The COBS Administrative Staff are a dedicated team of professionals who believe deeply in our mission to change lives through challenge and discovery. These individuals do all the behind-the-scenes work of planning, fundraising, marketing, finance, admissions and outreach and delivering customer service to students before and after they go on a course. The majority of the administrative team works out of the Denver headquarters and takes every opportunity to visit our base camps to connect with the programs they serve.
Executive Director - Denver
Lauren joined the staff of the Colorado Outward School in December 2019. Prior to serving as Executive Director, Lauren served on the COBS Board of Directors from 2012-2018 and as a Board Member Emeritus from 2018-2019. Lauren joined COBS after almost twenty years in the legal profession, where she served as a shareholder at the Denver-based law firm Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck and, most recently, as the Director of Litigation for the Denver City Attorney’s Office. Lauren is a graduate of William & Mary (1997) and the University of Michigan Law School (2000).
Lauren is an active member of the Denver community and, in addition to her board service at COBS, has served on the board of the Colorado Children’s Campaign, the Denver Dumb Friends League, the Colorado Lawyer’s Committee, and the Colorado Women’s Bar Association Foundation. She is also a member of the Colorado Access to Justice Commission.
Lauren lives in Denver with her husband, Eric; their two children and future COBS graduates, Audrey and Will; and their goldendoodle Riley, a COBS mascot and loyal rescue pup from the Denver Dumb Friends League. Lauren and her family are avid backpackers, hikers, and skiers and spend their free time adventuring in the great outdoors together.
Director of Programs & Safety - Salida
Director of Programs & Safety
Amber has been working for Outward Bound for over a decade. She came to Colorado Outward Bound School after spending time as an Instructor and Manager at Outward Bound Australia. While with COBS, she has taken on a variety of roles including the Manager of Training and Curriculum and now the Director of Programs and Safety. Amber tirelessly and enthusiastically works to ensure that each student and instructor has an epic and safe experience on course. She lives with her family in Salida, Colorado.
Director of Student Experience - Denver
Director of Student Experience
Hi there, my name is Melissa (she/her/hers) and I am the Director of Student Experience. I hold a Bachelor Degree in Biology from Northern Michigan University, a Master of Education Degree in International Higher Education from Loyola University Chicago, and a Graduate Certificate in Hospitality and Tourism Management from Florida Atlantic University.
I began my professional journey teaching scuba diving and underwater photography from liveaboard dive yachts in the warm waters of the Caribbean and South Pacific. That role enabled me to travel the world, meet all kinds of unique characters, exercise my teaching muscles, and gain an immense respect for cross-cultural learning and collaboration. I then shifted careers and spent 6 years working in international higher education at a non-profit study abroad provider. There I was a Program Manager for International Internships and simultaneously earned my Master’s Degree. After the international higher education field collapsed from Covid-19, I landed in Colorado working in Operations and Logistics for another non-profit study abroad provider before before finding this remarkable opportunity at COBS.
My entire career has focused on experiential education – something I never would have imagined when I attended my own North Carolina Outward Bound program fresh out of high school. However, through that experience I discovered the value of learning outside of the classroom and have concentrated my career on encouraging others to experience that personal growth that only happens when we push ourselves – whether in a foreign country, or the backcountry!
Human Resources Director - Denver
Human Resources Director
Mike joined the Colorado Outward Bound School in 2021. His career spans more than a decade, primarily in the nonprofit sector (environmental restoration, youth leadership and conversation, and international development/water, sanitation and hygiene). Mike’s mission is to influence progressive and system change through a human resources practice guided by justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion. His approach focuses on relationship building, learning, and intentionality. Previously, Mike was a newspaper reporter and a copy editor. He is bilingual in Spanish and English, and certified as a Senior Professional in Human Resources. Mike enjoys hiking, camping, and kayaking with his husband and their dog.
Accounting & Finance Manager - Denver
Accounting & Finance Manager
Brittany moved from Virginia to Colorado in 2022 when she joined the COBS team. She grew up in Virginia, where she found a passion for the outdoors while studying anthropology at James Madison University. After graduating in 2013, Brittany worked with several different organizations leading outdoor adventure programs, including tree and rock climbing, urban whitewater paddling, and hiking and camping. In 2020, she shifted from managing programs to working in the administrative and operations side. She enjoys supporting outdoor education nonprofits through her love of spreadsheets and data. When not at work, Brittany enjoys spending time with her dog Meli, tending to her plants, reading, sewing, and exploring the Rocky Mountains.
Safety & Training Manager - Grand Junction
Safety & Training Manager
Working for COBS is the best job possible – it has the best curriculum you can hope to teach - it actually matters in people's lives. How to communicate with intention and compassion, how to lead with authority and compassion, how to learn what truly matters and sustains us in our lives, how to serve others and the world surrounding us.
I’m so grateful that I’ve been able to have Outward Bound in my past, and I’m so grateful to have it in my present and future. After working in the outdoor industry for nearly a decade, I landed at COBS' Southwest Program in 2008. I fell in love with the desert, its canyons, wildflower-filled mountains, endless climbing, and long river expeditions. In 2012, I stepped up and on to the Leadership Team through the early summer of 2016 as an Associate Program Director of Course Quality & Safety. In 2016 I moved back East with my partner, got a master’s in Administration (Recreation & Parks), continued instructing and CDing for NCOBS in NC and the Everglades, honed many skills and got an alphabet soup of certifications, and spent two years as a Coordinator for Virginia Tech’s outdoor program. In my spare time I love to do all the things that happen on COBS courses; canyoneering, rafting and canoeing, backpacking, climbing, and watching the setting sun turn into an ocean of stars. I am thrilled that as of March 2020 I have been able to be back out on the Colorado Plateau and serving as COBS' Safety Manager to positively influence safety in the frontcountry and backcountry so that all of the challenge and discovery can take place.
Staffing Manager - Colorado Springs
Brennen Montgomery is the new Staffing Manager for COBS. This is not my first time with COBS as I worked in various roles from 2014-2019, and then continued my Outward Bound service with NWOBS as a course director and program coordinator. I’ve worked for OB in Colorado, Utah, Oregon, Idaho, California, and Washington, and am excited to step into a bigger role within the school. In addition to my time with OB, I have worked as a middle school teacher in addition to completing my master’s in education and have spent multiple years in the field as a wilderness therapy guide.
When I’m not working, you’ll find me living in Colorado Springs, participating in your standard millennial outdoor recreation interests, taking pictures that I won’t show anyone, going to metal (music) shows and operas, and spending time with my partner, cat and dog.
I’m excited to be returning to COBS and especially getting to meet those of you who have arrived, and reconnecting with you who have stuck around.
Business Development Manager - Denver
Business Development Manager
Jason joined COBS in 2018 after leaving a 17-year career to go back to school to pursue a degree in Outdoor Education with an emphasis on Outdoor Business Management. Before going back to school, Jason was managing a sales portfolio of $48 million in annual sales and from that he brings a wealth of knowledge on working with organizations of all sizes. Jason has a passion for the outdoors and a drive to pass that passion on to as many people as he can by building custom courses that meet the goals and outcomes each team or group are looking for.
Jason is married, has 3 children, 2 dogs, and a cat. When not at work he can be found with his family floating a river, searching for fish at an undisclosed high alpine lake, or out exploring trails on his mountain bike.
Development Director - Denver
Colvin comes to Colorado Outward Bound School by way of Richmond, Virginia, where she grew up and most recently served as the Development and Communications Director for Blue Sky Fund, an non-profit that provides outdoor education to diverse youth. She studied Public Relations at the University of South Carolina, and expanded her communications skill set in non-profit and agency roles in Atlanta and Philadelphia. Colvin then ventured out to Colorado Springs to work with the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee as an events coordinator, in which she supported Team USA at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. Here in the Rockies, Colvin's passion for the outdoors really took shape, and ignited a deep commitment to connecting people with the outdoors and unlocking the experiences in nature that were so transformative for her personally.
Development Officer - Denver
Britta joined COBS in 2021 after moving back to the Front Range from northern Idaho. She grew up in the Black Hills of South Dakota and Wyoming before attending the University of Wyoming in Laramie. In 2013 she received her Master’s in Tourism Administration from The George Washington University. Her career has varied from public lands stewardship and advocacy, to historic downtown revitalization, community development, and state-level tourism. Before joining COBS, Britta was the Deputy Executive Director of a small Wilderness advocacy non-profit in northern Idaho and northwestern Montana.
Britta and her husband have one daughter and two cats. When she’s not working, she enjoys exploring our public lands on day hikes with her daughter and planning just how many native and xeric plants she can fit in her yard.
Marketing & Communications Manager - Denver
Marketing & Communications Manager
Kelsey (she/her) joined the Colorado Outward Bound team in 2022 as the Marketing and Communications Manager. She was raised in Rhode Island but has appreciatively called Colorado home since earning her bachelor’s degree at Colorado College and working in the non-profit sector in Denver. With a degree in Environmental Science and Feminist and Gender Studies, Kelsey is committed to prioritizing equity, justice, and caring for the land in her work with Outward Bound. Every day that Kelsey spends in the mountains, she is overwhelmed with joy and gratitude. She is eager to give back by helping others find joy in the mountains and increasing access to the outdoors in Colorado. After a short time of living in North Idaho, Kelsey is excited to return to the outdoor and environmental advocacy community in Colorado. In her free time, you can find her trail running, rock climbing, and eating ice cream.
Scholarship Program Coordinator - Denver
Scholarship Program Coordinator
Nohemi came to COBS in 2019 as the Scholarship Program Coordinator after receiving a Master’s in Higher Education Administration from the University of Denver. She was born and raised in Dallas, even obtaining an Environmental Engineering degree from Southern Methodist University. Upon moving to Denver, she was shocked to learn about the inequities in access to nature for different communities despite living in a metro area close to the mountains. As scholarship coordinator she combines her interests in expanding access to education and outdoor adventures to disinvested communities, especially youth of color. Increasing representation and visibility of underrepresented folks in outdoor recreation is one of her driving forces which has led her to be involved with the local chapters of organizations such as Latino Outdoors, Brown Girls Climb, and Women’s Wilderness.
Student Services Manager - Denver
Student Services Manager
Mackenzie joined COBS in 2019 after graduating from Hamilton College where she studied Literature, Spanish, and Theater. While at Hamilton, Mackenzie was involved with their outdoor program and helped lead outdoor trips that ranged from outdoor orientation trips for first year students to wellness trips through the counseling center. At COBS, Mackenzie is a Course Advisor and works with students from the time they enroll until they go on course. Mackenzie is an invaluable resource to make sure students feel confident about their upcoming course and to make sure each student is prepared to succeed while on course.
Outside of work Mackenzie loves to read, hike, plan scavenger hunts, backpack, swim, and generally explore. Mackenzie has also started doing some acting at a local murder mystery dinner theater and reading books about conflict resolution at local elementary schools.
Human Resources Generalist - Leadville
Human Resources Generalist
Born and raised in Chicago Illinois, Jennette placed her roots in Leadville over 12 years ago, spending time working and living in Glacier, Denali and Yellowstone National Parks. Jennette started at COBS in 2015 and brings her extensive customer service background having an Associates in Resort Management from Colorado Mountain College, into her roll of supporting COBS employees.
When she is not running payroll or placing gear/food orders, she enjoys spending time with her two cats, Elbert and Antero. She and her partner enjoy going to new places, dining at restaurants as seen on TV and trying new things every chance they get.
Community Engagement Coordinator - Denver
Community Engagement Coordinator
Lexi (she/her) joined the COBS team as the Administrative Assistant, on a contract basis, in September 2021 after graduating with a Bachelor of Science degree from Fort Hays State University in Kansas. Since then, Lexi has become a permanent employee now acting as the Community Engagement Coordinator to help focus COBS's outreach and engagement efforts. Originally from Colorado, Lexi excitedly returned home to the mountains and used her passion for mission-based non-profits and outdoor recreation to connect with Colorado Outward Bound School and quickly fell in love with the school's mission and initiatives. Lexi believes that access and acceptance in the outdoors is vastly important and looks forward to expanding COBS's staff and student networks so that adventures can be had and appreciated by all. In her free time, Lexi enjoys spending time with friends and family and being outside, whether that's hiking, camping, snowboarding, or playing sports.
Course Advisor - Denver
Miguel joined COBS in 2021 as a Course Advisor. Before joining COBS he worked in Emergency Management and alongside several non-profit agencies. Having completed their undergraduate degree in Austin, Texas, Miguel decided to join Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Texas. Miguel worked to introduce and provide support to individual youth, families and their mentors for a few months in person before transitioning to virtual support. Having worked virtually with families and their mentors throughout 2020 Miguel decided to move to Colorado and pursue more engagement with the outdoor community. Outside of work Miguel enjoys days in the mountains with his two pups Luna and Bella. In his first year in Colorado, Miguel summited seven of Colorado’s renowned 14ers and hopes to summit all 58 of them sooner rather than later! Miguel is excited to help others get outdoors and is always willing to talk gear for your next adventure.
Course Advisor - Denver
Vinaya joined COBS in 2020 as an instructor and remained determined about her start date until 2021 due to the pandemic. She began her journey as a logistician with the Rocky Mountain Program in March 2021 followed by instructing several courses and providing on call support. Before joining COBS she worked in Australia and in India as an educator focusing on outdoor education and physical and health education. Her work has been largely centered around residential schools, outdoor educational programs, and places of physical fitness for youth. She is well versed in the delivery of expeditionary style learning models and transference-based education for children, youth, and adults. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature and a Master’s of Education with a certificate in Interdisciplinary Studies in Education. She is also a trained and certified Yoga instructor. She has also worked in senior care and under hospice settings for a few years before joining COBS.
Outside of work Vinaya enjoys practicing aerial circus arts, handstands, and loves allowing herself to immerse in times of silence. She takes delight in sauntering in the mountains with her husband Ben. She enjoys reading works of theorist in the field of education and frequently drowns herself in verse. Her most recent hobby has been foraging mushrooms. She believes in the power of intentionality and takes keen interest in practicing building of intentional community.
Course Advisor - Denver
Jackie started climbing in 1995 and guiding in 2005. She has taught backpacking, climbing, and canyoneering across Alaska, Colorado, and Utah. After working as a research librarian and supporting early literacy in public libraries for twelve years, Jackie is delighted to use her background in education to help Outward Bound students connect with the transformative power of wilderness in her role as Course Advisor. As a lifelong learner herself, Jackie became the 10th female in the United States to earn a full Rock Instructor certification with the American Mountain Guides Association in 2016, and holds Bachelor of Sociology and Master of Library and Information Science degrees. Growing up in Colorado shaped her worldview so that few things bring her more joy than being in the mountains alongside friends and family.
Director of Student Pup-dates - Denver
Director of Student Pup-dates
Top Dog - Denver
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