Thomas V. Kissinger

Thomas V. Kissinger, President

Meet Tom. 

What’s your title here at Ignite?

I am a Board Member; El Jefé (Board Chair).

What is your role here?

I set the strategic direction for the organization, determine priorities and focus on the future.

Yes, but what is it you really do here?

“Chief, Cook and Bottle Washer.” The Board of Ignite reviews and approves the organization’s budget, funding, policies, personnel decisions, compensation and bylaws. It spearheads fundraising and investment decisions and responds to legal, and governmental issues such as tax returns. As for my role, I am first and foremost a volunteer instructor.

How many years have you been volunteering in general, and how many with Ignite?

I have been volunteering my entire life, ten years at Ignite.

What inspires you in your everyday life?

We all face challenges every day – some big, some small. I am inspired by the commitment to overcome those challenges and forge forward to make our lives, our communities and our world better.

What do you like to do in your spare time?

I love being outside. Skiing, snowboarding, skate skiing, making snow angels in the winter; biking, swimming, running, hiking and exploring in the warmer months.

Why do you volunteer at Ignite?

There is nothing more rewarding than helping people realize a dream. Every day at Ignite, our volunteers show our students that where there is a will there is a way.

Can you please share something quirky about yourself?

I am a USAC cycling coach who helps Type 1 diabetics enjoy endurance cycling events with JDRF and a Red Cross certified lifeguard.

Are you a Snowboarder, Downhill Skier, Cross Country Skier, or Snowshoer?

I am a Snowboarder, Downhill Skier, CX Skier, and Snowshoer.

John Leporto

John LoPorto, Vice President

David Beerman, Secretary

Meet David. 

What’s your title here at Ignite?

I am a Board Member; Secretary.

What’s your role here?

I am a Volunteer Snowboard and Ski Instructor.

Yes, but what is it you really do here?

I get to laugh at jokes about snowboarders AND skiers.

How many years have you been volunteering in general, and how many with Ignite?

I have been doing volunteer work for over ten years, six years with Ignite.

What inspires you in your everyday life?

I am inspired by looking forward to what each day will bring.

What do you like to do in your spare time?

I enjoy playing sports in all seasons; I also love to read fiction and nonfiction.

Why do you volunteer at Ignite?

I truly love helping folks enjoy a day on the snow.

Can you please share something quirky about yourself?

My wife calls me Mr. Smarty-Pants.

Are you a Snowboarder, Downhill Skier, Cross Country Skier, or Snowshoer?

I am a Snowboarder, and Downhill Skier.

Stuart Ollanik, Treasurer

Meet Stuart. 

What’s your title here at Ignite?

I am a Volunteer Instructor, and a Board Member; Treasurer.

What is your role here?

I am the Alpine Skiing Instructor.

Yes, but what is it you really do here?

I have the privilege of skiing with awesome athlete-clients!

How many years have you been volunteering in general, and how many with Ignite?

I have been volunteering for fifty five years, four with Ignite Adaptive Sports.

What inspires you in your everyday life?

I am inspired by my family, the Ignite athletes, my clients, and a great young generation.

What do you like to do in your spare time?

In my spare time I enjoy outdoor adventuring, playing guitar, photography, and writing.

Why do you volunteer at Ignite?

Because it is great fun! It spreads the love, and I enjoy giving back.

Can you please share something quirky about yourself?

There are far too many quirky things about me, I wouldn’t know where to start.

Are you a Snowboarder, Downhill Skier, Cross Country Skier, or Snowshoer?

I am a Downhill Skier and a Cross Country Skier.

Art Heimbach, Board Member

Meet Art. 

What’s your title here at Ignite?

I am a Board Member.

What is your role here?

I evaluate and support the progress towards our mission.

Yes, but what is it you really do here?

I create ripples in the time-space continuum that alter future realities in the third dimension.

How many years have you been volunteering in general, and how many with Ignite?

I have been volunteering for forty years, seven here at Ignite.

What inspires you in your everyday life?

Post Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) growth.

What do you like to do in your spare time?

In my spare time I ski, train for skiing, and make playlists for skiing.

Why do you volunteer at Ignite?

I volunteer because I believe in the therapeutic benefits of skiing.

Can you please share something quirky about yourself?

I do not own a house; I own a beautiful 26′ 1978 GMC Motor home, and a 13′ 2010 Mini Cooper JCW (limited production), which exemplify my life of polarities and enjoyment of classic designs.

Are you a Snowboarder, Downhill Skier, Cross Country Skier, or Snowshoer?

I am a Downhill Skier.

Robert Garelick

Robert Garelick, Board Member

Jana Ward, Board Member

Meet Jana. 

What’s your title here at Ignite?

I am a Board Member.

What is your role here?

I bring a parent-perspective to the Board and also work diligently on the Ignite Tonight Annual Gala.

Yes, but what is it you really do here?

I sit back at WHQ and smile while watching the amazing volunteer instructors turn controlled chaos into student pride and joy, as they return from the slopes bursting with great stories to tell.

How many years have you been volunteering in general, and how many with Ignite?

I have been volunteering for 30 years, and this is my fourth year with Ignite.

What inspires you in your everyday life?

I am inspired by my husband and four grown children.

What do you like to do in your spare time?

I am a competitive dressage rider, and also volunteer as an EMT and do Mounted Search and Rescue with the Sheriff’s Department. I also love to hike.

Why do you volunteer at Ignite?

My adult son is a student skier, and through him I discovered how fantastic Ignite is.

Can you please share something quirky about yourself?

I’m a hay farmer.

Are you a Snowboarder, Downhill Skier, Cross Country Skier, or Snowshoer?

I am a Downhill Skier, CX Skier, Snowshoer.

Karen Safran, Board Member

Meet Karen. 

What’s your title here at Ignite?

I am a Board Member.

What is your role here?

I am primarily an instructor.

Yes, but what is it you really do here?

Try to look calm, cool, and collected.

How many years have you been volunteering in general, and how many with Ignite?

I have been volunteering for ten years and one year with Ignite.

What inspires you in your everyday life?

I am inspired by the opportunity to make a positive impact. Plus, snowy mountains.

What do you like to do in your spare time?

In my spare time I enjoy skiing, biking, reading, and hanging out with Truman – my dog.

Why do you volunteer at Ignite?

I want to share my love for skiing. There’s not much better than yelling “Woohoo!” while making a good run; the feeling never gets old.

Can you please share something quirky about yourself?

I’m from Detroit. Carbonated soft drinks are called “pop.”

Are you a Snowboarder, Downhill Skier, Cross Country Skier, or Snowshoer?

I am a Downhill Skier.

Paula Galloway, Emeritus

Meet Paula. 

What’s your title here at Ignite?

I am an Instructor and Emeritus Board Member.

What is your role here?

I help people with disabilities enjoy time on the snow.

Yes, but what is it you really do here?

I bring smoked salmon for après-ski.

How many years have you been volunteering in general, and how many with Ignite?

I’ve been volunteering for over 25 years, and have been with Ignite since 2003.

What inspires you in your everyday life?

I am inspired by the love of my friends and family.

What do you like to do in your spare time?

I enjoy being active outside, whether it is with skiing, hiking, bicycling, gardening, or fishing.

Why do you volunteer at Ignite?

I volunteer to do my part to allow everyone that wants to be on the snow to get out there and have fun.

Can you please share something quirky about yourself?

I am one cat short of crazy cat lady status.

Are you a Snowboarder, Downhill Skier, Cross Country Skier, or Snowshoer?

I am a Downhill Skier, and Snowshoer.

David Levin

David Levin, Après Skier

David Levin, Ignite Volunteer and Board Member 1998-2017;  when he wasn’t on the mountain with Ignite his time was spent as an Investor, board member of the Boulder JCC, and avid balloon pilot. He was an active member of the Balloon Federation of America and won National and World Championships in Gas and Hot Air Ballooning. He was a member of PSIA and was certified in alpine, telemark, and adaptive instruction. His other interests included paragliding, hiking, golf, sailing, and scuba diving. His inspiration came from his wife Roberta and their two children, Matthew and Rebecca. In 2017, the Board of Directors honored David’s memory by making him a permanent member of the board, titled Après Skier.  In honor of David Levin (1948-2017)

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