Who are we?

This group was created through the efforts of many people who care about providing life changing opportunities to others in the Santa Fe community. Each contributor offers a unique perspective and valuable experience to our endeavor; All who are involved believe that climbing can have a tremendously impactful role on people's lives. For more information on the background and involvement of the board, see their personal bios below.


Amanda Burkybile Wiltenburg

Executive Director


Amanda is a Nationally Board Certified educator who served for ten years as a secondary social studies teacher in the Santa Fe Public Schools. She now works as an Instructional Coach, where she supports and assists teachers to improve their classroom practices and provide engaging and meaningful student centered instruction. In addition, she directs Exploration Learning, an educational consulting group offering services in project based learning instructional design. Amanda has developed all of Elevate's in-class lessons, and worked in conjunction with the Santa Fe Climbing Center to design gym programming that supports Elevate's program goals. Amanda and her husband Andre own the Santa Fe Climbing Center, love to travel, have potlucks and parties with friends, and stay busy chasing their three very active children Jarod, Jasper and Famke.

Wolf Riehle

Wolf Riehle is a retired business professional who has a passion for outdoor activities, as well as a deep respect for the values and lessons that he believes climbing can instill in young people. He grew up in Germany, and served in the German Army for two years as a Paratrooper. He studied Business Administration with an emphasis on Marketing at the University of Cologne, graduating in 1988 with his Masters Degree. From 1988 until 2007, he worked for Reemtsma, Hamburg. In 1997, Mr. Riehle moved to Ketchum, Idaho, where he entered the MBA program at Boise State University and worked as a Teaching Assistant (TA). After graduating with a Masters in 1999, he bought a small, organic artisan bakery, which he successfully developed and grew to a multi-million dollar business until he sold it in 2010.

Dr. William LaRue



Dr. LaRue is an independent scholar who contemplates the ways that individual tendencies shape the dynamics of larger social systems, and how those systems influence individuals. As a child William wandered the hills and mesas of Northern New Mexico, ever eager to scramble on sandstone boulders. He was introduced to technical rock climbing as a paratrooper in the US Army. Following military service William earned a doctorate from the University of New Mexico in Evolutionary Biology. His research focused on mathematical modeling of social dynamics and the evolution of host manipulation by infectious diseases. During graduate school, William immersed himself in traditional rock climbing both as recreation and as a crucible for character development. Through Elevate, his passions meet in service to our community.
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Roxanne Connan

Roxanne has lived in Santa Fe for 18+ years with her husband, Andy, and son, Sam.  The family currently also includes two cats and a German Shepherd dog.  Roxanne most recently owned and managed vacation rentals in the Guadalupe district.  Before that, she was a manager for Oracle Corporation in Redwood Shores, California for many years.  She began climbing for the first time at age 61 and loves the way it makes her feel stronger and alive!  Roxanne's other major love is traveling the world. 

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Cathy Gates
Cathy retired from management consulting following a long career in systems analysis and project
management at Fortune 500 companies in the U.S., Canada, Sweden and Switzerland. She has lived in
Santa Fe since 2003 with her husband Gordon, who is an avid rock climber, and they both enjoy hiking
locally and have traveled extensively to experience other areas and cultures. In addition to hiking and
travel, Cathy volunteers for the Santa Fe National Forest as a heritage resource site steward, assists at
the visitor center of the Pecos National Historic Park and spent several years as a docent for the Georgia
O’Keeffe Museum. Cathy is in charge of book-keeping for Elevate.
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Katherine Sharp

Katherine has worked in recreation for 10+ years and has a Master's Degree in Outdoor Education Administration. Katherine grew up in Virginia and has been climbing since 2004. She currently works for Road Scholar Educational Travel Non-Profit as the Group Leader Manager. She has done research on the effects of outdoor recreation activities on participants' self-efficacy and believes in the power of recreation for youth and adults. She brings this expertise to Elevate, and specifically helps us market our organization through social media, boost our use of data to prove effectiveness and assist in grant writing efforts.