Team Members

Alex Dodov

 Alex came to Bear Valley, California for three winters 1996, 1997, 1998. He was impressed by the snow conditions and together we decided to come to California in 1999 to explore the mountains and the ocean. We made Bear Valley in the Sierra Nevadas our home. We settled for a simple, happy adventurous life. The three of us have always shared the love for the mountains and the oceans. We always encouraged and supported each other. We were the most happy sharing powder days, hikes, camping by the ocean, surfing and windsurfing with Nick. 

Natalia Dodova

 Natalia started as a city girl but her husband soon introduced her to a passion and love for the outdoors. She is an artist, enthusiastic outdoor adventurer, skier and hiker. 

We are the parents of Nickolay Dodov, who was killed in an avalanche in Haines, Alaska on March 13, 2012. Nickolay was our son, our best friend, our best teammate and our teacher in many ways. We were both born and raised in Sofia, Bulgaria. We were very young when we had Nick, Natalia was 17 and Alex was 22. We made Bear Valley in the Sierra Nevadas our home. We settled for a simple, happy adventurous life. The three of us have always shared the love for the mountains and the oceans. We always encouraged and supported each other. We were the most happy sharing powder days, hikes, camping by the ocean, surfing and windsurfing with Nick. 


It is hard to describe how our life has have changed after we lost our son… We still live in the mountains and we hike, climb and ride the mountains every given day for our Nick, with our Nick. We are in the mountains, and the mountains are in us. We still love the mountains. 


Matty Massaglia

I'm a snowboarder and a carpenter. I was raised in Valley Springs, CA and currently live near Lake Tahoe. I've been riding since the age of fourteen and still love it more each day. The mountains keep you electric! 


 NDF is important to me because it educates people on backcountry awareness and avalanche safety. It brings so much amazing energy to the young and old. Nickolay was one of my closest and truest friends. He was my Bulgarian brother! We were roommates in Tahoe for years and always pushed each other to our fullest potential. Nicky was one in a million, working for this foundation is a tribute to him. The Good Vibe Tribe is always bringing positivity and love no matter where they go! Dodov would send it! 

Lauren Schimke

 I am extremely passionate about the Sierra Nevada Mountains and I live full time in Bear Valley. I grew up on the Hwy 4 corridor, and that's where I have many childhood memories. I've lived in some beautiful places, which include Lake Tahoe and Carmel Valley. I love to dance, surf, skateboard, hike, downhill mountain bike, snowboard, ski, wakeboard and snowmobile. At one time I wanted to be a veterinarian, and worked as a vet technician during high school, but my attention turned to the mountain lifestyle. After graduating high school, I was certified as a Emergency Medical Technician and worked on ski patrol at Bear Valley Mountain, and at Squaw Valley. I’ve been a certified Massage Therapist for 10 years, and currently own and operate Trinity Wellness Salon & Spa in Bear Valley. 

John Jackson

I’ve been snowboarding professionally for most of my adult life, and have worked with dozens of different film projects. I ride for Burton, Red Bull, Go Pro, Von Zipper, LRG, DVS, House of Marley, Mammoth Mountain, Wave Rave, and Jax Union. I was awarded rider of the year and video part of the year by transworld snowboarding and snowboarder mag, in 2010 and 2011. These days I have mostly transitioned from touring the contest circuit to exploring the backcountry making snow movies. We do a lot of work in Alaska and British Colombia. In the summer of 2012 my brother and I did a project with Red Bull called Brothers on the Run, where our goal was to drive from Alaska to Argentina, snowboarding the northern and southern hemispheres while combining a slew of other action sports we love through our long arc of travel.

NDF Avalanche Educators

Paul Henrickson

I was born and raised in Davis, California. I attained a Bachelor of Science degree in environmental biology from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and spent five years as a fish biologist. I started teaching and guiding backcountry skiing and avalanche awareness in 1994. I currently guide for MAS, present for the NDF and work as a general contractor. I live in Murphys with my wife and my four year old daughter. 

Richard Bothwell

Richard has been guiding for over twenty years and teaching AIARE avalanche classes for the past ten years. He is passionate about seeing other people learning how to make better decisions while recreating in the mountains. He knows that making good decisions around avalanche terrain is as much a study of how humans make good/bad decisions as it is about understanding the snow. He is a passionate educator who is engaging and makes learning fun.


Richard lives in Truckee, CA. He owns a guide service, has a history of volunteering or working for non-profits and spent two years as AIARE’s Executive Director. When he’s not teaching others how to have fun in the mountains, he’s out snowboarding, climbing, or mountain biking. 

Micheal McCarthy

Born in Cascadia. Schooled in the West. Worked more and different jobs than many; currently an educator. Been around the world and deep into the cold Northern Latitudes; still needing to

see the Southern. An adroit skier, middling surfer, award winning amateur oenologist, and

budding farmer.

Stephanie Forbes

 I am a certified nutritionist and whole foods chef. I work with The Teen Kitchen Project, a local non-profit in Santa Cruz, California.

My husband Jacob and I, have three beautiful children and together we owned The Harmony Project Board shop in Murphy's, California. 


 Nick was a true brother to me and a best friend to my husband... All sharing the true love of snowboarding. I feel passionately about representing his amazing life and legacy that touched so many people. Live Like Nick. 

Cate Wallenfels

I am a home owner in Bear Valley and an avid outdoor enthusiast. I love snowboarding and skiing in the winter and biking and hiking in the summer with my family. I also row crew year round and compete nationally and internationally. I live in Novato, Marin County, on a farm with many rescue animals, and am a volunteer with Marin Humane Society and specialize in behavior and training for foster dogs. I have three children, 20, 17 and 13, and my job is raising them as responsible adults who have a love and respect for all animals, people and the outdoors. My husband of 24 years is the CEO of Timbuk2 and one of the founders of Mountain Hardware, he is also on the board of Big City Mountaineers, an outdoor mentor program for at risk youth; we enjoy outdoor sports together and always have. 

Drew Loring

I am 20 years old and I was born in Sacramento, CA and moved to Arnold, CA at the age of 10. I had never snowboarded before, but it quickly became a part of me after moving close to Bear Valley Ski Resort. I spent all my free time in the winter at the ski area making memories with my friends on the freestyle team, and later went on to work in the terrain parks. I currently reside in Santa Cruz, CA where I work and am going to school for a degree in Radiology along with Welding, but my roots will always be in Arnold/Bear Valley. I am always eager to pickup any new activity that I can that involves being outdoors, I enjoy mountain biking, rock climbing, camping, surfing, dirt biking, fish by and of course still get up to the mountains as much as I can to snowboard!

Samuel Ridosko