Meet the team of OAS ambassadors, instructors, and administrative staff!
Ambassadors of #OASStoke
OAS ambassadors are individuals who experience a disability and have engaged with OAS as athletes and/or volunteers. Their accomplishments range from three time Paralympian to first known Disabled ascent with sit ski descent of Mt Hood. Ambassadors represent OAS in the community through outreach opportunities to educate others on the OAS mission and programs.
Ambassador & Winter Instructor
Anna Soens (she/her) is happiest outside. Snow or dirt, mountains or rivers. You’ll find Anna exploring and enjoying central Oregon (and beyond) while skiing, mountain biking, rafting, sailing, and climbing. She’s been an avid member of the OAS community since a climbing accident in 2015. Anna works as a wildlife biologist focused on local threatened and endangered species, and thus prays for snow for both personal and professional reasons. In her spare time, Anna can be found talking about/to chickens, falling asleep before it is socially acceptable, and making questionable choices like climbing mountains.
Ambassador & Winter Instructor
Carl (he/him) brings big dad energy to any ski hill, bike trail, or pub trivia night. Skiing has been a major force for good in his life since being injured in a car accident at age 5. He raced with the U.S. adaptive alpine ski team from 1999 until 2010, competing in three Paralympics before retiring to study library and information science. These days he’s more likely to be found on obscure parts of Mt. Bachelor, enjoying the questionable snow conditions. A Maine native, Carl has called the Northwest home since 2008. He lives in Bend with a wife, a daughter, and a wayward bunny rabbit.
Danielle Watson (she/her) has been a participant and advocate for Oregon Adaptive Sports since becoming paraplegic from a rock climbing fall in 2011. She has always been an active adventurer and loves travel and being outdoors. OAS helped Danielle learn to mono ski after her accident, which she loves dearly. She has also fallen in love with hand cycling, both on and off road. She is on an all-women’s hand cycling team and travels the country and world competing in road races. Danielle is happy to be back in Bend after competing her masters in occupational therapy and works as a hand therapist helping others rehabilitate.
Gabe (he/him) is a lifelong alpine skier who enjoys sailing and putting a tent down in new places during the summer. Born in Bend, he has seen his community grow and change in remarkable and unique ways. Diagnosed with Spinal Muscular Atrophy in the early 90’s he has been riding a sit ski and has been active in the adaptive sports community since 1996. He holds a masters degree in Urban & Regional Planning and a graduate certificate in Geographic Information Systems. You can find him charging the mountain or likely devouring tacos. He approaches each day with relentless optimism and is extroverted about sharing his perspective.
Hi! After being hit by a train and losing both my legs at 14, my parents introduced me to skiing through a scholarship we received through Oregon Adaptive Sports, here in Bend, near Mt. Bachelor and Hoodoo. My first day in January 2009, after my lesson, I skied with my Dad all day and was hooked. In 2011, I was invited to compete at Winter X Games in Aspen, where in 2015 I won the Bronze in MonoX. With no MonoX at Winter X Games, I began Alpine training with the National Ability Center at Park City. Now a Para Alpine National Team member and competing in the Paralympics in Beijing, I am looking forward to training for Milan/Cortina 2026!
The OAS administrative team works year round to support the programs, operations, fundraising, marketing, and various other essential responsibilities of the organization. While you are likely to find this team behind their desk at the OAS World HQ or in meetings across the community, you’ll also find them teaching on skis or bikes throughout the year supporting the growth and independence of OAS athletes.
Preferred language: American Sign Language (ASL)
Cara (she/her) hails from Colorado but grew up in the great Pacific Northwest. Cara was born Deaf and understands firsthand the challenges faced by those whose disabilities are not always readily apparent. She brings over 15 years of experience working with adaptive outdoor programs throughout the Western region and more recently, the unequaled experience of coordinating international logistics for the US Deaflypmic Ski & Snowboard Team.
When she’s not working, you’ll find her exploring irresistible plant-based recipes, cultivating her garden, doing DIY home projects, nerding out over the natural world and advancing state-wide initiatives for members of the Deaf, Deafblind and Hard of Hearing community. Cara lives in Redmond with her husband and their red heeler mix pup, Whiskey.
Born and raised in Portland, OR, Hayley (she/her) studied Tourism and Outdoor Leadership at Oregon State Cascades and joined the OAS team in 2019 after working in the healthcare industry. Hayley is the first point of contact for many OAS athletes and volunteers scheduling every activity that OAS offers throughout the year. Hayley, her partner Josh, and dog Walker can be found adventuring throughout the state, especially on Oregon’s iconic rivers in the summer months.
Jared (he/him) and his wife have recently settled in Central Oregon after years in the high country of Colorado. He is a proud parent of two amazing daughters and a St. Bernard, Whiskey. A former Marine, educator, business owner and executive, he has found what he believes are the two most important things in life. Being outside and helping others achieve their goals. An avid snowboarder, rafter, disc golfer, mountain biker and traveler, he is ecstatic to join the OAS community. He looks forward to getting to know the entire team and helping in as many ways he can.
OAS Mt Ashland Program Coordinator
Joe (he/him) is peaked. After volunteering for adaptive sports programs and working with the disability community for 15 years he is getting to live out his dream of facilitating adaptive ski lessons on his home mountain of Mt. Ashland. Joe lives in Ashland, OR with his equally pumped family—wife Sarah and 5-year-old ‘lil ripper Jojo.
Social Media Manager
JD (he/him) is a para-athlete from Portland, OR who competes in both Wheelchair Racing (since 2016) and Wheelchair Rugby (since 2018). After graduating from Portland State University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology, he now works as a freelance social media manger for various organizations and OAS is excited to contract with JD! When he’s not working or training for his sports, JD enjoys spending quality time with his friends and family, while dabbling in hobbies like photography and other creative passion projects.
As East coast transplant, Leah (she/her) 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.
Hoodoo Program Coordinator
Kendall grew up ski racing in Montana and was introduced to adaptive skiing in Breckenridge in 1993. After a stint at the Tahoe Adaptive Ski School, he moved up to Bend in 1996 with a group of instructors to form what would become Oregon Adaptive Sports. Kendall has served in almost every role at OAS from volunteer to board president. Sharing his passion for outdoor pursuits with adaptive athletes has been a highlight of his life. Climbing, skiing, mountain biking, hiking in the mountains and playing backgammon with his daughter are some of his favorite activities.
Education & Training Manager
Having never skied, Melodie (she/her) begged to be taken for her 5th birthday. That passion for skiing has taken her far. Today Melodie has her Adaptive Level III, Alpine Level III certifications, Children’s Specialist 1 and serves as an Adaptive examiner, and Alpine examiner-in-training for the PSIA AASI Northwest Region. Nationally, she has helped develop the Adaptive Alpine Certification Pathways and Specialist Standards and the Teaching Adaptive Snowsport e-learning courses for PSIA-AASI. She also serves on the Adaptive National Taskforce. She joined OAS in 2008. When Melodie is not on the mountain, she is either riding her bike, researching human behavior, building her ample creativity, or connecting. You’ll find her outside, most of the time and with her pup Jette.
Pat (he/him) joined the OAS team in 2016 after spending five years helping direct programs at the Adaptive Sports Center in Crested Butte, CO and two years serving as Youth and Chapter Services Coordinators with Move United. Pat has a background in outdoor adventure education and has a degree in Outdoor Leadership and History from Warren Wilson College in Asheville, NC. Pat believes the key to a happy and fulfilling life is spending time in nature and the outdoors and thus is often found outside on a bike, skis, or trail, usually with his corgi Griffin and wife Hannah alongside.
Mountain Ops & Instructors
Where the skis hit the snow and the tires hit the singletrack you will encounter this incredible team of talented and compassionate instructors and mountain operations teams. With dozens of years of experience, countless certifications, and endless stoke for sharing the joy of moving through the mountains, the instructor and mountain ops team are at the forefront of the OAS mission.
Ben (he/him) has been skiing for over 40 years and more than 20 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!
Bonnie (she/her) is a former school teacher with a M.Ed in Special Education and a M.Ed in Early Childhood Education. She believes everyone belongs outside and has the right to outdoor access, so she left the classroom to merge her teaching skills with her love for the outdoors. In the winter, Bonnie spends all hours teaching snowboarding and shredding. When the snow melts, she coaches mountain biking and enjoys downhill riding, hiking, and paddling. Bonnie is passionate about the preservation and low-impact enjoyment of public lands, and she enjoys teaching her students to Leave No Trace.
Devin (he/him) is a native Oregonian and has been with OAS since 2011. Devin holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Finance from Santa Clara University and spends his weekdays working as a certified financial planner for Ascent Capital Management. Devin is a skier and snowboarder, and off the snow he enjoys all of Bend’s outdoor activities as well as international travel. Devin instantly fell in love with OAS and constantly finds inspiration from the amazing strength of OAS participants and volunteers.
Jeremy (he/him) 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. During other times of the year you might find Jeremy working for Fields Farm in Central Oregon, or exploring the great outdoors by foot, bike, raft and canoe. Jeremy’s favorite parts of winter are overdosing on holiday music, bluebird ski days, and feeling the days gradually lengthen as winter progresses.
John (he/him) has been a ski instructor for almost 50 years, first teaching alpine and then switching to adaptive in 1996. His sons have cerebral palsy and adaptive skiing has given them an opportunity to get them actively involved and loving skiing as much as John does. He has his Level III Alpine and Level I Adaptive certifications. John is part of the OAS team at Hoodoo, his home area since he started skiing. John is an urban planner and city manager professionally. He has a consulting firm serving primarily local governments throughout the state working on community and organizational development. He is a graduate of Willamette University and lives in Keizer with his wife and two cats. When not skiing he enjoys theater, road trips, and camping.
Kathy (she/her) grew up in Michigan where she developed a love for anything outdoors, especially during the winter months. She began her professional career there teaching physical education and health along with coaching a variety of sports, and continued as an educator after moving to Oregon in 2006. When the snow melts you can typically find Kathy cycling, paddling, hiking/backpacking, and exploring both locally and around the globe, with her dog whenever possible. “I’m grateful for the opportunity to be part of the OAS team as they continue to create quality and meaningful experiences, giving every participant an opportunity to develop and sustain a love for moving in the outdoors”.
Originally from the Seattle area, Kellie (she/her) grew up skiing the Washington Cascades and Mt 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 with a degree in political science and a summer stint working 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 skiing, biking, surfing, climbing and playing with pups. Access to the outdoors and the lifestyle and community that Bend provides has been life changing for Kellie, and she hopes to share that with others.
Lou (he/him) served 25 years in the US Army in a wide variety of leadership positions. Lou deployed overseas to South Korea, Kosovo, Pakistan, Iraq (twice) and was awarded the Bronze Star in Afghanistan. He spent the last part of his army career developing military systems such as combat vehicles and computer networks.
Lou combines his military experience with his passion for the outdoors in order to teach not just the technical aspects of a sport, but also leadership, teamwork, problem solving, decision making, resilience and safety/risk management. Lou’s objective is to pass his love and respect for the outdoors and sports to others, while instilling confidence through setting and achieving goals.
Mark (he/him) started skiing at age 14 in New Hampshire. In high school, he was on the ski patrol at Mt. Tom in Massachusetts after his school day. After cruising 40,000 miles on a sailboat for 7 years, he and his wife, Bunny, moved to Sisters in 2001. He started working at Hoodoo in 2001 and that year became a volunteer with Alpine Adventures (OAS). He’s been hooked on OAS ever since. His passion is to assist people of all abilities to enjoy outdoor recreation and to challenge their skills.
Winter & Summer Instructor
Matt is constantly in motion as a learner and traveler of life. He seeks out people and places, as well as the constant search to find the perfect rock to sit on. He is BEYOND psyched to get amongst it with OAS and the community that it serves; finding the intersection between recreation and education. When he isn’t out recreating, Matt can often be found trying out new veggie recipes, especially ones involving beets. Yum! Additionally, Matt likes to climb, ski, bike, and gaze at clouds.
Assistant Winter Program Coordinator & Winter Instructor
Rachel (she/her) joined the OAS instructing team this year and has already felt incredibly welcomed by this community. Rachel grew up skiing in Northern Idaho and since 2016 has spent her summers working as an Outward Bound Instructor where she has enjoyed taking students on backpacking and climbing trips throughout California. When not skiing she enjoys hiking, exploring new places, playing violin, or reading a good book. Rachel is excited to bring her background as a Special Education teacher and an Outdoor Educator to OAS to continue spreading the enjoyment, empowerment, and community that exists in outdoor experiences!
Sid (he/him) is a former construction project manager and moved to Central Oregon 5 years ago after having lived in various locals, including Seattle, Washington DC, and Santa Fe. Sid developed a passion for traveling after living and working overseas, and his enthusiasm for the outdoors was discovered upon taking a NOLS course and moving to the West. Sid loves to ski, hike, backpack, rock climb, kayak, trail run and mountain bike. Sid volunteered with OAS during the winter of 2021-22 and looks forward to helping the organization and participants reach their goals.