Board of Directors

Jeff Gabriel – President (Hwy 120 E)

Jeff Gabriel is the executive director of the Eastern Sierra Interpretive Association (ESIA). In his current position, he is responsible for all aspects of ESIA’s operations from long-range planning, budgeting, daily operation, supervision of personnel, marketing and public speaking to statistical reporting and evaluations. He is also responsible with fulfilling ESIA’s Participating Agreement with the Inyo National Forest, Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest and the Tahoe National Forest. Besides the U.S. Forest Service Participating Agreement, ESIA has a Memorandum of Understanding with the Bureau of Land Management Bishop office and Vendor Agreement with Death Valley National Park.

Gabriel worked previously as the executive director of Kansas STARBASE, in Topeka, Kansas. He was responsible for the entire administration and operation of the program which goal was to ignite the interest of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) to 4th-6th grade students. Before Kansas STARBASE, Gabriel was the vice president of member services for the Agricultural Retailers Association (ARA) in St. Louis, Missouri. He was responsible for all educational and training programs, membership recruitment and retention efforts, affinity programs and other related member services offered by ARA. Prior to ARA, Gabriel was the director of environmental services for the National Pork Producers Council, directing all environmental programs, including policy, education, communication, research, and legal. Before joining NPPC, he worked for Pioneer Hi-Bred International, Inc in Des Moines, Iowa as government affairs manager. He also served as confidential assistant to the assistant secretary of natural resources and environment at the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Gabriel had two years experience on Capitol Hill working for Congressman Dave Camp as his legislative director and former Congressman Bill Schuette as his agricultural legislative assistant.

Gabriel was born and raised in Topeka, Kansas and has a bachelor of science degree in wildlife biology and political science from Kansas State University. He also has a master’s degree in public administration with a specialization in agricultural policy from Kansas State University.

He is a Board member of the Yosemite Gateway Partners, member of the Public Lands Alliance (PLA) Government Affairs Committee and 2018 PLA Conference Program Committee, Rotary International Paul Harris Fellow, Bishop Sunrise Rotary Youth Counselor and member, past president Topeka South Rotary, former elected public official of the Shawnee County Extension Council, Leadership Greater Topeka Class of 2002, Leadership Kansas Class of 2006 and member of The Nature Conservancy. He and his wife Jane have four children: David, Rachael, Kellie and Abbey.

See Jeff’s full profile at LinkedIn

Jonathan Farrington – Treasurer (Hwy 140)

Jonathan has had a 40-year career in hospitality, serving as a general manager in renowned luxury hotels and in various corporate leadership roles. He has overseen lodging operations, restaurants, and multi-unit sales and marketing efforts. A native of rural Monterey County, Jonathan has maintained a home in Madera and Mariposa County since 1997. After finishing college and spending four years with the National Park Service, he moved into a career in hospitality, including formative years overseeing special events at Pebble Beach while in his early 20s. Ultimately, his career led to destination resort management. In 1997, he worked at Tenaya Lodge, where he became the director of sales and marketing and was eventually promoted to general manager. He later went on to become general manager at the Inverness Hotel in Denver, The Stanford Park Hotel in Menlo Park, and the world-renowned Ventana Inn and Spa in Big Sur. In 2008, Jonathan returned to the Yosemite region as Delaware North’s corporate regional director of sales and marketing for California, overseeing ten hotels, including the Yosemite hotels, Tenaya Lodge, Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks, Asilomar Conference Center, and the Queen Mary. After spending two years as Harris Ranch’s vice president of hospitality, Jonathan now serves as executive director of the Yosemite Mariposa County Tourism Bureau.

Jonathan was involved with the Yosemite Gateway Partners as a Board Director and first vice president between 2013 through 2015 and was a natural fit when he rejoined the board in 2018. In addition to Yosemite Gateway Partners, Jonathan volunteers on four other boards and committees, including Mariposa EDC and YARTS AAC.

See Jonathan’s full profile at LinkedIn

Jennifer Lopez – First Vice President (Hwy 120 N)

Jen Lopez was born and raised in Northern California and spent many of her childhood weekends camping, hiking and canoeing in Tuolumne County. In 2005, Jen took a position as Interpretive Services Coordinator in Yosemite and worked there for three and a half years. After a two-years away for another position in Santa Barbara, she returned to Yosemite and worked in Marketing, and after a few months of living and working in the park, she met a man who also worked in the park, and is who is now her husband, at a shuttle bus stop in Yosemite Valley. They got married in the park in 2012 and continued to live and work there until March of 2016, when Jen was offered the marketing position at Visit Tuolumne County. She has worked at Visit Tuolumne County, the destination marketing organization for the County for several years. She works in the best of both worlds—being able to share her love for both Yosemite and Northern Tuolumne County, where her fondest childhood memories were made with visitors and people looking to visit the region.

See Jennifer’s full profile at LinkedIn

Susan Corcoran – Second Vice President (Hwy 41)

Following her retirement from event planning in June 1999, Susan and her husband, Bill, traveled more, worked on their home which they designed and had built in 1976, redesigned their landscape and played golf. All totaled the Corcorans traveled to 82 countries, took 17 cruises, boarded countless numbers of Delta flights and enjoyed most of it! Their last trip together was to Tikal, Guatemala, in June 2007. After Susan’s husband died of pancreatic cancer in December 2007 she chose to remain in Coarsegold to begin a new life.

Susan became extremely active in Ladies of the Lakes, a women’s club in Yosemite Lakes Park (locally referred to as YLP). Her time was devoted to many fundraising events supporting the Club’s scholarship program, the volunteer fire department and golf tournaments. In 2013 she, along with a few other ladies, established a weekly farmers market in the YLP community. On Wednesdays there were between 18 and 20 vendors. As manager of the farmers market she pulled the plug in September 2014 when excessive temperatures caused the YLP lake to dry up, resulting in a stench in the air, and it was just too hot. During 2013 and 2014 she was president of Ladies of the Lakes and thought an indoor activity in the spring would be fun. A fashion show was decided upon and they raised more money in one day than in two years of farmers markets!

Susan continue to be active in Ladies of the Lakes. However, within the past six years she has also devoted time to the Coarsegold Historic Museum. She became Docent Coordinator and then President in 2018 and 2019. In the past two years she has also taken over publicity for the Museum.

Glen Roberts (Hwy 41)

Roberts YGPAs a Certified Global Business Professional (CGBP), Glen Roberts continually implements his experience and knowledge to assist U.S. firms in global trade.

His professional experience began with 3M while attending college and initiated his passion for international trade. Since this time he has always worked in the international department of a firm. His experience with an international freight forwarder and logistics firm provided an exceptional perspective for international trade. Letter of credits, State Department licenses and hazardous materials were part of his normal routine.

He’s employed by the U.S. Dept. of Commerce | International Trade Administration, as the Director of the Fresno & Bakersfield U.S. Export Assistance Centers, providing export business consulting for the Central California region. His current activities include all aspects of exporting, economic development through export training and assistance, and his expertise has provided great success for his clients in the renewable energy and alternative fuels industry sector. In fact, he’s been recognized by industry and peers as a top leader by the International Green Industrial Hall of Fame.

His recruitment efforts include a high level executive led renewable energy trade mission to Turkey for the U.S. Dept. of Commerce. Click here to see highlights of Glen’s trip. Along with Turkey was a Central Europe Bio-energy Trade Mission which included high level executives from the Dept. of Commerce and Dept. of Energy.

See Glen’s full profile at LinkedIn

Dave Urquhart (Hwy 120 W)

Dave Urquhart is retired from his role in education in Tuolumne County. He most recently retired as the superintendent in the Big Oak Flat/Groveland USD after 6 years.  Prior to that, he was the principal of Summerville High School in Tuolumne for many years.  His education career spanned 41 years.  He received his education from UC Davis, UC Berkeley, and USF.  Dave’s  interest in Yosemite Gateway Partners stems from his desire to work with the excellent staff of Yosemite National Park and see Yosemite and the gateway communities thrive economically, environmentally and culturally. He has enjoyed visiting and hiking in Yosemite for many years.

Dakota Snider (At Large – Hwy 120 E)

Dakota has lived the last four years in Yosemite National Park working as an Interpretive Naturalist and a Professional Photographer. When he is not out running through the Sierra, he can be found linking technical peaks or fishing quiet alpine streams. He currently holds a BA in Film and Media from Arizona State, as well as a BSM in Parks and Recreation Management.

His love for photography and adventure has taken him around the world, from the top of the Himalayas to the bottom of the artic fjords in Canada.

A professional photographer for seven years, including four years shooting in Yosemite National Park, Dakota now works as the staff photographer and digital marketing coordinator for Visit Mammoth. When he’s not adventuring with a camera in hand, which is rare, Dakota enjoys time spent with friends exploring the Sierra on foot or skis.

Cole Przybyla-Williams (Hwy 120 N)

Cole Przybyla is the Director of Economic Development for Tuolumne County. He is a Central Sierra native dedicated to understanding what’s important in Tuolumne County and the Sierra Nevada region to partner with entrepreneurs, businesses and communities to develop and implement comprehensive economic development strategies.

Cole’s former business was a video production service and most recently worked as a financial advisor for Edward Jones. He has served on the Tuolumne County Planning Commission and as the Vice President of the Tuolumne County Business Council.

See Cole’s full profile at LinkedIn

Lauren Burke (Hwy 120 E)

Lauren Burke has been a staple in the Mammoth Mountain community over half a decade and her abilities, insight, and poise, both professionally and personally, have already made her an indispensable individual, not only at Mammoth and in the California resort world in general, but within the greater snowboarding industry.

Her relentless work ethic quickly earned her the prestigious position managing the public relations and social media of one of snowboarding’s most influential resorts, Mammoth Mountain. Since she began, in the height of rapid change in both traditional media and social, she has helped to guide Mammoth’s presence in snowboarding and beyond, balancing a keen knowledge of both mainstream media and endemic culture and walking the line between both effortlessly. In an industry that has far too few women occupying influential roles, Lauren Burke is a testament to the integrity and amplitude that one woman can bring to the snowboarding world.

See Lauren’s full profile at LinkedIn

Candy O’Donel-Browne – Advisor 

When Candy O’Donel-Browne was six years old, she saw her first real live deer in Yosemite. She was entranced. That magic childhood memory was the magnet that attracted her back to the area. Now she keeps track of them from her windows.

She moved from the East Coast when her family had the opportunity to purchase the KOA Campground in Midpines, California. They operated it for over a decade. After she sold it, she spent a year as the Executive Director of the Mariposa Economic Development Corporation (EDC) before retiring.

Candy helped organize the first gateway partner meetings at Mammoth Mountain in 2003, and has actively supported the organization ever since. She recalls operating a business that was dependent on the Park when there was very little effort made at communication between Yosemite and the surrounding gateways. She is delighted with the opportunity to promote the flow of useful information throughout the area.

She has used her retirement to become immersed in a broad spectrum of community affairs. She currently serves on several boards and committees including  the John C. Fremont Healthcare District,  the new Housing Programs Advisory Committee, the YARTS Advisory Council, the Midpines Community Planning Advisory Committee, and was a founding director of the Alliance for Community Transformations and its sister organization ACT Holding, Inc., the umbrellas that operate six social service programs in Mariposa and Merced Counties.

In the past, she has been involved with the Mariposa County Chamber of Commerce and the EDC of Mariposa County, the Mariposa Arts Council, the Mariposa Firesafe Council, the Sierra Business Council, the Mother Lode Workforce Investment Board, the Yosemite/Sequoia RC&D, and the KOA Owners Association of California and Nevada.

Les Marsden – Advisor

Les Marsden was a precocious musical prodigy (i.e.: brat) trained as a conductor, composer and on numerous instruments from age four.  Recognizing theatre as a far more absurd profession, he created his one-man show A Night at Harpo’s in college at age 22 with the full support of Harpo Marx’s widow, Susan. Booked directly from CSUFresno to international venues ranging from Las Vegas to Scotland, his show initiated his successful career as a New York/London-based actor, playwright, director and producer. He was honored to personally know Harpo’s brother Groucho and performed as that brother to acclaim. In 1985 Groucho’s son Arthur Marx wrote the unique dual role of Harpo AND Chico Marx in Groucho: A Life in Revue specifically for Marsden, who portrayed both brothers and stunned audiences by also performing lengthy virtuosic piano and harp solos in each brother’s distinctive style. That show’s successful New York run transferred to London’s West End where Marsden was nominated for the prestigious Laurence Olivier Award. He received the London Critics Award and many others in a career consisting of over 3,000 performances of dramas, comedies and musicals from Shakespeare to Neil Simon, Chekhov to Cole Porter, with countless appearances on film, TV and commercials. He worked with Robert Redford, Charles Nelson Reilly, Albert Finney, Vanessa Redgrave, Jeremy Irons and Burt Reynolds to name a few.

Marsden was disabled in an onstage accident in Washington DC in 1999. He retired at age 42; with wife Diane and young son Maxfield moved back home near their beloved Yosemite in 2001. In 2002 as a director of the Mariposa County Arts Council Inc (MCACI,) he created the Mariposa Symphony Orchestra and serves as its Music Director and Conductor. The 60+ member Yosemite-region-wide MSO draws musicians from five counties as well as an international audience. The MSO performs in Mariposa’s Fiester Auditorium and has enjoyed a decade of concerts in the Great Lounge of Yosemite’s Ahwahnee Hotel, the only symphony orchestra ever afforded that honor. The MSO belongs to the League of American Symphony Orchestras, BMI and ASCAP and distinguishes Mariposa as the smallest town in all America with its own symphony orchestra. A composer for 50 years, Les Marsden’s large-scale symphonic cycle Our Nation’s Nature was written to commemorate four 2014-2016 American anniversary celebrations relevant to Yosemite. The MSO was awarded a generous California Arts Council grant which allowed the orchestra to present a seven-concert, five-county tour in April-August 2016 of that cycle in commemoration of the National Park Service Centennial; those performances were presented in Mariposa, Yosemite’s Ahwahnee Hotel, Merced, Oakhurst, Sonora, Mammoth Lakes and a special unprecedented performance back in Yosemite at 7,200-foot Glacier Point: Yosemite’s official Centennial event.

In June 2018, Marsden cross-pollinated a bit of Yosemite within the Rocky Mountains when he conducted the Health and Wellness Symphony Orchestra of Fort Collins, CO in a performance of his Wilderness—Our Necessary Refuge. For MCACI, Marsden created his “Young Master Composers Celebration,” “Welcome to Classical Music!” and “Acting in Mariposa (AIM)” programs; as a Master Acting Teacher, his (rare) acting classes in Mariposa fill beyond capacity. He has also taught at UCMerced. In 2017, he wrote, produced and directed the theatre-piece entitled The Story – Mariposa’s multi-media history play, which performed to sold-out audiences in October and November of that year. An active Yosemite Gateway Partners participant since 2004, his fourth year as a Board Director and second year as President began in July, 2018. He has served on the Mariposa County Arts Council Board of Directors for 17 years – with five consecutive terms as President. A long-time board director and past multiple-term President of the Mariposa County Economic Development Corporation, he was honored to be named a National Park Service Centennial Ambassador. Les Marsden is a member of Actors Equity Association, AFTRA-SAG, the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society, the Conductors Guild and is an American Society of Composers and Publishers (ASCAP) Artist.

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