2016 Everett Branch Elections

The Everett Branch Executive Committee elections will take place from October 1st to October 21st. This year we have six volunteers willing to take on new roles in the branch and have amendments to the Branch Rules of Governance for review and approval. Learn more here!
Placeholder Contact Profile Matt Vadnal
Everett Branch Chair
June 15, 2016
2016 Everett Branch Elections

We are a volunteer-led organization that depends on non-employee initiative and leadership to fulfill our mission and carry out our many different programs.This year, the Everett branch has aligned its election process to match the timing of the organization-wide Board elections. The following positions need to be filled: Chair, Vice Chair, Branch Director, Secretary, and Treasurer.

The Everett Branch Executive Committee has also reviewed the Rules of Governance and are recommending amendments to them that the membership must vote on. Take a look at the candidates and amendments here and help determine the course of the Everett Branch for the next few years. 

2016 Everett Branch executive committee candidates

This year, there are five available positions on the Branch Executive Committee: 

  • Branch Chair
  • Vice Chair
  • Branch Director (aka "Board Rep.")
  • Secretary
  • Treasurer

We thank all the volunteers willing to serve in these roles and appreciate the membership's careful consideration of their qualifications. In addition, if you want to learn more about the slate of candidates for the Board of Directors, click here!  The ballots for both the Everett Branch and the organization-wide Board of Directors will be combined and get sent out on October 1st. 


The electronic ballot was mailed to members on October 1st (remember that some email servers, expecially anyone with a "comcast.com" email address, frequently block bulk emails. Because of that, you will also be able to access the ballot here on this web page).  Only Everett Branch Members will be eligible to vote for these positions (however, all members over the age of 14 may vote in the organization-wide board election process). This ballot for both elections will close at midnight on October 21st (for electronically-cast ballots. Any paper submissions must be received at the Seattle Program Center by the end of business that day).

Members should check their email from October 1st. If you can't find your ballot, use this button to access the vote: 

Vote now

Service to your branch is service to all members and volunteers. A huge "thank you" to the following Everett Branch Members who are offering to serve in the following ways! 

Branch Chair

Elaina Jorgensen

Member Since:   2011

Elaina is a Research Fisheries Biologist with NOAA. As part of her job she leads teams of scientists to conduct fisheries research on chartered fishing boats in the Bering Sea, Gulf of Alaska, and Aleutian Islands. With a specialty in taxonomy and ecology of squids and octopods, she has authored ‘Field Guide to the Squids and Octopods of the Eastern North Pacific and Bering Sea’. Having earned a PhD in Oceanography and an MS in Fisheries Science from the University of Washington, Elaina is also a Research Associate with the Smithsonian and a Guest Editor with Marine Biodiversity. 

As a member of The Mountaineers since 2011, she has completed Avalanche Level 1, Basic Climbing Course, Self Rescue Course I and II, Navigation, First Aid, and the Outdoor Leadership Course.  She is an Intermediate Climbing student.  Currently, she serves as a Climb Leader as well as a volunteer with the Basic Climbing and Self Rescue courses.  

In addition to her Mountaineers volunteer work, she is a member of Everett Mountain Rescue, has served on the Board of the Puget Sound Beekeeping Association and continues to teach and mentor new beekeepers, and volunteers with Bike Works, repairing bikes for kids. 

“In 2012, I backpacked solo around the world, to broaden my perspective and do something that seemed impossible.  I visited 16 countries while overlanding through three continents and in the process saw many of the wonders of the world but what remains most vivid were the people I met along the way.  When I looked out into the world what was reflected back to me was kindness. I volunteer with The Mountaineers to give back and to help other people do what seems impossible.”

Vice Chair

Bruce Wolverton

(No statement prepared)

BRANCH Director ("Board Rep.")

Matt Vadnal

"I am a candidate for the Branch Director (“Representative”) position.

MEMBERSHIP/ CURRENT INVOLVEMENT: I have been a member since 1980 when I moved here from Pittsburgh because I wanted to explore the mountains and the wild areas in the Pacific Northwest. Currently, I am the Branch Chair. This is the 3rd time that I have served as the Branch Chair since 2006. I am also a Nordic Ski Instructor and Trip Leader and a Hike Leader. I completed the Branch’s Basic Climbing Course and the Sea Kayaking Course.

NONPROFIT EXPERIENCE: I was on the Board of Directors of Outdoor Youth Connections (OYC) for 5 years.

PROFESSIONAL BACKGROUND: I am a retired attorney. I believe my legal experience and training has taught me to be a good listener, to ask relevant questions, analyze proposals and disagree without being disagreeable.

WHY I WANT TO SERVE AS THE BRANCH DIRECTOR:  I want to make our excellent organization even better by serving in a governing and policy-making position."

Branch Secretary - Two Candidates

Rikki-Rachelle Hinz

"I am a candidate for the following position: Secretary

Member since: 2013

How and why did you get involved with The Mountaineers?

After a chance sighting of a poster for the basic climbing course, I immediately thought to myself, “I have to do this.” Since then I have climbed numerous peaks with The Mountaineers, taken four courses with the Everett branch, and become a climbing instructor with them. Getting involved with The Mountaineers was the beginning of a new lifestyle for me!

 What is your current involvement with The Mountaineers? Currently, I am the secretary for the Everett Lookout and Trail Maintenance committee and have begun leading stewardship trips with them. I have been a climbing instructor for a few years, helping out with many field trips, lectures, and climbs. I am working on completing the intermediate program with the Everett branch and I look forward to staying outside with them for years to come.

What (if any) is your nonprofit volunteer experience? I have been working and volunteering for Seattle area non-profits for the last five years. These have included organizations that serve young children with disabilities, families experiencing homelessness, schools dedicated to equity in education, and more recently, The Mountaineers. It is my personal and professional mission to serve non-profits that are dedicated to causes I believe in.

What is your profession and how will your current or previous professional experience help you be successful?

My profession is in the field of education. Within the field I have held many roles with leadership, organizational, and interpersonal responsibilities that will directly apply to the position of secretary. I have also held secretarial roles for large organizations and small committees previously.

Why do you want to serve in this position? I would like to serve as secretary as a way to give back to the organization that has provided me with invaluable skills and experiences. When I first became involved with The Mountaineers I was immediately impressed by the work and dedication of countless volunteers in the program. I recognize that it is only by the dedication and work of volunteers that The Mountaineers can afford people the agency to get outside in a meaningful way, and I would love to continue to help contribute to this cause."

Carolyn Henri

"I am a candidate for the following position: Branch Secretary
Member since: 1997

How and why did you get involved with The Mountaineers? I'd heard about the Mountaineers in the 1980s from a friend who lived in this area.  When we moved here from CA, I was so excited to join that we signed up a month before we got here :-)

What is your current involvement with The Mountaineers? Nordic Ski Instructor, Alpine Scramble assistant instructor.  Have taken sea kayaking class, scramble class.

What (if any) is your nonprofit volunteer experience? Numerous.  Currently mostly local orgs dealing with families and children: Interfaith Family Shelter, Operation School Bell, Science Docent, Master Gardener and Canyon Park Middle School Student Garden...

What is your profession and how will your current or previous professional experience help you be successful? I am an outdoor recreation specialist with Everett Parks and Recreation.  During the summer I'm a camp director for adventure and science day camps for kids.  During the rest of the year I focus on hikes, skiing, and leading trips.

Why do you want to serve in this position?  I was recruited by Matt (the truth :-)).  Meetings are not my favorite, but I LOVE the people in our branch and our programming, so I'm happy to share the admin burden.  I'm also a good typist and have attention to detail, which makes me a good note taker :-)  "

BRANCH Treasurer

Jodi Stebbins

"Jodi Stebbins – Mountaineers Everett Branch Treasurer:  Mountaineer since 2002 completing Scrambling, Sea Kayak, Nordic Ski & Snowshoe courses.  I have been the branch treasurer since 2014 and have enjoyed working with all our committee leaders and ensuring costs get paid to all our dedicated volunteers for their program involvement."

Everett Branch Rules of Governance - Proposed Amendments

Our existing Rules of Governance have served us well for many years. However, they are 26 years old, were written before the internet era, and do not reflect the way that the Branch now operates.  The revisions include:

  •  Expanding the Job Descriptions of the Branch Officers.  This reflects the growth and changes of the officers’ roles and duties over the last two decades. 
  • Providing two (2) year terms for the Chair, Vice Chair, Secretary and Treasury.  This will insure more continuity and efficiency of Branch operation. The first year of service enables an officer to understand how the branch’s components operate and determine how things can be improved. The second year provides an opportunity to implement and oversee needed changes. Experience has demonstrated that a one year term of office is too short.
  • Providing that the Director’s term will be in accordance with Mountaineer ByLaws. The Mountaineers no longer have “Trustees.” Instead, the Board of Directors is the governing body of the organization.  Each of the seven branches elects a Director. Nine At-large Directors are elected by the entire membership.  The Mountaineer ByLaws – which takes precedence over our Rules of Governance – proscribes how long Directors will serve. Now, the term is 3 years.
  • Using the Mountaineer Staff to facilitate Branch Officer Elections. The Mountaineer staff will assist the Branch with our officer elections (and Rules Amendments) by creating and distributing an electronic ballot to Branch members, counting the votes and announcing the results of the election. 
  • Providing for an annual Branch Meeting. All Branch members will be invited to an annual membership meeting in September to learn about changes which effect the membership and receive an update on Mountaineer and Branch activities. In addition to the annual meeting, members can attend Executive Committee meetings to present their concerns and issues.
  • Providing that Branch Officers shall approve the annual budget. This memorializes a change made some time ago.

NOTE:  The Everett Branch Executive Committee and the branch members who attended a special meeting on September 7th unanimously approved these proposed amendments. 

All of the changes can be reviewed here in depth.  

We appreciate those who vote, all the candidates, and the Branch executive committee for facilitating this method of civic engagement with The Mountaineers. Our programs can't take place without this type of volunteer engagement and the Pacific Northwest community benefits from your efforts. 

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