Dr. Birkenfeld works as a community educator, developer, and social entrepreneur. He was reared on a diversified family farm in Nazareth, Texas, and currently lives just outside the village with his wife, Joann. After working as a Catholic priest for the Diocese of Amarillo, TX for 14 years (ordained in 1988) and earning a Ph.D. in social ethics from The Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, California (2002), Darryl followed a new road to Ogallala Commons. He began work with OC in 2002, and has served as Executive Director since 2003.
Kade Wilcox is the owner and CEO of Primitive Social, an inbound marketing agency in Lubbock, Texas. Kade and his team are dedicated to helping area businesses grow through their online and social media presence. He is passionate about West Texas and helping people to steward our region well.
Kristyn grew up on her family farm in Cheyenne Wells, CO. where she developed passions for literature, livestock and land. After obtaining a Bachelor’s degree in Agricultural Media & Communication from West Texas A&M University, Kristyn began a career in real estate. In the Fall of 2016, Kristyn began her first internship with Ogallala Commons, focusing on youth engagement and community development in Southeast Colorado. Kristyn enjoys using teamwork and entrepreneurship within communities to continue her efforts in aiding the revival of rural America.
Tiana Suazo was born in Taos, and is from the Taos and Jemez Pueblos in New Mexico. She graduatedfrom Fort Lewis College in 2014 with a Bachelorof Arts degree in Business Administration. Through OC’s program, Tiana completed two internships and an apprenticeship at Taos County Economic Development Corp. She has a small garden at her home in Taos Pueblo where she grows crops native to her community, such as corn, beans, and squash.
Robert grew up on the family farm in Curry County, New Mexico. He attended Texas Tech and received a degree in petroleum engineering. After working for ARCO Oil and Gas in Robert returned to manage the family farm. When Robert and his father sold the farm in large part due to the decline of the Ogallala Aquifer, he attended earned a master’s degree in biology. Robert worked as a wildlife biology technician on research projects in eastern New Mexico. He also held a position with The Nature Conservancy for a number of years, working from Santa Fe, NM, where he now resides.
Kim grew up in Nazareth, TX where she attended college at WTAMU and graduated with a degree in Agribusiness. Kim has always been involved in accounting and bookkeeping, from high school jobs through college and after. For the past 8 years, she has been self-employed as a bookkeeper on a contractor basis and helps her husband run his financial planning practice. She is married to Shane and they have two children; Sophia, who is 8 years old and Michael who is 5 years old. Kim became connected with Ogallala Commons because her family knows Darryl Birkenfeld and she was contacted directly by Dr. Birkenfeld regarding her bookkeeping abilities.