Laura Beardsley has dedicated her career to supporting and guiding nonprofit organizations that help change lives and inspire individuals to care about the natural world including Outward Bound Philadelphia, NatureBridge, the Yosemite Conservancy, and Friends of the Inyo. A graduate of Bryn Mawr College, she first served as a volunteer instructor with DSES before joining the staff. A keen hiker, skier, biker, and lover of the outdoors, she is committed to enhancing opportunities for adaptive recreation in the Eastern Sierra while supporting the entire DSES community. She lives in Crowley with her husband and their dog, Clyde.
Cara Leonard is originally from the San Francisco Bay Area and moved to the Eastern Sierra after earning a degree in biology from the University of California Santa Barbara. A passionate skier from an early age, Cara started working and skiing in Mammoth in the early 90’s. Cara has an extensive background in instructing, staff training and ski school management with the Mammoth Mountain Ski School and at Mount Hutt in New Zealand. She has also managed training and outside operations here at DSES. In addition to being a certified Alpine instructor and examiner she also has Adaptive and Nordic certifications. In her spare time she enjoys long distance running, teaching science classes at the elementary school and international travel with her family. Cara lives in an old house with her husband Dave and their children Jack and Tess.
Marisa is a Hermosa Beach native and UC Berkeley graduate who has long felt the pull of the Eastern Sierra: as an avid skier, cyclist and backpacker who began visiting here in the 1970s; as a travel professional who has written about the region for Lonely Planet and Fodors; as a hospitality expert who served as Assistant Food + Beverage Director for Mammoth Mountain from 2011 to 2015; and as a passionate advocate who helped to establish the Eastern Sierra Conservation Corps in 2015, emerging as a recognized leader in the space of inclusive outdoor communities. As Marisa finally finds her way to calling Mammoth home, she brings a wide range of development experience, including helping to establish and grow restaurants for the likes of Susan Feniger and Wolfgang Puck, managing travel experiences for Backroads and Modern Adventure, and taking on the role of Director of Philanthropic Partnerships for the San Diego Museum of US shortly before the pandemic. Her post as Director of Development for DSES is a culminating step on a broad career path with a consistent theme: a love of working with people and a desire to nourish joy in people's lives. She is thrilled to be coming on board with DSES in its 20th year!
Mark Spieler grew up as a typical Southern California kid in San Diego and Orange County. After a friend’s family took him skiing once he was hooked on the sport and the mountains. After graduating from SDSU with a BA degree in Applied and Physical Geography, he worked in Summit County, Colorado for one season and then moved to Mammoth Lakes, where he has resided ever since. Mark started with the Mammoth Mountain Ski School in 1986. A few years after obtaining his U.S. certifications he started supervising and training for the School. In the summer months he taught skiing and trained other Instructors at the Mt. Hutt, New Zealand and Blue Cow, Australia Ski Schools. His most recent position was Training Manager for the Mammoth Mountain Ski and Snowboard School, where he oversaw training for all of the school’s Ski and Snowboard Instructors. He holds PSIA (U.S.) Level 3 Alpine, Level 2 Snowboard, Level 2 Adaptive, NZSIA (New Zealand) Stage 2 and Coaches Level 1 Certifications. He is also an Alpine Examiner for the PSIA-W.
Barb came to the east side in 2016, and has been living in Bishop ever since. After growing up in New England, she moved to California in 2014. She first taught outdoor science in southern California, then began mountain guiding out of Bishop. In the winters, she started to ski again - she grew up skiing and snowboarding at small hills in New England. Barb first volunteered with DSES in 2017-18. After that first winter of volunteering, she was excited to join the staff the following season! Then after a summer of volunteering, she joined the summer staff in 2020. Barb brings with her a passion for working with people - teaching them skills, connecting with each individual as best as possible and having fun in an outdoor learning environment. She has her PSIA Level 2 Alpine and Level 1 Adaptive certifications. Along with loving most all things outdoor related activities, she also enjoys petting friendly dogs and puzzles.
Originally from Anaheim Hills, CA, Emily Estremo has been skiing recreationally at Mammoth since she was about 5 years old. Emily graduated from California State University Fullerton in spring 2014 with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Kinesiology with an emphasis in clinical exercise science and pre-allied health. As a part of her graduation requirements, she took on the internship at DSES. “What a way to end college!” she exclaimed. Emily spent four years working at a children’s science museum in Southern California. “It really brought a love and need to teach children, but not in a classroom environment,” she said. “I have to be actively doing something and moving around, it is impossible for me to sit still for more than 20 minutes.” Emily loves the cold weather and said that being on a mountain is her paradise. Emily is a skier, but also recently started learning how to snowboard.
Finance and Admin Specialist
Originally from Central California, Chelsea Goodwin moved east to Yosemite National Park in 2015 to pursue her passions. She has experience in administrative work for the Yosemite Mountaineering School and the Nordic Cross-Country Ski Center at the Badger Pass Ski Area. She then spent a year in New Zealand in 2018, obtaining a certificate in New Zealand Alpine Resort Operations from Cardrona Alpine Resort. She enjoys travelling, hiking, backpacking, paddle-boarding and ice skating in her off time, as well as spending time with her boyfriend and her dog, Mickey.
Katherine Landau was born and raised in Los Angeles, California. She began skiing at Mammoth Mountain with her family in the late 1970’s. After working as an Architect in San Francisco and Santa Monica, Kat became a Casting Director. She began her journey with DSES in 2007 as a volunteer and became a staff member for the 2008/2009 ski season. She then returned to Southern California to go back to graduate school to pursue a career in teaching. She received a K-12 Special Education Moderate-Severe teaching credential in 2012 from California State University, Northridge with a focus on inclusive education. She worked as a special educator in Los Angeles Unified School District in elementary and middle schools. She also taught at an adult education program at The Midnight Mission, a homeless shelter and rehabilitation center on Skid Row in downtown Los Angeles. She returned to Mammoth Lakes in 2019 and resumed teaching skiing and mountain biking as a volunteer for DSES. She helped pilot a first ever inclusive program with DSES and the Mammoth Mountain Ski and Snowboard Team where she supported and coached a 9-year-old boy with Autism on the Mammoth Mountain Ski Team. She rejoined the staff at DSES in May of 2023 as their Inclusion Specialist.
Communications and Outreach Specialist
Jake Myhre has spent the last 10+ years of his life in the Sierra. He has enjoyed years of climbing, hiking, skiing and biking before joining DSES as a summer instructor. After growing up in Minnesota and graduating from Drake University he quickly moved west to Yosemite National Park. Starting his occupation at the High Sierra Camps deep in the national parks’ backcountry before becoming a backpacking guide, raft guide, photographer and videographer. Jake is excited to work with DSES and the adaptive community in the Eastern Sierra.
Emily Jones grew up in Ventura County, CA, visiting Mammoth Lakes often for summer and winter recreation. While finishing her Bachelor's degree in Kinesiology-Exercise Science, she came to DSES as a student intern for the 21-22' winter season. She has always been interested in adaptive recreation, with most of her experience coming from her time spent working at Ride On Therapeutic Horsemanship, a non-profit organization that provides adaptive horseback riding! Emily also volunteered as a swim coach for Special Olympics, and completed coursework specific to adaptive exercise programming. After completion of her internship, Emily was delighted to join the DSES team as a year-round staff instructor! After a season-ending injury in February of 2023, Emily transitioned into the Executive Assistant position.
Brendan Steinman is an Alpine Level 2 Instructor with PSIA. He comes to DSES with 8 years experience at the Mammoth Ski and Snowboard School. His good nature and passion for teaching recreational activities makes him a good fit for the DSES family. Having fun, teaching, learning and safety are his forte. You may even hear him singing in the halls or on the snow...
Wyatt Bettis was born and raised in Redondo Beach, California. He started skiing at the age of three and has been hooked since then. Wyatt was an intern with DSES the winter of 15/16 and finished up his Recreation Administration Degree at Humboldt State University. He was a staff instructor in the winter of 2019 and relocated back to Humboldt for the past few years due to Covid. He is back now as a year-round staff and a winter instructor. He is excited to be back and able to enjoy all the things the Eastern Sierras have to offer.
Mary Toomey is an avid sailor, skier, climber, and hiker from Ventura County, CA. Having learned to ski at age 3 at Mammoth Mountain, Mary has been returning to the Eastern Sierra ever since. She has always enjoyed combining her passion for the environment with sports, earning her B.S. in Physical Geography from UC Santa Barbara while competing on the UCSB Varsity Sailing Team. She's spent the last 10 years teaching sailing and is excited to continue fostering outdoor enthusiasm at DSES. When she's not working, you can find Mary at the local crag, trivia night, or enjoying lake days with her guitar and a dog to pet.
Second Chance Thrift Shop, Manager
Cai Lepre has managed Second Chance Thrift Shop since 2013. She was originally from the San Francisco Bay Area. She moved to Mammoth Lakes in 1982 and has called this home ever since. Professionally, she has worked in the music business, print and runway modeling, tourism, interior design, real estate and sales and marketing. Her hobbies are hiking, dancing, fishing and skiing. She’s involved with volunteering for many organizations in the Mammoth Lakes community. Her son, Jesse, was born in Mammoth Hospital in 1986 and her daughter, Kalyn, was born in 1988. She raised both her children in Mammoth Lakes. She brings both her personal and professional experience to Second Chance Thrift Shop.