Staff

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Peter Mandler

Executive Director and Founder

PSIA Level 3, Alpine

Peter founded Wasatch Adaptive Sports in 1977,  out of the Snowbird Mountain School, to help fill the need for affordable recreational, educational and social programs for children and adults with special needs. He has seen the program grow from a handful of lessons in the winter to over 3,600 year-round lessons annually. Peter works in all aspects of the program, but his passion is interacting directly with the students. Peter is an Alpine Level 3 certified instructor and the recipient of the 2009 Utah Ski Archives History-Maker Award.

 

Elizabeth Jahp

Elizabeth Jahp

Associate Director

PSIA Level 1, Alpine

Elizabeth joined Wasatch Adaptive Sports in 2014 after nonprofit work in the coastal region of Ecuador landed her in Salt Lake City. She has a BA in communications and a minor in Spanish from the University of California, Berkeley where she also played division I lacrosse. Elizabeth is American Avalanche Association level 1 certified. She also has a Nonprofit Academy for Excellence certificate from the University of Utah and is a certified yoga instructor from InBody Academy with an adaptive yoga focus from Mind Body Solutions. Mountain biking, road biking, skiing and yoga are among her passions whether out with a group of students or enjoying free time with her rescue-pup Momo and five siblings.

Jake Thelen

Jake Thelen

Program Specialist

PSIA Level 1 Alpine, Adaptive Skiing, AASI Level 1 Snowboarding, Level 1 IMBA Mountain Biking

Jake has been with Wasatch Adaptive Sports since 2014 and brings a wealth of passion for adaptive recreation.  Jake also has his level 1 certification by the American Avalanche Institute, Red Cross Lifeguard certification, and over four years of teaching experience in skiing, snowboarding, biking, climbing, canyoneering, fishing and backpacking.  Jake has a bachelor’s of science in Biology and Chemistry from California State University Stanislaus where he also started for the baseball team. When not working with Wasatch Adaptive Sports, Jake spends as much time as possible on his mountain bike or snowboards enjoying the beautiful Wasatch Mountains with his wife Sally and German Shepherd Hailey.

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Abbie Sauter

Development Specialist

Abbie became a member of the Wasatch Adaptive Sports team in 2016 and brings a background in nonprofit management and development.  Prior to joining WAS, Abbie worked as a nonprofit capacity building consultant with Draper Consulting Group in Los Angeles.  In addition, she served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Ukraine and as a trip leader for Bike & Build.  Abbie studied Sociology/Anthropology and History at Washington & Lee University where she was a member of the swim team. She also holds a Master of Public Administration with a Nonprofit Management focus from the University of Southern California.  In her free time, Abbie enjoys skiing, biking, and adventuring outside.

Robin Cecil

Robin Cecil

Director of Special Events

Robin has worked with Wasatch Adaptive Sports since 1998.  She loves to ski and work with children, leading to her start as an instructor. She transitioned to the Director of Special Events in 2002 with a focus on the Steve Young Ski Classic. She is a Doctor of Physical Therapy and works with youth in injury prevention and adults through worksite health promotion and injury prevention.  Robin is the mother of four and loves to spend time with her husband and children.

Instructors

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Jackson Ball

PSIA Level 1, Alpine

Jackson has a background in medical research, primarily in neuroscience. His passions outside of work include skiing, biking, backpacking, reading, and writing. He believes there is a unique awareness and joy that be can found in the natural world, whether just sitting quietly, madly descending a mountain on bike or skis, or anything in between. Jackson believes that WAS, with its wonderful community of instructors and participants, is one of the best places to practice and promote compassion and joy, two of the most important things in this world.

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Anna Beninati

Anna learned to sit-ski with Wasatch Adaptive sports in 2011, and began working with us shortly thereafter. She is now an athlete on the U.S. Paralympic Development Team for Alpine Skiing.

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Ed Chauner

PSIA-I clinic leader/examiner, PSIA Level 3, Alpine, Telemark and Level 1 Snowboard

Ed has been a ski instructor since 1982 and has worked for Snowbird Ski Patrol and Snow Safety since 2003. Ed has 28 years of road racing experience and 26 years of mountain bike racing experience competing in events such as the World Mountain Bike Championships and the US National Road Race. Aside from being an instructor with Wasatch Adaptive Sports, Ed is a mountain guide for World Wide Trekking in Africa, Nepal, Peru and Argentina and President/Founder of Chauner Promotions, Inc. He also has his certification in Outdoor Emergency Care, Wilderness First Responder and Avalanche level 1.

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Eileen Finn

Eileen’s passion for playing as much as possible, especially in the outdoors, brought her from CT, to Syracuse, NY, to New Hampshire, and finally to Utah. She is a Licensed Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist, and has spent the past 4 years working in adaptive sports. When she’s not working, you can find her with her fiancé, Justin, out biking, hiking, snowboarding, skiing, running, ballin’, laxing, surfing, or just having fun! Basically, every day has the potential to be the best day ever!

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Mark Fisher

Mark is a Lieutenant Colonel in the USMC. He served 13 years active duty and continues to serve in the USMC Reserve. He has worked with Snowbird Ski Patrol since 2005 and currently is the Director of Military Training at Snowbird. He instructs skiing and teaches avalanche and backcountry awareness to our Veterans.

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Michelle Fisher

Michelle Fisher is an Air Force combat veteran of ten years who has been deployed four times to the Middle East including Kirkuk Iraq. Michelle started with WAS as a member of their Trail Crew Program, and now works as an instructor and peer support for other veterans. When not at WAS, Michelle is a student at Salt Lake Community College studying Energy Management/Energy Engineering with an emphasis on solar. On April 3, 2015 Michelle was singled out to meet with President Obama, Orin Hatch and other local politicians for a round table discussion of the Solar VET Ready program and how to dissolve the hurdles that may prevent veterans from using their GI Bill benefits for college.

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Jodi Flickinger

PSIA Level 1, Adaptive Skiing, AASI Level I in Adaptive Snowboarding

Jodi hails from outside of Pittsburgh, PA. She went to West Virginia University for Exercise Physiology. When she is not at work you will often find her out enjoy the outdoors with her dog; biking, skiing, snowboarding, or hiking. She joined the Wastach Adaptive Sports team in March but brings many years of experience in adaptive sports from her time in Breckenridge, Colorado.

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Ed Heinrich

PSIA Level 1, Alpine and AASI Level 1 Snowboard

Ed is a certified ski and snowboard instructor with both Wasatch Adaptive Sports and Snowbird Mountain School. In the summer he is an Ocean Lifeguard in Malibu. He is a retired Captain/Lead Line Check Pilot for Delta Airlines. He was also a pilot in the US Air Force and flew in Vietnam. He is a certified Emergency Medical Technician.

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Justin Latimer

A 26 year old, Utah native, Justin learned to ski at Snowbird at the age of 5 and has been hooked on the steeps ever since! Background in Exercise Science, Certified Personal Trainer through National Academy of Sports Medicine in California. Competitor on the North American FreeRide Tour for snowboarding. Justin loves his family, friends, snow sports, skateboarding, traveling, biking, hiking and just spending free time in the mountains with my pup Oaks!

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Melissa LeViner

PSIA Level 1, Adaptive

Melissa is from Atlanta, GA and earned a degree in Outdoor Leadership and a minor in Psychology from Young Harris College.  She has worn many hats, including summer camp counselor, outdoor education instructor, Adaptive raft guide and ski instructor. When she’s not at work, you can most likely find her on the river or climbing some rocks, mountain biking, skiing, snowboarding, or cooking and eating her favorite southern foods!

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Marina Lawson

PSIA Level 1, Alpine

Marina is a Little Cottonwood Canyon local and loves all things skiing. She first joined the Wasatch Adaptive team in 2007. She realized her passion for teaching skiing and became PSIA certified in ’08. When not instructing part-time for Wasatch Adaptive Sports, Marina works for a medical clinic in downtown Salt Lake City as a Licensed Acupuncturist. In her free time she enjoys exploring the mountains with Kevin, her husband, her daughter Ruby and their dog Howard.

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Alex Mansir, Lead Instructor/ Equipment Manager

PSIA Level 1 Alpine

Alex is a year round instructor with Wasatch Adaptive Sports. He has a long history of teaching outdoor recreation to youth. He likes to focus on the fun and happiness that the outdoors has to offer.

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Steve Mersereau

PSIA Level 2, Alpine and Adaptive

Steve has taught adaptive and alpine skiing for nearly 10 years.  He has over 10 years of experience facilitating outdoor-based experiential corporate leadership development and team-building programs. He lives in Park City and his passions include skiing, biking and running in the Wasatch mountains. In his spare time, he teaches graduate and undergraduate courses in management and healthcare administration for two on-line universities.

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Matt Ryan

PSIA Level 1, Alpine and Adaptive Skiing, AASI Level 1 Snowboarding

Raised in Minnesota, Matt moved to Alta, Utah in 1979 after 2 years of college.  As an avid skier and skateboarder, he became one of the first snowboarders in the Wasatch.   Among other jobs, he worked as an Alta Ski Patroller for almost 15 years, before returning to school and earning a BS in Nursing from the University of Utah in 1998.  After working as a nurse in multiple hospital settings, he returned to Alta in 2008 to work at the Alta Medical Clinic.   He has worked as an instructor teaching Avalanche Safety and Rescue, and currently volunteers at the Alta School.  Matt has worked as a full time instructor for Wasatch Adaptive Sports since 2012.   He spends summers with his wife in the Columbia River Gorge near Hood River, Oregon, where summer activities include kiteboarding, cycling, windsurfing, and paddle boarding.

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Dave Schoeneck

PSIA Level 1, Alpine

Dave has been with Wasatch Adaptive Sports since 1978. He works year-round with Wasatch Adaptive Sports. He absolutely loves our program and says he will instruct here until he is a participant. When he is not skiing with us, Dave sells insurance. He is also a husband and father of three kids.

Bob Simon

Bob Simon

PSIA Level 1, Alpine

Bob has been working part time with WAS since 2012 and has been teaching skiing part-time since 1970.  Bob served on active duty as a U.S. Navy Pilot from 1974 to 1980 and retired from the Navy reserves in 1994.  He completed graduate school before he began flying commercially in 1984.  He is currently a pilot for American Airlines flying the Airbus 330 to Europe and the Middle East.

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Carolyn Wale

PSIA Level 2, Alpine

Carolyn joined Snowbird’s Mountain School in 2008 and Wasatch Adaptive Sports in the summer of 2010. When Carolyn is not on the mountain she can be found either teaching a spin cycle class or training for her next triathlon.

Contact

Wasatch Adaptive Sports
Snowbird Ski and Summer Resort
9385 S, Snowbird Center Dr.
Snowbird, Utah, 84092-9000

Phone: (801) 933-2188

Fax: (801) 935-8338

info@wasatchadaptivesports.org

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