Advisory Board

Timothy Cashman

As a member of one of the old-time Las Vegas families, Tim Cashman successfully continued his family’s entrepreneurial and philanthropic endeavors. Following graduation from Loyola Marymount University, he joined his family’s heavy equipment business in Reno. Eventually, he managed operations in Reno and Elko before being named Vice President. He then purchased and successfully ran Cashman Cadillac and, eventually, purchased Southern Nevada-Harley Davidson with his business partner, Don Andress. Tim has also served on various boards over the years. He serves on the Nevada Taxpayers Association, Tahoe Fund, and C.M. Russell Museum boards. He is a trustee of the Robert & Dorothy Keyser Foundation and the Cashman Family Foundation. Tim firmly believes that if you prosper from commerce in a community, you should give something back through personal involvement and investment. Tim is an avid fisherman and outdoor enthusiast who enjoys spending time with his dog, Leonard, at his family ranch in Montana and Great Basin National Park (of course).

Kenji Hakuta, Chair, Education Committee

Kenji Hakuta is the Lee L. Jacks Professor, emeritus, at the Stanford University Graduate School of Education. His expertise is in language and education, and his work has been influential in local, state and federal programs and policies. As the Education & Outreach Chair of the Foundation, his expertise has been critical to developing the Foundation’s education and community outreach programs. He is a nature and outdoor enthusiast and has many related hobbies. He believes that, “the Great Basin is a unique region of the world that allows experiences to connect with the core of our existence.”

Jerry Hilbrun

Jerry is an amateur astronomer with over 40 years of observational experience. His primary focus of research is tracking Asteroids, which he considers his favorite objects for study. As a NASA Ambassador Jerry hosts monthly Zoom sessions, guiding students through the process of remote observation and data collection. Jerry served from 1977 - 1990 in the U.S. Navy Submarine forces working as a Sonar Technician. He is a successful entrepreneur and founded Catfish Software Inc. in 2004. Jerry is excited to be working with the Great Basin Observatory to enhance its operation, accessabililty, and relevance to scientific exploration. 

John Kenney

John Kenney served as GBO Chair and was responsible for getting a Mt. Cuba Astronomical Foundation grant to fund the GBO’s high resolution spectrometer. He spent his career teaching spectroscopy and chemistry to students at Concordia University. John has a deep love for the dark skies of the Great Basin, and for protecting and sharing them. John continues to serve on the GBO Operations Committee and help expand opportunities for student learning and research. "Serving GBNPF is a tremendous honor and privilege. I love working with the wonderful, talented, and gifted people who comprise the Foundation and simply being at the exquisitely beautiful Park whose multi-dimensional beauty spans earth, water, lofty mountain peaks, vegetation, wildlife, sky, and the heavens."

Robert Morrill

Robert Morrill has climbed nearly every peak over 11,000 feet in Nevada. He first climbed Wheeler in 1959, and went on to climb every other peak in the Park's backcountry. Bob has a law degree from Harvard Law School and a B. S degree in Mining Engineering from the University of Nevada, Reno and was a co-founder and partner for 25 years at Skjerven Morrill MacPherson LLP. Bob's deep love for eastern Nevada inspired him to serve on the board of directors for 15 years, three as Chair and six as secretary. "I love the camaraderie and like-minded interests of this board and I'm very proud of our achievements, especially with our educational programs serving Utah and Nevada. One of my favorite things about the Park is the backcountry's isolation and beauty. When heading to the Park, when I smell it and see it, I feel like I'm coming home." 

Mike Niggli

Mike Niggli was a Founding Board Member of the Great Basin National Park Foundation. He is an avid hiker, caver, stargazer and supporter of all things Great Basin. Mike remains committed to the Park and the Great Basin Observatory (GBO). He and his wife, Linda, contributed $200,000 to ensure purchase of the telescope for the GBO. They also established the first large, planned legacy gift with a multi-year commitment totaling $250,000. Mike continues to serve on our GBO Operations Committee and Linda on the GBO Education & Outreach Committee. They are both thrilled to see the large numbers of students who are being introduced to the magnificence of the universe via the GBO and education programs. They are particularly proud of the professors, college and high school students from the Great Basin area who are contributing scholarly, scientific peer reviewed papers from their celestial observations. As Mike has often been heard to say: “The magic of Great Basin is the combination of dedicated volunteers, terrific Park personnel and the GBO facilities the Foundation has made available to students and professors at no cost to advance science and STEAM programs. After all, Half the Park is After Dark!”

Ralph Phillips

Ralph Phillips has joined our Advisory Board and Development Committee. Ralph spent 3 seasons as a rafting guide in the west followed by 6 seasons as a visitor protection ranger at Rocky Mountain National Park and Dinosaur National Monument. Ralph also spent three decades as a professional fundraiser benefitting education and conservation, for places such as Friends of Nevada Wilderness, American Rivers, and The Nature Conservancy. Ralph’s first visit to Great Basin National Park in 1995 left a lasting impression and the Park became one of his favorite places. "I first visited the Park and immediately felt it was one of those singular places that can have a restorative impact on people - it's that special. It's a privilege for me to give back and help raise funds for projects to protect and preserve the Park and enhance the visitor experience for those who've yet to discover it's magic."