Skip Yowell Future Leadership Academy


CLASS 5






The Skip Yowell Future Leadership Academy is an immersive leadership experience for the next generation of outdoor industry ambassadors and game-changers. Class 5 of the academy was announced on January 15 and they kicked off their mentorships and learning at Outdoor Retailer Snow Show 2020. The class will culminate with capstone projects being presented at Outdoor Retailer Summer Market 2020.


Nikki Allen

I have a passion for the outdoors and find joy in inspiring others to find their own connection. Through my work at Clif Bar & Company, I get to live my passion through partnership development and outdoor advocacy programming.
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Nic Barisone

I’m trying to make a living doing the things I love. My hope with the OIA is to meet more people who want to live on a cleaner planet with more trail access and fewer cars.
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Kevin Belanger

Kevin is passionate about helping people see themselves in the outdoors and providing safe and accessible spaces to be outside for everyone. Ask him about the Great American Rail-Trail!

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Danica Carey

Having grown up immersed in team sports, I thrive in a team environment and find genuine connection, trust and respect to be paramount to success. In business I have developed a skill in problem solving anything from functionality issues to break downs in communication. I have a drive that pushes me to complete any task that I start, but I also believe it is important to take the time to reflect on your accomplishments and celebrate with your teammates.
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Natalie Colvin

I’m an environmental advocate who loves surfing, backpacking, rock climbing, snowboarding, trail running and anything around a campfire. I’m currently living my dream working in sustainable apparel for Toad&Co and just trying to be better today than I was yesterday.
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Reid Curry

I’m at my best when I’m outside, in motion, and pursuing my passions. Merging business acumen with my love for outdoor pursuits is what I have built my career on and continues to be the driving force in both my personal and professional life.
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Hamish Elliott

An outdoor enthusiast and sales manager with a passion for working with people and products that inspire positive change.
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Nick English

Passionate about the outdoors in both work and play. Can never idle while always looking for what’s around the corner, at the top of the mountain and the next discovery.
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Rosie French

Passionate outdoor enthusiast, backpacker, snowboarder, runner and biker with a side job as eCommerce manager for JanSport and Eagle Creek. Seeking to make the world a better place to live.
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Natalie Generalovich

I’m a huge advocate for passion meeting purpose. The outdoors fuels both my personal passions of skiing, hiking, climbing and surfing; as well as my professional motivation as a marketer for Outdoor Retailer.
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Pancho Gomez

Pancho is the Culture Ninja at All Good. When he’s not ninjaing culture, he bikes mountains, climbs rocks (and plastic), plays with his dog, and does other fun things in San Luis Obispo, CA.
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Caitlin Hamill

A Maine native passionate about international development and pond hockey. I am motivated by the possibility that American industry can affect people’s lives in a positive way.
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Jace Harrop

Techie aspiring to be an Outdoorsman. Not the best runner, skier or climber but I sure can putt.




Colvin Hedgepeth

Outdoor explorer that’s always planning my next big adventure. Passionate about the mental health benefits of nature, discovering new destinations off the beaten path, and pushing the edges of my comfort zone.
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Janell Hibbard

Product Engineer with a passion for sustainability, consumer needs, and outdoor adventures. My Midwest roots have given me a drive for solving problems and a love for all 4 seasons, which my husband and I now enjoy sharing with/forcing upon our two young girls.
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Alyssa Kessler

Pacific Northwesterner living in California helping Patagonia save the home planet. I am passionate about building teams and learning about people from all walks of life.
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Emily Kidwell

Living the Equestrian lifestyle- both at work and at play. At Ariat International, as Director of Marketplace, I’m passionate about spreading the message of our brand and serving Ariat’s community. Out of the office, when not at the barn, I can be found hiking with my husband and pup in the beautiful Bay Area hills.
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Zach King

I’m a running nerd and merino wool lover; I work on the product team at Smartwool. I’m inspired and motivated by new ideas and all things outdoors.
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Mark Kuka

West Coaster since ’84, Yakima Products sales since 2015 – motivated learner who loves mountains, dogs, and pizza.
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Chad Kyte

Love my Family, Dog, Trail Running, Mountains and Lakes. Born and raised, work and live, in the great outdoors of the PNW! Always seeking to learn new things and have fun.




Chris Linsmayer

A native Coloradan, Chris has somehow managed to turn his love of outdoors and skiing and professional interests in communications and politics/public policy into a role representing 23 ski areas at Colorado’s ski industry trade association.
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Madalen Moore

Curious problem solver, nature enthusiast, and weekend adventurer. Currently wearing many hats as the product line manager for a startup and exploring with my husband in our new home, the Pacific Northwest. Personally interested in the state of the outdoors and the politics of preserving it.
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Carley Mulder

I’m fueled by my passions for climbing, running, backpacking, skiing & biking. Inspired by the individuals I’ve met doing these activities that have helped me push my boundaries, their own, & expose a true raw real-ness to life. And, invigorated by these experiences to help ensure access & education for all.
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Rachael Nichols

Driven Sales Operations Manager, enthusiastic leader, and solution oriented problem solver. Finds peace and clarity in the outdoors and is proud to work in an industry that promotes adventure and a work life balance.




Caroline Paulsen

Former Climate and Energy lobbyist turned Science teacher turned Business Analyst for Stio. When not in the office you can find me on my mountain bike or skis with my dog in and around Jackson, WY.
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Casey Pavlosky

A love for adventure, snowboarding and nature has guided my career and fueled my passion for bringing adventurous consumers products that enhance their experience in the outdoors.
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Nick Pinto

A Western Colorado professional motivated by music, mountains, and the evolution of the outdoor industry.
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Ed Riegert

Team-builder, collaborator and customer advocate at work. Father, Husband, cook and outdoor enthusiast at home. Living every day for today!
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June Shen-Epstein

An advocate of lifelong learning in the pursuit of positive, impactful change. Believes that fresh air and a drink of water can change everything for the better.
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Michaela Simone

An inspired guide, encouraging community involvement and appreciation for the outdoors.
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Jess Smith

An Australian by birth and Canadian by blood, Jess somehow found herself in the great big world of the United States, after residing 8 years in Whistler, BC; 4 of which she served as Communications Manager for the World Ski and Snowboard Festival and Cornucopia Food and Wine Festival. Now based in SF, Jess works for leading boutique outdoors PR and Sports Marketing agency, OutsidePR, and spends most of her time off with her (new!) hubby and friends, skiing, hiking, trail running and learning to speak American.
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Jason Spradling

Industry professional with a passion for the outdoors. Spending time with my kids on the trail, in the snow, and in the woods is where I find my greatest joy.

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Malakye




Stephen Sramek

My love for the outdoors began when I learned how to ski at a young age. This love quickly evolved into an obsession I hope to share with others, fostering participation and strengthening bonds within the outdoor community.
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David Taft

Whether guiding trips, managing volunteer projects, or slinging outdoor gear, my passion is connecting people to the outdoors and breaking the tyranny of fluorescent lit spaces.
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Kaitlin Tripi

Driven by a deep passion for wilderness exploration and global travel, my life – personally and professionally – is centered around experiences that encourage more people to get outside in engaged, meaningful and sustainable ways. I’m easily excitable, curious, and strive to always be a positive force in the outdoor community.




Keri Yourick

Cooperation will work better. It may be the best fortune I ever received from a cookie, and I’ve held onto it as my mantra for years. I am passionate about working for an outdoor industry that brings people together, gets people outside, and is working to protect what is on this planet.
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