Lisa's educational background is in Early Childhood Development and Accounting. Working as the office manager for 16+ years and now as the Executive Director has helped her develop a unique skillset that is one of the most important assets of the San Juan Foundation. Additionally, she has nurtured education development in others as a volunteer for the Boy Scouts of America, Parent Teacher Association, and the Blanding Rotary Club. She has been a supervisor and recruiter of volunteers for the AmeriCorps VISTA and Foster Grandparent programs. Each of these volunteer experiences has provided unique training and valuable networking opportunities throughout San Juan County.
Chief Executive Officer
I was born and raised in San Juan County. My husband and I also raised our 5 children in this area. I have lived and worked all over the United States, as my husband was employed by the National Park Service and transferred 3 times in 10 years. We spent time in Texas, New Mexico, and Upstate New York. In 2018, we moved to North Carolina and then chose to "come home" to the Four Corners Area in 2021. I have worked in all different aspects of accounting during her 30+ year career. My late husband and I have 5 children and 16 grandchildren. Many of these live in the Blanding area. I love working with Gear Up and those, who have a passion for making a difference in children's lives.
Chief Financial Officer
Clayton has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Educational Psychology and a Master's Degree in Public School Administration, ESL and Bilingual Education Endorsement. He ahs worked in education for 27+ years as an Elementary, Jr. High and High School Teacher in both English and Navajo. He also served as a High School Vice Principal. He has helped publish curriculum material for multiple school districts with high Navajo enrollment and the Rosetta Stone Navajo project. Currently, he is in his 16th year as the San Juan School District Bilingual Education Director.
Chairman of the Board
Shirlee Silversmith was raised on the White Mountain Apache Reservation in Central Eastern Arizona and on the Indian Placement Program. She is a member of the Navajo Nation and is now the director of the Utah office of Indian Affairs appointed by the Governor Herbert of Utah. Shirlee has a bachelor's degree in secondary education from Brigham Young University and a master's degree in education from Arizona State University. She spent nearly 20 years at the Utah State Office of Education as the American Indian Education Specialist. She also worked as the Learning for Life director, and affiliate of the Boys Scouts of America, and the Utah National Parks Council
Ute Mountain Ute families pass down artistic knowledge. White Mesa flute-maker Billy Mike taught his grandson, Aldean Ketchum, the art of carving instruments. Today, Ketchum performs on his flutes with symphonies and opera companies around the world. In 2002, he appeared in the Olympic opening ceremony in Salt Lake City. Along with serving on the San Juan Foundation board, Aldean also serves on the White Mesa Ute Corporation Board and the White Mesa Ute Scholarship committee.
Kristian J. Olsen
Kristian grew up in Blanding and attended the College of Eastern Utah before transferring to Southern Utah University and completing a business degree. He worked for the University of Connecticut Stanford where he oversaw student life and activities and also earned a master's in higher education leadership. Following his time at UCONN, Olsen worked provided marketing and recruiting services to higher education clients and began working for USU Eastern in 2013. He is now serving as the associate vice president at Utah State University Blanding Campus.
Elsie has served on the San Juan School Board, the Board for the National JOhnson O'Malley Association, the Utah Developmental Disability Council (UDDC), and the Navajo Nation Advisory Council on Disabilities. She was also a community organizer for the State of Utah ABCD Project. Dee believes education is the key to opportunity for all students. By acquiring skills and cultural growth, they can become contributing citizens.
Griselda is from Towaoc, Colorado, and is a member of the Ute Mountain Ute tribe. She is the Education Director for Ute Mountain Tribe in White Mesa, Utah. She received a Bachelor's degree from Utah State University and a Master's degree in Organizational Leadership from Colorado State University-Global Campus
Gregory H. Jackson
Greg has had two contrasting careers--He is a former C-Level international banking executive and worked for many years overseas in Asia. He has broad, results-oriented project and financial management experience. Since 1992, he has maintained his own international consulting practice working for clients around the world. For over 20 years, he has also applied his talents in fundraising, grant writing, non-profit funds procurement in the High Education sector, and other NGO causes. Since 2011, he has served as a Board Member of the San Juan Foundation and actively supports the Foundation's growth in a fundraising and special projects advisory role.
Boyd graduated from Brigham Young University with a Bachelor of Science. a Master of Science Degree in Technology and Engineering Education, and is licensed in K12 Administrative/Supervisory. He has worked in education for twenty-seven years as a Career Technology Education Teacher, Assistant Principal and an Elementary Principal. He's resided in the community of Blanding all twenty-seven years of his educational career. He enjoys working with the youth of his educational career. He enjoys working with the youth and has volunteered his time for church services.
Howard has semi-retired this year from San Juan School District. He worked at several schools during his tenure with the school district. He worked as an Adult Educator, worked with Project Stay, Even Start, Student Achievement School Success, Library Media/Technology Specialist, Math Intervention, Online courses, Concurrent Enrollment, to name a few. He worked for Western Governor’s University in 2018 as a Clinical Supervisor. He has a bachelor’s degree in education from Weber State University and a Bilingual Endorsement from Utah State University. He is currently volunteering at Blanding Food Bank and Navajo Strong. He is also helping high school students with post-secondary needs.