Board of Directors
keith miller, president
Born and raised in St. Louis, Keith earned several degrees from St. Louis University and has more than 25 years of banking experience including being Chief Financial Officer for a New York Stock Exchange listed community bank. Retired from banking, he is the co-manager of a private investment company and relocated to Steamboat Springs in 2020. Keith has been active in community affairs through support of Yampa Valley Community Foundation and Boy’s and Girl’s Club of Northwest Colorado. He joined the RCHS board in December 2017 after having been a volunteer for several years. Always a cat and dog advocate, Keith has been a long time supporter of animal welfare organizations and currently also volunteers at Chesapeake Bay Retriever Relief and Rescue, a nationwide organization dedicated to finding furever homes for rescued Chessies. Keith and his wife Sandy are avid skiers, hikers and bikers.
Jennifer Grathwohl, Vice President
Born and raised in Iowa, Jennifer graduated from the DePaul University in Chicago with a degree in Communications and minor in marketing. After working in collegiate and professional athletics for three years, she transitioned her career from the sports industry to event planning for the non-profit sector. Jennifer has planned and executed events for a variety of non-profits including Omaha’s Zoo, The Wine and Food Foundation of Texas, Austin Pets Alive, and Emancipet, as well as current clients that include Butterfly Pavilion, Swallow Hill, and the Louisville Street Faire.
Ryan Larson, Treasurer
Ryan moved to the Yampa Valley in 2016 when he was offered the Director of Clinic Operations at UCHealth Yampa Valley Medical Center. Ryan, and his wife Natalie, are originally from have 2 dogs: Greta is a 3.5 year old Newfoundland adopted from Routt County Humane Society in 2018 and Miwak (means “Growl of the Bear”) is a mix from a Lakota reservation in South Dakota. They also have 3 adopted cats: Salem, Skitzo, and Odin. Ryan joined the Humane Society because of his passion for animals, pet adoption, and what the Humane Society does for our community.
Sarah Katherman, Secretary
Sarah was born in Casper, Wyoming, where she was raised in the company of two sisters, two Irish Setters, a couple of cats and three horses. After college at Yale, she spent about four years in NYC as a research analyst for a Wall Street money management firm. When she realized that her heart was not in finance, she decamped to Baltimore for graduate school at Johns Hopkins. While living in Steamboat on leave from teaching, and trying to finish her dissertation, Sarah met the man who is now her husband. Their combined family included Sarah’s Chesapeake Bay Retriever and Robert’s five bird dogs (four English Pointers and a German Shorthair). Sarah began volunteering with RCHS over twenty-five years ago. Several more pointers and a couple of Chessies later, she joined the RCHS Board. After taking some time off, she rejoined the Board in 2020. She stays abreast of local issues through her work with the Routt County Planning Department, the Steamboat Springs Education Fund and the Yampa Valley Housing Authority. Sarah is a life-long skier, hiker, river rat, bird hunter, cyclist, former ice hockey player and an aspiring ceramicist. She and Robert live in Steamboat but spend as much time as they can in the yurts at their ranch in North Routt County.
This is the 2nd time Kiyomi has lived in Steamboat Springs, most recently moving back with her partner in 2018. In addition to her board duties, she is an active foster for RCHS and has opened her home to over 100 cats and kittens since 2019. When not talking about kittens Kiyomi is busy as one of the local public defenders covering Moffat, Routt and Grand. Kiyomi is passionate about advancing the RCHS mission and educating the public on animal care.
A graduate of Bates College in Lewiston, Maine, Lee has a diverse background that includes formerly serving as the Vice President of a luxury catering and event company in Chicago and launching her real estate career. After relocating to Steamboat Springs, she joined the team at Coldwell Banker Distinctive Properties helping people purchase and sell real estate. Lee is a member of the Steamboat Springs City Planning Commission and joined the RCHS board in November 2017. Her networking and marketing skills is an asset to our board along with her interest to stay on trend with what is happening in Steamboat Springs and what is on the horizon.
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Lynette and her Husband, Norm, moved to Steamboat Springs 26 years ago where they raised two daughters who are now happily ensconced in their own successful lives elsewhere. She graduated from CU Boulder with a degree in Psychology, worked in Protective Services for a few years, and returned to her love for animals. She worked in numerous vet clinics, pet retail, pet grooming and boarding, along with being very active as a school volunteer and board member in Englewood, CO.
In Steamboat Springs, Lynette opened and operated a successful pet grooming business for 20 years, retiring in 2015. In 1999, she was a founding member of Heeling Friends Pet Therapy Program. She continues as a team volunteer with Pico, a Jack Russell Terrier, her third therapy dog in the program. She has served as director and co-director off and on throughout her tenure. Besides Pico, she has two cats.
Margaret Tait Routt
Originally from Rochester, New York, Margaret moved to Steamboat Springs with her husband, dog, and two cats in 2021. After graduating from Princeton University with a degree in Economics, Margaret’s career in real estate investment and technology took her and her husband to New York City, San Francisco, and Seattle. Over that time, Margaret was able to volunteer at several animal rescues in a variety of capacities, from puppy socialization to veterinary surgical assisting. In her free time, Margaret can be found hiking with her dog Bear, snowboarding at the resort, or at the library with her daughter.
Originally from Alexandria, Virginia, Mary graduated from the University of Virginia with degrees in Economics and Politics. She spent her first few years out of school living in New York City and working at Morgan Stanley. In 2020, Mary moved to Steamboat Springs and joined Deer Park Road, where she works as an investment analyst. Outside work, she enjoys hiking, skiing, or enjoying live music. Mary is passionate about animal welfare and the mission of the humane society.
Elaine Hicks MA, CAWA, Executive Director
Originally from Northwest Indiana, Elaine has a bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice from Purdue University and a Master of Arts Degree from Webster University. During her first career in criminal justice, she spent 18 years working with both juvenile and adult offenders in various capacities including Executive Director of a Community Corrections Intensive Supervision Probation Program. In 1997, she moved to Colorado and in 2000, began her second career in animal welfare as the Behavior Programs Manager for the Dumb Friends League. Most recently, Elaine was the Executive Director for the Humane Society of Weld County and developed community and veterinary programs for shelter and community pets. In 2017, she achieved certification as a Certified Animal Welfare Administrator (CAWA). Active in her community, Elaine served on the Weld County Community Corrections Board, The Northern Colorado Regional Animal Welfare coalition executive board, was a volunteer for the Weld County Restorative Justice program and has volunteered for Big Brothers/Big Sisters and a crisis hotline. Her three cats and four dogs are looking forward to all that Steamboat Springs has to offer!!
Laressa Peters, Director of Operations
Laressa moved to Steamboat in 2023 along with her partner and two dogs. As Director of Operations Laressa is looking forward to leading the Routt County Humane Society into the future by embracing their mission to be a community resource for all. Laressa was driven to a career in animal welfare after adopting her first dog Ellie who she views as family. Ellie inspired Laressa to want to help other animals in need. In her free time she is enjoying all the activities Steamboat has to offer including skiing, hiking and getting to know the community.