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OUR STORY

WHY GREEN RIVER?

We’d like to think we chose this location, but really this place chose us. Epicenter’s founders were invited to work in Green River as AmeriCorps volunteers. They stayed because they fell in love with the place, the people, and the opportunities. Epicenter's work and ethic reaches far beyond Green River, Utah, but it remains our home
and headquarters.

Why do we do this work?

We’re here to celebrate this place, and alongside the community, work incrementally and intentionally to identify and build on our town’s assets. We’re continually building on what we do and redefining how we do it. We work on multiple scales to achieve our goals—from nation-wide knowledge building all the way down to the construction details on a single-family house.

OUR WORK

Rural & Proud Since 2009

Since Epicenter’s humble beginnings, we’ve maintained a holistic approach to our work which we believe to be critical to our success. Our process combines art, design, and unconventional thinking to achieve with our community things many thought impossible with limited resources.

OUR VALUES

Passion: Epicenter has an undying passion for our community of Green River. This passion drives the pursuit of our mission. We seek to partner with those who share our passion, and we work to inspire it in others where possible.

Excellence
: Epicenter aims to operate at the highest level of excellence. Everything Epicenter creates is intended to be completed as carefully as possibly so as not to waste resources. We do not settle for mediocre work.

Stewardship: Epicenter believes that local knowledge is valuable and should often guide our work. Epicenter strives to make decisions that show care for and provide sustainable value to our community, and also ensure the viability and sustainability of the organization.

Transparency: Epicenter is committed to operating openly and transparently. Epicenter makes available accurate, comprehensive, and timely information to our community, the media, and stakeholders.

Honesty: Epicenter is committed to open and truthful communication with everyone, and seeks to partner with those who do the same. Epicenter acknowledges the truth, even when it is difficult to do so. Epicenter knows that acknowledging difficult truths is often the first step in pursuit of our mission.

Empathy: Epicenter believes in responding to the challenges and needs of Green River as residents and neighbors. We identify and acknowledge the various points of view within our community, and integrate them into our actions and activities.

OUR GOALS

Asset 6
Build local leadership
within town.
Asset 4
Increase local
housing options.
Asset 1
Increase town vibrancy and beautify the built environment.
Asset 5
Ensure organizational
resiliency.
Asset 2
Develop Epicenter as a model for other rural communities.

OUR TEAM

sykes3

MARIA
SYKES

Co-Founder & Executive Director

After graduating from Auburn University’s School of Architecture, Maria moved to Green River to co-found Epicenter in 2009. Maria has been working in rural investment for over a decade, and the work has been honored many times, including by Utah Governor Gary Herbert. She loves swimming in the Green, talking on her front porch, and taking trips to other rural towns. As director, Maria leads with a contagious passion for rural places.

Steph-Website

STEPH
CRABTREE

Deputy Director

A detail-oriented builder and do-er, Steph holds a Masters Degree in Architecture from the University of Utah, known for the Design Build Bluff program working in the Navajo Nation. Though she was born and raised in Utah, Steph has traveled as far as Nepal and Japan to serve communities through design, architecture, and resource development. Steph now calls Green River home and leads Epicenter’s housing initiatives.

Kenny Fallon Jr

KENNY
FALLON JR

Specialist

Raised throughout the South, Kenny got fired up about affordable housing while designing and building a 20K Home at Auburn University’s Rural Studio. Since graduating he’s explored natural building at Community Rebuilds, project development at an AEC consulting firm, and publishing at The Last Straw Journal. Kenny’s excited about outsider art environments, reading by the Book Cliffs, and building the world we want to live in.

Zoe-B

ZOE
GARDNER

Specialist

Zoe grew up where three rivers meet in scenic Rome, Georgia and graduated from Auburn University’s School of Architecture. She recently relocated to Green River and is excited to create public spaces for gathering and nurturing community. Zoe also designs and edits The Last Straw Journal. She loves exploring new landscapes, learning about the natural world, and giving her friends hand-poked tattoos.

willk

WILLIAM
KERSHNER

Specialist

Will was raised in San Francisco’s South Bay and graduated from Northeastern University’s School of Architecture in 2019. A desire to learn more about construction brought him to Utah where he pursued experience in finish carpentry and natural building. He likes exploring new places and cooking new things.

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Bryan Brooks - Interim Board Chair
Portland, OR

Joshua Rowley - Vice Chair
Green River, UT

Tracy Dutson - Interim Treasurer
Rockville, UT

Lindsey Briceno
Denver, CO

Todd Erlandson
Los Angeles, CA

Erika Lynne Hanson
Phoenix, AZ

Alyssa Kreikemeier 
Santa Fe, NM

Kayce May-Riches
Green River, UT

Elpitha Tsoutsounakis 
Salt Lake City, UT

 

ADVISORS

Jason Wheeler, AIA
ASSIST Inc., Salt Lake City, UT

David Watkins & John Montgomery
Rocky Mountain CRC

Ren Hatt, Esq.
Green River, UT

Shaleane Gee, PhD
Salt Lake City, UT

OUR AWARDS

WESTAF CARES

grant awardee (2020)

ENTERPRISE ROSE FELLOWSHIP

selected as host organization (2018)

UTAH DESIGN ARTS ’18

works selected to be exhibited (2018)

UTAH MUSEUM OF FINE ARTS

featured artist in ACME Lab (2018)

UTAH GOVERNOR’S LEADERSHIP IN THE ARTS AWARD

Gov. Gary Herbert (2015)

ARTPLACE AMERICA

Finalist (2016)

NONPROFIT OF THE YEAR

Emery County Business Chamber (2015)

UTAH DESIGN ARTS ’15

awarded Juror’s Prize (2015)

ENLIGHTENED 50

awarded to Maria Sykes by The Community Foundation of Utah (2015)

RURAL PROJECT OF THE YEAR

 Utah Housing Coalition (2014)

YOUNG GUNS FINALISTS

awarded by Curbed (2014)

EMERGING LEADERS

awarded to by the Design Futures Council (2013)

CHANGE LEADER

awarded to Maria Sykes by the Utah Division of Arts & Museums