Meet the Save Route 66 Team

From left to right: Paul Melzer (Mission Advancement for The Wildlands Conservancy), Jim Conkle, Kimberly Hill, Len Nordmann, Esther Hollister, Lucas Wilgers

From left to right: Paul Melzer (Mission Advancement for The Wildlands Conservancy), Jim Conkle, Kimberly Hill, Len Nordmann, Esther Hollister, Lucas Wilgers


James (Jim) Conkle

Jim Conkle is synonymous with Route 66, having traveled it upwards of 200 times. He worked as a tour and hospitality consultant with Travelspeare (Page and Moy), but Jim was also the tour director of his own business called the Mother Road Tour Company. He has a passion for Route 66, and is now trying to revive the Route 66 Pulse newspaper that he had started some years ago. The Route 66 Pulse includes the past, present and future of Route 66 from Chicago to Los Angeles. Not only has Jim reached out through the paper, but he also is a host of Route 66 television. He is incredibly involved in all things that relate to the route, and is determined to preserve the mother road for future generations to enjoy. For this trip, Jim is acting as a consultant to The Wildlands Conservancy. Additionally, Jim brings attention to the van because of the history he has with many of the store owners, who are more than willing to sign a petition and the van.


Lucas Wilgers

Lucas Wilgers is the Conservation Advocate of The Wildlands Conservancy, and the perfect team member to promote the importance of National Monument status of the Mojave Desert. A recent Environmental Studies graduate of the University of Redlands, Lucas has a passion for conservation. He has gained experience in the field with the various courses, but he also had a summer internship with The Nature Conservancy in Colorado, where he did similar conservation work. Lucas currently lives at the Pioneertown Mountains Preserve that is owned by The Wildlands Conservancy, which is located in Southern California. 


Len Nordmann

Len Nordmann is a well-known artist that specifies in drawings of cities or attractions along Route 66. These drawings are often found in gift shops or hanging in local stores. Len became interested in Route 66 two years ago, when he traveled the entirety of the road and to a liking to the historic businesses and buildings. Since then has been commissioning art for local businesses. Though he is a Route 66 enthusiast now, Len was a teacher for 4 years, and owns several design companies in San Francisco. Today, he is a famous Route 66 enthusiast, and many historic store owners know him. He is helping to advocate for the van, and his fame on the road brings attention to the cause. Check out his website here.


Esther C. Hollister

Esther C. Hollister, Mrs. California Route 66, is great with people, and is acting as our PR. If you see her on the road, be sure to ask for a picture! She is very charismatic and gains many signatures for the van. Esther is aiming to garner more attention for Route 66, to bring people back to the road. Esther has been involved in Route 66 and promoted the Fun Run along Route 66 last May. Currently, she is involved in the future opening of the Route 66 Cucamonga Service Station in Rancho Cucamonga, CA. She has been a part of many car shows and Route 66 related events, that are often hosted by small businesses along the route. She is dedicated to the preservation, promotion, and enjoyment of historical Route 66. You can find her on facebook for more information about the Route 66 Pageant. 


Kimberly Hill

Kimberly Hill is a recent graduate of the University of Redlands, and has her B.S. in Biology. A great addition to the team, she acts as a social media assistant updating pages, a photographer taking and touching up photos, and public relations promoting our campaign on the streets of the Old Mother Road. She is conservation minded, and welcomes people to sign the van and written petitions with friendly information. As a photographer she assists in capturing the van’s trek across Route 66.