Meet our leadership team

Avid4 Adventure is committed to creating and maintaining a diverse, inclusive, welcoming, and equitable environment for all. Our team has a broad diversity of lived experiences. However, we are working hard to achieve more racial and ethnic diversity for our team, and our broader Outdoor Industry community. To read more about our justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion commitments and work, please visit our culture of inclusivity page.

David Secunda

Dave Secunda, Founder

Pronouns: He/Him/His. David has spent his career as a national advocate for outdoor recreation and its positive effects. After gaining his degree in recreation, he worked for Outward Bound in the UK and US before becoming the Director of Outdoor Education at the University of Colorado. During his tenure, he helped found the Association for Outdoor Recreation and Education, as well as the Outdoor Network, a leading outdoor trade publication. Subsequently, he became the executive director of the Outdoor Industry Association, where his accomplishments included launching a DC lobbying operation, creating the first industry census of sales, pioneering the first accreditation program for climbing gyms and designing some of the first comprehensive outdoor recreation participation studies. Additionally, he served as a founding board member for the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics, as well as a board member for the American Hiking Society, American Camp Association RMS and the Student Conservation Association (SCA). Later, David founded PlanetOutdoors, an online retailer of outdoor recreation products, and was awarded the designation of Small Business CEO of the Year by the Denver Post. After selling the company in 2001, he switched tracks and began working with Sequel Venture Partners and Mobius Venture Capital as an Entrepreneur in Residence. Most recently, David founded Avid4 Adventure and Workbright. He is the recipient of the Jim Rennee Outdoor Industry Leadership Award as well as the Woodchuck Award. He currently serves as the Governor Appointed Chairman of the Licensing Advisory Committee of the Colorado Department of Human Services which focuses on licensing and standards for youth programs in Colorado.

Pekala Ski

Sarah Pekala, Chief Operations Officer

Sarah has been teaching in the outdoors since 2002. She attended school at the University of North Carolina at Asheville and graduated with a degree in natural resource management. Sarah has a background in outdoor programming and leading backcountry trips. Much of her experience began during college, where she was actively involved in her university’s outdoor program, UNCA Outdoors. After graduating, Sarah went in search of bigger mountains and found herself in Colorado. Over the past few years, Sarah has played in the woods with different organizations, including time spent as an instructor for the National Outdoor Leadership School. “My passions lie in teaching children and inspiring them through new activities and places. Being able to facilitate growth in young people is the most rewarding work I have found.” When not with Avid4, Sarah can be found cooking, traveling and adventuring with her husband, Brett, and her goofy Labrador, Kelsey.


Mike Arnold, Chief Marketing Officer

Pronouns: He/Him/His. Mike was born and raised in Ohio before attending the US Naval Academy and serving in the military. Mike moved his family to Colorado in 2011 in search of sunshine, mountains, and outdoor adventure. Mike initially became aware of Avid4 Adventure years ago when his kids spent multiple summers enjoying the outdoor adventure camps. Mike loves participating in the growth and development of kids, and enjoys coaching youth sports as well as volunteering in several school and military-related activities. As the Chief Marketing Officer, Mike is passionate about Avid4 Adventure's mission and vision, and elevating the company's national voice on the importance of launching kids into a lifetime of outdoor adventure to gain confidence and critical life skills. When outside, you'll find Mike climbing Colorado's 14ers, biking, and trail running. Mike has also completed more than 20 Spartan Races, many in the state of Colorado, at distances of 5 miles up to 30 miles. In addition to his work at Avid4 Adventure, you'll find Mike coaching youth sports and finding quality time with his family, including Betsy the dog and Bandit the cat.


Cody Akason, Operations Supervisor

Pronouns: He/Him/His. As a youngster, Cody grew up exploring the outdoors. Living in Minnesota, he spent his free time exploring the woods, building forts, and ski racing during the winter months. As he grew up, his love for the outdoors and exploration grew with him. While attending UW-Superior, he was a member of SOAP (Superior Outdoor Adventure Program), a rock climbing wall instructor, and even spent a spring break backpacking in Moab. After graduating with an Elementary Ed major, Cody felt a calling to the mountains. He jumped feet first into Avid4 and hasn’t missed a summer yet! After a few years as a teacher, Cody felt his talents would be put to better use working for Avid. As the current Warehouse Supervisor, Cody gets to put all of Avid’s gear to use and make sure all kids are ready for adventure. Cody hopes that every kid gets to have the experience of enjoying the outdoors and nature and to feel empowered by their surroundings like he did growing up. Outside of Avid, you can find Cody doing all of the sports; mountain biking, SUPing, hiking, running, skiing and snowboarding.


Heather Davies, VP of Overnight Programs

Pronouns: She/Her/Hers. Heather’s love for the outdoors came from attending camp every summer in Michigan. As she transitioned to being a camp staff member, she fell in love with the transformation she saw in her campers, fellow staff, and herself. It was because of this experience that she decided to get a degree in Outdoor Recreation, Leadership, and Management from Northern Michigan University.  After spending a summer as a backpacking guide in the San Juan Mountains in Colorado, Heather headed back to SpringHill, the camp she grew up at, to direct their high school program. The lure of the mountains, however, has called her back to Colorado.  When she is not at camp, Heather loves to backpack and rock climb with her best adventure buddy, her Australian Shepherd, Chaco.

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Claire Dunlap, Resident Camp Manager - Windy Peak

Pronouns: She/Her/Hers. Claire went to Murray State University in Kentucky where she majored in Outdoor Recreation and Youth and Nonprofit Leadership.  She discovered her passion for working with kids at camp when she spent her summers working at Southwoods, a residential camp in the Adirondack Mountains of New York. There she was the Director of the Outdoor Adventure team, leading her staff and campers on hiking, camping, mountain biking, caving, rock climbing, and paddling adventures all over the Adirondacks.  “I love working with kids because it provides an opportunity to be a part of something bigger than myself. I enjoy empowering campers to be themselves, to grow outside their comfort zones in a safe and supportive environment, and to realize their potential, all while discovering new passions and creating memories that will last a lifetime!” She now serves as the Assistant Director at Windy Peak during the summer, and is dedicated  to hiring world class staff, as a member of the staffing team during the off season. When Claire’s not working you can find her exploring the outdoors, traveling, and spending time with friends and family.   


Keagan French, Sr. Staffing Manager

Pronouns: He/Him/His. Keagan grew up around adventure and has traveled all over the world to at least 20 countries or so, but he doesn’t count. With a degree in Social Work, a past professional Slackline Career, and now a job in Staffing, no one can quite figure out how he got here, Keagan included.Keagan has gone through a number of all-consuming adventure sport phases including Kayaking, Biking, Climbing, Highlining, and probably something else if we really think about it. He still gets out and about in all outdoor sports, but his true passion is snowboarding. Keagan loves to adventure in his truck, knows that a good hat can solve most problems, and appreciates good sushi and chai. Through Avid, Keagan has the chance to help hundreds of other outdoor enthusiasts find awesome jobs and start new adventures. He feels like that is a pretty worthwhile way to spend his time. 


Heidi Gordon, Customer Support Manager

Pronouns: She/Her/Hers. Heidi was born and raised in sunny Colorado and grew up in the Evergreen/Conifer area surrounded by the wilderness which initially sparked her love for the environment and adventure. Heidi graduated from the University of Colorado - Denver with a Bachelors Degree in Geography and Earth Sciences that continued her passion. Her love for the outdoors and desire to connect younger generations with their environment brought her to apply to be a Day Camp Instructor in 2017 at the Highlands Ranch and Greenwood Village Day Camps. Heidi joined the team in 2018 and now splits her time with both the Customer Support and Marketing Teams. Skiing since the age of two, Heidi dedicates her winter weekends to coaching ski racing kids in the Winter Park Competition Center. In her free time, Heidi likes to SUP, hike, listen to podcasts, travel and spend time in the mountains with family and friends and always ready for a new adventure.


Robb Green, Events Manager

Pronouns: He/Him/His. Robb was born and raised in the Pacific Northwest and has had a love for the outdoors his entire life. After being transferred by MicroSoft to Colorado in 2000 he has rearranged his career to better suit his active lifestyle, teaching snowboard lessons in the winter months and working for Open Space during the summer months before joining Avid4 Adventure in 2008. In his free time, Robb has seized the opportunity to pursue his passion for Mountain biking, Hiking, Fishing, Rock Climbing, snowboarding or most anything else you could think to do in the mountains. ’With all of the beautiful days Colorado has to offer I can’t sit still for a moment’.

Aimee Gunn

Aimee Gunn, Expedition National Manager

Aimee grew up with the sand between her toes on the beaches of southern Florida. Her appreciation of nature and the outdoors led her to getting a degree in Natural Resource Conservation from the University of Florida. Eager to encourage youth to become more passionate about the outdoors and nature, Aimee worked in a variety of settings including facilitating leadership initiatives at camps in Maine, guiding therapeutic wilderness survival trips in Utah, working to promote backpacking skills in Colorado, and facilitating experiential service learning trips globally since 2007. Aimee has spent the last 10 years traveling between the South Pacific Islands and the United States creating and managing immersive travel experiences for youth focused on leadership, cultural exchange, environmental education, and ethical travel. Working in international travel and outdoor education has given Aimee the opportunity to offer youth transformative experiences to think more critically and experience personal growth. She is excited to continue to encourage Avid campers to push themselves in outdoor pursuits while having a lot of fun. When not working, she can be found getting first tracks on her snowboard, trying to catch waves on her longboard, or on a backpacking trip in the wilderness.

Tyler Keyes

Tyler Keyes, Sr. Operations Manager

Pronouns: He/Him/His. Tyler spent his childhood in Southeastern Pennsylvania and loved spending as much time as he could outside. He went on plenty of hikes and camping trips with his family at a young age. Throughout high school, his focus turned from soccer, to trails. Daily trail runs and mountain bike rides through the muddy and rocky trails tested his bike handling skills. He pursued his passions through college by attending Garrett County's Adventure Sports Institute in Maryland. Surrounded by West Virginia, Tyler had a wonderful backyard to rock climb, mountain bike, whitewater raft, and learn the skills necessary to be an outdoor professional. Tyler then went on to earn his B.S. at Slippery Rock University. Tyler’s main passion is mountain biking and racing, but he is always up for an adventure down the Colorado slopes in the winter. As Avid4 Adventure’s Warehouse Manager, Tyler gets to spend his days surrounded by impressive bikes, watercraft, and gear, and he loves ensuring our campers have the best equipment around.

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David Levison, Operations Specialist and Head Bike Mechanic

Pronouns: He/Him/His. David grew up in Atlanta spending a lot of time building models and taking things apart to learn how to put them back together. He grew up playing soccer and spent quite a bit of time enjoying video games. In high school he began focusing on his art skills learning photography, painting and graphic design. After highschool he pursued more education in graphic design spending some time learning at the Atlanta Art Institute. He decided he needed a change and chose to go on two back to back NOLS expeditions, NOLS Alaska and NOLS New Zealand. These trips helped change his career path from one sitting behind a desk to learning how to lead and how to work with many different types of gear. While at Avid4 Adventure David began to learn and progress his bike maintenance skills. He completed several courses at Barnett Bicycle Institute to help Avid4 Adventure maintain the bikes that get used during our summer season. David’s passion is Mountain biking and fixing them when they break.

Cassidy Morris

Cassidy Morris, Regional Manager

Pronouns: She/Her/Hers. Cassidy grew up hiking and skiing in the Eastern Sierras but didn't truly launch into an outdoor lifestyle until she attended the University of California, Santa Cruz. Through college recreational trips, Cassidy fell in love with the outdoors and made it a point to hike all over the Sierras. After graduating with a BA in Sociology, she moved to Boulder, CO to start working at Avid4 Adventure. In Cassidy's time working with Avid, she has worn many hats including instructor, assistant director, camp director, and staffing specialist. Each role has reinforced her love for the company and connection to the outdoor industry. She gives an immense amount of credit to Avid for her personal and professional growth!

Caleb Staff Photo

Caleb Lovell, Expedition Supervisor

Pronouns: He/Him/His: Caleb has been lucky to grow up sharing his time between the beautiful seascapes of Australia’s east coast, and the awe-inspiring mountains of the front range in Colorado. From a young age, Caleb could be found riding his bike on his local trails, hiking all the local peaks he could, and swimming in the pacific ocean almost every day of the week. After a 9 month backpacking trip through some of the world's most inspiring landscapes, Caleb’s eyes were opened to the power of experiential education. This love for adventure, travel, and moving his body in nature led Caleb to begin his career in adventure guiding. Caleb has worked in experiential education guiding clients worldwide. Caleb has worked and shared his love for adventure, education, and community within the USA, New Zealand, Nepal, and Tibet. Now working with Avid 4 Adventure Caleb is passionate about empowering staff and campers to choose a life integrated with outdoor experiences. Using his energy to encourage deeper engagement with adventure, self, and the broader community through outdoor recreation. Caleb continues seeking adventure and connection with the natural spaces around him through trail running, biking, backpacking, and everything in between.

Vanessa Teater

Vanessa Olivieri, VP of Day Camps

Pronouns: She/Her/Hers. Whenever people ask Vanessa, ‘How did you get to be an outdoor enthusiast?,’ she remembers back to hiking on family vacations and summers spent at Girl Scout camp. While growing up in the California Bay Area, she had ample opportunity to explore outside and make mud pies in the backyard. Her early experiences with outdoor education inspired her to pursue a BS in Wildlife Biology at the University of California, Davis. Vanessa has worked as an on-trail teacher in the coastal Redwoods, a medic for youth, a leader of urban outdoor summer activities, a field instructor for wilderness therapy programs, and as an Assistant Camp Director for Avid4 Adventure. Vanessa spends her free time paddling on the bay, hiking in the hills, backpacking in the mountains, and traveling to far off lands. When indoors Vanessa loves a good crossword puzzle and a warm cup of coffee. She still finds time to play in the backyard, though these days it takes the form of backyard birding!

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Cynthia Podrouzek, Sr. Regional Manager

Pronouns: She/Her/Hers. Originally from Canada, Cynthia has had the opportunity to live and travel across beautiful North America and abroad; gaining an appreciation for the wonders that the great outdoors has to offer. After a few years in Japan, she and her husband, Tim, had truly found their calling in getting people outside! You can imagine her excitement when she discovered that she could make a career and a lifestyle out of her passion. After returning to Penn State University and graduating with a BS in Recreation, Parks, and Tourism Management, she packed her bags and headed west in search of bigger mountains and deeper snow. She worked closely with multiple outdoor programs throughout university, guided various adventure programs for the Army, worked as a naturalist educator in Washington’s Cascades, and developed and facilitated outdoor programs in Asia for several international schools. After working as an Instructor and Assistant Director for Avid 4 Adventure, she knew that the mission and lifestyle were a perfect fit and a place she wanted to call home. She’s passionate about getting kids outside, and loves seeing how the confidence they build at camp can transfer into other aspects of their lives.


Garrett Schilling, Resident Camp Manager - Mt. Evans

Pronouns: He/Him/His. Garrett’s first camp experience was in 2014, when he went out on a whim to work at a summer camp outside of his home city of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. That decision led to falling in love with camp and a five-year progression from a group counselor to the Program Director for YMCA Camp Edwards.  After earning his B.A. in Secondary English Education from the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, he felt compelled to reenter the outdoor education space, leading Garrett back to camp to serve a program for individuals with disabilities and chronic illnesses in the heart of Texas, then to leading an experiential education backpacking program in the White Mountains of New Hampshire, and ultimately to Avid4 Adventure to join the leadership at Mt. Evans in 2019.  While planning to return in 2020, the pandemic led him to pivot into the privilege to help lead at TGHTR, a youth homeless shelter program in Boulder County. Through all of these experiences and more, Garrett has been in awe at the resilience and empowerment that young folks discover in themselves while overcoming challenges in collaboration with others in the outdoors. These transformative lessons has led Garrett back to Avid4 where he is excited to lead and learn alongside our campers and continue this work at Mt. Evans. When Garrett isn’t working, you can find Garrett exploring with friends, hiking the backcountry with his dog Marvin, cheering for his beloved Packers, and engaging in life talks around a campfire


Nate Thoreson, Regional Manager

Pronouns: He/Him/His. Nate grew up in northern Wisconsin where he was fortunate enough to have his back yard be his own personal summer camp. His mom served as the neighborhood ‘Camp Director,’ teaching local kids biking, swimming and the fundamental rule “safety fist and always be kind.” Nate received his Bachelors in Adventure Education from Fort Lewis College in Durango and was awarded the department’s Major of the Year.  Nate loves working with kids outdoors and in particular, that Mother Nature teaches adaptability. He loves helping kids find their own natural path of learning and growing. He truly believes in empowering the youth to live outdoor, active lifestyles. An Avid4 veteran, Nate has worn many hats over the years. He’s worked as an Instructor, Assistant Director at Overnight Camp, Events Manager, Staffing Outreach Specialist and Director for Day Camps. Nate also holds the distinction of being one of two candidates selected for Avid4 Adventure’s inaugural Class V: Management & Outdoor Leadership Practicum. When he is not on a rickshaw, he loves to slackline, disc golf, rock climb, cross country ski, listen to music, and dive into a good coloring book now and then.

Ryne Willis

Ryne Willis, Senior Regional Manager

Ryne joined Avid4 Adventure more than a decade ago seeking an opportunity to work with children, be outside, and spend time doing a job he loved. He started at Avid as an After Care Supervisor, worked as a camp instructor and director and just about every other seasonal role you can hold within the company. In his current role as the Senior Regional Manager for Avid's Day Camps on the West Coast, Midwest, and East Coast, Ryne oversees day camp operations throughout the country. Ryne spends his winters teaching skiing part time at Monarch Mountain outside of Salida, CO. His summers are full of camp, but also lots of family boating trips on the Arkansas River and biking days with two kiddos, Cedar and Rory.


Al Wright, Regional Manager

Pronouns: She/Her, They/Them. Al grew up recreating within the forests, atop the lakes, and along the rivers of Southwestern Michigan, where she also earned a BA from Kalamazoo College in English and Classical Civilizations.  They spent much of their time during college volunteering with children’s programs but discovered their passion for connecting physical, mental, and emotional health as a coach for Girls on the Run.  After moving to California, Al fell in love with spending her summers with Avid4 Adventure, and spent several off-seasons working as an outdoor history instructor, a naturalist for student field trips, and elementary PE teacher before settling into the Regional Manager position!  In their free time, Al likes to bikepack with friends, roller skate along the beach, and swim in the bay or the pool.  Other interests of Al’s include discovering new music and attending live shows, finding a stellar deal at a thrift store, and reaching the “genius” level in the NYT puzzle Spelling Bee.

Amber Staff Bio

Amber Ballenger, Talent Acquisition Specialist

Pronouns: She/Her/Hers. Amber, a Talent Acquisition Specialist, was born and raised in Gallup, NM where she developed a deep appreciation for nature by exploring her family’s ranch on the Navajo Reservation. She graduated from the University of New Mexico with a Bachelor's degree in Family & Child Studies and a minor in Psychology. Amber has since pursued her passion for encouraging kids to spend time in nature and reconnect with the land. She has worked with the National Indian Youth Leadership Project to support Indigenous youth in developing healthy lifestyles and positive relationships with the natural world. In addition, Amber has also been a nature preschool teacher in San Francisco and spent her summers as an Instructor for Avid4 Adventure. With her experience in recruiting and her passion for adventure and the outdoors, Amber is committed to identifying and attracting top talent to join our team and help create an unforgettable summer camp experience for our campers. She strives to find individuals who share our values and are dedicated to providing a safe, fun, and engaging environment for all our campers. When she’s not interacting with candidates you can find Amber backpacking in the mountains, rock climbing, taking a yoga or aerial class, or getting crafty with DIY projects.


Mary King, HR Manager

While Mary was exposed to various outdoor adventures at an early age her love for it really began right before college when she began rock climbing. Mary has a B.A in American Sign Language and a minor in Recreation from Clemson University. She first journeyed to Colorado for a summer climbing trip and fell in love with the area. Prior to working at Avid, Mary has worked as an American Sign Language Interpreter and managed multiple climbing gyms across the country. Mary believes that the outdoors provides growth through challenges and loves sharing this with others. When Mary isn't working she is adventuring with her puppy, Tank, traveling, playing board games, and enjoying climbing any rock she can get her hands on.


Megan Kleppe, Operations Specialist

Megan grew up in the beautiful state of colorful Colorado. Her love for the outdoors started long before she started working for Avid in 2016. Her hobbies change with the seasons and include Rock climbing, snowboarding, any artistic endeavors, and hanging out with her puppy Canyon. Before Avid she did a slew of seasonal jobs including being a wilderness therapy field guide, a sailing instructor, a ceramic studio assistant, and, of course, a barista. She loves being able to tinker with gear at the hub and is super psyched for what next season has to offer. 


Megan McDevitt, Assistant Brand Manager

Born in the mountains of Idaho, Megan grew up playing in wild spaces and had trouble differentiating showers from lakes. Wild landscapes have always been a fundamental part of her world. She reflects that, “It’s really hard to play in the mountains without feeling a strong obligation to protect them, and to fight for the authentic connections we develop in wild spaces.” Her degrees in Public Relations and Natural Resource conservation overlap in the realm of work she loves — which is telling stories of the outdoor community. Stories of challenge, success, curiosity, and joy. She connected with Avid in 2017, as a multisport guide and climb specialist, then found her way back to the HQ team in 2021 as the Assistant Brand Manager, where she’s thrilled to grow the community and help connect young people to wild spaces. When she’s not working on branding, social, or community engagement, you can find her deep in a powder stash, flowing on a mountain bike, or grinning on a tall piece of granite.

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Amy Diiullo, Marketing Director

Ohio grown and Colorado cured, Amy has the sensibility of a Midwesterner tempered with the spontaneity and grit of a Rocky Mountain backcountry adventurer. She received a Bachelor of Science in Health Sciences from Indiana University and moved to Colorado to live and teach at a Buddhist center in the Never Summer mountains. Leveraging her innate sense for adventure and growth, Amy fell into an exciting and fast paced career leading sales and marketing start up teams which saw her managing national revenue and CPG channel strategy for some of the largest brands in the hemp industry. She is passionate about women moving forward in both professional and personal pursuits, and is a co-founder of the Badass Lady Hikers, a women's adventure group based in central Colorado. She joined Avid in 2021 and has enjoyed aligning her personal passions and professional pursuits with people who are just as avid for adventure as her.

Avid4 Adventure is committed to creating and maintaining a diverse, inclusive, welcoming, and equitable environment for all. Our team has a broad diversity of lived experiences. However, we are working hard to achieve more racial and ethnic diversity for our team, and our broader Outdoor Industry community. To read more about our justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion commitments and work, please visit our culture of inclusivity page.