About Us

Dedicated and passionate describes the Ironwood Tree Experience Board of Directors to a tee. To ensure proper oversight and support of the ITE mission, the Board of Directors is required to meet quarterly in July, November, and March. In addition to quarterly meetings, Board of Directors chair Board Committees and meet regularly as is necessary.

BOD quarterly meeting dates and times are posted via the ITE website prior to each quarter meeting.

BOD committees include: 1) Human Resources and Finances; 2) Youth Programming; 3) Development and Marketing; and 4) Governance. Non-board members are selected to join BOD committees.

ITE Board of Directors

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Paul Bellows

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Paul Bellows is the Ironwood Tree Experience board president and  founder and coach of “Be Good @ Doing Good,”​ Paul works with CEOs, entrepreneurs, business owners, executives and non-profit executive directors to help them achieve their mission and “Be Good at Doing Good” in their communities and around the planet. Paul’s specialties in Leadership, Talent and Organizational Development; Business Consulting; CEO & Executive Coaching; Strategist; Strategic and Business Planning; Facilitating Planning Retreats, Work Shops & Peer Advisory Groups serves ITE well and he is 100% devoted to helping Ironwood Tree Experience reach its potential staying true to the organization mission and vision.

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Elva De la Torre

Elva BoD

Elva De La Torre is a proud daughter of Mexican immigrants and the first Latina Executive Director of 91.3 KXCI Community Radio. She studied Media Communications and has worked in community education and training for over 20 years including with local nonprofits Primavera Foundation and Community Partnership for Southern Arizona as well as Pima Community College. Elva worked with the Peace Corps for over 10 years in various Latin American and Asian countries as a volunteer, trainer, and Training Director. In addition to ITE’s Board she currently serves on the Board of Directors of the YWCA.

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Chuck Hutchinson

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Chuck Hutchinson is Professor and Director Emeritus of the School of Natural Resources and Environment (SNRE) at the University of Arizona (UA). As a geographer, his research and teaching centered on monitoring and understanding the intersection of physical and social conditions in the world’s arid lands, frequently using remote sensing. After earning his degree, he became a member of the technical staff at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory. In 1980, he assumed management of the Arizona Remote Sensing Center, at UA. Subsequently, he directed the Office of Arid Lands Studies, and SNRE. During his time at UA, he was named a Gilbert F. White Fellow at Resources for the Future (Washington DC). He was also detailed from UA to NASA Headquarters Applied Earth Science Division first as Visiting Senior Scientist and then Acting Director. His most recent major contribution was as a main author of The World Atlas of Desertification (3rd edition) published by the Joint Research Center of the European Commission.

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Axhel Muñoz

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AXHEL MUÑOZ is a naturalist and dynamic environmental educator from the Sonoran Desert region. He has participated in a variety of projects as a research assistant ranging from pollination biology of an endangered species to intertidal plant-animal interactions. This provides him with a broad ecological perspective. In Puerto Rico he was involved in conservation research that led to the creation of the Laguna Cartagena National Wildlife Refuge. In California he co-founded the Rainforest Action Group at California State University, Fullerton. As vice-president and then president of the group he helped conservation projects in Costa Rica and Brazil and brought speakers such as Norman Myers and Daniel Janzen to the university. In Arizona he has worked for Oracle State Park, The Nature Conservancy, and the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum as an environmental educator for kids of all ages. He has created many science-based environmental curriculum based on the Sonoran Desert Region as a model. He has taught students from kindergarten to university, as well as designed and taught teacher workshops. He enjoys camping, snorkeling, tide pooling, birding, dancing Salsa, playing guitar or bongos, and getting together with friends.

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Corina Ontiveros

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Corina Teresa Ontiveros is a Southwest native, public school educator, wife, and mother. She has been involved with public education in New Mexico and Arizona over the last 26 years. Working in urban and rural settings as both a teacher and a principal, she has been an ardent supporter of student empowerment throughout the years. Corina earned her Bachelor’s of Science in Secondary Education (History & English) at New Mexico State University in Las Cruces, New Mexico (from which she hails) and her Master’s in Education Leadership from Prescott College in Prescott, Arizona. Currently working as a Master Teacher in the Tucson Unified School District’s Department of Culturally Responsive Pedagogy & Instruction, she appreciates and values collaboration, innovation, and creativity as well as the energy that youth bring to our communities.

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IngriQue Salt

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IngriQue “Q” Salt, Lók’aad Dine’é, is from Black Mesa and is the Project Coordinator for UA ITEP. Q also works with the UA School of Animal and Comparative Biomedical Sciences and the Miss Native American UA Ambassadors. Raised with a strong focus on traditional stories, prayer, and lifeways in her family, Q also accompanied her father in the mobilization of traditional healing practices. These perspectives provide a strong foundation upon which to advocate for and develop the structures necessary to help tribal community members develop, refine and attain their goals.

Q received her Bachelor of Science in Psychology and Cognitive Science, with a minor in American Indian Studies at the UA in 2015. During her time at the UA as a first-generation, Q was a Research Assistant studying, cancer pathways and exposures, uranium contaminated water, cognitive behavioral development and environmental health literacy development.

Q thrives on bringing community members together to identify issues and create community-based solutions. As Tribal Liaison for the Southwest Environmental Health Sciences Center (SWEHSC) at the UA College of Pharmacy, Q focused on environmental health education, literacy, outreach and community-based projects in tribal communities of Arizona. During her time at SWEHSC, Q’s leadership increased Arizona tribal communities served from three of twenty-two tribes in Arizona to nine – a 200% increase. Further, four tribal communities have successfully developed Memorandums of Agreements to ensure tribes are partners in ongoing collaborative research.

ITEP’s value to create Nation-Builders for tribal communities strongly resonates with Q. As a Navajo Nation citizen, Q understands that to effectively advocate and develops skills in others, she must do so for herself. To this end, Q is developing her skills and knowledge to be an active Nation-Builder by pursuing her law degree in Indigenous People’s Law and Policy and the Environment.

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Josh Schachter

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JOSH SCHACHTER is a photographer, visual/digital storyteller and teaching artist, who believes “images are a powerful means of sharing stories that foster personal and community transformation.” Josh Schachter first discovered this as a Master’s student at the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, where he taught photography to 9-12 year-old, at-risk girls.” Their honest imagery and stories forever transformed my understanding of how urban youth experience nature” Josh Schachter has conducted artist residencies which have varied from teaching photography in Spanish to Mexican-American women creating an oral history book about success to helping young Indian performance artists visually explore their lives in New Delhi to teaching digital storytelling to native youth on the Tohono O’odham Reservation. For several years Josh was the Director of Photography at the Tucson-based nonprofit Voices Inc., where he mentored low-income teenagers in documentary photography and managed an after-school youth magazine program. When Josh is not teaching, he works to photograph social and environmental issues for nonprofit organizations throughout the US. Josh Schachters images have been published internationally in books, magazines, newspapers, films and web sites, in venues ranging from the New York Times to the Navajo Times.