Get to Know Our New CEO: Meet Madeline Bachner Lane

Join us in welcoming Colorado Mountain Club's new Chief Executive Officer: Madeline Bachner Lane!
Felicia Brower Felicia Brower
February 20, 2024

Colorado Mountain Club is embarking on an exciting new chapter, and we're thrilled to introduce the leader who will guide us forward: Madeline Bachner Lane, our new Chief Executive Officer!

If the name sounds familiar, that’s because Madeline has been on the CMC’s staff for several years. Most recently, she served as the club’s Chief Operations Officer, and for two years prior, she served as the Chief Education Officer. Leading up to her time at the CMC, Madeline worked in leadership roles within the Cottonwood Institute, Nature Kids Lafayette, Boulder County Youth Corps, and Teton Science Schools.

While she is thrilled to begin her new role with the club, Madeline understands that leading the CMC forward means acknowledging past challenges. She recognizes the importance of confronting issues within the organization openly and honestly to build a stronger foundation for the future.

"The CMC has a wonderful, long history of getting out and exploring, educating, and adventuring; but we also have a history of some troubling and complicated issues," Madeline acknowledges. "One of the things that excites me and that I see as the next step of the CMC’s evolution coming out of that is shining light on the problems we’ve had and taking steps towards change that will allow us to continue to flourish.”

Leading with transparency – acknowledging our strengths while addressing areas where we must evolve – is the only way to ensure a thriving CMC for generations to come, and Madeline is eager for the opportunity to take the club into its next chapter.

A pillar of this evolution is Madeline’s vision for inclusive outdoor education. Her personal passion is in education, and the club’s dedication to educating members and non-members alike is one of the things that initially drew her to the organization. For Madeline, it's about more than just teaching skills – it's about educating people about how to protect the outdoors and fostering a community where everyone feels welcome and supported.

“The education we provide around conservation, our youth programs, and our adult programs will always be near and dear to my heart,” she explains. “The education in combination with the community aspect is what makes the CMC so important and exciting to people. Just because we teach doesn’t mean we stop learning. We keep growing with our education and challenge ourselves as leaders as well.”

Underlying every adventure is the vital responsibility of protecting the places we love, and Madeline wants to emphasize the connection between outdoor education and environmental stewardship. She wants us to remember that it's not just about experiencing the thrills of the outdoors – it's about understanding our impact and how we can protect these spaces. Education empowers us to be advocates for the mountains, ensuring future generations have the same opportunities to find joy and inspiration in nature.

As Madeline steps into the new role of CEO of the CMC, she feels supported by the membership of the club and fully believes that the CMC is fueled by the passion of its community. That commitment – to each other, to learning, to the mountains themselves – gives her immense hope for our future.

“It's so inspirational. People of all ages follow the passions that keep them out and moving throughout life and bringing other folks with them is at the core of the club,” she explains. “I think that's the beauty of what the CMC does. That knowledge and experience from folks who have been doing this their whole lives and have the capacity to share it with others so that they can keep doing it and pass it on.”

She urges members to continue to push boundaries, welcome new faces, advocate for our wild places, and most importantly, share the transformative power of the outdoors with everyone. “In doing those things that bring us joy and sharing them with others, we connect more deeply to ourselves and to the places that we recreate,” she says. “I've always liked breaking down that word recreation into re-creation, and I think that sharing of adventure and education is how we recreate ourselves and the world around us.”

Madeline Bachner Lane and her dog Eddy

Want to know more about Madeline? We asked her to share her favorite things to do and places to go in Colorado:

Q: What are your favorite outdoor activities?
A: I love a lot of things! Mountain biking, hiking, skiing – I really love anything that gets me outside with my kiddo and my dog. Skiing and uphill travel are some of my favorite outdoor pursuits. I put them on hold for work and family but have been making more of an effort to get back out there because it really fuels my soul.

Q: Do you have a favorite place to recreate in Colorado?
A: I love skiing in Steamboat, and I really enjoy Crested Butte. I haven’t explored the San Juans much, but that is a place I have my sights set on. Southern Colorado is rather unexplored for me.

Q: What's one piece of advice you would give to someone who's new to outdoor activities or new to the Colorado Mountain Club?
A: I would say it's kind of threefold. One is to educate yourself so that you don't become a liability to yourself or the people you're traveling with. Two is to find your people that you want to travel with and spend time with. Three is to find the outdoor pursuits that bring you joy because whatever you're reaching for or whatever makes you feel happy is what you're going to keep doing and that's the important part. Keep doing it and keep getting back out there.

Given Madeline's proven experience with the organization, her deep passion for the outdoors, and her dedication to expanding the mission of the CMC, we are confident that she will take the club to new heights.

Join us in welcoming our new CEO as we embark on this exciting new journey for the Colorado Mountain Club!

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John Broadbooks
John Broadbooks says:
Mar 01, 2024 06:14 AM


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