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.

Steve Hogseth

Steve graduated from the University of Wisconsin in 1967, with a degree in mechanical engineering.  His career encompassed roles in mechanical design, project/systems management, and departmental management. The core of his business experiences were within the transport refrigeration, plastics processing machinery, and supercomputer industries. From his youth, Steve has always had a love for exploring, respecting, and caring for the wonders of nature.  His passion for protecting Mother Nature accelerated the more he witnessed the abuse bestowed upon her, and he became more active in speaking out and taking action.  Soon after moving to Kanab in 2011, Steve’s hiking and hands-on educational experiences within the high country desert of America’s southwest further broadened his understanding and appreciation of our planet’s delicate ecological web. With that he  quickly became involved as a volunteer for Amazing Earthfest, eventually serving on the Board as Treasurer. Steve and his wife Jeanne returned to their Wisconsin roots in 2018, where he has become involved in assisting and promoting environmental causes within west central Wisconsin. Steve continues to serve on the board of directors for Amazing Earthfest.

Elizabeth Walker

Elizabeth has traveled the world as a humanitarian aid worker, global development practitioner and wildlife conservationist for the last 25+ years.  Her dusty boots have been down in some of the toughest, most remote and most beautiful terrains across Africa, Southeast and Central Asia, the Middle East and Eastern Europe, including many times behind conflict lines in places like Afghanistan, Kashmir, Iraq, Yemen, Lebanon, Palestine, Kosovo and Darfur.  In all, she’s traversed more than 40 countries throughout the developing world as an executive and advisor to indigenous and global nonprofits, the UN and federal agencies.  Elizabeth founded and directs, an award-winning team behind a groundbreaking appeal for a higher standard of global practice. Whether philanthropist, nonprofit organization, federal agency, social entrepreneur or institutional donor, it moves us closer to working as a matter of course for the protection of all of life — human and wild — in balance.  Despite a penchant for always wanting to explore sights and places unseen, southern Utah’s redrock wilderness consistently draws her back. Elizabeth joined the Amazing Earthfest Board in 2019 and lives in Kanab where she sits on several city and nonprofit Boards, serves the community as a volunteer medic, wildland firefighter and member of the county search and rescue team, and in her spare time shares her profound love for our breathtaking surroundings by guiding into the wild for Dreamland Safari Tours. She brings an energetic joy to her work and is quick to remind us all that this is, without a doubt, one of the most awe-inspiring spots on Planet Earth. 

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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Southern Utah’s 13th Amazing Earthfest teams up with Parry Lodge in 2019 to offer it’s week-long series of award-winning documentary films in the Old Barn Playhouse with a delicious all-you-can-eat buffet supper prepared by Chef Mike Cooper at Parry Lodge…

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