Brian Yinger has been involved in the summits for the past 23 years. His family has grown and now his two young daughters get excited in January for the Summit in July. He has run the Service Project in Missouri, Bar Harbor Maine, and Lake Junaluska, North Caroline. This year is no different. He and the service project volunteers will be helping the staff at Ghost Ranch with some trail building and other projects around the Ranch. When not working on projects for the Summit, Brian works as a musician, sound engineer, and knife sharpener in Columbus Ohio.
Ron Wahl is a computer scientist emeritus for the U.S. Geological Survey. He received a Geophysical Engineering degree from the Colorado School of Mines and a Master of Science degree in geophysics from Stanford University. He has taught geology, computer science, physics, and astronomy for Metropolitan State College in Denver, Colorado, and astronomy for the Jefferson County, CO Schools Adult Education Program. Ron has taught various classes at a number of summits across the country since 1973.
Eugene Vale While doing plant ecology research towards a Masters at St. Louis University, Eugene Vale became active in the Grotto [caving club] there. On his outdoor adventures, he found himself interpreting much of the natural world to others. He came to think, “Wouldn’t it be great to be paid for doing this?” Mr. Vale worked his way through school on a teaching fellowship and at an opticoelectronics factory. In 1980 the Missouri State Parks took over the Fisher Cave Tours at Meramec State Park. Members of the Missouri Speleological Survey, including Mr. Vale, advised state parks on this. That year was his first year as a seasonal interpreter. He led cave tours at Fisher Cave and expanded to cover other interpretive programs at the Park. He also was a seasonal at Babler, and in 1985 was appointed as the first full time naturalist at Onondaga Cave State Park. Mr. Vale moved to the Research Management and Interpretation Program in 2003, where his background in electronics and computers has helped the Mo. DNR switch to digital AV, and develop new types of interactive exhibits.
He has received three Missouri Masterpiece Awards from the Missouri State Parks, is a Fellow of the National Speleological Society, has received two awards from the National Association for Interpretation Region VI, and is past president of the Association of Missouri Interpreters. He has received three awards from that organization. Mr. Vale has degrees in Biology and is married to Jo Shaper who has a degree in geology. She says, “Together we make a planet.” The two are known for their joint programs.
Early Discovery Program Director Sally Sherrard lives in Littleton, NH with her husband Jim. Sally and her son James have attended 19 summits. With a degree in Early Childhood Education Sally has taught preschool for 25 years. She is presently working as a Para Professional in a Kindergarten class. Her focus is on helping children learn to respect and understand the world in which they live. She believes children learn through playing in their natural environment. Sally enjoys hiking, kayaking, and snowshoeing in her beautiful northern New Hampshire playground; she is also a magician and will share her Nature Magic Show at the Family Summit.
My family’s relationship with NWF Family Summits started in North Carolina. We have attended every Family Summit since 2000. I attend the Summit annually with my wife Sabina and children Nika (19) and Ryan (17). My children always look forward to the next summit as much as we do. We all have made wonderful friends all over the country that we stay in touch with between the summits and always look forward seeing them every summer.
For the last 16 years I’ve resided in West Hartford, CT. I am a Founder and Owner of Shall Be, LLC – a national boutique technology consulting and Internet security firm.
Teri Schroeder has worked in the past as director of the child care program. Teri and her family began attending NWF Family Conservation Summits in 1985. Since that first summit, Teri has worked as a volunteer, as childcare staff and director and as a Junior Naturalist leader at many summits.
Joel Schroeder became involved with the NWF Family Conservation Summits starting in 1985 and has either served on the teen staff or directed the teen program many times since then. He was a secondary science teacher and technology coordinator for a school district in Iowa and taught classes in all areas of science.
Jo Schaper has been an outdoors person since she first went camping with the Girl Scouts. A lifelong Missourian, she combines interests in writing and geology as the assistant editor for the River Hills Traveler, a Missouri outdoors newspaper and as a freelance writer. She has been a Volunteer in Parks nature interpreter for the Missouri State Park system since 1989, an active caver since 1986, and most enjoys sharing her passion for rocks and water with others.
Sue Sabo first contracted the Conservation Summit Virus (CSV) about 20 years ago when her parents invited her to join them at the Blue Ridge Summit and she has been infected with it ever since! Since the CSV is so contagious, she has managed to infect the rest of her family and a few others along the way! The symptoms of CSV include an intense desire to collect scarves of differing colors, greet others infected with the same virus, and see parts of this country that un-infected people never get a chance to experience! About 11 years ago she developed a new symptom–an uncontrollable desire to become even more involved in the Summit experience. Thus, she entered the “Faculty” phase, working with the Adult Adventure Class, leading the Family Adventure class, and now serving as Director of the Early Discovery Program. Six years ago the CSV mutated into a new but very similar virus known as the Family Summit Virus (FSV), and she hopes to remain infected with this new virus for many years to come! When not indulging her viral symptoms, she is a retired media specialist, a grandmother of 5, and also a member of the Improv Comedy Troupe, See You Thursday, www.seeyouthursday.com
In 2013, Sue assumed the role of Summit Adult Program Director and chair of the Programming Committee. She is also a member of the Family Summits Board of Directors.
Bill Sabo was in charge of transportation for the 2014 and 2015 Summit after assisting with transportation at the 2011, 2012 and 2013 Summits. He attended his first Summit in 2003 at The Sunday River Resort in Maine as a guest of his future wife Sue. He was hooked for life! The Summit wasn’t bad either! Since 2003, not only has Bill gained a wonderful new family at home, but also a Summit family of the finest people imaginable. The Ghost Ranch Summit will be his 14th.