Board of Directors - National Ability Center

Michael Kerby

President

Vice President, Big-D Construction

What year did you first become involved with the National Ability Center?
2008-2009.

How did you first become connected to the National Ability Center?
I first attended the RWS event, invited by Rena Jordan. Shortly after that, losing my brother-in-law in Afghanistan and recognizing the NATIONAL ABILITY CENTER involvement and commitment to the military.

I choose to be a part of the National Ability Center because:
The immediate impact that the NATIONAL ABILITY CENTER has on someone’s life, the effectiveness of the organization to do more with less. The commitment from the ED, board, staff and volunteers.

My favorite National Ability Center story is:
Hard to pick one, but obviously the interaction with the military and being beat-up playing sled hockey with the Marines, cut, bruised, sore and had a blast.

Chris Adams

Board Member

Attorney

Chris Adams is an attorney with 20 years of legal, business development, sales and marketing experience with extensive expertise in the eCommerce industry. He moved to Utah from Portland, Maine in 1997 and has not considered leaving since his arrival. When he’s not working, you can find him telemark and nordic skiing in the winter, and enjoying the trails, desert, rivers and mountains in the summer with his wife and two daughters. He is a die hard Boston Red Sox fan. Chris was on the Board of Directors at Splore and joined the National Ability Center’s Board in 2017 when the two organizations combined forces.

Sara Elizabeth Bartlett

Board Member

A Park City resident since 210, Sara Bartlett brings vast experience as a lawyer to the National Ability Center. In addition to serving on the organization’s board, she also volunteers in the National Ability Center’s ski, swimming and cycling programs. Sara is also involved in several other charitable organizations including Chicago Oncology Services, Inc. and One Step at a Time where she volunteers for summer camps as well as a ski and snowboard camp for children with cancer.

Sean Carroll

Vice President, People

Managing Director, Goldman Sachs

What year did you first become involved with the National Ability Center?
2012

How did you first become connected to the National Ability Center?
In two ways: Via a volunteer day, organized through Goldman Sachs’s ‘Give a Day to Community TeamWorks’ program, also via a colleague who was already involved with the National Ability Center.

I choose to be a part of National Ability Center because:
The mission resonates with me.

My favorite National Ability Center story is:
Whenever I am wearing my National Ability Center apparel, I am frequently stopped in the street by strangers who all have their own ‘story’ or their own connections to the organization. This reflects the high esteem in which the National Ability Center is held by the local public and shows the network of positive influence which the organization has.

Robert F Cioffi

Board Member

Venture Partner, Alerion Partners
robert cioffi

Rob Cioffi is a Venture Partner at Alerion Partners, a private equity firm in Darien, CT. Prior to joining Alerion in 2005, Rob was a Senior Vice President at GE Equity, a division of General Electric Capital Corporation. Prior to joining GE Equity in 1998, Rob was with Evaluation Associates Capital Markets in their funds management business. He started his finance career with Chase Manhattan in their Private Banking Group where he spent five years including the completion of Chase’s Management Development Program. Prior to Chase, Rob worked on the staff of U.S. Senator James M. Jeffords.

Rob has previously served on the Boards of the University of Vermont (where he is the immediate past Chair) and the National Down Syndrome Society. He is currently the Chair of the Board of the Norwalk Hospital Foundation and is on the Board of the New Canaan YMCA.

Rob received an MBA from the Fuqua School of Business at Duke University and a BA in Political Science and Economics from the University of Vermont. He lives in New Canaan, CT with his wife, Meghan, and three kids, Molly, Caroline and Peter and they have a second home in Park City.

Andy Dahmen

Vice President, Facilities and Capital

Project Manager

What year did you first become involved with the National Ability Center?
I attended a hand cycling camp in the summer of 2006. In 2010 or 2011 I helped our previous program director, Ellen Adams with a project supported by the Easton family enlarging the archery range. Not long after that, I joined the programs committee and then the board.

How did you first become connected to the National Ability Center?
As a participant in 2006.

I choose to be a part of National Ability Center because:
I like the mission and I like the feeling I get working with the other board members.

My favorite National Ability Center story is:
I have a friend that is also quadriplegic. We hand cycle a lot together. He got this wild hair to compete the 52-mile course in the National Ability Center’s Summit Challenge a few years ago. People see a hand cyclist finish a 50-mile ride and are impressed. Very few people realize the difference between a paraplegic person and a quadriplegic person. It is like the difference between a para- and an able-bodied person. My friend finished the 50-mile ride with no assistance. It took him over 9 hours. I don’t know of any person with a comparable injury level who has done that. Pretty proud to be associated with that guy.

Shawn Fojtik

Board Member

CEO, Control Medical Technology

Shawn arrived at the National Ability Center in 2012 to help grow programs. The Chief Operating Officer of Control Medical Technology, Sean chose to be a part of the National Ability Center because he maintains that investments in the Center are “immediately put to work and the results can change lives for participants, families, friends, staff” and anyone who watches them achieve. He continues, “The staff and volunteers are “best-in-class” talent who work hard to make each experience a success”.

Richard K Gallagher

Co-Chair, Advancement

Defense Professional, National Ability Center Volunteer

What year did you first become involved with the National Ability Center?
2012

How did you first become connected to the National Ability Center?
I was visiting wounded at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany in 2012. Wounded Warrior Projects (WWP) execs looked me up and we talked about where I would be retiring—to the Park City area. When they heard that they emphatically recommended I call Gail and become acquainted with the National Ability Center!

I choose to be a part of the National Ability Center because:
It fed my need to become associated with our wounded, and all veterans, once I left active duty.

My favorite National Ability Center story is:
Skiing my first year of volunteering with a group of wounded military snow boarders from Balboa Navy Hospital: My assignment was to guide a group of mainly US Navy and Marine Corps boarders but primarily to help a 95% visually impaired Marine. I had to ski (at 40 mph!) 10 feet behind this excellent and fast, 6’ 5” Marine shouting commands like: “turn left, right one o’clock (ski stanchion)!” We had a great day, without mishap.

John Hanrahan

Board Member

Founder and Executive Director, The Hope Alliance, Family Practice Physician

What year did you first become involved with the National Ability Center?
2007

How did you first become connected to the National Ability Center?
I have known Meeche for many years and she asked me and my brother to row our rafts with program participants on a Green River trip for 3-4 days.

I choose to be a part of the National Ability Center because:
The mission is great. Helping people achieve their full potential is a goal I love being a part of.

My favorite National Ability Center story is:
Helping Janis, our Program Resource Coordinator, move to her new house while her husband Nate is in Afghanistan. Watching the joy on faces as people re-learn to ski or bike, or get to do activities with their families for the first time.

Chuck Heath

Co-Chair, Advancement

CEO and Founder, Horizon

What year did you first become involved with the National Ability Center?
2005

How did you first become connected to the National Ability Center?
Lee and Shelly Marshall invited me to a Vintner Dinner

I choose to be a part of the National Ability Center because:
I can see the difference made every day at the National Ability Center.

My favorite National Ability Center story is:
Seeing a boy with a severe disability ride a horse with a huge smile!

Bob Henson

Board Member

President, HK & Associates

Bob Henson is the President of HK & Associates, a Salt Lake City management consulting firm, and is the prior owner of OCM, an Intermountain area consulting firm. Bob discovered Utah on his Norton motorcycle in 1975 and then moved here from New York City to ski for a year. And like so many others, he never left!

With a Ph.D. in Business from the University of Utah, and a background in business graduate administration, mining machinery, and operations, Bob now enjoys giving back. His contributions include: serving as the Board Chair of the Salt Lake City Boys and Girls Club in the 1980s, providing pro-bono consulting for United Way, working with the Westminster Gore School of Business, and currently serving as the Board Chair of Splore. Bob enjoys gardening, reading everything under the sun, and spending time with his wife, Dr. Melissa Koerner, and his children and grandchildren. Bob was on the Board of Directors and served as an Interim Executive Director at Splore. He joined the National Ability Center in 2017 when the two organizations combined forces.

Liza Howell

Board Member

Mother

What year did you first become involved with the National Ability Center?
2012

How did you first become connected to the National Ability Center?
The Deer Valley Ski School suggested we take our son (who was 3 at the time) to the National Ability Center for ski lessons as he was not able to follow directions or keep up with the group

I choose to be a part of the National Ability Center because:
It is a place that provides support and growth and healing for our son and consequently for our family

My favorite National Ability Center story is:
I thought the National Ability Center was simply a double-wide trailer at Park City Mountain providing ski lessons from volunteers. What a vast world of first-class support we found when we moved here and really “discovered the NAC”.

Dustin Lipson

Board Member

Operations Officer, Primary Children’s Hospital

What year did you first become involved with the National Ability Center?
2014

How did you first become connected to the National Ability Center?
Through my work at Primary Children’s. We have many current and former patients (and their families) who use the services of the NAC.

I choose to be a part of the National Ability Center because:
I have seen first-hand the transformative experiences made possible through the NAC. For many individuals, the NAC opens the door to a life without boundaries.

My favorite National Ability Center story is:
A father of four who was diagnosed with ALS was recently able to ski with his kids. He had been a skier prior to ALS and had enjoyed skiing with his older children. Because his younger children never knew him before ALS, this was their first experience with their Dad being active together as a family. His youngest jumped in his lap at the end of the day saying the words, “Best day ever!” As a father and skier, I know the joy of being able to be active together as a family. It’s incredible that a life changing diagnosis doesn’t need to be the end of that experience—the NAC makes this possible!

Peg Nicholls

Board Member

Directory, WW Cloud Sales, Cisco
peg nicholls headshot

Peg Nicholls is Director of Worldwide Cloud Collaboration Sales for Cisco. She brings more than 25 years of sales and sales leadership experience to Cisco, with almost half of that in SaaS growing recurring revenue streams in both emerging new technology and established markets. She is a high energy, results driven sales leader known for building successful sales teams and business partnerships within “start-up” as well as large company environments.

A graduate of The Pennsylvania State University, Peg is a feirce and loyal college football fan. She has one son, Connor; and loves to spend her spare time developing her love for natural horsemanship with her equine partner, Red Cloud.

David O’Brien

Board Member

Partner, Americas Director of Communications and Marketing, EY
David Obrien

Partner and Americas Director of Communications and Marketing at Ernst & Young, David O’Brien is a strong supporter of National Ability Center equestrian programs, Saluting Our Heroes, New York City, the Annual Barn Party and Red, White and Snow.

He has been involved in several community initiatives including the Academy for Children, the Goryeb Children’s Hospital, The Pingry School and the Children of China Pediatrics Foundation.

Brad Petersen

President Elect

Partner, Chief Operating Officer, Nomad Velo Composites  

 

What year did you first become involved with the National Ability Center?
Shortly after being appointed as the Director of the Utah Office of Outdoor Recreation in 2013.

How did you first become connected to the National Ability Center?
Gail contacted me at the Governor’s office and invited me to take a tour of the National Ability Center’s Park City campus. While that tour sold me on the general concept, I still hadn’t been able to interact with any of the participants.  Beginning in the winter of 2013-2014 I started to volunteer at the Park City resort for ski lessons as often as my schedule would allow.

I choose to be a part of the National Ability Center because:
Having recently stepped down from public service in the Governor’s office for the last three years, I decided that I wasn’t done giving back.

Instead of running for public office, I decided that I would proactively dedicate myself, which includes my wife and daughters, to making the world a better place by further engaging with the National Ability Center. There is still a tremendous opportunity to positively affect more peoples lives. Furthermore, as a native Utahn who has guided rivers, skied, rock and ice climbed and biked my whole life I find a tremendous amount of satisfaction from sharing my passions with everyone. In fact, I find more satisfaction from helping one National Ability Center participant successfully navigate the beginner hill, than I do from my own free skiing.

My favorite National Ability Center story is:
I have two daughters, ages nine and 15, who are healthy and fortunate to have learned to ski when they were three-years old. One day last ski season I was able to shift my schedule to permit me to volunteer for an afternoon ski lesson. Upon arriving I was assigned to shadow a small group of girls who were roughly the ages of my daughters.  Each of them, for different reasons, had experienced an above the knee amputation.  I had no idea what to expect, but I quickly learned that they were amazing kids and skiers.  It was no different than skiing with my daughters.

At the end of the day, and often times since then, I’ve reflected on the fact that without the National Ability Center’s amazing facilities, instructors, volunteers and donor’s those girls and thousands of others would not have the ability to live a normal and adventurous life. The National Ability Center is breaking down barriers in ways that never seemed possible. The possibilities are endless.

Jim Smith

Board Member

Managing Principal of Kensington Realty Advisors

What year did you first become involved with the National Ability Center?
In 2012, I attended Red, White and Snow for the first time, then joined the Board in 2014.

How did you first become connected to the National Ability Center?
Chuck Heath a fellow U of Wisconsin Alumni introduced me to the NAC in 2012.

I choose to be a part of the National Ability Center because:
Working with Individuals with physical and mental challenges has been an area of interest for me since college. In college my major department chairman was quadriplegic due to polio, but he always said “what disability?” He led a life of brilliance and amazing achievements, which would put most unchallenged individuals to shame. National Ability Center continues this same philosophy and makes a positive difference in people’s lives on daily basis.

My favorite National Ability Center story is:
There are so many. One of the National Ability Center’s competition athletes, Anna Beninati says her life started after her accident and commemorates that date with a tattoo” A favorite saying of mine is “It is not what happens to you, it is what you do about it”

Davy Ratchford

Board Member

Director of Marketing, Park City Mountain

Davy Ratchford was born and raised in Dublin, Ireland. His family emigrated to America when Davy was 13 years old and they eventually made their way to Utah as family of enthusiastic immigrants excited for the American Dream. Because of several large life experiences Davy was invited to speak to large groups at the age of 14 all around the country. His love of his new home inspired him to become a United States citizen in 1995.

Davy graduated from Logan high school in Cache Valley and attended the University of Utah. He started his career in Marketing almost 17 years ago in his words, “a very lucky and bewildering way.” He worked for a mid-sized Credit Union while going to university. He was learning about branding and realized pretty quickly that the company he worked for in college didn’t have any established brand. He was in construction lending paying his bills for college but knew there was more that could be done for this company. He went to his manager with his ideas and the next thing he knew he was in the “marketing department”. Over the course of the next 2 years they established a brand, Davy became the marketing manager and the company increased revenue by 23%. It was the start of his life’s work.

Over the course of the next 17 years, Davy worked at a large ad agency building brands and businesses of several large companies from around the world. He then had the experience of a lifetime and was offered the opportunity to build the Real Salt Lake professional soccer teams business and brand for Major League Soccer. A lifelong soccer fan he jumped at the chance and over the course of 5 years it became one of the most successful soccer franchises in America.

After the birth of Davy and his wife Rachel’s fourth child the Ratchford family were ready for a new challenge. As chance would have it Vail Resorts was looking for someone to help them start to evolve several of their signature resorts brands and they recruited the Ratchfords into their family. Davy spent several years restructuring Northstar in Lake Tahoe, CA leading it to a new brand strategy that sets itself from all others in that area. He was then asked to move to Vail, CO and direct the most successful ski resort in the country. His time at Vail established his love for positive leadership and development of others. He was asked to lead many other programs for Vail Resorts that were focused on employee leadership. He was one of the youngest ever selected employees to go through their small group, high-intensity “Camp 3” leadership program. He also now leads a program that takes 8 of the companies best young leaders and gives them focused leadership attention for their development.

After several years at Vail, the opportunity to move back to Utah and create the new Park City Mountain was offered to Davy and his family. He moved here as soon as the acquisition was complete and set out on one of the ski industries most ambitious projects.

Steve Ward

Vice President, Programs

Geologist

How did you first become connected to the National Ability Center?
We first became connected with the National Ability Center when we bought a home in 2010. We were looking for activities for our son who has special needs and located the National Ability Center on the NAHRA registry as a place with horseback therapy in Utah. Then, in 2011, my son took his first ski lesson with the National Ability Center

I choose to be a part of the National Ability Center because:
It provides people the opportunity to participate in activities that make a positive difference in their lives and their families.

My favorite National Ability Center story is:
Just how a simple compliment and “job well done” after a riding session made my son feel special, boosted his self-esteem and gave him the confidence to keep trying. The little things in life do matter!



HONORARY BOARD

 

Michael Brodsky

Adam Bronfman

Cindy Bronfman

Jack Ferraro

Jim Gaddis

Jon Huntsman

Karen Huntsman

Richard Marriott

Judith Martin

John Shuff

Meeche White