Exterior after

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 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 (she/her) 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 the Utah Governor. She loves swimming in the Green, talking on her front porch with friends, and visiting other rural towns. As director, Maria leads with a contagious passion for rural places.

Email Maria here.

Kenny Fallon Jr

KENNY
FALLON JR

Specialist & Canal Commons Project Manager

Kenny (he/him) is a designer and writer exploring place-based living in rural and urban hinterlands. He serves on the board of the Carbon-Emery Housing Authority, teaches at Community Rebuilds, and publishes The Last Straw magazine and The Green River Observer newspaper. Kenny is a Southerner currently living among the sagebrush who likes reading by the Book Cliffs and building the world we want to live in.

Email Kenny here.

Zoe-B

ZOE
GARDNER

Specialist & Pearl Baker Park Project Manager

Zoe (she/her) 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.

Email Zoe here.

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Bryan Brooks - Board Chair
Portland, OR

Todd Erlandson, AIA - Vice Chair
Los Angeles, CA

Alyssa Kreikemeier, PhD - Secretary
Santa Fe, NM

Lindsey Briceno, AIA - Treasurer
Denver, CO

Erika Lynne Hanson
Phoenix, AZ

Kayce May-Riches
Green River, UT

Elpitha Tsoutsounakis 
Salt Lake City, UT

 

ADVISORS

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

Brent Bateman, Esq.
Salt Lake City, UT

Ren Hatt, JD
Green River, UT

Jarod Hamm
Nashville, TN

Chris Lezama
San Francisco, CA

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