Sallie Bernard – Interim Executive Director
Ron Rash -Adventures Director
Ron oversees the Adventures program at Ascendigo. Ron is the past CEO of Aspen Alpine Guides and EnvironClean, Inc. He is a partner in Aspen International Travel Company. As the past CEO of Aspen Alpine Guides, Ron was instrumental in starting the rock climbing program with Ascendigo. Rock climbing has become one of the signature sports programs at the Ascendigo. Ron has been a mountain guide for over 28 years, guiding trips in the American West, Canada, and the Indian Himalaya. In the Aspen, Colorado area Ron has over 150 ascents of the Bells, Capitol, and Pyramid Peak, some of the more technical peaks in Colorado. He has been a full member of Mountain Rescue Aspen for 15 years and served 2 years as a board member and the Training Officer, a Single Pitch Instructor for the American Mountain Guides Association, a Senior Field Instructor for the National Outdoor Leadership School, and a ski pro for the Aspen Ski Company. Ron has extensive medical training as a Wilderness First Responder and is certified as an Outdoor Emergency Care Technician. He has been teaching Level 1and 2 avalanche courses for 25 years. He loves to introduce people to the mountains and when not guiding he can still be found in the mountains showing his daughter, Megan, this incredible environment. Ron has helped to put together the driving management plan for Ascendigo and has been involved in the training of new skill’s trainers in leadership, communication, and creating a positive work environment.
Maureen Muller – Business Manager
Mitchell West – Office Assistant & Bookkeeper
A Colorado native, Mitchell graduated from the Shidler College of Business, University of Hawaii, with a Bachelor of Business Administration in Finance and a minor in Economics. Before joining Ascendigo, Mitch was Accounting Technician-Assets Manager at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam supporting the U.S. Navy and Air Force. Mitch enjoys hiking, rafting, skiing and snowboarding.
Alta Otto-Marketing & Fundraising Director
Alta Otto joins Ascendigo’s team with prior involvement with Ascendigo (Extreme Sports Camp) as a parent and Light It Up Blue Aspen committee member. Before joining Ascendigo, Alta spent 5 years doing marketing, operations leadership roles, and event coordinating for several event companies in the Roaring Fork Valley and Vail Valley. She has experience and is passionate about the digital marketing, social media platforms and planning events.
Alta grew up in the RFV graduating from Aspen High School. Though she’s traveled many different places, she never been able to leave the Rocky Mountains and the RFV. Alta lives in Glenwood Springs with her two kids, one who is high functioning autistic, a husband and yellow lab named June. They enjoy spending their free time road tripping, playing in the rivers, and camping with family and friends.
Ashley Martin – Marketing & Fundraising Coordinator
Matt McCabe- Assistant Adventures Director
Mathew was born and raised in Central Illinois. He received his Bachelor’s Degree from Western Illinois University with a Major in Recreation, Parks, and Tourism Administration; and Minors in Business, Outdoor Leadership, and Therapeutic Recreation. Mathew moved to the Roaring Fork Valley to raft guide for Aspen Whitewater Rafting. Then he spent the winter season doing an Internship for Challenge Aspen. It was during this internship that he was recruited by Extreme Sports Camp, now Ascendigo, to be a ski buddy. This experience allowed Mathew to become a PSIA certified Ski Instructor. Since then he has worn many hats for Ascendigo and is currently the year-round Adventures Assistant director. Mathew is passionate about Kayaking, Rafting, Skiing, Alpinism, Trail Running, and many other mountain sports. Above all else , Mathew is happiest when sharing these passions with those on the Autism Spectrum.
Jessica McAllister, M.Ed., BCBA-candidate, Outreach Manager, Lead Therapist
Joseph Breiling, Lake Director & Adventures Clinical Coordinator
Bob Barnes, Curriculum & Training Manager, Adventures, Ski Instructor
Conlan McGough, Adventures Coordinator
Dani Brownell, Ranch Manager
Life Enrichment Staff
Scott Schlichter, Enrichment Director
Larysa Miller, Enrichment Manager & Clinical Coordinator
Ben Hirsch, Behavior Therapist
Breanna Millspaugh, Behavior Therapist
Matt Myers, Behavior Specialist
Sarah Stamper, Behavior Specialist, Case Manager, Climbing Instructor, Ski Instructor
Lindsee Weis, Behavior Specialist
Mark Zoller, Behavior Therapist, Vocational Specialist, Ski Instructor
Senior Autism Consultants
Diane Osaki, OTR – Senior Consultant to Ascendigo
Diane is a founding member of Thrive Autism Collaborative in Denver (http://www.thriveautismcollaborative.com/). Deeply involved in the shaping and development of our programs, Diane has played an integral role in our success since 2006. Year to year, she has helped to continually improve our program quality which makes the experience and benefits for the clients who attend Ascendigo the best they can be. Diane is personally involved in our staff training, clinical supervision, and client interaction and provides valuable on-site direction and guidance for our entire organization. She is present on-site at Ascendigo programs each month.
Diane is an occupational therapist, who has specialized in autism intervention for over twenty years. Her approach is grounded in merging principles of applied behavior analysis and a developmental framework to promote social relatedness, self-regulation, communication, independence, play/work, motor development, and problem solving. She works with individuals of all ages and functioning levels in a variety of settings.Beginning her career at the JFK Partners Autism and Developmental Disorders Clinic, Diane worked with Dr. Sally Rogers on early versions of the Denver Model program and is now a certified as a trainer and in direct delivery in the Early Start Denver Model. After serving as Director of the Occupational Therapy Department for the JFK Partners, she founded and directed a non-profit treatment center, focused on providing developmentally-focused, behavioral intervention for children with autism, called the Aspen Center for Autism and Alta Vista Center for Autism. Diane provides direct intervention, program development, training, supervision and mentoring to families, schools, and outdoor recreation programs. She regularly consults with school districts and other agencies, nationally and internationally, to assist in developing new programs, training staff and collaborative problem solving.Diane is passionate about her work and loves her family. Diane enjoys spending time with her partner, friends, two adult children, two dogs, two tortoises and one old cat. Diane loves to cook and eat good food, garden, learn and travel.
Carrie Scott, M.Ed, BCBA – Senior Consultant
Carrie is also a founding member of Thrive Autism Collaborative in Denver. Carrie is a board certified behavior analyst who holds a masters degree in special education with specialization in applied behavior analysis. Carrie has served children and adolescents with autism and their families for over 15 years. She has worked in both home and center-based settings, using evidence-based intervention and a developmental approach to provide meaningful, effective treatment. Carrie values intervention that is engaging, naturalistic, incorporates the strengths and interests of the individual and promotes generalization. She is pursing certification in Early Start Denver Model to provide direct delivery (ESDM, Rogers, et al.). Carrie has served learners across a variety of ages and skill levels, including those with severe challenging behavior and multiple diagnoses. Carrie has also worked extensively in the areas of program development and professional development, training, and supervision for staff and those pursing certification as behavior analysts (or associate behavior analysts).
Outside of her work in the autism community, Carrie enjoys the outdoors, particularly, hiking, snowboarding, cooking, and spending time with her baby boy, husband, and energetic pup!