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 reaches far beyond Green River, 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 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.

STAFF

Maria-Website

MARIA SYKES

Executive Director

As Epicenter's executive director, Maria leads with a contagious passion for rural places. After graduating from Auburn University’s School of Architecture, Sykes moved to Green River to co-found Epicenter in 2009. Sykes has been working in rural community development around the globe for less than a decade, but the work has been honored many times, including by Utah Governor Gary Herbert. She loves swimming in the Green River, sitting on her front porch, and taking trips to other rural places around the world.

Steph-Website

STEPH CRABTREE

Specialist

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. Steph now calls Green River home and leads Epicenter’s housing initiatives. She has a pet dog named Tucker and goat named Bessie.

Epicenter_Bio

GRACE WHATLEY

Specialist

After completing two years of AmeriCorps VISTA in Green River, Grace joins the Epicenter team as a working artist, proponent of strong rural communities, and lover of the Utah wilderness. Grace came to Green River from small town New England, having grown up in Massachusetts and receiving her BFA in Painting from Lyme Academy College of Fine Arts in Connecticut. She looks forward to helping others form genuine connections with the community and landscape of Green River.

Lindsey-Website

LINDSEY BRICENO

Enterprise Rose Architectural Fellow

Originally from Louisiana, Lindsey spent six years working as an architect in Dallas, Texas, after receiving her BArch at Louisiana Tech (2010) and MArch at Kansas (2012). She approaches community development through a patient and iterative process that combines housing, the arts, and cultural exploration making her a perfect fit for Epicenter's Enterprise Rose Fellowship position from Jan 2019 - Dec 2020.

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SARAH LILLEGARD

Resource Developer

Sarah first came to Epicenter in 2016 as a Frontier Fellow and essentially couldn't stay away. As a working artist with experience in gallery management, grant writing and event coordinating, Sarah now assists with the Frontier Fellowship and Emerging Fellows programs. In addition to her work with Epicenter, Sarah also sews, weaves, teaches workshops and shears sheep from her home in Doyle, California.

Jarod-Website

JAROD HAMM

Designer

Jarod is a freelance designer, administrator, and rural advocate in Nashville, TN. Originally from rural Kansas, Jarod studied Graphic & Web Design at John Brown University, and has worked with nonprofits in Hungary, Romania, and the United States. In 2016, he joined Epicenter as an AmeriCorps VISTA and continues to assist our operations remotely.

AWARDS

ROSE ARCHITECTURAL 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)

NONPROFIT BUSINESS 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)

UTAH GOVERNOR’S LEADERSHIP IN THE ARTS AWARD

Gov. Gary Herbert (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

Board of Directors

Jason Wheeler – Board Chair
Salt Lake City, UT

Joshua Rowley - Vice Chair
Green River, UT

Ren Hatt - Secretary
Green River, UT

Ruth Linford - Treasurer
Moab, UT

Dijana Alickovic - Housing Committee Chair
Salt Lake City, UT

Ethan Migliori – Financial Committee Chair
Ferron, UT

Shaleane Gee
Salt Lake City, UT

Advisors

Carol Cohen
RCAC Rural Housing Specialist

Dave Conine
Former State Director Of USDA Rural Development Of Utah

Deborah Hughes
Financial Managing Consultant

Judy Monteux
RCAC Financial Management Specialist