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.
Peter A. O'Neil
Executive Director - Everywhere
Peter A. O'Neil
Peter O’Neil is the Executive Director of Colorado Outward Bound School (COBS), the first Outward Bound School in North America, founded in 1962 in Marble, Colorado. Peter has a long history with COBS, starting as a student on a winter ski mountaineering course as a college student. Peter joined COBS as its executive director in May 2012.
He is a high-energy, serial entrepreneur with many years of start-up and turn-around experience, and he thrives on building and leading teams of high-performing individuals to grow businesses and accomplish common goals. Peter spent a decade with COBS as a course director, instructor, logistics coordinator and intern. He instructed and course directed in the Utah canyon country, most of the mountain ranges of Colorado, and led winter ski mountaineering courses. He pioneered mountaineering programs for COBS in the Cordillera Blanca of Peru and the Garhwal Himalaya of India, before, as Robert Frost wrote, taking one of those “roads that diverge in a yellow wood,” and he headed to business school.
After business school he co-founded the Executive Ventures Group, a team building and leadership development organization for senior management teams from Fortune 1000 companies. As Senior Vice President of sales and marketing, he was instrumental in building database marketing company, Atlantes Corp., and subsequently selling it to Metromail, and then Experian – before the Internet bubble burst. As General Manager of Experian’s Z-24, he turned around the failing co-op database business unit and took it from an also-ran position to number two in the industry.
For several years, Peter returned to his “outdoor roots” when he served as the Executive Vice President of sales and marketing for CenterStone Technologies, a business-to-business cloud computing, e-commerce solution for the Outdoor Retailer industry, with clients including: Patagonia, North Face, Helly Hansen, Marmot, Petzl, Under Armour, Orvis and SmartWool. He reconnected with his non-profit, cause-related roots when he served as the Chief Evangelist for iGiveFirst, a start-up company that developed a social media platform to help consumers donate directly to nonprofit causes online. Peter is passionate about every enterprise he engages in whether it’s instructing students, working with clients, leading a sales team, or ski mountaineering in the Colorado backcountry. As a trustee of Denver Academy, an independent K-12 school for students with learning differences, as well as a life-long proponent of Outward Bound’s teaching philosophy, he is committed to changing the lives of students through non-traditional and experiential education. Peter received his BA in Psychology from Colorado College and his MBA from Stanford University. He is the proud father of three wonderful children who are the love of his life.
Development Director - Denver
Darcy joined COBS in fall 2013. She is passionate about making sure that students from all backgrounds have the opportunity to become COBS students and, one day, instructors. She looks forward to strengthening COBS’s institutional capacity through individual giving as the school works towards sustainable growth.
Darcy previously was the Director of Development at Starfish One by One, an organization providing education to young Mayan women in Guatemala. She is a proud graduate of El Pomar Foundation’s two-year Nonprofit Fellowship program. Darcy is a 2013-2014 participant in the Institute for Leaders in Development. Darcy is a COBS alumna, having participated in two COBS professional courses: one on the rivers in Utah and the other backpacking in the Gore Range. She is fluent in Spanish and has enjoyed the opportunity to study and travel extensively in Ecuador, Thailand, Costa Rica, Mexico, and Guatemala with particular interest in indigenous culture and ecology. Darcy received her BA in Geography and International Studies from the University of Denver. She was raised in Fort Collins, Colorado.
Sales & Marketing Director - Denver
Sales & 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, communications, and business development team 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 can be found on wild adventures with her 9-year-old daughter.
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 Joe Nold."
Operations and HR Director - Denver
Operations and HR Director
Originally from Scotland, Vicki was lured to Colorado by a taste for adventure. She joined Outward Bound in 2004 as field staff when she worked in mountain programs from Colorado to Alaska and Ecuador. She has a strong passion for glaciated semester and winter courses, finding those wild environments to have a strong impact on those traveling through them. Her personal passion for adventure and learning fuels her work at COBS, allowing her to explore new opportunities and potential. When not belaying her laptop, Vicki can be found reading a Kindle after a day of bike-packing in the desert.
In 2011, after being a Program Manager for a season Vicki moved into the Staffing Director role for COBS. Her expertise comes from a strong understanding of field-work gained through teaching in a variety of outdoor education settings, including community colleges, together with an enthusiasm for developing opportunities for growth and exploration in staff and students. Vicki is a Professional Member of the American Avalanche Association, and an American Institute for Avalanche Education and Research Instructor. Vicki received a BA in Physical Geography from the University of Aberdeen, Scotland.
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