Dieter relocated from Germany to the US in 1981 and has enjoyed many fun and successful years as director, manager, and founder of private language schools, translation services, and other enterprises. He is an entrepreneur at heart and always loves to come up with interesting ideas and invites others to build them into reality. Being a father of a young boy himself, he relates to kids and decided to combine his love for sailing and education to create Sail2Change - An organization to help at-risk and underserved kids to have a real chance in life, where money or background is not a determining factor for the kids future success.
Katie specializes in Recreation, Tourism Mangagment, and Sustainability. Her primary expertise lies in outdoor recreation and administration. Katie has developed an outdoor survival camp for middle school-aged youth and lead a group of young adult backpackers through the Goat Rock Mountains. She volunteered in Central America to help families build sustainable infrastructure, learn English, and learn how to implement sustainable practices within their lifestyles.
Outreach Director & Program Assistant
Ashley was very excited to join the Sail2Change team to combine her love of the outdoors with her desire to do meaningful work in our community and BEYOND! She found students for our pilot program and had the pleasure of going into the wilderness with them to see first hand as they bonded and grew into stronger versions of themselves. Seeing her work culminate into a group of smiling, dirty faces is what is currently driving her as she starts the process of reaching out for the next round of participants. Ashley loves the Pacific Northwest and can be found camping, hiking, and strolling the beach throughout the year. She is always looking for new opportunities for our youth to participate in and ways to connect to the community. Say hello!
OUTDOOR WILDERNESS TEAM
Michelle Bruncks is a former educator, a linguist, cyclist, and world traveler. She grew up in the PNW, but as a dual citizen, calls both the US and Germany home. After 4+ years working abroad as a teacher, administrator, and advocate in language and outdoor schools, she has returned home to Portland. Michelle is passionate about providing aid and community to the world’s refugees and marginalized populations and has done so in her work with refugee communities abroad and in Portland through IRCO. Backpacking and cycle touring are very dear to her heart as a means of learning about other people and exploring our world. You can often find her working on her bike or off on a trail. Michelle is thrilled to work with Sail2Change and provide youth with the opportunity to test themselves and their abilities, and make lasting friendships.
Willamette Sailing Club Team
Mitchell was born into the sport of sailing. He grew up through the Learn to Sail/ youth race team programs here at WSC and then participated in the first three years of the High School Sailing Team. After a little time away from sailing and Portland he returned to town in 2015 and jumped right back in. Mitchell sails his 14Laser and races all along the West Coast on J-105’s, Farr 40’s, 6 Meters, J24’s and 505's. He was hired as the Program Director at WSC in October of 2016 and is looking forward to another fantastic summer of learn to sail camps, racing, and warm water!
Lead Coach and Water Front Director
OYSF Program and Development Coordinator Matthew Berger started sailing in the womb on his family’s 36ft S2 and began racing dinghies at the age of 8 in the Junior Sailing Association of Long Island Sound. He has lived in Portland since 2006 and has been a part of the Willamette Sailing Club community as a Lead Coach/Waterfront Director since 2013. He is a USCG licensed captain, a US Sailing-certified Level III coach of 20+ years and is a seasoned cruiser throughout the Pacific Northwest, East Coast and Virgin Islands. He is also a professional musician and music teacher with a master’s of arts degree in humanities/musicology.