Changing Faces of Member Services

After 14 years with The Mountaineers in Member Services, Debbie Wick is going on an extended vacation. Learn about her impact to our organization, and meet the new faces of Member Services.
Kristina Ciari Kristina Ciari
September 17, 2014

Debbie Wick joined The Mountaineers in January 1984 and has been involved with us ever since, officially joining our Member Services team in 2001. After 14-years of dedicated service to our members, Debbie has decided to live more of her life in the great out-of-doors. She’s not yet ready to use the “r word” – retirement – but instead is choosing to see this as an extended vacation. Her last day with us was Friday, September 12.

Deb moved to Seattle from Indianapolis in November 1982. She joined The Mountaineers in January 1984 to enroll in the Basic Climbing Course and learn skills to spend more time outside. She graduated Basic and became an Intermediate Student in 1986, completing her intermediate requirements in just two years.

Program Staff Deb WickWhile in Intermediate Climbing, Deb met a fellow named John Wick, who was immediately smitten. They later married, becoming another fantastic couple to meet through The Mountaineers.

Deb and John continued to keep The Mountaineers at the center of their life together. Deb continued learning with us, taking the Sailing and Kayaking courses, and exploring the outdoors with our Naturalists.

In 1989, Deb was selected to be part of an all-women climbing team, made up entirely of highly active Mountaineers members, to go to Denali. Due to bad weather, the team only made it to 16,800', but they formed a long lasting bond. One of her fellow teammates was Marcia Hanson, who later became the President of The Mountaineers.

In the early 2000's, Deb started her quest to earn our peak pins. She was awarded the 100 Alpine Scrambles Award and many other peak pins from all 7 of our branches. She has hiked more peaks than one can count - continuing to spread her cheerful outlook on the trail with members and non-members alike. 

Since joining staff in 2001, Deb has been through a lot. Most recently she was on the front lines during our mountaineers.org 2.0 launch, and she was also pivotal to supporting members during the 2005 website redesign. She has worked in two different Mountaineers locations - starting with our downtown storefront and ending at the Seattle Program Center.

Throughout her time here she has always maintained a cheerful attitude in her endless pursuit to support The Mountaineers' mission of getting more people outside. We will all miss Deb’s bright spirit, enthusiasm, and dedication to our organization. I’d like to personally thank her for all she’s done in support of our growing group of adventurers. 

The New Faces of Member Services

Prior to Deb's departure we identified the need to grow our Member Services team. Deb worked 3 days a week along with Tess Wendel, who was promoted to a full-time position in 2013. Tess has proven invaluable to our organization and always has the answers, and as she is growing out of her roll serving only Member Services, we felt it was time to bring in some fresh perspective. In August, Joanna Coffey was hired as a part-time representative to help expand our ability to serve our members.

Joanna Coffey Profile

Joanna (also known as Jo or JoJo) has years of nonprofit, outdoor, volunteer, and customer service experience. She hails from Tennessee, but fell in love with Washington State in 2008 during an internship with the Olympic National Park. Jo has extensive volunteer experience in conservation policy, habitat restoration, and environmental stewardship. In her new role with the Mountaineers, she is excited to strengthen and expand her connections with the outdoor community, and get more experience in nonprofit administration. 

To replace Debbie, we have hired Katie Tishler. Katie hails from Clinton, New Jersey, and moved to Seattle in 2012 to spend more time outside. She’s an outdoor enthusiast and customer service veteran in the outdoor retail industry. You may recognize her from her part-time job at Feathered Friends, or from her time at the Seattle-favorite Beecher’s Cheese! Katie believes strongly in The Mountaineers mission, and is excited to help our members increase our capacity for educational outreach and conservation initiatives.

Both Jo and Katie will be joining our team 3-days a week to connect members and non-members to the resources they need to participate in Mountaineers activities. Please join me in welcoming Jo and Katie to the team, and in wishing Debbie well by leaving your favorite "Deb Wick memories" in the comments section below. 

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