Outdoor Lab Foundation Staff
In January, the Outdoor Lab Foundation welcomed Bryan Martin as our new Executive Director. Bryan brings nearly 20 years of experience in nonprofit leadership, fundraising, conservation and recreation advocacy to OLF. Most recently, Bryan was the Executive Director of Big City Mountaineers, a position he held for the past five and a half years. Prior to that Bryan held increasingly responsible positions with The Nature Conservancy, The Continental Divide Trail Coalition, the Colorado Mountain Club and the Land Trust Alliance. His entire career has been dedicated to ensuring both Colorado and the Country's magnificent natural lands are protected and that everyone has an opportunity to enjoy them.
Outdoor experiences have been fundamental to Bryan’s life and he hopes to bring his passion for the outdoors to OLF so Jeffco students, regardless of background, can have transformational experiences at Outdoor Lab and that the school sites remain protected in perpetuity for future generations of students.
Bryan is delighted to be on the team and looks forward to taking OLF and the Outdoor Lab Program to new heights. “I know how powerful time outside can be to one’s self. Camps and wilderness trips can be some of the most transformational forms of experiential education we can offer and fosters profound personal growth in our students. Beyond the lessons in outdoor skills, natural history, communication, teamwork, and leadership that are part of virtually any Outdoor Lab experience, there is an underlying process through which a visit to site is rendered meaningful in the lives of the participants. I want to make sure these experiences enhanced and sustained.”
Bryan has a BS from Penn State University in Recreation and Park Management and a MA in Nonprofit Management from Regis University. Bryan’s wife, Sally, teaches at Vanderhoof Elementary and together they are busy raising three boys.
Strategic Partnerships Manager
Elle has a unique background in geology and nonprofit development. With a deep passion for conservation, outdoor recreation, and environmental sciences, she looks forward to supporting the Outdoor Lab schools and students that attend. She has worked at several Colorado nonprofits including Conservation Colorado, The Geological Society of America, and the High Line Canal Conservancy.
Originally from Virginia Beach, Elle made the move to Colorado to attend graduate school and to be closer to everything the mountains have to offer. After living in Denver for four years, she and her husband moved to Wheat Ridge in 2020. As a new Jefferson County resident, she is incredibly excited to be involved in the advancement of her own community. Elle has a BS in Geology from James Madison University and a MA in Nonprofit Management from Regis University. In her spare time, you can find her hiking, camping, snowboarding, or exploring the neighborhood with her two dogs.
Outdoor Lab Foundation Board of Directors
Litigation Attorney, Welborn Sullivan Meck & Tooley, P.C.
Jens Jensen is a litigation attorney with Welborn Sullivan Meck & Tooley, P.C. Prior to coming to Colorado for law school, Jens worked at the Embassy of Denmark in London. He also holds a B.A. in Economics and Politics and an M.A. in Political Theory from the University of Manchester in England. Jens chose to move from London to Colorado because of the outdoor opportunities available here. He is excited that he now gets to share all that Colorado has to offer with both his wife and his two young boys, the oldest of which is about to start in the Jeffco school system. Showing his children the value of giving back to the community is one of the many reasons why Jens wants to contribute to the continued success of the foundation and the Outdoor Lab program.
Co-Founder & Wealth Advisor,
Kim grew up in Lakewood and is an Outdoor Lab alumna, attending Mt. Evans as a 6th grader at Devinny Elementary and as a camp counselor at Mt. Evans when she attended Green Mountain High School. After attending The University of Denver and earning a Business degree, she went on to start her career in Marketing and Sales. After discovering that her true passion lies in helping women and couples pursue their financial goals, Kim switched careers and earned her licenses & registrations as well as her Certified Financial Planner® Designation. She is a founding partner at Valorem Financial in Olde Town Arvada, and lives in Southwest Littleton with her husband, Greg and their two children, both of whom attend Jeffco Schools. The family loves to ski, camp, boat, hike, bike, travel and root for the Broncos, Nuggets & Avs. Kim is also a Girl Scout leader and enjoys supporting causes she is passionate about including the outdoors, financial literacy and family. She joined the OLF Board to help ensure the program continues for years to come so that every child can have the opportunity to participate in an outdoor experience despite cost, family commitment or lack of options to do so.
Customer Success Manager,
Richard was born and raised in Hong Kong, where he lived for 18 years. He then lived in London for another five years, but got to Colorado as soon as he could! He obtained both his B.S. (in International Business) and his M.B.A. from Alliant University in San Diego and has been in Colorado now for over 25 years.
Richard is now a Project and Program Manager for an Australian software firm. Prior to this position, had a career in finance.
Richard lives in Morrison with his wife, Janette (a 4th generation Coloradoan and Outdoor Lab aluma), his son, Blake, and his daughter, Kendall. Both of his kids are Outdoor Lab alumni, served as high school leaders and continue to be active with the High Potential Week program at Mt Evans.
As a new board member with Outdoor Lab Foundation, Richard hopes to use his background to help the organization grow and flourish. He wants to continue the legacy and tradition of Outdoor Lab and support a cause that's very dear to his family.
Co-Owner, Merkl's Automotive
My husband Rick and I own a automotive repair shop in Wheat Ridge (Merkl's Automotive) and we have two kids who are Jeffco graduates. I have worked for Friendship Bridge, a nonprofit that provides microcredit loans and additional programs to women in rural Guatemala, for seven years and in non-profit for 30 years. Both myself and my children were fortunate to have experienced Outdoor Lab and it is an honor to be serving on this board to help preserve this fantastic place for generations to come.
Assistant Vice President, First Bank
Brandon is an Assistant Vice President with FirstBank working in multiple trade areas in his five years with the bank and has spent the last two and a half years working in the Jefferson County area. He is a Colorado native who loves spending his time exploring, hiking and traveling.
John tells many of my friends from outside of the state that the OLES helps to “teach Colorado kids to be Coloradan”. By that he means that our state and county have many amazing opportunities for outdoor experiences and the OLES allows kids to be exposed to them in a safe way that can allow them to develop a lifelong love of nature and the outdoors. Being able to support this mission and further its reach is what is drawing me to the opportunity to serve on the OLF board.
John is an infrastructure leader who delivers innovative, efficient technology for private equity portfolio companies. He guides FCM clients in customer experience improvement, data center virtualization, end user computing, voice and data networks, cloud services, right-shoring and global system integration. Before joining FCM, John was the Chief Information Officer at Teletech, where he enhanced processes, technology and supplier leverage to generate $45M+ in savings. Previously, he was Teletech’s Vice President of Information Technology (IT) Infrastructure and led the integration of six acquisitions to drive $200M in external growth. John also held multiple Senior Vice President roles at Citi, including Chief of Staff to Collections and Global Engineering Leader for Voice. In these roles, he grew IT service adoption and improved the customer experience, including leading a team to redesign the company’s global voice infrastructure. Before joining Citi, John was Telecommunications Leader at GE, where he developed the companywide voice vendor strategy and negotiated $100M+ contracts.
Human Resources Director,
Kristen Meier is a Jeffco native and Golden HS alum. Aside from a 5-year stint in the Pacific Northwest, she has lived her entire life in the Golden area. She was lucky enough to attend both Outdoor Lab sites, Windy Peak with her 6th-grade class and Mount Evans with a summer enrichment program. As an adult, Kristen stays connected to the schools in a different way. Her late mother was the nurse at Mount Evans for many years and Kristen is involved in an endowment to the schools in her mother’s honor; that legacy is providing every 6th grade Jeffco student, regardless of ability, the opportunity to go to Outdoor Lab. Kristen is thrilled to join the OLF Board and putting her energy toward ensuring the financial health and continuation of the program for generations to come.
Kristen is married to a Columbine alumni and has two children at Jeffco schools who will attend Outdoor Lab in the next few years. Her family enjoys outdoor activities and the arts. Family favorites include hiking, mountain biking, skiing, fly fishing, live music and theater. On the professional side, she enjoys helping organizations create and sustain best in class cultures and business results as an HR Executive. Kristen has spent most of her career in the hospitality and education sectors, with her current position being the Head of Human Resources for a sports and entertainment company.
Retired Principal, Jefferson County School District
Kathy Weiss, along with Karen Cravens started the Outdoor Lab Foundation as a 501 C3 in 2003. Last fiscal year she stepped off the board due to term limits. She is thrilled to be rejoining the board beginning in the 2018-19 fiscal year.
Kathy's love for Outdoor Lab began in 1979 when she brought her first group of 6th graders to Windy Peak. In the 1980's she became a cadre member helping to train teachers and high school leaders. As a staff developer in the District, she often substituted for the site principals, even serving as principal for Windy Peak for GT week for 3 years. In 1995, after the death of one of her mentors, Jim Jackson, she became principal at the Mt. Evans site, where she remained for 10 years. She is proud to have acquired a $300,000 grant from the Colorado Historic Society providing resources to restore all of the site historic buildings on the site. In 1997 she also started the intern program for high school and college students which is still thriving.
She is so proud of all that the Outdoor Lab Foundation has accomplished and looks forward to a bright future.