Mark Tobin – Board President
Mark is a research wildlife ecologist with more than 30 years of research and management experience with the Federal government. His research has focused on resolving problems caused by the interaction of wild animals and society, and on developing practical methods to resolve these problems while maintaining the quality of the environments shared with wildlife. He was project leader of research teams in Hawaii and Mississippi before moving to Fort Collins 18 years ago. He currently is Assistant Director of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, National Wildlife Research Center. Mark also has been a member of his neighborhood homeowners’ association for more than a decade, and currently serves as treasurer of this organization. He has worked with youth as coach of his sons’ soccer and baseball teams. Mark’s interest in Loveland Youth Gardeners lies primarily in helping to instill and cultivate an interest in gardening and nature among the next generation.
Todd Wirsch – Vice-President & Secretary
Todd is a Nuclear and Missile Operations Officer in the United States Air Force managing government assets totaling $3.3B and serves on the Continuous Process Improvement Council at F.E. Warren Air Force Base. Todd has a diverse background in his philanthropy. He has been a mentor for Partners Mentoring Youth, led a troop as an assistant scoutmaster for the Boy Scouts of America, and been involved in several poverty alleviation projects in Honduras. Being able to help children of all backgrounds develop critical thinking skills, a strong work ethic, and respect for each other are what drew Todd to Loveland Youth Gardeners.
Tom Paulson – Treasurer
Born in Southern California, Tom graduated from Stanford in 1965 with a B.A. in Economics and was commissioned in the U.S. Army upon graduation where he served on active duty from 1965-1967 as a computer programmer in Washington D.C. Tom, then, earned an MBA from Stanford in 1969 and worked as a VISTA volunteer in Oakland, CA for 1 1/2 years, helping minority entrepreneurs. He moved to Boulder in 1971, doing various part-time jobs until becoming a CPA, which has been his profession (along with being a licensed financial planner) for around forty years. Tom and his family moved to Loveland in 1988, where he is still active in his CPA practice, at about 3/4 time.
Tom has been an active church member for over forty years and a Rotarian for almost thirty years. He’s also been a volunteer at North Shore nursing home for around twenty-five years. Hobbies include playing the piano and organ, hiking, and gardening, as well as traveling with his wife.
Andrew Swanson – Board Member
Andrew Swanson is an avid gardener, budding adventurer, and fledgling entrepreneur. He received his BA in Mathematics from the University of Oklahoma where he studied a broad range of science and engineering classes.
Andrew began gardening at the young age of nine. He was brought me up to value gardening as a great educational experience, as an worthwhile adventure, and as a stepping stone to developing and demonstrating responsibility. He began volunteering with Loveland Youth Gardeners in 2015 as part of his first year in the Colorado Master Gardener program. He continues to serve in the Colorado Master Gardener program and volunteers with several community organizations in Loveland and abroad. His interests include bicycle touring, culinary experiences, brewing and wine-making, sustainability, permaculture, engineering, and robotics.
Erica Wharton – Board Member
Erica has been in the non-profit world for over 10 years and is currently back in school studying Horticulture Therapy. In her free time, she’s a HUGE book worm, a gardener and, most importantly, a lover of all foods. She feels blessed to have a wonderful husband and two beautiful children. As a Colorado transplant, she can’t imagine living anywhere else. Erica is excited to be a part of the LYG board.
Mary Bahus-Meyer – Board Member