Jerome Smith has been involved for 30 years in the transitions of science and technology into new markets. This has included market growth and product development with Stoneage Tools, CBS, Sony, Teac/Tascam, Warner Bros., Lucas/Skywalker, Universal Studios and many others. In 2008 Jerry founded Pagosa Verde, a company designed to adapt emerging technologies in renewable energy to the needs of our changing economy. He is committed to overcoming adaptive inertia in businesses and culture as opportunities appear from the disciplined imagination of scientists, engineers, artists and businessmen. He is a former farmer, horseman, soldier & surfer and a happily married man with three children. He lives in Pagosa Springs because it’s fairly far from everywhere and just wild and western enough to feel like home.
Sally High, M.Ed. – Sustainable Agriculture, Community Education & Relations
Sally received the Presidential Innovation Award for Environmental Educators in 2012 and was named an eCycleBest Top Five Green Teachers in the nation in 2014. She recently ended a 25-year teaching career to focus on Pagosa Verde project development. Sally serves on the Colorado Environmental Education Leadership Council, Colorado State University Extension Advisory Board for Archuleta County, Pagosa Springs Parks and Recreation Commission, Southwest Workforce Development Board and Geothermal Greenhouse Partnership Inc. Sally is a co-founder of Pagosa Verde, LLC.
Dan Hand – Project Engineering Dan is a licensed Professional Engineer with 29 years of experience. His background includes many years in the private sector developing and designing alternative energy projects including geothermal, biomass, solar, hydropower, and wind resources as well as a faculty position at West Point (United States Military Academy) in the Department of Mechanical Engineering. Dan is experienced in the areas of project development, resource development, project funding mechanisms, power cycle analyses, economic analyses, and modeling. Dan is dedicated to helping clients develop indigenous resources in an environmentally sound, economically feasible and beneficial manner.
Eric Highfield – Director of Greenhouse Operations Eric is a recognized scientific expert in the field of greenhouse technologies specializing in soilless plant production, aquaculture, integrated systems, and automation. A Colorado native, Eric has a Bachelors of Science in molecular biology with a minor in chemistry, and a Masters of Science in controlled environment agriculture/ aquaculture from the University of Arizona. He went on to develop and direct an internationally renowned accredited program in greenhouse technologies and greenhouse management at Santa Fe Community College in Santa Fe, NM. Eric next accepted a role with Native Roots Colorado as the Director of Plant Sciences for a four-acre, two level warehouse production facility in Denver, CO. He is passionate about sustainable technologies, high yield food production and water/energy conservation.
Claris Ritter – Retail Channel Marketer Claris creates market channels for Pagosa Verde’s greenhouses’ products. Claris has been part of the Organic and Natural Products Industry since 1979 and was co-founder of Albert’s Organics, the first nationwide organic produce distributor. Her wide-ranging experience in the organic food business encompasses local and national organic sourcing and procurement, wholesale sales, retail produce management, marketing and communications, and business development. She is passionate about local food systems and advises young companies on organic market opportunities and supply chain strategies, has participated in CSU’s Colorado Building Farmers Program as a retail channel mentor, and served on the Board of Directors for the Organic Trade Association.