Board of Directors


Meet Our Board


An amazing team of dedicated Splore ambassadors.


Steve Newton

Board Chair

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 outdoorsman 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.

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 boys and daddy to his daughter, Lily.

Sam Falsone

Sam has been a long-time supporter and advocate of Splore, past board member, river guide, and member of the Disgusting Brothers rock and roll band.



Ian Percy

Ian was born and raised in Boise, Idaho and spent much of his childhood camping, fishing, hiking and later rafting in Idaho’s wilderness areas. After graduating from Boise State University in 2006 with a BS in Environmental and Occupational Health, Ian moved to Salt Lake City to work for a consulting firm providing industrial hygiene and environmental compliance services. Ian recently started his MBA at Westminster College with an emphasis in entrepreneurial studies, and plans on graduating in the fall of 2015. Ian was first introduced to Splore through the BoardMatch event hosted by Westminster College and is excited at the opportunity to use his passion for outdoor activities to promote Splore’s mission.

Lesly Beck

Lesly Beck has lived in the Salt Lake community for most of her life.  Lesly worked in Early Intervention for 3 years serving families and their children with special needs as a Service Coordinator with Kids On The Move.  Lesly has volunteered in the arts community for over 11 years with Art Works for Kids in program delivery and fundraising, and with Ballet West, Bad Dog Arts, and VOA.  Lesly is currently pursuing a master’s degree in Community Leadership at Westminster College with an emphasis on Arts Administration.  Lesly has been involved in service for individuals with disabilities for 18 years.  She has served on Utah School for the Deaf and Blind’s Parent Advisory Board for over 15 years, as well as 3 years serving on the Governor’s Council for People with Disabilities.  She is the mother of 4 daughters, including her oldest who is disabled.  Lesly is also an avid skier and biker.

Andy Yorkin

Andy currently directs the marketing efforts for Gregory Backpacks. He earned his BA in Marketing from the University of Connecticut and shortly after graduating moved to Utah to be closer to the Greatest Snow on Earth.

Andy met his wife Sheila on the slopes of Alta and together they have effectively brainwashed their three children in becoming Altaholics. When the snow is gone, you can find Andy searching for trout in the many Utah streams and rivers as well as mountain biking and climbing in the nearby Wasatch Mountains.

Lynn Dixon

Lynn grew up in Northeast Pennsylvania and moved to Utah after graduating from Clarion University of Pennsylvania with a degree in Statistics. She expected to stay a year or two and then return East but was immediately hooked on the hiking, biking, snowboarding, fly fishing and other outdoor activities that Utah offers. She has an MBA from the University of Utah and spent the last few years as Director of Accounting for Volunteers of America, Utah. She recently took a job as financial manager of the Continuing Education department at the University of Utah.

Lynn loves playing sports (you name it, she has at least tried it) and loves any time spent outdoors, especially with her family (husband Anthony, two children Aiden and Sydney, and dog, Oliver). Her first experience with Splore was cross country skiing with her “little brother” from Big Brothers Big Sisters of Utah in 1999.

Bob Henson

Bob Henson is the President of HK & Associates, a Salt Lake City management consulting firm and was the prior owner of OCM, an Intermountain area, multi-city, consulting firm. Bob’s wife, Dr. Melissa Koerner, teaches business at Gore and consults on customer service and survey design and administration. Bob’s areas of expertise are customer service analysis and design, process improvement, leadership development, executive coaching, developing high performance organizations, managerial/leadership audits, measurement, and gainsharing/variable pay systems.

Bob found Utah on his Norton motorcycle in the ‘70s and moved from NYC to “ski a year.” Still here! He has been at the U of U, both in administration while getting a PhD, was an exec with EIMCO Mining Machinery (SLC and Ontario, Canada), and is currently helping out at Westminster’s Gore School of business, as needed. Bob was the Chair of the SLC Boys and Girls Club during their growth days of the ‘80s and has consulted pro-bono with the United Way.

Ryan Hessenthaler

Ryan Hessenthaler is a Salt Lake City native who was fortunate to grow-up in the natural playground that is the Intermountain West.  Ryan currently works as the COO at Lunt Capital, an advisory firm which manages innovative investment portfolios.  Before Lunt Capital, Ryan served as the VP of Finance & Strategic Insights at Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals.  Earlier in his career, Ryan was a Finance professor and directed the Center for Financial Analysis at Westminster College.  Ryan earned a B.S. from the University of Utah and an MBA from Westminster College.  Ryan has travelled abroad extensively and always jumps at opportunities to explore the world.  He also enjoys woodworking, fly fishing, off-road adventures, and college sports.

Jason Nichols

Jason Nichols is a shareholder at Parsons Behle & Latimer, where his practice focuses on the real estate and mining industries. Jason earned a B.A. in Accounting from the University of Utah and a J.D. from the Brigham Young University – J. Reuben  Clark Law School. He is the proud father of four boys, enjoys spending time with his better half, Pamela, and running along the back roads and foothills of Davis County.


James Forwood

James has served in the United States Army and Army Reserve since 2002, climbing the ranks from entry-level Soldier to military Officer. After multiple “beach vacations without the ocean” to Afghanistan and Iraq, James left active duty to attend Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University where he obtained a BS in Aeronautics while concurrently become a Black Hawk helicopter pilot for the Army.

James joined Goldman Sachs in 2014 and relocated to Salt Lake City with his wife, Carol. James continues to serve the Army in a reserve capacity and is pursuing an MBA in Leadership from The George Washington University. In what free time remains, he and Carol enjoy fixing their hundred-year-old house and playing with their two pugs.


Advisory Board


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.

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.

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.

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.