Deb Willits, Chair

Deb is the mother of two kids who benefited from having George Gardner in their lives.  She is the Supervisor of Training for the Telluride Ski School and an instructor of alpine, telemark and cross-country skiing. She is a former member of the Professional Ski Instructors of America National Nordic Team.

Jane Pulliam, Treasurer

Jane has lived in Ouray County for many years and has been an accountant in Ridgway for 9 years. She enjoys tennis and bicycling and wants to see Ouray county youth have opportunities to explore the wild places in our backyard.

Colleen Gardner

Colleen, as a International Faculty for the Educational Kinesiology Foundation enjoys world wide travel teaching Brain Gym® and other wholistic modalities.  At home in Ridgway, she has a private practice at the  Rocky Mountain Integrative Medicine Center.

Tyler Van Arsdell

Tyler lives in Ridgway where he operates a small Design/Build/Remodel business. He is the proud father of two daughters; he and his eldest are both thankful for having known and interacted with George. In high school, Tyler participated in an outdoor education class, similar to the Outward Bound experience championed by George.

Lydia Van Arsdell

Lydia was born and raised in Ridgway and is currently a student at the University of Colorado Boulder. Outside school, she enjoys skiing, hiking, climbing, and camping. As a former recipient of George Fund scholarships, she has experienced the benefits of incorporating outdoor activities into education. Lydia is a major advocate for establishing a relationship with nature throughout grade school and giving students an opportunity to connect themselves to the great outdoors.

Ralph Tingey

Ralph joined the National Park Service in 1965 and worked as a climbing ranger at Jenny Lake until 1981 when he transferred to Denali National Park in Alaska. Over the course of his career, he worked in many of Alaska’s parks, and served as Associate Regional Director from 1994 to 2006 prior to his retirement to Ridgway. Ralph has been an avid climber most of his life, and is also a board member of the Ouray Ice Park.

Lindsay Hepp

Lindsay has been a part of the Ridgway community for 15 years and works as an occupational therapist for both the Ridgway and Ouray school districts. Outside of school, she enjoys skiing, mountain biking, and frolicking in the wildflowers with her children. She recognizes the power that outdoor education offers to our youth, cultivating an appreciation for all that nature offers and gaining a deeper understanding of themselves and their role in this world.

Ross Williams

A Ouray native, Ross graduated from Ouray High School in 1998. Now he is a Social Studies teacher in the same school, after a detour up to Alaska. He lives in Ouray with his wife, Megan, and two  kids, Brodie and Campbell. Ross is a member of the Ouray Mountain Rescue Team and enjoys trail running, backcountry skiing, mountaineering, and ice climbing.

Lois Ziemann, Administrative Assistant

A retiree of the U.S. Forest Service, Lois wants to continue to inspire people – especially youth – to find their connection to the outdoors in ways that generate a wider world view.


Mark Udall, Former United States Senator 

Senator Udall’s affiliation with the GGSF is his personal connection to George, his wife Colleen and several members of the BOD, beginning when he worked for Colorado Outward Bound School (1978-1995).  A skilled mountaineer, he has climbed all the Colorado 14ers and attempted some of the most challenging peaks in the world–including Mt. Everest.

Jerry Roberts, Former Chair 

Jerry retired from over 40 years of hunting avalanches on Red Mountain Pass for CDOT/CAIC, and in the Andes for the Chilean mining industry. He also instructed and directed Outward Bound programs for more than a decade. Jerry spent a few years serving as Chair of the George Gardner Scholarship Fund.

Peter Hackett, MD

A world-recognized authority in the field of high altitude illness, Dr. Hackett is currently Clinical Professor with the Altitude Research Center at the University of Colorado Denver Medical School, and Director of The Institute for Altitude Medicine in Telluride, Colorado. He has directed numerous high-altitude research projects throughout the world, and was Medical Director of the American Mountain Guides Association.  He is a Founding Member of the Wilderness Medical Society, Co-Chair of the International Hypoxia Symposia, and Past-President of the International Society for Mountain Medicine.

Mike Friedman 

Mike is the Managing Partner of Adventure Partners, LLC. He was formerly the Chief Guide at Exum Mountain  Guides and Co-Founder of Telluride Helitrax.

Susan Lacy

Susan has enjoyed a thirty year career in education around the world – Mexico, Romania, Indonesia, Zambia, Bangladesh – and close to home in Ridgway, Colorado, her family’s base camp for over two decades. She cherished her friendship with George and the years they worked together when she was principal at Ridgway Secondary School.   As a member of the Advisory Board, she’s thrilled to help support purposeful outdoor learning for our local youth.