Board of Directors
Wendy Wheeler Jacobs - President
Wendy is a brand consultant for Addison Whitney, where she helps companies with their brand strategy, naming and identities. Besides hiking and backpacking, Wendy is an ultra-distance competitive trail runner, averaging 250 miles each month. A long-time WTA member, she's helped create a "Tribute to the Trails" trail running calendar, an annual fundraiser now in its 8th year, that benefits WTA. As she whizzes by you on the trail, you'll catch a glimpse of her ponytail and her dog. She's been a board member since 2009 and began serving as board president in 2012.
Stephen Tan - Vice President, Advocacy
Stephen is Managing Partner at Cascadia Law Group. His law practice focuses on environmental litigation, remediation, and causes serving the public interest. In addition to chairing WTA's advocacy work, he's also a board member for PCC Natural Markets. Stephen has hiked and run trails in every major mountain range in the continental U.S., but is especially partial to the North Cascades. He's been on the WTA board since 2008.
Craig McKibben - Vice President, Board Development
Craig was the co-founder of WRQ, Inc., a Seattle software company, and is now enjoying the ability to get outdoors more often to climb, ski and hike during his retirement. He's a former president of the WTA board and served as an interim executive director in 2011. In addition, Craig's actively involved with a number of organizations, including YMCA -BOLD, the Access Fund and American Alpine Club. He and his wife have a cabin in Mazama, where they spend as much time as they can hiking, backpacking and skiing. His favorite hikes are Burch Mountain up the Chewuch River and Paddy Go Easy Pass near Salmon Le Sac. Craig has been a board member since 2006.
Rob Shurtleff - Vice President, Communications & Technology
Rob has more than 35 years of experience in technology and investments, most recently investing in high tech start-ups as Managing Partner of Divergent Ventures. At WTA, he's been a driving force behind the website, blending his interest in technology with his passion for hiking. He especially likes to scout trails with out-of-date trip reports, filing updates under the pseudonym of Shadowdad. Look for Rob on the trail with his family, friends and dog Shasta, particularly near Lake Wenatchee. Rob has been on the WTA board since 2008 and served two years as president from 2010 to 2012.
Steve Payne - Vice President, Fundraising
A longtime Hike-a-Thoner and Trip Reporter, Steve joined the board in 2012 and quickly became involved by chairing the Fundraising and Membership Committee. He brings a passion for hiking (he has been leading more than two dozen hikes and backpacks annually for The Mountaineers) and volunteerism (he's a WTA green hat) to WTA. We believe his skills as a senior paralegal working to help clients navigate the probate process and his tax education will benefit WTA's development program. Look for Steve on one of his favorite hikes: Tolmie Peak, the Maple Pass Loop and Point Defiance.
Carole Bianquis - Secretary
When you pass by a WTA work party, look among the orange hardhats for Carole. She spends on average more than 100 hours a year volunteering as an Assistant Crew Leader for WTA. As a result, she now can't hike a trail now without looking for ways to improve it. When she isn't working on a trail or for Boeing IT, you'll find her among some of her favorite trails: Grand Ridge, the Chain Lakes or Burroughs Mountain. She has a Master's in Mechanical Engineering from INSA Lyon (France) and an MBA from the University of Washington. She's been a board member since 2009.
Doug Breckel - Treasurer
Doug is the WTA's board's financial guru. He's the Associate Vice President of the Treasury office at the University of Washington where he oversees the University's $1.2 billion in operating funds, capital funding, cash management, real estate and risk management. His favorite place to hike is in the Columbia River Gorge where you just might find him climbing Mount Hamilton, hiking at Catherine Creek or visiting the waterfalls of Eagle Creek and Falls Creek Falls. He has served on the WTA board since 2007.
At Large Directors*
Over the past several years, Andrea has actively participated in Lobby Day, helped with WTA outreach events and been a parent of a youth volunteer. She's been working for Boeing in its finance division for more than 20 years and is excited to take the next step serving on WTA's board of directors, which she joined in 2012. Her companions on the trail are her daughter and her dog. Look for them on favorite hikes like Debbie's Viewpoint on Squak Mountain, Heather Lake and Corral Pass.
Lisa wears many hats in both her professional and WTA worlds. She's a pediatric nurse at Providence Regional Medical Center in Everett, but she also spent two years working with northwest environmental groups in a membership consultant capacity. She's a WTA chief crew leader who leads Volunteer Vacations and also an office volunteer assisting the development team. A Seattle native, Lisa grew up with copies of the original Signpost in the house and spent summers backpacking. Her favorite hike is the now-inaccessible Milk Creek trail at the end of the Suiattle River Road, but she's also a big fan of Cutthroat Lakes and the Walt Bailey trails. Lisa has been a board member since 2009.
Perry grew his family's dental supply business to a community of 370 employees in 18 locations before he retired in 2008. He's a lifelong hiker, and in summer he spend weeks at a time hiking in the Pasayten and Sawtooth wildernesses with his pack goats. WTA looks forward to tapping into Perry's strategic visioning on the board, which he joined in 2012.
In addition to working for Alaska Power and Telephone, Jeff is a director for the Backcountry Horsemen of Washington, participates in several trail groups and coalitions and serves on two federal lands watershed committees. He worked at Mount Rainier National Park, as well as several years with the Olympic National Forest administrating a YACC camp youth work program. He is active in trail maintenance and in recreation advocacy efforts at the local, state and federal levels. His favorite hikes are on the Pacific Northwest Trail, which crosses his doorstep in Port Townsend on its way into the Olympic Mountains. Jeff has served on WTA's board since 2009.
Amy is a retired research scientist and biology professor who is glad that she has time now to give back to the causes that she cares most about. Hiking is at the top of the list, and most particularly making sure that access to natural areas be maintained and expanded. She's a former whitewater guide, instructor and racer who now prefers to hike with her husband - and perhaps train her cats to hike someday. Look for Amy atop Tatie Peak, one of her favorites, as well as Glacier Basin at Mount Rainier and Deer Park in the Olympics. Amy has served on the board since 2011.
Todd is the director of the Center for Community Action and Service Learning at Gonzaga University. He has served on the boards of the Spokane Mountaineers and the Friends of the Centennial Trail and brings to WTA a passion for hiking and trail work in the Spokane area. His favorite local trails are Iller Creek and Libery Lake, where he likes to hike with his three young boys, while his go-to summer backpacking trip is Cutthroat Pass in the North Cascades. Todd has served on the board since 2009.
Laurie serves as a technology procurement director for T-Mobile. She's participated in WTA's Hike-a-Thon since 2006 where she is one of the top fundraisers each year. Last year, she hiked every day in August, mostly in her backyard of Cougar Mountain, but also to favorite places with big pay-offs like Mount Baker's Inspiration Point, Greenwater Lakes and Shi Shi Beach. Laurie's been on the board since 2011.
Damien has worked exclusively in technology, primarily in databases and image processing. He has always had a passion for the outdoors and, more recently, for photography. (He was the Grand Prize Winner in the 2008 Northwest Exposure Photo Contest.) If you're on one of his favorite trails - Kendall Katwalk, Marmot Pass or the Enchantments - you may find him prostrate on the ground, photographing flowers and bugs, or he may zoom past you on a trail run. Damien's been a board member since 2009.
Bill is former Microsoft lawyer, an avid backpacker, and owner of the Mazama Country Inn where he makes his home. Bill has deep and broad connections to the environmental community, currently sitting on a number of environmental non-profit boards, including the Wilderness Land Trust, Washington Conservation Voters and Progress Alliance of Washington as well as the advisory board the Methow Conservancy. When he's not greeting guests at his inn, you'll find Bill deep in the Pasayten backcountry, particularly the Boundary trail. Bill has been a board member since 2011.
Kate is the editor-in-chief of The Mountaineers Books/Skipstone Press where she oversees acquisitions, development, editing, design and publication. She's been a part-time lecturer on editing, publishing and general media at the University of Washington and Seattle Community Colleges. She's backpacked in the Brooks Range of Alaska, summitted Mounts Adams and St. Helens and hiked the Inca Trail in Peru. These days, Kate's turned to dayhikes - favorites include Melakwa Lake, Cascade Pass and Klahhane Ridge - and snowshoeing and cross-country skiing in winter. She has served on the WTA board since 2007.
Adam is a Global Account Director for ExactTarget, an email marketing software company. In 2012, he returned to the board of directors after serving from 2000-2006, including the final two years as president. Adam currently lives in Chelan with his young family, where he enjoys hiking and backpacking nearby Echo Ridge, Little Giant Pass near Lake Wenatchee and throughout the Entiat Valley.
* All Officers and At-Large Members serve as independent, voting members of WTA's Board of Directors.
Green Hard Hat: Participated on five or more trail work parties.
Orange Hard Hat: Assistant crew leader for WTA on trail work parties.
Blue Hard Hat: Chief crew leader for WTA on trail work parties.