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Team

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Amanda Godbold Payne
Amanda Godbold Payne
Executive Director
(804) 836-6713 Email Amanda Godbold Payne
Amanda Godbold Payne moved to Richmond in May 2011 from the West Coast. A South Carolina native, Amanda began her journey out West after completing her Bachelor’s in Economics and Business Administration at Rhodes College in Memphis, TN. She started as an adventure guide at Noah’s Ark in Colorado, then continued there as the Staffing Coordinator and Food Service Manager. In addition to her outdoor recreation experience, she has managed staffing needs at mid-size companies and managed operations in both the private and non-profit sector. She joined Blue Sky in 2012, excited to be able to work in a place that utilizes her professional skills and experience to further a mission that she deeply believes in. Amanda lives in Union Hill with her husband and two children.
Tanesha Powell
Tanesha Powell
Programs Director
(804) 410-4273 Email Tanesha Powell
Tanesha Powell moved from Hampton Roads with her husband and children to join the Blue Sky team in March 2018. She brings over ten years of experience in the education field as an elementary school teacher, curriculum writer, and science department lead. Her appreciation for the beauty of the great outdoors came from her upbringing in a rural area of Montgomery County, Maryland. Tanesha earned her Bachelor's degree in Psychology from Norfolk State University, and then obtained her Masters degree in Elementary Education from the University of Pennsylvania. Her adventurous spirit fuels her love to travel and experience new places near and far. Tanesha is excited to fulfill her passion for aiding in the growth and development of children through a variety of rich learning experiences with Blue Sky.
Emily Powers Wilson
Emily Powers Wilson
Academic Program Manager
(804) 495-1435 Email Emily Powers Wilson
Emily grew up in the foothills of the Smoky Mountains where she became enamored with nature and the environment. As a highly curious and energetic kid, she loved to explore the woods and loved to ask, “why?” She hopes to bring that same inquisitive and creative spirit to Blue Sky! Emily completed her Bachelors degree in Elementary Education at Virginia Commonwealth University in 2016 and her Masters of Teaching degree through VCU and the Richmond Teacher Residency program in 2017. Since then, she has taught 3rd-5th grade for Richmond Public Schools and has worked alongside our Blue Sky Educators with her general education classes. Many of her favorite teaching memories were during BSF experiences – tasting fresh-picked kale at Shalom Farms, wading in the York River, and countless nature hikes. She believes nature to be a healing place that should be accessible to everyone and cannot wait to use her creativity to get upper elementary students excited about science while building resiliency within themselves. Emily can frequently be found outside hiking and gardening, but she also loves yoga, musical theater, cooking, traveling, and reading. Emily lives in Richmond with her husband, stepson, cat, and dog.
Dustin Parks
Dustin Parks
Explorers Site Coordinator and OLI Program Manager
(540) 421-5417 Email Dustin Parks
Dustin grew up in the heart of Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley on Massanutten Mountain. He gained a love for the outdoors at a young age with opportunities to snowboard, mountain bike, and hike right off of his front porch! In 2006, Dustin hopped on a bike and rode across the country from Virginia to California, which gave him a completely new perspective on his life and inspired him to travel for the next six years, including thru-hiking the Appalachian Trail in 2009. Dustin moved to Richmond in 2013 with his wife, Lindsay, and started volunteering at Blue Sky Fund, then settled in the Church Hill area in 2014. Dustin is grateful to learn from students each day, and loves that his job involves doing what he would be doing in his free time!
Diane Brown
Diane Brown
Development and Communications Director
(804) 410-4265‬ Email Diane Brown
Diane moved to Richmond in 2009 to attend the University of Richmond where she earned her Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration/Marketing. She fell in love with the city after exploring the park systems and local restaurants during summer internships. Diane's love for the outdoors and passion for environmental education led her to first volunteer with Blue Sky Fund in 2015 with the OAC Rock Climbing program. From taking courses like Landscape Ecology in college to completing her Virginia Master Naturalist training in 2018; Diane has always been passionate about continuing education and sharing the outdoors with others. She is excited to combine her professional skill set and passion in her role at Blue Sky Fund. When not in the office, you will find her adventuring outdoors (rock climbing, kayaking, backpacking, etc), at home reading, or playing tabletop games with friends. Diane lives in the Museum District with her fiance, two cats, four turtles, and many fish.
David Buenrostro
David Buenrostro
Adventure Program Manager
(804) 495-1413 Email David Buenrostro
David joined Blue Sky Fund in 2016 and fell in love with the mission to get as many people outside as possibly and show them why he appreciates the outdoors so much. David’s appreciation for the outdoors began while growing up in Europe and being able to see all the wonders of nature from the tops of mountains. David has a Bachelor’s degree in Biology and a Master’s degree in Educational Leadership both from Virginia Commonwealth University, Go Rams Go! David credits his admiration for the nature of Virginia to a summer course he took during his senior year of college where he was part of a crew that paddled 300 miles of the James River and camped along the banks of the river for a month. David loves helping students connect with the outdoors and seeing their confidence grow when they excel at an outdoor activity!
Vic Reichert
Vic Reichert
Development and Volunteer Coordinator
(804) 213-2464 Email Vic Reichert
Vic was born and raised in the Richmond area and attended Virginia Commonwealth University where she studied Spanish and Global Education. During her time in university she realized the importance of spending time outdoors, especially through participating in outdoor adventure programs and volunteering as a summer camp counselor. Vic first got involved with Blue Sky in 2016 as an Explorers educator and has since worked on the Adventure team as well. She has volunteered and worked with various Richmond nonprofits where she has managed youth programs, led communications, and coordinated volunteers. Vic is so excited to bring her passions of social justice, education, and creating equitable outdoor access to her work at Blue Sky. When she is not working, Vic loves to climb, read, hike, and learn new languages!
Jacob Minnick
Jacob Minnick
Explorers Site Coordinator
Email Jacob Minnick
Jacob was born and raised in Southwest Virginia, where he grew up developing a love for the outdoors while surrounded by the Blue Ridge Mountains. He attended Virginia Tech as a Spanish major, and spent his final year studying abroad and exploring the beautiful country of Ecuador. Jacob moved to Richmond in 2011, and began to develop his passion for working with others through teaching elementary school Spanish, volunteering with a middle school extracurricular program, and obtaining his real estate license. Along the way, Jacob learned about Blue Sky Fund and its mission and purpose. He was initially involved as a supporter and volunteer and then joined the team as an Explorers Educator in 2018. When Jacob is not working, you can find him playing disc golf and spending time with his wife Christine, toddler Eli, and two rescue pups.

“Nature offers healing for a child living in a destructive family or neighborhood. It serves as a blank slate upon which a child draws and reinterprets the culture’s fantasies. Nature inspires creativity in a child by demanding visualization and the full use of the senses.”

- by Richard Louv, Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder.