Our current Board includes:
John Abdelnour – Santa Monica, CA
Growing up in western Oregon and spending many summers at the A/U Ranches, mostly in the rafting program, gave me a great appreciation for outdoor activity. After working at A/U full time as a camp director and 100 Elk director, my wife Allison and I traveled around the world filming a land management promotional video for the Savory Institute. We visited many amazing places and decided that Buena Vista was where we wanted to settle. We started a multimedia company and planted ourselves in town.
I’m now the sales and marketing director for a new division of a software company that provides an online platform for organizations and schools to raise money through crowdfunding and e-commerce solutions.
I’ve enjoyed accompanying The Link School on rafting, kayaking, skiing and mountain biking excursions as well as teaching photography, video production, and cooking classes.
When I’m not working at the computer, I’m on my mountain bike, in my kayak, walking Lucy (the dog) around the frisbee golf course, or taking some turns at Copper Mountain.
Portia Benson – Ballwin, MO
I have worked in several different occupational fields throughout my career and have enjoyed them all! My teaching experience started as part of my undergraduate degree at Principia College. I student-taught Early Childhood Education at a vocational high school in Denver. I loved working with the students, and enjoyed seeing the students learn the skills of managing a preschool – and now I teach full time at Principia College in the Business Department.
After graduation, I spent many years as a technical trainer, which allowed me to travel the world teaching people how to use computer systems. I really got to understand the unique ways in which people of different cultures and backgrounds learned the best. I realized that the traditional classroom atmosphere was not always the most productive learning method.
I took additional courses to obtain my Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) Certificate, and have worked with English Literacy programs tutoring Hispanic women in different regions of Colorado.
Learning is a lifelong goal for me. I recently obtained my Masters of Business Administration from West Texas A&M University. My ‘bucket list’ is full of new adventures. I regularly get to complete items on my list, however for each item that gets crossed off, I generally add two or three new goals!
Shannon Horst – Albuquerque, NM
Two threads that weave a constant in my life are Christian Science and a love for languages, writing and media. I’ve been blessed to have my career directly support the cause of Christian Science three times across the last 35 years – first as the Africa Affairs editor for The Christian Science Monitor and a freelance writer; secondly as the New Mexico CS Committee on Publication and then the media training manager for the Office of The Manager of The Committees on Publication. Lastly, I am currently the Community Relations Manager for The Principle Foundation, which provides temporary financial assistance to Christian Scientists through funds made available by their fellow church members.
In between and, sometimes, concurrent with my earlier career, I spent 20 years in the field of sustainable agriculture and wildlife management. I’m a co-founder of the Savory Institute and the Africa Centre for Holistic Management, and a long-time colleague of Allan Savory. Second only to my study and practice of Christian Science, Savory’s ideas about how to reverse desertification and climate change by changing the way we make decisions has profoundly shaped how I think, live and work.
Through my work for The Monitor and Savory, I’ve traveled and worked extensively in the US, Mexico, Canada, Africa, Australia, northern Europe and New Zealand. I have an undergraduate degree from Georgetown University’s School of Languages and Linguistics and I’m a candidate for a Masters’ degree from the Journalism and Communications School of the University of New Mexico.
I live in an, extended family community on a small farm in the South Valley of Albuquerque. We raise children, adults, and a variety of plants and animals. My favorite pastime is fly-fishing with Taylor, my best friend and partner for almost 40 years.
Kristin Jamerson – Portland, OR
I am happy to live in the great Northwest, and take advantage of our lakes and mountains as much as possible! I am often on my bicycle, sporting about town or into the hills, and yes, I do ride in the rain. I am a “professional volunteer” with duties at church, in the high school that my daughter attends, and at the Seattle Art Museum Olympic Sculpture Park, where I talk with the public about modern art and environmental stewardship. With my two daughters, I have traveled abroad, gleaning global awareness and appreciation for other perspectives.
David Price – Denver, CO
My first real job out of college, right after spending a year living in Brazil teaching English, was working at a backpacking/mountaineering store in Tulsa, Oklahoma. One of my first tasks in my new job was to spend the afternoon setting up tents. I remember thinking, I must have pulled the wool over someone’s eyes?! This job gave me the leeway, and the discounts on gear, to hone my skills climbing and engaging in light mountaineering. Just before leaving that job to attend the University of Tulsa College of Law, two friends and I summited Pico de Orizaba in Mexico.
James Orlet – Buena Vista, CO
For a complete biography on James, please click here.