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.
Sarah Katherman, Treasurer
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.
A dedicated professional devoting his career to furthering education in the U.S. and abroad, Jerry Hernandez has been creating and implementing educational content for organizations and individuals for more than 25 years. Now, by bringing his knowledge and skill to Steamboat, he continues to fulfill his passion for giving back and contributing to cultural exchange between the diverse communities of North West Colorado.
Jerry has seen first-hand the impact quality education has on individuals, families and communities at large—a positive outcome he is honored to be part of again and again. As Education Coordinator of Integrated Community, he runs several programs, including adult English classes and children’s tutoring.
Originally from Brooklyn, NY, Jerry lived in Central America for 15 years after graduating from College. While there, he and his wife worked as part of an international mission providing education services to children and adults. His resume also includes work in tech industry sales and marketing—experience he draws on when developing and promoting literacy projects today.
Jerry and his wife are very involved in their church’s congregation and outreach programs. When he’s not working with CIIC, he dedicates many hours per month to other important causes, including teen depression awareness, improving family life, and more.
In his free time, Jerry enjoys hiking with his wife and their dog.
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.
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.
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!!
Jake Confer, Director of Operations
Originally from Northeast Ohio, Jake moved to Colorado in 1985. Animal welfare quickly became his passion when in 2007, he started his career at Table Mountain Animal Center in Golden, CO. Starting as an Animal Care Technician, Jake quickly assumed more responsibilities and eventually was selected as a member of the building committee for the construction of the new shelter, now known as Foothills Animal Shelter (FAS). In 2013, Jake was awarded a medal from the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department for exemplary compassion and professionalism. In 2014, Jake and his team won the 2014 ASPCA Rachael Ray challenge for their life saving efforts. While at FAS, Jake assumed many managerial roles and with his team, provided exemplary care to shelter animals. After over a decade at FAS, Jake moved into Community Outreach for the Humane Society of The South Platte Valley. He most recently served as Director of Operations for the Humane Society of Weld County and was an integral part of the “Best Workplace Award” presented by the Greeley Tribune. He is excited to bring his experience and passion for shelter animals to the “Boat”! Jake lives in Craig with his wife, two children, and their beloved chihuahua Violet and pug Luna.
Fane Cross DVM, Veterinarian
Originally from Boston, MA, Dr. Fane Cross moved to Colorado over a decade ago to pursue her dream of going to veterinary school at Colorado State University. She received her veterinary degree from CSU in 2016 and has been a small animal vet in Northern Colorado and Southern Wyoming for the past several years. She has always wanted to live in Steamboat and was so excited when an opportunity came along for her to live and work here full time! An avid skier, fly-fisher, and rescuer of animals (as many as her husband will let her have), she is thrilled to be part of the Steamboat community and serving Routt County Humane Society as the shelter’s veterinarian. When she’s not working, she’s likely hanging out with her own animals—two spoiled dogs, one snuggly cat, and a handsome Arabian steed.