While growing up in a British military family that moved many times, Penny was exposed to a multitude of cultures and conflicts, living in the Middle East during the War of Attrition and returning to her English homeland at the height of IRA violence. This inspired her to identify ways to bring people together.
Although well-traveled across the globe, a four-month hitchhiking trip across North America as an exploring college student was the life-changing event that forever instilled the love of nature and of The West within her. During that adventure, she experienced the wondrous beauty of Wyoming and the warmth of her people, knowing that one day she would return to live there.
Always having compassion for people and nature, Penny has spent the majority of her life as a giving back person, becoming a Registered Nurse in the UK, with additional degrees in Psychology and Sociology, while maintaining a philosophy that focuses upon the importance of meeting the needs of others via shared humanity, regardless of our diverse perspectives.
As the American West and the never-to-be-forgotten hitchhiking trip of her youth relentlessly beckoned, she moved to a rural Nevada mining town in the early 1980’s. There, she served as a USPS Postmaster, founder of a thriving arts council, an EMT on the mine’s volunteer ambulance service, while spearheading a recycling operation with the mining company to transport recyclable materials to strategic drop-off locations in lieu of sending empty semis back to Reno.
Since 1993, she has lived in Wyoming, spending 20 of those years as postmaster of Moose, WY sharing her knowledge of, and passion for, Grand Teton National Park wildlife with thousands of visitors who came to the post office.
As Executive Director of The Cougar Fund, Penny passionately continues to connect people with the natural world. The Cougar Fund’s primary focus is upon meaningful conservation of mountain lions -our most mysterious large carnivore. Penny’s perspective is one of “accepting the enormous responsibility to educate others about the value of predators to enhance ecological diversity.”
In addition to The Cougar Fund’s mission to educate, Penny’s desire to volunteer persists as a backcountry ranger in Grand Teton National Park camping out over the last 18 years of summer weekends, encouraging and educating visitors on how to co-exist safely with wildlife. Penny’s years of experience have reinforced that conservation is all about PEOPLE!
Penny’s commitment to conservation has led her to become an enthusiastic public speaker and public outreach advocate. Penny has spoken at Yale University events; venues in Wyoming, Idaho, Utah, Nebraska, South Dakota, Montana; and most recently a side-by-side presentation with members of Colorado Parks and Wildlife, in Colorado.
In terms of being a leader destined to explore yet another new adventure, Penny brings her productive relationship-building skills, her gift of diversity, her profound energy, and her mission of sustaining Wyoming’s amazing environment and its wild inhabitants to the Board of The WYldlife Fund.