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December 2016

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mckenna peterson

professional skier, fisherwoman, writer

McKenna is the quintessential ‘ski bum’. A former Freeskiing World Tour competitor, McKenna spends most of her winter backcountry skiing and chasing snow. She works on a fishing boat in Alaska during the summer months to continue to have winters off. McKenna has 12 years of backcountry skiing experience with extensive trips around the world. She has worked with world renowned mountain photographers and has been a part of multiple film projects including Warren Miller, Pretty Faces and Stellar Migrations. McKenna skied first descents in Iceland and Greenland while on an all female expedition, aiming to bring awareness to the effects of climate change on the Greenlandic ice sheet. She is a passionate ambassador for The Climate Reality Project. Somewhere between traveling the world and commercial fishing, McKenna has found time to complete a bachelor’s degree in Exercise Physiology from the University of Utah and is a certified Wilderness First Responder. She enjoys documenting her adventures and has had writing published in BombSnow Magazine, BigLife Magazine, National Geographic Adventure online, K2skis.com, among others.

mckenna's Projects

Shifting Ice

In March of 2014, former Freeskiing World Tour competitor, McKenna Peterson and five other women set out to lead a ski and sale expedition on the west coast of Greenland. They explored and skied first descents while limiting their environmental footprint by sailing and climbing. The expedition has served as a platform for raising awareness about climate change and environmental issues as well as inspiring and promoting female participation in snow sports adventures.

Photo by KT Miller

Mckenna's Partner Organizations

The Climate Reality Project

The Climate Reality Project – a diverse group of passionate individuals who have come together to solve the greatest challenge of our time. We are cultural leaders, organizers, scientists, and storytellers, and we are committed to building a better future together.

REBECCA RUSCH

PROFESSIONAL ATHLETE, AUTHOR

Rebecca Rusch is the Queen of Pain with a heart of gold. It doesn’t matter if Rebecca is pedaling through the night on an epic adventure across Italy, riding her bike up Africa’s legendary Mt. Kilimanjaro, or teaching clinics and camps at a #JoinTheRusch camp or clinic, she brings energy, positivity and inspiration to whatever challenge she meets.

As a professional athlete for over three decades, the 7x World Champion has continually tested her own limits, and shattered the glass ceiling in whatever sport she tackles. She redefined the team dynamics of adventure racing, has a first female ascent rock climbing El Capitan in Yosemite, river boarded down the Grand Canyon, and has given the men a run for their money in endurance mountain biking.

Rusch’s work extends beyond the start line as the best selling author of Rusch to Glory, event producer for Rebecca’s Private Idaho, motivational speaker, firefighter, and cycling advocate. Additionally, she has raised over $100k for bike related charities through her adventures and events. In 2017, a full length feature film will be released, following Rebecca’s very personal and epic journey along the 1,800 kilometer Ho Chi Minh trail through Red Bull Media House.

REBECCA's Projects

Climbing Kilimanjaro for the Power of bicycles – In March of 2016, seven-time world champion, author and volunteer firefighter, Rebecca Rusch, and adventurer, Patrick Sweeney, summited Mount Kilimanjaro, Africa’s highest peak, to raise funds and awareness for the nonprofit organization, World Bicycle Relief. Rusch and Sweeney rode, carried and pushed their bikes to the summit at 19,341 feet, then braved the journey back down, with the goal to ultimately raise one dollar for every foot of elevation, equaling 131 new bikes for students in Africa.

Epic Riding on the Ho Chi Minh Trail – This trip was time to use my bike for a purpose much bigger than winning championships or breaking records. Through my contacts from the first trip, I was able to assemble a small, but mighty crew with my trusted bike mechanic, motorcycle support friends, logistics team, guides like my husband and a local connection who knows the history of the trail like the back of his hand. I hand selected a group of 15 riders from the US that I knew could handle 8 days of jungle riding in unpredictable conditions. They all needed to have physical skill, mental tenacity, patience and appreciation for far away people and places. They also had to be sensitive enough for me to feel reassured while sharing this very personal journey..

REBECCA's Partner Organizations

World Bicycle Relief mobilizes people through The Power of Bicycles. They are committed to helping people conquer the challenge of distance, achieve independence and thrive.

The Mines Advisory Group is a non-governmental organization that assists people affected by landmines, unexploded ordnance, and small arms and light weapons. MAG takes a humanitarian approach to landmine action.

People for Bikes

PeopleForBikes supports US local, state and national initiatives to improve biking through programs like the Green Lane Project, which helps US cities build better bike lanes to create lower-stress streets. By helping to unite millions of voices across the country, PeopleForBikes empowers riders everywhere to work towards the dream of safe, bicycle-friendly environments for all cyclists, regardless of experience or fitness. PeopleForBikes works to enhance the efforts of cycling advocacy groups throughout the country by bringing reinforcements, money, inspiration and positive publicity to local organizations.

Wood River Trails Coalition

The Wood River Trails Coalition works closely with national and local groups and agencies to create, maintain, and sustain the trail network in the Wood River Valley, Rebecca’s home.

National Interscholastic Cycling Association

NICA promotes high school mountain biking programs in the United States. NICA provides governance, leadership, and program support to regional high school mountain biking organizations. NICA’s mission “develops high school mountain biking programs for student-athletes across the United States”.

connect with REBECCA

PIA SAENGSWANG MOFFATT

Story teller, philanthropic consultant

Pia has over 25 years of diverse experience in strategic management and leadership positions within the non-profit and private sectors, with a special focus on venture philanthropy, education policy, social entrepreneurship, non- profit management and film. In the early 1990’s, Pia helped to launch the first social entrepreneur-focused venture philanthropy fund in the United States – The Echoing Green Foundation – with leading NYC-based venture capital firm General Atlantic Partners. EGF has funded over 300+ non-profit start-ups worldwide in the environment, education, public health, and youth service. Continuing her career as a Director at $1 billion Broad Foundation in Los Angeles, Pia developed and managed a portfolio of venture philanthropy initiatives focused on dramatically improving public education in the United States. Working closely with the US Department of Education, the White House, state education departments, Governors, Mayors and school district superintendents, Pia managed annual philanthropic commitments of up to $50m focused specifically on national school education data quality initiatives, supporting and scaling CMOs, and governor and mayoral initiatives to improve education. As an independent strategy consultant focusing on education, non-profit and social change initiatives, Pia’s long-term clients have included The Broad Foundation, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, The College Board, Inc., and The Prudential Foundation. For these clients, Pia has spearheaded a diverse portfolio of strategic initiatives at the city, state, and national levels. In addition, Pia produced documentary films and public education campaigns for the J.Paul Getty Trust, the Getty Conservation and the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art.


Pia studied Politics and Comparative Religion at Mount Holyoke College, Film Producing at The American Film Institute, and was a Public Interest Law Fellow at Harvard Law School.

pia's Projects

thunder dragon fund

With her husband Gerry Moffatt, Pia is most recently the co-founder of Thunder Dragon Fund, a non-profit focused on promoting and supporting the resilience of adventure-based communities through inspirational story-telling, education, and capacity-building pilot projects. Thunder Dragon works primarily in the Himalayas and the Western United States.

DR. TERRY O’CONNOR

founder, doctor, adventurer, podcast host

Terry O'Connor

Over the preceding decades Terry O’Connor’s passion for outside adventures has lead to a diverse set of roles: Ski Patroller. Rural Ambulance EMT. Bike guide. Expedition Manager. Emergency Physician. National Park Service Climbing Ranger. Expedition Doctor. High Altitude Researcher. His work has been featured with National Geographic and the Discovery Channel.

His athletic aspirations have led to ultra marathons, endurance bike adventures, ski mountaineering and high altitude expeditions. His notable accomplishments include circling the rigorous Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc, riding the Leadville 100 MTB, enduring the Silver King 50/50, and even setting foot upon the summit of Everest. He has run 100 miles across Idaho to raise money for earthquake reconstruction efforts in Nepal. He recently logged another top ten finish on the 6 day long traverse of the the TransRockies Run, while raising money for Sherpa families suffering the loss of loved ones working in the climbing industry.

“If there is a guiding principle as to the way O’Connor’s life has unfurled, it is that he has continually followed his passions…”
Read more about Terry in Sun Valley Magazine

Terry's Projects

University of Colorado - Consortium for Climate Change & Health

Terry is Faculty with the Colorado Consortium on Climate Change – whose mission is to address current and future health issues affected by climate variability and change by bringing together a multidisciplinary team of clinicians, biomedical scientists, public health practitioners, epidemiologists, and anthropologists, along with atmospheric scientists

MTB Lao

MTB Lao – In early 2015, Rebecca Rusch had the opportunity to mountain bike the entire length of the Hồ Chí Minh Trail. This historic route was the main supply chain for the North Vietnamese during the war. Terry joined Rebecca in 2016 to see the incredible beauty and history in this undeveloped part of the world. The second purpose for this trip was to raise awareness and funding for UXO (unexploded ordnance) mitigation.

Diploma in Mountain Medicine

Terry is one of the course directors for the Diploma in Mountain Medicine.  An exciting program designed to train the participant in the essentials of caring for patients in the technical mountain environment.  The DiMM has set the standard over the past 10 years in Europe and other parts of the world for education of doctors, mid-level providers, nurses, and medics in mountain medicine and rescue.    The DiMM is an internationally recognized course certifying that the participant has undergone rigorous training and testing. The medical commissions of the International Mountaineering and Climbing Federation (UIAA) and International Commission for Alpine Rescue (ICAR), together with the International Society for Mountain Medicine (ISMM), established minimal requirements for these courses in 1997.

Terry's Partner Organizations

The Climate Reality Project

The Climate Reality Project – catalyzing a global solution to the climate crisis by making urgent action a necessity across every level of society.

Assistant Clinical Professor - University of Colorado

Terry is an Assistant Clinical Professor of Emergency Medicine for the University of Colorado – The Section of Wilderness and Environmental Medicine is a university-based enterprise to promote research, clinical best practice, education, and outreach to advance health and wellness in extreme or austere environments.

The Juniper Fund

The Juniper Fund provides Assistance to Individuals, Families and Communities in Underserved Countries Adversely Impacted by their work for the Mountain-based Adventure Industry.

JRM Foundation

The JRM family foundation seeks to provide funding with no discrimination to race, color, culture, religion, nationality, and social or ethnic background. It pursues to improve lives of people in general, with special emphasis on improving the quality of women and children’s health and education.