Board of Directors
Josephine discovered climbing in March of 2006. In May of that same year, she took her first trip to Red River Gorge and, as luck would have it, the RRGCC was holding their Red River Reunion that very weekend. After a great day of climbing, and enjoying a fantastic party compliments of the RRGCC & Miguel’s, Josephine was hooked! Over the next year, she visited ten different states and one Canadian Provence to climb. While the traditional climbing in North Carolina was exciting, and the southern bouldering was also fun, nothing quite compared to the fun of single-pitch sport climbing. In her second year of climbing, Josephine put over 25,000 miles on her car driving down from Dayton, Ohio to the Red River Gorge each weekend. She decided that it was time to move – closer to Red River Gorge. While great climbing can be found in many places over the country, Red River Gorge offers a unique and closely-knit climbing community. It was her desire to become part of this community that led her to work as a staff member for the RRGCC. After serving as staff for three years, Josephine is excited to join the Board of Directors.
Yasmeen started climbing in Cincinnati’s gyms in 2000, and decided on a college 50% because of its computer science program and 50% because of its climbing wall – figuring it would lead to ample opportunities to climb at the Red. After a trip to the Red in the fall of 2001, she knew this was where she wanted to spend most of her weekends.
After becoming more involved with the RRGCC through helping with the website and trail days, she finally made the leap to BOD member in 2012. She’s honored to be working with the dedicated and talented people who are part of the Red River Gorge climbing community.
From Red River local dirtbag to plush corporate office space in downtown Lexington, Tania is your classic new millennial. While weekdays we’ll find Tania working at one of Lexington’s largest CPA firms, her evenings are spent training in a myriad of MMA’s and dreaming of sending the next off fingers splitter or short and stout sport route. Volunteering for many years at various trail days and Rocktoberfests, Tania looks forward to working with the BOD to help continue the preservation of land for climbing and to create a sustainable platform for future generations to do so.
Tania and her husband Wes lived at beautiful Torrent Falls for nearly 5 years. They now reside in Lexington with their 4 rescue dogs, Blue, Solar, Lyra, and Neville.
Terri joins us from Lexington, KY. More coming soon!
Mike Driskell was born in Louisville on a farm, and started climbing in 1994 through the Boy Scouts of America. He started teaching climbing and high ropes courses in 1996, and worked for the BSA until 2001. Through the years, he took several trips out west to climb and go backpacking in the Rockies, before moving to the Red from 2002 to 2004.
He met his wife when he moved back to Louisville to be a “house window washer” for the Kentucky Center for the Arts. When he got laid off in 2007, he started Driskell Home Repair and has been self employed since.
As a way to embrace his suck, he became involved with the RRGCC about 4 years ago, to give back to the community and put his stamp on history. He has since become heavily involved in trail building and repair, organizing and leading at least a couple of trail days each year.
I am from Florence, KY and have been climbing for the past 11 years. After enjoying the fruits of other members’ work, I am now volunteering to do my part for the climbing community. I love the outdoors and as such I am an avid backpacker and like to road bike. Along with my sister, I climbed Mount Kilimanjaro in 2009. When not working or climbing or hiking, I love to travel all around the world. My recent trips were to Iceland and Peru. Having fun requires that I work, and I work for Duke Energy as their Portfolio Risk Director. Of course to have such a fun job meant I had to earn my right to be where I am. I did so by getting an education in Economics, Finance and Accounting. I look forward to using these skills within the RRGCC as their new treasurer.
Dave is good at everything, including attending Outdoor Retailer each summer to promote Rocktoberfest and secure the sponsorships that are integral to a successful event!
Bill’s first rock climbing experience was at Carlton Peak on the shore of Lake Superior in the summer of 1971 when he attended the Voyager Outward Bound School based in Ely, Minnesota. With a background in AAU competitive gymnastics, he enjoyed the athletic challenge of climbing and quickly developed a passion for the sport. In the summer of 1974, Bill attended the National Outdoor Leadership School, earning a Mountain Guide Certificate and participating in the first ascent of the West Face of Mt. Koven (5.7, A1, Grade III) in the Wind River Range, Wyoming. Twenty years later, Bill returned to the Winds with his long time climbing partner Dave Christenson of Rocky Mountain Rescue and completed the first free ascent of the route.
From 1973 to 1981, Bill studied civil and environmental engineering at the University of Cincinnati where he was an active member of the UC Mountaineering Club. Also from 1975 to 1977 he had a coop job in Richmond, Virginia and regularly climbed at Seneca Rocks, West Virginia where he developed his lead climbing skills. During the 70s, Red River Gorge was a popular UCMC destination for camping and backpacking, but was not considered to be a significant climbing area. However, while on a camping trip to the Gorge, Bill found that a wall next to Indian Staircase was a good place to set up tope ropes. Discovering a crack adjacent to Staircase Wall, Bill brought his lead climbing rack one weekend in 1978 and established “Here Comes Batman” (5.11c) now acknowledged to be the first 5.11 in Red River Gorge.
As Executive Director of the Red River Gorge Climbers’ Coalition, Bill Strachan brings almost two decades of non-profit experience to the organization. After graduating from college, Bill became involved with the Ohio Ecological Food & Farm Association and served as an At-Large Representative of the organization’s Board of Trustees from 1986 to 1988. From 1990 to 1993, he served progressively as the Treasurer, Vice- President, and then President of the Ohio Buckeye Chapter of the Solid Waste Association of North America. Also from 1991 to 1993 Bill served on the Board of Directors of the Engineers & Scientists of Cincinnati. After retiring from career related non-profit service, Bill was elected to the Board of Trustees of the Ohio Climbers Association in 1994 and served as the OCA President from 1997 to 2004.
In 2004, Bill was asked to join the RRGCC Board of Directors and was elected to the position of President. He had previously been involved with the RRGCC as a member of the RRGCC Climbing Advisory Council. In 2005, when Dr. Bob Matheny was elected as President of the RRGCC, Bill took the position of Executive Director. Bill has a strong commitment to maintaining rock climbing access on both public and private lands in the Red River Gorge Area. He became involved with Daniel Boone National Forest planning efforts when he was President of the OCA and is an active participant in the DBNF’s current Limits of Acceptable Change process for Red River Gorge. Bill is a champion of the RRGCC’s Pendergrass-Murray Recreational Preserve acquisition and lends high skills in land use planning and environmental matters to the project.
Bill is married to Laura who is also a graduate of the National Outdoor Leadership School. Bill and Laura have two children, Suzy and Will, who have both been climbing since they were four years old.