Our Mission: The Friends of MWAC is a non profit organization specifically dedicated to supporting the Mount Washington Avalanche Center and its programs. We achieve this mission through donations, sponsorships, grants and by hosting fundraising events.

Read more about the Avalanche Center’s programs or visit their website.

Friends of MWAC Board of Directors
Bill Downey   John Knieriem   Marta Downing   Nick Diana   Micum Davis   Craig Taylor   Peter Miller   Bruce Sommers

Bill Downey
Bill has an extensive and successful history in entrepreneurship and in working with non-profit organizations. Owner/operator of several small businesses, most notably Portsmouth Kayak Adventures Inc. Bill’s volunteer involvement has included Taste of The Nation, NH Coast, FOTR, Banff Film Festival, NH Priorities, and Pirates of Portsmouth Regatta. Although he annually migrates to the Beehive state in search of deep pow, he is equally passionate about the White Mountains and all they have to offer. Bill’s is excited about developing the new group, and working closely in partnership with the community and the MWAC.


John Knieriem
John is the Director for the Mt. Washington Volunteer Ski Patrol. He joined MWVSP in 1988 and has been director since 1994. His love of and dedication to Tuckerman Ravine is unparalleled. Recently, John received a Volunteer Award for his efforts in this unique alpine community. In the early season you will often find him mingling among the crowd at the Hermit Lake Shelters; later in the season you might find John staffing an information table at the AMC Pinkham Notch Visitor Center, and when the snow has melted off enjoying biking and kayaking on the coast with his wife.


Marta Downing
New England is Marta’s Playground. Marta left a career as a Wall Street Executive after tiring of wearing holes in the elbows of her shirts and sweaters and staring at computer monitors. She decided to reset her moral compass to spend more time following her outdoor passions and rep lines reflective of them. It wouldn’t be unlikely to see Marta and her trusted canine companion Gus on one of her treks in the Presidentials. From the Gulf of Slides to Kings Ravine and just about everything in between, Marta has covered it all. She has also skied, surfed, and cycled in Europe, British Columbia and Asia but considers New England to always be her home.

Nick Diana
As a Vermont native the hills came alive early to Nick at age 2, when he started skiing. He has been a sales rep, is a certified ski instructor and last year completed in the ski leg of the Inferno race held on Mt. Washington. One plank or two, he’s always up for an alpine adventure. That’s Nick running the race with his helmet cam. You can check out his run on YouTube. Beyond his athletic accomplishments, he has started an Outing Club, and more recently an Eat Locally business on the NH Seacoast.. Currently Nick is employed as a coordinator for an NHL team and on his off days can be found captioning his boat, and kicking back on waterways of the Piscataqua river.


Micum Davis
Micum is very active both socially and professionally in his community. Always the
outdoor enthusiast, his passion for ski racing, bike racing, and hiking lead him into the active niche of tree care where his office moves daily from tree to tree around the seacoast. Micum is equally passionate about preservation and is involved with many efforts associated with sustainability – NH Coast, and Eco Movement being just two of them. Although this high energy guy rips it up on the snow whenever he can, deep down hes a true “Loafer”.


Craig Taylor
Bio and photo coming soon.

Peter Miller
Pete was initially a flat-lander until he started spending all of his free time in the White Mountains. Peter received his Bachelors of Science in Environmental Geography. He is an avid rock and ice climber and backcountry skier. A true ambassador to the outdoors, Pete is a backpacking instructor for AMC, guide for IMCS, and caretaker since March 2011.

Bruce Sommers
Bruce brings a unique and interesting blend of academic and practical experience to the group. Bruce has been teaching graduate courses in Entrepreneurship and Private Equity/Venture Capital at the Whittemore School of Business at UNH and Economics over the past nine years and at the University of Illinois in Springfield for the past two years. His research, published in academic journals and popular press, primarily focuses on emerging business start-ups. Bruce has founded four businesses and has been a founding director of a multitude of others. He is currently managing director of NextGen Ventures where he leads a portfolio of companies in various sectors as energy operations, software, agriculture, retail and real estate. Bruce is also founder of the Kindle Fund, a socially responsible investment fund that promotes community development through the development of dynamic social entrepreneurs. While an avid endurance and adventure racer, he is most passionate about backcountry skiing and mountaineering.

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