Want to get in touch? Email [first name]@jhfestival.org
Lisa Samford, Executive Director Lisa Samford left a career in journalism to become a documentary filmmaker, specializing in difficult and remote expedition projects. She has filmed across five continents on a diverse collection of projects exploring topics ranging from violent crime, espionage, and ethnographic/scientific exploration to intimate portraits of author Wallace Stegner, conservation pioneer Mardy Murie, and His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Joining the ranks of the urban refugee, Samford returned to her native Wyoming to raise her son with paleontologist Wallace Ulrich. Executive Director of the internationally renowned Jackson Hole Wildlife Film Festival since 2002, Samford holds a BS and MA degrees in Communication.
Christie Quinn, Operations Director After spending most of her life on the east coast, Christie followed the call of the mountains to Jackson, WY in the spring of 2012 where she found the Festival. She began as a production associate, shortly moving into the role of Film Competition Coordinator. She directed the Festival's 2012 film One Day In Jackson Hole, worked as the Festival's Marketing & Design Director, and now is the Director of Operations. A lover of videography, graphic design, photography and illustration, Christie spends her time outside of the office exploring the beautiful surroundings in Jackson - always with a camera in hand. She graduated from Elon University with a degree in Media Arts & Entertainment and Spanish.
Dana Grant, Film Competition Coordinator Raised on a farm in the woods of Connecticut, Dana gained an early appreciation for nature and living, growing things. She is a graduate of the University of Virginia, with a B.A. in Archaeology and Studio Art with a photography focus. A drive to explore has led her to a number of adventurous occupations such as training polo horses in Hawaii, leading dogsled tours through the Wyoming wilderness, and even washing dishes at a science station in Antarctica. Having made Jackson her home and begun work with the JHWFF, Dana is grateful for the chance to pursue an interest in media, expand her skills, and ultimately help benefit wild places and animals around the world.
Melanie Judd, Development Associate Born and raised in Nashville Tennessee, Mel enjoyed exploring the countless hills and waterfalls surrounding her hometown and spent most summers on her grandparents’ farm. After moving to the Grand Tetons, the hills seemed more like stepping-stones. With a BS in Environmental Science from Belmont University and being an animal lover since childhood, Mel is passionate about habitat conservation and species preservation. She is a conservation photography enthusiast and cant help trying to capture the magnificent beauty of the natural world within her camera. Her favorite book is The Botany of Desire by Michael Pollan, and she fills her spare time exploring the nearby national parks and snowboarding in the backcountry.
Kathryn Jeffords, Marketing & Strategic Partnerships Kathryn is a native North Carolinian, where she studied Strategic Communications and Business Administration at Elon University. She has worked on documentary film projects, including her own short documentaries on roller derby, as the Multimedia Editor of her university newspaper, and for Susie Films in Charlotte before moving to Jackson the summer of 2014. After a summer as an intern at JHWFF, she could not resist the call of the Tetons, and she joined full time as the Director of Marketing & Strategic Partnerships. Kathryn is a lover of traveling, cooking, film noir and Aziz Ansari.
Sarika Khanwilkar, Community Programs Coordinator A graduate of Gonzaga University (2014) with a B.S. in Biology, she has completed research on amphibians and disease ecology in South America, marine ecosystems in the Turks and Caicos Islands and Florida, and tigers in India. Also interested in the connection that people have with wildlife, she completes sociological research to mitigate human-tiger conflict and inform conservation messaging. Education is vital to successfully saving our wildlife and she is a strong believer in using media as a conservation tool. She currently works to expand conservation and science programming in our local community.
Samuel Lewis, Media Associate Sam grew up in the north-west of England where he gained an early appreciation of nature traversing the grassy slopes and misty peaks of the Lake District National Park. A keen film enthusiast and animal lover, Sam has jumped at the opportunity to travel the world and capture nature on his camera. This appetite for exploration took him across New Zealand and Australia before returning to the UK to study Cinema and Photography at the University of Leeds. There he developed his skills in writing, editing and photography. Sam volunteered for the Festival in 2015, enlivening his passion for conservation and the power of storytelling. In Jackson Sam is able to pursue his love of the outdoors hiking in the national parks, always on the look out for local wildlife.