Staff

Roy Tuscany | Reno, NV

Founder | Executive Director

Originally from Waterbury, VT and after graduating from University of Vermont with a degree in Mechanical Engineering he headed out West to pursue the dream of being a professional free-skier. In 2006, Roy suffered a life-altering injury that left him paralyzed from the waist down and was the catalyst to the creation of High Fives. Roy turned the financial and community support of his own recovery into a ‘pay-it-forward’ adventure with the creation of High Fives Non-Profit Foundation. He was named the “Spirit Inspires” award from disabled sports USA in 2011 and once held the world record for the most high fives in a 24 hour period. He lives in Reno, NV and enjoys finding fun in everything he does.

STAFF MEMBER: 2009-Present

Steve Wallace | Truckee, CA

Program Services Manager

In 2008, Steve suffered a spinal cord injury while skiing in the Granite Chief area at Squaw Valley. After spending a year in different hospitals around the country, Steve returned to Northern California and was introduced to Roy Tuscany. Shortly after the two met in person Roy asked Steve how High Fives could help him, and Steve expressed to Roy his desire to get back out skiing again. In 2010 High Fives helped Steve achieve his goal, and made him the first grant recipient when they bought him all the equipment and lessons needed to get him skiing again in a safe manner. After seeing and experiencing what High Fives Foundation did for him, Steve was honored to pay it forward by helping Roy with athletes and events for the next year. When a position became available, Steve was offered the role of CR Johnson Healing Center Coordinator and graciously accepted.

STAFF MEMBER: 2010-Present

Becca Lefanowicz | Truckee, CA

Operations and Network Marketing Manager

Becca is the first High Fives employee born and bred on the west coast, but she’s left her footprints and first tracks all over the globe. She is a celebrated big mountain skier, having once held the title of North Face Young Gun award at the Subaru North American Freeskiing Championships before attending Western Washington University in Bellingham, WA. Becca first offered her linguistic and artistic savvy to the Foundation as Social Media Manager and now has evolved into overseeing operations.

STAFF MEMBER: 2014-Present

Gina Miele | Tahoe City, CA

Events and Partners Manager

Gina began as a valued intern of the High Fives Foundation in the summer of 2014 before finishing her Senior year at the University of Vermont. At school, she was president of the UVM Freeskiing Team and an exceptional student able to juggle days at the mountain with a full course load. Now she’s back making a huge impact with the Foundation as the Event Coordinator, working on FUNdraising projects across the country.

STAFF MEMBER: 2015-Present

Jesse Murphy | Warren, VT

Director of Development

Jesse Murphy served on the Foundation’s Board of Directors since 2013, but he has been a supporter throughout the history of the organization. He has been involved in the ski industry since the 90s working with brands like Lange, Dynastar and others. Now he is a part owner of Vermont North Ski Shops in Warren, Vermont at the base of Sugarbush Resort. As the Director of Development, Jesse will oversee events on both the East and West coasts. He’s a big part of the exceptional growth of the Foundation, and will help initiate the establishment of an East Coast Healing Center.

STAFF MEMBER: 2015-Present

Nico Nordin | Tahoe City, CA

Office Accountant

Nico began as a major High Fives supporter, attending most if not all Tahoe High Fives Events. Her passion for helping High Fives Athletes lead to lots of volunteering. Eventually the Foundation grew to a point where employing Nico was not only viable but necessary. Nico manages all office and postal service affairs for the Foundation.

STAFF MEMBER: 2016-Present

Jack Powell | Incline Village, NV

Head Trainer, CR Johnson Healing Center

Jack began his story with the High Fives Foundation in a really inspiring way. When #HighFivesAthlete Jeff Andrews suffered a spinal cord injury in 2014, Jack stopped every track he was working down, and committed to helping Jeff with his recovery. Having a background in Kinesiology, Jack moved to Maui, Hawaii to study a specific form of rehabilitation called NeuroKinetic Pilates with the world famous trainer Alejandra Monslave. Since that experience, Jack has brought that knowledge back into the Healing Center, cultivating clients around the country. He now joins High Fives as a permanent employee to run operations of the Healing Center and gain boarder diverse clientele ready to take on their recoveries.

STAFF MEMBER: 2016-Present

Chris Cloyd | Truckee, CA

CR Johnson Healing Center Trainer

Chris Cloyd has been involved with what we do since 2011, working with our first athletes in our first sessions at the CR Johnson Healing Center (it was actually just the office back then). Chris has been a trainer for the past 10 years, and uses his background in sports performance training and neurokinetic rehabilitation to help his athletes accelerate their recovery. Outside of the CRJ, he’s a competitive distance runner, mountaineer, and snowboard enthusiast.

STAFF MEMBER: 2016-Present

Tess Vertin | Squaw Valley, CA

Grant Writer

Tess began her story in Edina, Minnesota where she was raised by emphatic athletes and surrounded by all kinds of sports including, figure skating and skiing. She graduated from the University of San Diego for English & Communication Studies (Undergrad) and continued her education at USD for a Master of Science in Executive Leadership where she focused on Non-Profit/Charitable accountability. She recently moved to Tahoe/Truckee in June of 2016 to get back to the snow and be near the mountains. When she volunteered with Life Rolls On in Southern California, High Fives was brought to her attention. SHE INSTANTLY FELT AT HOME AT HIGH FIVES THANKS TO THE STAFF AND ATHLETES.

STAFF MEMBER: 2017-Present

Jeff Robertson | Truckee, CA

Camp Organizer

Jeff’s history also traces back to the East Coast where a passion for the outdoors started at a young age. His background in adventure sports comes from years as a professional skier, mountain bike racer, following the 100th Tour De France from start to finish (with Crystal on their honeymoon), surfing, and participation in other adventures that span the globe. With over 25 years of experience in the action sports industry and countless trips around the world, his passion for adventure runs deep. Jeff has guided friends and professional athletes over the years to many iconic locations in search of the next powder run, smooth flowing single track, surf destinations and European cols. His involvement with the High Fives Foundation spans years and has been a long time supporter. Over the last couple of years Jeff has been organizing and leading the surf camps to Maui and Ventura. Jeff is excited to continue his support of the foundation by building more camps, assisting the athletes in all aspects while at the camps and encouraging new goals to be reached. When in Tahoe, you can usually find Jeff & Roy riding single track deep into the woods!

STAFF MEMBER: 2016-Present

Alex Govaars | Truckee, CA

Office Assistant

The High Fives Foundation staff is happy to welcome the newest member of the team, Alex Govaars. Alex’s passion for joining the team stemmed at The White Mountain School where he was first introduced to adaptive skiing at Bretton Woods ski resort and volunteered in their Adaptive program. Alex graduated with Business and Art at Palomar College in San Marcos, CA and then made his way to Tahoe in 2006 because of his passion for the outdoors, snowboarding, hiking, camping, backpacking and exploring with is dog Camper. His positive attitude is contagious throughout the office and it’s apparent he is motivated to help atheltes with life-altering injuries enjoy the mountains as much as he does.

STAFF MEMBER: 2017-Present