Cathy Tarr, Founder & Executive Director
In 2016 Cathy fell in love with hiking while exploring The Whites in Shelburne NH and trail angel-ing for AT hikers. Her love for the PCT and long distance trails inspired her to volunteer in the effort to find Kris Fowler in August 2017. While searching for Kris, she saw a flyer for another missing hiker, David O’Sullivan in California. Cathy has brought together an amazing team of people eager to help families of missing hikers. Cathy has coordinated numerous volunteer search efforts, offering her time and experience to families who are searching for a loved one. As a compassionate and dedicated family liaison/advocate, she provides wise counsel to families, connecting them with vetted search resources. Cathy is the family advocate on the David O’Sullivan case.
Tim Riley, Board Chairman
Mr. Riley was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and obtained his J.D. from the University of Wisconsin in 1984. He was admitted to the Wisconsin Bar that same year, and was admitted in California in 1986. Mr. Riley has been certified as a Specialist in Estate Planning, Trust and Probate law by the California Board of Legal Specialization of the State Bar of California since 1994. He is rated “AV” by Martindale-Hubbell, and has also consistently been named as one of San Diego’s “Top Lawyers” and a “Super Lawyer” in the area of Probate, Estate Planning and Trust Law.
Effective November 1, 2019, Mr. Riley retired from the active practice of law. However, he continues to consult with the attorneys at Hughes & Pizzuto, APC, in the areas of estate planning; probate and trust administration; estate / gift tax controversies; and contested probate matters. Mr. Riley now concentrates on his mediation practice with West Coast Resolution Group, having served as a neutral in more than 150 mediations of probate-related matters. Mr. Riley also serves as a judge pro tem in the Probate Division of the San Diego Superior Court, and as a court-appointed guardian ad litem. Mr. Riley was a founder and director of the Probate Attorneys of San Diego, and currently serves on the boards of Irish Outreach and the Irish Congress of Southern California.
Laura Gray, Board Treasurer
Laura is a Financial Consultant with over 30 years in business leadership as an owner, CEO/CFO and Controller. Laura is a mother to three, including Jacob who went missing in 2017 – a grandmother to 7 (two of which are foster adopted.) Jacob’s missing began in April of 2017 with his bike sited on the side of the Sol Duc River in the Olympic National Park, WA. Authorities quicky decided Jacob slipped in the river and chose to wait on the search. The bulk of the search fell on family who began a determined search effort to find him. Her journey required intense social media presence (FB Group Find Jacob Gray), dealing with multiple jurisdictions and agencies, working with local community, and media outlets. After sixteen months of searching, his remains were found by volunteer marmot biologists at the top of Hoh Lake in August of 2018. It is Laura’s heart to use her skills, life experiences, and love for Jacob to support families find missing loved ones.
Jill Tavolazzi, Board Treasurer
Jill retired as an Administrative Analyst from San Diego State University where she earned a B.A. in Public Administration and Urban Studies. During her time there she was inducted into the Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society in recognition of her outstanding service to the University. Eventually, she served as the Treasurer for SDSU’s chapter and held that position for over 10 years. While serving as Treasurer, the chapter earned outstanding recognition as Chapter of Excellence for several years. After she retired, Jill was on a visit to Ireland in the summer of 2017 when David O’Sullivan’s family realized he had gone missing while hiking the PCT. Jill was friends with David’s mother and aunt, so hearing the devastating news first-hand truly impacted her. After returning home to the San Diego area Jill participated in her first group search for David with Irish Outreach, spearheaded by Cathy Tarr. Jill felt an instant connection when meeting Cathy, especially after discovering they were both born in Western Pennsylvania. Since then Jill has participated in several searches for David. After meeting so many amazing volunteers, and with David’s family so far away, Jill is committed to doing whatever she can to find David and other missing hikers.
Stewart Krull, Board Member
As an award-winning executive creative director, Stewart brings more than three decades of advertising and marketing experience to the Fowler-O’Sullivan Foundation. But it’s his experience as a grieving father that makes Stewart’s passion for the FOF and its mission so profound. When 20-year-old Zachary Krull failed to return from a solo hike during a sudden and severe winter storm at Olympic National Park in April 2017, Stewart and his family learned firsthand what local law enforcement and volunteer SAR teams can and cannot do when time, weather and logistics conspire against you. Sparing the family of facing long-term ambiguous loss, Zachary’s remains were accidentally discovered, and recovered, three months later. For Stewart, there can be no better way to honor the memory of his nature-loving son than working to help the Foundation prevent or bring closure to other missing hiker cases.
Sally Fowler, Board Member
Sally Fowler’s life changed forever in the fall of 2016, when her stepson disappeared while hiking the Pacific Crest Trail. Kris “Sherpa” Fowler started his PCT thru-hike at the California/Mexican Border on May 8—Mother’s Day. Kris was near the end of his 2650-mile PCT journey to the Canadian Border when he was last seen on Oct 12, 2016, at the White Pass Trailhead in Washington state. There have been many official and volunteer searches for Kris, including a search that was, at the time, the largest in Washington state history. Unfortunately, no definitive signs of Kris or his whereabouts have been found. In 2016, Sally and her family created the Facebook group Bring Kris Fowler/Sherpa Home which now has over 8K followers. This group provides guidance to other families when a loved one goes missing in the wilderness. In 2017, Sally and another member of this FB group helped reunite a family with a loved one who had been missing for 4 years.
During the early stages of Kris’s disappearance, families of the missing offered Sally useful advice. She has paid this forward by providing support to several families of missing hikers and advising them on what steps to take. “It is an honor that the Fowler-O’Sullivan Foundation was named after my son, Kris,” Sally says. “I want to continue helping others who are experiencing what is probably the most devastating event in their life.”
Con and Carmel O’Sullivan
(with David in the middle)
of the Foundation
Since 2006, Morgan Clements has been the CEO and Founder of GlobalIncidentMap, a company which monitors open source information and converts it into geospatial intelligence, for government, military, law enforcement, and corporate clients. A long-distance backpacker, Morgan has volunteered since 2016 in the searches for multiple missing hikers, including successfully locating the human remains of a hiker missing for more than one year at Joshua Tree National Park, as part of a team effort. Morgan also publishes backcountryydanger.com which is updated daily with events related to missing hikers, rescued climbers, kayaking accidents, and other outdoor incidents which may require rescue or recovery. Morgan hopes that through these volunteer efforts he can help bring resolution and peace to families of the missing.
Andrea is an author, a registered nurse, and a former NPS law enforcement park ranger. She has 12 years experience in search and rescue and wilderness medicine. She helped design and implement Hike Smart Hike Safe, an innovative Preventative SAR campaign at the Grand Canyon that still save lives today. Her outdoor experience includes an AT thru-hike, kayaking from Miami to Key West, and she was the first to bike-back the Arizona Trail. She is currently writing a book about the search for three hikers still missing form the Pacific Crest Trail.
In 2019 Theresa’s life was upended forever when her husband, John Sturkie disappeared while driving in the San Jacinto Mountains. During her search for John, Theresa met Cathy Tarr who was searching for David O’Sullivan in the same area. The two women combined forces to organize volunteer searches for both John and David, a PCT hiker who vanished the year before. During one search in late May, Cathy spotted a bloody sock about 100 feet in front of the truck in the direction of mile marker 193 on the PCT. After this discovery, the authorities conducted another search and John’s body was found. A mother of four, Theresa wants to pay it forward by helping other families of people who go missing in wilderness locations.
Jessica is an avid outdoor adventurer from Idaho, who loves to teach others outdoor recreational skills, while sharing her knowledge on preventative SAR and backcountry safety. From an early age, she developed a love for the mountains and everything outdoors. Growing up in southeastern Idaho, provided her many opportunities over the years to travel and explore the vast wilderness areas all throughout Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, and Oregon. Jessica loves to hike and backpack year round with her dogs, son, and friends. She also enjoys winter camping, snowshoeing, hammock camping, learning primitive skills, hiking, backpacking, kayaking, hunting, fishing, photography, discovering historical hidden treasures in the backcountry and more. Jessica continues to build upon her knowledge and skills, and she hopes to become a certified Drone piolet in the future.
– Born and raised in Oregon, where I grew up camping, fishing and hunting.
– Formal training through Mt. Hood Community Colleges Wilderness Leadership program.
– Training included
– Wilderness First Responder (since expired, would be willing to renew)
– Whitewater Rescue Technician
– Avalanche Rescue
– Crevasse Rescue
– Became a backcountry wilderness guide, eventually was in charge of all guide training and running the company I worked for.
– Backcountry ski/snowboarding
– Winter Camping
– Rock Climbing/ Repelling
– Wilderness Survival
Currently live on the edge of Mt. Hood National Forest, with my wife of 13 years Rachel and our two daughters Rilee and Kennedi. I assisted in a local search for a missing person and through that realized this is where I would like to apply my backcountry knowledge.