updated June 6, 2016
Elva Busch, an Ohio native, retired to Santa Fe ten years ago after a long career in health care. She graduated from nursing school in Cleveland and was an operating room scrub nurse on an open heart team. She then graduated from nurse anesthesia school and received a degree in Health Care Education from Ottawa University. She practiced nurse anesthesia in a variety of settings in Connecticut and New Jersey for thirty-one years, founded a school of nurse anesthesia, served on the national Board of Directors of her professional organization, and testified before the U.S. Senate on nursing and nurse anesthesia issues on many occasions. Since coming to Santa Fe, she has served on the New Mexico Centennial Celebration Committee and the Committee for the Gala Opening of the New Mexico History Museum. She is a member of the Santa Fe Garden Club where she has served several terms as Conservation Chairman. A volunteer cook for Kitchen Angels, Elva serves on its Board of Directors and Chairs Strategic Planning for the organization. Her hobbies include gardening, golf, skiing, book club, travel, cooking, and entertaining. Elva has served for the past three and half years on the Steering Committee for the botanical garden. She and her husband Bob have an Abyssinian cat named Max and a German Shepherd puppy named Steffi.
Dr. Letitia Chambers recently retired after a long career leading public and private sector organizations. In the private sector, she founded a consulting firm, which she built over 20 years to achieve a national reputation and then sold to a large international consulting business, where she became a Managing Director. She also was CEO of a major museum. In government, she headed up the system of higher education for the state of New Mexico, was US Representative (Ambassador) to the United Nations General Assembly, and was Staff Director of two US Senate Committees. She also has served on corporate boards, particularly in the financial sector, and on numerous educational and philanthropic boards. As a long time gardener, she is delighted to serve on the SFBG Board. She first lived in Santa Fe almost 40 years ago, and she and her husband are very happy now to make Santa Fe their home. A graduate of the University of Oklahoma, she holds a doctorate from Oklahoma State University, and in 2012 was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Law from Hamilton College.
Kenneth Alan Collins (Ken) has lived in Santa Fe County, and now in downtown Santa Fe, for over 20 years. His love for gardening goes back as far as he can remember. This has included launching what became a community garden right in the heart of downtown San Francisco, being one of the first participants in another community garden in Washington, DC and finally being among the first plot-holders at the community garden in Frenchy’s Field, here in Santa Fe. In addition, he has worked on his own gardens, becoming entirely familiar with the harsh challenges of gardening in this area. He planted a garden in the Pojoaque Valley’s dry, windy, grasshopper-prone landscape and created a Resident Garden at El Castillo, a retirement community in downtown Santa Fe. Ken has a Ph.D in chemistry from the University of Wisconsin and a Master of Library Science from the University of California, Berkeley. Now retired from Los Alamos National Laboratory, he has been a volunteer for many years with the Santa Fe Botanical Garden. Ken has developed a keen interest in wildflowers of the Rocky Mountains. He is a leader at the Crested Butte Wildflower Festival (Colorado) and conducts a series of wildflower trail walks every summer at Hyde State Park, up the road to the Santa Fe Ski Basin.
Linda Donnels recently retired from a long and satisfying career in higher education administration. She and her husband moved to Santa Fe, NM in 2010 from Washington, DC after living there 37 years. Until 2010, Linda was the Associate Vice President of Student and Academic Support Services and Dean of Students for The George Washington University, a 20,000 student urban university where she had overall responsibility for the management of a comprehensive student services and housing portfolio with $55 million in operating revenue. In addition to her role in University administration, Linda has provided consultation and training on disability access, affirmative action, legislative issues and adult learners to corporate and education clients. Throughout her career, Linda has been active in national and regional professional organizations. She has served on the Boards of Directors for diverse organizations such as the Association of Higher Education and Disability, the Council on the Advancement of Standards in Higher Education, The Sheridan School and the Metropolitan Washington Project with Industry of the Electronic Industries Foundation. In Santa Fe, she helped establish the Mentor to Market Program of the Santa Fe International Folk Art Market and serves on the Founders Committee at the Acequia Madre House. A native of New Orleans, Linda holds a BS in English Education from Ohio State University and an MA in Counseling from Gallaudet University.
Barcy Fox has been a long-time member, supporter and volunteer at the famed Missouri Botanical Garden in St. Louis before moving to Santa Fe in 2010. She has dedicated many years to working with arts and cultural organizations. In addition to working with a variety of non-profits, Barcy has had a robust career in management consulting, marketing/communications and training with Maritz Inc., Arthur D. Little Management Consulting and Russell Reynolds Associates. Her work in the not-for-profit world includes stints with the Saint Louis Symphony, St. Louis Art Museum, Maryville University and Saint Louis University. Board memberships include Mayor’s Commission on the Arts and Humanities (St. Louis), First Street Forum Gallery, grass/roots women’s’ spirituality center, Brainbank, Inc, Tangerine Wellness and other community organizations. She is a lifelong gardener and says she is particularly excited to be in at the start of building the Museum Hill garden to complete the environments offered by the Santa Fe Botanical Garden. As a member of the SFBG Board, she chairs the Membership Committee, and serves on the Governance and Strategic Planning Committees.
Deborah Gaynor is First Vice President, Portfolio Management Director and Wealth Advisor of the Forte/Gaynor Group at Morgan Stanley Smith Barney. She earned a Masters in Education from Kent State University. As a former Estate Planning Specialist with Merrill Lynch, she assisted and still assists clients with philanthropy and estate tax strategies. In 2001, Deborah moved to Santa Fe with her husband, Eric Hoover, and their two cats. She has served as president of several estate planning councils and recently served as Treasurer of The Lensic . A runner since 1978, she now competes in triathlons around the state. She also plays piano and travels to classic car shows. As for gardening, she has finally gotten her Russian Sage to bloom! Her interest in the botanical garden is her belief in the economic and educational benefits it provides to the community.
Kevin Flores is Assistant Vice President and a Commercial Banker at First National Bank of Santa Fe. He and his wife, Lauren are both originally from California and they moved to New Mexico in 2003. After living in Providence, RI for 2-years, they decided to move back to Santa Fe in 2011 to start a family and now consider Santa Fe home. Kevin has a BS in Microbiology from the University of California, Santa Barbara and a MBA from the Anderson School of Management at the University of New Mexico. He and his wife enjoy spending time outdoors and hiking with their two dogs. Kevin also enjoys mountain biking and snowboarding.
John R. Hendricksen was born in Chicago, IL. He spent his first 10 years on a ranch outside Choteau, Montana, after which he moved back to Chicago, received a BS in Civil Engineering from Northwestern University in Evanston, IL (1969), and a Masters of Management from Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University. He founded Hendricksen Tree Experts with his brother in 1964, while in high school, growing the business from two employees in 1964 to over 500 employees with offices in seven states, coast to coast. John semi-retired to Santa Fe in 2006 and married Robin Edelstein in 2008. John is a private pilot, scuba diver, hiker, skier, biker, tennis player, and motorcyclist. John has held board, officer and president positions with The Illinois Arborist Association (700 members), the Illinois Landscape Contractors Association (700 members), the National Arborist Association (2,500 members), The MidAm Trade Show (5 members), and the International Society of Arboriculture (19,000 members). John currently serves on the board of the Las Campanas Owners Association and Aqua-Hot, a manufacturing firm in Firestone, CO.
Nora Hillier was an interior designer who owned and operated hhhdesigns for over 20 years. Currently, she serves on the Board of Cornerstones, a Santa Fe nonprofit, and is actively serving on the SFBG Capital Campaign Steering and Membership committees. Nora previously served on the Boards of Boys and Girls Club of Boston, Beacon Hill Garden Club, Pass Christian Garden Club, and the Pass Christian Historical Society. She holds a degree in Elementary Education and Child Development as well as Interior Design. Volunteerism and fundraising have always been a part of her life.
Rae Hoffacker moved to Santa Fe in 2008 with her longtime partner, Peter Pappas. She earned her bachelors in education from Central State College in Edmond, Oklahoma and Masters in Mid-Management at University of Texas of the Permian Basin in Odessa, Texas. She has 35 years of professional experience in education. Most of those years were spent in Midland, Texas. Since moving to Santa Fe, she has worked with Santa Fe Public Schools initially as an employee and subsequently as a consultant. She continued to advise faculty and administrators on technical matters both in Santa Fe Public Schools and Central Consolidated School District. She has been successful in writing grants and in helping to launch those grants when funded. She has traveled extensively during the last five years of “retirement” with the latest trip to Cambodia, Hong Kong and Vietnam with her son, daughter-in-law and granddaughter. Photography is a serious hobby and the photos of her travels create memories. She is a member of the New Mexico Museum Foundation and supports the Santa Fe Farmer’s Market. Gardening is a passion and the fruits of that passion often end up on the plates at her home. She enjoys entertaining, creating new menus for friends and family and hiking in the mountains.
Bonnie Joseph received a BA in History from College Misericordia, Dallas, PA in 1964 and a MA in Art History from Temple University in 1991. She was an adjunct professor of Art History at Moore College of Art and Design, Philadelphia, PA from 1992-2002. Bonnie has combined her academic background with her love of gardening and garden history to originate the Santa Fe Botanical Garden’s annual Winter Lecture Series.
Jennifer Kimball, has been the Chairman of the Board of La Fonda on the Plaza for the past eight years and recently was part of a group that purchased the hotel. Prior to her La Fonda leadership role, she practiced business law in Dallas, TX and Santa Fe, NM and was president of ECMC Foundation, a national educational nonprofit foundation. She earned her under graduate degrees and her law degree from Southern Methodist University and remains a licensed attorney in both New Mexico and Texas. Jennifer and her husband Rob share their time between Santa Fe and Paradise Valley, AZ. Since moving to Santa Fe in 1989, she has been actively involved with local philanthropic efforts in the community. Santa Fe Habitat for Humanity, Buckaroo Ball, Cornerstones Community Partnerships, the Santa Fe Chamber of Commerce, and SWAIA are just a few of the non-profit boards on which she has served. Jennifer is currently vice chair of the Santa Fe Community Foundation and is a tourism commissioner for the State of New Mexico Tourism Department. When enjoying time away from work, you can find Jennifer outdoors. She enjoys gardening, horseback riding, hiking, skiing, traveling and cooking.
Christine Metteer Lorillard is a native Californian, with a BA, MA, and Ph.D from UCLA. Before retiring to Santa Fe in 2013, she was a Professor at Southwestern Law School in Los Angeles for 34 years, where she is now Professor of Law Emerita. While at Southwestern, she was instrumental in the development of and new faculty training for the law school’s comprehensive legal writing program. She also directed Southwestern’s PLEAS Program, a unique part-time program for students with child or elder care responsibilities. Outside Southwestern, she served on the Board of Directors of the American Legal Writing Institute and the Board of Editors for the Institute’s journal. During her career, Professor Lorillard pursued a strong interest in both Native American and Children’s Rights. Retirement has allowed her to pursue other passions, and she enjoys being a docent at the Museum Hill Garden; cooking, especially with home-grown herbs and vegetables; reading; and hiking with husband, Pierre, and dog, Napa.
Mary Mitchell moved to Santa Fe in July, 2013 from overseas where she lived for 15 years first in Switzerland and then in England. Prior to her expat experience, Mary worked as a major donor consultant for political, environmental and education organizations in Washington DC and New York City. Her clients included the National Republican Senatorial Committee, The Environmental Defense Fund, Clinton for President, The Political Club for Growth and in the UK, the Cheltenham Ladies’ College. In Zurich, Mary held a senior marketing position for a language company. In England, she received a diploma in Garden Design from the University of Gloucestershire and had a small landscape business in Cheltenham, UK, where she also worked in the garden at Miserden and Westbury Court. A move to London prompted another return to school and Mary received her certification as a Hatha yoga instructor. A native St Louisan, Mary graduated with a BA from Brown University. In Santa Fe, she enjoys the challenge of gardening in the high desert, the beauty of walking on the trails and the joy of mastering agility training with her dog, Toby.
Liz Rees is a recent transplant to Santa Fe; although she has spent a lot of time here over the past 25 years. A native New Yorker, Liz most recently ran upscale holiday markets and gourmet food festivals in New York City parks and public spaces for 10 years, including the highly popular Union Square Holiday Market. Liz believes in Smart Growth, and the reciprocal arrangement of public spaces and communities serving, teaching, enriching, and respecting each other. A graduate of New York University, Liz also serves on the U.S. Board of Amref Health Africa, the largest African-based nonprofit that delivers health services to over 30 countries there. Closer to home, Liz has recently joined Hestia Santa Fe, and is active in other community organizations
Stephen M. Reilly (Steve) is a retired Administrative Law Judge with the United States Department of Labor. Prior to that he was an Appellate Litigator with the United States Department of Agriculture. Returning to school in his late 30’s, Steve received his BS in Management from the University of North Carolina Wilmington and his JD from the University of North Carolina. Before that he primarily worked in sales and marketing with a short stint as a dealer in an Atlantic City casino. Steve served over four years in the United States Army flying helicopters in Vietnam. He was awarded the Bronze Star and four awards of the Air Medal. He is the Founding President of a veterans organization, the Combat Helicopter Pilots Association. After retiring in April 2014, he and his wife, Larri Short, moved to Santa Fe full-time having split their time between Santa Fe and Washington, DC for three years. Steve does all the cooking at home but gets out of the kitchen when he and Larri are on one of their frequent travels.
Jerry Richardson considers himself a “nearly native New Mexican”, having moved to Albuquerque when he was 14. Jerry received both his Bachelors and Juris Doctor degrees from the University of New Mexico. He lived several years in El Rito while operating a small restaurant with his partner. There, he had a large garden and orchard, and worked as a gardener for Georgia O’Keeffe. Jerry moved to Santa Fe in 1978 to work in state government. He retired in 2002 after a career as an attorney and Chief Administrative Law Judge for the New Mexico Taxation and Revenue Department. In the past, Jerry has served on the boards of the Chorus of Santa Fe and the Santa Fe Symphony and Chorus. Currently, Jerry serves on the board of the Museum of New Mexico Foundation, the Historic Santa Fe Foundation and he serves the Santa Fe Botanical Garden as Vice-President and Chair of the Governance Committee.
Michael Violante moved to Santa Fe, NM in 1990 from Minneapolis, MN. Michael has a history and design major from Murray State University. During the course of his twenty one years in Santa Fe he was positioned as Vice President in charge of design for the company ACC. In 2009, Michael began his own design firm, Violante & Rochford Interiors, along with partner Paul Rochford. Michael has worked on many projects throughout the U.S. and is considered one of the premiere designers in Santa Fe.