Open For Adventure

Meet the Board Of Trustees

Splore has a proud history of being led by experienced and esteemed members of our community. The leadership, stewardship, and focus of Splore is due in large part to these members. They are a key factor in why Splore has been such a successful resource for people with disabilities and special needs for over 30 years.

Executive Board

Carl Champagne photo

Chairperson Carl Champagne - CEO, Data-Systems International

Carl is a hands-on private investor primarily in small, closely held private companies needing leadership to achieve the next level of success. He is Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Data-Systems International in Salt Lake City, Utah. He also has experience with large corporations such as GTE/Verizon and Digital Equipment/Compaq, now Hewlett Packard. For the last 25 years, Carl has guided seven high technology and manufacturing companies through critical phases of turnaround and fast track growth. To each of these endeavors, he has provided the market vision, technological and business expertise, and vital leadership to the company's growth and profitability. Carl joined Splore in the fall of 2002 with the vision and goal of leading Splore to financial stability and national/international presence. Carl has a BS / MS in Computer Science, with advanced studies from the Sloan School at MIT. He is a private pilot and his personal interests include golf, wing shooting, collecting antiques and investment grade firearms. He resides in Bountiful with his wife of 40 years, Elaine.

Steve Newton photo

Steve Newton

Steve and his wife Marie began volunteering for Splore in 2003 and Steve joined the Board in 2006. Steve has a Bachelors and Masters of Science degree in Civil Engineering from Michigan Technological University and has been managing engineering and construction projects for 30 years. Steve has been an avid outdoorsmen his entire life and particularly enjoys sailing, hiking, camping, skiing and mountain biking. Steve and Marie volunteer because of the great satisfaction they get in sharing outdoor experiences with people with special needs.

Paul Carbone, MD, FAAP

Paul Carbone joined Splore as a board member in 2007. He practices pediatric medicine at the University of Utah. Paul earned his undergraduate degree in biology from San Jose State University and his medical degree from the University of Health Sciences/The Chicago Medical School. Paul is the author of numerous scholarly articles and recipient of multiple research awards and scholastic honors. His commitment to disability issues is demonstrated by his participation on the Splore board and membership with Senator Hatch's Committee on Disability Issues, Utah Department of Health-Children with Special Needs, and the Utah Interagency Coordinating Council for Infants and Toddlers with Special Needs.

Hugh Ferguson

Hugh grew up in Massachusetts, and came west for one year after getting his BA at Bowdoin College in Maine. He has lived in Colorado and Utah for the past 22 years. He previously lived in Breckenridge, CO skiing and working in the construction industry. For 10 years, he spent his summers as a guide for Holiday River Expeditions and first bumped into Splore on the river in the '80s. He now owns his own construction company in Salt Lake City, and is a step-dad to two teen-aged boys and daddy to his daughter, Lily.

Dave Shell

Dave Shell has been scout master for over 7 years, involved in various neighborhood and community projects, has experience in rock climbing, kayaking, canoeing, marksmanship, and cycling. He is a licensed pilot with partial ownership in two airplanes and is the final phases of building a plane. As you read this, it may have gone through its initial test flight.

Dave is retired and worked as a construction foreman and superintendent for Biener Construction and Basic Precast. He served as vice president of an excavation company.

Dave Kadleck

Dave graduated from the University of Utah with his degree in Business and Communications. Dave began his River Guiding career during his Summers between quarters in 1978 with World Wide River Expeditions. In his four years with World Wide he ran all of the major river systems of Utah and the Main Salmon River in Idaho. He continued running rivers professionally in 1991 when he began as a volunteer guide for SPLORE. It was from 1991 - 1996 that he served on SPLORE's board of directors. Dave was recognized in the fall auction of 2011 for 20 years of volunteer guide service. He is looking forward to his 40 year recognition moment.

Dave works in the packaging and shipping business with Wagner Packaging in Salt Lake City. He services clients from Logan to Moab. He is married with three sons. All sons have served as SPLORE volunteers and volunteer guides. With the exception of two weeks, his vacation time has been spent on the river with SPLORE clients. Loves camping and hiking all over Utah, reading and the study of history and Japanese conversation when the opportunity arises.

Steve Newton photo

Melissa Barbanell

Melissa Barbanell is Barrick Gold of North America’s Senior Counsel for Regulatory and Legislative Affairs. In this role, Melissa is focused on tracking emerging regulatory and legislative issues and working with government to develop sound standards that will affect the mining industry. She joined Barrick in August of 2005 and has held various positions within the company focused mainly on Environmental policy and sustainability.

Melissa represents Barrick’s Corporate Environment Department at the International Council of Mining and Metals where she chairs the Environmental Stewardship Task Force and the Mercury Working Group. She has represented the industry in state, national, and global fora on various environmental issues including climate change, water conservation, biodiversity management, and mercury management. She has worked closely with Environmental non-governmental organizations in several contexts.

Before joining Barrick, Melissa practiced environmental law and clerked on the Utah Supreme Court. Earlier experiences include several years as a river guide in Moab, Utah and in the ski industry in Park City, Utah. Melissa has worked for the National Park Service and as an environmental education teacher. Melissa obtained a B.A. in Philosophy from Tulane University, an M.A. in Philosophy from the University of Utah, and a J.D. from the University of Utah College Of Law.

Steve Newton photo

Marette Monson

Marette is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with an MBA. She currently teaches part-time in Westminster’s Bachelors of Business Administration Program and owns her own private practice agency called the Center for Counseling Excellence. Marette began her volunteer work in the public and private sector about 15 years ago. She has experience working with government agencies and has served on several Boards of non-profits over the years.

Marette was appointed as Chair of the Governor’s Committee on Employment for People with Disabilities in 2004 and was able to build that committee and further the cause of people with disabilities in Utah. Marette has Cerebral Palsy and is connected in the disabled community. As a hobby, she travels to Haiti to bring resources to individuals with disabilities there. Marette brings to Splore a charming personality and an emphasis on results.

Sam Falsone

Sam has been a long term supporter and advocate of Splore, past board member, river guide, and as member of the Disgusting Brothers rock and roll band, instrumental in revenue generation at events.

Steve Newton photo

Steven Ott

Steven Ott is Professor of Public Administration and Director of the University of Utah's Institute of Public and International Affairs. He was Dean of the College of Social and Behavioral Science from 2000 to 2009. He teaches and writes about organization theory, behavior and culture in the public and nonprofit sectors. Ott was Director of the UofU's Master of Public Administration Program from 1992 to 2000. Previously, he was with a management consulting firm that worked mostly with government and nonprofit organizations. His degrees are from the University of Colorado, MIT, and the Pennsylvania State University.

Advisory Board

Per-Olof “Pelle” Sederholm

Pelle was born and raised in a small middle-class family in Sweden. He has been an extensive traveller - living, competing, studying and working throughout Europe, Asia and the United States. After 4 years of living and traveling in several countries in mid and southern Europe he moved to US in 1979 and to Utah in 1986. Pelle's professional career has been spent in the Ski/Outdoor/Hospitality Industry and he has mastered roles from competitor to top coach/instructor and from sales and marketing to management.

In May 2005, Pelle survived a catastrophic ski accident, resulting in a Severe Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and spent 29 days in a coma with a C6 - C7 Spinal Cord Injury (SCI). Now an Incomplete Quadriplegic, he is fortunate and determined to explore the path less traveled. He feels he has no choice but to continuously reinvent himself, searching for physical and intellectual independence, finding and sharing the joy of living. Having logged just over 11,000 miles over 3 years and competed in 3 National Para-cycling Championships, recreation has been and continues to be vital to Pelle's recovery.

Kimberly Dodson, Ph.D. Associate Professor, Westminster College

Dr. Kimberly Dodson is a past assistant professor in the Gore School of Business at Westminster College and Director of Graduate Technology Management Programs. Kim joined Westminster in 2002 and left to pursue private consulting in 2006. She brings experience in the areas of strategic management and implementation, integrated marketing strategy, and organizational development and culture change. Kim has additional experience in sales management, public relations, marketing communications, professional training, new product development and both qualitative and quantitative market research. Kim obtained her Ph.D. from the University of Utah.

Lisa Gerner, CFO, GMAC Automotive Group

Lisa Gerner received her undergraduate degree in Business Administration/Finance and Account from California State University East Bay. She has been in the financial services and banking industry for 25 years, most recently as CFO of GMAC Bank. She previously held various senior management positions with Citigroup.

Donna Liebrecht, Community Advocate

Donna raised two children, while working and achieving a bachelor's degree. She has been a Program Director for children from incestuous families and an advocate for those who have been sexually abused. When Donna was encouraged (physically forced) to go on disability because of multiple sclerosis, she began volunteering. Donna was trained as a chaplain and volunteered at St. Mark's Hospital for several years. She is involved with the MS Society in a variety of ways. Naturally, Splore became a passion for Donna after her first river trip. Her changes in physical ability and life experiences have taught her that there is always a possible solution.

Mary Ness, Prenatal Advisor

Mary has been involved with Splore for several years and is amazed by the magic that occurs. Mary has been a massage therapist for nine years and has a background working as a program coordinator for non-profit organizations. She is a mother of two fabulous girls and has a wonderfully supportive husband who allows Mary to take off time for Splore adventures. Mary was an active Board member from January 2004 to October 2007.

Erik Rolstad - Development Director, KUED

Erik joined Splore in April 2001 as Executive Director, and during his 6 years in this position, he achieved great success in transitioning Splore into a more focused and financially stable organization. In May 2007, he accepted his current position with KUED while also becoming a Splore board member. Erik was raised in Santa Fe, New Mexico and earned his bachelor's degree in Liberal Arts from Concordia College in Moorhead, MN. He has a Master's Degree in Social Work from New Mexico State University. During the 14 years before Splore, Erik worked with programs in experiential education, public schools, social work and wilderness adventure. He is an avid climber, boater and backcountry traveler. Erik enjoys sculpting and woodworking. He and his wife, Jill, are the parents of three boys - Riley, Zack and Kristopher.

Honorary Board

Clare Coonan, Program Director, Valley Mental Health

Russ Minas, Attorney at Law