Our Team (New Page Draft) - Sender One Climbing


Meet the people behind Sender One's vision of creating and maintaining a space to discover and connect with others through climbing. In addition to the following leadership positions, Sender One thrives through the collaboration and hard work of our phenomenal Customer Experience Staff, Routesetters, Youth Program Coaches, and Yoga Instructors.

We are always looking for talented, energetic, passionate people to join our team. If this sounds like you, check out our open positions on our Careers Page!

Leadership and Company Departments

Alice Kao
Co-Founder, CEO

About Alice

Alice discovered climbing while living and working in London in 2008 after a difficult breakup. Wanting to share the healing and self-discovery that climbing brought her, she co-founded Sender One in 2011 on her return to the United States alongside her business partners. Alice hates following rules but loves getting people to believe in her ideas. 😊 She wears her heart on her sleeve and is not afraid to cry in meetings. Her secret superpower is building IKEA furniture while listening to Chinese pop music.

Wes Shih
Co-Founder, CSO, GC

About Wes

Having done almost all of the different jobs at Sender One, these days Wes mostly helps others with their projects and responsibilities, while doing a fair amount of writing, and leads the risk management team. Every so often, he gets to work on special projects, and once in a while, gets to design a new gym! Wes grew up in Wisconsin and Southern California. He dreams about going back to Castle Hill and Ceuse pretty regularly.

Nicole Pate

Vice President of Operations

About Nicole

Nicole grew up exploring the Santa Monica Mountains but didn’t discover climbing until after college. Her first experience climbing was at the New River Gorge in West Virginia, and she was immediately hooked. Once back home, she honed her new skills in the mountains she grew up in, and shortly after, moved to Costa Mesa where she found Sender One SNA. She started working at Sender in December of 2013 after being a member for a few months. In 2016 she moved back to Los Angeles to open Sender’s LAX location and continues to share her passion for climbing there today!

Moses Potter

Director of Routesetting, Gym Design and Development

About Moses

Moses was the first hire at Sender One in 2012. He helps design, builds, and organize the look and feel of our gyms. The route setting at Sender One reflects his vision of aesthetics and movement. He even turns a wrench on occasion! 🙂 Moses grew up climbing on the Central Coast of California and still travels extensively to climb.

Morgan Sander

Director of Operations

About Morgan

Morgan connected with climbing and yoga because of their unique combination of mental and physical challenges. With her background in competitive gymnastics and developmental psychology, she became fascinated with the way that these movement practices affect our mental states, encourage creative problem solving and play, and build community. Today, Morgan teaches a multitude of movement activities including climbing, aerial silks, yoga, and acro yoga, and she strongly believes that anyone, of any background, can grow mentally and physically by mindfully challenging themselves through these practices.

Dersa Cyr

Finance Director

About Dersa

Dersa is a Lake Tahoe native and no stranger to the outdoors. She learned to ski, climb trees, hike mountains, swim in ice-cold waters, camp in the wild, and respect nature by the age of three. When Dersa moved to Southern California she was invited out to New Jack for rock climbing and was hooked. Dersa is also a passionate animal lover, minimalist, and environmentalist. She is often trying to make a difference by small changes in her actions every single day.

Jeffrey Tamayo

Human Resources Manager

About Jeff

Jeffrey retired from long-distance running back in 2016 due to destroying his knees. I guess you can say being injured all the time was not the bee's knees. He started climbing more as an alternative. Though he's been climbing for almost 10 years, it will always remain a recreational sport for Jeff. Don't get it twisted - he will try hard on occasion, but don't expect much. Jeff did most of his outdoor climbing when he was living in Yosemite and now aspires to become the best belayer in the world at Sender One. Jeff mostly rope climbs, but he is not a morning person (not sure why those two things would go together, but it felt right for you to know that). Finally, he enjoys listening to people.

Czar Goss

Training & Development Manager

About Czar

Corey Cosby

Construction Manager

About Corey

Corey can ride his bike with no handlebars. He’s the retired 2017 Fall Bouldering League Champion of the world. Some people say cucumbers taste better than pickles, but Corey would have to disagree. His favorite color is green and he owns 30 snakes.

Christian Cueva

Facilities Manager

About Christian

As Christian topped his first indoor v0, arms pumped, knees heavy, palms sweaty, he knew that this was going to be his next sport. Climbing became a big part of his life and lead him to make life-long bonds and friendships. He immediately became attracted to the mental problem solving and physical challenges climbing presented. Christian sought out to be a part of the climbing gym family and in 2017 Sender One gave him that opportunity. With the help of Sender One, he has been able to Discover and Connect with other people and help share his love and passion for climbing.

Nicola Strother

Yoga & Fitness Manager

About Nicola

Nicola has been the Yoga and Fitness Manager at Sender One since its inception in 2013. Prior to a career change to personal training and yoga/fitness coordinating, she had a successful career as a stunt woman in Los Angeles. Being in peak condition in this field was critical, and the knowledge she garnered about pre and rehabilitation and overall body mechanics allowed a seamless transition. With a B.A. from UCLA, her current certifications include: Biomechanics Specialist, NESTA Certified Personal Trainer, Certified Nutrition Coach, and a Pat Etcheberry Certified Trainer (tennis-specific agility for athletes). Nicola works with all age ranges and loves being able to make a difference in her clients' lives be it performing at an elite level or just living pain-free!

Jon Wu

Financial Analyst

About Jon

Brand Marketing Team

Caitlyn Nicholas

Merch. Manager & Buyer

About Caitlyn

Caitlyn was introduced to climbing in 2008 and fell in love with not only the sport itself but the culture and climbing community as well. She is passionate about connecting new and experienced climbers with all the gear they need to get their sends! Caitlyn is the mother of two bright and compassionate little girls, and she can't wait to share climbing with her daughters as a way to discover themselves and connect with others. Her favorite thing to do when she’s not at work is spend the day at the park with her wife, the girls, and their furry canine brother, Russ.

Alex Erdman

Asst. Brand Manager

About Alex

Routesetting Team

Mike Rohsler

LAX Head Routesetter

About Mike

Mike grew up in climbing gyms and participated on climbing teams in New Jersey with his older brother.  The incredible images of Southern California rock climbing plastered around the gym and in magazines set the destination for him. Twenty years of climbing, and nine years of routesetting later he arrived at Sender One, more psyched than ever to showcase his creativity to this community. 

Marcus LaCavera

SNA Head Routesetter

About Marcus

Marcus was introduced to indoor climbing during his last year of highschool in 2013; He was immediately hooked despite the torn skin and tired fingers. During his time at UCSB, Marcus discovered his love of routesetting, helped found the school's climbing team, and eventually stumbled upon an online listing for a setting position at Sender One. Nowadays, Marcus splits his time between setting, getting lost in Black Mountain, and playing too many video games.

Devan Gutierrez

LKW Head Routesetter

About Devan

Orange County Region Team

Ian McGarraugh

SNA Gym Manager

About Ian

A SoCal native, Ian has been climbing since 2009 and has been working in the outdoor industry for about as long.  He prefers roped climbing, often switching between sport and trad from season to season. When not climbing, Ian pursues many other outdoor sports, including canyoneering, backpacking, and mountain biking.  Every day he gets to connect with new people and loves when he gets the chance to teach people about climbing techniques and technology (almost as much as when he gets to connect about various nerd fandoms).

Kelley Romanuski

SNA Customer Experience Manager

About Kelley

Christian Mercene

SNA Head Coach

About Christian

Christian started climbing in college and hasn’t looked back since. He loves working with kids and teaching climbing. He really enjoys helping people push past their current levels, whether physically or mentally. Competing in climbing competitions brings the best out of him, but he also loves climbing outside. Christian is psyched on bouldering and sport climbing and really pushes his limits while crushing!

Laurel Melton

SNA Programs Manager

About Laurel

Los Angeles County Region Team

Haylee Nichele

LAX Gym Manager

About Haylee

Michelle Mitchell

LAX Head Coach

About Michelle

Michelle's athletic career started when she joined a youth soccer team at age 5. She grew up playing soccer, tennis, and swimming, and started going to the gym with her dad when she was 10 years old. Since then, she has loved to explore different ways to move her body, from yoga, to running, to body surfing, to climbing.

She loves learning about all things health and fitness, and she loves coaching people. Michelle received her undergraduate degree in Human Biology from UC Santa Cruz and is an ACE Certified Personal Trainer. She specializes in youth fitness and sports performance and is currently in a Master's program for sport psychology. Her goal is to help people grow, reach their goals, and prioritize their health so that they too can move their bodies with confidence.

Andrew Palma

LAX Programs Manager

About Andrew

Art Garcia Alvear

Lakewood Gym Manager

About Art

Art dove headfirst into climbing in 2013, purchasing an annual membership during his second time climbing before working at that same gym only a month later. Since then, Art has integrated himself into the SoCal climbing community, helping to foster the same inclusive and welcoming environment that he felt immediately when exploring the sport. Art is extroverted and social, and can often be found forging new connections with any nearby climbers, at the gym and crag alike. Art loves bouldering, teaching people how to lead climb (though he's scared to lead fall himself), and he especially loves guiding people through their first outdoor climbing experience. He enjoys playing games, anime, cats, and generally having fun with people. If you see him, don't hesitate to say hello!

Von Agustin

Westwood Gym Manager

About Von

Seth Davalos

Playa Gym Manager

About Seth

Mac Macquilkan

LKW Programs Manager

About Mac

Melissa Garcia

LKW Customer Experience Manager

About Melissa

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