With great sadness, the Northwest Avalanche Center would like to recognize and share the passing of Board Member Tab Wilkins. Tab died on Saturday, March 23rd 2019 from injuries related to a fall while skiing with friends in the Whistler Blackcomb area.
Tab brought a rare balance of joy and commitment, non-profit development experience and patience to the Center’s board and operations. Unfailingly calm, Tab brought out the best in each of us at the Center. True to his roots in competitive New York hockey, Tab was always ready to dive into any challenging situation with a smile and full contact engagement.
On the NWAC board, Tab most recently served as Committee Chair of both the Finance and the Fundraising Committees. In both, he gracefully applied experience as past President of The Mountaineers and as a business consultant to build capacity and needed process. Tab also led NWAC’s first formal executive director search and later served as mentor to current executive director Scott Schell. Tab had a deep and thoughtful understanding of leadership and a great mastery of how it could be effectively applied in a non-profit setting to drive the growth and evolution of an organization. NWAC would not be able to execute the innovative education, outreach and forecast enhancements without his contributions.
Tab (center left on one knee) with NWAC Board of Directors – Annual Retreat May 2018.
In the mountains, Tab was full of joy and constantly engaged in sharing that joy with friends old and new. As a backcountry skier he crossed over 40 months of consecutive skiing - proving a great excuse to get out and laugh with friends in the skin track. As a member and volunteer leader at The Mountaineers, Tab enthusiastically learned and shared alpine skills at climbs across the NW. Always curious about something new, Tab recently sought out and enjoyed his first sled-supported backcountry ski trip.
Tab completing 35 consecutive month of skiing (TAY) October 2018.
Tab Wilkins personified the best attributes of volunteers that help drive our community-supported avalanche center. He generously shared his love of the mountains and his vast professional experience in service to others. He was critical to building the organization capacity, culture and competence that deliver the services our community depends on today. Tab set the model (and a high bar, with a smile) that will inspire the organization forward.
We will greatly miss Tab’s presence at NWAC, but will always remember our shared time and his impact on the community.
For more details and reflections on Tab’s community service, we recommend The Mountaineers remembrance: