Alex Davenport |Founder
Alex Davenport’s passion for skiing is only matched by his passion for teaching others to enjoy the sport. In his years of ski instruction, his professional development includes PSIA Certifications of Level III Adaptive, Level II Alpine, Level I Snowboard, and Children’s Specialist. He also holds his USASA Coaching Level 100 Certification. He is a graduate of Northern Arizona University with a degree in Disability Studies and Spanish. Alex has been an integral part of creating therapeutic adaptive experiences in Arizona. Before discovering his love of ski instruction, Alex received an honorable discharge at the rank of Sergeant (E-5) from the United States Marine Corps.
Ronald H. Mattson |President of the Board
Ron Mattson is a graduate of the University of New Hampshire with degrees in Business Administration and Personnel Management. Mattson has spent over 37 years in the insurance business with the last 19 as owner of Asset Development Group, LLC. In addition, Ron is a PSIA certified ski instructor at Arizona Snowbowl and is very familiar with the adaptive programs available around the country although he does not provide adaptive instruction. He and his wife Shauna are the parents of a son, Erik, who has Down syndrome and who participates regularly in various special-needs programs, such a Special Olympics.
Jaime Gonzalez, AZSB Ski and Ride School Director | Vice President of the Board
Jaime Gonzalez has been in the ski industry for over 20 years, and as Director of the Arizona Snowbowl ski resort’s Ski and Snowboarding School, helped to develop the Adaptive Ski and Ride School. Gonzalez has extensive experience teaching skiing and riding for people with and without disabilities. He is knowledgeable in all adaptive discipline instruction including mono-ski, bi-ski, 3Track, 4Track, slider and ski bikes, and provides instruction for individuals with physical, cognitive, and visual impairments. Gonzalez also has helped develop policies and procedures to ensure safe, effective adaptive alpine skiing, snowboarding, and ski biking experiences. Gonzalez has a long association with the Professional Ski Instructors of America and the American Association of Snowboard Instructors (PSIA-AASI) that will enable us to continue to facilitate our training program to create proficient adaptive ski instructors. His connection with the Ski and Ride School, relationship with other mountain departments and knowledge of general mountain operations benefits NAASA’s operations as well.
Emily Markel, Tax Accountant | Treasurer of the Board
Emily Markel has a degree in Business Administration from Northern Arizona University and is a senior procurement officer for the City of Flagstaff. Markel oversees the non-profit’s finances. She is responsible for oversight of adaptive sports grants, when awarded, providing a second level of approval for grant expenditures and overseeing financial compliance. Markel has been a part-time Snowbowl employee for over 18 years, working most currently as an adaptive instructor for students with visual impairments, cognitive impairments and Traumatic Brain Injury.
Shauna Mattson | Secretary of the Board
Shauna is a graduate of Utah State University with a degree in Business Administration and in Spanish. She was one of the founding board members of the Special Education Parent Advisory Council of Scottsdale and served as Secretary and Treasurer for seven years. As the parent of a son with Down syndrome, Shauna has seen first-hand how Special Olympics and adaptive sports programs can benefit people with disabilities. These programs have built self-esteem, good sportsmanship, teamwork, and improved her son’s athletic abilities. He has made many friends through these programs and looks forward to them.
Zach Williams | Board Member
Zach Williams was born without his tibia bones and had bilateral knee disarticulation amputations shortly after his first birthday. He has been an active prosthetic user since the age of 2, participating in many sports including wrestling, surfing, backpacking, and softball to name a few. Zach has performed nationally and internationally with the “Barrier Breakers” travel team, an abled/disabled integrated gymnastics troupe. International travel to over 35 countries on 5 continents has given him the opportunity to experience and challenge perceptions of ability from many different perspectives. After a successful career in international student and scholar advising at the University of Southern California, Zach earned his M.S. degree from CSU Dominguez Hills and is a Certified Prosthetist Orthotist, making custom prosthetic limbs and braces. He deeply enjoys working with other people who face physical challenges adapt and thrive within their particular situation. Zach was introduced to the sport of mono-skiing through the adaptive ski program at Arizona Snowbowl. He has fallen in love with the sport and how his experience as an amputee has been an advantage rather than something to overcome. He looks forward to helping others have as much fun and freedom on the slopes as he is.