Meet Our Board
The members of the Clearwater Camp Foundation Board come from a variety of professional backgrounds, but share a unique love for the timeless traditions of Clearwater Camp. As campers, counselors or parents, each have witnessed and experienced the profound sense of well being and purposeful maturity the Clearwater experience has offered girls and young women for more than 80 years. The Clearwater Camp Foundation Board is committed to continuing without interruption or alteration the traditions many have come to hold so dear.
For Nancy “Nonnie” Gilbert, Clearwater Camp was a family affair. Following in several aunts’ footsteps, Nonnie was a camper for three years on the Point, then on staff in 1966 and 1968. Her sister is alumna Priscilla Gilbert Calkins and her daughter, Sarah Wines, also went to Clearwater. At Clearwater, Nonnie (pronounced “Nah-ny”) excelled. She was on the Canadian twice and then was incredibly proud to lead the trip as a counselor. A Wellesley College graduate, Nonnie also pursued two master’s degrees through the years from women’s history from Sarah Lawrence College to American history from Columbia University.
During a multifaceted career that included teaching women’s history for several years at universities including Sarah Lawrence, Nonnie spent almost 20 years at JP Morgan as an investment banker, a human resource generalist and a manager in leadership development. Now retired, Nonnie has been an active volunteer for numerous nonprofits, including serving as the chair of a local conservancy organization. Nonnie lives in Jamesport, NY, on the North Fork of Long Island, and her other interests include historic preservation, birding, classical music, sailing, kayaking, cross-country skiing and gardening, where she earned stripes as a master gardener from the Cornell Cooperative Extension and now instructs and lectures others in area garden clubs.
Clearwater Camp runs deep in Catherine “Kitty” Barthlomew’s family, spanning three generations of women. Mother, Elizabeth “Beets” McMahon, was a camper and leadership with Sunny in the 1940’s and later became the long-time St. Louis recruiter for Clearwater. Sister, Peg McMahon Mallett, carried on the Clearwater tradition as a camper and Leadership in the ‘60’s; Kitty was a camper and counselor in the ‘70’s; niece, Clare Mallett, was a camper and Leadership in the ‘90’s, and Kitty’s daughter, Anna Bartholomew, was a camper and a Leadership in 2016.
Kitty, a Wellesley College graduate, began her career in theatre management and then shifted to a career in advertising. Kitty served in various agency roles over her twenty-five years – from account management to corporate communications, to business development and human resources. Throughout her career, Kitty found a common connection to those people who had camp or camp counselor experience. They were the creative problem solvers, team players, relentless optimists, and everyone’s favorite manager.
Now focusing on family and community, Kitty is an active volunteer for several non-profit organizations near her home in Ipswich, MA, including Service Dog Project, an organization providing Great Dane service dogs for the mobility impaired and veterans.
Inspired by the Clearwater women who came before us while working on behalf of camp and today’s campers motivates Kitty to serve on the board. Kitty enjoys the shared purpose that the board provides, ensuring that Clearwater builds confident women leaders of tomorrow.
Stephanie “Steph” Cotherman was raised in Lake Forest, IL, but when asked, she will most likely admit she “grew up” during summers in Minocqua, WI. She was lucky to experience the magic of Lake Tomahawk at an early age, traveling up for summers at her lake house starting at just 3 months old. Her cousins preceded her at Clearwater, and after many summers of watching them both as campers, Steph finally had her turn on the Harbor in 1997. She never missed a summer after her first; a camper until 2003, then a leadership, counselor, and unit head from 2004-2009.
Steph graduated magna cum laude from Colby College in 2009 and after fitting in one more summer at camp, began her career in advertising in the Fall of 2009, landing a job at an agency in Boston, Massachusetts. After two years on the East Coast, Steph moved back to Chicago in 2011 to be closer to family and of course, the Northwoods. She now works at TRISECT Agency as an Integrated Producer, a job in which she relies on the skills she learned through her summers at Clearwater: resourcefulness, resilience, and the ability to listen to, connect with, and fulfill each of her team member’s needs.
In 2013, Steph was one of the founding members of Clearwater’s Junior Advisory Committee. Her work on the JAC led to significant growth of Clearwater’s social media presence, and most recently, Steph served on the Strategic Planning committee and led the development of the marketing plan and communication guidelines for the next 5 years. Now, Steph looks forward to continuing to support Clearwater’s mission as a Board member. She is grateful for the opportunity to share her skills and contribute to Clearwater’s mission for future generations of Voyageurs.
Laura Sahn Cover
Growing up in Peoria, Ill., Laura Sahn Cover heard that the Northwoods were an idyllic, romantic place. She heard this from her grandparents who honeymooned to an island in Lake Minocqua in 1941. She heard this from family members whose experiences at Camp Highlands came up frequently. And she heard this from Sunny Moore, former Clearwater Camp Executive Director, who was a Peoria native and a family friend. After summers of visiting Camp Highlands, Laura decided to try camp for herself.
Laura’s years as a Point camper led to roles as a Leadership, counselor, honor trip leader and the Leadership counselor. In 2004, the Northwoods proved to be the romantic place she thought it was when she shared a first date with her now husband, Ross, at a coffee shop in downtown Minocqua. As a former Camp Highlands camper and counselor and brother of Clearwater alumna Melissa Cover Selinger, Ross shares Laura’s passion for the camp mission. Laura and Ross say they find their relationships with camp friends and families to be some of the most important in their lives.
Laura graduated cum laude from Illinois Wesleyan University and studied at the University of London. In her professional career, Laura has been steadily promoted through the merchandising departments of many leading retail companies, ranging from Neiman Marcus to Crate and Barrel to Paper Source to Kohl’s Department Stores. Regardless of the product lines for which she has been responsible, Laura’s career has consisted of developing and implementing strategic plans for diverse companies. She hopes to bring that same sense of research, vision and planning to Clearwater Camp as it looks to the future.
Amanda’s first experience at Clearwater was when she was 12 days old, sleeping peacefully in the cabin Buoy while her mother Marcia Dunaway prepared the Program. By the age of 6 she was a full-fledged camper. Amanda spent nine years attending camp as a camper, becoming a leadership in 1998, and then spending three years on staff. Her time as a counselor culminated in the footsteps of her mother and grandmother, Sunny Moore, as the Head of the Sailing Program in 2002.
Following another family tradition that began with her grandmother Sunny Moore, Amanda attended Duke University, where she earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Biological Anthropology and Anatomy in 2003. She acquired her thirst for adventure while studying abroad in Melbourne, Australia in 2001 and participating in her advisor’s Paleoanthropological field school in the Guateng Province of South Africa in 2003. Upon graduation from Duke, Amanda began a northbound thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail, which took her all the way to Maine in October of 2004. Deciding it was time to move West, Amanda spent three years working as a field instructor for at-risk youth in wilderness therapy programs in Utah and Montana.
Currently Amanda resides in Southeast Alaska, where she has lived full-time since buying a fishing boat in 2009. She recently completed her 2nd season as Captain of her commercial salmon boat, where she specializes in hook and line (“troll-caught”) king and coho salmon. To her position on the board, she brings her great adoration of the wilderness, gained through her years at Clearwater, and her devotion to the youth of today, developed during her time working with troubled teens. Finally, she brings her leadership skills and fierce determination cultivated through learning to captain her own fishing boat in the untamed waters of Alaska. Inspired by the tradition set by her mother and grandmother, Amanda is elated to be a part of a new era for Clearwater and helping ensure its existence into the future.
Melissa Koengeter, Sunny’s fourth daughter, had been visiting camp from an early age before becoming a full time camper in 1970. She was a camper from 1970-1976, and a leadership in 1977. As a counselor from 1978-1981, she followed in her sister Marcia’s footsteps as head of sailing. She also enjoyed leading long Canadian and Isle Royale trips with her sister, Grace.
Melissa has been active in recruiting and staff hiring with Sunny, and has been employed at camp doing the payroll, accounting, budgeting, and reports. Melissa was instrumental in bringing camp in to the computer age with the EZ Camp system. Melissa has also served as a part time nurse at camp. A member of the Clearwater Camp, Inc. board of directors for many years, Melissa lives with her family next to camp. Her family has been involved in camp in various capacities and they enjoy keeping a close watch on things during the off-season.
Melissa went to the University of Iowa and graduated with honors with a Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing. She has been active in nursing since 1982 and works in Minocqua at Howard Young Medical Center. She and her family have been living in Minocqua since 1985.
While Ray cannot claim to have been a Clearwater Daughter, he married one he met in 1975: Kate Conyers, part of the large Conyers clan that has been going to
Clearwater Camp for three generations. From hearing her camp stories and those of her family members, Ray has long been impressed with the sense of independence, confidence and adventure that Clearwater fostered among the Conyers family women. Ray also participated in family camp for several years where he received a close-up, hands-on Clearwater experience. As a result of this exposure, he sent his two sons to nearby Camp Highlands. He is proud to note that, after a visit with Sunny, she proclaimed him an honorary “Clearwater Girl.”
Ray brings significant business experience to the board, including more that 30 years of experience in the areas of strategic planning, finance and accounting, negotiations, facilities management, administration and human resources. A former CPA, Ray is recently retired from 15 years at SkillPath Seminars, where he was executive vice-president and chief financial officer for the company known for providing continuing education and professional development opportunities, in addition to being the largest business-to-business direct mail operation in the United States.
Ray has long been an active volunteer around his community of Shawnee, KS, a suburb of Kansas City, MO. He is founding treasurer and current president of Rebuilding Together Shawnee, a nonprofit corporation with a mission of helping elderly, disabled and low income homeowners remain in their homes with a safe and secure environment. He is also a member of the Shawnee Rotary Club, a former assistant scoutmaster of a troop where all eight boys in his youngest sons’ patrol achieved Eagle rank, and, during the winter months, a volunteer mountain ambassador in Breckenridge, CO.
Nancy is a member of Clearwater’s storied Wright clan: Great aunt Tony Wright wrote many camp songs, and Tony’s daughters Jane and Sarah and granddaughters Kathy and Suzy Gillespie also attended Clearwater. Her dad was a Camp Minocqua counselor in the 1960s, her aunt Mary Anderson Hill was a counselor at Clearwater as well as her waterski instructor cousin, Chuck Wright. Nancy was a waterski instructor and waterfront instructor and a counselor on the Cape, the Point and a Leadership counselor. Nancy also grew up spending time at her family’s cabin on nearby Upper Kaubashine Lake in Hazelhurst. Nancy remembers Sunny coming to her Iowa home on recruiting trips and showing Clearwater slides in her living room.
A graduate of Luther College with a BA in accounting, Nancy went on to earn a master’s in finance from the University of Colorado. A resident of Boulder, CO, she currently works in finance and accounting for her family’s office supplies firm, Boulder County Supply. Since 2007, she has also created and managed grant budgets for the University of Colorado Hoenger Lab. Her other interests include volunteering in the classroom for her two sons, Max and Spencer. She also enjoys biking, skiing, swimming and hiking and volunteers as an Elder at First Presbyterian Church in Boulder.
Nancy is excited to be a member of the Clearwater Foundation Board and looks forward to helping to stir Clearwater in a way that allows camp to be a blessing to girls for years to come. Nancy currently serves as board treasurer.
Jerry is the patriarch of a three-generation family tradition at Clearwater Camp as he himself was a staff member for nine years from 1963 to 1971, serving in many and varied roles that included tripping, maintenance and forging old Pioneer Camp alongside campers and counselors. During his tenure, Jerry even met his wife Judy at Clearwater! They worked at Clearwater together for seven years from 1965 to 1971. Since then, their daughter and granddaughter (a current camper) have gone to Clearwater.
Jerry was recruited to Clearwater Camp because of his long career as a skilled high school and college industrial arts teacher. During his career, Jerry worked in Michigan and then Illinois teaching everything from engineering drawing, to industrial and architectural drafting, to welding and auto mechanics, to metal and wood shop. He and Judy have since retired to Lake Villa, IL.
Jerry has served on various boards through the years. They have included the board of the Lake County Discovery Museum in Illinois, where he was president for four years after being a board member for six; as a founding member of the Heisey Collectors of America for antique glass; and his current tenure on the Hupmobile Club of America, a national organization for Hupmobile enthusiasts which has an international membership spanning 17 countries on five continents and where Jerry has served as board president for nine years.
About his latest endeavor with Clearwater Camp, Jerry writes that “as a member of the board, it is my priority to preserve Clearwater, her culture and traditions for the good of the campers, one of whom is my granddaughter.”
Alix Sommer Smith remembers being a grudging recruit to the Clearwater counseling staff in 1969. Her beloved aunt Sunny was helping Halokwe fill out the staff during the founder’s last active season, and, though Alix tried, she could not say no to Sunny. Alix was an English and history major at the time, and felt she had no camping skills whatsoever. “It was a transformative summer,” Alix now recalls. Her Clearwater career went on to span almost a decade, including being a Cape counselor in 1969 and 1970; teaching drama, arts and crafts, and fishing; and serving as program director through 1977. Further, it was her experiences working with children and serving in an administrative leadership capacity that inspired a successful career trajectory in education.
Alix retired in 2004 after 32 years with the Stafford County, VA Public Schools. During her long tenure, Alix was a middle school history teacher from 1972 to 1978, a middle school assistant principal from 1978 to 1987 and Supervisor of Gifted Education and Special Projects from 1987 to 2004. In that most recent capacity, Alix’s work included supervising a resource staff of more than 20 educators; doing division-wide staff development; recruiting teachers for the growing school division; coordinating summer learning programs; and mentoring individual children. She helped to develop the regional Commonwealth Governor’s School which serves gifted and highly motivated high school students in her area, and continues to work as a consultant for the state’s Department of Education evaluating Governor’s Schools across Virginia.
Through the years, Alix also served in a leadership capacity on many educational advisory groups and committees at the local, regional and state level. These included the state Gifted Advisory Committee, the Virginia Association for Gifted, and the Northern Virginia Council for Gifted Education. She has also served on committees at her church and for her college.
Returning to Clearwater as a board member seems a natural progression, Alix reflects, as she looks forward to providing the experience to coming generations of girls and young women. “As one of the many young women who received the gift of a ‘Clearwater education,’ I believe wholeheartedly in the mission of Clearwater Camp,” she wrote. “It was at Clearwater that I discovered my calling to work with young people, honed my creative and leadership talents, and developed my planning and administrative skills.”
Carol Altorfer Vance
Born and raised in Peoria, Illinois, Carol is part of a three generation tradition at Clearwater Camp. Her mother, Harriett Pearson, was a counselor and then Carol and her two sisters were campers and then counselors. Carol headed up riding in 1969 and 1970.
Carol is a graduate of Pine Manor Jr College and then the University of Arizona. She met her husband at the U of A, although their families knew each other for many years. Hobey’s father and Carol’s father actually attended Camp Highlands at the same time.
She was very fortunate to be able to be a stay at home mom, although hardly ever at home with kids’ activities and volunteer work. When her daughters Leslie and Julie were old enough they started attending Clearwater. Then when her son went to Camp Highlands, Carol started volunteering at Clearwater. During her 15 year tenure on the Clearwater Camp management team, Carol served as transportation director, assistant director and on the Clearwater Camp Inc. Board. She and her husband purchased a home in the Pottawatomie Colony in 2000.
Carol was also instrumental in starting their family business “Julie’s Popcorn” which they owned and operated for 6 years.
It has been her dream to see Clearwater in the position it is now, not only for her 3 granddaughters but for all young women who can benefit from the wonderful camp experience. As such , she is proud and honored to serve on the Foundation Board to help preserve the traditions for years to come.
Sarah Stockslager Wagoner, ‘Stocks’ to many at camp, began attending Clearwater in 1996 as a camper (1996-2000), a Leadership (2002), a counselor (2004-2007), and a founding member of the Junior Advisory Council (2013). During her time at Clearwater, Sarah was the head of waterskiing, co-head of Point. She had the honor and joy of leading a trip to Isle Royale, a trip she had gone on as a camper. Her favorite moments of being a counselor were watching young women reach their fullest potential by stretching their comfort zones and learning something new. She accredits much of who she is to what she learned and who she became at Clearwater.
Sarah works in Human Resources with a current focus on (and enthusiasm for) talent and organizational development. She has broad experience in organizational development, role clarification, and a passion for training and development. She thinks you’d be surprised at how much Clearwater taught her about what she does today! She earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Organizational Communications from Miami University and her MBA in Management from Loyola University Chicago where she managed to excite a group of strangers to participate in a marketing project dedicated to Clearwater. She recently married her husband Chris in September, 2015 with many Clearwater friends by her side. Chris enjoyed a very chilly family camp in 2013, but ‘felt nature’s own strength’ and the joy of Clearwater and had just as much trouble leaving as Sarah did at the end of the week.
Sarah lives in Chicago, is a 200 hour certified yoga teacher, enjoys reading non-fiction books, loves both water and snow skiing, and enjoys traveling and spending time outdoors as much as possible. Her first trip to the Boundary Waters was in 2014 with three other Clearwater alumnae!
A Chicago native, Danielle credits her experiences as a camper and a counselor as being among the most significant of her childhood and young adulthood. She says that the gifts of self-esteem, friendship, and sense of stewardship imparted in a community of unconditional love remain important to her everyday.
Danielle’s camp experiences began at Camp Hilltop in Spring Green, WI, during its ﬁnal summer in 1984. She then went to Campo Fiesta in Boulder Junction, WI, where she attended as a camper from 1985 through 1990. She returned as a counselor-in-training during the camp’s ﬁnal summer in 1991. In 1994, Danielle came to Clearwater Camp, where she remained as a counselor for six full summers. She found that her personal growth and development were as profoundly impacted as a counselor at Clearwater as her years as a camper.
Moved by her own experiences of camp closings through the years, Danielle’s extensive professional marketing communications background was critical to the early efforts of the Clearwater Camp Foundation and its mission to ensure that Clearwater “spans the generations.” In the Foundation’s early years, Danielle helped lay the groundwork for direct and digital marketing campaigns as well as the Foundation’s web presence. Danielle now joins the Foundation board in an effort to expand the marketing and alumnae relations for Clearwater’s ongoing development efforts. Now living in Denver, she and her husband John Welch are enjoying lives as parents to two very active little boys.
Sarah Boles’ history with Clearwater spans four generations. She often notes that she has spent her life surrounded by those who speak of Clearwater with the love and reverence it deserves. Her grandmother, Julia Lee Bowen, recruited for Clearwater in her hometown of St. Louis, MO. Her mother, Betsy Bowen Boles, and her aunt, Beverly Bowen Vickrey, were both campers in the 1940s. Sarah’s daughters Alicia and Katherine Zimmel and three nieces have all been veteran campers in recent years.
Sarah also comes to the Foundation board with a wealth of business and civic experience. After attending Pomona College in California for several years, Sarah transferred to the accelerated business program at Washington University in St. Louis where she earned both a bachelor’s of science and an MBA in 1981. Soon after graduation, Sarah moved to New York City where she worked at Goldman Sachs in ﬁxed income sales and trading for ﬁve years before working in capital markets for Credit Suisse First Boston for another ﬁve years.
Since then, Sarah has transitioned into being a full-time mother to her four children. In addition, she is an active and dedicated community volunteer in and around her home of Greenwich, CT. Sarah has served on many boards and has also led numerous capital campaigns for non-proﬁt organizations. Sarah is also a neighbor of Clearwater, as she has a log cabin on Tomahawk Lake. During the summertime, she enjoys her view of Clearwater’s iconic footbridge, its historic boathouse and the camper’s activities around the waterfront.