Executive Director, Suzanne Lafky
Suzanne is a former financial executive who has worked in a variety of organizations in Central Oregon and northern California. Her industry experience ranges from software to manufacturing, aerospace to retail. Before working in the private sector, Suzanne worked in public accounting. Suzanne holds a bachelor’s degree in Accounting from Saint Mary’s College of California. Suzanne’s greatest strengths are her drive, adaptability and leadership. She thrives on challenges particularly those that expand the cohesiveness of the work environment and overall efficiency in an organization. Suzanne now enjoys using her skills and talents to give back to the community that she has called home her entire life, sharing with others the hometown values and positive reinforcements she believes are critical in business and life. Suzanne lives in Bend with her husband and their two children. In her free time, Suzanne spends time with her family, alpine skiing, boating, traveling and loving all that Central Oregon has to offer. You can contact Suzanne directly at email@example.com.
Program Director, Pat Addabbo
Pat came to OAS from Crested Butte, CO after spending five years helping run programs at the Adaptive Sports Center, one of the nation’s premier year-round outdoor programs for people with disabilities. Pat has a background in outdoor adventure education and has a degree in Outdoor Leadership from Warren Wilson College in Asheville, NC. Pat enjoys enjoying as much time as possible outside on a bike, skis, or foot, usually with his corgi Griffin close behind. You can contact Pat directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Office Coordinator, Cara Frank
Cara hails from Colorado but grew up in the great Northwest. Cara was born profoundly deaf, with her so-called disability; she quickly developed a passion for serving others with similar backgrounds. After a summer camp experience, she discovered adaptive recreation, leading her to get her degree in Parks, Recreation & Leisure Studies from Western Washington University. After some traveling, Cara decided to set some roots in Bend in 2011, shortly after, she joined the OAS team as an occasional instructor. In 2015 she became the Office Coordinator providing administrative support to the team. You can contact Cara directly at email@example.com.
Instructor, Brett Crandall
Brett grew up in Michigan and ventured out to NYC for college to pursue a business degree. After school he soon found his way out west to Colorado where he worked as an EMT and took full advantage of The Rocky Mountains. He moved to Bend in 2009 and is happy to call this town his home. Outdoor recreation has always been his passion and he quickly began volunteering with Oregon Adaptive Sports. He has been a member of OAS’ staff for several years and loves working with such a compassionate and enabling organization.
Instructor, Kendall Cook (on left)
Kendall is a founding member of OAS and has over 20 years of adaptive teaching experience. He has been on the board of directors since 2003 and has also served as program director, instructor and volunteer. The impact of OAS on participants and their families, as well as, the incredible dedication of OAS volunteers is what he is most inspired by. He lives in Tumalo with his beautiful wife Deena and amazing daughter Adeline and enjoys skiing, golfing and mountaineering on occasion.
Instructor, Melodie Buell
Originally from Mt. Ashland, Melodie has spent the last 16 years working in resorts locally and around the world as a coach and instructor. She joined OAS in 2008 and finds herself on a variety of lessons, but has an affection for those with ample creativity. When not on the mountain, she is either riding her bike or working as a brand experience consultant locally and beyond.
Instructor, Mark Jarvis
Mark has been an instructor with OAS since 2010, and despite his gruff exterior he is a favorite among participants and volunteers. When not instructing for OAS, Mark operates an excavation business and manages his family’s ranch in eastern Oregon. Mark enjoys working with athletes who use sit-skis, and he brings a grand-fatherly kindness to the winter program.
Instructor, Matthew Eitel
Matt was born in Baltimore, Maryland. As a child Matt grew up skiing, mountain biking and skateboarding. Conventional and extreme sports played a big part in his life. Matt moved to Bend in 2000 and in 2011, Matt went back to school for outdoor leadership at OSU Cascades and that’s where he heard about Oregon Adaptive Sports. He began volunteering for OAS and was instantly hooked. Matt loves snowboarding and skiing. He is a PSIA Adaptive Level 2 and Alpine Level 1.
Instructor, Gracie King
Gracie is a native Oregonian and has lived in Bend for 20 years minus a few stints traveling and backpacking. She went to school at OSU Cascades and studied in Quito, Ecuador. She loves to ski, and instructed for Mt. Bachelor before working with OAS. The amazing and supportive community is what she loves the most about OAS!
Instructor, John Morgan
John has been teaching Adaptive for 16 years and Alpine for a total of 43 years. He is the father of two sons with Cerebral Palsy which led him to shifting his focus to make sure they can enjoy skiing as much as him. While teaching skiing is his real life, being a consultant and teacher in community, organizational, and leadership development occupies the rest. He lives in Keizer and is at Hoodoo for his home ski area.
Instructor, Keith Nicolson
Born and raised in England, Keith has been an avid skier since the age of 10 when he learned to ski in the Alps of Austria. He joined the City of Eugene Alpine Adventures Adaptive Ski Program in 2001 as a volunteer/instructor, and he became PSIA certified in alpine and adaptive skiing in 2010. In 2013 Alpine Adventures merged with OAS, and Keith became an OAS instructor. He loves to share his passion for skiing with people from all walks of life, and he has found working with individuals with disabilities to be particularly rewarding. In his spare time Keith loves to travel with his family and ski as much as possible.
Program Coordinator at Mt. Bachelor & Instructor, Kadee Mardula
Growing up on the ski hills of Park City, Utah, Kadee has always had a passion for mountains and snow. She started volunteering with OAS in December of 2014 after completing her Master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering at Oregon State University. Kadee immediately fell in love with the OAS community and environment. The mountains are always calling her and she can usually be found ski mountaineering, backcountry skiing, adventure racing, running, biking, rock climbing, doing yoga and acroyoga. Kadee’s goal is to support others find joy, mental and physical strength and a sense of purpose through the activities she loves.
Instructor, Kellie Standish
A native Seattleite, Kellie grew up skiing the Washington Cascades and Mount Bachelor. She began as a volunteer while in college, and instantly fell in love with OAS, commuting from Salem quite literally every winter weekend. After graduating from Willamette University with a degree in political science and Spanish and a summer stint in Costa Rica, she realized that her love for OAS was special enough to make Bend home. When she isn’t volunteering or working, she spends her free time reading, biking, hiking, running, playing soccer and attempting to rock climb.
Instructor, Kellie Nemke
Kellie is from Milwaukee, Wisconsin and has called Eugene, Oregon home for almost 20 years. She has a degree in Therapeutic Recreation and has worked for more than two decades in adaptive outdoor settings including skiing and challenge courses. In 1999, she became the director of the oldest adaptive ski program in Oregon, Willamette Valley-based Alpine Adventures. Even then OAS and Alpine Adventures had an informal, yet meaningful partnership and Kellie is proud that Alpine Adventures and OAS are now one. She is passionate about continuing to coordinate OAS efforts for athletes from the Valley. Kellie became certified as a PSIA Adaptive Instructor in 2010. She owns a holistic veterinary clinic in Eugene with her wife and their resident treat-and-toy-tester, Kanuk. She loves to hike and surf.
Program Coordinator at Hoodoo & Instructor, Lisa Schulte
Lisa grew up in Evergreen, Colorado. Her mom had her on skis at the age of two. It was love at first slide! This is Lisa’s first year with OAS. She loves the variety of specialties and people that adaptive skiing provides. Lisa describes herself as a water person. She cannot get enough of it both in the liquid and frozen form! Honestly, her furry best friend feels the same.
Instructor, Devin Harrigan
Devin is a native Oregonian and has been with OAS since 2011. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Santa Clara University. Devin is a skier and snowboarder, and off the snow he enjoys all of Bend’s outdoor activities. Devin instantly fell in love with OAS and constantly finds inspiration from the amazing strength of OAS participants and volunteers.
Instructor, Michael Ahmuty
Michael started his career in the outdoor industry guiding rivers in Haines, Alaska. His first introduction to Adaptive Sports was in 1999 while volunteering for the Crested Butte winter program. He moved to Bend with his wife and 2 daughters in 2013. Michael not only works in the winter as an instructor, but has contributed to our summer programs as a river guide.
Instructor, Leah Persichilli
As East coast transplant, Leah has lived most of her adult life in northern Arizona, South Lake Tahoe and Central Oregon. Her diverse outdoor background ranges from professional ski patrol, horse-pack & backpack guide/cook in southern Utah, geology assistant on the Colorado River Grand Canyon, and surf camp in southern California to name a few! However, her most adventurous job so far is raising two kids! Leah loves skiing, running and all of the “usual” Bend activities as well as growing food, cooking, canning, keeping chickens and bees, and all manner of urban farming. A passion for outdoor adventure and a strong belief in the inclusion of people of ALL abilities brings her to the OAS team.
Instructor, Ben Sparrow
Ben has been skiing for 44 years and is celebrating his 17 season with OAS. Woodworking and skiing are Ben’s two passions in life. Ben is very honored to share his passion for skiing with OAS and its participants. In the off season Ben enjoy kayaking, mountain biking and being in the great outdoors!
Instructor, Jeremy Fox
Jeremy began his involvement with OAS as a volunteer during the winter of ’08-’09. He has worked as an instructor and Assistant Program Director, and was the Winter Program Director from 2011-2016. Jeremy is excited to return to OAS this winter as an instructor. During other times of the year you might find Jeremy guiding school groups on backpacking and canoe trips in California, or exploring the great outdoors by foot, bike, canoe and raft. Jeremy’s favorite parts of winter are overdosing on holiday music, bluebird ski days, and feeling the days gradually lengthen as winter progresses.