Olympia Branch Leadership Awards 2021

The Olympia branch is recognizing 13 volunteers for their exemplary service over the past year. Read on to learn who they are and how they have given back to The Mountaineers community.
Dee Ann Kline Parkinson Dee Ann Kline Parkinson
Olympia Branch Super Volunteer
December 06, 2021
Olympia Branch Leadership Awards 2021
Photo by Neal Kirby

The Olympia Branch has a rich history of developing outstanding leaders. This year, our leaders faced the challenges of 2020 and continued to teach and inspire our membership. Congratulations to the recipients of Olympia Branch Leadership Awards.

Olympia Branch Service Award: Mike Riley

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This award is presented to a member of the Olympia Branch who consistently serves the branch above and beyond the call of duty.  Mike Riley has been a Mountaineers member for almost 25 years, is a graduate of both the Basic and Intermediate Climbing Courses, and has held the positions of Climbing  Chair, Activity Committee Chair, and Branch Treasurer.  He has served on the Mountaineers Finance Committee, and is a long-term member of Basic and Intermediate Climbing Committees and the Olympia Branch Library Committee.   Mike was instrumental in getting the Paul Wiseman Memorial Bench installed on Olympia Bay. He also assisted with the Banff Film Festival for several years, and three years ago took the lead as Coordinator for the Banff Film Festival. Thank you Mike for your outstanding volunteerism over the years. 

Bruce Towhey Silver Crampon Award: Janette Zumbo

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Janette Zumbo received this award for her leadership and service to the Olympia Basic Climbing Course. She has been a member since 2013, is a graduate of 11, courses and is a climbing, scrambling, snowshoeing and hiking leader. Janette is a 5-year Super Volunteer, has mentored many Basic Climbing students, chaired the Basic Climbing Committee for three years, and is the Olympia Branch Chair-elect. 

Scramble Leader of the Year: Mandi Maycumber

Mandy 3.jpgMandi received the Scramble Leader of the Year award for her dedication to the Olympia Alpine Scramble Course. She was an instructor for the snow field trips, led a number of conditioners for scrambling students, and led 7 scrambles in 2021. Mandi is known for her leadership and is well regarded by the scrambling community. She is also a hike leader, rock climb leader, glacier climb leader, Super Volunteer, and Key Leader for 2020 and 2021.

Hike Leader of the Year: Michelle Garcia

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Michelle has matured from someone who was unfamiliar with both hiking and the Pacific Northwest, to someone clearly ready to take on the responsibilities of Family Hiking Chair. She and her son, who is also an avid Mountaineer and volunteer, have gained skills in everything from compasses, to mushrooms, to birds, and have parlayed that into promoting a wide variety of activities for families.  She is always full of enthusiasm and a has a positive, winning attitude. The Family Program will continue to benefit from her passion for working with others and learning about all things Northwest.

Stewardship Achievement Award: Zua Stivers

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Zua Stivers has been a Mountaineer since 2017, participating in hiking, backpacking, naturalist hikes, and stewardship. She is an enthusiastic volunteer for any type of stewardship activity and is a valuable part of the Olympia Mountaineers core group of stewardship participants. In 2022, she plans to become a Stewardship Leader and will be seeking her Crosscut Sawyer Certification.

Stewardship Achievement Award: Ken Ames

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Ken has been a member of The Mountaineers since 2014, and since that time has become a valuable member of the Olympia Mountaineers Stewardship Team. He is a Certified Crosscut Sawyer and has a Chain Saw Certification from the Forest Service (the first Olympia Mountaineer to achieve this). He is also part of the Olympia Mountaineers team that sharpens the crosscut saws. Ken is recognized as the one who sees what needs to be done and goes for it.

youth Outreach volunteer of the year:  Rob Schanz

Rob Schanz 2.jpgRob volunteers for many events and is noted for teaching the Navigation Program. According to Michelle Garcia, Olympia Family Hiking Chair, "he is a quiet, unassuming, unpretentious, and highly effective" volunteer. 

Family Hiking Volunteer of the Year: Carol Froelich

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Carol was recognized for continuing to offer fun and educational family hikes throughout the year. She is a former teacher who knows how to foster curiosity and a love for nature.

youth camp volunteer of the year: Jennifer Fortin


According to Michelle Garcia, Olympia Family Hiking Chair, Jennifer's energy and her love for the children is infectious. She always does a great job teaching First Aid. The summer campers cited First Aid as one of their favorite activities and Jennifer as one of their favorite instructors.


Four youthful volunteers were recognized for the help with the youth programs. Ryan Garcia volunteered in camp, Cecelia Devine assisted with the Family Backpacking Workshop, and Elijah and Niko Robert helped with Sea Cadets and many other events. 

Lead image by Neal Kirby.