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Staff & Interns

Nana Naisbitt, Executive Director

Nana is TSRC's executive director. After running TSRC as a facilitator for five years, she accepted the official position as director in 2007. She has kept order (for the most part) as the organization has grown, moved, and morphed into what it is today. She also hasn't worn shoes in the office for approximately 10 summers now. Read More ...

Rory Sullivan, Managing Director

Rory, TSRC's managing director, is a graduate of Lewis & Clark College in Portland, Oregon, and TSRC's second longest-serving employee. He handles administrative duties year-round and manages operations. If you are a TSRC participant, he has probably written you an email or two about your registration and lodging. If you'd rather speak Spanish than English, he's your man. Read More...

Jake Sullivan, Staff Director and Summer Manager

Jake has been on the TSRC scene almost as long as Rory and is well versed in all TSRC operations. He serves as the Staff Director, Tech Director, and Business Manager during the summer months. A graduate of  Union College in upstate New York where he majored in classics, Jake has spent the spring in Durango working at Sunnyside Market (an organic butcher shop), learning about meat, fish, and other food fundamentals. Albeit a bit accident prone, he has an abiding interest in soccer, film, ancient comedies, and Latin. Vivat TSRC!

Sophie Willson, Creative Director

Sophie joined the TSRC staff in summer of 2013, assisting with all aspects of operations and logistics. Quickly her creative skills were recognized and employed in PowerPoint presentations, social media, 4th of July Parade participation, signage, and much more. A graduate of Telluride High School, Sophie now spends most of her time as a Rhode Island School of Design student, majoring in industrial design with a minor in sustainability. She brings her honed skills in art and math to the organization, ably assisting in all manner of projects. She spent most of her childhood on a farm in the mountains of Washington State where she skied and raised pigs. 

Kole Shugars, Staff 

Kole joined the TSRC staff midway through the summer of 2013 and is excited to return for the summer of 2014. Born and raised in Telluride, Kole will be entering his junior year at Telluride High School in the fall as an honor student with a particular knack for mathematics and science. Kole has shown an interest in the medical field, but realizes he has a few years to narrow down his career choices. With a passion for the outdoors, he usually spends his time off exploring the mountains with friends or practicing some sport that includes a stick, puck, or ball. 

The Broader TSRC Team 

Julie Fox, Web Developer, Fox Web Development

Julie holds a degree in Computer Science from Texas State University and has over 15-years of technical experience in IT and web technologies. She specializes in building websites and online stores for small to medium businesses. When she’s not playing the role of computer nerd she can be found hanging out with her husband and ten year old son, working with teenagers at her church’s youth group, or doing freelance makeup artistry.

Dave Johnson, Graphic Designer, Ice Design

After passing the good neighbor test by lifting iron sculptures out of Nana's car for a Pinhead Institute art and science project  (a chance encounter), Dave has since become the official graphic designer for TSRC. He has done virtually every type of design for the organization, from the creation of its logo to posters, from brochures to the website. Dave started Ice Design ( in Telluride; previously he owned Heat in Scottsdale, AZ.

Saverio Mancina, Marketing and Communications Advisor, New York

Saverio works one-on-one with non-profit leaders and entrepreneurs to raise the profile of their organizations, services, and/or products. He envisions the possibilities, creates the opportunities, and manages the results. After a 25-year career that begain in the cultural non-profit sector, moved to government, and then to the private sector, Saverio launched his own marketing and communications practice in 2010. Saverio works on behalf of his clients to engage all marketing and communication channels -- editorial, advertising, social media, events, CRM - in an integrated approach for maximum results.

Nicole Y. Pieterse, Attorney, Russell & Pieterse LLC

Nicole specializes in real estate and non-profit work and is a founding partner of Russel & Pieterse, LLC, law firm in Telluride, Colorado. She began advising TSRC in 2013, with a focus on negotiations to secure a site for TSRC's future science facility. She is a mountain athelete, and an active participant and volunteer in the community.

Michael Romanchuk, Financial Advisor, Merrill Lynch 

Michael joined Merrill Lynch as a Financial Advisor in 2005 and the Merrill Lynch Private Banking and Investment Group in 2008. Michael is a Chicago native and began his career as an equities trader at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. He received a Bachelor’s degree in Finance from Michigan State University in 2004.  Michael focuses on high net worth individuals and families. He manages oncentrated stock positions, 10b5-1 stock plan implementation for corporate executives, and advises on 401k plans for businesses. Michael currently resides in Miami, Florida. His hobbies include playing hockey, traveling, and cooking. 

Kandy Shugars, CPA, Shugars & Company

Kandy is the managing partner of Shugars & Company CPA’s. She obtained her CPA license in Colorado in 1986 and has worked in the field of public accounting for over 13 years. Prior to opening her firm, Kandy worked as the CFO of the Telluride Ski and Golf Company.  Kandy has lived in the Telluride region for the past 18 years with her husband and two boys. She was raised in the Denver Metro area. Kandy is a graduate of Union College in Lincoln, Nebraska where she received a degree in Business Administration with an emphasis in accounting and management. In January of 2014, Kandy joined TSRC as a consultant. Her services include all accounting functions for the organization, including preparation of financial statements and work with the external auditor in the preparation of the annual audits.

Christopher Anderson, Science Reporter 

A graduate of Harvard University in biology and Norwood High School (down the road from Telluride), started his science career as a high school Pinhead Intern at the Smithsonian Institution. Chris recently returned to the Telluride region to work as interim program director for Pinhead Institue and as TSRC's science reporter, forcusing on the special 30th anniversary Town Talk series. 

Sara Elizabeth Dwyer, Distinguished Intern 

A part-time Telluride local, Sara is an International Baccalaureate student at Carrollton School of the Sacred Heart in Miami, Florida, class of 2015. The main focus of her studies is science. She is a member of the school Chemistry Club and a member of the Carrollton Robotics Team. She represented StarBot, a non-profit organization that educates students in robotics and engineering, at the DARPA Robotics Challenge Trials. She is excited to help TSRC with special projects and be around real scientists.

Cordelia Pryor, Intern 

Born and raised in Telluride, Cordelia is a student at Cate School in Santa Barbara, California (class of 2016), where she has studied physics, chemistry, and earth sciences. She writes. "I feel that studying science will broaden my understanding of the world around me and will give me the skills needed to approach most matters in a reasonable and analytical manner. As science advances, it is exciting to think that I could one day be involved in the discovery of new things, ideas, or practices. It would be a great feeling to know that when I make a breakthrough, it has the potential to benefit lots of people."

Ryan Wales, Intern 

Born in Cambridge, UK, Ryan is a boarding student of Hockerill Anglo-European College (class of 2015), where he has studied his General Certificate of Secondary Educations (GCSE) and lived for four years. He has studied biology, physics, chemistry, and mathematics. "I have always wanted to find out how the things around me function and why, and I have always seen science as the best way to discover these things." Ryan has been visiting Telluride since 2011 with his father, Professor David Wales, who is a TSRC scientist. Ryan has grown up surrounded by science and is excited to help the TSRC scientists with any tech assistance that he can.

Quin Waldrop, Intern 

A summer resident of Telluride, Quin is a student at Pace Academy in Atlanta, Georgia, class of 2016. Quin has studied earth science, physics, chemistry, and biology. She is a volunteer at the Shepherd Center, a brain and spinal center, and is a member of the math club at Pace Academy. She hopes to pursue a career in medicine and is interested in learning about the work of TSRC scientists.








TSRC Staff: Nana & Rory