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The Board

Climb the Mountain Directors 

The Board of Directors of Climb the Mountain are dedicated to the goal of making speech and debate an opportunity for all students at all schools.

Board of Directors: Climb the Mountain

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Jared Phillips

Chief Executive Officer

Handling many of the business functions of Climb the Mountain.  Mr. Phillips has been a nationally recognized All-American debater (placing thirty-third in the nation), coach of the 17th team in the nation, placed in late elimination rounds at multiple Northwest debate tournaments.


Jim Hanson

Executive Director

Mr. Hanson is responsible for the instructional creation and organization of the Foundation.  Mr. Hanson has been a Professor of Communication, Rhetoric and Argument and speech and debate coach for most of his life.  As coach, his speech and debate team won 5 squad NDPA national championships, first place CEDA team in the nation (Jessica Clarke and Adam Symonds), first place NDT speaker, and first place NPDA speaker (Miranda Morton) as well as over 1000 debate awards and 500 individual speaking events awards


Rowland Hobbs

Board Member

He is a nationally recognized, award-winning, product designer, marketer, and advisor to leaders of global organizations. He is currently CEO and Co-founder of Stake, providing return on rent. Previously, he was managing director at Teneo, a global CEO advisory firm, product design director at Accenture, board member at Firelight Foundation, founder and board member at Post+Beam, and was a nationally competitive debater advancing to elimination rounds at CEDA Nationals and the NFL National championship, placing ninth at the Heart of America, and earning first speaker in Washington State.

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Jason P. Smith

Trainer and Community Administrator

He is Human Resources Director and former training and community outreach administrator for the City of Marysville and has 15 years as a higher education administrator both at the university and community college level, along with 20 years as a Marine Corps officer. Mr. Smith also coached parliamentary debate at the University of Washington, which included teams that won Northwest tournaments and competed in nationals.


Char Main

Vice President and Secretary

She is a litigation attorney with a nationwide practice, and she oversees the work of litigators across the country.  She is formerly a nationally competitive speaker and an "All American" debater, and placed first and was awarded first speaker at many Northwest debate contests.  In law school, Ms. Main was a finalist and coach in national moot court competitions.  She has coached at both high school and college levels, including leading multiple teams to elimination debates. 

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