NOLS: National Outdoor Leadership School Home

NOLS Professional Training Staff:
Experience and dedication to meet your needs.

The NOLS Professional Training staff is made up of an enthusiastic group of people spanning a diverse set 0f backgrounds. Each member brings his or her unique strengths to the team, creating the best course experiences for NOLS Professional Training's clients!


Sarah Annarella - Senior Account Manager
Originally from Massachusetts, Sarah migrated to Wyoming in 1993 as a NOLS Rocky Mountain Semester student and made the West her new home. After taking a NOLS Mountain Instructor Course in 1999, Sarah worked as a full-time instructor for NOLS' hiking, caving, horse-packing and mountaineering programs before transitioning to in-town supervising, and eventually to NOLS Professional Training. Sarah loves working with clients to create custom NOLS courses, which meet client leadership goals and provide life-changing experiences. Sarah has an M.S. in Environmental Studies (University of Montana) and a B.A. in Education (Wheaton College). Sarah lives with her husband and two children in Bozeman, Montana where they ski, hike and fish.

Katie Baum Mettenbrink - Senior Risk Management Consultant
Katie has worked for NOLS since 2003. She is a senior field instructor with over 135 weeks of experience on extended wilderness expeditions in the Western US, Alaska and Chilean Patagonia. She supervised faculty, risk management, curriculum and student outcomes as the program manager at NOLS Alaska and, most recently, oversaw hiring and strategic growth of the professional training instructor pool as the NOLS Pro staffing coordinator. She currently leads NOLS Risk Management Services, which provides consulting and training to organizations around the world. She serves on the steering committee for the Wilderness Risk Management Conference (WRMC) and the NOLS Faculty Summit, and has a B.A. in American history from Princeton University. She grew up in Portland, Oregon and now lives in Lander, Wyoming with her husband, Pat.

Ashley's Headshot Ashley Drake - Operations Coordinator
Ashley graduated from Santa Clara University with a degree in Political Science and International Studies. While studying abroad in London and participating in American University's Washington Semester in International Environment and Development, she became passionate about experiential education, leadership, service and travel. Before coming to NOLS in the summer of 2015, Ashley worked for several years as an overseas educator and trip leader for international service learning programs and gap semesters around the world. In addition to exploring her wild Wyoming backyard, she loves playing strategic board games, skiing, photography, and has traveled to more than 23 countries. She is excited to continue to grow as a leader and educator and be a part of the NOLS community.


Marina Fleming - Account Manager

Marina first discovered NOLS during her second year with AmeriCorps VISTA in Portland, Oregon. Planning to solely use the Pacific Northwest Trip Leader Seminar as a way to support and develop her 19-member VISTA team, her world was turned upside down with an overpowering desire to pursue outdoor education. After a summer on "The Farm" as a Diversity and Inclusion Fellow at NOLS Alaska, she was committed to both a life in the mountains and the power of the student experience, and moved back to the lower 48 to utilize her B.A. in corporate communication (College of Charleston) in the NOLS marketing department. A few years later, she's completed a NOLS mountaineering and instructor course, and has settled into NOLS Pro as an Account Manager, where she appreciates the balance of learning from and working with clients and supporting students through field and classroom instruction. Outside of work, Marina invests significant time in travel, friends, family and the swim, bike, run lifestyle.


Patty Haltom - Operations Coordinator
Patty began her journey with NOLS as the Rocky Mountain Branch intern in fall 2015 before transitioning onto the NOLS Pro team. She got her start in outdoor education when she discovered climbing while living and working in NYC for two years. Patty decided to trade in the concrete jungle for the vast forests of Oregon to become an outdoor educator. She returned home to the Hoosier state to complete a dual Master's degree in Health Promotion and Outdoor Recreation from Indiana University. While completing her degrees, she served her community with an AmeriCorps year and as Teen Program Director for the Boys and Girls Club. Patty's outdoor instructing experience comes from organizations such as Indiana University, Outdoor Adventures, S.O.A.R. - ADHD and LD Academy in Dubois, Wyoming and Outward Bound California. In her free time, you can find her rock climbing any wall she can or running up and down the endless trails of the West.


Haven Holsapple - Leave No Trace Program Manager
Haven first attended NOLS as a student in 1967 and began instructing for NOLS in 1969. He has over 200 weeks in the field and has served in a variety of positions including director of both NOLS Tennessee and NOLS Alaska. In 1996, Haven worked his first Leave No Trace Master Educator course in the Pacific Northwest. Since then, he has worked over 40 of these courses in every region of the United States. As the NOLS Leave No Trace Program Manager, Haven works to create custom courses for groups, universities and federal land management agencies. He has a B.A. in Business (Loretto Heights College) and years of experience in the financial industry. Haven lives with his wife, mules and dogs in Hamilton, Montana.



Gabi Kilko-Jackson - Wilderness Risk Management Conference Manager

Having grown up in Mississippi and Texas, in 1998 Gabi moved to Lander, Wyoming – sight unseen – less dreaming of mountains than fearing a return to the biting cold and harsh environs she’d recently experienced teaching in Russia for a year. Once in Lander, though, she felt she’d been misplaced all her life. What Gabi values most about her adopted home is the close connections she’s developed and the bright communities into which she has been so openly welcomed. In addition to enjoying her time outdoors, Gabi plays the cello in the Fremont Symphony Orchestra (her degree is in music). A NOLS graduate of a Red Rocks Climbing course, Gabi has been an integral member of the headquarters team, working in human resources, staffing, alumni and development, and now NOLS Pro. What ties it all together for her are the amazing people and their shared mission. She’s a true believer in NOLS and the power and awe of its classroom.



Ben Lester - Business Operations Manager

Ben grew up in Los Angeles. He worked as a boat builder and a sailor for two years before attending UC Santa Cruz, where he obtained a degree in Ecology and Evolution. After college he took a NOLS Waddington Range Mountaineering course, and then worked as a science journalist for two years in Sydney, Australia, and Washington, DC. The seditious pull of the outdoors led him back to sailing and then to a NOLS Sailing Instructor Course in 2008. Since then, he has worked sailing, hiking, mountaineering and rock climbing courses for the school. He moved to Lander in 2014 to work as an editor for the school, and has been the NOLS Pro Business Operations Manager since 2015. In his spare time, Ben is building what may be the most landlocked sailboat in the United States.



Anne Magnan - Director
Following time spent running residence halls and leadership programs at colleges, Anne landed at NOLS after deciding to pursue the opportunity to be in a complete learner role. She took a NOLS Outdoor Educator semester without any prior experience outdoors. She was so impressed with NOLS’ practices and specifically its focus on expedition behavior that she moved to Lander to pursue a career with NOLS. After time as a marketing representative and then as a staffing coordinator, Anne is excited to make her home in NOLS Pro where she can combine her interest in and passion for leadership development with working with outside audiences who, like her, may have little exposure to outdoor education. Anne has a B.A. in History (University of Virginia) and an M.S. in College Student Personnel (Miami University), which focused on higher education using the lenses of organizational development, anthropology, and psychology. Anne is thrilled to be a part of the dynamic, invested team in NOLS Pro.


Renee Manzanares - Administrative Assitant

After working in an administrative office setting for more than seven years, Renee found herself drawn to NOLS for the atmosphere. She came to NOLS to pursue her passion for the outdoors and the beautiful public lands of Wyoming, and the organization's wonderful people and drive for extraordinary, life-changing experiences have truly enchanted her. In NOLS Pro, Renee feels she has found her niche in being a part of a strong, supportive team that enables her to be a helpful resource for students and clients. Apart from a brief stint in Colorado in 2003, Renee has been a Wyoming resident since moving here as a high school student in 1980. She supremely enjoys the natural beauty of the Wind River area and takes every chance she can get to get outdoors for some fishing, camping or even just to bask in the sun.

photo Lynn Petzold - Senior Account Manager
Lynn highly values the positive impacts that outdoor experiences can bring to individuals in their professional and personal lives. Since 1989, she has been coaching, and mentoring students and clients towards self-transformation in new and challenging environments. In 1994, she took a NOLS Instructor Course and has since worked 300+ field weeks leading courses in Mexico, Chile, British Columbia, New Zealand, and United States. She has also worked as a program supervisor in Mexico. Lynn has a M.A. in Leadership and Organization Development (Saybrook University) and a B.S. in Business (Bloomsburg University). She has a Spanish major and has studied and lived abroad in Bolivia, Spain, and New Zealand. Lynn is passionate about exploring wilderness areas, especially in a sea kayak.  As a certified Hatha yoga instructor she also has an appreciation for nurturing inner journeys.

photo Jen Pontrelli - Sales Manager

Early in her life, Jen discovered a love for learning about and sharing the incredible stories of those around her. Having cultivated a passion for people and storytelling, she ventured into the world of freelance journalism and later marketing after receiving her B.A. in English from the University of Illinois at Chicago. Hailing from the Windy City, it often seemed doubtful Jen would ever be lured away from the vibrant big city, but the mountains came calling and since 2015, she has happily called Lander home. As a member of the NOLS Pro team, Jen feels inspired every day by the incredible experiences and perspectives of a truly diverse and exciting client base. No stranger to adventure herself, Jen loves to spend her time outside of work traveling, cycling, climbing, cooking and exploring the rugged wilderness of her Wyoming backyard.


Lindsay Priefert - Operations Supervisor

Lindsay has a strong background in leadership and program development and a passion for outdoor education. Before joining NOLS she worked in management and outdoor leadership at the University of Nebraska in Lincoln, where she received her Master’s degree in Public Administration (MPA), worked as a career mentor and program manager, and served as a trip leader for the University’s Outdoor Adventures program.  
Lindsay loves to travel and spent two years living and working in India learning Hindi, making friends and colleagues in Rajasthan, and working for an NGO. She also enjoys backpacking, paddling, climbing, cross-country skiing, and cycling and is excited about the endless adventures and opportunities at NOLS.  

photo Ann Reynolds - Finance Manager

Ann joined the NOLS Pro team in early 2015. She is excited to be combining two favorite pursuits - crunching numbers and outdoor education - in working for NOLS Pro. Ann is originally from central California and spent most of her time on the west coast before moving to eastern Tennessee. There she finished her B.B.A. in Financial Services at Southern Adventist University, received an M.S.Ed. in Outdoor Education, and spent the next four years teaching and managing the finances for the undergraduate Outdoor Leadership program. Ann also spent a year as a volunteer in Honduras running an educational daycare program for underprivileged children. Ann's driving passion is empowering others to grow and she loves watching joy and confidence dawn in students' faces. She is a firm believer in NOLS' mission and excited to be supporting life-changing experiences for students. Ann also loves rock climbing, working and playing with horses, Excel spreadsheets, anything on rope, and basking in the sunshine.

Thea Sittler - Account Manager
Thea first experienced the power of a NOLS expedition on her Outdoor Educator Mountaineering course in 2005, while she was working as a high-school teacher. That experience prompted her subsequent journey as an educator, seeking to connect people and places, and transform students' relationships with themselves and the world around them. Her journey has taken her around the world, with classrooms ranging from traditional academic settings to Mayan ruins to Maasai bomas. Thea has taught a wide range of topics to groups of varied cultures and ages. She joined NOLS as a field instructor in 2008 and as a wilderness medicine instructor in 2011. She is excited to be a part of NOLS Professional Training, to work with clients to craft customized courses that challenge and inspire individual growth, while simultaneously fostering team development. Thea has her B.A. in Environmental Chemistry from Wellesley College. She loves anything in the outdoors, and is happiest in the mountains or on the ocean.

Kat Smithhammer - Senior Account Manager
With a background as a high-school teacher and in running an outdoor education center, Kat took the NOLS Mountain Instructor Course in 1996. She thought she'd teach for NOLS for a year or two, and many years later continues to be happily tied to NOLS. Kat approaches life with curiosity, creativity and awe. Usually laughing and smiling, she is fascinated with the growth and development of individuals, teams and organizations. Kat is fluent in French and German and dabbles in Spanish. She has an M.A. in Leadership and Training (Royal Roads University), B.Ed. (Queen's University) and a B.A. (Trent University). Kat lives in the Tetons with her husband, Bruce, and their two dogs, Luna and Hank. She is zealous about her backyard (Greater Yellowstone Area), endurance events (such as skiing across Yellowstone N.P. in a day, LOTOJA, traversing the Tetons in a day) and just plain being outside.

Zach Snavely - Operations Coordinator
Zach moved to Lander on a whim in 2010, and since that time has worked as the NOLS Wilderness Medicine Institute Retail Coordinator, a NOLS Field Instructor, and most recently as the NOLS Professional Training Operations Assistant.  Building on a childhood spent exploring the outdoors in his home state of Pennsylvania, as well as “a few years” of bike touring after college, Zach is now very excited to call Lander and the Rocky Mountain West his home.  He can most often be found exploring the deserts, mountains, and rivers of this amazing region.  Zach is excited to continue upholding the history of excellent client and instructor support as part of the NOLS Pro Operations team, as well as fostering excellent learning outcomes for students when instructing in the field for NOLS.

Nick Storm - Account Manager
Nick's affinity for the outdoors was first realized after he and his siblings camped under the stars in the backyard of their home in Salinas, CA. In college, Nick attended CSU Chico and worked as a river guide and backpacking instructor for the campus outdoor recreation program, Adventure Outings. After graduating with a BA in Anthropology, Nick taught for the Colorado Outward Bound School in Utah, Colorado, Alaska, and California. He eventually made his way to NOLS as a student on the first Professional River Instructor Course in 2006. Since then he has primarily worked as a full-time NOLS field instructor in the hiking, rock-climbing, mountaineering, canoeing, and skiing programs. He is continually inspired by the sparkle in the eye of every student after their first peak ascent, lead climb, powder turn or upright passage through a rapid. Nick now strives to inspire others by designing customized NOLS courses that take people into the wilderness, under the stars. Nick enjoys coffee, crosswords, and a good view. He lives with his awesome wife Louisa in Lander, Wyoming.

Though we are based at the NOLS headquarters building in Lander, Wyoming, understanding your specific needs where ever you are located is our top priority.

Photo: Brad Christensen

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