Board Members

Rich Csenge

A professional furniture craftsman and owner of Joy in Wood Furniture Makers since 1979, Rich has a passion for selfless service and a deep appreciation for the natural world. He is President and Founding Director of Amazing Earthfest, a nonprofit organization founded in 2009, producing an annual educational, arts and outdoor adventure festival celebrating National and State Parks, Forests, Monuments and Public Lands of the American West. To help conserve the matchless cultural, scientific, wildlife and recreational resources on federal lands in southern Utah, he served on the Board of Trustees for Grand Staircase Escalante Partners, friends group for the National Monument, from 2008 through 2017. He and his wife Debra relocated to Kanab, Utah, from Maine in 2007 to live an active outdoor lifestyle, discover and enjoy America’s public lands, and contribute to the culture and emerging identity of their chosen community. Rich is founder and President of the Stellar Vista Observatory, a nonprofit organization dedicated to the creation of a public educational astronomical observatory in Kanab. To preserve the exceptional natural darkness in his chosen community and beyond, Rich led a successful community effort to write and enact a comprehensive night sky friendly outdoor lighting ordinance, adopted by the City of Kanab in 2017, to become the 3rd city in the state of Utah to codify preservation for its starry sky resources.

Debra Csenge

Debra Csenge writes, paints, and gardens in Kanab, Utah. She left her former home in Maine over 10 years ago, and now hikes the trails of southern Utah. She holds a bachelor’s degree in studio art which she received as a “non-conventional” student in 2004 at the University of Maine in Portland/Gorham. She has worked as a self-employed furnituremaker and upholsterer, for the outdoor company LL Bean in Freeport, Maine, and as a library assistant at Kanab City Library. She now thoroughly enjoys her retirement. She is the owner-director of the Adobe Studio and Gallery in Kanab, and is a member of Willow Wind Poets, a branch of the Utah State Poetry Society.

Tracy Gregory

Dr. Tracy Gregory is passionate about Health and Wellness.  Particularly when it comes to ensuring Holistic Health Care options are preserved for everyone.  She turned her passion into a Naturopathic private practice and founded/operated an International Natural Pharmaceutical company for 20+ years. She is credited with formulating several hundred products in categories of homeopathy, nutraceutical, herbal therapy, essential oils and all-natural body care.  Dr. Gregory cultivated her learning, certifications, licenses and affiliations as a holistic healthcare professional since 1997.

Earlier, she worked as the Marketing Director for one of the largest athletic companies, in New York City.  Followed by Senior Advertising Executive in Salt Lake City’s top ad agency before launching her first Entrepreneurial project.

Today all her education and experience make her as a top-level Health and Wealth coach for female entrepreneurs and executives in transition, looking to elevate health and clarify career.

She recently founded a Holistic Lifestyle Center in Kanab, Utah offering Alternative Health Care services and practices to the public and plans to hostess exclusive holistic retreats supporting life-transitions, life-resets and health reboots amid the five National Parks where she lives.

Elizabeth Walker

Elizabeth has worked throughout the developing world as a humanitarian aid worker, global development professional and conservationist for the last 25+ years.  Her dusty boots have been down in more than 40 countries across Africa, the Middle East, Southeast and Central Asia, and Eastern Europe, including many times behind conflict lines in places like Afghanistan, Kashmir, Iraq, Yemen, Lebanon, Palestine, Kosovo, Ethiopia, Darfur and South Sudan.  She’s led organizations and teams across borders during famine and refugee emergencies, in camps and internally displaced settlements, within protected landscapes and wildlife conservancies, and in the aftermath of natural disasters.  She’s advised US federal agencies, international nonprofits, the US military, and the United Nations, all in service to helping expand their good work and impact in some of the world’s toughest and most fragile places.  In recent years, Elizabeth founded and now directs, an appeal to practitioners and funders around the world for a new, higher standard of global practice – whether within our own communities, or within and across our organizations and agencies – that moves us closer to working as a matter of course for the protection of all of life – human and wild – in balance.  She works independently as an Executive Strategist and Advisor to nonprofits, and joined our Amazing Earthfest Board in January 2019.  She holds degrees from Harvard University, the Tufts School of Nutrition Science and Policy, and the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy.  Elizabeth lives in Kanab where she serves on several city and nonprofit Boards, trains as a volunteer medic and wildland firefighter, and in her spare time shares her profound love for our breathtaking redrock wilderness by introducing visitors to its exquisite beauty as a guide for Dreamland Safaris.

Maida Rust Withers

Born in Kanab, Utah (1936), the youngest of 8 children, descendants from American settlers in what became Boston, 1620, and immigrant pioneers to Utah, 1850.  Her father, Woodruff Rust, and grandfather, Will Rust, built the Kaibab Lodge (V-T Ranch), 10 miles, from the North Rim of the Grand Canyon, in their endeavor to mix tourism and nature – a love of the Earth that would influence Maida’s dedication to dance and the environment in years to come. Maida has been a member of the AE Board since the early founding.  She earned her BA in dance and theatre at Brigham Young University and her MA in dance at the University of Utah.  As Founding Artistic Director, Maida has created a significant body of work for the internationally recognized Maida Withers Dance Construction Company (1974) – over 100 dances of breadth and vision Maida and the Company have collaborated on projects and toured to over 20 countries.  Maida began creating dances about the environment in 1980.  She added the United Nation’s Earth Summit, Eco ’92, with 100 artists for ecology.  Her dances, interactive works driven by social and political consciousness, have featured loudspeakers, laser beams, wireless cameras, cyber worlds, video installations, video feedback, always with original music created and performed live. Maida is a distinguished professor at The George Washington University in Washington, DC where she has created and directed BA, MFA and MA programs in dance.  She is the mother of four adult children and two Russian grandchildren.

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by Rich Csenge, Founding President and Festival Director Deep in southern Utah, the serene outdoor adventure destination of Kanab rests upon the highly scenic western edge of the Colorado Plateau where some of America’s most majestic and richly hued public…

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