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.
Student Services - Denver
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.
Director of Finance & Administration - Denver
Director of Finance & Administration
Doug’s career has spanned over 25 years and has led him to work for companies ranging in size from a $5 million software startup to a multi-billion dollar financial services company. He has worked as a consultant advising mutual fund boards on asset manager profitability, and previously led a project for Swallow Hill Music Association developing a forecasting and profitability tool. He has served in a variety of different roles, including managing HR, treasury, accounting, finance and facilities for Swallow Hill, as well as directing profitability analysis and planning for Janus Capital Corporation, a $2 billion mutual fund firm. Doug has experience guiding startups through their growing pains, as well as preparing forecasts for large, complex organizations, and is excited to put his mind and soul into helping Colorado Outward Bound School thrive.
Doug’s wife Stacy is a veterinarian, and when they aren’t volunteering for animal welfare causes, they love riding bikes or hiking in the Colorado foothills. The remainder of Doug’s life can be summed up by Albert Schweitzer: “There are two means of refuge from the miseries of life: music and cats.”
Safety Manager - Colorado
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 - Denver
Brandon began his journey with COBS as an intern and has worked his way through the ranks as an Instructor, Course Director, part of the Program Leadership Team and now holds the position of Staffing Manager. Brandon has an educational background with a Bachelors of Arts in Outdoor Education from Fort Lewis College in Durango, CO. Brandon is a Wilderness First Responder and CPR certified. Brandon has also been to the summit of all the Colorado's 14ers and absolutely loves romping around in the high country.
Brandon has a huge passion for what we do at Outward Bound and truly lives by its values and mission. He takes pride in setting people up for success and providing valuable mentorship to his staff and students. Creating safe and impactful learning environments for all our students along with promoting transference are just a couple of things that drive Brandon to a life dedicated to serve, to strive, and not to yield.
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.
Director of Admissions - Denver
Director of Admissions
Ben first came to the Colorado Outward Bound School as a student in 2001. He has held many different roles with Outward Bound. He was originally hired as a sea kayaking Instructor. He has worked at a variety Outward Bound Schools, both in and out of the field, over the last 10 years. Ben and his team work with both scholarship and open enrollment students as they go through the admissions and course preparation process.
"I’m continually inspired to try and live up to values and the legacy of COBS. It is a privilege to work in the shadow of people like Tap Tapley, Willi Unsoeld, and Gruffie Clough."
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.
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.
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.
Development Coordinator - 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.
Scholarship Program Coordinator and Course Advisor - Denver
Scholarship Program Coordinator and Course Advisor
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.
Human Resources Assistant - Denver
Human Resources Assistant
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.
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.
Communications & Marketing Director - Denver
Communications & Marketing Director
AJ joined the Colorado Outward Bound School as marketing director in February of 2013 after an 8-year stint in media, preceded by marketing in the outdoor recreation industry and roaming the Western Slope of Colorado on horseback. Now overseeing the marketing and communications at COBS, she continues to fuse her professional background with her lifelong love of the outdoors and experiential learning.
She is responsible for brand messaging, partnerships, and internal and external communications, and supports the HR department and senior leadership team in developing and implementing the vision and strategy for the school. AJ graduated from Western State College (now Western State Colorado University) with a degree in English and when she’s not sprinkling marketing magic across the land, she's usually off on wild adventures with her daughter.
Comb-unications Coordinator - Denver
Director of Student Pup-dates - Denver
Director of Student Pup-dates
Top Dog - Denver
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