Peter Hawks


“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 mid-80’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.”

Peter's 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 what would Ryan do?

Alicia Hawks


"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 Hawks, younger sister to Ryan, is proud to keep Ryan's legacy alive through the Flyin Ryan Foundation. She manages the Adventure Scholarship Program with her dad, Peter, and helps with social outreach and event planning. 

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, 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 South Burlington, Vermont with her husband Brad and two daughters Ryley and Quinn.

Alicia's 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

"This Flyin Ryan Foundation continues to make a difference in the lives of people on a daily basis by encouraging them to craft their own Core Values. These Core Values become their decision making tools, leading hopefully to better decisions grounded in who each individual wants to be. I am always inspired when I hear someone who has been touched by the Foundation share their Core Values. In addition, we continue to award Adventure Scholarships for those people who want to live their Core Values and pursue their dreams."

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 is currently the VP of the Client Council and Industry Trade Relations Team at Meta. The Council and Industry’s team mission is to foster a “customer first, customer best” culture throughout Meta and to make progress on the most important challenges and opportunities facing the advertising industry to boost our trust and reputation.  Prior to Meta, Samantha spent several years working in the digital industry as 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.

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.

Samantha's 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 every day
  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

Bryan Salatino

"As a ski coach the Flyin Ryan Decisions Program has been an outstanding tool for introducing athletes to their Core Values, and teaching them how to make good decisions that are grounded in their Core Values!"

Bryan has been a friend of Flyin Ryan for years and is responsible for customizing the Decisions Program to fit the needs of risk assessment issues.

Bryan’s lifelong passion for backcountry skiing, hiking, and mountain biking drew him and his wife Sarah to VT in 1997 to be closer to their favorite backcountry destinations. Having grown up competing in Hot Dog/Freestyle skiing, Bryan spent many years as a ski coach and instructor. In 2011 he created the competition Big Mountain Freeride ski team at Smugglers’ Notch to support son Galen’s passion for Freeskiing. After meeting Peter Hawks in the spring of 2014, the two collaborated to develop the Decisions for Athletes program and did their first pilot at the Smugglers’ Notch Ski and Snowboard Club in the winter of 2014/15.

In addition to his role as the Freeski Program Director at the Smugglers’ Notch Ski and Snowboard Club, Bryan is the Vice President of the International Freeskiers and Snowboarders Association (IFSA) board of directors and is very active in the global development of competition Freeride Skiing and Snowboarding.

Bryan's Core Values
  1. Provide for my family, and myself
  2. Life guide to Galen
  3. Reliable, genuine, honest, and direct
  4. Take difficult situations in strideand shine under pressure
  5. A googd team player
  6. Mentally and physically fit
  7. A good leader and role model
  8. Critical thinker and constructive contributor
  9. Passionate about things that are important to me
  10. Competent and humble
  11. Mentor and teacher willing to share knowledge with others
  12. Problem solver
  13. Respectful of others and myself
  14. Compassionate and tolerant
  15. Enjoy the mountains
  16. Able to let go of negative energy
  17. Effective communicator
  18. Make a positive difference
  19. Leave a legacy

John Abbott

John is a lifelong wilderness educator, program director, skier, climber and biker. John directed the University of Vermont Outdoor Programs and advised the UVM Ski & Snowboard Club for more than two decades. As a lecturer in the Parks, Recreation and Tourism Program, John taught a Wilderness Education and Leadership course where Ryan was enrolled as a student. Given Ryan's accomplishments as a rising big mountain ski athlete, John was impressed by his humble nature, willingness to help others and joy for being outdoors. After Ryan's passing, John & Peter became friends when the Flyin' Ryan Hawks Foundation was launched. Many of the early Adventure Scholars were UVM students - and the mission of FRHF was spread annually during screenings of the Banff and Telluride film festivals.

The Town Administrator in his community of Jericho, John explores the mountains of Vermont on bikes and skis with his wife Katy and teenage kids, Cally and Hazen. The children are nationally ranked freeskiers who train and compete for the Smugglers Notch Ski & Snowboard Club, where John is a U-12 coach. Like many Vermont kids, Ryan's achievements as a big mountain freeskier, and outstanding human being, inspired their dream of competing on the Freeride World Tour.

John's Core Values
  1. Be the most authentic and supportive partner I can be.
  2. Prepare my kids for the road ahead and not prepare the road for them.
  3. Prepare my kids for the road ahead and not prepare the road for them.
  4. Be an engaged and supportive son, uncle and brother.
  5. Live life with purpose and ambition--not as a dress rehearsal for whatever is next.
  6. Be a servant leader to my neighbors and community.
  7. Take risk and see.k challenge
  8. Work to not sweat the small .stuff and express gratitude
  9. Most important is our love for others and the stories we share.
  10. Remain aware of my privilege.
  11. Treat others with respect and dignity.
  12. Apply my skills and experience in ways that benefit others.
  13. See live music. It is food for the soul.
  14. Always speak truth to power, seek justice.

Adam Comey


Proud to be involved with an organization that is dedicated to inspiring teens and young adults to establish individual core values to steer and guide their personal growth thru adventure and contribution to community.

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.

Adam's 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

"The Flyin Ryan Foundation does an incredible job reaching and supporting young people as they work to pursue their passions and better understand what is most important to them."

Educator, skier, and mountain biker, John 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.

John's 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, player often
  9. Appreciate
  10. Be empathetic
  11. Be better every day
  12. Show love
  13. Be curious
  14. Choose happiness


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.

Sparky's 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


"What began as a Front Porch Forum post looking for some computer help, has become an important and engaging opportunity to help people change their lives and realize their dreams."

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 as staff and faculty in various technology-related positions. He lived most of his Vermont years in Burlington, and has had several careers since leaving UVM at the end of 1999. He’s currently a freelance technology consultant and with his wife Elaine, co-owns a professional photography business, The Custom Image. Dave and Elaine are happily domiciled in Ferrisburgh, Vermont.

Dave skis, bikes and loves sailing other people’s sailboats. He’s been a drummer with Sambatucada, Vermont’s Burlington-based community Samba band, since 2008 and also plays percussion in a rock band. He donates considerable time volunteering for the American Red Cross Blood Services. He also co-founded the Northeast Disabled Athletic Association, a nonprofit that makes competitive and recreational opportunities available to people with physical disabilities. Finally, he's a certified Kettle Korn chef with A-Maize-Ing Kettle Korn of Burlington.

Finally, Dave treasures whatever time he gets with his three grown children, and two grandchildren who recently took up skiing and snowboarding!

Dave's 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

Christine Golden


“I feel honored and excited to have this chance to contribute to the important work of the Flyin Ryan Hawks foundation.”

Christine helps us keep the organizational wheels turning as our Operations Assistant. With a solid background in operations gained in the commercial real estate sector, she started her own consulting business and counts the Flyin Ryan Hawks Foundation among her clients. Christine’s skills and experience include marketing, bookkeeping and project management.

An alumna of Clark University and UVM, Christine now lives the "beach life" in Wilmington, NC.

Christine's Core Values
  1. Show appreciation for everyone around me
  2. Respect the differences in others
  3. Listen without judgment to people and the Universe
  4. Live without regret over the past
  5. Pursue opportunities that scare me
  6. Live each day without expectation
  7. Support others and let them support me
  8. Love unconditionally
  9. Abide by my intuition