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Board of Directors

Graham Gephart

President

Graham Gephart

A member of the NWAC board since 2016, Graham is the Director of Marketing for evo and brings over 15 years of experience in media and marketing in the snowsports and outdoor industries. A lifelong skier transplanted from Vermont to the Cascades, Graham balances backcountry ski days with teaching his kids to ski, and works to spread a message of inspiration and safe adventure for future generations of backcountry users.

Rick Meade

Vice President

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Board member since 2014. Rick is currently an Outdoor Industry consultant. He brings over 20 years of experience in the Outdoor Specialty and Snowsports industries—including leading Nikwax North America, and 15 years in with REI. He earned a Master’s degree from Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), and served two decades of active and reserve duty with the US Navy. Rick is an enthusiastic backcountry skier, outdoor photographer, and a frequent Cascade snowshoer. He is particularly interested in getting youth into the outdoors.

Lewis Turner

Treasurer

Lewis Turner

Lewis has been a board members since 1998.  He works in accounting and management, but is also an avid alpine climber, scrambler and snow-shoer.  He developed the Everett Mountaineers avalanche course, and taught avalanche, climbing and scrambling courses for The Mountaineers for 10 years.  He served on many Mountaineers committees and produced several scrambling, leadership and avalanche publications for the Everett branch. 

Libby Snead

Secretary

Libby Snead

Board Member since 2012, Libby works as an email and social media marketing professional in the tech industry. She has been on skis since the age of four when her parents dragged her out on to the icy slopes of the North East. Now she can be found most weekends in and around Mt. Baker Ski Area. Her passion for marketing and love for the backcountry is what drove her to join the board to help NWAC reach, educate, and connect more backcountry travelers.

Mick Steinman

Board Member
Mick Steinman

 

Board member since 2004. Mick is chair of the safety committee for the Washington State Snowmobile Association (WSSA) and promotes safety to the snowmobiling community. Mick has been a downhill skier for over 35 years including many as a ski instructor for Ski Masters, and a snowmobiler for 25 years. He is a General Contractor, multiple business owner, wind turbine owner and on the Building Committee of the Lake Cavanaugh Improvement Association.

Skip Swenson

Board Member

Skip Swenson

Board member since 2009, Skip is the Senior Managing Director in the Policy department at Forterra, a regional conservation, community-building, and stewardship organization.  He also volunteers as a glacier travel and crevasse rescue course instructor with the Mountaineers.  When he’s not working, reading, or tinkering, Skip can often be found backcountry skiing or otherwise wandering throughout the Cascades.

Roland "Em" Emetaz

Board Member
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Em has been with NWAC since the beginning and on the board since 1998. “Em” is a retired Forester with the US Forest Service, Pacific NW Region, spending his career advocating outdoor safety, quality customer service and teamwork, Mr. EM continues as a volunteer teaching those lessons.  He provides avalanche awareness programs on behalf of the NWAC various audiences. He is often on assignment with the Central Washington All Hazards Incident Management Team (one of 54 in the Nation) managing incidents as diverse as wildfires and hurricanes, from the Arctic Circle to the Gulf Coast.

Justin Davis

Board Member

Justin Davis

Justin has been on the board since 2007. Since earning his MBA from the Foster School of Business at the UW he has been working as a project management consultant. Justin has been an avid free heel backcountry skier for the last 12 years and an avid climber for the last 25. He was inspired to join the board after participating in the body recovery of 3 missing snowboarders at Crystal Mountain.

Tab Wilkins

Board Member

Tab Wilkins

Joining the Board in 2015, Tab has been an active climber and backcountry skier in the Pacific Northwest since 2000, having escaped the east coast for the enjoyment of mountains in the Pacific Northwest.  He's been active in the Mountaineers at the course, branch and board levels prior to joining the NWAC board.  His day-time job is with the federal National Institute of Standards and Technology helping small and mid-sized manufacturers be more globally competitive through process improvement, quality certification and new product development.

Jon Ferrian 

Board Member

Jon Ferrian

Jon joined the Board in 2016 to help with NWACs renewed outreach to the snowmobile community. He is a life long snowmobiler and originates from Brainerd, Minnesota.  Snowmobiling in vertical terrain began in 2007 with his first trip to Cook City, Montana where he was exposed to avalanche terrain and the risks associated with it. Very quickly after that Jon got involved in helping set up and organize avalanche education classes for the snowmobile community in Minnesota and now in Washington. Jon has a broad reach in the snowmobile community where he is an active member in Washington State Snowmobile Association and multiple other snowmobile clubs in Western Washington.

Kristina Ciari

Board Member

Kristina Ciari

Board Member since 2016, Kristina is the Director of Membership and Marketing at The Mountaineers, a volunteer-led, PNW based nonproft focusing on outdoor recreation, conservation, and exploration. Kristina’s passion for the outdoors began at age 3 in Bozeman, Montana, where she grew up skiing in the Rockies before moving to Seattle to attend UW. As a backcountry skier and proud Turns All Year participant, Kristina can be found on the side of a mountain somewhere chasing snow all year round, generally in a tutu. As a passionate adventurer and avid user of NWAC data, she's excited to join the board to help shape the future of this invaluable resource.

Will Edison

Board Member

Will Edison

Will has been on the Board since 2015. Will is currently Corporate Counsel at Expedia, Inc. Will is an avoid backcountry skier, mountain biker, and whitewater kayaker. He is the current chair of the Governance Committee and also serves on the Finance committee

Sarah Courtney

Board Member
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Board member since 2017.  Sarah works at Cascade Designs as the MSR Category Manager of Winter Products (including snowshoes). Sarah has a degree in Mechanical Engineering and a Master’s degree in Supply Chain from MIT. Prior to that, Courtney spent two years with the Peace Corps in Queretaro Mexico working on technology transfer. Outside of work Courtney enjoys backcountry skiing, biking, hiking, climbing, sailing, and an assortment of other activities with family and friends.

Erik Chelstad

Board Member

Erik Chelstad

Joining the Board in 2017, Erik has been skirting crevasses and dodging icefall since "borrowing" his Dad's logging boots to explore the glaciers of SE Alaska. He grew up volunteering on ski patrol and now helps teach climbing and avalanche safety with the Mountaineers. Erik is co-founder and CTO of Seattle-based Observa to help brands achieve their full marketing potential. Likewise, he is on the board to help NWAC on it's path to full educational and informational potential.

Heather Karell

Board Member

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Board member since 2017.  Heather is an attorney who focuses her practice on complex commercial transactions, technology and intellectual property licensing, strategic counseling, and privacy, data security and e-commerce matters. A graduate of the University of Michigan Law School, Heather previously worked as a legal fellow for the Natural Resources Defense Council. Prior graduate school, she lived and worked in Vail, Colorado and continues to spend much of her time outside of work in the mountains with her family. She is an avid telemark and cross-country skier, cyclist, and trail runner. She appreciates the opportunity to work with NWAC to help the organization fulfill its mission and encourage safe recreation in the backcountry.

Gavin Woody

Board Member

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Board member since 2017, Gavin is a business, non-profit and endurance sports leader in the Puget Sound Community.  With recent work as a A Place For Mom, Expedia and at McKinsey he bring great operational knowledge to the Board and serves as the Chair of the Governance Committee. Gavin earned an MBA from Stanford and served as an Army officer in Iraq.  As a former President of Mountaineers Board, Gavin enjoys taking his family on outdoor adventures and personally enjoys endurance events like the Iditarod Trail and The Spine Race (UK).