About the Foundation

Jackson Hole is known for its natural beauty and world-class outdoor sports. However, there is a large population of children living in poverty who are not included in the outdoor activities that the children of other economic groups enjoy.  In an effort to create an integrated community where all our children thrive, the Doug Coombs Foundation provides an opportunity for children to join their peers on the ski slopes and in year round outdoor activities in Jackson Hole.

This past winter the Doug Coombs Foundation enrolled 180 children in winter long ski instruction programs. This was made possible thanks to the amazing support we receive from our sponsors, grants, and our generous individual donors. We all care about these children and believe that a diverse and integrated community where all children play together is important to everyone.

It is clear that what we are doing is working and that Jackson is on the path to becoming a more integrated community. Please join us and help us in going forward with this important mission.

We Are Committed To:

  • Breaking down cultural and economic barriers
  • Early intervention
  • Encouraging children to believe that anything is possible
  • Building friendships through shared adventures
  • The importance of experiencing profound joy
  • Improved academic performance through increased self confidence
  • Cultivating a healthy lifestyle and a passion for nature and the outdoors

The Coombs Path

An illustrated guide to how we use skiing to break down the barriers of class and race

hover over each image to learn more

  • “History will define us by the difference we make in the everyday lives of children”

    Nelson Mandela
  • The foundation is more than skiing. It helps children become part of the community and understand the importance of giving back.

    More than skiing
  • My kids started coming home and asking why I wasn’t skiing with them. So I tried and now they’ve changed my view of winter. I love the snow!

    I love the snow!
  • We are giving these kids a tool — how to express themselves and overcome obstacles. We help them feel like they belong here.

    Giving these kids a tool
  • Now that I ski, I understand why people here love it so much. I feel like a part of the Jackson community.

    Now that I ski
  • It’s fun to be outside with my friends skiing. Before, we stayed inside and watched TV.

    Fun to be outside

Our History

While raising her son, David, in Jackson, Emily Coombs noticed a major issue facing the community:

Children from low-income families were almost entirely absent from the outdoor activities that define the small mountain town of Jackson Hole.

Emily observed that there was a growing population of working class families that lacked the resources to participate in Jackson’s signature sport of skiing.

 

Troubled by the realization that Jackson was evolving into a segregated community, and fearing the negative situations that would inevitably develop in the near future, Emily began to seek solutions. Her idea was simple: By providing opportunities for children of low income families to get into skiing the community would become a more integrated, healthy and happy place for everyone. Through skiing, Emily hoped to provide the tools these children needed to lift themselves out of poverty and achieve their maximum potential.

 

In September 2012, Emily launched the Doug Coombs Foundation. In the first year, Emily enrolled 28 children in the Snow King Winter Sports School, providing ski rentals, ski instruction and lift tickets out of her own savings. Hearing about the fledgling project, Doug Coombs’ devoted sponsors K2, Marmot, and Smith offered their support. The pilot program was so successful that stories of the happy kids on skis began to attract attention locally and nationwide. An influx of donations allowed the program to double in size the following year and to expand into activities outside the ski season.

 

In an effort to keep the children active and engaged in the community year-round, the Foundation began providing support for other activities such as soccer, rock climbing, and hiking. In 2014/15, with an operating budget of $180,000, the Doug Coombs Foundation enrolled 123 children and 25 of their parents in the Snow King Winter Sports School program. The Foundation also provided ski equipment for 10 low-income students in the Colter Elementary School Alpine Skiing Program and launched a pilot program providing a day of skiing for 15 children of the Wind River Indian Reservation.

 

Thanks to the support of the Doug Coombs Foundation, a total of 180 children skied this past winter.

 

The growing success of the Doug Coombs Foundation is 100% reliant on grants and corporate sponsorship, as well as the generous financial support from Jackson locals and people all around the United States who believe in our mission.

Program Growth

2013 28 Kids
2014 75 Kids
2015 153 Kids
2016 180 Kids

The Doug Coombs Foundation is a 501 (c)(3) Non-Profit in Wyoming.

Click on the names below to learn more about the awesome people that make the DCF possible.

Staff

While living and raising her son in Jackson Hole, Emily noticed that, though there was a large and vibrant population of Latino children, very few of them were skiing, unlike most of the other local children. Nor were they participating in other, off-season, sports organizations. Emily found this disparity inexcusable, especially in a town with so much wealth, natural resources and opportunity for all. The solution seemed simple: find a way to provide under-served children the opportunity to ski. After 25 years skiing with her late husband, Doug Coombs, and via their shared ski businesses, Emily possesses a wealth of knowledge and the skills required that have enable her to offer better lives for these children by developing The Doug Coombs Foundation, which targets children from low income families and offers them the opportunity to ski.

 

Since childhood, Emily has dreamed that someday she could help, in her own way, make the world a better place for those who are victims of racial segregation and poverty.  She had also wanted to do something to preserve the memory of her late husband. Now was the ideal time to both create a legacy for Doug Coombs, while providing children of limited resources the opportunity to learn to ski in a town where skiing is a pastime for the majority of our youth. In this way Emily hopes to help improve the lives of all children living in Jackson by integrating children from all economic classes and ethnicities through empowerment provided by fun, active outdoor activities.

Board of Directors

Sandy is a passionate marketer, social entrepreneur and teacher. She spent the first seven years of her career in brand management at Procter & Gamble – learning to view the world through customers’ eyes and building brands and programs that best meet their needs. She then switched her focus to the social and non-profit worlds. A member of the Imagitas founding team (a marketing services company that focused on public service through private enterprise), she led the build out of the organizational plan for a highly successful business. In 1998, Imagitas received a prestigious “Hammer Award” from then Vice President Al Gore for helping build a government that works better and costs less. In 2005, the company was acquired by Pitney Bowes. Over the past twenty-eight years, Sandy has been an instructor at the college level in the fields of leadership, marketing, entrepreneurship and communications. Most recently, Sandy served as Assistant Dean at Harvard Kennedy School running the career services and internship office. Prior to going to the Kennedy School, she was teaching “Marketing for Social Change” at Tufts University and running an Entrepreneurial Training Program through the Center for Women & Enterprise. She has also done significant leadership, teamwork, fundraising and strategy training in both the private and non-profit sectors – past clients include NASA, General Motors and the Center for Women & Enterprise. Consistently, Sandy is able to help people create a vision and make it happen, whether individually or organizationally. Sandy has an undergraduate degree in Political Science and Communications from Northwestern University, a Master’s degree in Organizational Behavior / Communications from Miami University (of Ohio) and a mid-career Master’s degree in Public Administration from the Harvard Kennedy School. She served on the board of the Center for Women & Enterprise in Boston, on the Alumni Advisory Board at Northwestern University and as a strategic advisor to Bantwana, an organization dedicated to helping orphans and vulnerable children in Africa thrive. She is the past Vice Chairman of the Lincoln Massachusetts School Board. She stays active with her family of 5 children and many pets. They are all active snowboarders, rock climbers and adventurers.

Sam grew up ski racing in Vermont, graduated from Dartmouth College with a degree in English & Spanish literatures, and has called Wyoming home for the past 10 years.  Sam & his wife recently welcomed a baby girl to their family.  The Doug Coombs Foundation combines Sam’s loves of the outdoors, community, languages & skiing.  Sam will help the DCF prosper with his years of experience managing a dynamic guest services team at Spring Creek Ranch, and his current business development experience managing finances & operations for a growing software development company.

Amy Patel moved to Jackson, WY in 2014 with her husband and three children after living in Washington, DC for over 20 years. She earned her BA at Trinity College, CT and her MBA at the University of MD. She worked at the Smithsonian Institution, US Auto Manufacturing Trade Association and US Airways, where she helped develop the first generation web sites to book travel and airport kiosks. Currently, she takes care of her three school age children. In her free time, Amy enjoys hiking and skiing. Amy also serves on the board of the City Kids Wilderness Foundation in Jackson, WY.

Mr. Winder serves as CEO ofPolygon Investment Management, a fund management firm which he founded in 2002.Previously, he led the Middle East team at Schroder Investment Management,where he oversaw in excess of $3 billion of client assets. Mr. Winder lived in London for 14years, where he was Head of Global Sales and Marketing for Credit Suisse AssetManagement. Previously, he led business development in Europe and the MiddleEast at Bankers Trust Investment Management. Mr. Winder started his career as an economist in the Foreign Department of the Federal Reserve Bank of NY,focusing on energy, the Middle East and central bank relations. He later worked as an analyst for Brown Brothers Harriman. Mr. Winder has written and spoken extensively about fund management and asset allocation for various publications including: Institutional Investor Magazine, the Middle East Economic Digest, Les Echos,and Pensions World. He has appeared on Television numerous times for Bloomberg, and MBC among others. He is aSenior Advisor to the Albright Stonebridge Group and serves as Vice Chairman of the Board of Trustees, and Chair of the Investment Committee, of the AmericanUniversity of Beirut. He is also a member of Renaissance, is on the Board of GeorgetownUniversity’s Center for Contemporary Arab Studies, and is a member of the Bretton Woods Committee. Additionally, he is a founder and former director of Zawya and has acted as a consultant to Kissinger Associates and The Chase Bank. He earned an M.S. in Foreign Service from Georgetown University and a B.A. from Haverford College. Mr. Winder speaksFrench and conversational Arabic. He is based in Jackson Hole Wyoming, andPrinceton, NJ.

Daniela Botur has been a resident in Jackson on and off for 25 years She lived during this period in Mexico for 15 years where all 3 of her children were born and raised until 5 years ago when she returned to Jackson. Her deep connection to theLatino culture is her inspiration in participating in meaningful projects that nurture and serve this community. She served on the board of the LatinoResource Center for 4 years and initiated the Cuenta Conmigo program that provided services to assisted children and their families in developing greater skills of emotional intelligence in group settings to assist them in pursuing their highest potential and goals. She values the mission of the Doug CoombsFoundation for offering experiences to children that give them an opportunity to grow and integrate in ways that would otherwise not be accessible. Her 15 year old daughter assists kids in the ski program and is passionate about seeing the smiles and sense of adventure and accomplishment the kids radiate.
Daniela is a holistic practitioner with a focus on sound healing and meditation using crystal singing bowls and her business Lotus Vibes is located in downtown Jackson. “I love being a part of an organization that recognizes the disparity in our community and is focused on creating joyful and meaningful experiences that have a positive impact for the community as a whole”

Doug Coombs

Like so many children in Jackson today, Doug Coombs developed a passion for alpine skiing at an early age. That early drive turned into a lifelong obsession, enabling Doug to become one of the most respected pioneers of extreme skiing in the world.

 

Doug’s legendary passion for skiing has been captured in thousands of photos, hours of footage, and endless stories told and retold by skiers all around the world. Whether in the remote backcountry, or in ski resorts throughout the world, modern skiing is connected to the tracks Doug Coombs left behind.

Doug spent his free time perfecting his turns at the local ski hill of Nashoba valley outside of Boston, Massachusetts. That early passion evolved into a lifelong obsession that spurred Doug to become one of the most respected pioneers of adventure skiing in the world. This enabled him to have an impact on the many people he touched throughout his life.

Doug’s masterful skiing was matched with an innate gift to connect with others. His buzzing personality quickly earned the respect and trust of all those around him. In the mountains, his magnetism grew into something truly magical. Doug could impart a level of confidence in his fellow skiers that they could not source on their own, helping them achieve moments in the mountains that will reverberate for a lifetime.

Today, the Doug Coombs Foundation carries on the legacy of helping others achieve their highest potential. The passion of Doug Coombs is passed down to these children as they experience the thrill of skiing and grow to believe that anything is possible.

Thank you Doug,

We miss you

The official Doug Coombs Biography

By Robert Cocuzzo

Arguably the greatest adventure skier to ever live, Doug Coombs pioneered hundreds of first descents down the biggest, steepest, most dangerous mountains in the world. Order your copy today!

Order

Select proceeds go to support the Doug Coombs Foundation

Doug in the Media