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 Bri Vanderlinden for more information. 

New officer terms officially started October 1, 2023.

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

* Denotes Board Retreat, not open to the public

Manisha PowarManisha1.jpg

President (2024-2026)

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 (2024-2026)

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.

Amanda PiroBoard of Directors Amanda Piro

Vice President of Branches (2024-2025)

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.”

Mark KerrMark Kerr_Web.jpg

Vice President of Outdoor Centers (2024-2026)

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 part of The Mountaineers Board of Directors.

Vanessa WheelerBoard of Directors

Secretary (2024-2026)

Member Since: 2022

Vanessa Wheeler grew up in the greater Seattle area, where she developed a love for camping and hiking (both traditional and urban). She and her sister got into urban hiking when she was twelve and her sister was seventeen. What started as a means to get to places for two kids in a family struggling financially very quickly became a passion. Soon they were scouting hiking and biking paths between cities, learning bus routes and connections, and getting up early in the mornings all summer to hike 15-30 miles and bus back to a place where a parent could pick them up on the way home from work. When her sister left the state for law school, she got Vanessa a student membership with The Mountaineers for Christmas so that Vanessa would have a community of people to continue hiking with while she was gone. 

Vanessa later attended law school out of state herself. She returned to Seattle to work at Miller Nash, where she was reintroduced to The Mountaineers when she had the opportunity to represent the club in trademark matters for years. Over time, Vanessa delved deep into the history of The Mountaineers, and has helped defend the organization against attempts to remove its trademark rights. Vanessa has remained invested in The Mountaineers, serving on the Board as an appointed at-large director and on both the Mountaineers Litigation Committee and Governing Committee.

Vanessa is the General Counsel of Windermere Real Estate Services Company and serves as the Secretary for the Windermere Foundation, another local nonprofit. She obtained her law degree from Columbia Law School. She has experience in hiking, intellectual property, real estate, litigation, mediation, and Board service.

paul stevensonPaul Stevenson Formatted.jpg

Treasurer (2022-2026)

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.


Past President (2020-2025)

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. 

James henderson
James Henderson Edited.jpg

Director At Large (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.


Director At Large (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.”


At Large Director (2023-2026)

Member Since: 2019

Dave Foong's involvement with The Mountaineers began in 2019, and since then, he has ingrained himself deeply within our community. Dave's journey started with a Basic Snowshoe course shortly after his relocation from Houston. That snowballed into Intermediate Snowshoe, Backpacking, XC Skiing, Alpine Scrambling, Basic Climbing, Leading on Rock, and many others. Dave cares about giving back to the community and has served as an instructor for Scrambling and Basic Climbing courses, recently becoming a Scramble Leader. Dave's passion for outdoor education and community development shines through his commitment to the organization as a student, volunteer, and committee member.

An unwavering advocate for equity and inclusion, Dave joined The Mountaineers E&I Committee in 2022. Additionally, he serves as E&I Coordinator for the Everett Climbing Committee to actively support a culture of belonging in that space. This vision of making the outdoors a more inclusive and welcoming place resonates with Dave particularly due to his own journey as an immigrant from Singapore.

Dave boasts 15 years of finance and accounting expertise, including financial planning and analysis for a diverse range of organizations including nonprofits, small businesses, and Fortune 500 companies. 

Dave's desire to contribute and elevate The Mountaineers legacy is undeniable. He brings to the table an impeccable grasp of financial intricacies and a passion for connecting others to the transformative powers of nature, making him a standout candidate for the at-large director position.

Personal Statement: “The Mountaineers expanded my horizons and made new types of outdoor adventures available to me through education and experience. While these activities previously felt exclusive and for people who were somehow “in the know,” I’ve instead found a very welcoming and inclusive community within The Mountaineers. My desire is to help us continue to extend that spirit through our current strategic vision of Adventuring with Purpose by leading, engaging, and advocating. I’m passionate about this organization and want to see it continue to thrive and inspire future generations of all backgrounds to care for and enjoy 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 (2020-2026)

Member Since: 2004

Maya Magarati has lived in Washington for the last 23 years since moving from Nepal's Annapurna region to attend graduate school at the University of Washington as a Fulbright scholarship recipient. 

Maya has been honored to serve the larger Mountaineers community as an at-large director alongside other dedicated Board members for the last three years, navigating the organization through the pandemic. She brings deep community engagement, social science expertise, and a diverse perspective from lived experiences in both her professional work at UW and her personal passion as a co-founder of the Nepal Seattle Hiking Community. Maya also serves on The Mountaineers Conservation & Advocacy Committee.

Professionally, Maya is an Assistant Professor and Associate Director at Seven Directions: A Center for Indigenous Public Health in the School of Medicine at UW. Her 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. She obtained a PhD in Sociology from UW,  a Bachelor's in Health Sciences from the University of Newcastle in Australia, and a K-12 education from St. Mary's High School and Tribhuvan University in Kathmandu, Nepal. Maya was born in the Magar village Dewaldhara (coordinates 28.15329,83.55511) in Rangkhani in the Baglung district, in the Gandaki province.

In addition to hiking and backpacking in state and national parks, forests, coasts, and islands both in the US and Canada, Maya enjoys helping her partner take care of the plants and vegetables that they grow organically in their backyard, which provide food not only to people but also to the bees, butterflies, and birds. Maya is blessed with an amazing daughter who inspires her daily.

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. 

Mark WaltersWalters.png

At Large Director (2023-2026)

Member Since: 2010

Mark Walters is a seasoned trial and appellate lawyer, renowned for his prowess in representing businesses and individuals in courtrooms across the nation. With a track record of excellence in his legal career and deep involvement in our community, Mark brings a combination of leadership and passion to The Mountaineers.

Mark's dedication continues well beyond the courtroom. He has been an active member of The Mountaineers community since joining in 2010, bringing stories to life with The Mountaineers Players at Kitsap Forest Theater for over a decade and serving on the Advisory Council for several years. His commitment to learning and adventure led him to successfully complete the Basic Climbing course in 2012. Since then, he has achieved notable summits, including Rainier, Glacier Peak, Grand Teton, Mount Baker, and Mount Adams. Mark's adventurous spirit extends to his role as a parent, as he enthusiastically shares his love for climbing with his son.

Beyond his outdoor pursuits, Mark's dedication to nonprofit service shines. His past presidency at Washington Wild underscores his passion for conservation and environmental advocacy. Moreover, his experience as a past Board member of Outward Bound highlights his understanding of nonprofit dynamics.

Mark's commitment to volunteerism, conservation, and outdoor education aligns deeply with The Mountaineers values. With a blend of legal expertise, nonprofit leadership, and a profound appreciation for the outdoors, Mark Walters is poised to bring valuable insight to The Mountaineers Board of Directors.

Personal Statement: "I've grown up here in Washington and have spent a good portion of my 49 years exploring the mountains and Salish Sea. My involvement with The Mountaineers began when I picked up an old copy of Freedom that my Dad had on his shelf. I became a member in 2010 and took the Basic Climbing course a year later. I have reached the summit of all Washington volcanoes, save Mt. St. Helens, and I'm inspired by the spirit of volunteerism present at The Mountaineers. Where else do people give as much of their time and talent to a community organization that is not a church or something affiliated with one's job or career? I cannot think of anything that compares to The Mountaineers in this department. I'm honored to serve on the Board."

Robert WhiteWhite.png

At Large Director (2023-2026)

Member Since: 2016

Robert White works at the intersection of climate adaptation, equity, and emergency management for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). In his work, he analyzes and plans for the response to natural hazards impacted by climate change in Alaska, Idaho, Oregon, and Washington State. His professional experience is in environmental justice, strategic planning, public policies, community engagement, and nonprofit management. After a 20+ year military career, he served as the CEO and CFOO for two veteran nonprofit startups improving access to education, employment, housing, and social services for over 1,000 veterans. He has also worked for King County Metro on the Lynnwood Link Extension project as a transportation planner.

Robert joined The Mountaineers in 2016 and wears many hats, including serving on the Board of Directors, the Equity & Inclusion Committee, and as the Treasurer for the Everett Branch. He also contributes his expertise to the Everett Alpine Scrambling, Climbing, and Lookout & Trail Maintenance Committees and is an instructor for Basic Backpacking, Basic Snowshoeing, Basic Climbing, and Wilderness Navigation. Robert has dedicated his life to helping others and continues to do so by building strategic partnerships among nonprofits, the private sector, and government agencies to increase awareness and advocate for environmental justice, sustainability practices, and social justice for minority and underrepresented communities.

He holds two masters degrees from the University of Washington in Executive Public Administration and Entrepreneurship. Robert and his wife, Ashley, have already begun sharing their love for the outdoors with their infant daughter, Ellie, through camping, hiking, water skiing, and traveling.

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 (2022-2025)

Member Since: 2021

Bio coming soon!

Ramki Pitchuiyer

Director - Everett (2023-2026)

Member Since: 2021

Picture and bio coming soon!

Liz McNett CrowlBoard of Directors

Director - Foothills (2023-2026)

Member Since: 2013

Bio coming soon!

Mark GoodroBoard of Directors

Director - Kitsap (2022-2025)

Member Since: 2011

Bio coming soon!

Mike RileyRiley.png

Director - Olympia (2023-2026)

Member Since: 1997

Mike Riley joined the Olympia Branch of The Mountaineers when he moved here from Colorado in 1997.  Mike took the Basic Alpine Climbing Course in 1999 and started volunteering with the course in 2000.  He became a Basic Climb Leader in 2003 and have led a dozen or so climbs.  Mike went on to take and complete the Intermediate Alpine Climbing Course and taught the Olympia Intermediate Ice Module from 2002 through 2018.  He has led over a dozen ice climbing trips to the Canadian Rockies, Montana and Colorado.  Mike has climbed throughout the western US and Canada as well as Switzerland and Scotland.  In addition to climbing, Mike is an avid mountain biker, which he got into in the late 1980’s, and has mountain biked throughout the US.

In the Olympia Branch Mike has served as Treasurer and on the Basic and Intermediate climbing committees. He has also served on The Mountaineers Finance Committee and is currently on The Mountaineers Safety Committee.

brad nearSized - Brad Near.jpg

Director - Seattle (2021-2024)

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.”


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.