The work of the Flyin Ryan Hawks Foundation depends upon the advice and council of a Board of Directors and the significant effort of a few part-time staff. All are dedicated to the Core Values Matter philosophy.


Peter Hawks


Peter Hawks is Ryan’s father, and the foundation’s President and CEO since its founding. He is the driving force behind the creation and continuing success of the Flyin Ryan Hawks Foundation.

“I have a very special relationship with Ryan as mentor and mentee. Ryan’s spirit and core values continue to be a fundamental and guiding force for the Flyin Ryan Hawks Foundation.”

Peter is a retired Dean Witter (now Morgan Chase) executive, and has a lifelong passion for skiing, tennis, mountain biking, and games in general. He graduated from Dartmouth College in 1960, where he was the 4-event skier on the college ski team for 4 years.

When Peter was 58, Ryan introduced him to mountain biking.  While Ryan competed nationally as a Junior expert on the Bliss Racing Team, Peter got the bug. Starting with Ryan’s hand-me-down downhill mountain bike, he road his way to a National  Masters Championship in 2002, and subsequently two World Masters Downhill Championships in 2002 and 2003.

Peter lives in Burlington, Vermont, with his wife of 34 years, Jackie. Now in his 70’s, Peter continues to be an avid skier and mountain biker who also enjoys tennis and a good beer. He often signs his correspondences with, “Peace, love and deep powder.”

My Core Values

  1. Engage in life
  2. Be grateful for life's blessings
  3. Live every day, all day
  4. Be the best husband, father and friend I can be
  5. Practice random acts of kindness
  6. Be true to service above self
  7. Function within the Rotary four-way test
  8. Maintain a youthful spirit
  9. Maintain reasonable fitness
  10. Seek and find the good in everyone
  11. In decision making, ask,
Alicia Hawks headshot

Alicia Hawks

photo of Ryan with Alicia Hawks
Alicia and Ryan

Alicia Hawks, vice president, fills multiple roles at the Foundation. She manages the Adventure Scholarship Program with her dad, Peter, and helps with social outreach and events planning. She is the younger sister to Ryan, is a constant presence at Foundation events and meetings.

Says Alicia: “Ryan certainly held true to his core value, ‘be the best brother, uncle and son I can be.’ He always looked out for me, made me laugh with his goofy antics and inspired me to be more patient, and present.”

Alicia works for Learfield Sports helping businesses create sponsorship programs that build brand association with the University of Vermont Catamounts and their fans.

A 2010 graduate of the University of Vermont (UVM), Alicia has a degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Marketing. Upon graduation, she moved to Denver to work in premium sales for the Denver Broncos organization.

Alicia lives in Essex, Vermont with her husband Brad and their cat Simba.

My Core Values

  1. Smile, make people smile
  2. Family first
  3. Treat others how I want to be treated
  4. Don’t judge
  5. Be a loyal friend
  6. Focus on the positive
  7. Have fun
  8. Be active
  9. Never stop learning
  10. What would Ryan do?
Samantha Stetson headshot

Samantha Stetson

Samantha Hawks Stetson, Peter’s daughter and Ryan’s other sister, was a major contributor to the operations and organizational side of the Foundation during its startup and early years.

Samantha’s expertise includes the development and implementation of marketing and executive training programs. Samantha has been in the digital industry since 1999 and was Director of Ad Products for the Excite Network, a Marketing Manager at GE Healthcare and then Content Manager for the Upstream Group prior to founding her own boutique consulting firm focused on developing innovative content for digital sales teams from on-boarding to talent development. These days, she is kept very busy as the Director of the Customer Team at Facebook.

Samantha lives in Newtown Square, PA with her husband David and two children, Hadley and Hunter. In her spare time she enjoys Bikram Yoga and skiing. She grew up as a competitive figure skater and competed in the US National Championships.

“Sam” continues to be an important advisor and Foundation board member.

My Core Values

  1. Be the best mother, wife, sister, daughter, aunt, and friend I can be
  2. Work hard
  3. Be self-sufficient
  4. Be present
  5. Never lose my zest for life and adventure
  6. Make people feel bigger not smaller
  7. Be healthy- use and respect my body everyday
  8. Be my authentic self
  9. Give back more than I take
  10. Seek and share knowledge
  11. Don’t be afraid to ask for help
  12. Appreciate and respect the beauty before our eyes
  13. Live every day, all day
Adam Comey head shot

Adam Comey


Adam Comey helped pioneer the sport of competitive freeskiing in North America with the invention of the Freeskiing World Tour in the late 1990’s.

A valued member of the Foundation’s Board of Directors, Adam brings a commitment to the Core Values Matter philosophy, along with the business expertise and experience he has as co-founder and CEO of Mountain Sports International. MSI is a major media production and marketing company whose goal is to connect people with their favorite sports.


My Core Values

  1. Stride gracefully thru life
  2. Be optimistic and dream. Its what creates opportunities and innovation
  3. Share a vision
  4. Declutter whenever possible
  5. Be outdoors for a clear and calm mind and body
  6. Skiing is to be shared with family and friends
  7. Don’t be afraid to fail - it might not work out, start over
  8. Treat others as I would want my children to be treated
  9. Be a better father, husband, son, brother, and friend, person

John Painter

John Painter, educator, skier, and mountain biker, is largely responsible for bringing the vision of a Decisions Program for Education to fruition. A faculty member at South Burlington High School (Vermont), John piloted the Decisions Program with 900 Sophomore students. As part of his program, John created a video to share his Core Values.

My Core Values

  1. Family first
  2. Be lifeful
  3. Be present
  4. Be gentle
  5. Be at peace
  6. Be healthy - spirit, mind, and body
  7. Be loyal
  8. Work hard, play harder, play often
  9. Appreciate
  10. Be empathetic
  11. Be better every day
  12. Show love
  13. Be curious
  14. Choose happiness


Sparky Milliken photo

Robert “Sparky” Millikin

Sparky is generally known as our financial guru. Retired from careers in outdoor education, construction management and design firm management, Sparky is an avid outdoor enthusiast. He has spent many decades climbing, skiing, hiking, winter mountaineering and mountain biking.

Sparky graduated from Dartmouth College and received his MBA from the Yale School of Management. He lives in Hinesburg with his wife and has three kids scattered around the US.

My Core Values

  1. Work hard, play hard
  2. Be happy, be healthy
  3. Be good to others
  4. Be good to yourself
  5. Love family and friends
  6. Integrity is everything
  7. Keep it simple
Dave Punia headshot

Dave Punia


Dave is our go-to guy for technology. He manages our electronic and Internet infrastructure; website, social media, software, hardware, and keeping Peter’s personal technology in synch with the organization.

A transplant from central New Jersey, he settled in at UVM for 2 degrees and a 22 year career in various technology-related positions. He’s lived most of his years in Burlington, and has had several careers since leaving UVM at the end of 1999. He’s currently a freelance technology consultant.

Dave skis, bikes and loves sailing other people’s sailboats. He’s been a drummer with Sambatucada, Vermont’s Burlington-based community Samba band, for more than a decade. He donates considerable time volunteering at the Red Cross Blood Center in Burlington and with an organization he co-founded, the Northeast Disabled Athletic Association.

Finally, Dave treasures whatever time he gets with his three busy grown children and two grandchildren. They grow up so fast…


My Core Values

  1. Help someone smile every day
  2. Value every relationship
  3. Make your own decisions, and own the decisions you make
  4. Sit in different seats
  5. Keep everything in perspective
  6. Live efficiently
  7. Treasure and protect the natural world