CMCF Board

Board of Directors

President – Janice Heidel

Janice Heidel joined the CMC in the early ’90s specifically for the Wilderness Trekking School skills.

As a single parent, Janice was looking for a resource to learn basic skills for hiking and backpacking that she could share with her family when a friend suggested she join the CMC and participate in some of the educational classes. Janice got so much out of the experience that she decided to take her mountaineering to the next level and become a WTS instructor. She didn’t stop there: Instead, she kept expanding her skill set and ultimately became the school director.  Along the way she participated in the Backcountry Ski class and again joined the instructor team. She was a member of the Denver Group Council and the Denver Group chair. As CMC careers go for many of the Club’s most reliable volunteers, she was nominated for the State Board and served as a member for one year before becoming Vice President and then went on to serve as President of the State Board for three years.

Janice retired from the State Board responsibilities when she received an offer from Lockheed Martin for her dream job. She was selected as the principal engineer to manage the design, development, manufacture, and integration of the rocket engines for the Orion Crew Module project, and every day became a welcomed challenge across many engineering teams. She retired in 2014 after an amazing 34-year career in the aerospace industry.

Janice looks forward to the opportunity to join the CMC Foundation, renewing many CMC friendships and making new acquaintances. 

Vice President – Greg Long

Greg Long is a retired teacher. He spent the vast majority of his 34 year career working with students who were at risk of not finishing high school and often used outdoor adventure as a medium in his teaching.

Greg has been a CMC member since 1992 and trip leader since 1994. He is a long time member of the Pikes Peak Group council and has taught many of their schools, including the basic and high altitude mountaineering schools. Greg enjoys everything from easy day hikes to multi-day backpacks to long distance cycling to technical mountaineering expeditions. He has thru-hiked both the Appalachian Trail and Colorado Trail and summited Mt. ShishaPangma (8,016M) in Tibet. He consideres one of his finest trips to be a failed summit bid on Denali’s West Rib route because the team worked together well to overcome many challenges.

Treasurer – Linda LaRocque

Linda LaRocque is a member and huge fan of the CMC and regularly gets out on the trail with fellow members.  She is not only hooked on the Club’s vast opportunities for trips and education, but so thrilled with its focus on safety, technical knowledge, planning, and organization.

Linda moved to Denver in 1998, grew up in Wisconsin, and lived in Chicago for about a dozen years.

Linda owns an income tax practice in Denver, which caters to small businesses and individuals of all types.  Linda’s prior work experience includes IT consulting, project management, business valuations, and ROI analysis.  She holds a business degree in Information Systems from the University of Wisconsin and an MBA in Finance from the University of Chicago.

Personally, Linda loves doing just about anything outdoors (especially the human-powered variety), adventure travel, and her two sons who are now young adults.  She is a regular volunteer with Volunteers for Outdoor Colorado.  [email protected]

Past President – Sherry Richardson

Sherry Richardson learned about the Colorado Mountain Club while trekking in Nepal and became a member in 1988. Being brand-new to the hiking/climbing world, she took many classes offered by the Denver Group. Those classes prepared her for climbing adventures around the world, including Cotopaxi in Ecuador, the Monch in Switzerland, and Naya Kanga, a trekker’s peak in Nepal. She has served in a variety of Club positions, including Denver Group membership chair, BMS chair, Denver Group councilor, Denver Group chair. She became active at the State level, served as a director on the State Board, and was the State President in 1999 and 2004.  Sherry was instrumental in the design of the American Mountaineering Museum and wrote most of the text for the interactive Colorado map. Ms. Richardson is a member of the 21st Century Circle, having named the CMC in her will, and contributes yearly to the Club through a monthly giving program. She owns a court-reporting firm in Denver and works as a full-time, free-lance court reporter. [email protected]

Secretary – Rolf Asphaug

Rolf Asphaug has extensive government, managerial and trial experience, with strong interests in ethics, inclusion, diversity, environmental protection and outdoor leadership. He is the retired general counsel for one of the largest transit agencies in the US – RTD – where as part of RTD’s senior leadership he supervised nearly a dozen lawyers and other staff. At RTD Rolf focused on government, contract, labor and employment, personal injury, workers compensation law, and ethics/compliance. He was also responsible for RTD’s information governance program and is a certified information specialist. Rolf received the RTD Civil Rights Champion award, and was a board member of the Center for Legal Inclusiveness until 2022.

Before his 30 years with RTD, Rolf worked for the Sierra Club Legal Defense Fund in Denver and Baker Botts in Houston. Rolf is a graduate of Columbia Law School in New York and Rice University in Houston.

Rolf is a Life Member of the Colorado Mountain Club, a former president of the CMC, and chair of the CMC Denver Group. He is a founding member of the CMC’s Diversity, Ethics and Inclusion Committee. He is also a former director of the CMC Wilderness Trekking School, a senior instructor with CMC’s Telemark Ski School, an instructor with the CMC’s trip leader school, and a hiking and ski touring trip leader with CMC. Rolf researched and wrote the Colorado Mountaineering displays in the American Mountaineering Museum. He and his wife met through the CMC, and they were both active in the CMC’s family group with their two sons. Rolf was a founding board member of the Colorado Fourteeners Initiative, recently helped create a trail host program for South Platte Park, and has done presentations on Colorado history and the outdoors for local groups.

Rolf loves hiking in Colorado’s beautiful mountains and is now a volunteer park patroller, naturalist and Certified Interpretive Guide working at numerous state and local parks. He was recently interviewed by Backpacker Radio at and is a backpacking blogger for The Trek at He is trained and certified in wilderness leadership, wilderness first responder, and nature interpretation. He thru-hiked the 486-mile Colorado Trail in 2021 and the 161-mile Collegiate Loop in 2022, and is planning additional long-distance backpack trips in 2023.

Board Members

Lauren Schwartz

Lauren Schwartz is an award-winning community relations and nonprofit leader who serves as the Director of Investor Relations for the Colorado Chamber. She works with business leaders to ensure they have the opportunity to engage with lawmakers and influence policy that will affect Colorado’s business climate, and that the voice of the business community is heard at the state capitol and in Washington, D.C.

Lauren is happiest when spending time with family and friends and doing just about anything in the great outdoors. On weekends she can be found in the mountains with her husband and step-kids screaming down the slopes at Breckenridge or hitting the trails in the summer. She’s a 14er finisher and a certified Yoga instructor who unabashedly loves to drink wine, eat like a man, and laugh out loud with friends as much as possible.

Lauren is a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin (BA/BFA) and the University of Denver (MA).

Cheryl Bleakley

Cheryl Bleakley retired in 2017 after 15 years as the Chief Financial Officer of a 501(c)(3) non-profit, social services, mental health agency located in Washington, DC, with revenues exceeding $34.0M. Responsibilities included oversight of financial statement audits under GAAP, OMB Circular A-122 and A-133 and contract compliance for 35+ federal and state grants and contracts. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration with a Minor in Accounting from the University of Maryland and is a CPA.

Cheryl moved to Colorado in 2017 and immediately joined the Colorado Mountain Club. Joining the CMC afforded her the opportunity to learn everything “Colorado,” including recreating in the outdoors, education, safety, and conservation. She enjoys playing in the outdoors no matter the season.

Cheryl volunteers for Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) and is a Volunteer Naturalist at Roxborough State Park. She also teaches adaptive skiing at Winter Park Resort in the winter months.

Fellowships Chair – Paula Cushing

Paula Cushing is the Curator of Invertebrate Zoology at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science. She moved to Colorado in 1998 for this position. She received her Ph.D. from the University of Florida in 1995. She is an evolutionary biologist who studies evolutionary patterns and processes in arachnids (spiders and their kin). Her research focuses on the diversity of spiders in the Rocky Mountain/Great Plains ecoregion (the Colorado Spider Survey). She is also involved with projects exploring the taxonomy, systematics, biogeography, and natural history of spiders, scorpions, and solifuges. She has published on myrmecophilic spiders (spiders that live inside ant colonies) and their evolutionary relationship with the ant hosts. She has done research in all the deserts of the western U.S., in Florida, Virginia, Tennessee, Kentucky, Puerto Rico, Panama, and India. Paula is a strong advocate for supporting research, particularly that of students, on the biodiversity, ecology, and natural history of the Rocky Mountains and Great Plains. [email protected]

John Mill

The mountains of Colorado have been calling John Mill since 1992. In over 30 years in Colorado, John climbed all of the Colorado Fourteeners, Denali in Alaska, and Orizaba in Mexico. Giving back for John has included teaching Wilderness Trekking School and other schools and leading trips for the Colorado Mountain Club, and board service (CMC, 2002-2004; Colorado Fourteeners Initiative 2012-2018; and Colorado Mountain Club Foundation 2020-present).

Roger Kilkoyne

Roger Kilcoyne joined the Colorado Mountain Club in 2001. His introduction to the club was Basic Mountaineering School when it used to be taught as one course instead of the module format you see today. He became a trip leader and has led hundreds of trips over the years. Early on they were focused mainly on 14ers and 14er traverses. These days, they are usually focused on rock climbing in the Pikes Peak area and the surrounding region. He has helped teach numerous classes over the years but mainly focuses on high altitude mountaineering school (HAMS) over the last decade. He served a three-year stint on the Pikes Peak group council serving as an at large member for one year and the programs chair for two years. Roger believes the Foundation will ensure those who want to climb in the mountains can do so safely for many years to come.

Michael Rees

Conservation has been my primary interest since high school. For my adult life I’ve focused on working on natural resource and recreation planning.

I’ve worked for a variety of environmental organizations, writing environmental comprehensive plans, including the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (trail planning), the Minnesota Chapter of The Nature Conservancy, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, in Alaska (refuge planning) and Washington, D.C.

For the 32 years, I’ve lived in Colorado I worked as a natural resource planner for the National Park Service, Denver Service Center. I worked on many park plans throughout the country, concentrating on visitor use management and land use planning (e.g., visitor use management at Arches National Park, general management plans for Rainier and Zion National Parks). I also worked on a variety of national planning efforts, including the visitor experience and resource protection (VERP) process, and a variety of other national planning documents, including foundations for park planning and management, the NPS System Plan, and a strategic plan for the NPS Planning Program.

Since I retired, I am doing a number of volunteer activities, including serving as a volunteer trailhead steward for the Jefferson County Open Space Parks. I have been a member of the Colorado Mountain Club for some 31 years. For the past 2 years I have been a trip leader for the club, primarily leading day hikes. I am an avid hiker and cross-country skier, and have hiked throughout the state of Colorado, as well as many other areas in the United States (e.g., Alaska, Minnesota) and internationally (e.g., Nepal, Britan, Japan, Peru).

John Lacher

Born 1939 in Providence Rhode, Island. Came to Colorado in 1945 when the family returned after World War Two. Grew up in Boulder.
Married. Wife: Jan. One son and one daughter.

Boulder High School. Graduated 1957.
University of Colorado, mathematics. Graduated 1961.
Johns Hopkins, medicine. Graduated 1965.
Residency, internal medicine. University of New Mexico. 1968 to 1970.
Fellowship, nephrology, University of Colorado. 1973- 1975.
Board certified, internal medicine, nephrology.
Fellow, American Academy of Physicians.
Military: Doc with the USPHS assigned to the Coast Guard. Baltimore and
Antarctica. 1966-1968.

Practiced internal medicine and nephrology. Denver. Adjunct faculty, University of Colorado. Retired at age 55 because of intractable cardiac arrhythmia. Gradually gained strength over the next year. Hike, ski and climb. Mainly in Colorado and Wyoming. Member of the Colorado Mountain Club.