Maureen Muller - Office Manager
Jill Pidcock – Director of Development & Community Relations
Jill is a parent of a son with autism, an ordained minister, and an autism advocate. She is a PEAK Parent mentor, serves on the Colorado Autism Commission, and works for the Roaring Fork School District. Jill brings a wealth of insight into the autism and larger communities, enabling ESC to find the resources needed for sustainability and growth.
Born and raised a ski racer from Vermont, Matt was drawn to the west in his early 20’s in search of bigger mountains. He relocated to Crested Butte, Colorado where he worked special events and began coaching ski racing. Eventually moving to Flagstaff, Arizona to receive a B.S. in Outdoor Education at Northern Arizona University and working with special needs as respite care throughout college. He also continued his work in the ski industry as a ski instructor and eventually a head coach of the Flagstaff Ski Team. In the summer season he was a guide that lead backpacking and day hikes into the Grand Canyon. Trading cold for warm he moved to Hawaii where he continued guiding clients on a variety of tours from kayak to mountain biking. Eventually turning his focus to guiding youth and teens with Autism in the outdoor arena. Working for an ABA therapy provider he became a BCABA (Board Certified Assistant Behavior Analyst) and has been a clinical supervisor for the last 3 years both in homes and in the community. He has always been drawn to the therapeutic elements of being outside and is now joining ESC to turn his focus more on the benefits of outdoor-based therapy while utilizing ABA strategies.
Candice Lomaka – Ski Instructor, Winter Program Manager
Candice grew up in Michigan, where water and outdoor activities are a prevalent part of life, and she naturally spent her formative years kneeboarding and tubing, swimming, canoeing, hiking, camping, and snow skiing. She graduated from Central Michigan University, where she studied Therapeutic Recreation and Aquatic Therapy. She is a Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist. Candice began volunteering in Special Education classrooms and Adaptive P.E. classes when she was in high school and found a passion for working with people with disabilities. While in college, she volunteered with Special Olympics, Best Buddies, and Michigan Adaptive Sports, and she attended several adaptive sports clinics and gained experience in adaptive kayaking, skiing, biking and climbing. After college, she became experienced in Aquatic Therapy and community re-integration programs for people with spinal cord injuries and traumatic brain injuries, and she also worked with several post-stroke patients. She moved to Aspen in 2008 and since then has shared her love for the sport by teaching skiing with Aspen Skiing Company and Extreme Sports Camp. Candice is a level 2 certified ski instructor and children's specialist through PSIA. She began teaching skiing with our winter program in 2012, finding a love for people on the autism spectrum. She began working full time for the camp shortly after. She's looking forward to another great season on the slopes with ESC!
Carly Knauf – Adult Program Manager
Trading lakes for mountains, Carly is a Michigander turned Coloradan. Lured by the mission and vision of Extreme Sports Camp, Carly spent her first summer in Aspen in 2012 and fell in love with environment, people, and, of course, the amazing campers! Duty called at the end of the summer and Carly returned to Michigan State University (Go Green!) to finish graduate school. She couldn't shake the mile-high state of mind and returned to Colorado after receiving an M.A. in Rehabilitation Counseling. Rehabilitation Counseling allowed Carly to focus her lifelong enthusiasm for helping others in a program with an emphasis on helping adults with various disabilities achieve their personal, social and career goals through a holistic hands-on counseling approach. Carly has experience as an aide for children and adults with autism dating back to elementary school, and she successfully translated that passion to collegiate positions by serving on the executive board for Best Buddies and co-founding D.A.R.N. (Disability Advocacy Rehabilitation Network). Carly's vast experience isn't confined to the United States: she has traveled to Ireland and Haiti to help children and adults with disabilities and expand her scope of disability counseling to international practices. Carly is beyond excited to apply her education and experience and is gearing up for another unforgettable summer as part of the ESC family-this time as a Colorado resident!
Ashley Singiser – Ski Instructor, Assistant Winter Program Manager
Ashley grew up in a small town outside Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She received her undergraduate degree in Health and Physical Education from Indiana University of Pennsylvania. Throughout college, she volunteered weekly at a physical activity program for individuals with disabilities where she fell in love with the opportunities for these individuals. Ashley went on for her master’s degree in Adapted Physical Activity at Slippery Rock University. While at SRU, Ashley taught Adapted Physical Education to Head Start and high school students, as well as an autism support class. She obtained a certification in Special Olympics Coaching and Disability Sport Specialist. After completing her internship at Extreme Sports Camp, she decided to become a Colorado resident. She is looking forward to an exciting winter season with ESC!
Justin Engels – Team Support Specialist
Justin grew up in Wisconsin. He graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2010 with degrees in Political Science and Sociology of Law, Criminology and Deviance. He enjoys all types of outdoor activity and is an avid sports fan. He first began working with kids as a basketball coach and tutor for inner city youth in Minneapolis. Justin joined the ESC team in the summer of 2011 and proved to be a natural at facilitating sports and activities for people with autism. He has received extensive autism training as part of a home team, covering ABA techniques and developmental/relationship strategies. His calm demeanor and patience have made Justin a great addition to our staff!
Brittany Spangler – Ski Instructor
Brittany grew up in Johnstown, Pennsylvania. While in college, she directed the volleyball portion of the Special Olympics at her university and volunteered with various other organizations during her academic years. In 2011, she graduated from Slippery Rock University, where she earned a Bachelor’s Degree in elementary and special education with a minor in Spanish. She also completed her Master of Science degree in parks and resource management at Slippery Rock in 2012. After college, she left Pennsylvania to work for Extreme Sport Camp. She was only supposed to be in the Roaring Fork Valley for the summer, but was sucked into the amazing lifestyle quite quickly.
Since age 3 she has been skiing and snowboarding since age age 10. She has wanted to live in Colorado since she was 14 years old; it just so happens that Brittany gets to LIVE HER DREAM! Currently, she is a special education teacher at Glenwood Springs High School, head volleyball coach at Basalt High School, and aski instructor for Aspen/Snowmass. Finding a love for working with people on the autism spectrum, she began teaching skiing with our winter program in 2013. She can’t wait to hit the slopes!
Bjorn Carlson moved to the Roaring Fork Valley two years ago from Houlton, Wisoconsin. He has had a love for the outdoors and snowboarding since he was child. Bjorn grew up fifteen minutes from the nearest converted farm hill-turned snowboard hill, called The Badlands. After years of snowboarding in the Midwest, he decided to move to the Rocky Mounains for the ultimate adventure. This summer, Bjorn joined our team driving ski-boats for the lake program. After working with campers on the spectrum, Bjorn's desire to continue this work influenced his decision to instruct snowboardingt this winter. He is excited to be apart of the Extreme Sports Camp team and is looking forward to a fun and gratifying 2013-2014 winter season!
Mats Cooper – Ski/Snowboard Instructor
Mats is a certified adaptive ski instructor and freestyle and children's specialist who has taught skiing and snowboarding for autism at Snowmass since 2007. This half-Swede grew up part time in Snowmass playing all the local sports including skiing, mountain biking, disc golf, baseball, swimming and hiking the 14,000 foot peaks. For school Mats earned his Bachelor of Science degree from Harvey Mudd College, a Master of Science at Stanford University and completed all but thesis in the PhD program at MIT working as a Teaching Assistant through grad school. In addition to teaching on the slopes Mats has worked with K-12 special needs in the downvalley school districts. A diehard snowboarder with Avalanche Certification Mats has shredded the Alps, Scandinavia, and travelled to the Andes mountains of Argentina and taught at the Las Lenas resort there. Mats worked in China, Korea and the Netherlands earlier in his career as an engineer. Mats is honored to serve the ESC athletes and bring the joy of extreme sports to everybody.
Joanna Dziewa – Ski Buddy
I am from Austin, TX and just graduated from the University of Texas with a degree in Human Biology. I spend the majority of my time outdoors: hiking, cycling, running, kayaking, and cliff jumping. I have been a swim coach for the past five years and have enjoyed developing the swimmers' strokes as well as providing challenging and engaging workouts. This past spring semester, I had the opportunity to shadow a special education classroom at an elementary school. This experience has led me to understand the autism spectrum and inspired me to work alongside individuals with Autism. I am looking forward to being a part of the ESC team.
After growing up Madison, Ohio, Gerard moved to the valley three years ago. He is no joke when it comes to being friendly and staying positive. When it’s warm out you can find Gerard kicking soccer balls, mountain biking, and hiking the peaks, but when the snow fly’s so does Gerard on a snowboard. He had lots of fun attending Kent State University and is always looking to learn more. Gerard had the opportunity to work with a home team this fall and found passion to pursue this new career. He is extremely excited about the sports camp experience, and can’t wait to dive in!
I am from Austin, TX and moved to Colorado to pursue an internship in adaptive sports. I went to the University of Texas in Austin where I studied exercise science and competed in collegiate gymnastics. I love to skate, ski, and cliff jump. In the future I hope to be a physical therapist.
Noah Weber – Ski Buddy, Weekend Program Counselor
Noah was born in, raised in, and is the pride of Galesburg, Illinois. He graduated from Iowa State University with a degree in Mechanical Engineering. He is a fervent lover of the outdoors and especially loves to hike. He lived for a few years in Flagstaff, Arizona and quickly fell in love with the mountains and living at a higher altitude. Noah was a counselor for many summers at a camp for diabetic children in Illinois. He looks forward to an exciting summer full of fun and the adventure with the campers at Extreme Sports Camp!
Miranda is a native of the flat lands of South Dakota, and grew up snow skiing in the Black Hills and water skiing on the Missouri River. She received her Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary and Special Education, as well as obtaining a Master’s Degree in Special Education with emphasis in Autism and Behavioral Disorders. Miranda is currently in her fourth year as a special education teacher, and has enjoyed teaching in the Roaring Fork Valley for a year and half. She also has spent some time working for the summer and winter programs for Extreme Sports Camp. She is looking forward to another wonderful winter in Colorado!
Whitney Hewitt – Ski Buddy, Weekend Program Counselor
Whitney was born and raised in southwestern Michigan, where her passion for both sports and special needs children and adults began. From the age of 8 until 18, Whitney was a tri-sport athlete and always enjoyed being a part of a team. While later gaining experience in a variety of special needs positions, Whitney pursued a degree in Special Education and transferred from Grand Valley State University to Lee University, a private college in Cleveland, TN. While attending Lee, Whitney was given the opportunity to travel to both Italy and Cambodia, where she helped teach English and establish a curriculum for an organization’s TESOL program in the heart of Siem Reap. Also while at lee, Whitney played on the Lee Women’s Rugby Club, where she helped them go to nationals for the very first time and was exposed to life outdoors with her Tennessee friends and colleagues. It was during this time that Whitney recognized her desire to impact those with disabilities on a deeper and more intimate level than in a classroom, and she obtained her Bachelor’s degree in Special Education Support Services. For the past five years, Whitney has worked at a summer camp for children with disabilities in Cleveland, TN. She's extremely excited to become a part of ESC in Colorado, where she can help fulfill the dream of giving those with special needs an opportunity that they would normally never have.
At age eighteen, Quincy Gray began his career in special education for the Corona-Norco Unified School District in California, working as a one-on-one aide, resource instructional assistant, and job developer. Having ten-plus years of experience in the field, he has assisted children with varied cognitive and social skills in home, school, and camp settings. In 2007, he started work as a behavior interventionist for kids on the Autism spectrum, and has enjoyed the community since.
An advocate for the "underdog," Quincy has a unique effectiveness that builds self-esteem and challenges kids to grow beyond their perceived limitations. "We gain strength, and courage, and confidence by each experience in which we really stop to look fear in the face…we must do that which we think we cannot." –Eleanor Roosevelt. Through supportive friendship and positive modeling, Quincy is confident your child will have a memorable experience at Extreme Sports Camp.
When Quincy is not working with kids, he works in film and television out in Los Angeles, and he's in the process of developing a web series about special ed kids that make the school basketball team and assume the rank of "the popular kids." Quincy Gray is excited to rejoin the ESC staff for a second summer.
Isabel Weber – Weekend Program Counselor
Isabel Weber was born and raised in Colorado. She has lived in Glenwood Springs for the past 15 years. She enjoys hiking, swimming, skateboarding, camping, and fishing, but her passion is snowboarding. Isabel is currently enrolled at Glenwood Springs High School. She has experience with autism from helping out mostly in the school setting. Isabel is very excited to be a part of the ESC community because she wants to learn how she can help improve other people's lives, all while learning more about autism.
Diane Osaki, OT – Consultant to Extreme Sports Camp
Deeply involved in the shaping and development of our programs, Diane has played an integral role in our success. Year to year, she has helped to continually improve our program quality which makes the experience and benefits for the kids who attend the Extreme Sports Camp the best they can be. Diane is personally involved in our training each season and provides valuable on-site direction and guidance for our entire staff. She attends periodically during the summer and winter programs to provide guidance and training throughout our programs.
Diane Osaki is the Early Start Denver Model Director of Firefly Autism. She was the founder and executive director of the center – originally known as the Aspen Center for Autism – in 2003, and served on the board from 2007 to 2010. She is a pediatric occupational therapist and has been working with people with developmental disabilities for nearly 20 years, specializing in treatment for children with autism and their families. Prior to opening what was then the Aspen Center for Autism, Diane was with JFK Partners at the University of Colorado Health Services. Diane is a member of the Association for Behavior Analysis, the Autism Society of America, and the American Occupational Therapy Association. She was also on the Board of Directors for the Colorado Chapter of the Autism Society of America. Diane provides educational and behavior consultation to families and schools in Colorado and around the world. Her intervention focuses on building positive relationships and the science of instruction to improve learning in all areas of development.
Sallie Bernard – President
Deb Sullivan Gravelle – Executive Director
Deb comes to us with more than 20 years of outdoor recreation and sports program experience. A Boulder native, skiing is her first sport, but over the past 25 years she’s competed in sailing, which included a few years racing on the US SAILING team. With a great passion for the outdoors and recreation, she feels it’s important to share her passion to be outside and active – her primary goal is to make sure everyone has an activity to take them outside for wellness and for LIFE. Deb holds an undergraduate degree in Physical Education and taught middle school PE for 10 years. She also has her master’s degree in Sports Administration and has spent the last 10 years running and directing sailing and skiing programs both in the US and abroad. During her time with US SAILING, she certified and trained sailing instructors and coaches and is a member of the National Faculty, where she spends time developing and editing training manuals. Deb and her husband Bill are excited to be in the beautiful Roaring Fork Valley and working with Extreme Sports Camp.