A member of the NWAC board since 2016, Graham is a marketing leader and consultant with over 18 years of experience in media, brand development, and retail 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.
Jon joined the Board in 2016 to help with NWACs renewed outreach to the snowmobile community and in 2020 stepped into the role of Vice President for our Board of Directors. 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. Jon is active with organization including local Snowmobile Clubs, Washington State Snowmobile Association, the Motorized Avalanche Alliance, and with AIARE where he has started a the #LiveLARGEUniversity Motorized Avalanche Education Scholarship program in May of 2020 that has grown to be the largest avalanche education scholarship at AIARE. He also conducts a weekly Live Podcast on YouTube called Live LARGE Universe in which he interviews recreationalists and industry experts across North America on Motorized Avalanche Safety and Education.
Board member since 2017. Sarah currently works at Rad Power Bikes as a Senior Product Manager and formerly worked at Cascade Designs as the MSR Category Manager of Winter Products. Sarah has a degree in Mechanical Engineering and a Master’s degree in Supply Chain from MIT. Prior to that, she spent two years with the Peace Corps in Queretaro, Mexico working on Technology Transfer. Outside of work, Sarah used to enjoy suffering in adventure races like EcoChallenge 2000-Borneo, 2001-NZ and 2002 Fiji and now enjoys slogging it with 3 kids skiing, biking, hiking, climbing, running in a more “relaxed” adventurey sort of way.
Board member since 2017. Kendall has more than 30 years of professional accounting and finance experience in the high tech and life science industries. A graduate of the University of Washington, he has held CFO and other executive level positions, started a consulting business and worked as an auditor with a Big 4 public accounting firm. A native of Seattle, Kendall is a lifelong skier and backcountry adventurer. Serving on the NWAC board is an ideal way to combine his love of the outdoors with his professional background while helping NWAC achieve its mission of educating the community and promoting safe travel in the backcountry.
Board member since 1998, Lewis was NWAC Treasurer from 2003 to 2019. He is an avid alpine hiker, scrambler and snowshoer. 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 many scrambling, leadership and avalanche publications. He has over 35 years of professional accounting experience, including 30 years with the Seattle Department of Parks & Recreation. Lewis managed their accounting department for 15 years and their annual budget development process for 15 years. He also has professional accounting experience as the business manager and Assistant Zoo Director of the Oklahoma City Zoo, one of the top five zoos in the US.
A member of the NWAC board since 2018, David is a fundraising professional with more than 15 years of experience working with regional and national nongovernmental organizations. An avid skier and mountain enthusiast, David is proud to support NWAC’s efforts to become a stronger and more effective organization.
As a passionate backcountry skier, father of two young children (who love to ski!), and an advocate for responsible recreating in the backcountry, I’m honored to have served on the NWAC Board since 2017. In addition to skiing, I love taking advantage of all the outdoor activities the PNW has to offer: ultrarunning, mountaineering. biking, hunting, and fishing. Originally from California, I served as a U.S. Army infantry captain and am a decorated combat veteran (Operation Iraqi Freedom). My professional background includes management consulting with McKinsey & Company and operations executive roles at Expedia, A Place For Mom, and Porch Group, where I currently lead our insurance agency. I hold a mechanical engineering degree, with honors, from the United States Military Academy at West Point and an MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business.
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.
Ronald “Em” Emetaz
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.
Having been on the board since October of 2016, Erik has seen avalanche gear progress from long sharp sticks to electronic transceivers. Erik grew up in the PNW working on fishing boats, scaling glaciers with logging corks, and ski patrolling. Erik is the CTO & Co-Founder of a tech company, Observa, and is passionate about continuing the growth of the intersection of technology and adventure to make things safer, but no less sweaty and “adventurous.” Erik has degrees in computer and electrical engineering from Purdue and an MBA from UW and teaches AIARE courses, usually with the Mountaineers.
Arun moved to Seattle for a software internship in 1992, fell in love with the mountains and the water, and has been here ever since. He is excited to leverage his professional passion for data and analytics to help NWAC educate and equip the backcountry community with the information they need to be safe. In his free time, he gets outside as much as possible on a snowboard, a paddleboard, or a mountain bike.
Board member since 2019. Zach is a software professional that has led development teams across many industries. He currently is a Principal Consultant at Slalom Build. Zach has been skiing since he could walk and used to write avalanche software while living on the East Coast. In an effort to find more ski touring partners, he began volunteering for NWAC when he first moved to Seattle in 2017. Since then they haven’t been able to shake him loose! When he’s not on the snow you can find Zach on his mountain bike, most likely accompanied by his dog Nelson. Zach currently serves on the Technology and Recruiting committees.
Board member since 2018. Berger brings 20+ years of finance experience to his role as member of the NWAC Board and NWAC Finance Committee. He grew up skiing and mountaineering in the Pacific Northwest, and started backcountry touring on high-performance leather telemark boots and three-pin bindings. Berger attended college at Boston University, where he competed with the B.U. alpine ski team, and received his MBA from the University of Washington. He currently serves as Chief Financial Officer of Lease Crutcher Lewis, a Seattle-based commercial general contractor. As a former professional ski patroller, Berger recognizes NWAC’s unique position as a critical resource for the Northwest winter mountain sports community, and honored to play a role in its ongoing development.
Kelsey is a social impact strategist who works with philanthropic organizations, governments, and non-profits to improve health and development outcomes. Kelsey currently works at Pivotal Ventures, the innovation and incubation company created by Melinda French Gates. Previously she spent more than a decade working in crisis settings from Syria to Afghanistan. Kelsey is happiest travelling uphill – running, climbing and backcountry skiing – and she is passionate about inclusive access to outdoor recreation, especially for winter sports.
Mike loves connecting with nature via snowboarding, splitboarding, climbing, surfing, and mountain biking. Based in the PNW area (Lands of the Coast Salish and Duwamish Peoples), he is passionate about sharing experiences in the mountains, creating pathways for traditionally underrepresented communities to connect to nature, and ensuring all can recreate safely with the proper education and resources.
Phaedra joined the NWAC Board in 2021 because of her passion to help people travel into the backcountry safely, so they can appreciate our wild places. She works in philanthropy with the Western Washington University Foundation and brings nearly twenty years of environmental advocacy and fundraising expertise. Phaedra cut her backcountry teeth volunteering with the Mt Hood Ski Patrol Nordic patrol. When it’s not winter or volcano season, she tosses a leg over a mountain bike or checks the wind forecast for kiting.
Ashley is a measurement expert and strategist focused on the intersection of social impact, business, and development. She helps organizations across the public and private sectors to understand and cultivate impact by using research to drive improved sustainable development outcomes. Ashley is an avid backcountry skier who has taught skiing in Colorado, California, Afghanistan, and Iraq and is committed to increasing access to mountain sports.
Becca Cahall is the co-founder and CEO of Duct Tape Then Beer, a small creative agency in Seattle, WA that specializes in creating beloved podcasts and documentary films. She toggles between overseeing the business side and leading the creative production of projects designed to reach millions. Previously, she was a field biologist and researcher, partnering with USFS, the BLM, and universities to study the effects of fire and forest management on bird populations. In the winter, she’s more comfortable setting a skin track than skiing through moguls after her sons.
Craig E. Shank
NWAC board member since 2022. With a lifelong love of the outdoors, Craig is an enthusiastic Nordic, backcountry and alpine skier, and hikes and sails during snowless months. As both lawyer and former tech executive, Craig advises businesses, nonprofits, government, and academic communities on developing issues at the intersection of emerging technologies, law, and society. Craig was drawn to work with NWAC by the organization’s deliberate commitment to learning, to supporting informed decisions and safety for all, and to an equitable, diverse, and growing backcountry community.
Midwestern roots. Laughability: A+. “Efficient” is my favorite word. Nerdy finance professional with a passion for our communities and an expertise in finance and operations.
Retired CPA with over 15 years of experience focused predominantly in the not-for-profit arena. I started my career in public accounting performing tax compliance, research, and planning including specialty issues such as excess benefit transactions, unrelated business income, and employee benefits.
Since leaving public accounting, I still happily serve the nonprofit industry but as a finance and accounting professional. I provide analysis for current financials, budget to actual, forecasting, and strategic planning. I support programs by partnering with programmatic leaders to efficiently run their business segments: review new opportunities, plan for capacity, budgeting and forecasting. I also support programs by streamlining operational processes – review of current processes and structures and implementation of technology to further increase capacity and gain efficiencies.