Team Members

Alex Dodov - NDF Founder/President


Born and raised in the World of skiing. Avid backcountry split snowboarder. Sail through time on windsurf board. Climbing rock and ice makes me happy. The more I backcountry split snowboard with my dog the more I can understand the Universe. 

Natalia Dodova - NDF Founder/Secretary


 Backcountry skiing is my happy place. I would paint my heart on a canvas for everyone I love. By nature I am a happy person. If there is anything I can do to make everybody happy I would love to give my heart for you.

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 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 love the mountains. 

Our Team

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.

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. 

Diane Vickerman - NDF Treasurer


I Love doing anything with my family, especially outdoor activities.  I Love mountains and ocean.  Currently live in Haleiwa Hawaii. I Love running, surfing climbing, hiking, back country skiiing (with my best buds Natalia and Alex).   I am currently working at Wahiawa General as Emergency Preparedness Manager. Prior to that Calaveras County Public Health, Emergency Preparedness Msnager and Night Crisis Worker.  String background managing Nonprofits. Graduated from UC Berkeley.

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!

NDF Special Adviser

Karl Birkeland


Dr. Karl Birkeland is the Director of the Forest Service National Avalanche Center, where he provides national direction and guidance for the agency’s avalanche centers and military artillery program. As a part of his job he works to transfer new and emerging technologies to field practitioners within the avalanche community. Karl is also an adjunct Professor of Earth Sciences at Montana State University where he supervises a number of graduate students. Karl’s professional work with avalanches as a ski patroller, educator, backcountry forecaster, and researcher spans almost 40 years. He founded the Gallatin National Forest Avalanche Center in Bozeman, and he earned both his MS and PhD degrees investigating snowpack variability and related ramifications for avalanche forecasting. When he is not working in the snow, Karl enjoys spending as much time as possible in the mountains and on rivers with his wife and two daughters.


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.

NDF Avalanche Educators

Duncan Lee


Duncan has been riding snowmobiles for over 20 years in the Sierra. Being an industry professional backcountry has given Duncan experience in mountains all over the world. Duncan is also a lead instructor and instructor trainer for AIARE. (american institute of avalanche research and education) Duncan's focus is motorized avalanche education, wether he is working for Sierra Avalanche Center, AIARE, or The Mountain Riding Lab, you will find Duncan somewhere in the snow covered mountains offering his experience, and knowledge of avalanche education to the motorized community around the world.    "I have a serious addiction to snow, and snowmobiling. I also have found the need to help others become better educated so they can shred the goods and come home after every ride."

NDF Avalanche Educators IN BULGARIA

Georgy Georgiev


 IFMGA /Mountain guide/Ski guide   Georgy has been working as an independent guide since 1994. One of the founders of the Free Mountains Association. Guide of trekking groups worldwide: Alps, Himalayas, Carpathians, the mountains of Turkey, Greece and Macedonia and others. Numerous ascents in the Alps and peaks over 4000 m. (over 40 ascents of Mont Blanc, peaks of the Monte Rosa range, Gran Paradiso, Grand Jorasses, Mаtterhorn, Bar, Dome Des Ecrins etc), Caucasus, Pamir and others. Leader of ski expeditions to Mera Peak, Saribung,Larkye Peak /first ski descent/, alpine expeditions to Ama Dablam

Milena Padalska


Mountain guide/ ski guide  Milena is a  Guide of trekking groups, children’s camps, ascents in the Alps, ski groups in India. Traveled through the Nepali and Indian Himalayas and the mountains of Europe. Ski ascents and descents at Mera Peak, Larkye Peak /first ski descent/, Saribung (Nepal), Grosglohner, Dome Des Ecrins and others. Numerous first descents in Bulgaria. Ski guide in Austria.  Interests: off-piste skiing, climbing, alpinism, trekking  Further qualifications:  Outward bound instructor  Ski instructor Class “C” Languages: English, Russian, German

Hristo Ivanov


Mountain guide/ ski guide  Hristo is a  Guide of Bulgarian, Spanish and Italian trekking groups in Bulgaria. Ski guide for Lapoint (Sweden).  Interests: off-piste skiing, climbing, alpinism, trekking, surfing  Further qualifications:  Ski instructor Class “C” Languages: English, Russian

Stanimira Karadocheva - NDF International Avalanche Education Organizer


My name is Stanimira Karadocheva everybody knows me as Sunny - snowboarder and adventurer. As a snowboard rider I am leading Wildberries Crew girls to safe  extreme sports.  We try to spent most of our time in the mountains. Being in the mountains and riding the extreme terrain  we should all be educated and acknowledge the danger.  We would like to support avalanche educational programs and spread the word to keep everyone safe. 

Jordan Smolithcki



Samuel Ridosko


I learned about the Nickolay Dodov Foundation through their Slopestyle event in Bear Valley along with their avalanche classes that were occurring.

I started creating video content for NDF in 2017 for their slopestyle and rail jam events. Ever since then, I was a part of the team in a way. As of 2018, I am a official team member creating content for NDF in photo/video form. I redesigned our website and am taking action to make NDF content with the intent of sharing the moments and help promoting our work to educate others and hopefully get more people involved.