Board & Staff


Michaela Idhammar-Ketpura
Executive Director

Executive Director, Michaela, hails from Sweden but moved to North Carolina as a kid. She grew up swimming, running, and traveling with her family. She graduated from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a degree in Journalism and Mass Communication. While at UNC-CH she spent time volunteering with youth in her local community and also lived in South Africa through the Fulbright Multimedia Program and interned at National Geographic Adventure Magazine. After graduating, she moved to Peru to work for an NGO before heading back to Sweden where she worked in tv and movie production. In 2010 she moved to Colorado and in 2011 to Aspen where she worked for several nonprofits before landing at Aspen Youth Center in 2015. Her goal is to support all youth in becoming strong, resilient, awesome humans.

Sarah Berryman
Marketing and Development Coordinator
Sarah moved to Aspen from Atlanta in 2021 after graduating from Auburn University with a degree in Communications. She was on the cross country team at Auburn her Freshman year and continues to train for half-marathons and 5ks in her free time. She is a huge Red Sox fan and loves to watch sports. Sarah is passionate about teaching financial literacy, helping kids find physical outlets they enjoy, and supporting all youth in their development.
Claire Hemme
Program Manager

Currently pursuing a Masters in Clinical Mental Health, Claire is committed to integrating her knowledge of therapeutic techniques with her passion for recreational activities. Her goal is to become a recreational therapist, utilizing the healing power of outdoor adventures and structured programs to support young people in their emotional and mental well-being journeys.

In her role as Program Manager, Claire oversees the development and implementation of programs that blend recreational activities with life skills and mental health support, ensuring that each youth has the opportunity to grow, learn, and thrive in a safe and nurturing environment.
Outside of work, Claire enjoys exploring new sections of river, practicing digital art, and engaging with her community. She believes in the transformative impact of nature and strives to inspire others to discover their inner strength and resilience through outdoor experiences.

Board of Directors

Oliver Sharpe
Board President

Aspen Youth Center’s Board President, Oliver, is from Mount Vernon, VA and has lived in Aspen for 20 years. He first became involved with Aspen Youth Center back in 2013, when he was a contestant in AYC’s annual fundraiser, “Spell What”. During this event, he won the trophy against an incredibly tough field of spellers, and AYC offered him a seat on the Board. Dramatically impacting the lives of local kids and their families through year round programming, Oliver feels that Aspen Youth Center is important because “it’s a place where kids can be kids while establishing strong relationships with their peers. Their parents know they are safe and continuing to learn outside of school from our amazing staff”. Oliver’s favorite thing about AYC is seeing the kids that he has known since they were in elementary school continue on to college to start the next chapter of their lives. A fun fact about Oliver is that he once hijacked the gondola to stop a wedding at the Sundeck.

Teddy Farrell
Board Vice President

Teddy grew up in Snowmass, CO and came back in 2007 to settle here in the valley. Teddy’s involvement with Aspen Youth Center began when he was an attendee back in the 90’s when AYC was located by Rio Grande Park in town. Attending AYC as a youth and now serving as a Board member, Teddy has special insight and believes that AYC’s biggest impact is “providing a free, fun and safe place for students to gather, play and learn when school or other extracurricular activities aren’t an option”. His favorite thing about AYC is the profound impact that the organization has had on so many young people over the 30 year history, many thanks to the tremendous support of the community. As a youth, Teddy enjoyed playing sports and being outdoors with friends. Fun fact: Teddy is secretly sad over the fact that he is now too old to participate in AYC dodgeball.

Andrew Reed
Board Treasurer

Andrew is originally from Longmont, CO and has been living in Aspen since 2018. He first became involved with Aspen Youth Center after hearing about the mission through Executive Director, Michaela, when they both served on the board of another nonprofit. Andrew believes that Aspen Youth Center’s biggest impact is helping the kids have a safe place to go. He believes that it not only provides a very unique resource for kids, but that it also provides an excellent resource for parents, given the continuous rise of childcare costs. A fun fact about Andrew is that he is attempting to do 1.5M human powered vertical feet in 2021 between backcountry skiing and biking!

Anne Marie McPhee
Board Secretary

Anne is originally from Aspen, CO and has lived in Aspen for 54 years. She was originally connected to Aspen Youth Center through her work with the Pitkin County Sheriff with regards to other kid related discussions in the valley. Anne loves AYC because it gives kids a safe place to be themselves, all while having fun. Her favorite thing about AYC is seeing how excited the kids are when they reach 4th grade and can finally come to hang. A fun fact about Anne is that she first played dodgeball at the Red Brick back when the Red Brick was still a school!

Kevin Hagerty
Board Member

Kevin Hagerty moved to Aspen in 1986 from Westchester County, New York. Kevin was on the Board of Directors for Aspen Elks Lodge and noticed that the Elks often gave money to Aspen Youth Center. Wanting to further contribute, Kevin then joined the board for Aspen Youth Center. Kevin appreciates Aspen Youth Center because of the fact that it allows kids to be in a safe space that encourages learning and exercise, while also being supported by amazing adult staff. Kevin’s daughter was able to attend AYC as a youth, and if Kevin could have participated as a kid, he would have enjoyed the cooking classes, dodgeball, kickball, and rafting and skiing field trips. A fun fact about Kevin is that he never thought that he would have a career in the ski business considering he did not know how to ski when he first moved out here!

Emery Holton
Board Member

Originally from Philadelphia, PA, Emery moved out to Aspen in 2011 right after college and never left! She was connected to AYC through a friend, fellow board member Spencer McKnight, and immediately wanted to get involved and help. She believes AYC’s biggest impact is providing a safe space for kids in our valley who would otherwise have nowhere to go. Emery’s favorite thing about AYC is the staff because of their dedication towards serving AYC’s youth. A fun fact about Emery is that she played squash for the US Team.

Olivia VanDomelen
Board Member

Olivia was born and raised in Aspen and served as a part of the AYC Student Board when she was in high school. After moving back to Aspen with her now husband, she was reintroduced to the AYC through the annual fundraising events. With Olivia’s event planning background, and love for the Aspen community, she knew she wanted to get involved. Olivia believes AYC’s greatest impact is that it is a fun, safe and easily accessible place for youth to go in the Roaring Fork Valley. Olivia grew up competitively ski racing and loved spending her days out on the mountains. Fun fact about Olivia is that she is now married her highschool sweetheart.

Lynn Whitmer
Board Member

Lynn was born in Evansville, IN and grew up there until moving to Aspen after she graduated from Indiana University in 1971. Anne saw that this community was in much need of a place for kids to hang and have a safe place to be, and quickly became involved since she also had two daughters who were of the age to enjoy a place like AYC. Anne enjoyed all the outdoor activities as a kid, and a fun fact about her is that she used to teach synchronized swimming at a YMCA camp!

Julie Friedman
Board Member

Julie was born and raised in Santa Monica, CA and she grew up spending most of her free time in Aspen. Julie got involved with Aspen Youth Center in January 2021, when her organization, Aspen Learning Center, partnered with AYC to help raise funds and provide tutoring to all kids. Julie loves AYC because it provides a variety of programming for kids to grow and learn and is “an incredibly safe space for kids to be themselves while being supervised by amazing role models”. Her favorite part about AYC is experiencing the wave of good energy whenever she walks through the doors. A fun fact about Julie is that she has traveled to Papua New Guinea.

Spencer McKnight
Board Member

Spencer is from Aurora, CO and has been living in Aspen for 16 years. Spencer first became involved with Aspen Youth Center by helping to produce the annual fundraiser, Family Feud. During this involvement, he witnessed how important the mission of AYC is to the valley and was inspired to join the board immediately. Spencer’s favorite thing about AYC is the organization’s impact on the community through its offering of a safe place for kids when they aren’t in school. He mentioned that “the fact that we can raise enough money to make it free for our kids and their families in the same community is amazing”. He appreciates the family it creates through youth and staff involvement and interaction. If Spencer were to have attended AYC as a youth, he would have participated in all the sports activities, both organized and pickup. A fun fact about Spencer is that he likes pizza more than he likes most people 😉

Eric Cohen
Board Member

Eric is originally from Montreal, Canada and has lived in this valley since 1989. He was recruited to be a part of the Board for Aspen Youth Center and believes that AYC’s biggest impact is providing activities and lightly structured supervision to kids who might otherwise be home alone. His favorite thing about Aspen Youth Center is the inclusive, nonjudgmental attitude of the entire program. Eric’s favorite childhood activity was skiing, and if he attended AYC as a youth he would have enjoyed playing dodgeball. A fun fact about Eric is that he can recite the original BigMac promotional ad backwards.

Rick Head
Board Member

Rick grew up in Great Neck, NY and has lived in Aspen for 53 years. Rick was originally on the Board of Directors for the Aspen Substance Abuse Project, which was formed to combat after school thievery and drug use. Four years later and after years of fundraising, this program became Aspen Youth Center, where Rick chose to continue on as a member of the Board. Rick appreciates Aspen Youth Center because it is clean, structured and provides mentorship to youth. His favorite activities as a kid involved after school sports, and something to note about Rick is that he still loves to dance!

Billy Boyd
Board Member
I’m from Telluride and got involved through some friends who are currently on the board. I taught for eleven years and saw AYC as the perfect place for students to spend time after school productively. AYC is also a terrific resource for working parents. My favorite activities were always sports, and I had practice every day after school. I’ve lived in Aspen for 16 years, but I don’t know what all the activities at AYC are. One of my favorite things about AYC is its location. It’s so accessible for students at the public school. A fun fact about me is that I won a Saltine eating contest in high school.