Steve Swenson Heads New Team of AAC Officers and Directors


Feb 24, 2009 - At the American Alpine Club's annual meeting on February 21 and 22, the club elected new officers and directors for three-year terms. Steve Swenson, the AAC's new president, has had a 32-year career with R.W. Beck Inc., a large consulting and engineering firm based in Seattle, and is now senior director of the firm. Swenson started mountaineering as a boy in the Cascades in the 1960s, and has gone on to make first ascents in Canada, Alaska, Pakistan, and Nepal. Among many hard climbs around the world, he has climbed K2 and Everest without supplementary oxygen. Swenson served as vice president of the club under Jim Donini's leadership for the past three years. Swenson's team of officers on the AAC Executive Committee will be Bruce Franks, vice president, formerly secretary of the AAC; Jack Tackle, treasurer; and George Lowe, secretary. "I want to build on the work that Jim Donini accomplished by making sure we are offering membership benefits and services that provide value to the climbing community; that we position the AAC to influence and lead the community in ways that promote our sport in sustainable ways; that we implement conservation projects that preserve the places we climb; and that we continue to inspire the community by chronicling climbing achievement and preserving our history," Swenson said. AAC members also approved three new members of the club's board of directors. Doug Colwell, a climber for more than 30 years, owns a small commercial insurance brokerage and risk-management consulting firm in Idaho. He served as the AAC's Northern Rockies Section Chair for more than 10 years and has long advised the club on risk management. Roanne Miller has had a long career in guiding and the outdoor industry, and is now vice president of sales for K2 Technical Apparel. Eric Simonson has been a professional mountain guide since 1973 and has been on more than 100 major expeditions around the world, including more than 30 Himalayan expeditions. The members also re-elected three directors: Ellen Lapham, George Lowe, and John Kascenska. Since directors George Lowe and Jack Tackle were subsequently confirmed as officers of the club, there are two board vacancies to be filled. "We have a lot of work to do to deliver on the club's priorities, and we will need additional volunteer help from the climbing community to make it happen," said Swenson. "Anyone interested in helping can contact the club at (303) 384-0110 or through our website at I'm looking forward to the opportunity to serve the AAC and the climbing community over the next three years, so that together we can address the needs of those who love this great sport."