Board of Directors
Originally from the great state of Maine, I migrated to Oregon in 1999. Before moving to Bend in 2006, I attended Portland State University and attained a Master of Public Administration degree with a concentration in Non-Profit Management. I am passionate about the great work that nonprofits are capable of doing and am ecstatic about the amazing things I get to be a part of with OAS. I spend my free time being outdoors, hanging with friends, and traveling when I can. I love spontaneous dance parties and attending live music shows.
We currently have 10 Board of Directors. A majority of our board members have received special training and are experienced in working with adults and children with conditions such as paraplegia, quadriplegia, amputation, neurological diseases (Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinson’s Disease, etc.), and cognitive disorders. Two members of the board are persons with spinal injuries and accomplished adaptive skiers.
Neal Hueske - President
I am in my third season as board member and president of OAS. I continue to be amazed and overwhelmed with the courage of our participants, the generosity and dedication of our volunteers, and the skill and commitment of our incredible instructor staff. It is my goal to make OAS a fully self-sustaining, professional adaptive sports organization, on par with the established adaptive programs across the West.
My family and I spend a ton of our time alpine and Nordic skiing. I am married to Jodie and have two daughters, Madeline, 14 and Annabel, 10. I was an attorney for 15 years, but am currently “retired” and the stay-at-home parent in our family.
Jason Epple- Vice President
Born an Oregonian, grew up in the Willamette Valley and graduated from Oregon State in 1993. Moved to Bend in 1998 with my wife Trisha where we now are raising our four children. I am a partner of Century Insurance Group, a Bend based insurance agency. For me one of the greatest things is spending time with my family on the mountain. I believe everyone should have the opportunity to experience snow sports which is primarily why I am drawn to Oregon Adaptive Sports.
Bethany Graham - Secretary
I am a relatively new member of the OAS Board. Having joined the Board in the 2009-2010 season, I now serve as the Board Secretary. I grew up skiing and snowboarding the great, slow-double chair mountains of Montana and have lived in Bend for the last six years. When I am not hanging out with my husband, Christopher, or my kids, I work as a lawyer with Les Schwab Tire Centers Headquarters.
Suzanne Lafky- Treasurer
I've been involved with Oregon Adaptive Sports since 2003 as an active member of the board and skiing enthusiast. I currently serve as the treasurer and book keeper. I got involved in adaptive skiing after a 1989 car accident resulted in a spinal injury and I became a wheelchair user. I moved to Lake Tahoe CA after finishing college and started working at the Tahoe Adaptive Ski School where I re-learned to ski in a mono-ski and re-found my love of the sport. I continue to be enthused by the program and the people involved, even when I can't find time to get up on the hill.
Joseph "J.J." Jones
I have lived in Bend since 1994 when I migrated West from Florida. Being an avid Snowboarder, since the winter of 94/95, I planted my roots here for good. I have helped out my old room mate, Kendall Cook, over the years and am now an active Board member. Since being on the board, I finally realize how much Kendall has done and I have been excited to help even more.
I first became involved as an OAS Board member through Kevin McCormack back in 2008. Immediately, I recognized OAS as a great organization because of the passion and commitment of its volunteers and staff. Being a longtime skier I feel inspired when I hear stories from participants about their skiing or snowboarding experiences. OAS does an outstanding job in assisting those who want to experience the thrill of snow sports. OAS has changed my perspective on life. In my free time, I enjoy skiing with my wife and two daughters. I own a marketing research/political polling consulting company, DRC Research. I’m thankful Bend has such a great community of outdoor enthusiasts and OAS supporters. Thank you to all those involved with OAS.
I’m a certified adaptive instructor with over 18 years of adaptive teaching experience. I’ve served on the Board of Directors since 2003. I’m committed to making each individual’s skiing experience fun and safe. I enjoy bringing an energetic style to all of my lessons. I feel very fortunate to have the support of OAS volunteers and instructors. I'm looking forward to the development of OAS in the coming years.
Professionally, I'm a certified inspector. I'm married to a wonderful wife, Deena and have a little girl, Adeline.
Thanks again to everyone who makes OAS an exceptional local nonprofit organization.
My involvement with OAS began as a participant and student shortly after a skiing accident in Canada that left me paralyzed below the waist. I was lucky enough to have been taught to sit-ski by OAS’ Kendall Cook, whose unwavering patience and goodwill allowed, even me, to become a capable skier again. Our friendship throughout the learning process grew into a special bond and Kendall invited me to help teach newly injured mono skiers as a volunteer and later a member of the board of directors.
I’m a husband to a beautiful wife and father to two wonderful girls and my initial fear after my accident was that I would lack the abilities to be either. Through OAS and the people involved with the organization I came to realize not only could I still participate in outdoor sports but more importantly -- be an active and productive participant in life. My deepest gratitude goes out to all of the volunteers, sponsors, donors, and Board Members of the Oregon Adaptive Sports family. Your dedication, hard work, and kindness helped me to see there is truly ‘Life After Tragedy’. The gains to the human spirit, quality of life, confidence and hope OAS provides to all involved is an immeasurable gift! My hope now as a member of the OAS family is, in some small way, I can help to ignite the spark in the lives of other challenged athletes that OAS helped to re-ignite in me.