Governance

Friends of Winnataska is governed by a voluntary Board of Directors who may repeat four-year terms and are dedicated alumni, professional people, and community leaders who have an interest in fundraising and money management. Camp Winnataska is also governed by a voluntary Board of Directors who have a three-year term and are dedicated alumni, professional people, and community leaders who are familiar with the day to day operations of the camp.

Friends of Winnataska, Inc. Board

Ms. Katie Sefton, Chair
Katie Sefton served three years as a member, secretary, and Chair of the Camp Winnataska Board, and has just recently assumed the role of Chair of FOW. She is a former Comanche, and summer director at Winnataska, and Katie is also a teacher in the Birmingham School System.

Ms. Karen Moore, Treasurer
Karen Moore is a CPA with Pearce, Bevill, Leesburg and Moor accounting firm. She has been associated with Camp Winnataska since she was an 11-year-old camper. Besides serving on the Camp Winnataska Board, she also serves on the Friends of Winnataska Board, the Make-a-Wish Young Advisory Board (past president), AIC PA, ASCPA, and is past chair of the Alabama Young CPAs.

Ms. Barbara Sloan, Ex Officio Secretary
Barbara Sloan is an ex officio member of the FOW, Inc. Board, and is employed by this group as the Development Director for the Camp Winnataska Capital Campaign. She is the former Executive Director of The Seasoned Performers, former Creative Director of the American Village, and she taught theatre at Samford University for 25 years. She is a third generation Winnataska family member and her children and grandchildren are fourth and fifth generation.

Mr. Paul Bentley
Paul Bentley is a sales representative for a large portion of the south for Summer Classics outdoor furniture. He rotated off the Camp Winnataska board after serving two terms and took his first term on the FOW Board in 2014. His family are members of Vestavia Hills United Methodist Church. His met his wife Catherine when they were on staff at Winnataska together.

Ms. Kap Garmon
Kap Garmon is a community volunteer and the author of Camp Winnataska, a history about the camp. Her father, D.R. Price, was instrumental in building many of the buildings and running the camp for over 30 years as part of his job responsibilities as the Executive Secretary of the Birmingham Sunday School Council.

Mr. Buddy Sharbel
Sharbel is a Senior Vice-President and Regional Lending Executive for Regions Bank. His children are fourth generation campers and leaders at Camp Winnataska. Buddy is a lawyer, a Cumberland School of Law graduate, and enjoys being active on the FOW Board.

Mr. Buddy Stanford, Advisor
Buddy Stanford is retired from Protective Life and now has his own Stanford Financial Group located in Birmingham. Buddy has been involved with Camp Winnataska since his college days when he served on the staff.

Mr. Bob White
Bob White is a Senior Professional Geologist with Spectrum. Bob holds both a Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees in Geology from the University of Alabama. He has more than 35 years of experience, focusing in the areas of UST compliances, environmental contamination assessments, geological evaluations and source water assessments. Bob has been employed with Spectrum since 2003.

Ms. Cindy Wiley
Cindy Wiley is a Licensed Professional Counselor, EdS, LPC who retired as a member of the Shelby County Board of Education and counselor for Oak Mountain High School to go into private practice. Previously, she taught French at Oak Mountain and Homewood high schools. Cindy, a member of the American Counseling Association and the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, has been active with Winnataska since she was a camper.

Mr. Foster Yeilding
Foster is an original Camp Winnataska board member from 2007, and has remained active with Camp even after rolling off that board. He was not involved in camp as a youngster (though the Yeilding family have been), but his wife Leigh Ann was a camper and leader. Then, his three children Gaines, Wilson, and Candler all got involved. Both Gaines and Wilson were Blackfeet. Foster works with his family company House of Threads.

Camp Winnataska Board

Mr. James Barnes, Chair
Jamie Barnes works as a Six Sigma Black Belt for McKesson, a pharmaceutical wholesale distributor. With 18 total years camp experience from camper to Blackfoot (staff) to Program Specialist in Ropes, Jamie is a fourth-generation Winnataska family member who also met his wife Erica Williamson at camp.

Ms. Karen Moore, Treasurer and Chair of Finance
Karen Moore is a CPA with Pearce, Bevill, Leesburg and Moore accounting firm. She has been associated with Camp Winnataska since she was an 11-year-old camper. Besides serving on the Camp Winnataska Board, she also serves on the Friends of Winnataska Board, the Make-a-Wish Young Advisory Board (past president), AIC PA, ASCPA, and is past chair of the Alabama Young CPAs.

Ms. Audrey Sharbel Jost, Secretary
Audrey Jost and her children and grandchildren, her mother and grandmother have all been active at Camp Winnataska. She has recently retired as a kindergarten teacher in the Vestavia City Schools. Formerly, Audrey taught Jazzercise, and was an Adjunct Professor at the University of Montevallo. Currently, she serves as a summer director at Winnataska.

Mr. Jim Cearlock
Jim Cearlock is a Vice President in Treasury Management at SouthPoint Bank. He has been involved at Winnataska for the past 25 years. Jim met his wife, Carrie Snow, at camp and his four children are beginning to catch the spirit as well. He is the Ropes Course Director for summer and off-season and serves as the Treasurer of the Camp Winnataska Alumni Club.

Mr. Wes Cochran
Wes Cochran’s grandfather Zip Zbinden was the Camp Director of Winnataska in the early 1970s, and his mother was the Summer Camp Director for a number of years in the 1990s and early 2000s. He is a former camper, leader, and Blackfoot himself. A 2003 Carson Newman biology graduate, Wes is employed in Sales at Construction Materials, Inc.

Mr. Geoff Feagin
Geoff Feagin works in technology for Summer Classics, a luxury outdoor furniture company. He studied Management Information System at Auburn University, and graduated in 2002. During his college days, Geoff was a Blackfoot at Camp Winnataska after having served as a leader for several summers. A dedicated volunteer, he has worked on numerous facility and other camp projects over the years.

Ms. Sarah Graffeo
Sarah Graffeo is Regional Engagement Specialist and Development Coordinator at the UAB School of Medicine. From 2011 to 2016, she worked at Marketry, Inc., gaining extensive experience in managing national, international, and local projects. She is a Birmingham-Southern College graduate. A former Winnataska camper, leader, and Comanche, Sarah is married to Grafton Weinacker.

Ms. Carly Miller
Carly Miller is a litigator at Bradley law firm, representing clients in a variety of industries, with a focus on construction, government contracting and energy. Before joining the firm, Carly received her J.D., summa cum laude, from Tulane Law School in 2013 and her Bachelor of Arts degree from Vanderbilt University in 2010. In 2012 while in law school, she lived in Barcelona, Spain studying international and comparative law at ESADE Law School. She spent many summers at Winnataska in her youth.

Mr. Jim Thorington, Chaplain and Chair of Facilities
Jim Thorington is the Director of Engineering for Motion Industries, Inc. headquartered in Irondale, AL.  His job is the design of machinery, particularly hydraulic and electrical/automation. He has also worked in Aerospace & Defense electronics and is a graduate of Auburn University with BEE (1985) and MSEE degrees (1986).

Mr. Andrew Virciglio
Andrew Virciglio, having graduated with a degree in telecommunications from the University of Alabama in 2012, is the youngest member of the Camp Board and is interested in forming a junior board to attract the under-30 set to volunteer for Winnataska. AV, as he is called at Camp, works with his family business, Piggly Wiggly. He was a camper, leader, and Blackfoot at Winnataska.

Mr. Foster Yeilding
Foster is the FOW liaison to the Camp Winnataska Board. His bio can be seen above.

Mr. Wilson Yeilding
Wilson Yeilding is an Associate at Graham & Company. He got both his B.S. and M.B.A. at Auburn University. A USA Archery Level 2 Instructor, Wilson is also the High Rope Course Certified Instructor for Camp Winnataska, where he was a camper, leader, and Blackfoot.

Ms. Kenny Keith
Kenny Keith is ex offico on the board as the Legal Counsel. She is a former Comanche, and mother of an active camp volunteer, Amy Williamson. Kenny was Program Specialist in Horses for many years. She is married, and is a lawyer with Gilpin Givhan law firm.

Statistics and Offerings

Statistics

  • Year Round Employees: 6
  • Campers Registered: around 1,500 plus
  • Active Summer Adult Staff (Program Specialists): 10
  • Active Summer Adult Volunteer Staff (Weekly Directors): 50
  • Active Summer College-Age Staff (Blackfeet and Comanches: 30
  • Active Summer High School Volunteer Staff (Hut Leaders): 190
  • Nurses on Duty each Camp Session: 2 to 4
  • Year Round Guests: 4,550
  • Year Round Volunteers: 450
  • Annual Volunteer Hours: 30,000

Programs for Summer

  • Horses
  • Crafts
  • Outdoors
  • Nature
  • Riflery
  • Archery
  • Pool
  • Canoes
  • Kayaks
  • Recreation
  • Ropes
  • Paddle Boards
  • Hiking
  • Fishing
  • Dancing
  • Overnight Camping

Evening Programs for Summer

  • Olympics Game Night
  • Mission Impossible
  • Indian Night
  • Carnival Night with various themes
  • Country Night
  • Pageant of the Holy Grail