Outdoor Lab Foundation Staff
Interim Deputy Executive Director
Mary was born and raised in Iowa and spent much of her youth outside where her parents & grandmother taught her tree names and what flowers bloom first in the spring.
She completed her bachelor's degree in English and environmental studies from Iowa State University and her master’s degree in public administration from the University of Colorado Denver. In between the two, she completed a year-long Americorps VISTA term, then served 5 years at a conservation organization called Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation, where, in addition to beginning their first-ever statewide volunteer program, she discovered the peace of the prairie.
While not an alumni of Outdoor Lab schools, she feels connected to the mission in a profound way—she had a similar camp experience that changed her outlook on life. She’s excited to be working toward the Outdoor Lab Foundation's mission and can’t wait to hear and share more stories.
In her free time, Mary likes to sing, ski, raft, hike and spend time with family and friends. She also enjoys coffee. And poetry. And likes when she drinks coffee while reading poetry. “To pay attention, this is our endless and proper work.” -Mary Oliver
Emily was born in Michigan but grew up in Lakewood and graduated from Fairview High School in Boulder. Emily is also a Windy Peak alumna! She received her bachelor's degree in biology and went on to become an aquarist. She has held positions with Ocean Journey, the Downtown Aquarium in Denver, as well as Arvada Animal Control and most recently, in many local businesses as a bookkeeper. In her spare time, Emily loves to spend time with her children, husband and four amazing rescue animals!
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.
Business Performance Advisor,
Liza is passionate about Colorado entrepreneurs and small business owners. She has previously worked with Fortune 50 companies as well as larger corporations and has found the most interesting people and products lie in the small to medium business market. She loves working with these entrepreneurs.
When Liza is not meeting the movers and shakers in Colorado, she enjoys reading, hiking, working out and being with her family in southwest Littleton. As a life-long resident of Colorado and Jefferson County, Liza had the opportunity to attend Outdoor Lab as a sixth grade student at Foothills Elementary School and is super excited about helping others be able to attend this phenomenal program.
Senior Project 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.
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.
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.
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.
Founder and President, Avout
Barry Wiebe is the Founder, President and CEO of Avout. He has over 25 years of experience in Oracle staffing, services, and software sales and has been hired by some of the largest consultancies in the world to manage Oracle business units. Barry has worked with both startups and Fortune 500 companies to build Oracle practices from the ground up, and over the course of his career has hired hundreds of Oracle experts and interviewed thousands of candidates. He has a track record of bringing start-up and under performing organizations and divisions to profitability quickly and generating exponential revenue growth.
Barry launched his career in the aerospace engineering field where he used powerful Oracle databases to work on classified projects. In the mid-1990s he was recruited by Oracle to create an Oracle Government Consulting practice in the Central U.S. region, which he grew to $20 million in 14 months. Barry was then hired by Accenture to establish their Oracle line of business, growing it to 250 people and $230 million in just three years. Prior to starting Avout, Barry was hired as Senior Vice President of Sales at TUSC, an Oracle-focused consulting firm, to turn around three years of declining revenue. In 36 months he grew sales as much as 127% quarter over quarter, doubling revenue and positioning the company for a successful acquisition by Rolta. Before that he worked as a principal officer at ResponsePoint and Lante, bolstering revenue for both companies and propelling Lante to a successful acquisition.
Barry’s Oracle dealings have involved top leaders including Larry Ellison, Safra Catz, and Mark Hurd, and he maintains an extensive network of relationships within Oracle and throughout the Oracle consulting world. Presently he is responsible for all day-to-day operations, P&L, delivery and client-facing interactions for Avout.
Barry graduated with a BS in Aerospace Engineering from Iowa State University. He is a nationally-ranked mountain bike racer and the founder of Avout Racing; www.AvoutRacing.com, a 1% for the Planet Ambassador, helping build the number of corporate members who are taking a stand for sustaining our planet, and a board member of Outdoor Lab Foundation.
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.