2019 Election Dates:
  • Opens: September 5, 2019 at 9 a.m.
  • Ends: October 7, 2019 at 3 p.m.

In the Mazama election cycle, members vote on three new Executive Council (Board of Directors) members and three new Nominating Committee members. Current Mazama members are eligible to vote in the election. Your membership must be current as of September 1 of the voting year in order to be eligible to vote.

Executive Council (Board of Directors)

The Mazamas Executive Council (Board of Directors) is comprised of 9 members, each serving 3 year terms. Each year members vote for 3 new members, and 3 members finish their terms. This is the current membership for the Executive Council (Executive Board), with their current positions, and term expiration dates.

Voting Procedure

E–Voting: All Mazama members  who have an email address on file with the Mazamas AND who do not Opt-Out of E-voting (opt-out option closed on Aug. 19) for the Mazama Annual Election, will receive an email to vote in the election on September 5. This email will include a link that is specific to you (if you share an email address with another member, you will receive two emails to that shared address, each with a unique link). You will click on this link to make your election choices. Once you have confirmed your selections you cannot change your vote. You must utilize this voting link by Oct. 7 at 3 p.m. No votes can be accepted after that time.

Vote by Mail: All Mazama members who Opt-Out of E-voting  (opt-out option closed on Aug. 19), or who do not have an email address on file with the Mazamas  will receive a paper ballot by standard USPS mail. This ballot will arrive around September 5, and will include a voter pamphlet, ballot, and return envelope. Make your election choices, put your ballot in the return envelope, place a stamp on the envelope, and drop it in the mail. Paper ballots must be received by Oct. 7 at 3 p.m. to be counted. Ballots received after that time cannot be accepted.

Opt-Out of E-Voting 

2019 Candidates

Executive Council Candidates

  • Rick Amodeo
  • Jesse Applegate
  • Darrin Gunkel
  • Jorgen Rufner
  • Amanda Ryan-Fear

Nominating Committee Candidates

  • Patrick Beeson
  • Lynny Brown
  • Freda Sherburne
  • Barbara Weiss

Rick Amodeo, Member Since 2012

Rick Amodeo

Work/Professional Experience

I am a professional structural engineer licensed in 7 states and owner of a small structural engineering consulting firm. I work closely with owners, architects, contractors, developers and community organizations on various projects, primarily building structures. I worked on the remodel/upgrade of the MMC, and have been involved in various lodge design projects. Have worked in NYC, Washington DC, LA, and have been in Portland for 30 years.

Board and/or Committee Experience with Other Organizations

Italian Business Club, Oregon Building Officials Administration, American Concrete Institute, Mercy Corps professional volunteer, American Mensa volunteer, National Council of Engineering Examiners coordinator, assistant as a charitable volunteer of the Portland Open, worked with the Portland Rescue Mission and the Regional Arts and Culture Council.

Relevant Life and Leadership Experience

Have managed engineering firms, worked with various volunteer organizations and planned/coordinated many Mazama events. In the last 5 years, I have been a volunteer for the Infrastructure Group of Mercy Corps, working on design projects for Somalia, Guatemala, DRC, Nepal, Uganda, Afghanistan and other interesting places. In the last 2 years, I have traveled with Mercy Corps to work on projects in Afghanistan and the Congo, which includes design and construction of water supply facilities, and small community buildings.

Mazamas Activity

Assistant for climbs, BCEP and XC tours, and have lead nearly 200 hikes. Have been a Trail Trips Committee member, Liaison to the Outings Committee and the Risk Management Committee, Chair of the Lodge Task Force, Chair of the Lodge Committee, Outing Leader, Planner, Coordinator and Leader of multiple Lodge-sponsored events including Chuckwagon Weekends, multiple RTM’s, leader of many rambles and have volunteered for trail tending. Have hiked/climbed on 5 continents and in approximately 24 countries.

Personal Statement

It is a challenge to find time to volunteer with a full-time job, but it is rewarding to be able to support good organizations. The Mazamas are an amazing and complex organization, and have many unique issues and challenges, either internal or external, and I look forward to the opportunity to assist as much as I can and to help steer the future direction of the organization. My experience, technical and organizing skills can be an asset to the Mazama EC. Specifically, I am an advocate of more access, not less, to our beautiful mountains for all people, and am interested in developing a long-term plan for the Mazama Lodge and improving the effectiveness/usefulness of our facilities.

Jesse Applegate, Member Since 2012

Jesse Applegate

Work/Professional Experience

  • President and founder at Pioneer Group.
  • Former Component Design Engineer at Intel Corp.
  • Research and development engineer and project manager at various tech companies.

Board and/or Committee Experience in other Organizations

  • Portland Mountain Rescue since 2016. Fully qualified field-deployable member. Participated in numerous search and rescue missions on Mt. Hood, the Columbia River Gorge, and Clackamas County.
  • Hillsboro Flying Club board member since 2012. The flying club board manages the cost, maintenance, and operation of three aircraft on behalf of the 35-45 club members. I also volunteer on the yearly budgeting sub-committee that plans aircraft rates, club dues, future fleet enhancements.
  • Hillsboro Flying Club “Plane Captain” responsible for owner-authorized maintenance on the club’s Cessna 182P.

Relevant Life and Leadership Experience

  • Bachelor of Science, Electrical & Electronics Engineering, Oregon State University.
  • Lane Community College Frontline Leadership Training: six module series covering basic principles for a collaborative workplace, proactive listening, constructive feedback, giving recognition, coaching, and strategies for navigating change.

US Navy veteran:

  • Inshore Boat Coxswain and Patrol Leader (a coxswain is the “captain” of a small boat) responsible for tactical command, including weapons release authority, of a four-person-crew port security patrol boat. Coordinated up to five inter-service patrol boats responsible for the waterborne security of military and commercial ships at overseas seaports under US military protection during the Iraq War.
  • Division Leading Petty Officer for communications division of an 80-person port security unit.
  • Project manager for special avionics installations and maintenance on overseas reconnaissance aircraft.

Mazamas Activity

  • E-level climb leader since 2018.
  • ICS Committee member since 2016.
  • ICS volunteer instructor since 2014.
  • BCEP volunteer instructor and safety officer since 2013.
  • Portland Alpine Fest athlete host and clinic volunteer since 2016.
  • Mazamas PhD: Ski mountaineering 2013, BCEP 2013, ICS 2013–14, ASI 2014, AR 2017

Personal Statement

People always laugh when I say the Mazamas is just like the military —the good parts, at least. I think most of the time that’s because they’re less familiar with the motivations of service members and more familiar with the popular culture stereotypes. But it’s true. We even have our own pseudo rank structure in how we categorize ourselves as “BCEP grads,” “AR grads,” climb leaders, etc. The things that motivate us are the same, however: a sense of belonging, the sharing of knowledge, mentorship, and the bond experienced by people who are challenged mentally and physically when they depend on each other literally for their lives. The camaraderie from these bonds is special. It’s organic, ethereal, and very powerful. It’s what motivates me.

I see the Mazamas as currently experiencing an identity crisis: are we a business or a social organization? From my perspective we’re both, but primarily a social organization made of mostly volunteers who are motivated by their shared experiences of personal growth and camaraderie. I’m running for Executive Council because I want to be a part of the process steering the organization, to offer my input as an advisor on how I think the organization should change in the context of what motivates people to be a part of it, and to improve communication with the membership on what any changes are and why they’re being implemented. I want the Mazamas to be leaders in the community as technical experts, progressive ambassadors, and stewards.

Darrin Gunkel, Member Since 2012

Darrin Gunkel

Work/Professional Experience

  • Freelance writer, editor and producer for print and video media, both non-profit and corporate
  • Science writer and lecturer for Oregon Museum of Science and Industry and Lewis and Clark College.
  • Communications Fellow, FUSE Washington
  • Membership, Events, and Fundraising Manager, Washington Toxics Coalition
  • Communications Assistant, Crisis Clinic
  • Radio News Producer/Messaging Consultant, Washington News Service
  • City Hall/County Council Reporter, KUOW (NPR) Radio.
  • English Teacher, American Language Center, Bangkok
  • Canvas Director, Greenpeace USA
  • Board and/or Committee Experience in other Organizations
  • Board Fund Development and Events Liaison, Washington Toxics Coalition.

Relevant Life and Leadership Experience

  • Five years volunteering in Mazama leadership roles.
  • Thirty years hiking and climbing in the Pacific Northwest, Central and South America, and Asia.
  • Decades of professional science and outdoors writing.
  • A total of four years traveling and teaching abroad.
  • Thirty-five years non-profit management, administration, and consulting.
  • Ten years volunteer management experience.
  • Life-long personal and professional commitment to the environment, social justice and diversity.
  • Life-long amateur astronomer and naturalist.
  • Defacto, yet unofficial, leader on countless hikes in the Northwest.
  • Active, high-level volunteer for OMSI and the Mazamas and tree-planter for Friends of Trees.

Mazamas Activity

  • BCEP, 2014
  • BCEP assistant instructor, 2015 and 2016
  • Assistant climb leader, 2015 to present
  • Publications Committee, 2016 to present; Chair, 2017 to present
  • Regular contributor to Mazama Bulletin and Annual

Personal Statement

The Mazamas is one of the greatest organizations I’ve had the pleasure of being involved with. And over the course of my career, I’ve worked for or with dozens of non-profits. What stands out, after the fantastic members who do amazing things, is how well-run our organization truly is. It’s an honor to be nominated for Executive Council, to be offered a key role in the stewardship of such a venerable piece of Oregon and Pacific Northwest history.

It’s an exciting time to be in Mazama leadership. Transition and changes in the organization are markers of its vitality. I’ve worked for several non-profits in transition; that some were successful and others were not gives me a useful vantage point to help steer our organization the right way. As does standing on the shoulders of giants who have served on the executive council over the last century and a quarter. I look forward to working for and with all of our current membership and staff, to ensure the Mazama legacy endures.

Communication is at the heart of effective leadership. Communication has been the main theme of my career, from fundraising for social services and the environment, to reporting on regional politics for NPR, to creating compelling science presentations for OMSI and Lewis and Clark College. I’d be honored to put these, and all, of my skills to work serving the Mazama staff, members, and mission of inspiring everyone to love and protect the mountains. Thanks for considering me.

Jorgen Rufner, member since 2009

Jorgen Rufner

PhD Chemical Engineer & Materials Scientist who researched high temperature ceramic systems and coatings in 2005 at Montana State University. In 2007 Jorgen moved to Portland as a project engineer at LotusWorks helping manage the construction of ~$100MM wind farm projects in The Gorge as well as the H.W. Hill Landfill Gas power generation facility. In 2010 he moved to Davis, CA where he studied bulk nanostructured material processing completing his PhD. While at UC Davis Jorgen taught numerous classes and labs becoming involved in outreach and leadership for the department. He subsequently returned to Portland in 2014 as a process development engineer at Intel PTD and in 2016 moved to Vancouver continuing semiconductor work as the VP of Engineering, leading their technology development, at a wafer processing firm called IMAT, Inc.

Board and/or Committee Experience in other Organizations

  • 2010–2012: GSO Departmental Representative, Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science at UC Davis
  • 2013: Conference Organizing Committee Member, THERMEC2013 in Las Vegas, NV
  • 2011–2014: Head Coordinator, Safety Committee for The Imaging Nanofunctionality Laboratory
  • 2012–2014: President, Material Research Society (MRS) UC Davis Chapter
  • 2014–2015: Outreach Committee Member, President’s Council of Student Advisors for the American Ceramic Society

Relevant Life and Leadership Experience

  • 2006–2007: Engineering Ambassador, Montana State University, College of Engineering
  • 2011–2014: Rock Climbing Guide and Instructor - UC Davis Outdoor Adventures Climbing Program
  • 2012–2014: Winter Outdoor Guide - UC Davis Outdoor Adventures Program
  • 2013–Present: Peer reviewer for the Journal of the American Ceramic Society

Mazamas Activity

  • 2015 & 2016: Rock Climbing Anchor Skill Builder Volunteer Instructor/Assistant
  • 2015–Present: ICS field session volunteer
  • 2016–Present: Advanced Rock field session volunteer
  • 2017: BCEP Horsethief field session safety officer

Personal Statement

Jorgen’s desire to become involved in the Mazamas Executive Council resides in the combination of two of his great passions: education/lifelong learning and the outdoors. Jorgen joined the Mazamas ten years ago in search of a place to improve his skillsets allowing deeper travel into wild and adventurous places. All along doing it with like-minded folks who shared his love for the outdoors. What he found with the Mazamas was a group full of people who are dedicated towards environmental protection, desire to build the highest quality outdoor adventure training and education program in the region, while simultaneously supporting the NW climbing community from young to old. He knew that he wanted to become a part of such a skilled and friendly bunch.

Jorgen has taken many of the offered classes from BCEP to AR and various smaller courses in between but very quickly he returned to volunteer in all of them helping share what he had learned. As a father to a 3 year old he understands the previous free time offered by members running Mazamas’ programs are its most precious asset and critical to its success. Hence why he views the Mazamas2020 initiative as such a positive step. It showed the organization taking a serious survey of its weaknesses as seen by its members and trying to fill those gaps. Being a part of the Executive Council allows Jorgen to aid in successfully achieving those goals and beyond.

Amanda Ryan-Fear, member since 2015

Amanda Ryan-Fear

Work/Professional Experience

  • Business Process Re-engineering Consultant, 2 years
  • Marketing Executive, 2 years
  • High School Art and Leadership Teacher, 10 years
  • High School Administrator, 6 years
  • Director and Staff Member, Oregon Association of Student Councils summer camp, 4 years
  • Interim Executive Director Forward Stride Center for Therapeutic Riding, 1 year
  • Women’s Leadership Coaching and Surfing Retreats, just started!

Board and/or Committee Experience in other Organizations

  • VIBE of Portland, Board Member 2012–2014
  • Liberty High School Equity Team Leader (2014–2018)
  • Hillsboro High School Equity Team Leader (2013–2014); Participant (2008–2014)
  • Hillsboro School District Future Leaders Program (2013–2014)
  • Coaching for Educational Equity (CFEE) Participant (Winter 2008, Ongoing)
  • Oregon Leadership Network, District Team Member (2013–2018)

Relevant Life and Leadership Experience

I’ve had a variety of experiences that are relevant to this role, most of which have been listed above. I have been an educator for 15 years, having worked in a leadership role for 5 of those years. I have participated on a lot of different committees and teams and have always been an outdoor adventurer.

Mazamas Activity

  • BCEP 2015, Eileen Kiely
  • BCEP Volunteer 2016 , Eileen Kiely’s group
  • Adelante Mujeres at the MMC 2015
  • Adventure WILD Summer Camp 2017

Personal Statement

Joining the Mazamas was life-changing for me. I had always loved being outside, and BCEP gave me not only the knowledge and skills necessary to get me out safely, but also provided a network of newfound friends with similar interests. I have been able to test myself on climbs both physically and mentally and have grown a lot in the process.

I appreciate the Mazamas dual focus on conservation and community. People work to protect what they love, so by creating opportunities for people to come together in the mountains we’re creating a stronger conservation network. As more and more people participate in outdoor recreation we have more opportunity and responsibility to educate them about safety and conservation.

As an Executive Council member I will work hard to support the Mazamas mission and vision, to serve as an ambassador for the organization, and to lend advice and expertise to Mazama leadership when needed. I am especially drawn to the focus on equitable access for all to our programs and to expand the reach of the Mazamas to diverse communities. I have a background in recreation for people who are differently abled and bring an equity lens to whatever I do. I plan to support and lead the organization as we create an even more diverse and inclusive community of differing gender, racial, and physical identities.

Thank you for considering voting for me, I truly appreciate the opportunity to give back to an organization that has helped me grow so much.