Past Officers and Board Members

We thank you for your service!

Previous FOSM Officers

The chart below lists the volunteers who have held the four FOSM offices since the founding of the corporation in 1997. Terms before 2007 are best guesses based on collective memories. Short bios and photos are included as available.

Bob Lowder – President (2004-2020)

Bob is a life-long resident of Albuquerque and grew up in the North Valley. He is a graduate of Valley High School, the University of New Mexico and served in the United States Army from 1969 to 1972.  He is a Vietnam veteran. After his discharge from the service was employed by the New Mexico Human Services Department where he retired as Field Operations Manager in 1998 after a career lasting over 26 years. Bob has always enjoyed participating in various outdoor activities and retirement gave him more time for this purpose. He and his wife Sally enjoyed hiking in the Sandias and would often carry a bag to pick up litter along the trails. One day while hiking Domingo Baca Trail, a couple who had seen them doing that on numerous hikes there, suggested they become official Sandia District Volunteers. A Friends of the Sandia Mountains (FOSM) member gave a presentation about the organization at the USFS volunteer orientation and both Bob and Sally signed up. After joining FOSM in 2000, Bob served as a Board Member and as President from 2004 to 2020. He has USFS certifications to operate chainsaws and crosscut saws on the District. Bob currently serves as FOSM Trails Maintenance Crew Leader and FOSM Email Systems Administrator.

Sam Beard – President (2002-2004)

After high school joined the USAF and trained as a Russian linguist in Texas and Monterey, CA. Stationed in England near London three years. Earned degrees in physics from Mars Hill Junior College and N. C. State University. Retired in 2003 from Sandia National Laboratories after 37 years in the Aerothermodynamics Group. Moved to Albuquerque with Edwina in 1965. Developed an interest in cross country skiing and published a trail guide in 1979 with a second edition in 1988. Began developing ski trails on the Sandia Ranger District as a volunteer in 1970. Was a founding member of the N. M. Cross Country Ski Club, N. M. Volunteers for the Outdoors, and Friends of the Sandia Mountains.

Nancy Woodward – President (2000-2001)

Richard Becker – President (1997-1999)

Dr. Becker earned his B.S. from the University of New Mexico in 1965, his M.S.W. from Arizona State University in 1967, and his Ph. D. from the University of New Mexico in 2001. He retired from the Albuquerque Veteran’s Medical center in 1996 where he was employed as a clinical social worker. He served as a volunteer with many conservation organizations. He was a past president of the Albuquerque Wildlife Federation, the Albuquerque Chapter National Wild Turkey Federation, the New Mexico Riparian Council, the New Mexico Friends of the Forest (aka Friends of the Sandia Mountains), the Environmental Education Association of New Mexico. He also served as the State Coordinator for the Leopold Education Project and supervisor with the Valencia Soil and Water Conservation District. He enjoyed hunting, fishing, and wildlife photography. He was a member of the New Mexico Mountain Club and the Rio Grande Mule and Donkey Association preceding his death in 2007.

Lou Romero – Vice-President (2016-2020)

Lou was born and raised in the northern New Mexico village of Vadito. His varied Forest Service career started on the Carson NF as a Forestry Technician. Later, his Technician assignments included Bitterroot Hotshot Crew Leader; Fire Dispatcher and Snow Ranger; followed by Administrative positions with the Bridger-Teton NF; Plumas NF; Angeles NF; USDA in Mexico City; and FS Pacific SW Region headquartered in San Francisco.  Finally, he became the Internal Facilitator and Organizational Change Consultant for the Forest Service in all the Regions, Research Stations and 62 of the 155 National Forests. He was also Ski School Director at Lost Trail Ski Area in Montana and continues to be an avid downhill skier. Lou graduated from the University of Montana with a degree in Social Psychology. He now calls himself “a very selective volunteer,” Caring for the Land and Serving People.  With FOSM, he served four years as Snowshoe Race Director and four years as VP of the Board. He has served as Co-Leader of the FS (Amigos) Retiree’s Adopted Trails since 2009.

Gerry Sussman – Vice-President (2004-2015)

I grew up in Baltimore, attended the University of Maryland, majored in history and entered a Master’s program at Columbia, when an opportunity  arose to begin a publishing career with Oxford University Press in New York City. A long and happy career followed, finally retiring after 38 years. After all this time in the “concrete jungle” I wanted a complete change of scenery and, as one son was in graduate school at UNM, we moved here in 1997 for the open space and mountains. I loved my time with FOSM, where I was project manager for the Field Guide to the Sandia Mountains, volunteered at the Crest House and was vice-president, arranging monthly talks. It was the highlight of my retirement to hike and climb in N.M. as well as doing 14’ers in Colorado. I also participated in snowshoe races and cross country. Then I spent many years volunteering at the NMMNH, learning much about the natural sciences and hosting traveling exhibits. Now I work around my home, read, attend lectures and spend time with my wife, children and grandkids and friends. 

Dick Traeger – Vice-President (2002-2003)

Richard “Dick” Traeger grew up in Milwaukee where he attained the rank of Eagle Scout. He earned a BS at the University of Wisconsin and a PhD at the University of New Mexico in chemical engineering. Dick and his wife Carol (“Sonny”) moved to Albuquerque in 1959. Dick was employed at Sandia National Laboratories from 1963 to 1999 during which time he became the first manager of the Geo Energy Technology Department, did field research at the Kilauea and Mt. St. Helens volcanoes, and served as liaison to Congress. He enjoyed hiking, tennis, handball, bicycling, cross-country skiing, and competed in several Mt. Taylor quadrathons. Dick volunteered with the Albuquerque Open Space Division and served as a docent at the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science before his death in 2014.

Sam Beard – Vice-President (2000-2001)

After high school joined the USAF and trained as a Russian linguist in Texas and Monterey, CA. Stationed in England near London three years. Earned degrees in physics from Mars Hill Junior College and N. C. State University. Retired in 2003 from Sandia National Laboratories after 37 years in the Aerothermodynamics Group. Moved to Albuquerque with Edwina in 1965. Developed an interest in cross country skiing and published a trail guide in 1979 with a second edition in 1988. Began developing ski trails on the Sandia Ranger District as a volunteer in 1970. Was a founding member of the N. M. Cross Country Ski Club, N. M. Volunteers for the Outdoors, and Friends of the Sandia Mountains.

Don Peterson – Vice-President (1997-1999)

Don received his PhD in mathematics from the University of Oregon and was a Distinguished Member of the Technical Staff  at Sandia National Laboratories. He and Adair, his beloved wife of 60 years, were passionate about protecting and enjoying our natural resources. As part of the Sierra club, they organized efforts to prevent damming of the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon as well as helping local areas achieve Wilderness status. Don and Adair loved climbing and hiking in their beloved Sandia Mountains and were members of the New Mexico Mountain Club and Friends of the Sandia Mountains. They loved climbing peaks and backpacking in various canyons and mountain ranges all over the world. Their favorite place was the Grand Canyon, which they explored from end-to-end often on exploratory routes. They were active members of New Mexico Mountain Rescue Council where Don served for 30 years helping search for and rescue lost and injured hikers, climbers, and victims of aircraft accidents before his death in 2012.

Don Carnicom – Treasurer (1997-2009)

After graduating from Ohio State University in 1957 with a degree in Electrical Engineering, moved to Albuquerque to work for Sandia National Laboratories for 34 years as Member of the Technical Staff in electro-mechanical component design. After retiring in 1991 from a Division Supervisor position, began volunteering for the Sandia Ranger District in the Wilderness Information Specialist Program. In 1997 became one of the founders of The NM Friends of the Forest (aka Friends of the Sandia Mountains) organization. After cycling through the Treasurers and Adopt-a-Trail positions, initiated the creation of The Field Guide to the Sandia Mountains and the Visitors Recreation Guide and Map to the Sandia and Manzanita Mountains. Produced an inventory of all the interpretative Education signs on the District. Most recently had all new signs designed and installed for the Crest/Tram/ Kiwanis Meadow area. It’s been a great 30-year experience with the SRD.

Rav Nicholson – Secretary (2015-2021)

Rav got hooked on FOSM in 2002 after responding to a notice that volunteers were needed to educate visitors to the Sandias about the forest closure then in effect.  Shortly thereafter, she and her husband adopted a section of the 10K South trail. When not delighting in the intoxicating beauty of the Sandias, she enjoys teaching MS Office applications part-time at UNM Continuing Ed, as well as skiing, biking, swimming, running, skating, tennis, foreign languages, landscape photography, reading, and playing the piano.  In her previous full-time-employment life, she worked for 30 years in counseling and dispute resolution.  Her retirement from federal civil service at the end of 2006 opened the door to regular participation in FOSM projects. 

Linda McDowell – Secretary (2011-2014)

Jean Paananen – Secretary (2010)

Margaret Furman – Secretary (2003-2009)

Margaret was born in Phoenix and moved with her family to Albuquerque when she was very young. She graduated from Highland High School and received a B.S. in Geology from Louisiana State University. After returning to Albuquerque, Margaret worked for Applied Technology Associates and Sandia National Laboratory. She was an active volunteer for New Mexico Forest Service at the Cibola National Forest and an avid hiker. She also loved to sail, bicycle and travel with her family until her death in 2014.

Alison Mullholland – Secretary (1997-2002)


Previous Board Members

The chart below shows previous members of the FOSM board not serving as corporate officers. The makeup of the board from 1997 through 2006 is uncertain. Fortunately, annual newsletters beginning in 2007 identify officers and board members since then. Obtaining bios and photos of past officers proved daunting enough that trying to find information about other board members who did not serve as an officer seemed a bridge too far.

Bios and photos of members rotating off the board from 2021 onward will be included below.

Dan Benton – Adopt-a-Trail and Adopt-a-Drop Wildlife Water Tanks Coordinator (2003-2021)

Retired as a USAF JAG Colonel after 30 years of service in 2001. Earned degrees in Chemical Engineering, Law, and Environmental Law. Military assignments stretched from the UK to Hawaii. Previously worked for Procter and Gamble, International Paper, and the Ethyl Corporation. Moved back to Albuquerque in 2001 with wife Pat, a career educator. Interests include hiking, gardening, raising tropical plants, and traveling. FOSM member since 2003.

Mike Coltrin – Webmaster (2005-2021)

Mike is a physical chemist by training and was a member of the technical staff of Sandia National Laboratories for 37 years before his retirement in 2017. He has enjoyed hiking in the Sandia Mountains for more than 40 years and is the author of the Sandia Mountain Hiking Guide. He created this website and served as a member of the FOSM board of directors and webmaster from 2005 to 2021.