Former Director of Colorado State Parks and Nonprofit Founder Joins Board of Directors of Rocky Mountain Conservancy | Featured Articles

The Board of Directors of the Rocky Mountain Conservancy has voted to name Laurie Mathews as a member of the board of directors. The Rocky Mountain Conservancy is the nonprofit partner of Rocky Mountain National Park.

Mathews was Director of Colorado State Parks from 1991 to 2001. Under her leadership, the department constructed 19 new visitor centers, established statewide environmental education programs and added $16 million of buffer land to expand and protect existing parks.

In 1992 Mathews was a key leader in the creation of Great Outdoors Colorado (GOCO) the organization which uses a portion of Colorado lottery proceeds to help preserve and enhance state parks, trails, wildlife, rivers and open space. To date, GOCO has expended $1.3 billion on over 5,500 projects located in every county in Colorado.

In 2001 Mathews founded Global Dental Relief ( to provide critical dental care to children in underdeveloped countries. The organization leads 25 trips per year to seven nations with dental professionals and volunteers. They provide dental care to 25,000 children annually. Since its founding, the organization has provided $41 million in dental care to 195,000 children.

“We are extraordinarily fortunate to have Laurie join our board of directors,” said Brian Ross, board president. “Laurie is an expert in park management, and she is an exemplary nonprofit leader. It is hard to imagine a more perfect professional fit for our organization,” Ross said.

“At a time when the Rocky Mountain Conservancy is reestablishing its educational programs post-pandemic and when Rocky Mountain National Park is still dealing with post-fire recovery, continued visitor pressure and climate change pressures, Laurie will be an incredible resource to the Conservancy and Rocky,” Ross added.

Mathews said, “I am honored to join the board of the Rocky Mountain Conservancy to work for the benefit of our wonderful Rocky Mountain National Park.”

Estee Rivera Murdock, Executive Director of the Rocky Mountain Conservancy said, “As we embark on one of our most ambitious years of funding critical park support projects, I’m excited to have Laurie at the table with us, bringing her decades of expertise in philanthropy and community-building to help us to fulfill our mission.”


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