Westminster Woods Staff
Change is always a constant at The Woods, and the staff and board are all deeply committed to the continued growth and success of our programs, and to the goal of ensuring a positive experience for every person, young and not-so-young, who crosses our bridge. The future of this sacred sanctuary we call The Woods is filled with opportunity!
Chris was chosen to be The Woods' Executive Director in 2014, having already served on an interim basis for a year. Aside from his duties at Westminster Woods, Chris serves as Ruling Commissioned Elder for The Presbyterian Church of the Roses in Santa Rosa, and has owned his own full-service construction company for over 30 years. He moved from Southern California to Sonoma County in 1981 to attend Sonoma State University, where he received his BA degree in Commercial Recreation. Chris has a true love of the outdoors, and spends much of his free time riding the back roads of Sonoma County on his bicycle. He met his wife Liz while on a bike trip to the Grand Canyon and the two have been married for 35 years. Together, they have two adult daughters, Allison and Monika, who have many fond memories of their experiences attending camp at The Woods.
Bec Detrich is a leader in the field of Environmental Education. Prior to joining Westminster Woods, Bec led the Field Science program at NatureBridge, Golden Gate. Additionally, she has worked within the field of environmental education in Yosemite, on Catalina, throughout the East Coast as well as in Australia. In her time she has developed marine science and climate change programing, led teacher trainings, developed stewardship projects within the National Parks and built collaborative relationships with a variety of private and public organizations. Bec holds a bachelor's degree from Willamette University where she majored in Environmental Science and a master's degree in Biology focusing on community-based conservation and global leadership from Miami University. Bec is an active member in the Sonoma Environmental Education Collaborative and was named a 2015 Grosvenor Teacher Fellow by National Geographic and Lindblad Expeditions.
Aimee Studer grew up just 15 minutes down the road in the outskirts of Santa Rosa. She has a bachelors degree from California State University, Sacramento. Previously the Junior High Youth Director and the College Director at Carmichael Presbyterian Church, Aimee has always had a passion for youth ministry. Aimee has been involved with Westminster Woods for many years, first as a High School camper, summer staffer and year-round staff. She returned in 2011 to Co-Direct Ministries along side husband Chris Studer.
Chris Studer has worked in the church for over twenty years, in ministry leadership with youth and young adults, and as a contemporary worship music director. Chris attended Westminster Woods as a summer camper and later served for five summers on Summer Staff. In 2011 he returned as Co-Director of Ministries with his wife, Aimee. Chris is a pianist and singer from Sacramento California. After earning an A.A. degree and certificate in jazz studies from American River College he attended Berklee College of Music where he graduated summa cum laude with a B.M. in piano performance.
Liz is from Queens, New York. and moved to Santa Rosa to attend SRJC and then Sonoma State University, where she earned a BA in BUsiness Management. She has done office work for “not for” and “for” profit businesses for over 25 years. Liz is married to Chris Rhodes and together they have two adult children and one adorable granddaughter. Liz and Chris attend Presbyterian Church of the Roses in Santa Rosa. For fun, Liz enjoys live music and free style solo dance.
Gayle has been creating healthy, great tasting food for Westminster Woods for over 15 years. Born with a spatula in her hand, Gayle has worked backstage creating food for entertainers such as Ray Charles and BB King. Her vision of having an outdoor classroom and garden has come to life with the help of the Center for Nature and Christian Sprituality. Her hobbies include cruising farmer's markets, botanical gardens and continuing her education in health and food connections.
Mark grew up in Michigan, and has decades of camp and nonprofit experience. He handles a variety of duties at The Woods, from managing Guest Group rentals to coordinating our communications/marketing functions and our IT network. Mark and his family live in Sebastopol, and he loves hiking the California hills any chance he gets.
'Lion' has been involved in camps since he was very little, first attending boy scout and church camps back in Ohio. He starting working at Chief Logan Reservation, the greatest boy scout camp in the world, as soon as he was sixteen. Since then, he has helped run programs for Ohio University's Teens on Campus, the Coloma Outdoor Discovery School, Point Reyes Summer Camp, the Outdoor School at Rancho Alegre and now Westminster Woods. Seth has worked as a Teacher Naturalist and Environmental Education Coordinator at The Woods and is now our School Programs Manager, assuring that things run smoothly and that students and teachers alike have a fantastic experience while they're here.
Jessica originally joined the Challenge Course team in the spring of 2008 as a facilitator. Since that time she has enthusiastically dived into the challenge course/adventure industry (sometimes literally, with a parachute) and finds great fulfillment in working outdoors, with diverse groups of humans, and helping people face their fears. As a certified Massage Therapist and Nutritional Educator she has a passion for healing and a holistic life approach, and views the challenge course as an effective platform to facilitate psychological and emotional growth. When she's not busy influencing people to do ridiculous, scary, or comfort-zone-expanding things, you can find her on dance floors, in her sewing studio, doing her own ridiculous and scary things in front of a video camera, giving really good high-fives, or basking in the sun. Her superhero power is her valiant ability to make up outrageous but potentially believable information on the fly, and if she were a kitchen appliance she'd be a blender.
Lupe leads the Housekeeping staff, making sure camp is always looking its best. She has been with Westminster Woods for over 15 years.
Tony has a passion for the Ministry at Westminster Woods where he has played a crucial part as Buildings and Grounds Supervisor for over 20 years. Tony is very active at Spring Hills Community Church where he plays softball. He has two daughters with his wife Teresa.
Paige holds a BS in Environmental and Resource Science from UC Davis, and owns a wealth of administrative and program-related experience -- with companies like Zipcar and work as a consultant with the Russian River Watershed Association. She also has had a hand in education and worked as an Education Intern with Sonoma County Regional Parks, as a Youth Team Supervisor for Conservation Corps.
Cassie Carroll recently graduated from The Seattle School of Theology and Psychology with a Master's of Divinity. Her desire is to help people see God in the midst of life - especially when it feels as though God is not present. Cassie is thankful to have been guided to a new congregation to serve as the Director of Young Adults and Family Ministries, at the Presbyterian Church of the Roses, in Santa Rosa, CA. Her hope of finding a church that God wants her to serve at and learn from has come true. Cassie is excited to partner with PCOR - a church who loves God and seeks to bring more of the Kingdom to Earth by partnering with the Holy Spirit in the work that has already begun. Cassie also started The Listening in Place Project, in August 2016. She is collecting stories from church planters, practitioners, pastors, social entrepreneurs, and theologians throughout the United States that are rethinking the way we “do” church. These stories provide hope to the Church that has lost a sense of what it means to belong to each other.
Katie was born and raised in the small town of Portland, Connecticut. She earned her bachelor's degree from the University of Connecticut in both Psychology and Human Development & Family Studies. Katie has worked as a Teacher Naturalist in Cape Cod, New York, and South Carolina. She came to The Woods in 2015 and worked as a Teacher Naturalist for two years. She has now transitioned to be a part of our office staff as the Guest Services/Communications Associate.