The Couse Foundation / Board and Staff

Board of Directors

Elizabeth Crittenden Palacios, Chair – Taos, NM
Nonprofit and philanthropic executive.

Holly Azzari, Vice President and Volunteer Coordinator – Arroyo Seco, NM
Retired legislative aide and political campaign coordinator in Los Angeles.

Virginia Couse Leavitt, Secretary – Taos, NM 
MFA art historian and granddaughter of E. I. Couse.

Thomas M. Doerk, Treasurer – La Veta, CO
Retired lawyer, commercial banker and non-profit executive.

Kristin Bender Taos, NM and Denver, CO
Experienced fundraiser with a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration and a Master’s Degree in Marketing.

Robert Berquist – Boulder, CO
Retired Electronic Engineer, Business Owner, Rocky Mountain Region Manufacturer's Representative.

Dustin Leavitt Tucson, AZ
Artist and writer. Former university professor and exhibitions designer for The Center for Creative Photography.

Tim Newton – Cody, WY
Founder and Curator, American Masters at the Salmagundi Club. Chairman/CEO Emeritus of Salmagundi. Publisher, Western Art & Architecture Magazine.

Keith Ohnmeis – Wilson, WY

Ilona Spruce – Taos Pueblo, NM
Director of Tourism for Taos Pueblo.

Terry Winchell – Jackson, WY
Business owner, Fighting Bear Enterprises; published author; past Chairman, Center for the Arts of Jackson, Wyoming; experienced fundraiser.

National Advisory Council

Caroline Jean Fernald, PhD
Executive Director
Phoebe A. Hearst Museum of Anthropology
University of California at Berkeley

Michael Grauer
McCasland Chair of Cowboy Culture/Curator of Cowboy Collections and Western Art
National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum
Oklahoma City, OK

Alan J. Olson
Founder and Former President and Chairman, The Couse Foundation
Boulder, CO, and Palm Desert, CA

Byron Price
Former Director, Charles M. Russell Center, University of Oklahoma School of Visual Arts
Norman, OK

Thomas Brent Smith
Wylodean and Bill Saxon Director
Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art, University of Oklahoma
Norman, OK

Marie Watkins, PhD
Professor Emerita of Art History, Furman University
Greenville, SC


Davison Packard Koenig
Executive Director and Curator
– Valdez, NM
Formerly the Curator of Exhibits at the Arizona State Museum in Tucson, AZ, the largest and oldest anthropology museum in the Southwest. MFA in Museum Exhibition Planning and Design; BA in the Anthropology of Art.

Marissa M. Hendriks
Director, Lunder Research Center, and Virginia Couse Leavitt Archivist Chair – Taos, NM
Former manuscripts cataloging librarian and digital projects manager at the University of Pennsylvania’s Rare Book and Manuscript Library. BA in Medieval Studies and English, post-baccalaureate work in Ancient Greek and Classical Latin, and Master’s in Library and Information Science.

Regina McAskill Scherffius
Director of Operations and Communication – Taos, NM
Former government and corporate communication manager and director. Book and publications editor, aspiring novelist, screenwriter, and photographer. Bachelor of Journalism in news and public affairs.

Rachel E. Daley
Collections and Donor Relations Manager
– Taos, NM
Former Senior Auction Coordinator, Cataloger and Works on Paper Specialist at several auction houses. BA in Art History from the College of William & Mary, and MA in Art Business from the Sotheby’s Institute of Art.

Jake Cisneros
Site Coordinator –
Arroyo Hondo, NM
Born and raised in Taos. Former Taos County employee. Worked in the Tech Industry and Fine Art establishments in Seattle, San Francisco, and Denver. Bachelor of Fine Arts with an emphasis in film photography.

Larry Lemm
Visitor Experience Coordinator
– Costilla, NM
Former Almond Farmer, Technical Editor for Videomaker Magazine, Tour Manager and founder of The Bobolink Music Festival in California. Dropped out of famed party school Chico State as a senior to do Phish tour in the mid '90s.

Lucas McDaniel
Collections and Archives Specialist – Taos, NM
Current Museum Studies Graduate at the University of New Mexico. Former Collections Intern with the National Council for Preservation Education at Whiskeytown, NRA. MFA from Otis College of Art and Design.

Statement of Purpose
Through its archives, collections, and programming, the Couse-Sharp Historic Site preserves and interprets Taos’ crossroads of cultures, promoting and facilitating research, education, and new perspectives on the Taos Society of Artists, early artists of Taos, and regional and Indigenous communities in relation to the greater story of the multicultural American West.