Founder and President
Chris is responsible for all operational activities for POW, overseeing the strategic growth of the organization as well as fundraising and corporate partnerships. For the past 15 years, Chris worked for large west coast advertising agencies and was most recently the VP, Marketing for Teton Gravity Research.
VP of Operations and Development
A veteran in both the action sports and non-profit world, Matt spent nearly a decade leading sales and marketing efforts for both Mammoth Mountain and Telluride Ski Resort, before taking up the reins as the Director of Marketing and Communications for the Surfrider Foundation. Matt previously served on the Board of Directors for the Life Rolls On Foundation and Protect Our Winters, where was Board Chair from 2010-2013. Matt is also a freelance writer whose work has appeared in several magazines including Thrasher, Powder, Transworld Surf, Coastal Living and GOOD Magazine.
A native of northern Michigan, Barbara has had a passion for sliding on snow since a young age. This passion eventually led her to the mountains of Colorado after college, where she most recently worked in marketing for Ski.com for nearly four years before joining the Protect Our Winters team. She’s beyond psyched to be working for POW, where she’s able to help ensure future generations enjoy the beautiful places and climates she was so fortunate to grow up in.
Jennifer McVey has worked in the snow & action sports industry since 1997 and received her MBA from Thunderbird Graduate School of International Management in 1998. Working for Icelandic company Nikita Clothing brought her awareness to melting glaciers and in 2009 she completed a Certificate in Sustainable Management at Presidio Graduate School.
Conrad Anker is a legend in the climbing and mountaineering community, where he is renowned for tackling challenging routes throughout the Americas, Himalayas and Antarctica, including multiple first ascents. He is the leader of The North Face climbing team. Conrad lives in Bozeman, Mont., and sits on the board of the Conservation Alliance and the Leadership Institute of Montana State University. Conrad is also vice president of the Alex Lowe Charitable Foundation.
Winston Binch is partner and chief digital officer at Deutsch LA, where he’s responsible for agency-wide digital strategy and vision, operations, and business and invention development. Prior to Deutsch, Winston worked at CP+B as Partner/Managing Director, Interactive, where he led digital strategy, operations, and agency business development, where his efforts helped the agency win Interactive Agency of the Year at Cannes three times over a five-year span. Winston’s work has been recognized by international award shows and publications such as Cannes Cyber Lions, Andys, One Show, Clios, London International Awards, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, BusinessWeek, AdAge, Adweek, Creativity, Travel + Leisure, Ski Magazine, and Communication Arts.
Olympic Silver Medalist, Four-time X-Games Champion and co-founder of Nice Reusables/ALEX Bottle
Gretchen Bleiler is one of the most accomplished female snowboarders in the world. As a top to her incredible list of medals and contest wins, Gretchen won the silver medal in Women’s Halfpipe at the 2006 Winter Olympic Games in Torino, Italy and set a Guinness World Record at the 2010 Winter X Games for “Most Winter X Games Gold in Women’s Superpipe Finals” (4). In early 2010, Gretchen returned to compete in her 2nd Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver, holding one of the four female spots on the US Olympic Snowboard Team. Gretchen was also chosen as one of “10 Women to Watch in 2010″. August 2010 marked a new phase in her entrepreneurial exploration. Together with her husband Chris, Gretchen debuted her reusable/sustainable products company, Nice Reusables/ALEX Bottle: www.alexbottle.com.
Chris Davenport, of Aspen, Colorado, is widely regarded as one of the premier big mountain skiers in the world today. Among his many skiing achievements, in 2007 Chris became the first person to ski all fifty-four of Colorado’s 14,000-foot peaks in less than one year. A two-time World Champion, he has numerous first descents of peaks around the globe under his belt, and recently guided and skied on Mt. Everest. Chris has been featured in more than thirty ski films. He is also a TV commentator for ESPN, ABC Sports, and Outside Television, and is an Olympic and World Cup announcer for ski racing events. Chris is also the author of two beautiful coffee-table books that celebrate North America’s mountains, Ski The 14ers and Fifty Classic Ski Descents of North America.
Ryan Gellert is brand president at Black Diamond Equipment Ltd., where he oversees all global brand functions for the company. Ryan holds a BSBA in finance from University of North Carolina at Charlotte and a MBA from Florida Institute of Technology. Ryan also holds a Juris Doctor from the S.J. Quinney College of Law at the University of Utah. Gellert is an avid backcountry snowboarder and an active climber for over 15 years, having climbed in Asia, Europe, North America, Australia the Middle East and South Africa.
Joani Lynch is a 20-year veteran in the winter sports industry. In her current role as director of communications for Mammoth Mountain Ski Area, Joani is responsible for developing and implementing integrated marketing initiatives for the resort and oversees all communication efforts on behalf of Mammoth Mountain and its ancillary businesses, including public relations, social media, advertising, creative services and corporate sponsorship. Fans of Mammoth Mountain may also recognize Joani as the resort’s spokesperson, appearing regularly on KTLA, the Weather Channel and elsewhere. Joani also sits on the board of directors for the Friends of the Eastern Sierra Avalanche Center.
Owner, Backbone Media
A Midwestern boy who bounced in and out of the country as a youth, Penn left his Wall Street job as a municipal bond trader in 1989 to relocate to Colorado. The renaissance ski bum lifestyle – making snow, race crew and a raft/climbing guide – led to a job as the Advertising Director at Climbing Magazine in 1992. Penn founded Backbone Media, an agency specializing in social media, public relations and media planning in 1997, and recently co-authored 50 Classic Ski Descents of North America with Chris Davenport and Art Burrows. Penn lives in Basalt, CO in a log cabin with his wife Kirsten and four tow-head kids, and serves on the North American Advisory Team for POC and is an Ambassador for 1% for the Planet.
Dr. Anne Nolin is a professor in the College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences at Oregon State University where she heads the Mountain Hydroclimatology Research Group. Her research interests focus on snow and ice in the climate system, particularly with regard to water resources. She has published articles on “at risk” snow in the Pacific Northwest, glacier melt contributions to rivers from Oregon to the Andes, and new ways of mapping snow and glaciers from space. She received her Ph.D. degree in geography from the University of California-Santa Barbara in 1993 and from 1993-2002 she worked as a research scientist at the University of Colorado, spending several field seasons on the Greenland ice sheet. She is a member of the NASA Science Team for the MISR and teaches courses in snow hydrology, climatology, and satellite remote sensing.
Professor of the History of Science and Affiliated Professor of Earth and Planetary Sciences, Harvard University
Naomi Oreskes is an internationally renowned historian of science and author. Her research focuses on consensus and dissent in science: How do scientists decide when a fact is “established?” How do they judge how much evidence is sufficient to deem something scientifically demonstrated? And what happens when scientists can’t agree? Her 2004 essay “The Scientific Consensus on Climate Change” (Science 306: 1686) has been widely cited in the mass media throughout the world, including in the Royal Society’s publication, “A Guide to Facts and Fictions about Climate Change,” in the Academy-award winning film, An Inconvenient Truth, and in Ian McEwan’s novel, Solar. Her opinion pieces have appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, Nature, Science, The New Statesman, and elsewhere. Her latest work, Merchants of Doubt, How a Handful of Scientists Obscured the Truth on Issues from Tobacco to Global Warming, with co-author Erik M. Conway, was shortlisted for the 2010 Los Angeles Times Book Prize, and has recently been released in paperback.
Vice President, Sustainability, Aspen Skiing Company
Previously a research associate in corporate sustainability at Rocky Mountain Institute, Auden has been a trailer insulator, burger flipper, ambulance medic, Outward Bound instructor, high school math and English teacher, freelance writer, and Forest Service goose nest island builder. An avid outdoorsman, Auden has climbed Denali, North America’s highest peak, and kayaked the Grand Canyon in winter. His writing has been published in Harvard Business Review, the L.A. Times, Scientific American and Salon.com, among other places, and his work has been covered in Businessweek, Fast Company, Travel and Leisure, Outside, and other media. Auden was named a global warming innovator by TIME magazine in 2006 and in 2007 he testified to Congress on the impact of climate change on public lands. He lives in Basalt, Colorado with his wife Ellen and their children Willa and Elias.