Mandy Vance is originally from a small town in Mississippi, where she spent her childhood running wild around the undeveloped lands and abundant streams, lakes, creeks, and rivers that surrounded her. She got her BA Degree in English from Mississippi State University, then moved to Montana, where she continued her love affair in the even wilder country in and nearby Yellowstone National Park. She joined Yosemite Institute in 2001 as a field science instructor, then took the Executive Director position at the WildLink Program in 2003, a Yosemite-based, inter-agency wilderness education program serving a diverse array of young people from all over California. It was during her tenure with WildLink that she first encountered the SNC.
She was at first attracted to the agency by the high level of engagement she experienced with their staff, the emphasis they placed on collaboration, and the inclusivity of their vision and mission. She joined their staff in 2009 as an Area Representative, gradually shifting to a more regional focus as the Watershed Improvement Program (WIP) Coordinator. In this role, she develops and supports the inter-agency and organization partnerships integral to the holistic goals of SNC and the WIP, and provides collaboration-building and facilitation services to the various groups involved in these efforts.
Mandy loves living in the Sierra Nevada Region, where the grandeur and wildness of the range is never far away, but where you can also find in its people the friendliness and warmth of her native Mississippi. In her spare time, Mandy can be found riding her bicycle all over California, and translating her experiences into written, visual, or performance art.