Board Of Directors
See our list of board memebers and their bios below.
Cheryl Walczak, President, South Ogden, UT
Originally from Chicago, Cheryl has been interested in the beauty and history of the West since family vacations as a child. Her eclectic interests kept her learning, earning a BA in Anthropology and Biology from Northwestern University in Evanston, a field-work based MS in Ecology from Penn State University, and an MD from Loyola-Stritch School of Medicine in Illinois. She practiced interventional and diagnostic radiology for 25 years in Illinois, Minnesota, and Utah. After thrashing through gnarly brush on archeological projects in Grand Gulch in the 1990’s, she noticed a pamphlet at an outdoor store offering opportunities to clear trails in the same area. She has been having new ventures with Wilderness Volunteers since 1999, and began leading trips in 2001 with founder John Sherman. She was asked to join the Board in May 2014. The enjoyment of new places and meeting people with similar interests keeps her with the organization. She’ll explore just about anywhere her two feet will take her.
Rick Volpe, Vice President, Harleysville, PA
Rick became introduced to WV while surfing the web for volunteer outdoor activities in the early 2000s. Rick’s inaugural trip into Dark Canyon with his wife Marge confirmed his desire to support the organization, and to take advantage of as many trips as can be fit into his family and business schedule. Rick and Marge have enjoyed backpacking, canoeing and camping with their four children from Maryland’s Eastern Shore to the rocky coast of Maine. They have also completed numerous church trips to Mexico’s Yucatan to construct churches and medical clinics. Now as empty nesters, they have ventured more to the wide-open west, off-roading as often as possible into the heart of WV territory. Rick and Marge are longtime members of the Board of Governors of Opportunity International, helping the world’s poorest people transform their lives through microfinance. Rick was the founder of Asset Planning Services, a wealth management firm located in suburban Philadelphia that is now part of the Wescott Financial Advisory Group, LLC.
Lee Cooper, Treasurer, Tucson, AZ
Born and raised in Minnesota, Lee spent eleven years teaching at international schools and traveling the world. In 1986 he and his wife, Terri, settled in Tucson, AZ with two children, Layla and David, where Lee began his 35-year career as a Certified Financial Planner © professional. Lee fell in love with the Southwest. In 2002 he participated in his first Wilderness Volunteers project on Cedar Mesa, UT. He was hooked! Since 2005 he has been leading 2-3 projects per year. These WV projects have taken him to some of America’s most-pristine wildernesses in CA, CO, UT, TX, NM, AZ, and AK. In 2017 he joined the WV Board of Directors and has been the treasurer since 2018.
Ross Holloway, Secretary, Corvallis, OR
Ross is a native Oregonian who currently resides in Corvallis, Oregon. He graduated from Oregon State University and spent a 30-year career with the Oregon Department of Forestry, where he led forest management and recreation management planning projects for Oregon’s state forests, and served in leadership positions on wildland fire teams. From 2012 to 2019, Ross served as Executive Director of the non-profit Tillamook Forest Heritage Trust, supporting outdoor education, interpretation and recreation programs on the Tillamook State Forest. A lifelong hiker, camper and backpacker, Ross learned about Wilderness Volunteers in 2011 when he encountered a WV project team working in Oregon’s Three Sisters Wilderness. After participating as a volunteer on two projects, he attended WV Leader training in 2012, and has been leading projects every year since. He has led projects in Zion and Saguaro National Parks as well as the Eagle Cap Wilderness in Oregon.
Katy Giorgio, Member, Juneau, AK
Originally from Boston, Katy Giorgio has made her home in Juneau, Alaska since 2012. Her first Wilderness Volunteers trips were in 2010 in New Hampshire and Alaska, and she has enjoyed being a trip leader since 2011. If you’ve been on one of her trips, you may have enjoyed her famous Thursday night Thanksgiving dinners! While she is new to the WV board, Katy has extensive experience serving on nonprofit boards. Katy loves having the Alaskan playground right outside her front door and gets out on the trails and beaches with her border collie, Butters, every chance she gets. One of her favorite activities is snowshoeing and winter cabin camping in one of the many public use cabins around Southeast Alaska. Katy works for an Alaska State Representative from Western Alaska with a policy focus on tribal and rural affairs. When the weather is crummy and the Legislature is not in session, you will likely find Katy playing trombone in one of her many music ensembles, including principal trombone in the Juneau Symphony. Her educational background includes a music degree from Rice University as well as a Masters of Public Administration and Certificate in Accounting from University of Alaska.
Rebecca Glucklich, Member, Boston, MA
Rebecca discovered WV in a Google search for volunteer trips to Utah in 2013 and has been hooked ever since. During her first trip to Escalante, Rebecca developed a serious love/obsession for chopping down Russian Olive trees and even commemorated the occasion with a tattoo of the Highway #12 road sign! Finding WV revitalized her proclivity for hiking, camping and being generally outdoorsy. Rebecca makes her way back to the Southwest every chance she gets and enjoys hiking in the New England mountains between desert adventures. She has over a decade of experience in non-profit fundraising, board engagement, and event coordination and recently added “podcast producer” to her resume. With an educational background in theatre and social work, Rebecca brings a unique perspective to all of her professional roles and looks forward to bringing the same to the Wilderness Volunteer Board of Directors. She currently lives in the Boston neighborhood of Jamaica Plain and is the Associate Director of Alumni Relations at Emerson College.
Bill Wood, Member, Scottsdale, AZ
Bill is originally from Wyoming and he grew up there and in Utah, frequently adventuring in and appreciating the Rocky Mountains. After graduating in engineering from the University of Utah and beginning his career in aerospace, Bill, his wife and two children had the opportunity to live and travel many places in the U.S. and internationally. Throughout this time Bill and his family, now including grandchildren, have continued exploring, appreciating, learning about and respecting our natural environment. Bill recently retired with the intention of “giving something back” to the wild lands and wildlife he has always loved. He now enjoys volunteering with Wilderness Volunteers and other environmental conservation organizations. Bill became hooked on the Wilderness Volunteers organization and mission during his first WV project in 2015, when he was amazed by the results the team delivered, the caliber of the leadership, and the quality of the relationships formed. He was honored to be invited to join the Wilderness Volunteers Board in 2021.
Jake Abel, Consultant, Flagstaff, AZ
Jake had previously served as a non-profit board member for an Audubon Society chapter in California for two years and had been looking to volunteer for a new organization after moving to Flagstaff in 2020. When several positions became available in 2021, he applied and subsequently accepted the position of board consultant, chiefly dealing with information technology matters. He has been a professional in the information technology field since 2010 and maintains several websites. He is passionate about camping, hiking, and the outdoors in general, and believes we should protect and maintain our natural spaces. Jake holds a BS in mechanical engineering from The Ohio State University, and an MBA from University of Texas Permian Basin.
Bill Arbor, Consultant, Madison, MS
Bill’s family taught him a true appreciation of the outdoors at an early age. His most memorable introduction was a subscription to Outdoor Life he received as a Christmas present. Every month, he would pour over every page, paying particular attention to articles written by Roberta Whitcomb as she wrote almost exclusively about backpacking with her family and their adventures through many of the wilderness areas in Montana and Idaho. Bill saved his money and bought his first backpack, an orange Everest from the local department store. His first backpacking trip was before he was ten with a pack half as big as myself in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan and he’s been hooked ever since. While backpacking in Glacier one year, Bill met a trail crew leader who was working on the CDT. The idea of volunteering for trail work really resonated with him, so I contacted WV through an advertisement in Backpacker Magazine. After working on the Salmon River Trail for a week Bill was approached to be a project leader. What a great opportunity to share his love of our public lands with others.
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Wilderness Volunteers is cultivating a passion for Wilderness! We are a national nonprofit organizing volunteers for stewardship projects in cooperation with public land agencies across the USA.