Dappen Shooed Out, Shaffer Ushered In
As many followers of WenatcheeOutdoors are aware, we have been looking for someone competent to replace Andy Dappen, who announced to the board in late May that it was time for him to pursue other writing projects. This, of course, was code for the fact that he wanted to make himself scarce before the board wised-up to his many blunders.

We had 14 applicants for the position as we started down the road of determining the best candidate for the job and finding the candidate willing to accept the job (financially we are a threadbare organization fueled by big passion rather than significant dollars). This process proved to be tediously slow because the guy who wanted out (Dappen) was never around – he was vacationing, in the mountains, and tending to issues in the extended family.

In mid-September, however, a symbiotic partnership was struck and, on September 22, we finalized all the contractual issues. So it’s with great pleasure that we (the board of the Outdoor Discovery Network who oversee WenatcheeOutdoors) announce that Sarah Shaffer will act as our new Executive Director. For the final quarter of the year, both Shaffer and Dappen will each work at WenatcheeOutdoors on a half-time basis. Then, in 2016, Dappen gets the boot altogether and Shaffer will clean-up all the steaming piles of nastiness that he’s left behind.

Here’s a bit more about the newer, younger, much-improved person who will become the face of WenatcheeOutdoors. Sarah has had outdoor interests since age 13 when she first went backpacking with her parents. She has a Bachelor of Arts (Psychology) and a Masters of Arts (School Counseling) from the University of Montana. Her thesis for her Master’s degree focused on the benefits of Outdoor Therapy Programs.

She is married to Mark Shaffer (one of our better regional rock climbers), has a two-year-old daughter (Dahlia), has lived in Wenatchee since (2009), and both she and Mark are well entrenched and completely content living in a place with deserts, rain forests, rock climbing, mountain climbing, mountain biking all within its wheel house.

In the outdoor arena, Sarah is a hiker (loves the Enchantment Traverse), rock climber (manages 5.9’s and 5.10’s), mountain biker (visits Twin Peaks as her default destination), snowshoer (hasn’t gotten proficient on backcountry skis just yet), and a Nordic skier (how about some decent snow totals this year?). Likely she’ll become a jock of many trades (pun intended) as she pursues this job.

The board’s desire for WenatcheeOutdoors in the years ahead is to work strategically with more local outdoor groups so that ever more people living here are connected to and advocate for our outdoor resources. Once Sarah learns the ropes, she’ll plot a course for achieving this.

Without further ado we say to Sarah, “Welcome” and “Make all of the ‘thems’ (non-outdoorsy people) part of the ‘us.’”

Note: The board of the Outdoor Discovery Network is composed of Gene Sharratt, Martin Straub, Mark Shipman, Mike Endsley, Jan Dappen, and Andy Dappen. We have worked in an advisory capacity in the past, but foresee the need for a larger board with more active roles as we try to grow regional outdoor involvement for health, conservation, lifestyle, and economic benefits. If you have an interest in serving, please contact either Shaffer or Dappen.

This article was originally posted on 09/24/2015.