For twenty years visitors to the Moose, Wyoming, post office could not have been more lucky. The solo person running the office, Penny Maldonado, was the most vivacious, friendly, communicative and informative person they could hope to encounter. Being within Grand Teton National Park, this was a special treat for visitors who learned a great deal from Penny, especially about wildlife—her passion.
Now it is The Cougar Fund and its supporters and collaborators who are the lucky ones.
Penny volunteered for many non-profit organizations, including The Cougar Fund, in those 20 years—advocating for the planet and its creatures. She continues to volunteer as a backcountry ranger in Grand Teton National Park, encouraging and educating visitors on how to co-exist safely with wildlife.
Now at her “dream job”, she looks forward to continuing to be a resource for other people who care about the environment and to help them find the knowledge and confidence to discover their own inner advocate. She is excited to make a positive difference for people, for animals, and for the earth.
“Living as I do in the most complete ecosystem in the lower 48 comes with an enormous responsibility. I felt that the privilege of living here came with a mandate to value and protect that precious gift of beauty and wildness.”
Penny promises to you to be enthusiastic, productive, creative, encouraging, optimistic, dedicated and loyal as the Managing Director of The Cougar Fund.
The reintroduction of wolves to Yellowstone and memories of a childhood vacation to Jackson Hole inspired Heather Mathews, originally from Cleveland, Ohio, to move to the area in 1997.
Mathews has worn many hats in the valley, including baker, restaurant manager, program director, bookkeeper and office manager. She has small business and non-profit experience.
With a desire to protect the valley and its wildlife, she was involved at the Jackson Hole Conservation Alliance during most of her time in Jackson, first as a volunteer and member; almost five years as a part of the staff until she joined The Cougar Fund in the summer of 2011.
Heather bikes, hikes, skis and snowshoes as much as she can, enjoying the outdoors with her husband and dogs near their home in the Hoback Canyon.
She has seen only one cougar in the wild, although a couple have spent time in her neighborhood. “I could not be more honored to join The Cougar Fund team to help protect these amazing animals that are such an important piece of the ecosystem."
Your purchase of Cougar Fund caps, mugs, books and artwork will help support our mountain lion outreach and education initiatives.