Meet Our Staff

J. David Hamilton
Executive Director

Shortly after moving to Colorado in 1987, David became involved as a volunteer with Volunteers for Outdoor Colorado (VOC), a statewide organization with a mission of involving citizens in the stewardship of our public lands and trails. He served many roles in VOC: Crew Leader, Technical Advisor, Instructor, Board Member, chaired numerous committees, and was a key player in developing a very successful program.

The rewards of working in the non-profit arena for the betterment of public lands, and the skills acquired in the process, prompted David to pursue a career change.  Along with some other conservation minded individuals, David founded Roaring Fork Outdoor Volunteers in March 1995 and is now the Executive Director.

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Lizz Bailey
Youth Program Coordinator

Lizz joins Roaring Fork Outdoor Volunteers from Catalina Island, where she began her environmental education experience three years ago. Her experiences teaching students both in and out of the classroom have shaped her teaching philosophy to include the concepts of stewardship for protected lands through conservation work that also utilizes recreation as an important tool to interact with the landscape. Prior to the Conservancy, she was part of AmeriCorps NCCC where she first learned about trail work and native plant conservation. Her love for the outdoors began in her mother’s garden, grew through trips to the Jersey shore, and bloomed through a 10-week camping adventure with AmeriCorps. She is excited to explore the mountains, having only heard rumor of the mysterious beauty of the Colorado River before accepting her position at RFOV. Originally from New Jersey, she is a graduate from Montclair State University, and is looking forward to expanding the youth programs of RFOV.

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Carl Nelson
Seasonal Field Coordinator

Carl Nelson brings 10 years of outdoor experience to his new role as seasonal Field Coordinator, having worked on outdoor projects in the mountain West. He served in supervisory capacities on projects for the U.S. Geological Survey, Colorado Division of Wildlife, and the Forest Service, earned a B.A. in Anthropology from Western State College in Gunnison, and completed a CMC (Leadville) Outdoor Semester in the Rockies. An avid hiker and climber, Carl was born in the Boulder area, and relocated to the Valley from Durango.

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Lindsay DeFrates
Youth Program Assistant

Lindsay DeFrates has lived in the mountains of Colorado for well over a decade, working outdoors with youth as a camp counselor and Outward Bound instructor. For the past five years, she has been working mostly indoors as an 8th grade English teacher at Carbondale Middle School. She loves spending time with her husband and two young sons on the river and trails, as well as writing whenever time permits. Working with RFOV is a perfect fit, and she is looking forward to teaching stewardship of our cherished outdoor spaces, while developing a sense of pride and ownership for those spaces in the youth of our valley.

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Rachael “Madi” Madison
Marketing, Program, and Administrative Coordinator

Madi’s experience and commitment to non-profit work started in 2011, when she volunteered to ride her bicycle from Austin, Texas to Anchorage, Alaska through a student-run organization at the University of Texas at Austin. The organization’s mission was to raise money for cancer research, and as Madi became the organization’s Community Engagement Chair, she was able to see the ins and outs of a passionate non-profit. Madi brings a mix of Outdoor meets Internet: While living in South America, she had the privilege of hiking and backpacking in both Peru and the Patagonian region of Chile. In Austin, she worked as a social media strategist for over 100 local businesses. Looking to combine both her marketing expertise and devotion to Nature, she’s thrilled to be a part of the team.


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Jo-Anne Ahrens
Development Coordinator

Jo-Anne first volunteered for RFOV in 2001 and loved every project she has volunteered on since them! She is excited in her role as Development Coordinator, bringing years of sales and service experience and a passion for the out of door to the table. JoAnne has lived in the Roaring Fork Valley for 25 years. She lives in Carbondale with her husband, Dale, and has two sons, Chris (also a volunteer) and Marshall Walker. Originally from Vermont and a graduate of the University of Vermont, she likes cooler weather, apples and maple syrup over pancakes.

Email Jo-Anne at: