Remembering Board Member Lisa Berntsen

With great sadness we share the news of the passing of our board member Lisa Berntsen.
At the time of her death, Lisa Berntsen was in Nepal on the ultimate adventure of her life, weaving together the things that held the most meaning to her: adventure, pushing limits, physical challenge, leading others, inspiring her husband and daughter—all in the realm of the exquisite natural beauty of the Himalaya. This dream trip provided the foundation for what mattered most: living a life of purpose, and finding ways to give to others in order to make a transformational difference in the world.
A sudden and unexpected medical event while on a Mountaineers Global Adventures trip to Everest Base Camp took her life. Lisa was 49 years old.
Lisa served on the Board of Directors for Braided River, driven by the conviction that our innovative publications and programs would help to preserve the wild places she cherished. She was completely dedicated to the idea of encouraging environmental stewardship through the active appreciation of wild landscapes.
In addition to her service on Braided River’s board, Lisa was a beloved member of The Mountaineers community - a former Mountaineer, Tacoma branch member, volunteer leader, and board member. While on The Mountaineers Board of Directors, Lisa served as the Vice President of Publishing for Mountaineers Books.
Her curiosity and love of the natural world led her to her profession as an environmental scientist at GeoEngineers in Tacoma, Washington, permitting and preparing resource reports for utility clients. As a leader in her profession, she was deeply involved in creative ideas in the strategic planning process for her company as they looked beyond the present and into the future. She was recognized by the Puget Sound Business Journal with a “40 Under 40 Award” in 2005. Prior to joining GeoEngineers Lisa owned a consulting company for ten years.
She earned a B.S. in Biology and an M.S. in Fisheries from the University of Washington. Her belief in creating a positive confluence between business and the environment led her to complete an MBA in Sustainability from Bainbridge Graduate Institute.
Lisa had a passion for adventure. Her life was filled with outdoor pursuits: skiing, hiking, climbing, snowshoeing, and camping, to name a few. Lisa was an active participant and activity leader at The Mountaineers in the Tacoma branch. She led trips as a climb and scramble leader and had achieved several notable summits in Washington state and abroad.
We are all stunned by the loss of such a cherished and beloved member of our community. Lisa was a close friend and colleague who made deep and lasting contributions to this organization.
She is survived by her husband Royce Poetter, and daughter, Alicia Stephens. Memorial services at The Mountaineers are pending.