Brady Robinson is the Executive Director of the Access Fund, the national organization that keeps climbing areas open and conserves the climbing environment. A long time Outward Bound and NOLS instructor, he currently serves on the board of Outward Bound Peacebuilding and is a founding board member of the Outdoor Alliance. Brady started climbing in Minnesota in 1989 and has since climbed all over the world, with some of his biggest climbs in Pakistan and Patagonia. Brady believes that outdoor recreation, increased youth participation and a healthy outdoor economy are all critical to the future of the conservation movement; this was the theme of his 2012 TEDxBoulder talk. Brady lives in Boulder, CO with his wife Lucia and daughters Tessa and Cora.
Jenn Dice is the VP Business Network at PeopleForBikes. PeopleForBikes unites millions of individuals, thou- sands of businesses and hundreds of communities to make bicycling better for everyone. Jenn’s team is working to organize bike businesses and the industry into an influential voice both locally and nationally. Before PeopleForBikes Jenn worked as the chief policy strategist for the International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA) and directed their national and local public lands policy and access advocacy efforts for more than a decade. Jenn was part of a team that secured $200 million in federal funding for singletrack trails and bike parks, landed partnership and bike access agreements with the National Park Service, and led IMBA’s work before Congress and many national coalition partners. In 2011, Jenn was recognized by Outside Magazine’s “power list” of the top 25 people that influence the world outside. She earned her masters in public administration from the University of Kansas and worked for the South Dakota, Kansas and Colorado state legislatures. Jenn is an avid endurance mountain biker who has completed the Leadville Trail 100 14 times and was the first woman to hike up, and mountain bike down Mount Kilimanjaro.
Auden Schendler is Vice President of Sustainability at Aspen Skiing Company where he focuses on big scale solutions to climate change, primarily clean energy and activism. Auden also serves as board chair of Protect Our Winters, a nonprofit mobilizing the snow sports community on climate change. Aspen Skiing Company pioneered the LEED green building standard nationally, played a role in passing Colorado’s clean energy and clean air standards, and developed utility scale solar, small hydro, and most recently, a 3 megawatt coal-mine-methane-to-electricity power plant in rural Colorado. Previously a corporate sustainability researcher at Rocky Mountain Institute, Auden was named a global warming innovator by Time magazine and a Climate Saver by the EPA. He has testified to Congress on the impacts of climate change, and wrote the book Getting Green Done: Hard Truths from the Front Lines of the Sustainability Revolution. He previously served on Governor Owens’ Pollution Prevention Advisory Board. He lives in Basalt, Colorado with his wife Ellen and their children Willa and Elias.
As Colorado Parks and Wildlife’s Statewide Partnership Coordinator, Lauren serves as the agency’s community and statewide liaison for outdoor and wildlife recreation outreach efforts. She assists in the coordination of efforts among partner organizations, businesses, educators and municipalities to expand awareness of, and interest in outdoor recreation statewide. As well as developing and maintaining corporate communication and partnerships on a large scale to promote cross-collaboration and investment in CPW’s outreach efforts. Prior to joining Colorado Parks and Wildlife, Lauren worked as the Marketing Manager for Cabela’s in Grand Junction, CO. Effectively establishing Cabela’s as a community leader in the outdoor industry and champion for education and outreach. She started her career on the Western Slope, specializing in pharmaceutical sales.
Lauren received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Northern Colorado. As a Colorado native Lauren was raised with a deep-rooted respect for Colorado’s outdoors. While growing up a passion was ignited to help others see this beauty and understand their role in sustaining it. This has been a driving force in personal volunteerism, as well as her professional career.
Bruce Ward is the president and founder of Choose Outdoors, a nonprofit coalition of outdoor recreation interests, focused on increasing support for, and participation in, all forms of outdoor recreation in order to connect all Americans to the land. He also represents recreation interests on the Colorado Bark Beetle Cooperative. He has worked as a consultant for various companies focused on public/private partnerships and increasing support for outdoor recreation. He also served as the first National Coordinator of National Trails Day, laying the foundation of what is now one of the most successful celebrations of the outdoor experience coupled with a message of volunteerism.
Jason Bertolacci decided to combine a life-long love of cycling and the outdoors with his professional career when he came to International Mountain Bicycling Association in 2008. Bringing with him a background in technology business development, Jason serves as IMBA’s Colorado and Wyoming Region Director and the Colorado Mountain Bike Association’s Executive Director. He also helped found Outdoor Alliance Colorado–a statewide human-powered recreation partnership coordinating efforts to protect public lands, waters and snowscapes. He also helped launch the Bailey HUNDO 100-mile mountain bike race that donated $90,000 to Colorado charities in 2014.
Don Riggle has been selected to represent the motorized (OHV) portion of the Colorado outdoor recreation council. This includes motorcycle trail riding, atv/utv users, snowmobiles, and 4WD full size vehicles. OHV recreation represents the 2nd most positive economic impact on the Colorado economy.
Don has been a resident of Colorado since 1980. Grew up in New Mexico He has a BS degree from the University of New Mexico, and a MBA from Boston University. He brings an extensive resume of off road recreation activities that have been ongoing since 1980. He is the founder and current Director of Operations for the Trails Preservation Alliance, a Colorado based 501c3 organization.
Nathan is the Colorado River Program Director for American Whitewater, the Nations oldest river conservation organization. A 6th generation Coloradoan, Nathan grew up in Weld and Boulder Counties and has a long career as an active whitewater paddler and recreation advocate throughout the West. Nathan has been a member of American Whitewater since 1990 and was hired by the organization in 2007 to oversee the organization’s Conservation, Access, and Safety Programs in Colorado. Nathan actively serves as the lead recreation representative in several high-level stakeholder efforts focused on the Colorado, Dolores, Yampa, Arkansas, and San Juan River basins, including State-led alternatives to federal management actions. Nathan is also a founding partner of Outdoor Alliance Colorado (OAC), and is serving as liaison for American Whitewater in OAC initiatives. Nathan’s interest and enthusiasm in serving on the Advisory Council is firmly rooted in his 15 year career as an advocate for Colorado’s recreational attributes and economic resiliency, and his firm commitment to aligning State policies to best reflect our State’s values.
Appointed GOCO’s executive director in 2009, Lise is leading the Board in a new 5 year strategic plan and the award of more than $300 million in grants: Protect Land for People and Wildlife, Connect Coloradans to Parks, Trails, and Open Spaces, and Inspire Colorado’s Kids to Get Outside. Under Lise’s leadership, GOCO recently co-convened Colorado’s first Outdoors Summit with the Governor, Department of Natural Resources, business, non-profit and community leaders. GOCO launched its new Inspire Initiative at the Summit to change how we collectively engage communities in getting kids and families outside for their well-being and the future of the state’s outdoor brand. Lise contributed to GOCO’s establishment and helped developed its grant programs in 1993. Lise began her career in natural resources as a field biologist in the Masai Mara Game Reserve, and has held positions with the Colorado Conservation Trust, California Department of Fish and Game, the U.S. Department of the Interior as a Presidential Management Fellow, the National Audubon Society and the National Association of State Foresters. She earned her master’s degree from the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies and her bachelor’s from St. Lawrence University. She leads annual volunteer trips to Kenya with Global Dental Relief and serves as a mentor for City Year Denver. She serves on the Board for Global Dental Relief and the national Board of Directors of the Land Trust Alliance.
Peter O’Neil is the Executive Director of Colorado Outward Bound School (COBS), the first Outward Bound School in North America, founded in 1962 in Marble, Colorado. Peter has a long history with COBS, starting as a student on a winter ski mountaineering course as a college student. Peter joined COBS as its executive director in May 2012. He is a high-energy, serial entrepreneur with many years of start-up and turn-around experience, and he thrives on building and leading teams of high-performing individuals to grow businesses and accomplish common goals. Peter spent a decade with COBS as a course director, instructor, logistics coordinator and intern.
Peter is passionate about every enterprise he engages in whether it’s instructing students, working with clients, leading a sales team, or ski mountaineering in the Colorado backcountry. As a trustee of Denver Academy, an independent K-12 school for students with learning differences, as well as a life-long proponent of Outward Bound’s teaching philosophy, he is committed to changing the lives of students through non-traditional and experiential education. Peter received his BA in Psychology from Colorado College and his MBA from Stanford University. He is the proud father of three wonderful children who are the love of his life.
Cailin joined The Outdoor Industry Association in 2015 as Local Recreation Advocacy Manager. Previously he focused on backcountry ski advocacy at Winter Wildlands Alliance, ran the Idaho Outdoor Business Council, and participated in Outdoor Alliance.
Prior to graduate school – Natural Resource Management at University of Idaho – Cailin spent the better part of a decade working as an outdoor educator and guide across the West. His first job was at REI. Cailin’s outdoor passions include all manner of skiing, biking and whitewater boating.
Kristin Carpenter-Ogden is founder and CEO of Verde Brand Communications, one of the leading brand communications agencies in the active outdoor lifestyle markets of bike, outdoor, snow, endurance and travel. She also founded and is principle of LivingUber, a coaching and consulting business dedicated to supporting entrepreneurs in these markets as they grow their brand and business.
Kristin leads strategy for Verde and also develops new solutions for Verde’s clients to connect, engage and activate their audiences, fans, followers and customers. In her work with LivingUber.com, she helps business owners to build businesses that support an entrepreneurial lifestyle, ensuring that their lives and companies are passion-driven.
A competitive amateur cyclist, outdoor sport aficionado and sometimes mountaineer, she has built her dream lifestyle in the small Colorado mountain town of Durango. She’s a wife and mother of two active kids. Kristin produces a weekly Intrepid Entrepreneur podcast and newsletter as well, which can be accessed at here. Her first book will debut in 2016.
Kenji Haroutunian is a 30-year veteran of the human-powered outdoor industry, working for many years in specialty outdoor store management and teaching outdoor skills (including advanced climbing and wilderness navigation courses) during/after completing his degree at UCLA. In 1999 he began working for Outdoor Retailer, eventually becoming Vice President for Nielsen Expositions (now Emerald Expositions), in 2010. During his tenure leading the OR shows, he launched many innovative programs like Green Steps, Project OR design competition, Business of Backcountry Forums and even the Virtual Design Center (a live Online Event). Kenji left Emerald to launch his own national agency focused on core Outdoor in 2014, called Kenji Consults, in service to the greater outdoor ecosystem of brands, retailers, media, agencies and advocacy groups. Beyond his work life, he is a 2010 Access Fund ‘Sharp End’ awardee for his work leading Friends Of Joshua Tree in support of Search & Rescue services in the Park and the local-meets-global climbing community in Joshua Tree. Kenji currently serves as Vice-President on the Board of Directors of Access Fund and is a founding director of TeccSociety, a new events-industry technology organization. Kenji enjoys living with his family of five in Laguna Niguel, CA and enjoys rock climbing, trail running, skiing and performing in interesting musical situations.
Annelise Loevlie is a Colorado native, co-founder and CEO of Denver based Icelantic Skis and an avid outdoors women. In addition to captaining Icelantic skis, Annelise volunteers her time to various industry Boards and community initiatives including the Board of Directors for the Snowsports Industries of America and other various boards and councils concerned with active lifestyle, economic development, and women in leadership. Icelantic was recognized as one of Colorado’s Companies to Watch in 2013 and was recently awarded the President’s “E” Award for Outstanding Export recognition from the US Department of Commerce. In her free time, Annelise travels the world to ski, climb and explore, loves to eat from her garden, write and sit in the sun.
Tony currently serves as the Executive Director of the Donnell-Kay Foundation; a private family foundation established to enhance and improve education in Colorado (1999 – present). The Foundation has a focus on strengthening education in Colorado from early childhood through higher education, using policy research, analysis and critical thinking in ways to improve state and local policies. Over the last 20 years, Tony has led major climbing expeditions in Asia, South America, Africa, Europe and North America, and many foreign trekking and climbing trips, both privately and for the Colorado Outward Bound School. Tony earned his Bachelor’s degree in Forest Management Science from Colorado State University and his Master’s in International Studies from University of Denver. His interests include: climbing, foreign travel, beekeeping, blacksmithing, bike riding, art, farming.
Kim was born in Seoul, Korea and was adopted as a baby by his American parents who moved them to Denver when he was very young. After a rough experience in high school, Kim ended up in an Outward Bound Course designed for at-risk youth. The Outward Bound course and the people he met there changed his life and pushed him towards a life in the outdoors. He decided to go to college and find a job in Outdoor Education and the Outdoor Recreation Industry. Since that time, outdoor sports have been Kim’s passion, life, and career. Kim had many jobs at Black Diamond Equipment over 18 years but his work was focused mostly in Product Development, Sales, Marketing and technical equipment production. The specific job title did not matter to him as long as it required that he ski and climb as part of his work. In 2005 SCARPA Italy decided to start a US based subsidiary and they asked Kim to be the CEO of the new business. He had worked for Scarpa through Black Diamond as their distributor for almost 25 years and was very familiar with SCARPA. In 2006, Kim set up and started Scarpa N.A. where he has worked as the CEO since. Kim is still an avid and skilled rock and alpine climber and backcountry skier. Kim is currently on the BoD of SIA and lives in Boulder, CO with his sons (10 and 15 years old).
Bill Gamber grew up in Pennsylvania and learned to fish and enjoy the outdoors at an early age. A family owned honey business served as an entrepreneurial education for him and a catalyst for he and his Dad to visit beekeepers around the West and hone their fly fishing skills. Shortly after college at Lock Haven University, he bolted for Colorado and set up a small retail store and private label cut and sew brand called BAP!.
Bill co-founded Big Agnes and Honey Stinger and serves as president of both Steamboat Springs-based companies which boast a combined staff of over 90 employees. As one of the larger private sector employers in NW Colorado, Bill understands the benefits and costs of operating global brands from Routt County. With this in mind, he is particularly interested in programs that can help recruit or retain outdoor industry companies and jobs in Colorado.
Gamber loves to ski, climb peaks, ride mountain and road bikes, and fish with his Dad and three sons whenever possible. He has finished many Ironman distance triathlons and other races and climbed rock around the West but now recreates closer to home.
Irene Vilar is and award winning author and Guggenheim fellow, publisher, and founder of the Colorado non profit Americas for Conservation + the Arts 501(c)(3). AFC+A is the mother organization of the annual Americas Latino Eco Festival, leveraging latino leadership for conservation gains; Vilar Creative Agency, the first nonprofit literary agency in the US dedicated to the dissemination of minority literature of the Americas; and Mandel Vilar Press, advancing diversity and conservation in publishing. Vilar founded The Americas book series published by the University of Wisconsin Press.
Vilar was born in Arecibo, Puerto Rico. Her memoir, The Ladies’ Gallery, was a Philadelphia Inquirer and Detroit Free Press Notable Book of the Year and was a finalist for the 1999 Mind Book of the Year Award. Her latest memoir, Impossible Motherhood, has been published in Italy, France and Germany, and won the 2010 IPPY Gold Medal for Best Memoir/Autobiography and the 12th Latino Book 2nd Place Award for Best Women’s Issues. Both memoirs explore generational and national trauma. Vilar gave the keynote at the 2010 National Hispanic Caucus of State Legislators on Latino mental health, “Severe Depressive Disorder: Overcoming Adversity and Stigma”. Vilar is also a member of the Oxford Union Debate Society, debating on reproductive health and women rights.
Scott Braden has worked to protect public lands for over a decade as both an outdoor educator and wilderness advocate. He has worked on both legislative wilderness campaigns as well as administrative protection efforts, including the recent passage of the Hermosa Creek Watershed Protection Act and Browns Canyon National Monument. Before working at Conservation Colorado, Scott worked at the Colorado Mountain Club, the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance and the Colorado Outward Bound School. He lives in Denver with his wife Karen and yellow lab Charley, but spends as much time as possible recreating on western public lands and rivers.
Wilderness Advocate, since May 2013: B.A., University of Georgia, 1998. Conservation Director, Colorado Mountain Club, 2011-2013. Associate Director and Wilderness Advocate, Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance, 2007-2011. Instructor, Colorado Outward Bound School, 1999–2006.
Rick has enjoyed a 35+ year career in the Forest Service. His vision and energy leading the five-state Rocky Mountain Region (2001-2011) led to nationally significant partnership with municipal water providers and recreation interests. Rick also enjoyed a unique mid-career experience when he was U.S. Department of Agriculture’s choice to attend the U.S. Army War College in Carlisle, PA. (1989-1990). Rick was recruited to direct the merger of two state agencies, Colorado State Parks and the Colorado Division of Wildlife in 2011. As the first Director of Colorado Parks and Wildlife, Rick was applauded for his leadership in effectively merging two proud, and highly respected agencies, into a new organization.
Rick embarked on his “third” career in August 2013. As Vice President for Natural Resources and Conservation, Rick oversees Vail Resort’s industry leading conservation and sustainability efforts. Rick’s work in natural resources and conservation is primarily accomplished through longstanding partnerships with the U.S. Forest Service, state wildlife agencies, and non-profit conservation organizations. Vail operates mountain resorts in the Lake Tahoe region, in Park City, Utah, four resorts in Colorado, the Grand Teton Lodge in Wyoming, two mid-western resorts in Michigan and Minnesota, and Perisher Resort in Australia — providing our guests an “Experience of a Lifetime.”
Margaret Taylor is the Assistant Director of Parks and Outdoor Recreation for Colorado Parks and Wildlife. She has worked for Colorado Parks and Wildlife (and the former Colorado Division of Parks and Outdoor Recreation) since 1998, starting as a seasonal employee to her current position. She began her permanent career as a Park Ranger at Cherry Creek and Castlewood Canyon State Parks, was the Senior Ranger at St. Vrain State Park and the Park Manager of Roxborough State Park. From there she served as a Deputy Regional Manager in the Northeast Region. She holds a Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Biological Science from Colorado State University. Margaret is a fourth generation Colorado native. In her spare time she enjoys spending time outdoors with her husband Ryan and two daughters, Madeline and Avery.
Jim “came home” to the Rocky Mountain Region in October 2012 to assume the duties of Regional Director of RLMV. The pull of the mountains and the field, coupled with the fact that his two adult children now live in Denver, were too much to resist!
Prior to the move back West, Jim was the Director of Recreation, Heritage, and Volunteer Resources for the Forest Service from June 2006 – October 2012. As director, he was in charge of policy development, leadership, and oversight of those programs on the 193,000,000 acre National Forest System.
Previously, Jim served for six years as the Forest Supervisor on the Arapaho and Roosevelt National Forests and Pawnee National Grassland, a complex unit that abuts the cities of Denver and the Northern Colorado Front Range. As the agency’s Chief Landscape Architect from 1996-2000, Jim led the development of the Built Environment Image Guide, which incorporated sustainability as an essential component of Forest Service recreation and administrative facilities. He began his career with the Forest Service in 1979 and worked in a variety of landscape architecture and recreation management positions in Southern Arizona, Northern New Mexico, and Puerto Rico.
Tim Brass grew up hunting and fishing in Minnesota. As soon as he was old enough to drive he quit all organized sports to hunt and fish and followed this passion for the outdoors to earn a B.S. in Natural Resource Management and an M.A. in Environmental Planning. Prior to working for BHA, he worked as an environmental researcher for the Forest Service, National Science Foundation and Cooperative North American Shotgunning Education Program. Now living in Colorado with his wife Megan, Tim enjoys hunting waterfowl, big game hunting with a bow and fly-fishing high mountain lakes. He’s glad to be a part of an organization that stands-up for the wild, public lands he enjoys the most. Feel free to contact Tim anytime with ideas on social media or southern rockies issues.
Gary Gomulinski is a Senior VP of Commercial Banking at Citywide Banks, were he focuses on a range of banking solutions primarily for manufacturer and distributors. Over his banking career Gary has developed an in-depth understanding of financing companies with seasonal business cycles like those in the Outdoor Recreation Industry. Before Citywide Banks, Gary developed an Outdoor Industry Banking group for another bank in Colorado.
As anamateur athlete, he has competed in numerous trail running, endurance mountain bike, ski mountaineer and Ironman triathlons events. Its these outdoor activities which drive his passion to get other outdoors.
Gary is currently the Board Chair for Boulder’s B-Cycle bike sharing program, as well as Active Boulder. He has also served as the Board Chair for Women’s Wilderness Institute and board member of the Boulder Mountainbike Alliance. In the mid-90’s he worked as a development coach for USA Cycling, leading junior and senior development camps at the Olympic Training Centers in Colorado Springs and Lake Placid. Gary also served as a conference director for the National Collegiate Cycling Association.
Erik Weihenmayer is one of the most celebrated and accomplished athletes in the world. In 2001, he became the only blind person in history to climb Mount Everest. When he stood on the top of Carstensz Pyramid in 2008, he completed his quest to climb all of the Seven Summits-the tallest peak on each of the seven continents.
In September 2014, Erik and blinded Navy veteran, Lonnie Bedwell, kayaked the entire 277-miles of the Grand Canyon on the Colorado River, considered one of the most formidable whitewater venues in the world. Erik continually seeks out new adventures, focusing his efforts on empowering people traditionally swept to the sidelines of life. He founded an organization called No Barriers, which helps people with challenges tap into the human spirit, break through barriers, and contribute to the world.
Erik is the author of two best-selling books: his memoir, Touch the Top of the World and The Adversity Advantage, which offers lessons for turning challenges into greatness. He is an internationally recognized speaker and brings his message of living a No Barriers Life to audiences around the world.
Before joining the Colorado State Office in October 2014 as the Deputy State Director for Fire and Resources, Brian was the Field Manager for Gunnison Field Office in southwest Colorado where he was heavily involved in the conservation of Gunnison sage-grouse and the expansion of recreation opportunities for the Gunnison Basin. Before that, he was in charge of the land-use planning group in the Colorado State Office. He also served as the acting branch chief for social and cultural resources. He started with the BLM after graduating from Indiana University with a masters degree in land-use planning. He also holds a degree in wildlife biology from Colorado State University. His career in public land and resource management includes work for the BLM, the City of Lakewood, the Colorado Division of Wildlife, and rural communities in southern Africa.
During his tenure with BLM Colorado, he has focused on developing comprehensive resource management plans for public lands. This experience provides broad exposure to the resource management issues and challenges in the state, and the wide variety of stakeholders and interests involved in public land management.
Phil Powers joined the American Alpine Club (AAC) as executive director in May of 2005. His previous experience in the non-profit world includes service as vice president for institutional advancement at Naropa University and seventeen years with the National Outdoor Leadership School as chief mountaineering instructor and development/partnerships director. He remains an owner/guide with Jackson Hole Mountain Guides.
Powers has led dozens of expeditions to South America, Alaska and Pakistan’s Karakoram Range, including ascents of K2 and Gasherbrum II without supplemental oxygen. He made the first ascent of the Washburn Face on Denali, naming it in recognition of the impact longtime AAC member Bradford Washburn’s photos had in the planning and route research of many Alaska climbs. Powers also made the first ascent of Lukpilla Brakk’s Western Edge in Pakistan, and the first winter traverse of the Tetons’ Cathedral Peaks.
He is the recipient of the American Mountain Foundation’s VIIth Grade Award for climbing achievement; the AAC Mountaineering Fellowship Grant; the Mug’s Stump Climbing Grant; and the Wilderness Education Association’s Paul Petzoldt Award for Excellence in Outdoor Education (2007). He received the American Alpine Clubs highest award for service, the Heilprin Award, in 2012.
Nick Watson is the Executive Director and Co-Founder of Veterans Expeditions (VetEx). Nick served 5 years as a US Army Ranger with the 75th Ranger Regiment. He is a graduate of Airborne School, Ranger School, S.E.R.E. Survival School, Non-Commissioned Officer Primary Leadership Development Course, Combat Lifesaver, and Field Sanitation. He was involved with numerous national and international deployments. After leaving the military, Nick received a Recreation Management degree from the University of Vermont and has worked numerous outdoor industry jobs across the country for the last twenty years including NPS Park Ranger, NPS Biological Technician, Trail Crew Boss, Wilderness Guide, Field Staff, and Field Director. Nick has a great deal of experience leading groups of people outside. He uses this experience to design and create innovative trips and expeditions with a very talented volunteer staff of veteran leaders at VetEx. He is a Keen Ambassador and works with other outdoor industry brands to help get veterans and non-veterans outside and active. Nick was recognized as 2014 National Geographic Adventurer of the Year for creating an outdoor community that extends back home with VetEx vets. He is committed to creating outdoor community, breaking down the gap between military veterans and non-veterans, and providing a voice for military veterans in the outdoor industry. Nick lives in Salida, Colorado where you can find him on the local trails, in the Arkansas River, or planning the next trip.
Sarah is a co-founder and owner of Bonsai Design, a world-class aerial adventure firm based in Grand Junction. With her husband and brother, she turned a dream into a business in a basement office with 3 boxes of receipts, a flip phone, a tiny Macbook, and an iron will for success. Sarah’s attention to detail and profitability has facilitated Bonsai’s exponential growth over the last twelve years, helping to position Bonsai as an industry leader in sustainable outdoor aerial adventure. From treetop canopy tours to 3000 foot ziplines, Bonsai pushes the edges of the industry with their innovative designs that captivate the hundreds of thousands of participants who experience their courses each year.
Sarah is also a founder of the Outdoor Recreation Coalition of the Grand Valley, a group of local businesses and organizations committed to economic development in the outdoor recreation industry in Western Colorado. The ORC has had statewide recognition as a leader of the grassroots effort to bring economic diversity through the outdoor recreation industry. Sarah is also active in the community, serving as a voice to encourage economic vibrancy and sustainability. An avid outdoorswoman, Sarah is passionate about trail running, ski mountaineering, and mountain biking. In her free time, she can be found climbing 14ers, paddling the Colorado river, and skiing at Powderhorn with her husband, Thaddeus, and their three active boys.
Deanne Buck is has been the Executive Director of the Outdoor Industries Women’s Coalition for four years. She brought to the position over 12 years work experience in all facets of the outdoor industry- from working at an outdoor specialty gear shop and climbing gym to an attorney for companies in the outdoor industry, and an advocate for conservation, access. She currently serves on the Executive Committee of the American Alpine Club.
Deanne’s current position is a culmination of her passion for the outdoors, human-powered recreation, and working with businesses to better their bottom-line through a diverse workforce. Deanne lives in the foothills of the Colorado Front Range at 8,200 feet where she can access miles of trails out her backdoor.