Mission: Coombs Outdoors empowers children and youth to reach their full potential through the life-changing power of outdoor recreation. 

Vision: A world in which all kids are able to reap the benefits of the great outdoors, regardless of socio-economic, racial or cultural barriers

Jackson Hole is known for its natural beauty and world-class outdoor sports. However, there is a large population of children of low-income families who do not have access to the same opportunities as their peers. In an effort to create a healthy community where all our children thrive, Coombs Outdoors provides year-round outdoor programming for youth from Kindergarten through high school graduation. 

Our programs grow as the needs of our kids grow, beginning with basic instructional programs that introduce kids to a variety of activities that will hopefully spark a passion for the outdoors, then adding a cohort-based mentoring component in middle school to help our youth build deep relationships with their peers and trusted adults, and finally, training our high school youth to serve as mentors and coaches to our younger kids, explore careers and college, and become passionate outdoor enthusiasts.

At every stage, outdoors remains at the center of our work, whether a hike with a Forest Ranger, a ropes course with a mentoring cohort, or an internship working at our local ski hill. Our goal is not to create world-class skiers or rock climbers, but to develop world-class people ready to embrace the future with confidence.

 

Our Founding History

Whether in the remote backcountry or in ski resorts throughout the world, modern skiing is connected to the tracks Doug Coombs left behind. Doug had the opportunity at a young age to alpine ski at a small local ski hill, and the passion he developed empowered him to live an extraordinary life. But perhaps his greatest legacy is the one that lives on in the people he touched throughout his life, both on skis and off. Doug died in La Grave, France in April of 2006, leaving behind his wife, Emily, and young son, David.

Emily Coombs has always been passionate about equality and access, learning early lessons from her mother, who instilled a sense of social justice in both her daughters. While watching her son participate in recreational sports in Jackson, Emily noticed there was a growing disparity between the “haves” and “have nots” in the community she loved. Children from low income families, especially Latino children, were vastly underrepresented on the ski slopes, soccer fields, and hiking trails of Jackson.

In September 2012, Emily launched the Doug Coombs Foundation in Doug’s memory, the perfect marriage of her passions and Doug’s, inspiring children from low-income families in Teton County to reach their full potential through outdoor recreation. By the end of that first winter, Coombs had enrolled 28 children in the Snow King Mountain Sports School, providing ski rentals, ski instruction and lift tickets. Over the years, the organization has grown to nearly two hundred children and expanding beyond skiing to in activities like hiking, rock climbing, and kayaking, engaging children and youth year-round.

Emily Coombs stepped down from her leadership role in the organization in June 2018, and in August, 2019, The Doug Coombs Foundation became Coombs Outdoors, to better reflect the work that we do. Today, Coombs Outdoors carries on Doug’s legacy of helping others achieve their highest potential and Emily’s legacy of ensuring that all kids have a chance in life. The children and youth of Coombs Outdoors have an opportunity to experience the joy of a variety of outdoor activities, to follow their dreams, and to live their own extraordinary lives.



Our Staff

Mary Erickson, Executive Director
Prior to joining Coombs, Mary served as the Executive Director of the Community Resource Center/One22, a non-profit that offers a variety of short and long-term financial assistance programs, interventions, education, and advocacy, encouraging financial stability and self-sufficiency. Erickson is an ordained Episcopal priest, and served as the Associate Priest at St. John’s Episcopal Church for 7 years. Mary received her Masters of Divinity from Harvard, and her BA from the University of California at Berkeley. Originally from the San Francisco Bay Area, Mary has been in Jackson with her husband and 2 children since 2006.

Contact Mary: [email protected]



Maggie Shipley, Program Manager

The Program Manager oversees the coordination and administration of all programs. Maggie received her BA in Ecology from Sewanee: The University of the South. During college, she split her free time working for the University’s outdoor education program and as a climbing and whitewater kayaking guide for the Baylor School. Maggie first learned to ski when she moved to Jackson in 2015 and enjoys sharing her passion for big mountains and outdoor adventure with the Coombs Kids.

Contact Maggie: [email protected]



Lily Krass, Marketing and Communications Manager

The Marketing and Communications Manager performs a wide range of duties including, managing social media, monthly eNewsletters, grant writing, and administrative support for fundraising and activities. Lily graduated from the University of Colorado, majoring in Spanish and Italian, while pursuing a career in skiing/outdoor journalism. When not at Coombs, she works as a freelance writer, with work published in a number of well known magazines. Lily moved to Jackson in the spring of 2018 and is a passionate backcountry skier and mountain biker.

Contact Lily: [email protected]

Laura Gaylord, Program Coordinator

As Program Coordinator Laura is the primary contact for all things related to the Powder Pals Program. Laura grew up in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains in Boulder, CO where she spent her time ski racing and growing her love for skiing and the mountains. At the University of Colorado she studied Sociology and Spanish Literature. She has since lived and worked in the Roaring Fork Valley near Aspen as a server and raft guide in the summers where the majority of her immediate family now lives. This is going to be her second winter season in Jackson where she loves to ski and explore our snow covered peaks.

Contact Laura: [email protected]

Jimmy Hessler, Program Coordinator

As a founder of the Community Soccer Camp (CSC), Jimmy oversees all aspects of this popular summer soccer camp. Jimmy believes that soccer has the power to bring diverse people together and build bridges between cultures, languages and perceived differences. Soccer continues to teach him the importance of treating all people with respect and dignity, and as the director of CSC, his main priority is manifesting this positive mindset in his players. A recent graduate from the University of Denver, Jimmy is excited to return to his home community of Jackson Hole to continue on his path of growth and exploration through community engagement with Coombs Outdoors.

Contact [email protected]

 

Board of Directors

Click to view their bios

+ Bill Maloney, Co-Chair

Bill Maloney has had a long and distinguished career in the financial management industry. He graduated from Holy Cross College in 1959 and attended business school at McGill University and Duquesne University. He is an Advisory Board Member to the Holy Cross Business Program, and he has mentored many young low-income athletes who have become successful Holy Cross graduates. Maloney has served on many for-profit and non-profit boards. He and his wife, Carol, live in Jackson, WY. Maloney is a long-term friend and supporter of Emily and Doug’s.

+ Philip Winder, Co-Chair

Philip Winder serves as CEO of Polygon Investment Management, a fund management firm which he founded in 2002. Previously, he led the Middle East team at Schroder Investment Management. Winder served as Head of Global Sales and Marketing for Credit Suisse Asset Management in London, led business development in Europe and the MiddleEast at Bankers Trust Investment Management, and served as an economist in the Foreign Department of the Federal Reserve Bank of NY. He is a Senior Advisor to the Albright Stonebridge Group and serves as Vice Chairman of the Board of Trustees, and Chair of the Investment Committee, of the American University of Beirut. He is on the Board of Georgetown University’s Center for Contemporary Arab Studies, and is a member of the Bretton Woods Committee. He earned an M.S. in Foreign Service from Georgetown University and a B.A. from Haverford College. Winder speaks French and conversational Arabic. He is based in Jackson, WY and Princeton, NJ.

+ Katherine Michiels, Treasurer

Katherine Michiels is the founder of the Katherine Michiels School (KMS) in San Francisco, providing active, child-centered learning in multiple locations for infants through 5th grade. In 1995 a group of KMS parents established Open Mind, a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting the KMS philosophy, assisting middle and low income Bay Area families obtain quality child care, and improving and enriching educational opportunities for infants and young children in the Bay Area. She sees the mission of Coombs Outdoors well in line with her life-long commitment to empowering kids through active, child-centered learning and play. Michiels has homes in San Francisco and Jackson, WY. Michiels is a long-term friend of Emily’s, and skied back in the day with Emily and Doug.

+ Maggie Gibson, Secretary

Maggie Gibson moved to Jackson after graduating from the University of Vermont in 1983. She and her husband opened Pearl Street Bagels in Jackson in 1990 and it took off immediately. They worked hard for 18 years to keep pace with a successful business in a booming economy. They built a house, started a family, and opened a second Pearl Street location in Wilson. In 2008 they sold the business to three of their employees. Before the Coombs Foundation, Gibson served as a board member of the Friends of Pathways for six years and was president for two. Gibson’s love of the mountains changed her life and she is passionate about sharing the natural beauty of our world with children from the community.

+ Beatriz Chavez

Beatriz Chavez is the mother of Esbeidy (14), Angelyk (11), and Camila (6), three local kids who have been participating in Coombs programs since it began in 2012. Beatriz came to the United States from Guadalajara, Mexico when she was three years old and has lived in Jackson for 12 years. She is the Assistant Manager at PB&J Daycare, and has two sisters, Alejandra and Liliana, who also have kids in Coombs programs and have also become active in the community. Participation in Coombs programming has directly impacted Chavez’s daughters in school and their extracurricular activities, and Chavez is passionate about giving back to the organization that has helped her family so much. Chavez wants to help determine the direction of Coombs programming according to what works best for Jackson’s Latino community, using first-hand insight as a participating family.

+ Tim Flanagan

Tim Flanagan has dedicated his life to the sport of skiing. He is the founder of SkiGearTV, one of the leading resources for consumers seeking snowsports product information, reviews and ski equipment test results. Flanagan is a former owner/operator of Flanagan’s Ski Rentals and Black Dog Mountaineering in Grand County, Colorado. Since selling his businesses he has served a Snowsports Industry consultant, and volunteered countless hours as an Alpine Ski Coach for the Jackson Hole High School ski team. In 1991 Tim founded a non-profit in Colorado providing youth scholarships for skiing, both Nordic and Alpine. Flanagan is passionate about sharing his knowledge of snowsports with the local and greater community.

+ Keith Fleischmann

Keith Fleischman is the Principal in the Fleischman Law Firm, based in New York, with a satellite office opening this summer in Jackson, WY. Fleischman is a nationally recognized litigator and trial lawyer, having successfully investigated, litigated and tried to verdict some of the largest and most complex civil and criminal cases in the country. Keith began his legal career with the Bronx District Attorney’s Office. In 1988, Keith joined the United States Department of Justice, Criminal Division, Fraud Section as a trial lawyer. In 1990, Keith accepted a position as an Assistant United States Attorney in the District of Connecticut. Fleischman founded the Fleischman Law Firm in 2011. Fleischman is an avid skier, and has great memories of skiing with Emily and Doug Coombs.

+ Frank Forelle

Frank Forelle is a Principal at Teton Equity Advisors, a Financial Consulting and Real Estate Private Equity Firm. He has excelled in the real estate and private equity industry for more than two decades, working for firms such as Zeller Realty Group, Deutsche Bank, ABN AMRO, Inc., and Citicorp Securities. Forelle is a graduate of Syracuse University, where he earned a BS with a major in finance, and he earned a JD from Syracuse University College of Law. He holds a graduate degree in real estate from New York University. Forelle is an avid skier and lives in Jackson, Wyoming.

+ J. Laurie Hunter

Laurie Hunter worked at various financial institutions in London for twenty years before branching out on his own. After a spell in Paris, where he co-founded a managed futures firm and another spell in London, he moved his family to California in 1996, where he remained until settling in Jackson in 2011. His last gigs were as Chairman and CEO of London listed Madagascar Oil and board member of Australian listed Living Cell Technology. Hunter skis as frequently as his schedule allows.

+ Sam Randall

Sam Rendall grew up ski racing in Vermont, graduated from Dartmouth College with a degree in English & Spanish literature, and has called Wyoming home for the past 10 years. Coombs Outdoors combines Rendall’s love of the outdoors, community, languages & skiing. Rendall helps Coombs Outdoors prosper with his years of experience managing a dynamic guest services team at Spring Creek Ranch, and his current business development experience managing finances & operations for a growing software development company. Rendall and his wife, Emilie, have two young children

+ Mark A. Snell

Mark Snell has been a full-time resident of Jackson Wyoming since 2017 and is an active member of the community. In addition to his service as a director of the Coombs Foundation, he serves on the board of directors and the housing committee for the Teton Science Schools. Mark moved to Jackson from San Diego, where he was Chief Financial Officer and then President of Sempra Energy, a Fortune 200 firm with operations worldwide. In San Diego, Mark served as the Chairman of the Board of Directors of San Diego State University’s Business School, a member of the Board of Trustees of Rady Children’s Hospital, and Chairman of the Audit Committee for the San Diego Humane Society. Mark is also a Board Member, Chair of the Audit Committee and member of the Compensation Committee for Great Elm Capital, a publicly traded NYSE Company. Snell and his wife, Teri, have two grown children who live in Los Angeles and Bozeman.

+ James Wilcox

James Wilcox is a Managing Director in the Investment Management Division of First Republic. James is a member of the First Republic Asset Allocation Committee and the First Republic Altair Investment Committee. Prior to joining First Republic, James worked for 18 years at Goldman Sachs and was a Vice President in the Investment Management Division. Wilcox focuses on wealth management for families and foundations. James began his career as Press Secretary to U.S. Congressman Bill Archer of Texas in the U.S. House of Representatives. Wilcox currently serves as Chair of the Los Angeles Advisory Board for the Posse Foundation and on the Posse Foundation National Board. James earned his MBA from the Columbia Business School at Columbia University and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Middlebury College. Wilcox has had a home in the Jackson Hole area for nearly 10 years and grew up in Vermont where he spent many years as a ski instructor at Stratton Mountain and Bromley Mountain ski schools.