Board of Directors
Kristina Ortez, President
Kristina Ortez is the Executive Director of the Taos Land Trust. She grew up in the San Joaquin Valley of California in a small farming town and moved to New Mexico in 2008. She lives in Taos where she is raising her two daughters, ages eight and five. Kristina graduated from Harvard College with a degree in Anthropology and completed her Masters of Public Administration at the University of New Mexico. Kristina has dedicated her professional career to the preservation of public lands and ensuring clean water for rural communities. She serves as the Secretary for the newly restored Vigil y Romo Acequia Commission and sits on the board of directors of Alianza Agri-cultura de Taos.
Charles de Saillan, Vice President
Charles de Saillan is an environmental attorney in Santa Fe, New Mexico. He moved to New Mexico in 1993 to work for then Attorney General Tom Udall. Since June 2018, he has been a staff attorney with the New Mexico Environmental Law Center, a non-profit, public-interest environmental law firm.
Before moving to New Mexico, Charlie worked at the Environmental Protection Agency and the Justice Department in Washington, D.C., handling enforcement litigation under federal hazardous waste laws, the Clean Water Act and the Safe Drinking Water Act. At the New Mexico Office of the Attorney General, Charlie helped develop the state’s natural resource damage program. He also led a national attorney general work group on amendment of the Superfund law, urging Congress to retain strong liability and cleanup provisions. In 1999, Charlie moved to the Environment Department where he handled enforcement and permitting actions involving air quality, water quality, hazardous wastes and site remediation. He successfully took on hard rock mines, petroleum refineries, electric power plants and national nuclear weapons laboratories. He negotiated a settlement agreement for comprehensive investigation and cleanup of pollution at Los Alamos National Laboratory.
Charlie holds a Bachelor of Arts from Boston University, a Juris Doctor from Boston University School of Law, and an LL.M. in Energy and Environmental Law from Katholieke Universiteit, Leuven, Belgium. He has numerous publications in the field of environmental law.
Charlie enjoys cycling, hiking and backpacking, skiing and photography (he still shoots film!). For several years he was a volunteer with St. John’s College and Atalaya search and rescue teams. He is a certified scuba diver.
David Cantor, Treasurer
David Cantor is a principal and founder of LongView Asset Management, LLC, a registered investment advisor in Santa Fe, NM. He has long been interested in environmental issues and in the field of sustainable investing. David served as a board member and president of the CVNM’s sister organization CVNM Education Fund from 2002 to 2005. David was drawn back to the organization in 2016, inspired by the outstanding work being done by CVNM and by the urgent need for strong pro-environmental legislation in our home state.
Prior to moving to New Mexico in 1993, David spent a decade in New York City. He was a Vice President in institutional equity sales at First Boston Corp, responsible for some of the firm’s largest clients and after leaving the firm co-founded ARC Associates Inc., an investment banking firm.
In addition to his other activities, David currently serves on the board of the Upaya Zen Center and as a volunteer member of the finance committee at the Santa Fe Art Institute. David grew up in Geneva, Switzerland, where he developed an early love of mountains. He is an avid skier, hiker, mushroom hunter and cook. David received his Bachelor of Arts in English Literature from Oxford University.
Chris Ford, Secretary
Chris Ford is a retired attorney. His legal career included private practice and 15 years as a prosecutor in Milwaukee County, Wisconsin. After his first retirement in 2002, his continuing interest in public and nonprofit administration, as well as service on nonprofit boards, led to a certificate in nonprofit administration at The Bader Institute at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee in 2005. Thereafter, he served as President of the Board and Interim Executive Director for three years at Centro Legal, a nonprofit legal service provider on Milwaukee’s south side. Upon re-retirement a few years ago, he moved to Santa Fe and currently serves on the board of the Wisconsin League of Conservation Voters, CVNM’s affiliate in Wisconsin, and is a strong supporter of the Santa Fe Conservation Trust. Chris and his wife, Jude, a retired psychotherapist and writer, enjoy their family, their land, and their two dogs.
I’m a conservation voter because as a grandfather I share the most basic concern of all parents and grandparents: our children’s futures. There’s little enough we can do to really help those who follow us. Choosing a future world that helps our progeny, not hurts them, seems the best way to put what small influence I have to its best purpose.
Mary A. Laraia, Director
Mary A. Laraia is a specialist in public policy, philanthropy, the environment and banking. She has held executive management positions in the corporate, government and nonprofit sectors, and received numerous honors for her leadership, creativity and management of programs in community and sustainable development. Known as an innovator in corporate management, she has headed compliance, community development, sustainability and philanthropic functions for three of the nation’s largest financial institutions.
She most recently served as the Deputy General Superintendent of the Forest Preserves of Cook County, Illinois, and on the Board of Directors of Standard Bank and Trust Company of Illinois, and is on the Advisory Board of the Union of Concerned Scientists. She attended Northwestern and Loyola Universities and was a Loeb Fellow at Harvard University. She has been honored with the Motorola/Crain’s Excellence in Public Service Award, “100 Women Making a Difference” by the Chicago Tribune and also by Crain’s Chicago Business, and was named to Northwestern University’s first “Council of 100” top women graduates, and the Fellowship of the British American Project.
In her spare time, Mary volunteers at the Humane Society, and loves making art, reading, cycling and riding her horse, Copper.
Noah Long, Director
Noah Long grew up in Santa Fe and returned to northern New Mexico with his family in 2013. He lives in Santa Fe with his wife Meghan Mead and two children, Rainier and Camille.
Noah is a senior attorney working with the Natural Resources Defense Council’s (NRDC) Energy Program. Noah’s began work with NRDC in 2006, when he helped initiate NRDC’s successful campaign to protect Chilean Patagonia from large hydro development. In 2008, he joined the energy program staff with a focus on regulation of electric and gas utilities. He has worked on policies to deploy renewable energy and energy efficiency, invest in clean energy research and development, and clean up dirty power plants.
Noah manages NRDC’s western clean energy work and coordinates a national network of advocates supporting strong and effective carbon standards for power plants. He is also on the board of the Interwest Energy Alliance, a regional renewable energy trade association, and the Western Clean Energy Campaign. Noah holds a J.D. from Stanford Law School, a Master of Science in International Development and Environmental Policy from the London School of Economics, and a bachelor of art from Bowdoin College.
Noah loves hiking, biking and skiing in the mountains of New Mexico especially when he can bring along his dog, Rojo.
Larry McDaniel, Director
Larry McDaniel is a veterinarian and he makes his home in Silver City, New Mexico.
Larry and his wife Chris built a successful mixed animal practice in Western Montana’s Bitterroot Valley. After selling the practice, Dr. McDaniel spent the rest of his career in industry, including a 17-year stint as a marketing executive for Nestle Purina Pet Care in St. Louis, Missouri.
As an undergraduate studying wildlife biology at the University of Montana, Larry developed a lifelong love of the outdoors. His first backpacking trip, over 40 years ago, was in the Gila Wilderness. Over the years, he and his wife and children have criss-crossed the Gila and Black Range many times.
Larry was on the Governing Council of the Aldo Leopold High School in Silver City for four years. During his tenure the council completed a long range strategic plan. He also served as a mentor for students on field trips to Costa Rica and on several backpacking trips in the Gila and Aldo Leopold Wilderness areas.
Larry and his wife are avid cyclists and love to travel throughout the west with their bikes. His other interests include hunting, fishing, birding and native plant identification and cultivation.
Gary Oakley, Director
Gary Oakley grew up in Denver and found his love for the outdoors early in life through camping and coursework in wildlife biology. This led him into the environmental education field. He taught at Keystone Environmental Education Center (now Keystone Science School), The Colorado Springs School, Aspen Public Schools, and he directed the Corvallis Outdoor School.
Gary’s experience in the business world includes endeavors in both the for-profit and non-profit realms. He has owned and managed various businesses in retail, hospitality, manufacturing, counseling, chocolate, fishing, real estate and photography. His passion for philanthropic organizations motivated him to establish non-profit entities supporting environmental education, youth volunteerism, Guatemalan orphans and Mexican street dogs.
A member of CVNM’s national partner LCV for over 30 years, Gary received his undergraduate degree (geology) from Middlebury College and a Masters (psychology) from Denver University.
Currently, Gary lives in Santa Fe where he works to preserve the environment by inspiring people with his abstract, New Mexico-inspirited, oil paintings. His motto: “Keep New Mexico Paintable!”