Our Team | LA & Orange County's Best Climbing Gym | Sender One

MEET OUR TEAM

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 company positions, Sender One thrives through the collaboration and hard work of our phenomenal Customer Experience Staff, Routesetters, Youth Program Coaches, and Yoga Instructors.

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

Director of Gym 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

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.

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.

Crystal Tan

Brand Marketing Manager

About Crystal

Eager to gain tendonitis and very buff shoulders, Crystal took up climbing in 2014. She prefers to wrestle pebbles and has a crash pad with her dog’s face on it. Her favorite climbing areas are Bishop, Squamish, Tuolumne, and Hueco Tanks. When she’s not climbing, you can find her weaving jewelry, attempting to workout, in the snack section at Trader Joe’s, or with a camera in hand. In 2015, Crystal began working at Sender One and without any background in marketing, the company trusted her enough to run the entire marketing department because she was pretty ok at Instagram.

Dersa Cyr

Finance Manager

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

Employee Experience

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.

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.

Ryan Levi

IT Supervisor

About Ryan

An Orange County native, Ryan has been falling off boulders since 2013. His favorite hobbies outside of climbing include teaching his dogs new tricks, trying out new recipes, and learning about coffee. He's also a big fan of unusual animal friendships.

Morgan Sander

SNA Gym Manager

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.

Ian McGarraugh

Playa Vista 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).

Caitlyn Volkman

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.

Katie Bay Woodbury

Events & Comm. Programs Coord.

About Katie Bay

Originally from Miami, Florida, Katie moved out to LA for even more beautiful weather and a horizon that wasn't as flat. She enjoys the sand under her feet at the beach and the dirt beneath her fingers at the climbing crag. When she's not climbing or soaking up the sun, Katie can be found in the warm, cozy room of a yoga studio, where she both attends classes and teaches classes. Her favorite animal is the Elephant because of its majestic nature and the love it shows to its herd.

Gavin Lively

Graphic Designer

About Gavin

Gavin discovered climbing in 2010 at his local climbing gym where not only did he grow his passion for the sport but met a whole community that was supportive in so many ways. He loves road trips, blasting tunes, boba, and overall good company. On his time off you can find him cooking up a good meal with plenty of food to share.

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!

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!

Marcus LaCavera

SNA Asst. 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.

Kody Shutt

LAX Head Routesetter

About Kody

Kody started rock climbing in 2005 and has been routesetting at Sender One since 2013. He tries to emphasize thoughtfulness, comfort, and aesthetics in the climbs that he sets but most importantly wants them to be fun and fair for as many people as possible. While he is usually found out at the boulders, to him it is just a good excuse to get outside and enjoy the outdoors.

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