VICKI MINOR – Founder and Executive Director
In 1987 Vicki Minor contracted with the US Forest Service to provide commissary units for remote incident command posts in the forest during fire seasons. Her business and love of the firefighter community grew as she provided dry goods and what was needed, to soften their harsh environment.
While being involved with the forest fires Vicki felt the devastation not only to the land but the people who fought to protect it. As a result, Vicki founded the Wildland Firefighter Foundation in 1997 in an extra room in her home in the Foothills of Boise. After seeing the Vietnam Wall she dreamed of having a place for wildland firefighters to honor their dead and help them heal. She started the funding and spearheaded the building of the Wildland Firefighter Monument at the National Interagency Fire Center, in Boise, Idaho. Until then there was no place to recognize the efforts of all wildland firefighters. In a short time she had funded and obtained non-profit status for the Foundation, that not only serves wildland firefighters across our nation but reached its arms out internationally to help firefighters killed in wildfires in other countries.
When CNN heard of her work at various burn centers she was nominated as a CNN Hero. She has also received the “Meeting American Needs Award,” from the Chief of the US Forest Service. She has been featured in Entrepreneur Magazine twice and recently received national recognition by receiving a Mother Teresa Caring award given each year by the Caring Institute in Washington, D.C.
BURK MINOR – Director – Outreach
Burk has been with the Foundation since 2003. He is currently the driving force behind the capital campaign to create and build the interpretive center. Burk spends much of his summer on the road at fire camp, pulling the WFF trailer to each site. He also represents the Foundation at varies conferences, regional meetings, and fire academies. Burk has become a big part of initial efforts to step in and help crews who lose one of their own, and he has reached out to children who have lost a parent. He connects very close with them as a single father of three. Burk sits on a Task Force Group that oversees the maintenance and ongoing inclusion of markers at the Willdand Fire Monument at the National Interagency Fire Center.
DINA PFEIFER – Operations Manager
Dina handles the administration, fiscal oversight and management of the day-to-day business operations for the Wildland Firefighter Foundation. Dina is dedicated to serving the wildland community, ensuring our mission is carried out effectively and efficiently. In her off time, Dina loves spending time with her husband and two beautiful daughters as well as creating and sewing quilts for fundraisers; including quilts for wildland firefighter families.
JULIE CHRISTOPHERSON – Bereavement Advisor
Julie is a Grief Recovery Specialist licensed through The Grief Recovery Institute. She is also certified in Group Crisis Intervention and Assisting Individuals in Crisis. When people experience trauma, death or severe life stressors it is not uncommon for it to feel as if their lives are unraveling. Julie’s passion is to work to bring healing to the Wildland Firefighters and the families of those who have been through these experiences. Her hope is to help children, adults and families strengthen themselves and their relationships so they can find peace and know that they can still find happiness, know love and continue to live full, meaningful lives. In addition to her work at the Foundation Julie enjoys photography, fishing, and spending time with her family, especially her two grandsons Crosby and Oakley.
LISA JOHNSON, LCPC – Wellness Advisor
Lisa is a licensed clinical professional counselor with over 20 years of advanced training in trauma, PTSD, suicide prevention and postvention, substance abuse and depression in first responders, military and veterans and wildland firefighters. She is a certified critical incident stress management facilitator and a long-time EMDR therapist. Lisa is passionate about raising awareness around mental health issues, making it ok to seek help and building resilience in wildland firefighters and their families. For fun, Lisa enjoys just about anything outside, from skiing to yoga, rafting and hiking, to watching star-filled skies at night.
Stephen Gage- Board President
Retired U.S. Forest Service as the Assistant Director of Operations within Fire and Aviation at the National Interagency Fire Center. His fulltime fire service career spanned 46 fire seasons.
Julie Quigley-Vice President
Active in emergency management for 22 years and owner of Fire Dawg, a company that contracts with the U.S. Forest Service.
Held executive positions in major oil and gas marketing firms, now a retired CFO. Her background includes extensive experience in financial reporting, governance, change and risk management, resulting in being honored with a President’s award for her efforts in 2005.
Mark DeGregorio – Board Member
Mark De Gregorio has served as the Education Program Manager at Rocky Mountain National Park since 1992. With the Park Service, he has lead all aspects of curriculum design, electronic media development, instructional delivery, evaluation, and community outreach.
Prior to joining the National Park Service, he was the Environmental Curriculum Specialist for the Poudre School District in Fort Collins, Colorado. In that capacity, he served on the board of directors and as education chairman of Operation Osprey, a migratory raptor reintroduction project of the Colorado Division of Parks and Wildlife. Mark was an adjunct faculty in the Education Department at Colorado State University, and a junior and senior high school science teacher in Fort Collins and Creede, Colorado.
Mark is active in the community and currently serves as a citizen on the Larimer County Parks Advisory Board, with past appointments to the county’s Open Lands Board and its Environmental Advisory Board, and the board of directors of the Legacy Land Trust.
Mark has a 40-year career in wildfire suppression, having received basic firefighter training in 1976. He worked as a seasonal forestry technician for the US Forest Service for eleven seasons as a helitack firefighter, and helped staff district and zone fire crews. He has past experience as a Type 2A Crew Boss and Type 4 Incident Commander. He continues involvement with fire suppression with Type 1 and 2 Incident Management Teams as an Air Operations Branch Director and Public Information Officer.
He holds degrees in Forest Management and in Secondary Education from Colorado State University.
Renae Crippen-Board Member
Renae Crippen has over 25 years in Wildland fire. She started her career as a firefighter and is now currently the Center Manager for Blue Mountain Interagency Fire Center in LaGrande, Oregon. The Fire Center includes a recently consolidated dispatch office, a Regional fire cache and a National tanker base. The Dispatch Center provides services for a land base of nearly 7 million acres and serves multiple Wildland Fire and Resource Management agencies.
Renae’s focus throughout her career has been the safety of those she serves. A priority has been building and fostering relationships with the many agencies within the dispatch community to enhance emergency response coordination. Renae has accomplished this through writing agreements, operation plans, and developing processes and procedures to facilitate the mobilization of resources safely and efficiently.
She has participated on many teaching cadres throughout her career to include dispatch classes, leadership, safety, emergency service coordination and peer support. Renae is always looking for ways to do the job more efficiently and safely through new opportunities in technology and dispatch innovation.
Renae has been recognized for her leadership in the dispatch community and fire management for her work locally on the dispatch consolidation and emergency response plans. She has received the Regional safety manager’s special recognition award for developing a serious injury and fatality guide for Region 6. Renae is currently a Board Member of the Wildland Fire Fighter foundation.
Renae lives in LaGrande, Oregon with her husband Willy who is also in Wildland Fire.
Dave Crumb-Board Member
Dave joined the United States Forest Service in 1983 after graduating from the State University of New York with a degree in Natural Resource Conservation. During his career he worked for three regions and four national forests in a variety of fire suppression positions including; engine, smoke chaser, hotshot, helitack, and heli-rappel crews. In 2017 he retired from the USFS, finishing his career as the Helicopter Operations Specialist for the Northern Rockies Region. Over the course of his career the Wildland Firefighter Foundation has been vital in their support of numerous friends and coworkers and their families, helping them through the toughest of times. In retirement Dave looks forward to having the time to give back to this great organization.
Over 37 years of service in wildland fire. She is currently the Deputy Director of Fire and Aviation and Regional Aviation Officer, RAO in Montana. Maggie is CSIM trained and looks forward to utilizing that training in service of wildland firefighters and their families
Todd Abel-Board Member