Help Us Conserve
The Superstition Foothills
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Sandie Smith, a 47 year resident in Pinal County, has had a distinguished career in serving the residents of Pinal County. She was President and CEO of Pinal Partnership for 8 years. Sandie was also elected to the Pinal County Board of Supervisors and served from January 1993 to December 2008. She was the first woman in Pinal County to be elected to the Board of Supervisors and was dedicated to forming partnerships between public and private sector businesses. Sandie has served on many local and state committees and commissions, including Board member and President of the Arizona Association of Counties, The Arizona Corporation Commission’s Line Siting Committee, The Governor’s appointee for the Military Affairs Commission, The Superstition Vistas Steering committee, Committees for the Growing Smarter Commission, Central Arizona College Foundation Board of Directors, Pinal County Enterprise Zone Commission, various Central Arizona Association Committees and the Pinal County Town Hall Committee currently serving as the President.
Charlie has spent much of his childhood roaming the ridges, ‘hollers’, and trout streams of his native West Virginia. This allowed him to observe the degradation and subsequent recovery of clear cuts across vast swaths of the mountains he called home. He earned an bachelors degree in biology at Fairmont State, and a doctorate in cell biology from the University of Texas. Following a research and teaching career in Indiana, he and his wife Becky retired to the Colorado Rockies and became avid hikers, fishermen and explorers. They also found time to build two active and passive solar homes, chair the board of the Greater Arkansas River Nature Association, coordinate the Upper Arkansas Watershed Council. Charlie also served as vice president of Chaffee County Habitat for Humanity, as Pueblo Presbytery liaison, and as president of the Colorado State Square Dance Association. Charlie is a resident of Gold Canyon and is passionate about hiking the Superstitions and conserving the landscape and ecosystems of these mountains.
Carol is a graduate of New York Institute of Photography. Upon moving to Las Vegas, Nevada she started an Interior Design business which led to the designing and building of custom homes. After selling the business, she fulfilled a lifetime dream and joined the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department where she remained until retirement. She has served as a Board member of the Nevada Symphony Guild, CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate) for children and as President of the Arizona Federation of Garden Clubs. Currently, she is the Superstition Mountain Master Gardener Co-Coordinator, University of AZ, Pinal County and a Central Arizona Cactus and Succulent Society Board Member. Carol also volunteers at Zion National Park as a Trail Rover for the National Park Service and at Best Friends Animal Society in Kanab, Utah, working with dogs. For the past ten years Carol has called Gold Canyon home and enjoys hiking the magnificent Superstitions.
David originally joined SALT as Speakers Bureau Committee Chair because of his desire to further SALT’s goal of improving and expanding SALT’s public outreach and education programs. He also is interested in helping to increase the public’s awareness of SALT’s mission and the natural beauty of the Sonoran Desert. David has lived on both coasts as well as the Midwest. He is very happy to now call AZ home. David’s background involved developing and executing technology strategies for start-ups and growth companies mostly in the financial services space. David loves the outdoors and likes to explore the Superstitions and AZ. He also likes to garden and golf on the local courses. David is excited to be a member of the SALT Board and leverage his past professional skills and passion to help protect and conserve our fragile wilderness.
Charles E. Backus, Emeritus Professor of Electrical Engineering at Arizona State University and President of the ASU Research Park Board has had a highly significant career at ASU. Dr. Backus served as the Provost and Chief Academic Officer of ASU’s polytechnic campus as well as an ASU Vice President, building the campus from its inception in 1996 and championing its development through dramatic physical and programmatic growth until his retirement in 2004. Prior to leading the Polytechnic campus, Dr. Backus held administrative posts in ASU’s College of Engineering and Applied Sciences serving as both Associate Dean for Research and Interim Dean. He was responsible for building ASU’s strength in solid state electronics, specifically, fine tuning solar cells to make them efficient.
Dr. Backus is a member of a number of local organizations focused on influencing the economic development of the East Valley including service as a former President of East Valley Partnership, Mesa Community Roundtable, Mesa United Way Board, Mesa and Gilbert Chambers of Commerce, as well as the Gilbert, Queen Creek and Apache Junction Economic Development Boards and the Arizona Town Hall Board. Dr. Backus is a former President of the Superstition Area Land Trust.