Saying Goodbye to Amber Carrigan

With appreciation, join us in saying good luck to Amber Carrigan, a game changer on The Mountaineers staff team, whose infectious enthusiasm and drive for results has dramatically transformed the landscape of Mountaineers fundraising.
Tom Vogl Tom Vogl
CEO, The Mountaineers
August 31, 2022
Saying Goodbye to Amber Carrigan

Few people have done more to change the trajectory of our organization than Amber Carrigan. In her five years serving as Development Director, Amber built a talented and high-performing team, dramatically transformed our fundraising mission and messaging to build a stronger culture of philanthropy, and most importantly built deep and caring relationships with hundreds of donors and volunteers. While we are sad to say goodbye, we wish her the best of luck as she moves on to her next chapter at the end of September.

Amber’s infectious enthusiasm and drive for results has dramatically transformed the landscape of Mountaineers fundraising. We are proud of a philanthropic culture that Amber helped to cultivate, building on a strong history giving back and paying it forward. Donations give us the flexibility to respond to new opportunities and fuel the most important, and often unfunded, aspects of our mission, bringing imagination to life and making innovation possible. 

Under Amber’s development-team leadership, she grew overall philanthropic revenue from $700K to over $1.6MM and kept our donors inspired and engaged through a global pandemic. In 2021 alone, 2,165 people made a first-time donation to The Mountaineers, and 4,300 donors kept our mission alive through one of the most challenging landscapes we’ve faced as an organization. She played a key role in securing NCLI funding to expand Mountain Workshops to 1,500 youth served per year, resourcing our Gear Library, launching an Impact Giving series and elevating our annual Gala: Adventure with Purpose, for which Amber served as the mastermind behind the curtain, growing funds raise from $350,000 to over $525,000! 

In addition to her work on staff, Amber has been an integral part of our member and volunteer community since joining in 2017. She’s a graduate of our Intensive Basic (IB) Climbing Course in Seattle, and came back as a volunteer each year to support the IB community. In 2019 she was awarded the Super Volunteer badge for her dedication to giving back and paying it forward. Amber also graduated from AIARE I, Public Lands 101, and Outdoor Leadership, and she’s currently an Intermediate Climbing Student. She continues to lead with our organization as a Glacier Climb Rope Leader and as a member of our Peak Society.

A message from Amber:

“Since day one, I've remained inspired and motivated by our outstanding community of staff, Board, volunteers, authors, members, and donors. After months of deep reflection, I’ve come to the conclusion that now is the right time for me and The Mountaineers to transfer leadership of the Development program into the capable hands of its next fearless director. 

“I am excited to join the Gala Committee and offer my volunteer services for the next great event. I also look forward to taking more courses, continuing to volunteer with the Intensive Basic climbing course, reading more Mountaineers Books titles, continuing my Peak Society membership, and championing The Mountaineers as their loudest supporter. I am immensely proud to be a Mountaineer, and I appreciate all that you and our community of supporters do to make our collective impact possible.”

While we’re very sad to see Amber go, we will be forever grateful for the many ways she has helped The Mountaineers change and grow. It’s always difficult to see such a talented leader transition from staff, but the strong team and foundation for our development programs Amber built gives me great confidence in our path forward. 

In Amber’s stead, I’m thrilled to share that our very own Bri Vanderlinden will step in as our new Development Director. Many of you have already gotten to know Bri during her five-year tenure on our development team. Bri’s leadership and expertise has helped to triple Peak Society membership, launch new major gift and planned gift programs, level-up the Gala, and much more. The past year, Bri has also been leading our efforts to refresh The Mountaineers strategic plan, and as we articulate our vision for the next 10 years and beyond, there is no better person than Bri to lead our development program into a new era of growth and discovery. 

Please join me in thanking Amber for her many contributions and in wishing her well in her next professional endeavor in our comments section.

Join us at An Evening of Advocacy to Celebrate Amber - September 24

If you're not already planning on it, please join us on Saturday, September 24 at An Evening of Advocacy, our premier fundraising event supporting The Mountaineers Conservation and Advocacy program.

That evening, we'll be throwing TWO Parties.

From 5pm - 8pm we'll enjoy waterfront views, catering from AQUA by El Gaucho, a PNW-inspired silent art auction, and a thought-provoking panel discussion about climate and conservation. 

From 8pm and beyond, we'll host a farewell gathering for Amber celebrating her last event as Development Director. We'll walk to a nearby venue for drinks and further merry making. I hope you can join us not only to help us raise funds in support of Conservation and Advocacy at The Mountaineers, but also to toast Amber and the difference she's made for our community over the last five years! 


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Thomas Bancroft
Thomas Bancroft says:
Sep 01, 2022 08:16 AM

Oh, Amber, we wish you the best of luck and great fun in you next endeavor. It has been so much fun to work with you and help the Mountaineers over the last few years. We will miss you very much.

Katie Koepke
Katie Koepke says:
Sep 01, 2022 09:21 AM

Congratulation on a remarkable tenure at The Mountaineers, Amber! I know the benefits of your service will be reaped for years to come. I’m so glad you’ll still be connected to the org in a different capacity. All the best.. Katie K :)

Peter Hendrickson
Peter Hendrickson says:
Sep 01, 2022 09:29 AM

Amber, I never imagined that I'd be visiting branch leadership teams across the club with the Development Director. You did so much to narrow the understanding gap between volunteers and staff/Board at our far flung lunches. In plain language you explained where revenue margin goes to support impactful programs. And you helped me spread the message that branch chairs have many more caring partners than they might have imagined.
I'm hoping you'll consider joining Nancy and me leading/instructing small groups of hikers and navigators. You've much to contribute as a skilled and joyful Mountaineers leader.
//Peter//