A third generation Arizonan, John McLean earned his undergraduate degree from the University of Arizona while wandering around the desert southwest. Between summer trips to the High Sierras, John received a PhD in Applied Math from Caltech. John returned to Tucson in 1990, and is currently President and CEO of Arete Associates, an employee-owned research and development company. While continuing to hike, climb, and run; John has recently added the concept of “Giving Something Back” through service trips with Wilderness Volunteers.
Mike Leonard grew up in northern New Jersey and has enjoyed many days exploring the woods and mountains of the east. A Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Wesleyan University and an avid wildlife photographer and former collegiate wrestler, Mike spent several years after college working at an alternative boarding school for teenagers and led several 100+ mile backpacking trips along the Appalachian Trail. After three demanding and rewarding years, he left the rolling hills of Maryland and headed for the concrete streets of New York City, where he earned a master’s degree from Columbia University's School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA). Mike has spent the last three years working in the nation's capital as a Presidential Management Fellow at the US Energy Department and US Treasury, and has been involved with Wilderness Volunteers since 1999. Despite his new urban environment, Mike can still be found listening to country music and scanning the trees for red-tailed hawks, and can’t wait to get back out on the trail.
Rick became introduced to WV while surfing the web for volunteer outdoor activities. Rick’s inaugural trip into Dark Canyon confirmed his desire to support the organization, and to take advantage of as many trips as can be fit in his family and business schedule. Rick and his wife Marge have enjoyed backpacking, canoeing and camping with their four children from Maryland’s Eastern Shore to the rocky coast of Maine. They have also completed numerous church trips to Mexico’s Yucatan to construct churches and medical clinics. As recent empty nesters, they are venturing more to the wide-open west, into the heart of WV territory. In addition to numerous church Boards and committees, Rick and Marge serve on the Board of Governors of Opportunity International, helping the world’s poorest people transform their lives through microfinance. Rick is the founder and owner of Asset Planning Services, a financial advisory firm located in suburban Philadelphia.
Kathryn Hathaway, of Hathaway Designs, has contributed significant graphic design work to Wilderness Volunteers, including designing our logo and consulting on our newsletter, brochures and website. Kathryn is an enthusiastic birder, and in addition to participating in an annual Wilderness Volunteers Service Trip, she is a member of the Portland Audubon Society. She occasionally helps the local “Audubon Plant Parenthood” by fostering young native plants that are then planted locally. She lives in a rural area close to Portland, where she can watch migrating sandhill cranes, swans and snow geese from her yard.
Originally from Chicago, Cheryl has been interested in the beauty and history of the West since family vacations as a child. Now based in Utah, she has been associated with Wilderness Volunteers since 1999, enjoying trips in Utah, Texas, and Oregon. She'll explore just about anywhere her two feet will take her.
Caroline Williams earned her bachelor's degree in speech communications in 1994 from George Mason University and began what would become a 20-year stint with USA Basketball in Colorado Springs, Colorado, in March of 1995. Currently the director of communications for the organization, which oversees the selection and training of national teams in international basketball competitions, Williams has served as a press officer for the past five men's and women's U.S. Olympic basketball teams, as well as for numerous men's and women's teams in various international events. Williams launched USABasketball.com in 1996 and coordinated the site for nearly two decades. She assists in the general administration of the communications department for USA Basketball, including the production of USA Basketball press releases and publications, staffing of USA Basketball trials, team training and competitions, while serving as a liaison between USA Basketball staff, coaches, players and the media. She has also volunteered to work as part of the U.S. Olympic Committee's media services staff at the 1998 and 2010 Winter Paralympic Games, 2006 Winter Olympic Games and 1999 Pan American Games. When she's not traveling the world with sports teams, Williams spends as much time outside as possible pursuing her love of the outdoors through activities such as camping, hiking, skiing, road and mountain biking and running. Since her first Wilderness Volunteers trip in 2008, she has given one quarter of her vacation time annually to giving back to the great outdoors via the organization, co-led her first trip in 2011, and is looking forward to retirement when she can volunteer more weeks out of the year to WV.
Curt imprinted on red rocks while growing up next to Palo Duro Canyon in the Texas Panhandle, and he discovered mountains fifty years ago on Boy Scout trips to New Mexico. He received a B.S. in Physics with Highest Honors from the University of Texas at Austin, spent a year in Germany on a Fulbright Fellowship, and finally ended up with a Ph.D. in Meteorology from the University of Maryland at College Park. For most of his career he has worked as an oceanographer studying how light interacts with the ocean. Along the way, he worked twelve years for the University of Washington, managed the U.S. Navy’s Ocean Optics Program, worked for a large consulting firm and for the Jet Propulsion Lab. For the last 18 years he has been the V.P. for Science at a small oceanography company in Bellevue, WA. Curt is ready to retire but can’t figure out how to pull the plug.
For 15 years Curt was the Finance Officer for the Sierra Club’s Water Trips Subcommittee, for which he led many white water raft trips on rivers from the Grand Canyon to Alaska’s North Slope. He has also led Sierra Club cultural trips in China. He knew that WV was the organization for him as soon as he spent his first week killing tamarisks in the Escalante, and he has been leading WV trips since 2002. When not repairing trail or logging Russian Olives, he is usually in a sea kayak in some exotic corner of the world.
Don’s family moved to Los Alamos, NM in 1952. As Don grew up with the Santa Fe National Forest for his backyard, he did his own versions of trail maintenance and building. As a teen Don fought wildfires behind his house, began rock climbing and expanded his explorations by backpacking with old army surplus packs that were very heavy (steel frame and canvas bag).
After high school Don went off to get a BS from Michigan State University and did a year as a Vista Volunteer in Arkansas (considered SW region by the US government.) After college he brought his wife back to New Mexico, joined the Sierra Club, and was elected to the local board in Albuquerque. Don served 5 years as the Sierra Club outings chair, and led many backpacks and hikes all over. After being active in the adopt-a-trail program, he did his first national service trip to Alaska, where he became hooked on service projects. Since 1988 he has done at least one every year. Don started doing service trips with WV soon after it was founded, and began co-leading trips soon after.
Don was a commercial carpenter for 40 years where he learned about starting early, using tools, running a crew, showing up, getting dirty, and working in all kinds of weather. He retired as a jobsite superintendent and since retirement now does 4 or 5 WV projects every year. Don truly believes in WV's mission and loves the folks he gets to work with.