Scott Adams – President
After completing a 31-year career in petroleum exploration with Chevron Corporation, Scott and his wife Diana retired to Salida, Colorado in 2006. There, he volunteered on local theater, radio station and science organization boards, and for five years managed a collaboration with the
Colorado Symphony (Denver) to bring classical music to Salida. In another “universe,” appreciating the sensational night skies of rural Colorado, Scott took up the hobby of astronomy, purchased telescopes and volunteered as an evening astronomy host at a local viewing site. He enjoys sharing “backyard” astronomy experiences with the public. Scott and Diana moved to Fountain Hills in May 2018 to be closer to family and grandchildren in Phoenix. Fountain Hills’ status as an International Dark Sky community was a key factor in choosing this community. Scott is enthusiastic about the FH Dark Sky Association’s mission and is honored to be a board member.
Vicky Derksen – Vice President
Vicky grew up under the dark skies in the panhandle of northern Idaho where she remembers frequently seeing the Northern Lights and the trail of the Milky Way. She moved to North Phoenix in 1995 where the only remarkable thing she remembered seeing in the sky was Comet Hale-Bopp. Vicky moved to Fountain Hills with her husband in 1997 where her two children were born, raised, and homeschooled. During their high school years, she taught classical astronomy to a class of 18 teenage students in the local homeschool group. Vicky is a graduate of the inaugural class of the Fountain Hills Leadership Academy in 2016. She serves on the boards of the Arizona Dark Sky Discovery Center, the Fountain Hills Cultural & Civic Association, Fountain Hills Leadership Academy, and was appointed by the Town to the Sister Cities Advisory Commission in 2018. Vicky loves hiking and particularly enjoys Full Moon hikes hosted by the nearby county parks.
Kim Robertson – Secretary
Originally from Coventry, Rhode Island, Kim Robertson moved to Fountain Hills AZ with her parents in 1985. Fountain Hills is now where she calls home and where she chooses to raise her family. Kim is a proud mom of 3 amazing children. Kim has worked for the Neighborhood Property Owners Association NPOA, for over 10 years. The NPOA helps to preserve the aesthetic beauty we all love here in Fountain Hills. Kim is a SAAR Affiliate, Fountain Hills PTO Member, Church of Ascension Child Facilitator, and was part of the 2017 Fountain Hills Leadership Academy, as well as a past member of McDowell Mountain Elementary School Site Council. She is excited to be a part of the FH Dark Sky Board to continue to learn, and help educate while helping to preserve Fountain Hills and the dark skies.
Jeff Esposito – Treasurer
Jeff retired in 2017 after 38 years in the field of building technology automation. Originally from the Chicago area, his career opportunities allowed him to live in a half dozen US locations. Always interested in the night sky, each move (mostly west) seemed to give him a little better view of the stars and a rising interest in knowing more about them. But it wasn’t until he moved to Arizona that the heavens really opened up. So much that soon after arriving in Tucson in 2006 he made his first astronomy investment by purchasing a 6” SCT. Entertaining family and friends with the rings of Saturn or the moons of Jupiter is always great fun and Fountain Hills is the perfect place to do that. He and his wife Barb arrived here in 2012 and love living here and the town’s commitment to preserving the dark skies. Jeff is currently active with a number of local organizations and is especially excited to be a part of the Fountain Hills Dark Sky Association and the opportunity to continue the great work done to date but eager to be a part of future endeavors..
Joe has been a resident of Fountain Hills since 1987. He actively participated in the effort to obtain voter approval for incorporation, which led to his appointment to the first Town Council in 1990. His professional career was in health care administration and he has served in many different volunteer leadership roles in Fountain Hills, Scottsdale, and Phoenix. He served as an Adjunct Professor at ASU and taught strategic planning in their masters program, authored the book Climbing the Ladder Less Traveled, and claims that his 15 minutes of fame was when he was bitten by a rattlesnake. Ever since his first telescope as a Christmas present in sixth grade and his later attendance at astronomy camps, he has appreciated the wonders of the nighttime universe and the beautiful skies above Fountain Hills. In October 2017, Joe was recognized as a Dark Sky Defender by the International Dark Sky Association, one of only five named internationally per year.
Nancy has always appreciated being able to see a beautiful night sky whether it was while growing up in Wisconsin, living in the country in Minnesota while working at Mayo Clinic, camping in the Southwest, or living in Fountain Hills for 30 years. Although her careers as a lab manager and later as a CPA kept her busy, she usually found time to volunteer for various organizations and causes such as co-chairing the effort to bring a high school to Fountain Hills. Now that she is retired, she is devoting her time to her love of the dark skies by helping to preserve them in Fountain Hills and by frequently enjoying night viewing. She loves being reminded that no matter what happens during the day, the wonders of the universe are there every night. In October 2017, Nancy was recognized as a Dark Sky Defender by the International Dark Sky Association, one of only five named internationally per year.
Ted began to be passionate about amateur astronomy when he first saw the moons of Jupiter through a telescope from the high, clear air of the Sierra Nevada mountains. He is a past President of the New Hampshire Astronomical Society and is currently a NASA/JPL Solar System Ambassador. He was the first to receive the 250-hour award pin for public outreach from the Sidewalk Astronomers of America, a nationwide public service organization. After purchasing a home in Fountain Hills, he co-founded the Fountain Hills Astronomy Club and continues to help organize their monthly public viewing sessions in Centennial Circle.
Debbie is the proud mother of three adult children and #1 human to her rescue dog, George. She has lived in Fountain Hills since 2015. As a graduate of Indiana University with degrees in journalism (B.A.) and Education (M.S.), Debbie has worked in the marketing and communications field for more than 40 years and currently owns Clason Communications. She is a member of Four Peaks Rotary and the Fountain Hills Chamber of Commerce, as well as a graduate of the Fountain Hills Leadership Academy. As an avid hiker and backyard gardener, Debbie is very passionate about the environment and preserving natural resources. Her love for the night sky is always fortified during her annual trips to the Grand Canyon and believes we should all work together to preserve its brilliance and wonder for future generations.
Mark grew up in Phoenix and Tucson, moving to Fountain Hills in 1997 for his job as an educator. After ten years of working in the energy-efficient lighting industry, he started his own company, Dirk Brothers Custom Lighting & Electric. While doing business in Flagstaff in 2014, Mark grew interested in learning about lighting that met Dark Sky standards. Living in Fountain Hills and learning classical astronomy with his children developed his deep love for the night sky. He is committed to helping preserve our dark skies in Fountain Hills for his children and future grandchildren.
Dr. Craig Gimbel is the co-founder of the Fountain Hills Astronomy Club. He donated part of his vast telescope collection to the Fountain Hills Library to be used by the library lending program, which resulted in the library winning a prestigious national award. Dr. Gimbel is an Assistant Research Professor at a leading dental school, specializing in lasers and optical light-based imaging. He would like to see an observatory ultimately built in Fountain Hills for education and astro-tourism commerce. With his medical and optical background, he definitely knows the detrimental effect of wrong light waves that are dispersed into the atmosphere and visually seen directly by the retina.
Lisa is a 25-year resident of Fountain Hills and currently employed as the Volunteer Manager at the River of Time Museum. She has dedicated much of her life to the education and preservation of Arizona’s wildlife and biodiversity. As a birder and naturalist, Lisa understands the importance of maintaining dark skies for great horned owls, screech owls, and other native wildlife. Lisa has fond memories of waking her daughters at 2 am and, bundled against the cold with hot chocolate in hand, watching meteor showers from the comfort of her own backyard. Lisa is thrilled to continue her preservation efforts as a member of the Fountain Hills Dark Sky Committee to keep our sky dark for other children to experience and enjoy.
Staten Island NY native Tony Pistilli began his interest in astronomy during his university studies, graduating from Polytechnic Institute of Brooklyn in 1973 with a degree in Aerospace Engineering & Applied Mechanics and later a Master’s in Business from Rensselaer Hartford in 1980. After his wife Sandy bought him a telescope—a Criterion 6” Newtonian Reflector with Clock Drive— he began exploring the night skies in Vernon, CT on COLD, minus 20-degree nights, shooting his first photos of the planets. Tony’s career path next moved to Phoenix with an assignment to help America West Airlines build its maintenance program and manage their fleet expansions into the Pacific and European markets. During this time, Tony’s love for astronomy grew. Upon retiring to Fountain Hills in 2007, Tony picked up his 10” Orion Newtonian Reflector and began serious viewing of our Dark Skies and converted his home to Dark Skies standard lighting. Tony has always been an active volunteer in his communities. Here in Fountain Hills, he volunteers with Junior Achievement and the Boys and Girls Club and is a current and past president of the Rotary Club of Fountain Hills. Tony is also a “Purple Jacket Navigator” at Sky Harbor Airport and a member of Mesa’s Commemorative Air Force.
Past Board Members:
Clayton moved to Arizona in 2012 and it wasn’t too long until he discovered beautiful Fountain Hills, and fell in love with the small-town feel away from the hustle and bustle. Clayton has worked for CVS Health for the past 7 years and enjoys volunteering his time in the community and meeting new people. Clayton also serves on the Board of Directors of the Fountain Hills Cultural and Civic Association, Fountain Hills Sister Cities, International Dark Sky Discovery Center, is a committee member of the Human Rights Campaign Arizona chapter, and Chaired the Fountain Hills Leadership Academy from 2018-2019.
Don has had the opportunity to observe and appreciate the sky from almost every country in the world. He has spent over four decades flying as a military C-130 pilot in the Air Force and as a commercial airline pilot. Both jobs provided magnificent opportunities to see hundreds of sunsets and sunrises while flying six miles above the earth. During his military career, Don was deployed to remote locations outside of Iraq and in Afghanistan. The dark remote areas provided the perfect opportunity to appreciate what the night sky could look like without the light pollution of a city near-by. Even though he and his family have only been residents of Fountain Hills since November of 2016, he is very proud of the city for supporting the Dark Sky Association’s efforts to preserve a true, and forgotten, natural resource – the dark night sky. Don is honored to be a part of the Fountain Hills Dark Sky Association. As a retired Air Force General Officer, Don serves on a variety of company boards. Being a member of the Fountain Hills Dark Sky Association board is truly a special honor.