Board of Directors

Board of Directors

Meet The Mountaineers Board of Directors, view our governing documents, and learn about our "at large" committees.


The Mountaineers Board of Directors is responsible for determining the future direction of our organization, controlling finances, making rules, and determining policy for property and programs. 

Terms of office vary by position, and elections are held every October to fill vacancies. If you are interested in joining the Board or want more information, please contact our President.

BOARD OF DIRECTORS MEETINGS - 2023 Meeting schedule

Board meetings begin at 6pm and generally run until 8pm, and we will held at the Seattle Program Center. We also host two Board Retreats every year (which are noted with an asterisk in the list below). Board meetings are not open to the public, but members of our community can ask to attend. If you have any questions regarding a Board Meeting please contact Casey Kuglar for more information. 

New officer terms officially started October 1, 2022.

  • January 19
  • March 11*
  • May 18
  • August 17
  • October 19
  • November 11-12*

* Denotes Board Retreat, not open to the public


President (2022-2024)

Member Since: 2010

Gabe Aeschliman is currently a Program Officer at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation working on the Philanthropic Partnerships Team. Previously, he was a Philanthropy Officer with The Wilderness Society and the Sr. Philanthropic Advisor with Seattle Foundation advising individuals, families and groups on effective philanthropic strategies, and leading the environmental grantmaking work. He received a BA in History from California State University, Sacramento. With strong ties to California, he often finds himself hiking and climbing at destinations along the West Coast. 

Manisha PowarManisha1.jpg

Vice President (2022-2024)

Member Since: 2008

Manisha moved to the Pacific Northwest to live here and fell in love with the mountains. Over the last few years, she has instructed many courses, led trips and served as the Secretary on the Board of Directors of The Mountaineers. Manisha believes in empowering everyone to pursue outdoor activities. Having made lifelong friends at The Mountaineers, she loves sharing her experiences with other students and community members. In addition to outdoor education and activities, Manisha loves food, travel and learning new skills.

ROGER MELLEMRogerMellem_Web.jpg

VP of Governance (2023-2024)

Member Since: 1985

Roger Mellem is a longtime mountaineer, and Mountaineer. In 1974 he participated in a Himalayan first ascent, standing with his hero, the late William F. (“Willi”) Unsoeld, and two others on top of Laila Peak (Rupal Valley) in northern Pakistan. At 6,132 meters (20,118 feet) in height, the ascent required safely navigating two ice falls each as large as the Nisqually Icefall on Mount Rainier. In 1998, Roger passed Basic Equivalency and enrolled in our Intermediate Climbing course.

Roger was first appointed to the Board of Directors in 2018 and subsequently elected by the membership. Roger is active on our Conservation & Advocacy Committee (chair), Litigation Committee (chair), and Governance Committee (vice chair). He is also an active fundraiser, serving as co-chair of the 2023 Mountaineers Gala and two prior Galas.

As a former Outward Bound instructor, Roger appreciates the value of outdoor education and supports The Mountaineers’ mission in this regard. An avid wilderness conservationist, he is past president of Washington Wild, a conservation organization with which The Mountaineers regularly partners to advocate for protection of our threatened public lands. He is also a longtime member of the Leadership Council of the Yale School of the Environment.

Roger is an attorney with the Ryan, Swanson & Cleveland law firm where he practices securities litigation. He earned a Master of Studies in Law Degree from Yale Law School and a J.D. from the University of Oregon Law School. Roger brings a combination of experience in mountaineering, conservation, outdoor education, fundraising, legal, mediation, and board leadership to The Mountaineers.

James henderson
James Henderson Edited.jpg

VP of Branches (2022-2024)

Member Since: 2015

James is a native of the Pacific Northwest and was born and raised in Washington State. His earliest outdoor explorations were with his Dad and Grandfather hiking and scrambling in the Alpine Lakes Wilderness and national parks.

James has been a member of The Mountaineers since 2015. He is grateful for the skills and support The Mountaineers staff and volunteers have provided to help him reach his mountaineering goals and is very excited about this opportunity to give back to the organization by serving on the Board representing the Foothills Branch. He strongly supports The Mountaineers vision and works to pass on those values to the next generation of Mountaineers. During his time outdoors, James enjoys hiking, backpacking, scrambling, and, most of all, backcountry skiing.

Professionally, James’ focus is working with communities to reach their economic and workforce development goals. Through this work he has gained experience in government and non-profit management, fiscal analysis, strategic planning and operational management. James has founded offices and programs in both city and county governments and nonprofits focused on economic and workforce development. He is passionate about working with local communities to help them define their goals, develop strategies, and implement projects for the betterment of the community.

James is married to his wife Melissa, a local stage and screen actor, and is a proud father of their daughter Madeleine and the family’s big Newfoundland dog, Guinness.

Matt SimersonCropped - Matt Simerson.jpg

VP of Outdoor Centers (2022-2024)

Member since: 2000

I was introduced to The Mountaineers in 2000 via a recommendation for the climbing course. I took the Basic course in 2000 and the next year I followed my job to Atlanta. I returned to Seattle in 2008, via years long layovers in Michigan and Texas. Upon return, the intermediate climbing course had to get squeezed in around a wife, two kids, and a job.

Then climbing gave way to PTA, Math Club, soccer practices, family hikes, and Meany Lodge. Our family is deeply integrated with the community at Meany and our kids are now high schoolers. As their independence grows, so has my personal time. I'm again able to spend more days outside, mostly on backcountry skis. I recall shaking my head watching skiers haul their skis up the mountains I was climbing. Now I have enthusiastically joined them.

In recent years my hobbies have found numerous overlaps with The Mountaineers. When I'm not building software, I enjoy building tangible things, like buildings and machines. In 2016 I purchased a new home and then transformed the 1958 building into a net zero energy building. I have recently shepherded several building projects at Meany Lodge to conclusion and I'm a looking forward to further improving the health, efficiency, and sustainability of our outdoor centers.

paul stevensonPaul Stevenson Formatted.jpg

Treasurer (2022-2024)

Member Since: 1990

Paul initially joined The Mountaineers to enroll in the sailing classes taught out of Shilshole Bay. Paul admitted he had no boating skills - so felt it was time to learn from the experts. One fun outing led to another, and soon Paul was going out on basic climbs. But there were so many cool more technical climbs Paul was soon immersed in the Intermediate Alpine Climbing program. Eventually Paul was leading both basic and intermediate level climbs, plus helping to teach in the climbing programs where needed.  His involvement as a climb leader was a continuation of a life-long desire to give back to the community in areas or activities Paul is passionate about.

Paul loves to spend as much time outside as possible, which started with numerous family skiing, camping, fly fishing and hiking trips. Paul learned to climb at the early age of 15 when he enrolled in the Spokane Mountaineers basic climbing program. His passion for climbing eventually opened up two opportunities for Paul as the “rock jock” member for the American Alpine Club sponsored expeditions to Pumori in Nepal and Broad Peak in Pakistan.

Paul has an undergraduate degree in Finance from Washington State University, plus an Executive MBA from the University of Washington. Paul enhanced his financial analytical skills by pursuing the 3-year CFA designation. Paul’s love for investments, soon lead to a successful career managing bond investment portfolios. Eventually he led a highly talented team overseeing over approximately $22 billion in investments. 

Paul currently serves on The Mountaineers Finance Committee, plus enjoys helping volunteering with the local Trout Unlimited chapter with fish rescue and stream restoration efforts.    

Paul now resides in Sun Valley, Idaho with his high school sweetheart plus their hound dog Maggie. Paul is still very involved with all his lifetime outdoor pursuits, but now they are just outside his door.


Secretary (2022-2024)

Member Since: 1999

Carry’s love of the outdoors started with childhood hikes to the Paradise Ice Caves on Mount Rainier with her family. In 1999, she joined The Mountaineers to take the sea kayaking course through the Tacoma branch, and has gone on to graduate from the Seattle basic and intermediate climbing courses. She loves sharing the outdoors with people, which is why she is an active climb, scramble, ski, and photography leader.

"I am deeply inspired by the community of people in The Mountaineers - by their enthusiasm, accomplishments, friendships, and love of adventure. I am humbled by the opportunity to help the club continue to grow and thrive.”

When she is not volunteering with The Mountaineers, Carry is a practicing attorney. Prior to becoming an attorney she spent nine years working as a marketing executive for MSR, Cascade Designs, Cascade Bicycle Club, and other local companies.

Serene ChenEdited - Serene Chen.jpg

At Large Director (2021-2024)

Member Since: 2020

Serene is a proud first-generation Chinese-American and an energetic leader with global experience at the intersection of people and organizations. Since joining The Mountaineers in February 2020, Serene has completed courses across three activities and four branches, and serves on the Equity & Inclusion Committee

Serene is deeply inspired by nature and driven to make a positive impact on sustainability. She is the Senior Director of People & Culture at Forterra, a Washington-based environmental nonprofit. Previously, Serene led employee engagement at Convoy, a tech start-up reducing CO2 emissions, and she’s a trained Climate Reality Leader (an initiative led by former VP Al Gore). Serene started her career with Barclays at its London headquarters, holds a Master’s in Management from the London School of Economics, and a Bachelor’s in Learning & Organizational Change from Northwestern University. 

Personal Statement: “I’ve taken the path less traveled to the PNW and The Mountaineers. I didn’t grow up with much exposure to the outdoors, let alone sports like alpine climbing. Connecting with nature the past 5-6 years has transformed my life, led me around the world (from London to Seattle, via Patagonia!) and helped me find this incredible organization. Across branches, activities, and committees, I have been consistently amazed by the scale, commitment, and power of the Mounties community. I am deeply inspired by our volunteers, and I firmly believe in our potential to create welcoming, inclusive spaces where everyone feels belonging. I value the opportunity to help guide the Mounties on this journey.”

RICH JOHNSTON Rich Johnson Formatted.jpg

At Large Director (2020-2023)

Member Since: 1994

Rich is the owner of the Vertical World, America’s First Indoor Climbing Gym. Rich has many years in non-profit organizations in the outdoor industry. He was a founding Board Member of the Climbing Wall Association, and Chairman for 17 years. He served as a Board Member for the Outdoor Industry Association from 1995-99. His combination of business experience and non-profit governance in the outdoor industry will be brought to The Mountaineers Board.

Rich has a strong relationship with The Mountaineers and believes in the heritage, legacy and values that the Mountaineers brings to our community.

Personal Statement: I was born in Seoul Korea, moved to Oregon in the sixties, and then on to the Puget Sound area in 1970. I graduated from the University of Puget Sound with a degree in Political Science and Economics. In 1981 I moved to Seattle and began an early career at a law-firm. It was at that time I found my passion for alpine climbing, and spent many years bush-whacking and climbing peaks in the Northwest. When I started the Vertical World in 1987 I developed a love for rock climbing and traveled around the country testing my amateur skills on everything from multi-pitch trad routes to sport routes and bouldering. I am honored that I have the potential to bring my outdoor business and non-profit knowledge to The Mountaineers, and to be with like-minded enthusiasts who have a passion for the outdoors.


At Large Director (2018-2024)

Member Since: 2016

Growing up in the PNW, Brynne Koscianski fondly remembers ascending to the top of a neighbor's basketball hoop via Texas prusik - practicing before a family climb of Mt Baker. A second generation Mountaineer, she's most recently enjoyed completing intermediate glacier travel and ski mountaineering courses. Brynne enjoys climbing, trail running, skiing, and hiking around the beautiful Pacific Northwest with her husband Ryan and son Finn.

A graduate of Yale University, Brynne is a product development leader at Amazon where she leverages customer-centric design to develop and launch new products. Passionate about advocating for women and girls in the outdoors, Brynne has also served on an advisory council for Girls on the Run, a non-profit organization inspiring girls to be joyful, healthy, and confident through running.

"My favorite Mountaineers photo is from 1911, showing a group of men and women climbing Paradise Glacier in Mount Rainer National Park. Balancing on a high heeled boot, a woman jumps across a ridge in the snow - her long wool skirt pulled taught mid-stride. As thankful as this photo makes me for modern climbing gear, it also reflects something I love about The Mountaineers: from the beginning, this community has been formed with the values of equality. 16 years before women had the right to vote in Washington State, we made up nearly half of the 110 founding members of The Mountaineers. I'm proud to follow in the footsteps of these female adventures, risk-takers, and leaders, and appreciate the power of the outdoors to generate meaningful connections across a diverse community. We come together through the common language of exploration, perseverance, and love for our wild places."

Takeo KuraishiEdited_Takeo.png

At Large Director (2021-2024)

Member Since: 1999

Takeo’s first summit was with his parents in first grade. He continued to climb as mountaineering club leader in high school, a climbing guide on Mt. Fuji, and 20-year Mountaineers member. He has served as Climbing Committee Chair and Branch Safety Officer for Seattle and most recently helped launch the Foothills climbing program. His passion is with Aid & Big Wall Climbing, including years of leading the course. When not making slow progress up an aid route, he enjoys helping students learn new skills and leading climbs.

Outside of The Mountaineers, Takeo pursued his other childhood passion in aerospace. He is a manager at Boeing, leading a team of engineers working on the next new airplane. During the ski season, he works as a certified instructor with the Boeing Ski & Snowboard Club. 

Personal Statement: “I was fortunate to be welcomed into this Mountaineers community. As a member of the Board of Directors, I hope to extend that welcome further. I have watched this community grow and become more diverse, and it has been heartening to see increased outreach, especially with youth in the community. As a Board member, I look forward to the opportunity to help ensure that courses we teach and activities we offer are in alignment with latest practices to maintain our leadership as a preeminent outdoors organization, to the opportunity to help further the safety mindset across all activities, and to continue to support the work of The Mountaineers to improve access to the outdoors for everyone.”

Maya Magarati Maya Magarati Formatted.jpg

At Large Director (2020-2023)

Member Since: 2004

When I traveled from the Himalayas to the Pacific Northwest in pursuit of higher education under a Fulbright sponsorship, little did I know that I would make the Cascades my new home and raise my family here. I was born to the indigenous Magar community in a remote mountain village in the Baglung district of Nepal from where the Dhaulagiri and Annapurna ranges stand tall in the distance. Seeking formal education opportunities took me to Kathmandu valley (Jesuit-run St. Mary’s girls’ school), Australia (University of Newcastle, Bachelor of Health Sciences in Nutrition) and the United States (University of Washington, PhD in Sociology).

Before attending the UW, I worked with UNICEF Nepal as a consultant to the Nutrition program, and as a program officer at Rural Reconstruction Nepal, a NGO.

Currently, I serve as an affiliate Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology and Research Scientist at the Indigenous Wellness Research Institute in the School of Social Work, and Seven Directions: A Center for Indigenous Public Health Institute in the School of Medicine. I am also an affiliate faculty member in the UW’s Nepal Studies Initiative. My scholarship intersects sociology and public health in addressing social inequities by examining social and environmental determinants of health, with an intention of fostering knowledge democracy.

I believe that as an integral part of the local, regional and global eco-systems, we have the responsibility and the agency to take care of the places we live and recreate in: the trails we hike or wheelchair; the mountains we climb; the rivers/lakes/seas we swim, fish, and boat; the forests we forage and the air we breathe. In Nepal, I served as a camp counselor raising awareness about environmental conservation among middle school children in different parts of the country. In 2015, I co-founded Nepal Seattle Hiking Community and have organized and led many hikes and outdoor activities introducing hundreds of multi-generational families of Nepali heritage to the beautiful wild places in Washington State with the ultimate goal of inspiring environmental conservation awareness and actions. The last three years, I have also had the honor of serving on The Mountaineers’ Advisory Council. In addition to hiking and backpacking in state and national parks, forests, coasts and islands, I enjoy helping my partner take care of the plants and vegetables that we grow organically right in our backyard which provide food not only to us but also to the bees, butterflies and birds.

Amanda PiroBoard of Directors Amanda Piro

At Large Director (2022-2025)

Member Since: 2013

Amanda Piro grew up in the PNW and spent childhood summers hiking and fishing in Alaska, and outdoors has been a central part of her life from an early age. She joined the Mountaineers in 2013 to pursue backcountry snowboarding and quickly found herself enrolled in several other courses across glacier, rock, and ice climbing. Since graduating from Basic in 2015, Amanda has been a regular face among glacier and rock instructors, was a 2021 Key Leader, and is a contributing author to the in-progress Equity and Inclusion Instructor Toolkit. Outside of climbing and splitboarding, Amanda enjoys canyoning, kayak camping, long-distance backpacking, and regular frolics in parks and meadows.

In 2017, Amanda co-founded Cyrca Strategy, a boutique management consultancy that provides strategic advisory services to organizations of all sizes. She has extensive experience in organizational strategy and has led projects spanning customer experience, brand strategy, member acquisition & retention, customer research & analytics, and philanthropic development for clients ranging from small nonprofits to Fortune 50 companies. Prior to co-founding Cyrca, Amanda led revenue management and special projects at Holland America Line and co-founded the Customer Insights and Analytics practice at the strategic consulting agency Lenati (now Concentrix).

Personal Statement: “My experience at The Mountaineers has fed my passion for the outdoors and helped me discover new ways to get outside that I might not have otherwise considered. I would love the opportunity to help ensure all Mountaineers members find this community to be a welcoming environment that fosters a spirit of exploration and inspires them to be good stewards of our beautiful planet. My friends sometimes refer to me as an 'outdoor evangelist', and it is my sincere hope that The Mountaineers can contribute to a reality where everyone I know, and everyone I may come to know, feels welcome on the trail, at the crag, on the lake, or anywhere they may seek to adventure – that they feel the same warmth and comfort and acceptance that I have been privileged to experience as part of this organization.”

Alex PrattEdited - Alex Pratt.jpg

At Large Director (2021-2024)

Member Since: 2018

Alex joined The Mountaineers in 2018 to help unlock access to the Washington backcountry. He earned his Basic Climbing equivalency, completed Intermediate Glacier Travel, and has been working his way through the classic Cascade objectives ever since. He currently serves on the Risk Management Committee working to standardize a framework for assessing and mitigating organizational risk.  

Alex holds a Civil Engineering degree from Duke University, where he also participated in the Naval ROTC program. He served as a Navy SEAL officer for five years, including three overseas tours. Following, Alex earned a dual MBA and MS degree in Environment and Resources from Stanford. He currently leads strategic business development at AutoGrid, where he’s spent eight years applying software solutions to accelerate the adoption of renewable and distributed resources.

Personal Statement “While the outdoors has always been important to me, my time in the military added a respectful appreciation for harsh and grueling experiences - the ones with sore muscles, calculated risks, and cold sleepless nights; but also the ones that forge everlasting bonds, reset limits, and give new perspective. I need a regular dose of these to keep me grounded, but outside that you’ll often find me hiking or sailing with my wife and two young sons. I am enthusiastic about The Mountaineers mission, and hope to apply my strengths in operations, strategy, and partnerships to help further scale our impact across community engagement, outdoor education, and environmental advocacy.”

Sam SandersBoard of Directors

At Large Director (2022-2025)

Member Since: 2016

Sam Sanders is a native Washingtonian, having grown up running wild in Snohomish forests, battling the Himalayan blackberry. She spent a handful of years studying, working, and adventuring in Europe, but came back for Washington’s wonderful outdoor spaces. The outdoors is her escape and, and she feels most alive when she can share her passion with others through teaching and local conservation efforts.  

Sam joined The Mountaineers in 2016 and co-founded the Foothills Trail Running Committee the following year, where she’s served as chair or co-chair since its inception. Besides trying to extoll the magic of running and the fantastic Mountaineers trail running community to anyone unable to get away fast enough, in the last five years Sam has helped instruct sport climbing for two branches, volunteered with scrambling and backcountry skiing, and led trail runs with the help of her two overly large and friendly husky mutts. 

Professionally, Sam works as a senior product manager for Microsoft helping design and build hardware with special interests in strategic planning, sustainability, and diversity/inclusion/equity on small and enterprise scales. She earned her undergrad in Mechanical Engineering from WSU and her masters in Materials Engineering from ENS Cachan (France). She considers herself a renaissance engineer with a background ranging from human bone to naval ships and commercial insect production to air hockey-playing robots. Her experience has served her well in helping to guide people and organizations on creating actionable and digestible steps out of grand visions. 

Vanessa WheelerBoard of Directors

At Large Director (2023-2023)

Member Since: 2022

Bio coming soon!

Anita WilkinsEdited - Anita Wilkins.jpg

At Large Director (2021-2024)

Member Since: 2006

Anita was awed by Mt. Rainier as a child when she hiked with her father to the Fremont Lookout, where she watched climbers through binoculars and wondered how she could join them. After 25 years hiking, scrambling, and backpacking, along with the stuff of life – work, marriage, and two children – Anita marked her 40th birthday with a guided Rainier climb. That experience inspired her to join The Mountaineers to learn skills to access these beautiful places on her own. 

As a 15-year member, Anita has completed climbing and leadership classes and served on the Basic Climbing Committee. She’s also volunteered as ice climbing committee chair, and an ice climbing instructor, climb leader, contributor to Freedom 8 and 9, Advisory Council member, and more.

Recently, Anita retired from a 30-year career in marketing communications, public relations, and development. She worked primarily in healthcare and with nonprofit human services organizations centered on easing the way for people experiencing poverty and homelessness. 

Personal Statement: “As I pursue passion projects in this new chapter of my life, I feel called to serve The Mountaineers community that has influenced me so deeply – many individuals have become my dearest friends and most trusted adventure partners, and supported me through the loss of my husband in a skiing accident (whom I met in The Mountaineers). I am honored to be considered for the Board of Directors and to contribute to the continued growth of an organization that has opened the outdoors to so many.”

Siana WongsianaWong_Web.jpg

At Large Director (2019-2025)

Member Since: 2014

Siana Wong has been actively engaged as a student and volunteer since joining The Mountaineers in 2014. She completed Olympia’s Basic & Intermediate Climbing, Tacoma’s Sailing, and Seattle’s Multi-pitch Climbing courses, among others. She currently enjoys volunteering as a climb leader and instructor and leading beginner snowshoe and Nordic ski trips. She also serves on the Equity & Inclusion Committee, Risk Management Committee, and Olympia's Basic Climbing Committee. In 2017/2018, Siana served as the Olympia Branch Chair.

Currently, Siana is an environmental scientist at the Washington State Department of Ecology in Olympia. She previously worked for the National Park Service and The Nature Conservancy. One of Siana's great joys has been being able to merge her professional skills and interests in the environmental field with her passions for adventure and exploration of the natural world.

 Personal Statement: From eager student to eager volunteer, The Mountaineers has been a big part of my life. I have met wonderful people through the club (including my husband), and hope to help others feel the same sense of belonging that I have felt in our community. I fully believe in The Mountaineers mission and am inspired by the many passionate volunteers that have helped carry on that mission for over a hundred years. I am honored by the opportunity to support The Mountaineers work in continuing the traditions of exploration, conservation, and education as it evolves with the times and faces increasing challenges of access, equity, and environmental impact.

Tim SchafermeyerBoard of Directors

Director - Bellingham (since 2022)

Member Since: 2021

Bio coming soon!

Ramki Pitchuiyer

Director - Everett (since 2023)

Member Since: 2021

Picture and bio coming soon!

Liz McNett CrowlBoard of Directors

Director - Foothills (since 2023)

Member Since: 2013

Bio coming soon!

Mark GoodroBoard of Directors

Director - Kitsap (since 2022)

Member Since: 2011

Bio coming soon!

mike kretzlerEdited -Mike Kretzler.jpg

Director - Olympia (since 2020)

Member Since: 1998

I was introduced to the outdoors as a Boy Scout growing up in Seattle and inspired to go into the mountains by Fred Beckey’s “The Challenge of the North Cascades.” While I have left the climbing behind, I still use those skills to hike, backpack, snowshoe, and trek locally, around the West, and internationally.

I’ve been involved in the Olympia Branch as past council secretary and chair, and serve on the Equity and Inclusion Committee, the Risk Management Committee, and the Safety Committee. I founded Olympia’s current Basic Navigation course and teach basic navigation skills for the Wilderness Skills course. I lead hikes for the Conditioning Hiking Series, snowshoes for the Winter Travel course, and backpacks for the Backpacking course. Before the pandemic pre-empted international travel, I was gearing up to lead my first international trip for the Global Adventures program.

I retired from state service in 2017, after 30 years in information technology, working as a programmer, project manager, program manager, and enterprise architect. I look forward to helping to strengthen the bonds between volunteers in the branches, staff in the program center, and the board of directors.

brad nearSized - Brad Near.jpg

Director - Seattle (since 2021)

Member Since: 2013 

Brad Near is the Founder and CEO of Rainier Recruiting, a local recruiting firm with 30 talented professionals. He named his company after his favorite mountain, which he has summited many times with fellow Mountaineers. Brad grew up in Alaska and has been fortunate to spend most of his life on steep snowy slopes. A member since 2013 and a Peak Society Member, Brad currently serves at the Seattle Branch Director, the Mountaineers largest branch. He has spent over 500 hours teaching and attending Mountaineers events, and is an Intermediate Climbing graduate.

Brad is also a field member of Seattle Mountain Rescue, an all-volunteer team of mountain rescue professionals. He has been involved in 50+ technical rescue missions, and is a certified Emergency Medical Technician (EMT).

“I’ve made lifelong friends because of The Mountaineers. What drew me to the organization originally was its focus on safety-that focus shaped many positive decisions in the backcountry of the Pacific Northwest. What keeps me involved in the organization are the people and the mission. I’m honored to serve on a board that has such a wonderful mission and team.”

Mark KerrMark Kerr_Web.jpg

Director - Tacoma (since 2019)

Member Since: 1996

Mark E. Kerr is an avid lifelong outdoor enthusiast, constantly inspired by organizations which promote and educate individuals to enjoy unimpaired access to the natural world. In addition, he feels a particular kinship with experiencing the outdoors though human powered activities. In college he started working in outdoor education at Philmont Scout Ranch, the BSA’s premier High Adventure base and has spent the last 30 years traveling, learning, and exploring.  

His outdoor resume includes multiple personal trips both within the United States and internationally. He also credits a lifelong need to continually learn which has led to multiple classes and guided trips with: the Wilderness Education Association, Outward Bound, Wilderness Medicine Institute (now with NOLS), American Alpine Institute, American Sailing Association, and the American Institute for Avalanche Research and Education among others. 

Professionally he is a Registered Architect with the National Park Service (NPS) in the Western Pacific Regional Office, a Commander (CDR) in the reserve component of the U.S. Navy Civil Engineer Corps, and a National Fellow of The Explorers Club.

Personal Statement: The older I get, the more I appreciate the simple things, like spending my free time, in a tent, with my wife of 23 years, three children, and our chocolate lab.  I joined the Mountaineers to feed my constant curiosity of learning to thrive in the outdoor environment and to give back for all the inspiration and knowledge I’ve received since I bought my first copy of ’Freedom of the Hills’ at the Denver REI store in the 1980s. (The brown, hardcover 4th edition edited by Ed Peters.) I still have my well-thumbed copy and have read and re-read it so many times I lost count. I’m thrilled to be the Tacoma Representative to The Mountaineers Board of Directors.

katie strauz-clarkCropped - katie Strausz-Clark.jpg

Youth Board Representative (2022-2023)

Katie Strausz-Clark has been a lover of the outdoors since birth. Her parents brought her on many hikes and camping trips growing up, causing her to consume copious amounts of dirt as a child! Now, she rock climbs, backpacks, and skis whenever she gets a chance. She first joined The Mountaineers as a little summer camper and now is excited to join the Board of Directors. 

Katie is a junior at Ingraham High School and is enrolled in the IB Program. She also works for an NGO called the Meaningful Movies Project and runs her own fitness business. Last summer, she worked at The Mountaineers summer camp, graduating from camper to CIT. She loves to play volleyball and read when she’s not spending time outside (or doing homework).


Chief Executive Officer

Please see the Staff page for details.




Tom HellebergTomH.jpg

Publisher and Director of Finance & Operations, Mountaineers Books

Please see the Staff page for details.