Aspen Strong

Executive Board

Aspen Strong’s executive team are strong advocates for mental health and are the backbone of our organization.  They intricately and voluntarily support the operations and progress of goals to support Aspen Strong’s mission to break the stigma surrounding mental health.

Jeff Hembury
President

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.

Andrew Godfrey
Vice President

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.

Keir Galik
Treasurer

Keir was born and raised in Bozeman, Montana where he learned to ski, bike, hike, play sports and do all number of things outdoors. After moving to the Roaring Fork Valley more than 5 years ago, Keir found a comfortingly similar environment to the one he was used to back home.

As a proud person in long term recovery from drug and alcohol Keir offers practical experience in addressing mental health and substance abuse issues in our community and beyond. 

For his day job, Keir works at as a banker at Timberline Bank in Aspen

 

Georgina Melbye
Secretary

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.

 

Gaby Romo

Gaby moved to the Rocky Mountains from Mexico in 2017, with her Nursing, Business, Entrepreneurship, Women's Empowerment and Human Rights, she strives for serving her community. When not at the park playing beach volleyball, Gaby can be found in her sewing studio. 

Noga Vardy

As an Aspen native, Noga values the outdoors and fostering creativity. She returned to Aspen in 2016 to teach at Aspen Country Day School, be close to family, and easily access the tranquility of nature. To stay balanced, Noga hikes, practices yoga, and spends as much time outside as possible. Before teaching, Noga worked in marketing and events. Noga is an advocate of self-awareness and mental hygiene and strives to normalize it across all ages.

Ali Marshall

Australian (and proud of it), Ali Marshall has called Aspen home for the past twenty-five years. A mom to two teenagers, Ali brings to Aspen Strong personal experience of youth and older age mental health and is a long time advocate to support Aspen Strong’s mission to break the stigma surrounding mental health. Ali is a Roaring Fork Leadership graduate and the City of Aspen Citizen’s Academy, her professional portfolio covering management, property, accounting and Human Resources within the Valley. A lover of Aspen’s outdoors, Ali can be found hiking Aspen’s trails or running Aspen and Basalt in preparation for her first marathon.

Alexandra Mirante

Alexandra is an event planner and part-time graduate student living in Snowmass Village. Having initially come to the Valley over ten years ago (first as a ski instructor), she became enamored with the way people spent time together: being active in nature. Through personal experiences with her own mental health, Alexandra has strived to become more vocal about resources available to her beloved mountain town. She brings this passion to Aspen Strong, as well as her event skill-sets, and aims to generate meaningful awareness of the organization’s mission. A natural connector, she thrives in bringing people together, even outside of work, and is frequently entertaining or getting people together for a trip.

Paddy O'Connell

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.

Andrew Pollesel

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.”

Rachel Leigh Cohen

Rachel is a youth educator, published poet, multi-faceted performer, and intimacy activist.  She received a degree in Therapeutic Recreation & Outdoor Adventure Leadership from Ithaca College and is currently undertaking her Master’s in Waldorf Education from Antioch University.  She has an eclectic professional background highlighted by work with individuals with various well-being needs in therapeutic recreation settings, as well as an extensive list of involvement with creative productions. Rachel enthusiastically marches along her life long commitment to healing and has finally admitted that her personal superpower is her ability to feel and inspire others to do the same.  An avid adventurer with a love of permaculture, obscure books, and somatic movement, when she isn’t busy teaching or being radically vulnerable through expression, she can be found savoring the myriad of joyful gifts the world has to offer.

Kevin Roberts

Kevin is a long-time visual design and marketing professional (cir. 1995) and is a founding partner of The Myers Roberts Collective, a design and marketing firm located in the Valley. Kevin’s experience runs the gamut from start-up to corporate, but he is most at home in a smaller community where your clients are also your friends. In addition to his own mental health struggles, a recent tragedy involving his 13-year-old daughter’s friend was the impetus to become involved in a mental health-focused endeavor. He realizes that the best way to help oneself is to help another when struggling. As an Aspen Strong Board Member, he seeks to be part of the solution rather than sit back and wonder why nothing is being done. Additionally, he hopes to reach and help teenage kids in the valley and wipe away the stigma surrounding mental health issues.