“The ELK staff is highly trained and dedicated to providing high quality educational opportunities to our community. We are committed to working with ELK for this reason.”

- Tom Boasberg,
Denver Public Schools Superintendent

Staff

Juan Pérez Sáez, Executive Director

Juan has dedicated his personal and professional life to conservation, advocacy, environmental education, and stewardship. While building community and creating opportunities for many others to connect with the outdoors. With more than 14 years of experience in this field, Juan was most recently working for The Wilderness Society (TWS) as the Senior Manager for Strategic Partnerships. Juan has worked for several nonprofit organizations in Latin America and the United States, as well as the U.S. Federal Government. He was also a Fulbright Scholar between 2012 - 2014. Before moving to Colorado, Juan was the National Coordinator for the Million Hectares Alliance in Panama. Juan led a multimillion-dollar public-private partnership. He also led the first ever National Reforestation Day in his home country; this event mobilized in its first year more than 15,000 people on a single day.

Juan has a Bachelor of Engineering in Environmental Management from the University of Panama, and a Master of Science in Environment and Natural Resources from The Ohio State University.

Juan is actively engaged with his community by playing a leading role as a National Board Member for the Next 100 Coalition, a board Vice-Chair for the Cottonwood Institute and on his role as a Commissioner for The Governor’s Commission for Community Service in Colorado. 

Contact Juan at jperezsaez@elkkids.org

Kimberly WeissKimberly Weiss, Associate Director

Kim received her Master of Arts in environmental education and conservation from Rowan University, in Glassboro, NJ in May 2004. Previously, she was an Angler Education Assistant for the Colorado Division of Wildlife. Before moving to Colorado, Kim was a camp director for YMCA Camp Onyahsa in western New York. There she was responsible for directing all programs as well as supervising staff. As a part of her Masters thesis she developed a year-round environmental education program for Camp Onyahsa. She implemented the program during the summer of 2004. Kim maintains her First Aid/CPR for the professional rescuer certification.

Contact Kim at kweiss@elkkids.org or 303-291-7554.

Amy WrightAmy Wright, Education Director

Born and raised in Tucson, Arizona, Amy received her Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from Northern Arizona University. While pursuing her science degree, she began student teaching chemistry courses, and found her true passion—Science Education!  Over the past decade, she has dedicated her career to informal education and has a passion for working with youth and families in the outdoors. She has proudly worked with ELK since 2013 and has led countless camping, hiking, fishing trips, and more. She continually strives to be a good steward of our environment and attributes her love for nature to her early experiences in the outdoors. She firmly believes that every person should have the opportunity to connect and experience the great outdoors! When not teaching, she can often be found in the mountains with her three dogs, Zoe, Otis and Rocky.

Contact Amy at awright@elkkids.org or 303-291-7147.

Kristina OpreKristina Gray, Corporate Relations & Marketing Director

Kristina received her Bachelor of Art degree in Political Science from MSU Denver in 2011. She has been a part of the non-profit sector for over 10 years. She is an alumnus of the Corporation for National and Community Service's AmeriCorps VISTA program and the Hispanic Chamber Foundation's Aspiring Leaders Program, Class of 2017. Kristina spends her free time focused on justice and equity for all of Colorado's youth & families. 

Contact Kristina at kopre@elkkids.org or 303-291-7502.

Justin Twist, Education Coordinator

Having the privilege of outdoor access as a child, Justin spent his childhood meandering through the woods and streams in Upstate New York, Indigenous land of the Haudenosaunee. Justin graduated in 2013 with a B.S in Environmental Science and earned an M.S degree in Teaching and Learning in 2017. Inspired to connect young people to nature, he has spent time teaching environmental education in various states and agencies. Justin has been with Environmental Learning for Kids since 2015 and continues to witness the transformative effects of relationships and mentoring in the outdoors. Outside of work Justin enjoys gardening and growing plants, fly fishing, and reading.

Contact Justin at jtwist@elkkids.org

Christina Hoffman, Development Director

Christina is a Denver native who has channeled her passion for social justice over the past 12 years working for non-profit organizations. Her work has ranged in focus from advocating for the homeless, scholarships for American Indian students, and access to health care in Colorado and she’s now excited to work for an organization that gets kids outside and excited about science and nature. When she isn’t studying, she enjoys spending free time cooking, reading, jogging, and exploring the outdoor world with her husband and young son.

Contact Christina at choffman@elkkids.org or 303-291-7503

Rayven Irons, Development Associate 

Rayven is from Colorado Springs, Colorado where she attended, and taught classes at the University of Colorado Colorado Springs (UCCS). She graduated from UCCS with a Master of Arts in Organizational Communication. She believes that representation matters, and that kids from all walks of life should have the opportunity to discover and explore their world. When she is not working, Rayven enjoys spending time with family, exploring and hiking, traveling, going to the movies, and reading.

Contact Rayven at rirons@elkkids.org or 719-358-9583

Ronika Kone, Student Coordinator

Ronika Kone is a Sophomore at Community College of Aurora on a full ride scholarship. She has been a part of Environmental Learning for Kids since 2016. She worked with ELK as an Urban Ranger for three years, and she was recently promoted to a Student Coordinator. Ronika thrives in educating urban youth in natural resources and outdoor recreation. The outdoors is special to her because it has been a place where she can breathe, learn, and find home where it is. Ronika has been part of the Montbello community for 18 years.

Contact Ronika at rkone@elkkids.org