Our Board

Shay Bannister

Shay Bannister

Community Outreach Coordinator

After traveling and living all over the world, Shay settled in Crested Butte in the Fall of 2017. Originally from South Carolina, Shay graduated from the College of Charleston with a BS in Sociology and a BS in Women’s and Gender Studies. While working with vulnerable populations in transitional services during her time in Charleston, SC, she embraced the mentality that through patience and understanding, we can tackle oppressive barriers and overcome obstacles as a community. After graduation, Shay became captivated with holistic management and sustainable horticulture and agriculture practices. This fascination and desire for learning peaked her interest in pursuing these realms professionally. Shay’s passion of serving others and environmentalism collided here in Crested Butte when she accepted the Americorp Healthy Futures Position of Community Outreach Coordinator for Sustainable CB. Shay is extremely excited to work with the board of directors, local businesses, and leaders to bring awareness to the consequences of single use waste items and other destructive practices in the Gunnison Valley.

Nicole DelSasso

Nicole DelSasso


Hailing from Chicago, Nicole fell in love with the mountain west on family trips hiking, biking and rafting the Rockies. She’s always cherished our natural spaces and crafted a career in protecting the environment. Nicole is a full-time energy efficiency and sustainability consultant with Navigant. She has ten years of experience designing, implementing and marketing energy efficiency programs to customers and supporting organizations with their sustainability planning. Nicole holds an MBA from DePaul University in Chicago, and a BA in Comparative Cultural Studies from Ohio State. In 2017, she and her husband made their dreams a reality by moving to Crested Butte, and she is looking forward to sustaining this great place for years to come.

Amy Newfield

Amy Newfield

Vice President

Amy’s passion for our planet started in 5th grade with two incredible science teachers. Graduating from James Madison University with a Bachelors of Small Business Management and an Environmental Science minor, Amy moved to Crested Butte in 1993, to be a ski bum for one season and never left. An outdoor enthusiast, Amy loves to be outside moving, whether it’s on her bike or skis or hiking. Being immersed in nature has further ingrained the importance of respectful practices for our environment. Amy hopes to help bring positive environmental changes to Crested Butte through Sustainable CB. 

Carol Blitz-Smith

Carol Blitz-Smith

Carol comes to Sustainable CB with a passion for the environment and wildlife. Born and raised in Los Angeles, she attended UCSB for two years and then transferred to UCLA film school. After working in film and television for 12 years, the mountains called and she and her small family moved to Crested Butte where they have lived for the last 25 years.  
Living and playing in the great outdoors brings a whole new reality to the need for action on plastic waste, climate change, and wildlife– you see it all close-up and personal. I hope to use whatever skills I can offer to make Crested Butte a model for sustainability–that every village, town or even city can learn from.

Elana Hirschkatz


Planning to stay for only one winter, Elana moved to Crested Butte in October 2015 and still hasn’t left! Elana grew up in Ohio and graduated from Indiana University in 2012. She has spent the past ten years working in the outdoor education field, starting with her university’s outdoor adventure program, then becoming a canyoneering guide in southern Utah, and most recently working for Outward Bound in Leadville, CO and Moab, UT. Through her field work she has gained a great appreciation and passion for the environment and sustainability and is excited to be a part of Sustainable CB.

Brittany Perkins

President Emeritus

Brittany discovered her interest in environmentalism through a childhood full of outdoor recreation.  Through this recreation she found an unwavering appreciation for the natural world and a desire to protect and preserve nature.  She refined her environmental outlook while attending Western State Colorado University, where she received a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Studies.  After spending a lot of time recreating in Crested Butte while at Western, Brittany decided to move permanently to CB upon graduating. She is excited about helping Sustainable Crested Butte achieve their mission.

Benjamin Swift

President Emeritus

Benjamin Swift grew up in Crested Butte and attended the Crested Butte Community School (CBCS). Colorado’s stunning setting served as the backdrop for innumerable adventures hiking, mountain biking, skiing, backpacking, and running. This love for the outdoors, paired with his interest in the natural environment which manifested with research at the Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory (RMBL) in the summers, inspired him to protect Earth’s rapidly deteriorating natural environment.

In August 2015, Benjamin applied for grant funding to purchase reusable bags and educate customers. This initiative grew into a larger movement to reduce waste, resulting in the formation of Sustainable Crested Butte. As the founder and former president of Sustainable CB, Benjamin strives to reduce humans’ impact on our environment through encouraging people to take small, easy steps in order to collectively make a significant positive impact.

Benjamin currently studies at Colorado College, where he is the Buildings and Grounds Intern with the Office of Sustainability.

Joan Swift

Originally hailing from Minnesota, Joan has lived in Crested Butte for more than thirty years. An avid outdoor person, Joan has always striven to protect our environment. Thus, she jumped at the opportunity to join the Sustainable CB board.

Kelli Jones

Oklahoma born and raised, Kelli felt the mountains calling and ended up in Breckenridge, Colorado the summer of 2009. Here, she was introduced to a more sustainable way of life, with a bag fee ordinance being the highlight that increased her awareness to make environmentally conscious decisions in an every day practice. She learned to ski the steeps and pedal single track there in summit, which further readied her for extraordinary mountain life. It just took one weekend trip to Crested Butte, and Kelli quickly realized that this funky little mountain town at the end of the road, was where her journey continued. After two years of pursuing a dental hygiene career in this wondrous place, the majestic Elk Mountains decided she was ready and welcomed her with 3 feet of snow, January 31st, 2016. Astonished that CB had no local ordinance to help reduce/discourage single use paper/plastic bags, Kelli joined the local initiative in hopes to at the very least, educate locals/tourists through her everyday practice of making that eco friendly choice.

Katie Meyer

Katie Meyer grew up in Massachusetts, and has lived in Crested Butte since 2009.  She has a B.A. in Mathematics from Dartmouth College and an M.A. in Mathematics from the University of Washington.   Katie was an aerospace systems engineer for 25 years, specializing in orbital analysis and performance modelling for satellites.   Now she’s happily retired to CB, where she spends most of her time outdoors.

Gabi Prochaska

Having lived and worked in Europe, Africa, Asia, South America and North America, Gabi Prochaska views environmental action as essential. As an epidemiologist, with a Masters in Public Health from Boston University, she knows firsthand the impact the environment has on our societal and personal health. Gabi has called Crested Butte home for the last 20 years. She is an involved community member, loving the outdoors– nordic and backcountry skiing, hiking, biking, birding and gardening. Her commitment to Sustainable CB is to establish Crested Butte as a leading example of responsible stewardship of our natural world.

Erika Vohman

Erika Vohman has a BS in Biology from CU Boulder and an MSC in Agronomy from UC Davis. She is the founder and executive director of the Maya Nut Institute, a nonprofit organization dedicated to rescuing lost indigenous knowledge about the Maya Nut seed for food and income in Central America, Mexico and Haiti.  She was a CNN hero in 2010 and has won numerous other awards for her work. Erika is also on the board of the Colorado Peace Heroes Museum.