The Heart of the Rockies - Chaffee County, Colorado
Board of Directors
Diane Cannella, Board Member –
I grew up in Upstate New York and then lived in Florida for many years where I met my husband, Jim. We moved to Colorado (Littleton) in 2007 and just love the Colorado landscape and weather. We took a road trip one weekend to Salida and fell in love with the town and said, “We could live here” and in 2016 we made that move and absolutely love it.
I have spent my career in Corporate Accounting/Compliance including the last 17 years in Compliance consulting. Consulting has allowed me to partially retire, and I expect to make that full time retirement in 2023. I discovered Pickleball about 4 years ago and found it to be an easy transition from tennis and to be a new passion for me. I plan for the extra time to be gained with full time retirement to be spent with my husband traveling and exploring other parts of Colorado and the West as well as increasing my time spent on the Pickleball court, riding my bike, working on my flowers/plants, and socializing with all the great friends I have met in Salida.
I have assisted with the Peak-to-Peak Pickleball tournaments, and I look forward to expanding my support of this wonderful club by serving on the Board of Directors. Pickleball is such a popular and growing sport, and it is great to be a part of the Pickleball community.
Cheryl Piderit, Secretary
Lucky for me, I am a Colorado native born in Denver and raised in Golden. Following a brief stint in Kansas to attend a small liberal arts college and 10 years in Chicago, I choose Colorado as my forever home. Both of my children and two grandkids live in Denver. Six years ago, I retired after a 40 year career in closing operations for the title insurance industry. After spending 3 years in Fairplay, I followed my boyfriend, Kevin, to Salida and have never looked back. We love to hike, play golf, ride bikes, try out new breweries, work around our home and now play pickleball.
In the past, I have served on several Board of Directors. In Denver I was on the Board at Senior Resource Center an organization dedicated to keeping seniors in their homes as long as possible. In Fairplay, I was on the Board at the Chamber of Commerce and the Friends of the Fairplay Community.
I fell in love with pickleball three years ago. While I enjoyed my years playing tennis, I am now passionate about this new sport. I especially love all the new friends we have met through playing pickleball. It was a fun and a learning experience helping with the tournament this year. I welcome the opportunity to support the Peak to Peak Pickleball Club in any way I can.
Clint Lawrence, President – I was born in Ohio and after serving in the Army in Texas, I moved to Fort Worth and spent most of my life there. After retiring in 1998 and a lot of travel around the country, we decided on Salida for our next home. In addition to pickleball, I enjoy skiing, fly fishing, golf, woodworking and model railroading.
Stephanie McDonald, Board Member
I moved to Buena Vista from Texas in 2010 and built my dream log home on Cottonwood Creek. In 2016 I retired from a 30-year career as an RN due to my Dad's failing health. I was introduced to pickleball in 2014 by fellow club member Donna Hebenstreit and was instantly hooked! I have competed in tournaments all over the country and have served as a USA Pickleball Ambassador for Chaffee County for 8 years and as the District Ambassador for Southern Colorado for 4 years. Though pickleball I have traveled to many wonderful places and met the absolute BEST people!!
Before pickleball took over my life, I enjoyed hiking, fishing, making art quilts, yard work, and spending time with my family.
Brad Leach, Board Member - I grew up in Nashville, TN, and earned a Master’s Degree in geology at Vanderbilt University. After a short stint teaching junior high-school science, I moved west to pursue industry work, finding it in the gold mines near Elko, Nevada. The mining career took me, and my wife Cindy, to a number of interesting locations including five years working and living in Peru.We lived in metro Denver for over 10 years, and then moved to Salida in 2013. My first exposure to pickleball was the beginner’s seminar that the club put on during the summer of 2019, and because of my tennis background, I was immediately hooked. In addition to playing pickleball as often as I can, I also enjoy fishing, hiking, and automobile road racing. I am currently the assistant chief driving instructor, and board member, for Rocky Mountain Vintage Racing, a Colorado-based vintage sports car road racing organization.
Rose Seavey, Board Member
I was born and raised in Cincinnati. I lived in Minot ND for 7 years before moving to Evergreen Colorado. As an OR nurse, I needed to be closer to work, so I moved to Arvada where I met my husband, Jim. We started a consulting business in 2003. I wrote a book titled Sterile Processing In Healthcare Facilities: Preparing for Accreditation Surveys. The consulting business allowed us to travel all over the world educating and helping hospital prepare for their accreditation surveys.I was introduced to pickleball in Arvada and was immediately hooked on the sport. We wanted to get out of the big city and move to the mountains. One of the criteria for the move was to make sure the community had Pickleball. So in 2018 we moved to Salida. I am now retired and I love this community and our Peak to Peak Pickleball Club.
Alex Ware, Treasurer - I grew up 35 miles north of Philadelphia in Perkasie, Pa. I attended college at Principia College in Elsah, Illinois where I majored in business administration and ran cross country and track (best mile 4:13.3 in 1971). I married Joan Sieber in June of 1972 and we moved to Colorado. Our family took most of our vacations to Colorado and have always loved it here (hiking and mountain climbing in particular). We bought a house in Buena Vista in 2016 and absolutely love the area. Joanie talked me into trying pickleball December 2018 and I fell in love with the game immediately. Hopefully I can pay back for the joy the game gives me in my board position.
Brenda Sampson, Board Member -
My time growing up was split between Sacramento, California, and a small town in eastern Kansas. After high school I studied Music Therapy and Music Education at the University of Kansas, returning to the same university for Masters work in Social Welfare. I worked for years in the mental health setting until my interests took me to North Africa, working with Peace Corps. After my time working there and traveling afterward, I was drawn to holistic health, went back to school and received certification in massage and bodywork.
Darrell, my husband, and I have traveled to Colorado for recreation for as long as I can remember. In 2005 he found our place in Salida, and we eventually moved here full time.
I have sat on boards as we raised our boys in Lawrence, Kansas, and have run a couple of businesses, responsible for overseeing significant budgets. I have also developed and taught various workshops through the years for peers and community.
I have enjoyed pickleball for many years, and while my skill improvement has been slow and steady, I mostly find the recreational and social aspect of it enjoyable. The game has given me a lot of joy and I am grateful for the opportunity to serve on the board.
John Vandewalle, Board Member –
John sits on the Boards of various businesses and philanthropic organizations and is very involved with the Helzberg School of Management at Rockhurst University as an advisory council member, and was an adjunct marketing professor. He is a mentor in The Helzberg Entrepreneurial Mentoring program, a mentor at Rockhurst University for the executive MBA program and was a mentor at Southwest High School and Big Brothers Big Sisters in Kansas City. He was a member and the past President of The Overland Park South Rotary Club as well as a 2 term District Governor for Rotary. John also serves/d on the Board of AlignED (The Alliance for Childhood Education); the Board of Reaching Out From Within and volunteer mentor in the prisons; the Board of the Kansas City Tech Academy, the Board of the Kansas City Suicide Awareness and Prevention Program (KCSAPP); on The Johnson County Visioning Committee, The Kansas Power of the People Committee; the Board of Heart to Heart International, the Board of The Gordon Parks Elementary School, the Board of The Epilepsy Foundation, the Board of the Multiple Sclerosis Foundation.
He has been involved with sports all his life and loves tennis, squash, pickleball, skiing, hiking, bicycle riding and gardening. He was responsible for organizing the neighborhood tennis group for 30 years where they played outdoors year-round.
He has been playing tennis and pickleball sporadically in Salida during his visits and now wishes to get more involved. He really wants to see pickleball expand to attract more age groups and become a family activity that becomes a beacon of the lifestyle in Salida. He believes that all the social and well-being benefits that pickleball brings is deserving of a strong presence in every community.
Peak to Peak Pickleball is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. Salida, Colorado 81201