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our leadership

The President, assisted by a Leadership Team, leads REI under the overall direction of a Board of Directors. The Leadership Team consists of the following members.


Doug became the President and CEO of REI in 2018.  Prior to that he worked as a systems analyst for the United Technologies Research Center, a litigation attorney for two of Maine’s leading law firms, and in leadership for a non-profit organization. He has spent a fair amount of time overseas, including three years in South Korea and eight years in Singapore. Doug received a B.A. from Amherst College and a J.D. from Cornell Law School.

K. Douglas Erdmann

President and CEO


A graduate of MacMurray College in Illinois with a degree in biology and secondary education, Brian began his career as a science teacher, eventually becoming a school principal in the Chicago suburbs. In the 1990s, he and his wife accepted a three-year assignment with a not-for-profit organization in the Philippines where they developed a love for Asia. He became involved with REI in 1999, serving first as Vice-director of REI’s work in Vietnam, and then as Director of REI-Vietnam in 2004. Empowering future generations has compelled him for the past four decades.

Brian Teel

Senior Vice President


Jay Smidt

Vice President for Administration & CFO

Jay joined the REI team as the Director of Operations in the spring of 2014. His role includes four distinct functions – Chief Financial Officer, Director of Administration, Corporate Treasurer and Corporate Secretary. Jay has a B.A. in Business Administration from Dordt College and brings to his roles over 30 years of non-profit leadership experience, specializing in both finance and human resources. Jay has lived in the Colorado Springs area for a majority of his life and enjoys the Colorado Rocky Mountains and simply being outdoors with his wife and two sons.

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Paul Yankey started involvement with REI in 2010 and joined the board in 2016. He is the founder of SWL, a sales advisory firm focused on the critical importance of selling with love and practical ways to do so. Paul is best known for his work at Salesforce, Dell, and Cisco Systems during their respective periods of record-achieving growth. Paul is a triathlete and Ironman competitor. He holds a B.S. in finance from Biola University and an MBA from Santa Clara University. He and his wife Deanne, have four children and nine grandchildren.  

Paul Yankey

Chief Advancement Officer

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Graduating with a B.A. in Communications: Journalism from the University of Northwestern, Wendy began her career in publishing, working in Minneapolis before she and her husband moved overseas. Wendy joined REI in 2019 after living and working in Kazakhstan for 14 years, where she also served on the board of directors for a local charitable nonprofit for several years. Leveraging resources to see transformation in developing countries  motivated her from the beginning and continues to inspire her work today.

Wendy Moore

Director of Communications & Foundation Relations

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