Board of Directors

Yasmeen Fowler President
Scott Cooper Vice President
Jereme Ransick Treasurer
Joey Saeler Secretary
Jeff Kayse Director of Corporate Relations
Curtis Gale-Dyer Land Manager
Bryant McDonnell BOD Member
Adam Gregory BOD Member
Andrew Jones Public Lands Liaison
Ashlee Milanich Executive Director
Bill Strachan Executive Director Emeritus

Yasmeen Fowler

President
BOD Member since 2012
Photo of Yasmeen

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.

Scott Cooper

Vice President
BOD Member since 2017
Photo of Scott

Scott is originally from Colorado and has always been very active in the outdoors. He began climbing when his boys joined the Cincinnati Slopers climbing team in 2007. He has climbed outdoors at Yosemite, Colorado, and Ceuse France and in indoor gyms all over the world during business travel. His other hobbies include backpacking, wilderness survival, hiking, cycling, and skiing. Scott has a Bachelors Degree in Science from Adams State College in Alamosa, Colorado and a PhD in Analytical Chemistry from Iowa State University. He was previously a Trustee at the Cincinnati Nature Center. Scott lives with his wife, Linda, in Cincinnati along with one of his three sons and their dog Rowdy.

Jereme Ransick

Treasurer
BOD Member since 2016
Photo of Jereme

I love solving problems and have a hard time giving up, both of which apply to business, non-profits, and rock climbing. Over the years I have realized that nothing is free, and certainly not climbing, which is why I am excited to be a part of the Coalition and hope to help spread that message as we work to preserve and gain access to climbing here in the Gorge.

I re-found climbing in 2010 after putting on my 12 year old Scarpas and bouldering at the Old Reservoir Wall at Eden Park in Cincinnati. I had migrated from mountain Biking to road cycling to marathoning and was getting a bit burnt out on all of that cardio. I distinctly remember an older (than me) gentleman, I now know as "Captain Static," who literally climbed circles around me on Spiderman's Traverse (a.k.a AKA Ohio's Longest Hardest Climb). At that moment I realized, that while I was falling behind as a runner and cyclist, I had many great years ahead of me as a climber.

When I am not working, training or spending time with my "Special Lady Friend" and our three kids, you'll likely find me climbing. If sending temps are good and it is a Sunday, there's a good chance I'll be at one of our local crags.

Joey Saeler

Secretary
BOD Member since 2017

Jeff Kayse

Director of Corporate Relations
BOD Member since 2017

Curtis Gale-Dyer

Land Manager
BOD Member since 2016
Photo of Curtis

Curtis Gale-Dyer discovered climbing in 1993 in a college course at Western Michigan University that took him to Devil’s Lake in Wisconsin. He started climbing in the Red in 2001. Since then he has become hooked and done all kinds of climbing all over the country and even in Ireland and the Czech Republic. He hiked the Appalachian Trail in 2002. Since finishing medical school, he took a residency in Lexington to be closer to the climbing here in the Red, and is now the proud owner of Lexington Osteopathic, and a bitchin’ trad rack! After volunteering for many years with trail work and Rocktoberfest, he is proud to join the Board as Land Manager.

Bryant McDonnell

BOD Member
BOD Member since 2016
Photo of Bryant

Bryant began climbing plastic in 1999, freshmen year of high school in the flat lands of northern Illinois. After being exposed to the climbing at Devil’s Lake in early high school, Bryant began ditching class to head up to “the lake” for “Brushin’ and Crushin'” climbing sessions. Naturally, the university of choice near the best in state climbing was Southern Illinois University Carbondale where he studied Civil Engineering. While at SIUC, two friends and Bryant chartered the Southern Illinois University Climbing Club in 2005/2006 to provide an avenue for fellow students to safely learn how to climb rocks. Later on, Bryant worked with the Illinois Climbers Association to help re-ignite the group to preserve Illinois Climbing. Furthermore, he briefly served on the Board of Directors of the ICA.

After leaving Carbondale, Bryant move to Cincinnati for a graduate degree in Environmental Engineering at the University of Cincinnati (and to of course climb in the Red…). Today, Bryant is a Professional Engineer and works in consulting doing numerical modeling and computer programming. He resides in Newport, Kentucky with his inamorata and most favorite climbing partner, Brittany. If he’s not climbing on real rock, maybe you can catch him hanging from his backyard Treadwall trying to combat the forearm destroying pump of the RRG.

Adam Gregory

BOD Member
BOD Member since 2017

Andrew Jones

Public Lands Liaison
BOD Member since 2017
Photo of Andrew

Andrew is from Louisville and was first exposed to climbing while in Boy Scouts. He began climbing outside in 2008 and enjoys both sport and trad. He has climbed in Colorado, Nevada, Maine, Tennessee, Wisconsin, and, of course, Kentucky. His other hobbies include mountain and road biking and skiing. Andrew holds a Bachelor of Science in Geology from Western Kentucky University and recently completed a grant funded research project into water quality on the PMRP and MFRP. He served on the Board of Directors of Friends of Muir Valley from 2010 until 2012. Andrew lives in Southern Indiana with his wife Kate, their two dogs, two cats, and 30 chickens.

Ashlee Milanich

Executive Director
Photo of Ashlee

Ashlee discovered rock climbing in 2011 during her last semester of university, thanks to awesome friends. After graduating from the University of Kentucky with her B.A. in International Relations she went into the wild, living in her tent at Miguel's for a season. Not long after returning to civilization she found flight in the city too at Bella Forza where she trains and teaches aerial acrobatics. In her spare time she enjoys climbing, bushwhacking, contortion, yoga, 3D twister, and playing with her dog Roux. She is excited to join to RRGCC as Executive Director where she wi

Bill Strachan

Executive Director Emeritus
Photo of Bill

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.