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.
Chief Empowerment Officer
Pronouns: He/Him/His. “I love seeing kids challenge themselves and accomplish something that they never thought they could do.” Paul also loves to be outside, whether it’s cycling across Central America, rafting the Grand Canyon, guiding programs in Nepal or just climbing, hiking, and biking around Boulder. A self-proclaimed jack-of-all-trades, he has been teaching and leading groups in outdoor settings for over twenty years. Paul has held leadership positions at the Watershed School, the Cottonwood Institute, High Mountain Institute, Where There Be Dragons, Tandana Foundation and NOLS among others. Paul is also a WEMT and an Instructor for NOLS Wilderness Medicine. He holds an M.A. in School Counseling from the University of Northern Colorado. As Avid4 Adventure’s Chief Empowerment Officer, Paul guides our long term vision and oversees new program development, risk management, and general operations.
Chief Operating Officer
After growing up in New Jersey and graduating from the University of Virginia, Kyle moved to Boulder in 2001 and has never left. Formerly a classroom teacher both in the United States and abroad, Kyle decided to pursue his love of the outdoors and started with Avid4 Adventure in 2005 as a field instructor. Prior to Avid4, Kyle taught adaptive skiing for the Breckenridge Outdoor Ed Center, led bike trips in Southeast Alaska with Sockeye Cycle, and guided wilderness trips for adjudicated youth for Outward Bound. “To be a part of Avid4’s growth and witness firsthand its ability to continuously create smiles and laughter for children and families makes me want to stay around for a long while.” When he is not working, Kyle is traveling the world, digging in the dirt, reading on his porch, or ideally laughing and smiling with his beautiful daughters, Kiri and Willow.
VP of Day Camps
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.
As a youngster Cody grew up exploring the outdoors. Living in Minnesota, he spent his freetime exploring the woods, building forts and ski racing during the winter months. As he grew up, his love for the outdoors and exporation 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.
Regional Manager - Portland, OR
Cyrus grew up camping in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness and still cherishes the deep connections the outdoors help him make with his family and friends. “I truly believe that by getting kids outside and encouraging them to try new and exciting activities with their peers, they are not only developing new hard skills and learning new sports, but also growing socially and emotionally. I believe that the Avid experience gives staff and children a path towards becoming better leaders, teammates, students and overall people.” Cyrus received his B.A. in Philosophy from the University of St. Thomas in Minnesota and worked as a Marine Biology Instructor on Catalina Island before joining Avid4 Adventure as the Assistant Director in Washington Park in 2016. After Directing the Hilltop camp location in Denver, CO in 2017 and 2018, He is now the Oregon Regional Manger and running Avid’s newest camp location in Portland. “I am grateful for all the mentors in my life who helped push me to try new things and step out of my comfort zone. Having the opportunity to have that kind of impact on the campers at Avid is very special to me and a responsibility I take very seriously.” In his off time he enjoys playing basketball, reading and singing.
After graduating from the University of Maryland with a B.S. in Conservation Biology, Lessley moved to the San Francisco Bay Area in 2012 to intern for the National Park Service. Upon arriving, she fell in love with the landscapes in the Bay Area and Sierra Nevada and never left. It was here that she began exploring the wilderness on foot and by bike as much as possible. After several years managing customer service and retail teams in the bike and coffee industries, Lessley decided to reunite her passion for the outdoors with her work life. She started with Avid4 Adventure in 2017 as an Instructor, but now works as a Camp Director and Staffing Specialist. She loves helping instructors develop their outdoor leadership skills and getting new staff stoked to work with Avid4. When she’s not at work, you can find her mountain biking, backpacking, running, and painting watercolors of plant life throughout California with her husband, Zach.
Customer Experience Manager
Andrew grew up in Georgia spending as much time as possible outside. From building forts to developing bike trails, he learned to love the freedom of being outdoors. During college, Andrew spent his summers in Southern California teaching mountain biking. After graduating from Georgia Tech, he took a full-time position in California teaching Science and Outdoor Education which included everything from mountain biking and rock climbing to astronomy and physics. Andrew has been involved with youth development programs ever since. He returned to Georgia Tech managing STEM programs for youth and ultimately moved to Colorado with his wife and two labs to be closer to the outdoor lifestyle. When he’s not busy ensuring Avid4 Adventure customers receive a fantastic customer experience, Andrew is likely out running with the dogs, climbing, or skiing and trying to take in as much of the amazing experiences the Rockies have to offer.
Director of Marketing
Dave was born and raised in New England before landing in beautiful Colorado. Dave saw the true impact of summer camp after his son came back from his first overnight camp where he developed an always expanding worldview as well as growth in confidence, curiosity, compassion, and independence. As the Director of Marketing, Dave loves the opportunity to connect with families and kids to help them experience the same growth his son did through summer camp. Dave has spent his outside time playing competitive soccer through college before turning to endurance sports where he competed in everything from 5k road races, to marathons, to half and full Ironman triathlons, and an ultramarathon. In addition to his work at Avid4 Adventure, you’ll find Dave coaching high school soccer, out on the trail running or biking, listening to music, or spending time with his wife, son, and Gus the wonder dog.
Customer Experience Specialist
Erik grew up in Washington State, where the Columbia River Gorge and the Pacific Ocean sparked his love of the outdoors, hiking many of the beautiful trails on both sides of the river and attending summer camps along the coast. In 2017 Erik graduated from Minnesota State University – Mankato with his Master’s in Experiential Education when his passion for camp and the outdoors brought him to beautiful Colorado and Avid4 Adventure. Having been an instructor at our Day Camps in both Colorado and California, Mt. Evans Overnight Camp, and an Assistant Director in Castle Rock, Erik now works as a member of our Customer Experience team and loves being able to connect parents with just the right summer adventure for their kiddo! Outside of Avid you might spot Erik playing or coaching soccer, climbing at Evo, or spending time with his wife Heather and their dog Chaco enjoying one of Colorado’s amazing outdoor adventures.
Expeditions Camp Director
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.
Camp Director, Resident Overnight Camp - Windy Peak
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 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.
Marketing and Customer Experience Specialist
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 Customer Experience Team in 2018 and now splits her time with both the Customer Experience 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 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’.
Victoria grew up in San Francisco, California and has a love of mentorship and the outdoors. Before coming to Avid, she founded and managed a non-profit, outdoor education program at the University of Notre Dame, called ND Triple C. The mentorship program, for underserved youth, was focused on outdoor photography, health and nutrition, sustainable agriculture, backcountry cooking, environmental research, rock climbing, kayaking, stand-up paddle boarding, hiking, and leadership skills.
Victoria has also worked, as a Wilderness Guide, teaching about natural history, migratory paths, local plants and geography in Yosemite, Big Sur, Point Reyes, and Muir Woods. She has also worked as a Coastal Kayaking Instructor, Rock Climbing Instructor and Mountain Biking Instructor for universities and companies in the San Francisco Bay Area. Prior to joining as the Recruitment Manager at Avid, she did university recruitment for five years. When not working, she is dedicated to tutoring youth in Stockton, CA. She has done her fair share of backpacking, but is still on the fence about whether she likes schlepping her stuff everywhere.
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.
Regional Manager- Denver Metro, CO
Heather grew up paddling a canoe with her family and exploring the woods near her childhood home in Illinois. Heather earned a B.S. in Music Education from the University of Illinois, relocated to Estes Park, CO in 2006, and has been rock climbing, backcountry skiing, and adventuring ever since. From a young age, Heather knew she wanted to combine a career in education with her love of the outdoors. In addition to working with children at Avid 4 Adventure, Heather taught middle school and high school band, worked as a children’s ski instructor, and teaches kids cooking classes. She loves to share adventures with children and witness their growth and self-discovery along the way. When she is not inspiring children in nature’s classroom, Heather is most likely to be found climbing rocks, skiing or hiking the trails of the Rocky Mountains with her fiancé, Andy and their big, silly yellow lab, Roscoe.
Regional Manager - South CO
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.
Senior Director of Resident Overnight Camps
Eric’s passion for outdoor adventure and youth development started early on and has only gotten stronger since becoming a camp professional 10 years ago. Born and raised in Boston, Eric started going to overnight camp at age 10 and has only missed one summer since, which he did to realize his dream of thru-hiking the Appalachian Trail. He spent 14 years at YMCA Camp Coniston in New Hampshire, climbing the ranks from camper to senior leadership, before becoming the Senior Program Director of the YMCA of Greater Boston’s Overnight Camps and the Executive Director of Camp Bauercrest. Eric has his B.A. in Communications, Legal Institutions, Economics and Government from American University in Washington D.C. and despite the best efforts of many to draw him into a different career, he simply could not let go of his belief in the power of camp. Eric has seen and experienced first-hand the power of outdoor adventure in teaching kids the valuable lessons of life that will enable them for success, no matter their life’s pursuit. When he’s not at work, you can find him at competing at the curling club, skiing down the slopes, and exploring the backcountry in every way he can.
Digital Marketing Manager
Blake was born and raised in cow country Ohio! After several summers around the New River Gorge in Fayetteville, WV; Blake moved to Colorado to pursue climbing. He volunteers with Big Brother Big Sister, teaches music, and builds trails with climbing access groups. He has a Bachelors from Capital University where he emphasized Business, Music, and Religion.
Blake believes deeply in the purpose of Avid4 Adventure and the power of getting kids outdoors. If he could have his way, every kid in the world would get to go to an outdoor summer camp! In his free time, Blake enjoys climbing, skiing, watching movies, and hanging around his cats.
At a young age, you would often find Andrea camping out with family in Rocky Mountain National Park or mountain biking on some back country trails. This passion for the outdoors was instilled in her at a very young age and has influenced everything from her decision to major in biology as a college student, to her lifestyle choices in general. For these reasons she now works for Avid4 Adventure where she started as a Survival Skills and Adventure Camp instructor in Golden, Colorado. She thinks it is extremely important for kids to get outside especially with the strong influence of technology on society today. She hopes to do as much as she can to support the mission of Avid4 Adventure. When not working, you can find her traveling, reading a book or biking on local trails in Boulder.
Regional Manager - California
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!
Staffing Outreach Specialist
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.
Regional Manager – North CO
Ryne joined Avid4 Adventure several years 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 became a Camp Director and leader of Avid4 Adventure’s school programs. In his current role as a Colorado Regional Manager, Ryne oversees day camp operations throughout Colorado. Ryne brings with him a rich background in teaching Physical Education, supporting special needs youth, and working as a ski instructor at Eldora and Steamboat. He is also passionate about baseball and had fun playing in Australia’s pro baseball system. When he is not at his Avid4 Adventure day job, Ryne loves to be out on a trail or rock climbing with his puppy, Canyon, and fiance, Molly. Ryne feels he is living the best of all worlds and loves that he can combine his passion for teaching youth with his passion for being outside.
Mindy has a true passion for finding the right people for the right job and believes that a company’s success starts with its staff. She loves being able to combine her professional experience with her love for all things adventure. Mindy was raised in South Texas and spent her childhood participating in equestrian competitions across the state. She received her BBA in Finance from the University of Texas at San Antonio, but quickly learned that she preferred working with people over working with financial statements. She has spent the past decade helping companies implement strategies to identify and attract high quality talent. In her spare time, you can find Mindy outside, experiencing new adventures with her husband, Blake; their sons, Trey & Reid; and her Rhodesian Ridgeback, Ruxin.