Located near Centura Health in Avon right off of I-70. An innovative natural science learning campus for residents and visitors of the Eagle Valley. Free and open to the public.

318 Walking Mountains Lane, Avon, CO 81620

Located at the top of the Eagle Bahn Gondola on Vail Mountain out of Lionshead Village, Vail. All visitors must have a pass to ride the gondola. Free and open to the public with valid gondola pass.
Nestled along Gore Creek near the Betty Ford Alpine Garden and Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater in Vail Village.
601 Vail Valley Drive, Vail, CO 81657

Walking Mountains Blog

Staff Spotlight: Kathleen O'Toole-Gilles

Posted by Walking Mountains Science Center on Jan 31, 2020 10:43:26 AM
Walking Mountains Science Center

Meet our staff! Walking Mountains staff is full of brilliant, interesting and funny individuals. We want the community that might not have a chance to work with them or participate in their program to get to know our staff. Trust us-- our staff makes all the difference! Join us Fridays for a new blog post. Click the tag at the bottom for more spotlights!


Staff Spotlight: Kathleen O'Toole-Gilles
- What is your position at Walking Mountains? What is your primary responsibility?

I am the Human Resources Generalist for Walking Mountains Science Center. I am responsible for assisting with the overall human resources function for the organization to include benefits, payroll processing, tax reporting, employee life cycle facilitation by assisting departments with recruitment efforts, onboarding and employee relations, communications and maintenance of HR policies and procedures, enhancement of organizational culture and completing other general HR and Executive administrative tasks.

- How long have you been at Walking Mountains?

I started at Walking Mountains in May 2018.

- How long have you lived in Eagle County? Where did you live before?

I moved to the Vail Valley in 2006. I came by myself for the winter and then decided to stay for the summer. This is my 14th winter and I haven’t looked back.  Prior to that I was living in Chicago, did a short stint in Ireland and am originally from and grew up in St. Louis, MO.

- What inspires you, in regards to your job?

People!  I am more behind the scenes here working to hopefully give all the employees out fulfilling the WM mission in our community what they need. I am truly inspired by the employee’s dedication to our mission and how great everyone is at their work!  I am inspired by our staffs knowledge and passion. I am also inspired by the children on campus for programs and hearing/seeing them have such a great time learning at our facility and outside appreciating nature.

- Do you have a favorite program or event that Walking Mountain hosts?

My personal favorite is the Sustainable Film Series. I love watching documentary films and learning new things, so that’s a given. I also love seeing our Zero Heros out crushing it at many of my favorite community events around town. Finally, LOVE EarthKeepers and enjoy many of these programs with my kids.

- Where else in the community do you work or volunteer?

When I am not working for Walking Mountains I am volunteering my time to the 4 and 2 year old children and 2 dogs that reside at my home ;-)

- Whats your favorite way to spend time in the outdoors?
I love hiking. Being in a quiet and beautiful setting, under the canopy of the trees, with my own thoughts is what connects me to nature most. I also love playing in the snow with my husband, kids and dogs, whether it be snowboarding, skiing, sledding, making snow angels or just watching the snow fall. In the summer I enjoy riding my bike, sitting on patios with friends and am a huge fan of laying in the grass on a beautiful CO day.


- What is your favorite food?
Thai, Chinese, Sushi. Also, baking is a hobby of mine and I have serious problems with baking desserts, specifically vegan chocolate chip cookies and then eating them all. I can’t stop help me please. I also am a huge coffee lover, though that is not technically a food, but rather a beverage, I still thought you should know.


- What is your favorite animal?
I love Cows and aspire to have a pet cow or two someday, for no other purposes than to have them be part of my family. I am also a huge dog lover.


- What is a fun or interesting fact about yourself?
I come from a large Irish family. I am the youngest of six siblings. I have 21 nieces and nephews. Growing up, I spent every Friday night at Irish dance lessons and competed around the Midwest throughout my youth. When I was 14, I quit dancing and became the singer for the only all-female Irish band in St. Louis until I left for college in Chicago. My large family and Irish heritage have always been a big part of my life.

View Kathleen's Staff Page: HERE
Learn more about the Sustainable Film Series: HERE
Learn more about Zero Waste: HERE
Learn more about EarthKeepers: HERE

Topics: Staff Spotlight

Walking Mountains Science Center

Written by Walking Mountains Science Center

Our mission is to awaken a sense of wonder and inspire environmental stewardship and sustainability through natural science education.