The USA Climbing Foundation Board of Trustees serve as an active fundraising board for the national governing body of USA Climbing. Through making personal philanthropic commitments, and cultivating relationships with others, Foundation Trustees help to advance the fundraising goals of USA Climbing.
Maureen (“Mo”) Beck was born without her left hand but that didn’t stop her from picking up the sport of climbing at the age of 12. Now based in Colorado’s Front Range, Mo spends her nights training at the gym and her days climbing all over the American southwest. She works closely with the adaptive climbing community as an instructor with Paradox Sports.
As a competitive climber, she has won nine national titles and two world titles. In 2018, she went on her first alpine expedition to the Northwest Territories in Canada’s Nahanni National Park where she and fellow adaptive climber Jim Ewing attempted the legendary Lotus Flower Tower. Following the expedition, she was named National Geographic’s Adventurer of the Year. She now tours with Nat Geo Live, telling her story across the nation. Alongside her busy speaking career, she continues to dominate in the competitive climbing space and is planning her next big outdoor ascent.
In addition to climbing, Mo loves gardening, her chickens and dogs, sleeping in cars, and Tincup whiskey.
Brandon Blaser is the founder of BCG Holdings, a real estate investment and development firm based in Salt Lake City, Utah. BCG Holdings focuses on investing in projects that enact economic, sustainable, and social change in the underserved areas of Salt Lake City. Since its founding in 2018, BCG has been involved in over $1 billion of impactful real estate projects across adaptive re-use, industrial and mixed-use developments. Prior to BCG Holdings, Brandon was a partner at Thackeray Partners in Dallas, TX, a national real estate investment firm that completed over $4.5 billion of transactions during his tenure. Brandon is a graduate of Brigham Young University and received an M.B.A. with Honors from Harvard Business School. Brandon and his wife, Liz, and their six kids are excited supporters of USA Climbing.
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Nathaniel Coleman is an Olympic silver medalist in climbing and a four-time U.S. national bouldering champion, climbing out of Salt Lake City, Utah. Known for his unmatched composure and mental fortitude, Nathaniel tackles every problem with calculated confidence and control that has quickly brought him to the top of the competitive bouldering community.
Although a competitor at heart, Nathaniel deepens his love of the sport through climbing around the world, from breathtaking Swiss and South African summits to the great granite walls of Little Cottonwood Canyon in his native state. His intimate connection with these natural climbing marvels inspires his passion for sustainability in the sport. Advocating for what he describes as his set of climbing ethics, Nathaniel calls for the conservation of majestic sites such as these to ensure the same climbing experience for generations to come.
Kevin Costanza is the Managing Partner at Seed IP Law Group LLP, a 55-attorney intellectual property boutique law firm headquartered in Seattle, Washington. Kevin has been representing individuals and businesses in patent, trademark and copyright matters since 1995 and has been managing the firm since 2015. Kevin and Michele Costanza have been actively involved in USA Climbing since 2007, regularly judging and volunteering at local, regional, divisional and national competitions. Kevin has been a member of the USA Climbing Rules Committee since 2019. Kevin and Michele’s daughter Melina has competed in youth, collegiate and elite competitions since 2007; and their son Leo has competed in youth and elite competitions since 2010.
Kate Felsen Di Pietro is President of Up Up Communications LLC, with clients focused on transforming education and supporting healthy youth development. In March 2020,Kate, her husband, and their two children, co-founded Feed the Frontlines NYC, which nourishes frontline workers and people experiencing food insecurity while keeping local restaurants alive and their hardworking staff on the job. Kate had a distinguished career at ABC News. As Foreign Editor for the flagship evening news broadcast, she covered breaking and feature stories around the globe, winning 11 Emmy Awards. Kate earned an M.A. in American foreign policy and international economics from Johns Hopkins and a B.A., magna cum laude in history and literature from Harvard. She garnered first-team All-American and Ivy League “Player of the Year” honors in lacrosse, captained the field hockey team and enjoys coaching a club lacrosse team for middle school girls in New York City.
As president and CEO of Raymond James & Associates (RJA), Tash Elwyn supports the financial advisors in our employee Private Client Group (PCG).
Named president & CEO of RJA in 2018 and serving as RJA PCG president since 2012, Elwyn was also divisional director and senior vice president of the Atlantic Division of RJA for five years. Elwyn began his career at Raymond James in 1993 as a financial advisor trainee out of college. After building a successful practice, he became an assistant branch manager in Atlanta and subsequently a branch manager in Chattanooga.
He serves on the Raymond James Executive Committee, Board of Raymond James Financial Services, Board of Raymond James & Associates, Board of Raymond James Ltd., Board of Raymond James Investment Services Private Client Group, Board of Charles Stanley, and as the executive sponsor of the Raymond James Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Council.
A graduate of Emory University, Elwyn has continued to be active with the school throughout his career. He serves on the Emory College of Arts & Sciences Dean’s Advisory Council. Elwyn has also served on the Emory Board of Governors, the Emory College Alumni Board, and the Alumni Admissions Network and has been a mentor in the Emory Career Network. He is also an alumnus of the Securities Industry Institute.
A native of Boston, Elwyn grew up in Stone Mountain, Georgia, and today lives in St. Petersburg, Florida, with his wife and two children. He is active both locally and nationally as a director for the Metro Tampa Bay Board of the American Heart Association, as a board member of the Invest In Others Charitable Foundation, as chair of the Pinellas Education Foundation Board, as a mentor with the University of South Florida Corporate Mentor Program, as a member of the U.S. Soccer At-Large Development Council, and as a Trustee of the USA Climbing Foundation.
Trace Harris joined the Board of USA Climbing in 2021. She is a finance and strategy executive with experience in media, education and technology. She is an experienced board member across public, private and non-profit organizations, including board service for the digital media company Ziff Davis and the technology company Altair and, through summer 2022, for the video game developer Bungie, creator of Halo and Destiny. Trace was previously the senior finance and strategy executive in the US for the media company Vivendi, where she worked with its US businesses, including NBC Universal and Universal Music Group. Trace is a graduate of Stanford University and Yale School of Management. She lives in New York with her husband and enthusiastic dog, Thor. She enjoys running and biking, and she climbs casually with her college-age son.
Stephanie grew up hiking, skiing, and camping with her family. She was introduced to climbing after college and was immediately impressed by the physical and mental demands of the sport. Stephanie’s background is in neuroscience; her master’s and Ph.D. studies focused on neuromuscular degenerative disorders. She completed her post-doc at the Medical College of Wisconsin in functional neuroimaging and was a research professor at Arizona State University studying neurodegenerative communication disorders. A dedicated mother, Stephanie retired from ASU shortly after the arrival of her second child, enabling her to share her love of the outdoors and appreciation of nature with her family. In 2021, Stephanie found her way back to climbing as an activity to share with her youngest child. She is excited to share her passion for all things outdoors and hopes to expand the availability of competitive climbing to more kids in our communities. She is looking forward to attracting brand and corporate sponsors to USA Climbing to solidify the future of the sport by creating actionable opportunities for companies to deliver on inclusion, health, and wellness rhetoric. Stephanie lives in Scottsdale, Arizona with her husband, Bill, and their two children.
The only human to free solo Yosemite’s 3,000 foot rock monolith, El Capitan. No rope, climbing alone. More people will walk on the moon than will do what Alex Honnold has done. His extremely rare skill and unmatched mental focus have helped make him climbing’s transcendent, breakout star, inspiring millions around the world.
Beyond his 2017 history-making ascent of El Cap, dramatically documented in the Oscar-winning film Free Solo, Alex is simply one of the hardest working, certainly most accomplished, and greatest climbers to ever live. His feats have blown the doors wide open on the sport of climbing, placing him at the front of mainstream media like 60 Minutes, The New York Times, and the cover of National Geographic. Alex continues to push himself, building on a singular resume highlighted by speed records on The Nose, the famous 24 hour “Triple Solo” of Mt. Watkins, Half Dome and El Capitan, and cutting-edge expeditions in Antarctica, South America, Greenland and elsewhere.
Humble and self-effacing, he is deeply appreciative of the position he holds in culture and uses it for the greater good. In 2012, Alex founded the Honnold Foundation, an environmental non-profit that provides grants to organizations advancing solar energy access all over the world. Their vision was simple: to improve lives and reduce environmental impact. In 2021 alone, Honnold Foundation supported 44 communities across 17 countries, all focused on community-centered innovation catalyzed by solar energy.
Alex is always looking for opportunities to share stories from the sport he loves. A host of the Climbing Gold podcast, Alex explores the unique stories of climbing culture that originally drew him to the sport. Recently he’s led several environmentally-focused documentary and TV projects, putting his climbing skills to use by reaching hard to get to corners of the earth.
Alex lives in Las Vegas with wife Sanni and his daughter June.
Jill Jacobson, MD is a psychiatrist practicing in New York City. In addition to her private practice in psychiatry, Dr. Jacobson holds voluntary faculty appointments at the New York Presbyterian Hospital, Weill Cornell Medical Center and the Columbia University Center for Psychoanalytic Training and Research. She supervises and teaches residents and psychoanalysts in training and is the Chair of Admissions at the Columbia University Center for Psychoanalytic Training and Research.
A graduate of Cornell University and the Weill Medical College of Cornell University, Dr. Jacobson completed her residency training in adult psychiatry at the New York Presbyterian Hospital, Weill Cornell Medical Center, where she served as Chief Resident. Dr. Jacobson subsequently pursued psychoanalytic training at the Columbia University Center for Psychoanalytic Training and Research. Dr. Jacobson has two children, who have been climbing and competing for many years. As a parent and as a psychiatrist she has come to appreciate the critical role that climbing can play in the development of a healthy and strong sense of self and hopes to support climbing’s positive physical and mental impact on youth and adult climbers from all backgrounds.
Jonathan Kessler is a serial technology entrepreneur, angel investor and startup advisor. Jonathan has Co-founded, Angel invested in, and advised more than 40 companies. His work spans many different industries such as Logistic, International Finance, Payment Systems, and Data Visualization. Most recently, he was founder and CEO of Cargomatic Inc. Cargomatic was the first implementation of Uber’s “Shared Economy” model for the trucking industry. Cargomatic has raised over $350 million from many prominent investors such as SoftBank, Tiger Global, Warburg Pincus, Canaan Partners and SV Angel. The company operates in 8 cities and has thousand customers such as Amazon, Walmart and Tesla. He still sits on the Board.
Prior, he was on the founding team of Camino Networks, a VOIP software provider. Camino was acquired by eBay (NASDAQ:EBAY) in 2006 for $27 million (USD) less than one year after the company was founded. Before that, Mr. Kessler was VP of Technology and Business Development for DCTI (NASDQ:DCTI). There, he ran both the engineering team and business development. At DCTI, he helped take the company from 4 people to a 100-person company public. Jonathan was also part of the founding team of GetThere.com. GetThere was the first online travel company operating on the internet. At GetThere, he developed the first application allowing users to select airplane seats on the internet. The company went public in 1999 (NASDAQ:GTHR) and was acquired in 2000 by Sabre Holdings Corporation (NYSE:TSG) for $757 million (USD). Prior to Getthrere.com, Mr. Kessler was VP of International Trading Systems at Smith Barney International, Asia in Tokyo. He was responsible for the implementation of multi-currency trading systems for Asian equity and futures markets.
Mr. Kessler holds a bachelor’s in engineering from University of Illinois Urbana/Champaign. He has also received his NASD Series 7 Stock Brokers license.
Jonathan Leff is a Partner on the Therapeutics team and Chairman of the Deerfield Institute, and joined the Firm in 2013. He focuses on venture capital and structured investments in biotechnology and pharmaceuticals. Prior to Deerfield, for more than sixteen years, Mr. Leff was with Warburg Pincus, where he led the firm’s investment efforts in biotechnology and pharmaceuticals. He is a member of the Boards of several private healthcare companies as well as several not-for-profit Boards, including the Spinal Muscular Atrophy Foundation, Friends of Cancer Research, Reagan-Udall Foundation for the Food and Drug Administration and the Columbia University Medical Center Board of Advisors. Mr. Leff has also been active in public policy discussions related to healthcare and medical innovation. He previously served as a member of the Executive Committee of the Board of the National Venture Capital Association (NVCA), where he led NVCA’s life sciences industry efforts as Chair of NVCA’s Medical Innovation and Competitiveness Coalition (NVCA-MedIC), and previously served on the Board of the Biotechnology Innovation Organization. Mr. Leff holds an A.B. from Harvard University and an M.B.A. from Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business.
Meagan Martin is a professional rock climber, ESPN commentator, Host of HBO Max’s The Climb, star of American Ninja Warrior, and a former Division I Pole Vaulter at Vanderbilt University who currently lives in Sacramento, California. It was by chance that Meagan found climbing growing up in Lake Mary, Florida back in 2001. Meagan started out in the JCCA, which later would become what USA Climbing is today.
Meagan competed for four years nationally and internationally before taking a seven-year hiatus from climbing to focus on pole vaulting. Upon her return to climbing, she jumped right back into the competition scene and traveled all around the world from 2012-2018 competing at USA Climbing and IFSC competitions. In the last two years, Meagan began to shift her focus into the broadcasting realm and is the color commentator for all ESPN and USA Climbing events.
As an elite athlete and a former USA Climbing certified coach, Meagan has made it a priority to be a good role model for youth. She believes that athletics has played a considerable role in shaping her into the person she is today and wants to share her knowledge with everyone she can. Climbing has forever changed her life, and she hopes that so many other people get the chance to experience what it is that is so special about this sport. Meagan is a member of the USA Climbing Board, DEI Committee, and Athlete Safety Committee. She is excited to bring her unique experiences within USA Climbing as an athlete, coach, and commentator to the USA Climbing Board of Directors and to the USA Climbing Foundation as an Athlete Trustee.
Johnny O’Brien has over 35 years’ experience in the operation, development, acquisition and financing of skilled nursing and assisted living facilities. He worked for 18 years with Life Care Centers of America, the largest privately owned company in the industry. He started out as a C.P.A. and had the opportunity to hold the position of Asset Manager to the sole shareholder of the company for 6 years. Next, he served as Executive Vice President for two years and ultimately President for his final four years with the company. During this time, Life Care operated over 200 facilities with revenues in excess of one billion dollars and 26,000 employees. Interestingly, Johnny was only 36 when he was appointed President.
In 1999, Johnny wanted to start his own company, and partnered with Byron Defoor to form Grace Healthcare, which grew to over 40 skilled nursing facilities. After 15 years serving as President, He retired from operations and divested his interest in Grace. He currently maintains ownership in 8 senior housing properties and primarily monitors the performance of the portfolio. In 2000, he was also one of the founding partners of Contemporary Healthcare Capital, LLC, a specialty finance company that has provided over $1 billion in mezzanine loans and preferred equity investments in the senior housing industry. He serves as a managing partner of the firm and is also on the board of a related party bank in Chattanooga, Tennessee.
In 2012, Johnny launched High Point Climbing and Fitness, and developed the company’s first climbing gym in the heart of Chattanooga’s tourist district, which was named the “Coolest climbing gym in the country” by Climbing Magazine. After the initial success, Johnny decided to create a regional network of climbing gyms in the southeast. High Point is scheduled to open their seventh location by the end of 2022 and is looking at expansion in the State of Florida.
Johnny has been an avid triathlete for 23 years and has competed in over 100 Ironman branded events, including eleven 70.3 World Championships and two Ironman World Championships. He currently serves on the Ironman Foundation Board of Directors and also serves on six not-for-profit boards.
Patti Rube is Chair of the Board of the USA Climbing Foundation, where she is committed to spreading the joy of climbing. From 2013 – 2020 she was a director on the Board of USA Climbing, and from 2017-2020 she served as Board President. Patti is a Partner and General Counsel at CoreCommodity Management, LLC, which provides professional asset management services to investors seeking exposure to commodities.
She and her husband Dan live in West Harrison, New York and have three children, each of whom has actively participated in competition climbing. Their dog Maggie’s favorite sport is counter surfing, and their newly adopted puppy Kowalski is learning this skill. In addition to indoor and outdoor climbing, Patti’s favorite activities include skiing, hiking, and racquet sports. She graduated cum laude from Harvard Law School, and summa cum laude from Harvard College. Patti lived in Tokyo, Japan from 1988-1989 as a Luce Scholar and was thrilled to see USA Climbing’s participation in Sport Climbing’s debut at Tokyo 2020, successfully held in the summer of 2021.
In addition to her service for USA Climbing, Patti serves on the Governance Commission and Ethics Commission for the International Federation of Sport Climbing, and she also has engaged in other volunteer efforts for various non-profits, including serving as a Trustee for a foundation supporting her town’s public school district and serving as a Girl Scout troop leader.
Chris Sharma’s preternatural climbing ability and visionary first ascents have earned him an enduring reputation as one of the world’s best rock climbers. This American professional athlete, ambassador and entrepreneur from Santa Cruz, California, has been on a global odyssey, now two decades in the making, in search of the planet’s most difficult and beautiful rock climbs. Sharma has dedicated years of his life to discovering and climbing singular, aesthetic and seemingly impossible routes—always with his humble, meditative approach and powerful, dynamic style of movement. Today he continues to climb at the world standard, pushing the limits of what is possible and always reimagining the direction of his remarkably storied climbing career.
Members of the USA Climbing Foundation Board of Trustees make a substantial financial commitment for four years.
The USA Climbing Foundation Board of Trustees serves as an active fundraising board for the national governing body of USA Climbing. Through making personal philanthropic commitments, and cultivating relationships with others, Foundation Trustees help to advance the fundraising goals of USA Climbing. Members of the USA Climbing Foundation play a special role in nurturing the greatness within our athletes, organization and climbing community and helping us achieve our fundraising goals for the benefit of all pillars of the organization.
To learn more about becoming a USA Climbing Foundation Trustee, please reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.