Today's Lesson: People Power
Water Bottles

Expedition Survival Tip

The key to a perfectly gooey s’more is all in how you toast the marshmallow. For best results, position yours an inch or so above the flames.


We all came together at BCM because we believe in one thing: The power of wilderness to change lives. We’re the staff members who think the smiles of urban teens are more important than a big paycheck, the board of directors who volunteer their time for a cause they believe in, and the sponsors who use their successes in the business world to power miracles in the nonprofit world.

Colorado Headquarters Staff

Executive Director – Bryan Martin
BryanNEWBryan brings over 15 years of experience in the recreation and conservation space as both a practitioner and an advocate. Bryan began his career working for The Nature Conservancy in Washington, D.C. and in Colorado.  He then went on to become the Field Operations Manager for the Continental Divide Trail Alliance, and later, Director of Conservation for The Colorado Mountain Club. Most recently, he was the Western External Relations Officer for the Land Trust Alliance, the national convener, strategist and representative of more than 1,200 land trusts across America. He is deeply passionate about the outdoors and what outdoor experiences mean for kids. He believes that meaningful experiences in nature have tangible benefits for communities all over the country. Whether it’s a walk in the city park or an extended backcountry experience in Wilderness, the outdoors has the potential to change your life for the better. E-Mail Bryan

Corporate Relations Director – Doug Sandok
DougNEWBorn and raised in Minnesota Doug’s first outdoor experiences were canoeing and camping in the Boundary Waters. He has a B.A. in Sociology from Colorado College and a minor in Urban Studies. Doug has built his life around being in the outdoors, traveling the world, and creating opportunities for others to learn and grow from challenge and adventure.

Since early, pre Gore-tex, backpacking trips in the Rockies, to guiding and instructing in the Himalayas and South America, Doug has been shaped by the wild places and the people he shares those experiences with.  “There is no substitute for a wilderness experience – the growth that comes from being completely exhausted after a hard day moving through challenging terrain, and then having to melt snow to cook your dinner or have something to drink. It can be as simple as sleeping on the ground under the stars and exploring your own backyard. Those are the elements that foster personal growth and deep friendship.”

Doug’s professional background includes Instructor, Course Director and Trainer for Outward Bound, Professional Mountain Guide, Program Director and Risk Management Director for Where There Be Dragons, Wilderness Program Director for the Breckenridge Outdoor Education Center, Executive Director of Paradox Sports, and a number of years providing emergency medical relief in remote places around the globe. Doug takes his skills learned in these experiences and puts them to work empowering organizations to have greater impact through improving systems and program delivery, and through effective partnerships with supporters.

His personal passions are being active in the outdoors, experiencing different landscapes, cultures, and ways of life, music, and learning through experience. E-Mail Doug

Accounting Manager – Kandace Soiland
Kandace SoilandA native of Denver, Kandace spent her childhood exploring the great outdoors with her family. Kandace is delighted to work for an organization that offers outdoor experiences for children who may not have the opportunities she did. ‘My earliest and best memories are exploring the forest with my grandmother. The greatest gift she ever gave me was a love of nature.’ Kandace’s career includes raising two children while creating and growing a business and volunteering with various community organizations. Kandace holds a technical degree in Computer Information Systems and is currently studying finance at Regis University.

Director of Programs – Elizabeth Williams
ElizabethNEWElizabeth grew up exploring her local creeks and forests as a child, but truly discovered the power of the outdoors while leading teens on backpacking and climbing programs during summers while in college. After graduating with a degree in Social Science and Communications, Elizabeth ran adventure programs at a residential camp before spending a year traveling and teaching in India and Nepal. Elizabeth started at Big City Mountaineers as the Marketing and Development Intern, but quickly returned to her experiential education roots by taking over as the Colorado Programs Manager. Currently the Director of Programs, Elizabeth leads program and field staff to deliver safe and transformative outdoor experiences to BCM youth. When not at work, Elizabeth is an avid skier, climber, and mountain adventurer. E-Mail Elizabeth

Staffing & Community Engagement Manager – Matt Hart
MattNEWGrowing up in Colorado, Matt developed a passion for the outdoors and strong sense of self through his time in the mountains and hills surrounding his home. More than anything, Matt is thrilled by the chance to make a career from activities normally relegated to weekends.  Matt’s work with BCM builds on his experiences teaching and guiding in the American Southwest, India, Central America and Europe.  He has a degree in the Educational Use of Adventure and Wilderness from Prescott College and loves to use the outdoors as a classroom for anything and everything from cooking to climbing. E-Mail Matt

Summit for Someone Manager – Coming Soon

Donor Relations Manager – Theresa Simcic

theresaTheresa comes to us from Allentown, Pennsylvania by way of Lexington, Kentucky. She grew up camping, hiking, swimming, and boating on the east coast. She has a passion for working with under-resourced youth and has a deep desire for every child to have access to the same opportunities for growth, learning and ultimately success in life. She believes that nature is the most dynamic tool for teaching and one of the greatest sources of inspiration. She is excited to be part of a team that is harnessing the power of the outdoors to provide a transformational experience for one of our most vulnerable yet promising populations.

Theresa has a B.A. from Shippensburg University in Psychology with minors in Anthropology and International Studies. She holds masters in Experimental Psychology and Public Policy from the University of Kentucky. She has previous professional experience building a nonprofit program that helps early-stage entrepreneurs. In her personal time, Theresa enjoys any fitness challenge, traveling, experiencing and learning new things, and exploring with her dog Dakotah.

Bio coming soon

Regional Program Staff

Minnesota Program Manager – Andrew Benda
AndrewNEWHailing from Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, Andrew recalls his most formative moments as those involving saunas and Lake Superior in his hometown of Houghton. Andrew moved to Minneapolis shortly after his first backpacking trip on Minnesota’s Superior Hiking Trail. Prior to this he spent several seasons leading trips and handling logistics for Camp Manito-wish YMCA in the Northwoods of WI. Andrew is an amateur filmmaker and musician, and enjoys field-recording while on the trail. E-Mail Andrew

Colorado Program Manager – Bix Firer
BixNEWBix has worked with BCM’s Overnight Program for 4 seasons and has worked with schools and non-profits delivering and developing outdoor experiential education programming in Alaska, Colorado and Wisconsin. These experiences have taught him that the greatest personal growth comes from the challenges and joys of learning outside. Bix has a BA from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and a MA from University of Chicago. When not working with students outdoors, Bix is most likely climbing, eating, backcountry skiing and running in Colorado’s mountains.  E-Mail Bix

West Coast Program Manager – Claire Nelson
ClaireNelsonNEWClaire’s first memory is of a hiking trail passing by from her vantage point on her father’s back, and she’s been watching trails go by ever since. Claire has worked all over the country facilitating wilderness experiences for youth and adults alike. She became particularly aware of the power of mentoring after guiding wilderness mentoring trips in Texas. Her path since then has taken her from the trail to the office where she has managed and designed wilderness mentoring programming since 2011. Claire recently completed her Masters from Portland State University and is so excited to be managing BCM experiences for the West Coast!  When not at work, Claire can be found rock climbing pretty much all the time. E-Mail Claire

4 Legged Staff

bodhi sneezeNo longer the youngest member of the BCM dog crew, Bodhi has been hiking and watching his people climb since he was 8 weeks old.  He is passionate about moose poop, fetch and bunnies. While at work, Bodhi loves to keep Willa in line and see what food has been dropped in the kitchen. Bodhi cannot wait until the end of summer so his people have more time to play fetch and go running. Bodhi prefers to be reached by rotary phone.


Willa Mae

willa-maeWilla is the current puppy of the BCM crew. Born in Montana, this little lady is quickly learning not to be afraid of walks, how to hassle Bodhi, and that naps in the sun spot on the office floor are the best. She doesn’t know it yet, but she’s going to love skiing. Willa can be reached solely through Instagram.



In Memorium: Dexter
DexterDexter’s early years remain a mystery to  us all. But in 2011 he suckered his way into Elizabeth’s heart and became BCM’s unofficial mascot. When he’s not sleeping, Dexter’s only passion in life is being sure Elizabeth is in sight at all times. Well, that and sneaking Girl Scout Cookies. Dexter doesn’t like email.