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Wilderness Volunteers

Board of Directors


Caroline Williams, President, Colorado Springs, CO

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 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. 

Cheryl Walczak, Secretary, South Ogden, UT

Originally from Chicago, Cheryl has been interested in the beauty and history of the West since family vacations as a child. Her eclectic interests kept her learning, earning a BA in Anthropology and Biology from Northwestern University in Evanston, a field-work based MS in Ecology from Penn State University, and an MD from Loyola-Stritch School of Medicine in Illinois. She practiced interventional and diagnostic radiology for 25 years in Illinois, Minnesota, and Utah. After thrashing through gnarly brush on archeological projects in Grand Gulch in the 1990’s, she noticed a pamphlet at an outdoor store offering opportunities to clear trails in the same area. She has been having new ventures with Wilderness Volunteers since 1999, and began leading trips in 2001 with founder John Sherman. She was asked to join the Board in May 2014. The enjoyment of new places and meeting people with similar interests keeps her with the organization. She’ll explore just about anywhere her two feet will take her.

Lee Cooper, Treasurer, Tucson, AZ

Lee has been leading WV trips in Arizona, Alaska, Colorado, and Utah since 2006. He loves being in the wilderness as evidenced by the fact that he spends 6-7 weeks a year sleeping on his Therm A Rest. When home in Tucson, Arizona, he spends most weekends monitoring the backcountry and trails of Saguaro National Park East as a volunteer. Lee has always come away from WV trips amazed at the wonderful people he meets and how much work they accomplish.

Rick Volpe, Harleysville, PA

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.

Don Meaders, Albuquerque, NM

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.

Curtis Mobley, Sammamish, WA

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.

Patricia Olsson, Boise, ID

Patricia ("Pat") Olsson learned to love the outdoors as a child when she lived in Oakland on family trips to Lake Tahoe and Yosemite and exploring around her house there were lots of open spaces. When her dad was transferred back to the home office in Chicago, she decided she'd get back West someday. Her academic career encompassed a wide range of interests, including biology, marine life and oceanography; there were many opportunities to learn at New College, located on Sarasota Bay. However, Pat pursued a degree in philosophy and mathematics, and eventually, got her law degree, thinking that no corporation could transfer her.

She and her husband Carl moved to Idaho in 1983 where Pat met many friends who were active in backpacking, hiking, and other outdoor things, and she and Carl began to pursue them. A very good attorney friend, Debra Ellers, who was on the board of WV, encouraged her for years to come on service trips however, Pat and Carl had one child, and vacation time (always something outdoors) was reserved for the family. Finally in 2007, Pat was able to do her first WV trip and convinced her husband to do one in the next few years. Since 2007 Pat has done more than 10 WV service projects across Idaho, Hawaii and Oregon.

Pat has been involved in a variety of environmental activities. She was on the board of the Treasure Valley YMCA, and the Chair of the Committee that located the spot where Horsethief Camp was built. From 2002 until 2010, she was very active in designing a camp which is being used to educate school children about the importance of the environment. She has also been a board member on the Sagebrush Habitat Conservation Fund, and since 2009, a board member of the Yellowstone to Uintas Connection. She is also on the Boise State University Foundation, and quite proud of its environmental studies programs.

Pat has spent a lot of time outdoors since 1983 and her move to Idaho, and her WV trips have been some of the most enjoyable. The people are always the highlight. She is keenly interested in how WV can help educate participants about the importance and fun involved in immersing ourselves in nature.