Aspen Strong Executive Board
Jeff moved to the valley from the U.K in 2000. Jeff has a background in the restaurant business & currently works in human resources. When he isn’t teaching spin, you can find him running trails, skiing up or down a hill or road biking. Spending time outdoors helps keep a healthy mental balance so he can strive to be a better husband & dad.
For over 14 years, Andrew Pollesel dedicated himself to working with adults with disabilities, with a specialty in autism. The Chicago native earned a degree in Special Education from Fontbonne University in St. Louis and went on to work tirelessly for people with disabilities, devoting himself to everything from Special Education to coaching Special Olympics. He moved to Aspen seven years ago for a job, met a girl (his now-fiancé), and decided to stay. “I decided to make a career change and real estate is something I’ve always been passionate about,” he says. “I’ve always worked in human services and I view this path as another avenue to help people facilitate their wants and needs. This is just another way for me to implement my background; the bottom line is still about helping people.”
Georgina Melbye is an attorney at the law firm Kalamaya | Goscha. Her practice focuses on family law and other types of personal disputes. Originally from Boulder, she graduated from Cornell University and pursued a law degree at the University of Colorado.
Shortly after graduating in 2014, she moved to Aspen to begin her legal career. In her practice, she often works with professionals in the mental health field to assist on disputes relating to child custody. Recognizing the great need for mental health support in the valley, she is excited to serve Aspen Strong and support the greater community. When not on the slopes or in the office, Georgina can be found mountain/dirt biking, hiking and camping.
Andy is a husband, father, wealth advisor, and coach who has lived in the Aspen area for the past 45 years. Having arrived in the Roaring Fork Valley under very unusual circumstances, surviving a plane crash in 1974, he strives to make every day count by helping others in any capacity that he can. The quote from James Taylor’s song the Secret of Life “is enjoying the passage of time” resonates with him as a constant reminder that we all need to live within the moment and give back.
He has recently produced a documentary called “3 Days 2 Nights” that chronicles his experience and serves as a guidepost for people trying to move on from traumatic events.
Paddy O’Connell (but you can call him PaddyO) works in the outdoor industry as a word nerd and a professional chit chatter—which essentially means he is a freelance writer, creator, storyteller, voice over talent, and multimedia producer. PaddyO believes in the power of storytelling as a vehicle for connection and positive change. Much of his work and his every day reflects the theory that laughter is the soundtrack to a happy life. He loves to use humor to arrive at poignancy in his work, while also focusing on cause-based storytelling and reporting, most notably and personal to him are suicide prevention and mental health, addiction, alcoholism, and recovery, equity and inclusion, and stories of a dark past being transformed into a hopeful future. PaddyO draws inspiration from his own path toward positive mental health and recovery. When he’s not practicing Footloose inspired dance moves, Patrick Swayze-esque hair flips, and grooming his mustache to resemble Tom Selleck’s lip caterpillar, PaddyO can be found in the mountains—mostly likely being a bit loud and doing something a lot weird. He is based out of Carbondale, Colorado.
Fascinated by the human condition, my career path has consistently been very people centric. From studying English literature and psychology in school, to managing upscale French restaurants, and for the past 27 years, brokering real estate transactions in New Jersey, the Adirondack Mountains of upstate NY, the low country of Charleston, SC, and now in Aspen and the Roaring Fork Valley with Engel & Völkers. I’ve specialized in relationships and believe they are crucial to maintaining mental fitness which is why I am giving back on the Aspen Strong Board.
Eric Abrahamovich is a lifelong Roaring Fork Valley Local with a deep appreciation for what makes this valley so irreplaceable. The outdoors have always been paramount to his mental health and overall wellbeing, causing him to move back to the valley after 8 years away in Texas and Boulder. While in Texas, Eric graduated from Texas Christian University with a degree in Economics and a minor in Business Management. After a short stint in commercial real estate while living a lifestyle he was unhappy with, he sought out an all men’s retreat in Steamboat, CO called The Foundry. He spent two months at the Foundry learning about mental health, addiction, physical health, emotional wellbeing, and an overall spiritual education that brought him out of a destructive way of life and into one of deep gratitude and appreciation for the life we all have in front of us despite what our pasts may look like. Yoga was a big part of The Foundry’s curriculum, and after leaving, Eric moved to Boulder, CO and began instructing yoga at an all men’s rehab facility called Choice House with men who were deeply struggling and fresh off of a destructive life path, just as Eric was a year prior. This experience created a deep yearning to help those in need of guidance and established a desire to be involved and give back to the community.
Aspen Strong will forever remember the love and spirit that Ryan Marcil & Carlin Brightwell embodied. In loving memory of them.