National Ability Center Announces Leadership Transition

Leading adaptive outdoor adventure provider poised for new leadership

PARK CITY, UTAH (August 15, 2018) – After 8-years as Chief Executive Officer of the National Ability Center(NAC), Gail Barille has transitioned out of her role to pursue new opportunities. “We are grateful for her unwavering service and commitment to extending the NAC’s mission globally”, said Brad Petersen, President of the NAC Board of Directors. “Gail’s enthusiasm for adaptive recreation led the NAC to serve more people than ever before as the NAC emerged as a nationwide leader.”  Kevin Stickelman, former NAC Chief Operating Officer (COO), has been appointed by the Board as interim CEO. Stickelman joined the organization two years ago.

“I want to thank the NAC and Park City communities for the last 8 years I was privileged to lead the National Ability Center. It was an incredible opportunity to work with a committed team of volunteers, staff and supporters to make an impact for people of all abilities within our community, across the nation and around the globe,” said Gail Barille. “I am proud to be supporting the team during this transition and will continue to be an advocate for the unique abilities within each of us.”

“The National Ability Center is stronger than ever,” said Stickelman. “We have a powerful internal organization, a dedicated donor community, committed community and corporate partners, and thousands of local, national and international participants who come to Utah to maximize their potential through our transformational adaptive recreation programming. As a united team, we will continue to empower people of all abilities and embrace the mission that Meeche White envisioned over 30-years ago.”

Stickelman brings more than 20 years of ski industry and outdoor recreation management experience to the NAC. An amputee himself, Stickelman recognizes how adaptive recreation empowers individuals of all abilities.  Stickelman majored in engineering at Kansas State University and the University of Utah before transitioning into mountain resort management. He holds professional certifications from the US Ski and Snowboard Association as an alpine coach and Professional Ski Instructors Association as a level 3 certified ski instructor. Highly regarded within the organization and in the local community as a leader, Stickelman is dedicated to carrying on the legacy of empowering people of all abilities to maximize their individual potential.

During Barille’s tenure as CEO, the National Ability Center’s annual participant base grew by ninety-six percent and now serves youth, veterans and families with differing abilities from more locations than ever before. In January 2017, under Barille’s leadership, the NAC merged with Splore, another successful Utah-based adaptive recreation non-profit, and offers more year-round adventure programming in more locations through camping, rock climbing and river rafting.  In addition, the NAC Board and donor community have collectively achieved 90% of their $15m Capital Campaign goal to expand the campus facilities and accommodate the continued growth. Barille leaves an indelible mark on the combined organizations founded by Meeche White and Martha Hamm, visionary pioneers who foresaw the benefits of adaptive recreation programming 40-years ago.

The National Ability Center provides world-class adaptive recreation and Splore outdoor adventures for individuals and families of differing abilities facing physical, cognitive and developmental challenges and supports competitive athletes including youth and veterans. Rooted in Park City, UT for over 30 years, with new additional facilities in Salt Lake City and Moab, the National Ability Center empowers participants by building self-esteem, confidence and lifetime skills through inclusive programming and activities such as alpine and nordic skiing, snowboarding, horseback riding, cycling, swimming, rafting, archery, watersports and paddlesports. The National Ability Center is globally recognized as a chapter of Disabled Sports USA and is one of only 12 Gold U.S. Paralympic Sports Clubs. For more information, visit

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