WNPA Leadership Team
Marie became WNPA’s CEO in July 2022. She is responsible for building on the organization’s strong foundation and reputation, expanding partnerships, diversifying the organization’s revenue, and enhancing the visitor experience in the 71 national parks that WNPA serves. She was most recently chief operating officer for the Grand Canyon Conservancy, where she successfully managed operations, organizational strategy, and systems, and also served on its board of directors. Prior to that, she was senior director of business operations at Phoenix Raceway (NASCAR), where she led a $180 million facility modernization that resulted in substantial increases in revenue and customer satisfaction. She holds a bachelor’s degree in accountancy from Arizona State University, is certified by the Maryland Board of Public Accountancy, and is a certified management accountant, finance manager, and SHRM professional. Marie loves the outdoors and the Grand Canyon, in particular, where she has taken 30 whitewater rafting trips down the Colorado River, and finds immense pleasure in sharing that passion with others as a guide. What she loves about her work is creating life-changing experiences for others, whether they are on a rafting trip, hiking, visiting a park, learning about indigenous people, or making a connection with the natural environment.
Christine joined WNPA in September 2017. She directs, coordinates, and implements WNPA’s financial, administrative, and information technology activities. Christine has a Bachelor of Science in business administration with a minor in accounting from Winona State University and an MBA with distinction from DePaul University, Kellstadt Graduate School of Business. She is certified as a fraud examiner, internal controls auditor, and compliance and ethics professional. Christine’s favorite part of working for WNPA is partnering with the National Park Service to make a difference. She feels her values, ethics, passion, and love for the outdoors, including visiting the parks, match perfectly with WNPA.
Lauren joined WNPA in 2014. She handles strategic planning and operations for retail management, purchasing and product development, e-commerce, wholesale operations, and warehouse distribution. She helps operations managers facilitate open and engaged relationships with WNPA’s partner parks. Lauren has worked in retail for over 20 years with positions in visual merchandising, buying, and management for destination spa resorts, luxury department stores, and online boutiques. Originally from New York City, she has a Bachelor of Arts in communications from Fordham University. She takes every opportunity to explore our beautiful national parks and meet new people. Lauren finds WNPA’s mission to provide quality educational experiences, products, and services is a perfect fit for her values and love of retail.
Michael Matthews joined WNPA as the Chief Marketing Officer in 2023, bringing with him more than 25 years of experience in the full scope of global marketing, brand development, public relations, media strategy, content management, business development, eCommerce, and digital marketing. As founder of marketing agency Matthews Marketing Consultancy (MMC), Matthews successfully collaborated with executive teams to foster growth and positive revenue. In his role as Board Director for Grand Canyon West, a tribal enterprise of the sovereign Indian Nation of the Hualapai Tribe and one of the largest tourism destinations in the Southwest, he gained deep respect for Hualapai Tribal members’ spiritual connection to the environment and to the nuanced nature of tourism on the Hualapai Reservation—this included the imperative that the Tribe’s stories and wellbeing remain central to all strategy. Michael’s commitment to justice, equity, diversity, and inclusiveness through authenticity and collaborative innovation contribute to his ability to successfully lead and develop strategy with integrity. Over the years, he has generated growth and expansive partnerships in the field, including work with executive teams such as Allstate, Chevrolet, General Motors, Southwest Airlines, Best Western Hotels & Resorts, Walgreens, Shoe Carnival, University of Chicago Medicine, Sports Authority, Six Flags, and Amtrak. With a passion for outdoor recreation and preservation of cultural and natural resources, Michael finds the work he does at WNPA both inspiring and fulfilling. Michael currently lives in Scottsdale with his fiancé and their two kids. Together, they love traveling and learning about culture, tradition, and history. Michael’s genuine enthusiasm for national parks instills in him a deep appreciation for WNPA’s mission.