About our staff
Amy Hartmann-Gordon – Executive Director
Amy has worked in the areas of non-profit management and fundraising for twenty years. She has been the Director of Presidio Museum for seven years, stewarding the growth and development of the Presidio into a sustainable cultural attraction. During this time she has overseen the Museum’s change in operating agreement with the City of Tucson and has stewarded the development of daily programming to enhance the regular visitor experience. Previously she was Director of Finance for Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords’ 2008 re-election campaign where she managed the initiative to raise over $3 million. Amy worked at the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum as Associate Director of Marketing and as Development Officer where she was engaged in corporate fundraising, group sales, front-gate supervision, oversight of the annual Gala and major donor interaction.
Amy was included in the Arizona Daily Star’s “40 Under 40” list. She has served two terms on the board of the Tucson Children’s Museum and three terms on the University High School Foundation and Alumni Association. Amy received her MBA in 2000 from the University of Arizona.
Kate Avalos– Interpretive Programs and Volunteer Manager
Kate originally came to the Presidio as a docent before joining the staff as Volunteer Coordinator. She quickly grew into her current position as Interpretive Programs and Volunteer Manager.
She has been highly successful at coordinating volunteers and translating their vast knowledge into great visitor experiences. She develops interpretive kits and plans regular re-enactment programming. In 2020, she completed her Masters in Museum Studies, with a focus on Public History, at the Harvard University Extension School. Her previous work experience includes being an Internet Search Assessor for Lionbridge Technologies. She earned her bachelors in History and Animal Sciences from the University of Arizona.
April Bourie – Marketing Director
With over 20 years of experience in marketing and sales, April is able to combine her interests in history and tourism to promote the Presidio Museum to potential visitors. April previously worked at Tohono Chul Park, another Tucson attraction, as the Marketing Director and the Director of Visitor Services. In addition, she served as the Tourism Sales Manager at Visit Tucson for six years, promoting Tucson as a vacation destination. April earned her MBA from the University of Arizona and earned a bachelor’s degree in public relations from Northern Arizona University. She has lived in Tucson since 1995 and enjoys being a tourist in her own town and traveling around the world with her family whenever possible.
Dena Cowan, Heritage Gardens Manager and Foodways Instructor
Although Dena is from Tucson, she earned a BFA from New York University in writing and film and worked as a film editor in NYC before moving to Spain, where she went to study Spanish and photography and stayed for 23 years, working as a writer, photographer, editor and translator. She lived in rural ranching and farming communities in the mountains north of Madrid, where she became interested in traditional agro-ecological practices. She has long had an avocational interest in the history of the southwestern US, particularly the Native American and Hispanic influences on its culture. She eventually moved to a tiny hamlet in northwestern Spain to raise children, vegetables and berries, fruit and nut trees, sheep and a horse, and clear a meandering path through the forest on their 7-acre homestead. In 2010 she returned to Tucson, made a documentary called Tasting History (El Sabor de la Historia), and has since participated in the development of Mission Garden, Tucson’s living agricultural heritage museum, as Community Outreach Coordinator, Garden Supervisor and, currently, Curator of Collections. She is also Regenerative Farming Consultant for Oatman Flats Ranch, a large-scale farm in the lower Gila River valley specializing in ‘preservation agriculture’. In 2016 the Southwest Folklife Alliance commissioned her to curate the Tucson UNESCO City of Gastronomy exhibition presented at Tucson Meet Yourself. She enjoys cooking, growing her own garden of diverse prickly pear varieties, and playing violin with a Latin American folk group named Tradiciones.
Ginger Thompson – Family Programming and Educational Outreach Manager
Ginger received her Bachelors in Anthropology with a minor in American Indian Studies from the University of Arizona and completed her archaeological training with Pima Community College’s Archaeology Center. She has several years of experience in archaeological fieldwork and laboratory work in the Tucson area. She began working in Old Pueblo Archaeology Center’s Education Department in 2011 where she developed a passion for education. Ginger started at the Presidio in September 2018 as an education assistant. She works to create a variety of interactive programming that allows everyone equal opportunity to learn about Tucson’s rich history and culture. She also coordinates a variety of educational programs including the Family Adventure Fourth Saturday and the Presidio’s summer camps. Ginger also works with the Docent and JR. Docent programs.