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Melanie Russek, BA

Operations & Intake Director

Melanie grew up by the ocean on the North Island of New Zealand and didn’t discover the mountains until she moved to the South Island to attend Lincoln University where she attained her Bachelor in Parks and Recreation Management. It’s also where she discovered snowboarding and expanded further her love of outdoor recreation, both professionally and personally. Having recently pursued her Masters in Sport and Recreation Management, where her study focused on the mental health benefits of nature-based recreation, Melanie was naturally drawn to pursuing work opportunities in this field. With a strong recreation-based logistics and operations background, working in Operations at Open Sky seemed a natural fit.    

Melanie’s work experience is in recreation based economic development, ski area management, avalanche education, event management, risk management and EMS. She enjoys leading small teams and building a positive work place culture and was inspired by the opportunity to do so with Open Sky’s human-centered approach.

Over the last two decades Melanie has split her time living between Durango and Silverton and thrives in the outdoor natural spaces that this area offers. In her spare time, she loves to travel, recreate and grow beautiful flowers and herbs. Soaking in hot pools, spending time with her husband and cat and swimming in the Animas River bring her the greatest joy in life.

About Open Sky

Since 2006, Open Sky Wilderness Therapy has been providing the premier family-centered wilderness therapy experience. The Open Sky approach transcends traditional wilderness therapy by emphasizing treatment for the whole family not just the adolescent or young adult, and the application of evidence-based clinical modalities with innovative, well-researched holistic healing practices such as yoga, meditation and mindfulness.