Meet Our 2022 Board Officers

In March 2022, we welcomed a new slate of officers to our Board of Directors. Join us in welcoming those individuals and in thanking our outgoing officers for their many contributions.
Gabe Aeschliman Gabe Aeschliman
Mountaineers Board President
March 27, 2022

As a 501(c)(3) volunteer-led organization, we depend on the generosity and leadership of our volunteers to foster a community based around education, conservation, adventure, and belonging. We are humbled by the service of our board of directors who are responsible for determining the future direction of our organization, controlling finances, making rules, and determining policy for property and programs, among other things. In March 2022, we welcomed a new slate of officers to our Board of Directors, and I’m excited to introduce you to them today.

We want our board to reflect the community we serve, and are working to recruit members representative of our different activity areas and geographies, advocacy issues, fundraising priorities, and community demographics. We launched a new nominations process for recruitment in 2021, encouraging folks from across our organization to apply, and just welcomed our first class of board members through this process. You can learn more about our Board of Directors, and what they do, in an April 2020 blog post from our past President Vik Sahney. 

Like our committees and branches, our board elects its own officers. Our Board Officers consist of President, Vice President, Treasurer, Secretary, Vice President of Branches, and Vice President of Outdoor Centers. In addition to filling their roles on the board, the individuals in these Officer positions also serve on our Executive Committee, which meets monthly and is responsible for acting in the Board’s stead in case of emergency.

We welcome new Board Officers every two years at our annual March Board Retreat. Please join us in welcoming our new officers and in thanking our outgoing officers for their years of service.

NEW OFFICERS

President - Gabe Aeschliman

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.

Vice President - Manisha Powar

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.

Treasurer - Paul Stevenson

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.

Secretary - Carry Porter

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.

VP of Branches - James Henderson

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. He joined The Mountaineers in 2015, and 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.

VP of Outdoor Centers - Matt Simerson

Member Since: 2000

Matt was introduced to The Mountaineers in 2000 via a recommendation for the climbing course. He took the Basic Climbing course in 2000, and the next year followed his job to Atlanta. He returned to Seattle in 2008, via years long layovers in Michigan and Texas, and squeezed the Intermediate Climbing course in around a wife, two kids, and a job. As climbing  gave way to PTA, Math Club, soccer practices, and family hikes, Matt and his family discovered Meany Lodge, where they are now deeply engrained. When Matt's not building software, he enjoys building tangible things, like buildings and machines. He has recently shepherded several building projects at Meany Lodge to conclusion and is looking forward to further improving the health, efficiency, and sustainability of our outdoor centers.

OUTGOING OFFICERS

Our outgoing officers began their roles in March 2020, right as the full force of the COVID-19 pandemic hit. We are grateful for their steady leadership as we navigated significant challenges and for helping us keep the organization on solid ground.

President - Vik Sahney

Member Since: 2010

Vice President - Gabe Aeschliman

Member Since 2020

VP of Branches - Peter Hendrickson

Member Since 2005

VP of Outdoor Centers- Carry Porter

Member Since 1999

Treasurer - Don Heck

Member Since 1979

Secretary - Roger Mellum

Member Since 1985

Please join me in thanking these Mountaineers leaders for their exceptional leadership and service to the organization!

You can view detailed bios for our full board on our Board of Directors page.


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