Staff

The Mountaineers is home to world-class staff supporting a thriving community of outdoor recreationists and conservationists. Meet our staff and view our employment opportunities to join the team.

Tom Vogl

Tom Vogl

Chief Executive Officer

Joined Staff: 2016

Phone: 206-521-6009

As Chief Executive Officer, Tom oversees the Seattle Program Division, the Publishing Division, and Tacoma facility staff while reporting to the Board President to work in concert with the Board of Directors. The CEO provides leadership and support for The Mountaineers staff, programs, strategic vision, and execution of mission.

Background: Tom joins The Mountaineers with more than 20 years of general management, marketing leadership, and capacity building experience with a variety of organizations, including REI, The Clymb, Redfin, and Dell. A graduate of Harvard Business School, Vogl brings extensive experience in the outdoor industry, including six years as senior vice president for marketing at REI from 2006 to 2012. Over the last four years, he's worked in executive roles in Seattle’s start-up community. His expertise has also impacted several nonprofit organizations. He has served on the board of directors of The REI Foundation, and the Chief Seattle Council of Boy Scouts of America as well as a committee of the National Parks Advisory Board. A passionate climber and outdoor adventurer, he has explored many wilderness areas of the Pacific Northwest since moving to Seattle with his family 10 years ago.

Outdoor Activities: Backcountry skiing, mountaineering, rock climbing, backpacking, cycling

More from Tom: To me, adventure is all about the excitement of discovery. It’s going to a new place, meeting different people along the way, challenging yourself to try new activities, or nurturing lifelong passions. Living in the Northwest for the last 10 years and raising a family here has opened up a whole new world of adventures to me. I’m constantly struck by how fortunate we are to live in such a great place.

Program Division

GARRETT ARNOLD

Facility Rental and Events Manager

Joined Staff: 2017

As the Event and Facility Manager, Garrett works to coordinate and promote Mountaineer events - such as BeWild, Banff Film Festival, and MountainFilm - and manage the Seattle Program Center facilities.

Background: Hailing from North Idaho, Garrett has held a variety of roles spanning the outdoor industry, education, and the tech world. Garrett received his Bachelors in Biology from the University of Florida and worked as a research assistant for two summers on the north slope of the Brooks Range in Alaska. Additionally, he's worked as a graduate student and ecology teacher in South Africa interned at the Wilderness Society in Washington D.C. and worked as an outdoor guide and community specialist in New York City. Since arriving in Seattle in the summer of 2015, he could not be more excited to live, work and play in the mountains of the Pacific Northwest.

Outdoor Activities: Rock climbing, triathlon, kayaking, gardening, natural history

More: In his free time, Garrett frequently serves as a volunteer with the Washington Trails Association trail maintenance crews. He’s a certified wilderness first responder, Mountaineers basic alpine student, and he loves finding his Zen while baking fresh bread.


CHAD ARVESON

EDUCATION ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT

Joined Staff: 2016

Phone: 206-521-6040

Background: Chad joins The Mountaineers with over 20 years of customer service and training experience. He has previously worked with environmentally focused organizations, focusing on educating the public on critical issues and engaging them to take action. It’s his passion for the environment and engaging communities that led him to The Mountaineers. Chad holds a B.A. in Environmental Studies with a focus on human and environmental interactions from the University of Washington and is currently pursuing a Master of Communication in Communities and Networks.

Outdoor Activities: Hiking, camping, backpacking, Alpine skiing, Nordic skiing, snowshoeing, soccer, festivals (especially music or liquids). Dabbling in kayaking and SUP’ing.

More: At the age of 10, I refused to move into a brand new house because I was upset about the multitude of trees that had been cleared for construction. It was my first attempt to stand up for the environment, and wouldn’t be my last. My parents shouldn’t have been surprised, after all it was because of our annual 2 week long camping treks that fostered my love of the outdoors. Those treks made me realize at a young age how important it is to protect and conserve our resources and natural areas. I’m excited to work for an organization like The Mountaineers that has a long history and a serious passion for getting people onto the mountain and protecting our natural wonders for generations to come. 


BILL ASHBY

OPERATIONS Director

Joined Staff: 2016

Phone: 206-521-6007

As Director of Operations, Bill oversees Finance, HR, IT, and Facilities for the Seattle Program Division, and reports to Tom Vogl, CEO.  The Director of Operations is a member of several Board Committees including Finance and Risk, and Ashby is also responsible for support & coordination of strategic projects (such as interaction with & support of the friction slabs construction committee).  As a member of the Seattle Program Division leadership team, the Director of Operations provides leadership and support for The Mountaineers Program Division staff, and supports the CEO in achievement of programs, strategic vision, and execution of mission.

Background: Bill joins The Mountaineers with more than 20 years of general management, operations leadership, and operational excellence building experience with a variety of organizations, including MeteorComm, DHL, Airborne Express, and Cerberus Capital Management. A graduate of the University of Washington Business School and the Stanford International Policy Graduate program, Ashby brings extensive experience in creating and enhancing efficient and effective operations.

His volunteer service with the Mountaineers as Navigation Chair, Sail Leader, Scramble Leader, Climb Leader, and Basic Climbing Course SIG Leader gives Ashby a unique and valuable perspective on interactions between members, volunteers, and staff.  A passionate outdoor leader and instructor, Bill was honored as Seattle Branch climb leader of the year and overall Mountaineers leader of the year in 2013.

Outdoor Activities: Kayaking, Sailing, Off-trail Snowshoeing, Scrambling, and Climbing

More: Adventuring with other people and sharing passion for the beautiful places we explore together, both in the Mountains and on the Sound, is an integral part of my life. Working with a group of Mountaineers to navigate challenges and address unforeseen obstacles increases the satisfaction of achieving an objective.  As a volunteer leader (and to paraphrase words of wisdom from Steve Swenson) the priorities I espouse are getting home safe, getting home friends, and getting to the objective (in that order!).


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Andy Bassett 

Youth Education Manager

Joined Staff: 2017

Phone: 206-521-6015
Email Andy

Background: Originally from North Carolina, Andy migrated west 10 years ago after completing a Masters in Education at Appalachian State University. He took a job as a University Relations Officer at NOLS, originally planning to stay out west for only a few years. However, the snow-capped peaks, clear streams and wildflowers eventually won him over and he forgot to leave. Over those 10 years, Andy worked as a field instructor at NOLS, installed solar-panels, drove a vegetable-oil-powered bus, and coordinated a university adventure program. 

Outdoor Activities: Rock climbing, trail running, bike packing and skiing.

More: Andy was initially drawn to the simplicity of outdoor life and the transferable of skills learned outside. He is excited to work with the next generation of outdoor adventurers of the PNW, helping them to foster an innate sense of wonder and an appreciation of wild spaces. Andy also plays the ukulele, brews his own beer, and bakes a mean loaf of sourdough. 


Jeff Bowman Profile

Jeff Bowman

IT manager

Staff Liaison to Stevens Lodge
Joined Staff: 2000

Phone: 206-521-6002
Email Jeff

Jeff keeps his fingers in a lot of pies at The Mountaineers. He has served on staff since February 2000 and been a member since May 1994. A "jack of all trades," he is currently working as the Technology Project Manager, IT (Information Technology) Manager, Bookstore Manager, and is on our Member Services Team.

Background: Jeff’s undergraduate alma mater is West Virginia University - whose mascot moniker is also The Mountaineers (it's also his parents’ alma mater). Jeff was born and raised in West Virginia, so he’s been a “Mountaineer” all his life. He obtained BS and MS degrees in chemical engineering and worked five years for DuPont. At the University of Washington, he spent a lot of time writing FORTRAN code, so he’s very happy with his new IT responsibilities. He has completed several courses with The Mountaineers, has been leading climbs since 1998, and reached the summit of Denali in 2003. Over the years, Jeff has taught, helped design, or revise nearly all of the climbing courses we offer. He’s currently teaching Intermediate Rescue Methods, the Climbing Self-Rescue Course, the Denali Expedition Planning Seminar, and Aid & Big Wall Climbing Course. He served as illustrations coordinator for the 7th and 8th editions of Mountaineering: The Freedom of the Hills.

Outdoor Activities: Climbing, skiing, hiking, backpacking, and biking.

More: There’s life outside of The Mountaineers? Well, maybe a little...says Jeff. In winter, Jeff teaches skiing for Lyon Ski School at the Stevens Pass Ski Resort. He may also be found training or on a search-and-rescue mission with Seattle Mountain Rescue. When time permits, Jeff enjoys cooking, mostly Italian and fruit desserts like cobblers, crisps, buckles and pies! Being the bookstore manager also keeps Jeff busy reading, mostly in his spare time and even on a Kindle. His favorite quote is "brevity is the soul of wit" Hamlet Act 2, Scene 2. Jeff’s favorite climb is Mt. Logan: "all-in-all the most spectacularly enjoyable alpine climb done with some great friends!" His favorite ski descent: "anything as long as the snow is good!"


Tim Bugler

Tim Bugler

Facilities MANAGER

Joined Staff: 2015

Phone: 206-521-6038

As facility manager, Tim oversees the physical operation of The Mountaineers Seattle Program Center: its electrical systems, its sound systems, its security systems, safety measures, heating/cooling, fire protection, room setup and storage units. He also supports clients who rent space to present their functions effectively and professionally.

Background:  Tim joined the Mountaineers in September of 2015 taking the reins from the beloved Vito Dumo, who served the Seattle Program Center for 35 years. Throughout the past 30 years, Tim has worked in theater, catering ,and facilities management. He originally hails from Iowa, and attended the University of Iowa in the 80's here he learned basic rock climbing with the Iowa Mountaineers under the guidance of climbing legend Jim Ebert. After moving to Seattle in 1994, Tim became a catering lead for various caterers throughout Seattle (he sets a mean buffet!). In 2003 he joined the massage world and spent almost 12 years as the facilities manager for the Brian Utting School of Massage, which later became Cortiva Institute. He was responsible for supporting two campuses which included management of student helpers, maintaining a master calendar of classes & events, space planning & feng shui, student supply ordering, repairing equipment, directing campus moves, helping plan renovations, and liaison for janitorial/vendors/building managers. 

Outdoor Activities: Hiking, golfing, mushroom hunting, bicycling, walking.

More: Tim has traveled throughout the UK,  Europe, Malaysia and Australia. He taught English to adults and children in Korea, Czechoslovakia (before the split with Slovakia) and Japanese learners in Seattle. He is also trained in acupuncture, shiatsu, qigong, and tai chi.


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Dilek Bulut

E-Learning Course Developer

Joined Staff: 2017

Phone: 206-521-6024
Email Dilek

As the E-Learning Course Developer, Dilek creates online courses based on The Mountaineers rich history of outdoor learning opportunities. 

Background:  Dilek brings a wide range of experience in E-Learning course development – everything from designing planes at Boeing to emergency response training for King County EMS. She’s excited to partner with our volunteers to develop content and design course modules. Dilek is enthusiastic about learning outdoor skills and getting outside more, which is what drew her to The Mountaineers.

Outdoor Activities: Snowshoeing, hiking, and looking forward to exploring more of what the Pacific Northwest has to offer.

More: Dilek is an artist in her spare time and likes photography, drawing, and making toys.


Kristina Ciari Profile

Kristina Ciari

Membership & Communications Director

Staff Liaison to the Olympia Branch
Joined Staff: 2013

Phone: 206-521-6023
Email Kristina

As the Membership and Marketing Director, Kristina is responsible for energizing and engaging with The Mountaineers community. She works collaboratively with members and volunteers to organize events and provide resources and materials for membership development and enhancement. She oversees brand marketing and communications, including moderation of social media, content development for the website, and curation of all outbound communications, to provide clear communication and greater marketing support for the organization and volunteer leaders.

Background: Kristina joins The Mountaineers with ten years of experience in marketing, sales, and account management. She has worked with nonprofit, volunteer-led organizations and has developed and managed large marketing campaigns for major international brands. As an extremely passionate outdoor enthusiast, Kristina is excited to join The Mountaineers to facilitate memorable outdoor experiences for adventurers of all skill levels. Kristina holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Marketing from the University of Washington.

Outdoor Activities: Backcountry skiing, climbing, running, mountaineering, cycling, building spectacular campfires, and traveling. 

More: Kristina’s passion for the outdoors began at age 3 in Bozeman, Montana, where she grew up skiing in the Rocky Mountains. After moving to Seattle to attend the UW, she quickly fell in love with the lush greenery and endless outdoor pursuits available in the Pacific Northwest. As a backcountry skier and proud Turns All Year participant, Kristina can be found on the side of a mountain somewhere chasing snow, generally in a tutu. She credits the outdoor community with continually inspiring her to try bigger and better adventures, and she is looking forward to building lifelong friendships at The Mountaineers. Kristina also loves writing and maintains a personal adventure blog.


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Peter Dunau

Communications Specialist

Joined Staff: 2016

Phone: 206-521-6039
Email Peter

As the communications specialist, Peter creates messaging for our community and the greater public. He is the point person for our e-newsletters and collaborates with members and volunteers to spread the word about all things Mountaineers. Another key area of Peter’s job is conservation, where he writes blogs and designs engagement campaigns to build grassroots support for the wild places where we play. Peter also helps develop public relations opportunities.

Background: Peter joins The Mountaineers with a background in writing, marketing, conservation, and digital media. He loves creating content that resonates with people, particularly when its mission oriented. Prior to The Mountaineers, he’s worked on campaigns promoting clean energy, river access, recycling, tourism, and more. He holds a degree in English with an emphasis in Creative Writing from Western Washington University.

Outdoor Activities: Skiing, climbing, backpacking, mountaineering, hiking, and lakeside lounging. 

More: Peter hails from the east side of the state, where he forged an early love for the outdoors paddling to Upper Priest Lake, skiing at Mount Spokane, and playing in the St. Joe River. As a toddler in the bow of his Dad's canoe, he dubbed waves "water mountains," and he’s enjoyed describing outdoor pursuits ever since. Lucky for him, as The Mountaineers' Communication Specialist, he gets to tell stories about nature every day.


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Suzanne Gerber

Creative MANAGER

Staff Liaison to the Seattle Branch
Joined Staff: 2013 

Phone: 206-521-6013
Email Suzanne

As the Creative Manager, Suzanne is the managing editor of Mountaineer magazine, which she designs and produces. She is also behind the visual branding of the organization, which encompasses publications such as e-newsletters, invites, and a variety of other Mountaineers collateral.

Background: Suzanne has 10 years experience in graphic design and marketing for nonprofits. She has worked for The Trust for Public Land and Woodland Park Zoo. She has a bachelor's degree in Communication and Social Science from the University of Washington, as well as a degree in Graphic Design from The Art Institute of Seattle and a certificate in web design from Seattle Central. 

Outdoor Activities: Hiking, backpacking, scrambling, snowshoeing, rock, and alpine climbing.

More: Suzanne has been a passionate volunteer for various environmental, humanitarian, and animal welfare groups since she was 14 years old. She grew up in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and moved to Seattle in 2002 where she fell in love with the mountains. She also loves to travel and has visited Israel, Ghana, France, Nepal, Bolivia, Peru, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Turkey, Chile, Argentina, Iceland, Colombia, and Ecuador - several for volunteer work. You may see her listed as a hike and backpack leader on our website. 


Program Staff Katherine Hollis

Katherine Hollis

Conservation & Advocacy Director

Staff Liaison to the Bellingham Branch and Mt. Baker Lodge
Joined Staff: 2013

Phone: 206-521-6012
Email Katherine

As the Conservation and Advocacy Director, Katherine leads The Mountaineers’ initiatives to protect our  public lands and to educate and engage our members - and Washington's recreating public - on conservation issues and responsible recreation.

Background: Katherine considers herself one of the lucky ones, whose parents had her out enjoying public lands in Western North Carolina before she could walk. From learning to climb as a college student in Vermont, to over a decade as an instructor and program manager with Outward Bound in Colorado, North Carolina and Patagonia, Katherine has lived and worked at the intersection of conservation and recreation. She has also pursued her love of the outdoors through other means, obtaining her masters in Sustainable International Development which included completing thesis work in the mountainous country of Kyrgyzstan in Central Asia. She is thrilled to bring this mix of skills and passion to The Mountaineers.

Outdoor Activities: Climbing, skiing, mountaineering and anything else that gets her outside.


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Stacey Kaiser

Donor events manager

Joined Staff: 2017

Phone: 206-521-2003
Email Stacey

As Donor Events Manager, Stacey oversees The Mountaineers two annual fundraisers amongst many other stewardship events year-round.

Background: Originally from California, Stacey spent most of her time growing up exploring and playing in the great outdoors. This led her to pursue a degree in Recreation Parks and Tourism Administration from San Francisco State University. After graduating, Stacey dove headfirst into the nonprofit sector with the San Francisco Parks Alliance, where she worked to sustain and enrich San Francisco city parks. In early 2017, Stacey’s thirst for adventure led her to Washington, and shortly after to The Mountaineers. She’s passionate about not only the outdoors but also about bringing people together and celebrating their successes as a community. She firmly believes that if you work hard, you should play harder, and strives to make sure everyone not only has access to but is also having fun outdoors!

Stacey is thrilled to join The Mountaineers team and looks forward to helping grow the Mountaineers community.

Outdoor Activities: Hiking, Backpacking, Snowboarding, drinking coffee and anything else that can be done outside.


LEONE KRAUS

CORPORATE AND FOUNDATION RELATIONS MANAGER

Staff Liaison to the Foothills Branch
Joined Staff:
 2016

Phone: 206-223-6303x.132

As Corporate and Foundation Relations Manager, Leone works with corporate and foundation partners to expand and enhance our philanthropic and partnership efforts of The Mountaineers. 

Background: Leone comes to the role with nearly fifteen years of professional experience in business development, marketing, and communications from industries including creative agencies, publishing, and education. Leone has experience in cultivating corporate and community partnerships that yield results and deliver on mission. Leone holds a Masters of Science in Communications and Public Relations from New York University and is a published writer.

Outdoor Activities: Snowshoeing, yoga, running, hiking, kayaking, cross-country skiing ,and constantly wishing she would have remembered to bring binoculars.

More: Over the past fifteen years, Leone has served as a volunteer and committee member for a number of nonprofits focused on equality, diversity, and social justice. Leone loves partnering with corporate and foundation partners who are interested in innovative thinking to solve problems. She she hails from Michigan but has spent the last fifteen years living in San Diego, San Francisco, and Brooklyn, and now finds her home in Seattle. Leone loves spending time outside with her growing family. 


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Danielle Leitao

Associate Youth Programs Manager, Camps & Gateways

Joined Staff: 2016

Phone: 206-223-6031
Email Danielle

Background: Danielle has been working in the nonprofit realm since 2011, starting with a two-year AmeriCorps term. Danielle has been teaching outside since graduating college. She's taught marine biology camps, bird camps, dinosaur camps, and climbing camps to name a few - all to rad kids ranging in age 5-16.  She brings all this environmental education experience to us to further enrich our camps and youth programming.  She is an east coast native with a degree in elementary and special education from Salve Regina University (RI).

Outdoor Activities: Snowboarding, climbing, hiking, falling off a surfboard

More: Danielle has also been a ski bum, worked in Yosemite, dabbled in raptor husbandry, and picked blueberries professionally.


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Carl Marrs

Associate program manager - clubs

Joined Staff: 2017

Phone: 206-521-6014
Email Carl

As the Associate Program Manager for Clubs, Carl leads the three year-round youth programs of the Mountaineers – Pioneers, Explorers and the Mountaineers Adventure Club (MAC). He serves as an advisor to the elected youth leadership council of the MAC as they plot the course of their club and works with the families of the Explorers and Pioneers programs to help foster a love of the outdoors and the skillset to enjoy them safely. He can be found leading climbing, skiing, backpacking, hiking, and kayaking trips for these programs every month of the year.

Background: Carl comes to the Mountaineers with five years of experience teaching various types of climbing to people of all ages and skill levels. He is a graduate of the Mountaineers Basic Climbing Course (2010) and recently became a Climb Leader. His climbing experience is complimented by a Bachelor’s Degree in Business w/ a focus in Finance and International Business from the University of Washington. Carl is overjoyed to get the chance to combine the knowledge he has gained from seven years of climbing all over the west coast with his formal studies to provide everyone who participates in the Mountaineers youth programs an opportunity for learning and growth.

Outdoor Activities: Alpine and rock climbing, highlining, slacklining, cycling, mountaineering, and skiing.

More: A native to the Pacific Northwest, Carl has been exploring the forests, mountains and cliff sides of the Cascades and Olympics since co-founding an outdoor sports club at Edmonds-Woodway Highschool. Most recently, his explorations have led him to the establishment of many highlines around Washington State. His adventures up high can be followed on Instagram.


Program Staff Frank McCord

Frank McCord

Facility Assistant 

Joined Staff: 2010

Phone: 206-521-6037
Email Frank

Frank serves in a support role to facility services - mostly on evening and weekend shifts but occasionally during the day. He makes certain that clients are provided with everything they need when reserving space at the program center and that their events run smoothly.

Background: Born and raised in rural Montana, Frank enjoyed riding horses, hiking, and camping. He joined The Mountaineers in 1995 when he married Anne Smart, current chair of the Seattle Branch Photography Committee.

Outdoor Activities: Photography, camping, hiking.


Becca Polglase Profile

Becca Polglase

Education Director

Staff Liaison to the Tacoma Branch
Joined Staff: 2010

Phone: 206-521-6011
Email Becca

Background: Becca brings 20 years of experience in Outdoor Experiential Education to her work at The Mountaineers. She has a Master of Science in Organizational Management and Leadership from Springfield College. Becca is also a Leave No Trace trainer, a graduate of Outward Bound’s Wilderness Educator’s Course, and a volunteer for Paddle Trails Canoe Club. She moved to the Pacific Northwest in 2010 after almost a decade in New England.  As Director of Education, Becca provides guidance and direction for Mountaineers Youth Programs as well as Volunteer Leadership Development for our adult outdoor education programs.

Outdoor Activities: Nordic skiing (skate & classic, but mostly skate), canoeing, hiking, canyoneering, exploring, tree-hugging

More: As an outdoor enthusiast, defender of public lands, astronomy and geology hobbyist, occasional tide-pooler and lover of Ponderosas, I am thrilled to be in the Pacific Northwest and honored to be a part of The Mountaineers. I am inspired by the dedication of our volunteers on a daily basis, and love being a part of the Washington non-profit and outdoor community.


Sara Ramsay

Education Manager – Kayak, Hike, and Ski Programs

Joined Staff: 2017

Phone: 206-521-6043

As one of two Education Managers, Sara supports the leadership development and training for The Mountaineers’ incredible volunteer leaders. Sara is the primary staff contact for the Leadership Conference, and she is the main contact for leaders with the following activities: Sea Kayaking, Hiking & Backpacking, Nordic Skiing, Sailing, Trail Running and Naturalists. Sara and Steve Smith work collaboratively with the Navigation and First Aid program leaders.

Background: Growing up in the greater Seattle area, Sara fell in love with the mountains and waterways of Washington State. Over the past 10 years, she has worked for a variety of non-profits around the country, all with a focus on outdoor recreation, and has experience working with volunteers in many different capacities. Sara is excited to bring these experiences to The Mountaineers, and to share her passion for the outdoors with such a large and varied community of other outdoor enthusiasts!

Outdoor Activities: Skiing, Backpacking, Mountain Biking, Kayaking, Hiking

More: Sara attended Colby College in Maine, where she fell in love with skiing during the frigid winter months. In her free time, Sara enjoys skiing, backpacking, running and mountain biking with good friends - including her adventure pup, Keta! Her current PNW bucket list includes hiking the Wonderland Trail and skiing some of the area's volcanoes.


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Steve Smith

EDUCATION MANAGER – Climbing PROGRAMS

Joined Staff: 2017

Phone: 206-521-6036
Email Steve

Background: Steve joins The Mountaineers with more than 20 years of outdoor education experience with a variety of organizations, including Outward Bound, NOLS, The Student Conservation Association, and more. A former classroom English teacher, Steve moved over into outdoor (experiential) education in the mid-1990's as a way of combining his passion for education with adventure, personal growth, and stewardship of the environment.  Steve is the main contact for leaders with the following activities: Climbing, Scrambling, Avalanche Safety, Snowshoeing, Backcountry Skiing and Photography. Steve and Sara Ramsay work collaboratively with the Navigation and First Aid program leaders.

Steve brings extensive experience in outdoor programs, including founding his own consulting company (Experiential Consulting) and three years serving as Chair of the Wilderness Risk Management Conference. He serves on the board of directors of the Northwest Outward Bound School and is the chair of the board's Safety Committee. A passionate explorer and outdoor adventurer, he is constantly on a mission to fill in new places on his personal map of the Pacific Northwest, from the mountains to the sea.  

Outdoor Activities: Mountaineering, climbing, backpacking, wildlife photography

More from Steve: "Since my first trip to Seattle well over 20 years ago now, I have always been awestruck by this magnificent (and still dynamically changing) landscape of fire, ice, wind, waves, and the people, animals and plants that have either chosen (or evolved) to thrive here. My first technical peak climb was an absolute epic on Forbidden Peak which both humbled and impelled me on a lifelong love affair with the Cascade Range, enduring lessons of alpinism, opportunities to succeed and to fail, and all the wonderful partnerships along the way."


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Gabriela Sugier

Staff Accountant

Joined Staff: 2017

Phone: 206-521-6010
Email Gabriela

As the Staff Accountant at the Mountaineers Gabriela provides daily support in the exciting world of accounting operations. Gabriela overseas payables, receivables as well as payroll, which allows her to stay connected to both staff members and volunteers throughout the Mountaineers Organization.

Background: After graduating from the University of Washington with a BA in English, Gabriela spent 16 years at a local jewelry company as an inventory manager and customer relations specialist. After the closure of that company, Gabriela spent a year as an Accounting Assistant at a construction business in Woodinville, WA.

Outdoor Activities: Hiking, camping and wild plant harvesting. The camping part is best when there is hot coffee in the morning!

More: “As a nature enthusiast I am delighted to be part of the Mountaineers team. It’s wonderful to work for an organization which educates and encourages people to enjoy the outdoor experience.”


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Brianne Vanderlinden 

donor relations manager

Joined Staff: 2017

Phone: 206-521-6006
Email Bri

As Donor Relations Manager, Bri is the main point of contact for gift management, Peak Society, and engagement of our donor audiences. She also supports The Mountaineers Board of Directors and Advisory Council.

Background: Bri brings 12 years’ professional experience in non-profit development, donor relations, and stewardship. With a BS in Psychology from Seattle University, her passion for social justice and human connection grounds her in non-profit work. After starting her own business, Bri was introduced to The Mountaineers through work on the annual Gala and other contract support and fell in love with the organization. In previous positions, Bri oversaw donor relations and fundraising events at The Museum of Pop Culture, Seattle University, and JDRF. 

Outdoor Activities: Hiking, biking, fishing, camping, snowboarding, meditation, and daytrippin'.

More: "What inspires me the most about working with The Mountaineers is how "adventure with a purpose" encompasses everything we do.  The outdoor experience has played a critical role in my development and I am grateful for the lessons I continue to learn from the seasonal rhythms and spending time in the natural environment. I am honored and eternally grateful to have joined the team at The Mountaineers."


Program Staff Tess Wendel

Tess Wendel

Member and Data Manager

Joined Staff: 2012

Phone: 206-521-6028
Email Tess

From her member services desk, Tess connects members and non-members to the resources they need to participate in Mountaineers activities. This includes entering and amending membership data, planning Meet The Mountaineer and other member outreach events and general troubleshooting for volunteer leaders and members. Tess works closely with Jeff Bowman on the website and maintaining the member database and loves pulling data to help with member engagement.

Background: Tess grew up in Seattle doing short nature hikes with her family. She fell in love with the high country after working for 2 years as a ranger for the North Cascades National Park in Stehekin, WA. Tess has a bachelors degree in Chemistry from Skidmore College and a strong interest in environmental policy and conservation. Before coming to the Mountaineers she worked for the Illinois Chapter of the Sierra Club and advocated for cleaner water in Chicago and throughout the state of Illinois. Tess is proud to be supporting Mountaineers members and volunteers and looks forward to meeting more members and learning from their experiences.

Outdoor Activities: Climbing, hiking, paddling, snowshoeing and skiing.

More: Tess is also a Climb Leader for The Mountaineers and is involved in teaching and leading their intermediate climbing programs. Co-founder of Relay Dance Collective - a not for profit Seattle-based dance company. You can follow her dance and outdoor adventures online on Instagram @tesswendel.  

Tacoma Program Center

SARAH HOLT

TACOMA PROGRAM MANAGER

Joined Staff: 2014

Phone: 253-566-6965

As our Tacoma Program Manager, Sarah is the jack of all trades for the Tacoma Branch. You’ll see her leading youth programs, managing the rental business, and supporting volunteers in any way she can.

Background: A UW grad with a degree in music education, Sarah has taught everything from kindergarten music to high school marching band. After seven years of teaching in local public schools, she recently decided to shift from teaching music to teaching outdoor skills. An avid hiker since her college days, Sarah’s interest in climbing was piqued after hiking the Wonderland Trail in 2010. In 2012, she found the Mountaineers, completed the Basic Climbing Course, and fell in love with mountaineering. In 2014, she graduated from the Intermediate Climbing Course, and is now an active climb leader and volunteer for the Tacoma Branch.

Outdoor Activities: Alpine climbing, sport climbing, hiking and backpacking, scrambling, bicycle touring, skiing, snowshoeing, and trail running.

Other: Sarah’s other interests include playing with her dog Cooper, baking delicious berry pies, playing the trumpet, piano, and drums.