Katharina Fritzler is originally from Amherst, Virginia, a small rural town nestled along the Blue Ridge Mountains. She grew up hiking and running along the Appalachian Trail, volunteering in her local community, and, with the encouragement of her family, exploring the world. After living in Erlangen, Germany, Katharina returned home and started taking climbing trips to the New River Gorge and fell in love with the beauty of WV. In 2018, Katharina moved to Charleston, WV to work for Girl Scouts of Black Diamond Council as Senior Program Manager.
During her time with GSBDC, she designed a drone program that highlighted conservation efforts and encouraged outdoor exploration for girls with limited mobility, developed a mentorship program to connect older girls with women leaders in a desired career trajectory, oversaw GIRLFest (an outdoor festival for Girl Scouts nationwide), and built strong and trusting partnerships across WV, OH, MD and VA. In 2020, Katharina bought a house in Charleston, WV and notified her friends and family that she was not moving back to VA; instead had become adopted by WV.
Her passion for the state has encouraged several of her friends to move to WV for outdoor recreation. Katharina has also worked as a volunteer for several state and national non-profits, such as New River Alliance for Climbers, American Alpine Club, and YWCA (Lynchburg, VA and Charleston, WV). Her favorite volunteer position is Foster Mom to cats and kittens through Itty Bitty Kitty Committee. Katharina is a lifelong learner and has a Bachelor degree from Sweet Briar College, a Masters of Science from North Dakota State University and a Masters in Social Work from University of Southern California. When she is not at work, she enjoys rock climbing, paddle boarding down the many rivers in WV, and exploring the State with her dog, Frannie.