree and a Bachelor’s Degree, both from Stony Brook University.
Growing up on Long Island meant lots of beach time and boating, clamming ns fishing, swimming and water skiing throughout the summers. Although Lois has always been a wanderer and has traveled on many continents, the western lands of our country, especially the desert, were her favorite place. Lois now spends almost all her free time exploring the public lands of Nevada, especially Gold Butte National Monument. She happened to join a hike in Gold Butte and because of her love of wild places she is now dedicated to preserving and protecting the Monument.
Mike Fullmer

Mike Fullmer

Vice President
Mike grew up in Southern Utah on a cattle and farming operation. He attended Dixie College in the early 70s when they were the Dixie Rebels. He always enjoyed the area and wanted to someday move back to the area. During the decades, St George grew from a few thousand to what it is today. He decided Mesquite was more to his liking than the big city of St George. Mike and his wife Connie had a house built and settled here in 2019. Both are involved with different activities involving the Friends of Gold Butte.

Mike received a BS degree in Occupational Safety and Health from Utah State University. He is a Certified Safety Health Professional. He spent most of his career in the nuclear industry, Connie and Mike had the opportunity to live in the Ukraine for over 3 years when Mike ran the program for safety and health for stabilizing the nuclear reactor that exploded in 1986. Connie did volunteer work in schools while she was in the Ukraine and was greatly appreciated.

Mitch Fry

Mitch Fry

President
Mitch retired from Western Oregon University and Chemeketa Community College after 30 years of teaching software engineering and computer science. He has served on numerous volunteer boards for educational organizations, community organizations, and non-profits over the years. Also worked as Executive Director of a non-profit corporation providing services to handicapped adults prior to shifting his professional focus. A software engineer by profession, Mitch has a lifelong connection to the outdoor lifestyle of the western US.
Growing up in Idaho, his youth was spent in the mountains and wilderness of central Idaho; working years in the mountains and coast of Oregon and now retirement in southern Nevada deserts. Backpacking and camping in Idaho; cycling, fishing, hiking, and rafting in Oregon, and now desert exploring in retirement. The southwest deserts and their dark skies are great places to improve skills in other retirement hobbies of astrophotography and ham radio communications.
Del Grapes

Delmon Grapes

Treasurer
Del is retired, having spent most of his business career as controller and tax compliance officer for a multi-entity organization of nonprofits with for-profit subsidiaries. He holds a bachelor’s degree in mathematics and a master’s in accountancy and until retirement, licensure as a CPA.
He grew up in northern New Hampshire (8 miles from Canada) spending time hiking and backpacking in the White Mountains National Forest and the Presidential Mountain Range (Mt. Washington, Adams, Jefferson, Madison, et. al.) After college Del served as a Signal Corps officer with the 7th and 2nd Infantry Divisions in Korea in 1970-71.
Del and his wife, Sherry, have resided in the Chicago area for over 40 years and now escape the dreaded Chicago winters to Mesquite. In the 1990s, he and Sherry discovered the delights of the Southwest, backpacking in the Grand Canyon, Canyonlands, Zion, Bandelier, and elsewhere. We enjoy the cultural landscape of the Chicago area and the physical landscape of the Mesquite locale.
Del and Sherry have served as volunteers with several organizations: Ragdale Foundation (an artists’ residency) maintaining the flower and vegetable gardens, Friends of Lake Forest Library as treasurer (Del) and for the annual used book sale ($100,000+ in four days!), and Chicago Botanic Garden (Sherry did a certificate in Midwest gardening—not much in common with the desert!).
Terri Rylander

Terri Rylander

Director
Terri is a freelance marketing communication and web consultant with a passion for conservation—protecting our natural and historical resources or future generations. Having grown up in the Pacific Northwest, she finds everything about the desert, and Gold Butte, fascinating as well as precious. She enjoys getting outdoors, filling all five senses with nature, through hiking and photography.
She manages much of the technology and communication for Friends of Gold Butte, including the website, membership platform, and the email newsletter. She has been an active board member since its inception in 2009, with the exception of a couple years.
Terri is always thrilled to take people out to Gold Butte for the first time and loves seeing their eyes light up when they realize it has so much more to offer than just a boring desert. She works hard to help make sure Gold Butte is managed in a way that people can enjoy it forever.
Brenda Slocumb

Brenda Slocumb

Operations Manager
Brenda is a southern Nevada ``almost-native,`` having lived in the area since she was two. She grew up in Boulder City and has lived in Moapa Valley for over twenty years.

She attended the University of Nevada, and previously worked for the University of Nevada Cooperative Extension, where she managed the 4-H program. 4-H is a youth development program primarily run by volunteers and is managed by Cooperative Extension, a division of the land grant university system. She has two grown children and three grandchildren.

She began as the part time Outreach Coordinator for FoGB in early 2016, thinking it would be fun to work with volunteers again, especially when hiking or organizing events. When the former executive director left the organization in 2019, the Board of Directors offered her the position of Operations Manager. This has proven to be a good match, as she now counts FoGB's volunteers among her good friends and really enjoys the variety that her position provides.

When Brenda isn't working she enjoys riding and showing her horses, baking, drawing and painting, and repurposing furniture.