OutdoorFest aims to create a community of New York's urban-based outdoor enthusiasts.
Live in the city, love the outdoors
PROTECT WHAT IS PRECIOUS
Susan Rockefeller is an entrepreneur, conservationist and filmmaker. She’s the CEO and Founder of Protect What Is Precious, a niche consulting company that advises businesses on how to improve their products and processes in a way that contributes to a better future for the planet, while enhancing the value of their brands.
Susan's films have explored a range of contemporary issues such as ocean acidification and the future of ocean health, PTSD and the use of music to heal, the confluence of race, poverty and illness; and global food sustainability. Her films have aired on HBO, PBS, and the Discovery Channel.
Susan sits on the boards of Oceana, Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture, We Are Family Foundation, and is a member of the Natural Resources Defense Council Global Leadership Council. She received her undergraduate degree from Hampshire College, a certificate in ecological horticulture from University of California Santa Cruz and her master's degree from NYU.
Bill Ulfelder leads The Nature Conservancy in New York with approximately 75,000 members. Since joining the Conservancy in New York in 2009, The Nature Conservancy has conserved over 100,000 acres and launched in New York City the Conservancy’s first-ever comprehensive urban conservation program, focused on the role of nature and natural defenses in making the city’s people and wildlife more resilient in a climate changing world.
Bill joined The Nature Conservancy in 1995, working on community-based conservation in the Peruvian Amazon and Ecuadorian Andes. In 1997, Bill was appointed Peru Program Director, where he oversaw the conservation efforts with Peruvian public and private partners and helped negotiate a $10.5 million debt-for-nature swap to provide $10.5 for Peruvian protected areas in exchange for Peruvian debt relief. In 2003 he moved to Flagstaff, Arizona where he served as the Conservancy’s Northern Arizona Director, overseeing landscape scale forest conservation and restoration efforts with the US Forest Service. Subsequently, as the Conservancy’s Eastern Colorado Director, Bill oversaw grasslands conservation of the Western High Plains and led numerous partnership efforts with ranchers, state agencies, the US Army and Air Force and other NGOs. Additionally, Bill served as the Conservancy’s interim Central Caribbean Director, leading conservation efforts in the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Cuba and Puerto Rico for much of 2008, including launching a free trade and conservation project, at that time the Conservancy’s largest project in the region. He holds dual master’s degrees in Forest Resource Management and Natural Resource Economics & Policy from the Nicholas School of the Environment at Duke University, is a Fulbright Scholar and attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill on a prestigious Morehead-Cain Scholarship.
President And CEO
A lifetime New Yorker, Roland Lewis has worked in the field of community development since 1984. A graduate of Columbia University, he then went on to earn both a Master of City and Regional Planning and a Juris Doctor from Rutgers University. For nine years he served as a partner in the law firm of Dellapa, Lewis, and Perseo, whose clients included nonprofit organizations, civic groups, churches, cooperative corporations, and private real estate developers.
In 1997 Roland became the executive director of Habitat for Humanity New York City. He led the organization for 10 years, guiding it to become one of the top producers in the region and a nationally emulated model for Habitat for Humanity locations in other urban settings.
In early 2007, Roland took the helm of the Waterfront Alliance. Under his leadership, the Waterfront Alliance has organized a powerful constituency for a better waterfront. It has instituted new programs, initiated and helped create a new waterfront plan for the City of New York, and become the leading waterfront policy organization in the New York region, known nationally and internationally. Recognized as a community development, waterfront, and nonprofit expert, Roland has written extensively and spoken widely on these topics. In addition to his professional experience with community development, Roland is active with many nonprofit community organizations.
For the past three years, Paul Leak has been working to build communities around outdoor fitness in New York City. For the past year, Paul has been working on a new initiative for the New York Road Runners, Open Run. NYRR Open Run is a weekly community run that is led by leaders, held in local parks across New York City. It is now in six parks across the five boroughs and is still expanding. He has also worked as an Event Manager and a Coach for the New York Road Runners. Before moving to New York City, Paul received his degree from Appalachian State University in Boone, NC, where he first fell in love with the outdoors and the mountains.
Paul is also one of the leaders of the November Project, a worldwide community, empowering humans of all fitness levels through fierce, FREE, weekly workouts. The group has grown from a group of five people two years ago, to over 200 people each week. Paul is a distance runner, rock climber, current vegan, and never says no to a road trip.
Elizabeth Spiers is the CEO of Everup.com, a lifestyle design site that helps users be more productive, more creative, healthier and happier. Spiers is a serial entrepreneur and journalist who was previously the editor-in-chief of The New York Observer, the founder of Breaking Media (which publishes Dealbreaker, AboveTheLaw and Fashionista) and the founding editor of Gawker.com, Gawker Media's flagship site. She has also been a columnist at Fast Company and Fortune and is an advisor to several digital startups. She also teaches at New York's School of Visual Arts in the Design Research MFA program and is a YLF fellow with the National Committee on U.S.-China Relations.
Sarah L. Knapp is the a Brooklyn-based entrepreneur and founder of OutdoorFest – a ten day outdoor adventure festival in New York City and Mappy Hour – a global community of outdoor enthusiasts in urban centers.
In 2014, she was invited to speak at Outdoor Retailer on the importance of “face time” for brands and was nominated for the Outdoor Inspiration Awards in 2015. In March she will spearhead a panel on outdoor recreation in cities at South By Southwest Interactive.
She is a NY State licensed hiking & camping guide, Wilderness First Responder and Ski Patrol Wannabe. She believes that the best way to explore a city is by bike and the best place to get know someone is in the outside.
News Editor, Social Media Manager
Abigail Wise is the news editor and social media manager at Outside Magazine. She was previously an associate editor at Real Simple and a part of the Healthy Living team at The Huffington Post. Publications including Reader's Digest, Time, and PopSci have also featured her work. Abigail holds a master's degree in journalism from Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism and specializes in `content focused on health, fitness, and the great outdoors.
In her free time, Abigail loves to rock climb, hike, practice yoga, brew beer, and travel. She's the mother of two adventure dogs, Ted and Stella, who come with her just about everywhere.
Cedar Wright first discovered climbing while pursuing an English degree at Humboldt State University. In between classes, Cedar explored the jagged boulders and sea cliffs of the Northern coast. He was instantly hooked.
After graduating from college, Cedar decided to dedicate himself fully to climbing. He moved to Yosemite where he became inspired and humbled by the vast granite before him. For the next few years, he worked for Yosemite Search and Rescue, where he learned invaluable skills and techniques. In between dangling on a rope outside a helicopter, he climbed relentlessly. He applied his love for speed and adventure by making blistering speed ascents on El Capitan and first ascents on the Sentinel. He remains one of the few people to have freed El Capitan in a day.
Cedar’s love for exploration soon took him outside of the United States. From Africa to Pakistan to Argentina, Cedar continued to put up impressive climbs in impeccable style: fast, free, and with no trace. In the past few years, Cedar has become increasingly interested in filmmaking and has shot video for numerous climbing companies as well as outdoor giants like National Geographic. For many of his video pieces, he writes his own music.
He passes along his climbing knowledge to sherpas at the Khumbu Climbing Center in Nepal, and his love for the outdoors to children as part of Big City Mountaineers and Protect Our Winters. Cedar is characterized by his tenacity, and unique sense of humor, and continues to push himself as a climber and a creative. One part climber, one-part filmmaker, and one-part musician, the future holds great things for Cedar.
HOSTELLING INTERNATIONAL USA
Northeast Regional Engagement Manager
Paul Kuhne currently works for Hostelling International USA (HI USA) as their Northeast Regional Engagement Manager. Paul has spent more than six years working in the nonprofit world, and the last three years working with HI USA. In his role as Regional Engagement Manager, he helps spread the word about hostelling and providing new travelers with the resources they need to go abroad. Previous to his work at HI USA, he worked at a small nonprofit settlement house in Somerville managing a food pantry, volunteer program, resource development and fundraising events. Apart from his work in the nonprofit world, he is an avid traveler, Spanish-speaker, writing enthusiast and hip-hop fan.
Paul got his start traveling in college where he studied abroad in Buenos Aires, Argentina. From there, he traveled to other parts of South America too, including Venezuela and Chile, and later on, northern and southern Europe. He’s also backpacked through eastern and southern Africa, explored Hong Kong, and visited Israel, and hopes to make it to New Zealand and Australia soon. He currently lives in Boston, MA.
Megha Doshi is the Local Marketing Director for Strava, the social network for athletes, where she is responsible for local growth and community activation in NYC. Megha previously spent 5 years at Nike, where she worked on a variety of strategy and marketing initiatives for Nike+ in the Digital Sport group.
Megha is also a long distance runner, rookie cyclist, podcast-addict, and vegan baker. She currently lives in San Francisco, CA.
Mary Anne Potts has been editing, writing and producing stories about outdoor adventure for more than a dozen years. As the editor ofNational Geographic Adventure, she stays closely connected to the outdoor industry's top adventurers, explorers, filmmakers, photographers and writers to create award-winning storytelling about adventure and exploration — including scouting for the next Adventurers of the Year.
Potts is also a member on the National Geographic Young Explorers Grant Committee and proud to be a part of a company that supports exploration and enjoys finding people who can inspire others about the outdoors. The Minnesota native lives in Brooklyn, New York, and enjoys skiing, running, hiking, yoga, snowshoeing, photography and solar cooking. Her adventures have taken her from trekking in Zimbabwe to climbing Mount Rainier to diving at the Great Barrier Reef to camping in Central Park.
Scott Mackinlay Hahn
Sustainable Design Leader & Co-Founder
Sustainable Design Leader and Loomstate Co-Founder, Scott Mackinlay Hahn has dedicated his career to cultivating human health and just socio-economic design and trade systems, transforming supply chain practices and empowering small farmer communities.
In 2001 Hahn co-founded the iconic fashion company ROGAN, redefining denim culture and markets around the world. As popularity increased, Hahn a committed environmentalists, pioneered fashion forward sustainable textiles and responsible methods of production. In 2003, he co-founded Loomstate, a casual clothing brand dedicated to 100% certified organic cotton and the communities that grow it, and in 2004 he partnered with Ali Hewson and husband Bono, to create EDUN, the socio-economic and trade focused company, ushering a more promising chapter for the Sub-Saharan continent of Africa. In 2010 he partnered Loomstate with Chipotle Mexican Grill to design and source Chipotle’s uniforms and apparel, he continues to build on the food + clothing wellness theme to innovate branded culture and performance.
Scott is active on the advisory boards of the NRDC’s Clean By Design Initiative, the Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute, the Council for Textile Recycling, and the Sprat Theatre Company.
Hahn grew up on Long Island NY, where his family built and managed the Sailors Haven Marina at the Sunken Forest. Scott’s social and environmental initiatives and activism stem from his various roles in managing the socially diverse and ecologically delicate national park concession. His creativity and business background spans the realms of communications media and design.
DEPUTY DIRECTOR, URBAN PARK RANGERS
Richard Simon is currently the Deputy Director of New York City’s Urban Park Rangers, a division of the NYC Parks. He joined NYC Parks in 1998 as an Urban Park Ranger, and has over eighteen years of exceptional experience in program management, environmental stewardship, policy development, and proven leadership in the public sector. Currently Richard works on projects as diverse as coordinating a multi-agency management plan to address the rise in the NYC’s coyote and deer population, to restructuring the Urban Park Ranger’s award winning Outdoor Adventure programs, to creating a media strategy to raise the public profile of the Ranger division. Richard graduated from CUNY’s College of Staten Island in 1995 with a degree in Political Science and studied Urban Wildlife Management with Texas A&M University. Richard received his Executive Master’s degree in Public Administration from Baruch College in 2012.
DESTINATION BACKCOUNTRY ADVENTURES
FOUNDER & OWNER
Dave is the founder and owner of Destination Backcountry Adventures, a Brooklyn based wilderness adventure outfitter specializing in the Catskill Mountains. He left a successful, but unfulfilling, career as a publishing executive in 2008 in order to devote himself to his passion for the outdoors and he lives to share his favorite wildernesses with others and help them form a closer relationship with nature. He is an experienced outdoor professional with years of experience and thousands of miles under his boots guiding in some of the most rugged and scenic wildernesses of the United States. Dave also sits on the Board of Directors of the NY State Outdoor Guide Association and is a founding member of the Catskill Adventure Tourism Summit. In addition to being a veteran licensed NY State Outdoor Guide, Dave is Wilderness First Aid certified, and a member of the exclusive Catskill 3500 club, having climbed every peak in the Catskills.
DIRECTOR OF VOD
Peter Gerard grew up in Missouri, where as a teenager he made his first award-winning documentary and created and ran the Bargain Basement Film Festival for several years.
He then founded Accidental Media and relocated to Edinburgh, Scotland, where he finished the feature documentary “Just to Get a Rep“ for international television distribution. Running Accidental Media for more than ten years, Peter produced and directed a range of documentaries, music videos, and short films, and picked up many awards, including a BAFTA Scotland New Talent Award.
Peter also built award-winning websites and is webmaster for The D-Word - the premiere online community portal for documentary professionals.
In 2010, Peter founded Distrify to pioneer “direct-to-fan” digital film sales by inventing a shareable movie trailer that included a built-in buy-button and the easiest affiliate rewards system ever. In 2013 Peter won the British Council’s Creative Enterpreneur Award and was named in the h.Club 100 list by The Hospital and The Guardian Culture Professionals Network.
As a thought leader in digital distribution and marketing, Peter is regularly invited to speak at film festivals (Cannes, Sundance, Amsterdam, London, etc.) and to teach workshops for film producers.
In 2014, Peter moved to New York to join the team at Vimeo as Director of VOD. In his role, Peter oversees the marketing, distribution and promotions of the Vimeo On Demand catalog as well as Vimeo’s Original Series.
LEAD COACH & SENIOR MANAGER OF RUNNER PRODUCTS & SERVICES
John Honerkamp has coached runners of all ages and abilities for 15 years. He was an assistant coach at St. John's University (Queens, NY) for five years, working with mid- and long-distance runners, and was the recruiting coordinator for all events. A 1998 graduate of St. John's, Honerkamp was an eight-time All-Big East and six-time All-East (IC4A) athlete while running for the Red Storm.
He earned 12 Big East All-Academic accolades and was the youngest semifinalist in the 800-meters at the 1996 U.S. Olympic Trials. After graduation, Honerkamp ran professionally for the Reebok Enclave Track Club from 1998 to 2001. Since moving to New York in 2001, he has run for the New York Athletic Club. He is an eight-time top-10 finisher at the U.S. Track & Field National Championships and a member of the American record-holding 4x1500-meter relay team. His personal bests include 1:47.26 (800 meters), 3:41.58 (1500 meters), and 4:01.30 (one mile).
Honerkamp has moved up to longer distances: He ran the 2010 New York City Marathon in 2:44:22, and the Long Island Half-Marathon in 1:12:24. And Honerkamp practices what he preaches: he trained for the 2011 Berlin and ING New York City marathons using the Official NYRR Training Plan.He also has paced many runners in big races including Apolo Ohno (NYC 2011), Summer Sanders (NYC 2013, Boston 2014), Caroline Wozniacki (NYC 2014), and James Blake (NYC 2015).
Currently, Honerkamp is Senior Manger of Runner Products & Services at the New York Road Runners and is the coordinator of the Official TCS New York City Marathon Online training Program.
OUTDOOR PROGRAMS AND OUTREACH MANAGER - TRI STATE
Melissa Abramson is the Manager of REI Outdoor Programs and Outreach. She has grown the program from the ground up, building strong partnerships with local non-profits, government and land agencies to help promote conservation and access to nature for those in the Tri State Area.
As an avid outdoor enthusiast, she has dedicated her life, both personal and professional to adventure, exploration, education and stewardship. She has worked in Brazil, Costa Rica and the Pacific Northwest designing adventure based Leadership Education programs for both youth and adults. After receiving her Masters Degree in Economics and Education Reform from the London School of Economics, she planted roots in New York City to create a direct pathway for urban dwellers to access nature and ultimately taking a vested interest in protecting and preserving public green spaces.
POP UP YOGA NYC
FOUNDER & DIRECTOR
Founder of Pop Up Yoga NYC, which has actively redefined yoga for New Yorkers, Angelica combines creativity, community and deep industry knowledge to create incredible events. She has over 10 years of experience in the health and fitness space as well as public relations and is a writer for major national publications. Along with being a committed yogi, she swims, surfs, and hikes as much as possible.
APPALAHIAN MOUNTAIN CLUB
VP MARKETING & COMMUNICATIONS
Kevin Breunig is Vice President of Communications and Marketing for the Appalachian Mountain Club (AMC), where he is responsible for AMC’s public relations, digital, brand marketing, and publishing efforts. AMC promotes the protection, enjoyment, and understanding of the mountains, forests, waters, and trails of America’s Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions, and believes successful conservation depends on active engagement with the outdoors. Much of his work centers on new audience development, content marketing, and digital engagement, with a focus on broadening AMC’s constituency.
Prior to joining AMC, he authored “Losing Ground: At What Cost?,” a study of land use issues in Massachusetts published by Mass Audubon. Breunig spent 15 years in marketing, product management, and development positions in the software industry, most recently as a marketing director for mobile applications at Microsoft. He holds an MBA from Harvard Business School and a BA in political science and computer studies from Northwestern University. An avid outdoorsperson, he has hiked, backpacked, and kayaked in New England, Alaska, and the Pacific Northwest. He lives in Lexington, MA.
Jesi is a scientist, conservationist, outdoor enthusiast and dedicated student. She is currently one of the lead field technicians for the USGS’s North-East Amphibian Research and Monitoring Initiative Team and has been with the team since April 2013. The team’s work focuses primarily on documenting population densities and disease presence in amphibian species throughout National and State Park land from Virginia to Pennsylvania. The crew works with various endangered species including the Shenandoah Salamander (Plethodon Shenandoah) documenting their current population level and health status.
Jesi also has a passion of being involved in the non-profit world. In 2014 she held a yearlong internship with the Jane Goodall Institute where she assisted the development department in grant research and writing. She has also served on the Outdoor Nation Collegiate Advisory Board. She is a scientist who believes change comes from a passionate and educated public, not just from a small group of “experts”. She hopes to spread her knowledge and passion to others to make real change for species in the future.
UPSTATE ADVENTURE GUIDES
CO-FOUNDER & LEAD GUIDE
Will Soter is the Co-founder & Lead Guide for Upstate Adventure Guides, a Catskills based adventure company, focusing on custom outdoor adventure trips, in America's 1st wilderness. Will is passionate about sharing his love and knowledge for the outdoors and the Catskills region. Will founded the Catskill Adventure Tourism Summit to promote tourism throughout the Catskills. Will is also a strong advocate for the spectacular natural resources that provide him his beautiful office, and the countless hours of fun and amazement. Serving as the Assistant Program Coordinator for the NY/NJ Trail Conference, and as the Assistant Director for the Catskill Conservation Corps, Will helps provide training, and educational programming for volunteers and those looking to discover the great outdoors. Will is very involved with many of the outdoor organizations, and serves as a board member on the Catskill Mountain Club, and the NY State Outdoor Guide Association. Most of all Will enjoys connecting people with nature.
Floyd V. Meyers
NATIONAL PARKS SERVICE
URBAN FELLOW - NEW YORK CITY
Prior to becoming the Urban Fellow for New York City, Floyd V. Myers served as Chief of Business Development and Partnerships for the National Park Service, National Parks of New York Harbor. Before this, he was Commissioner and Deputy Commissioner of the City of Mount Vernon Department of Recreation. He has extensive experience in business management of a music and media production company, serving as President of Soul on Soul Inc. for two decades. Floyd uses his extensive Park Service training to support the superintendents and the partners of the National Parks of New York Harbor, which consists of 10 parks. His responsibilities in the commissioner’s office include drafting agreements to establish partnerships with local and federal agencies, such as the City of New York and the Army Corps of Engineers, and other groups. He also supports the parks’ concessionaires and nonprofit partners in enhancing the visitor experience. Floyd’s recent accomplishment involves acting as a Lead Coordinator for all entertainment and public speakers for the 50th Anniversary of the Selma to Montgomery March. This event brought together 150 youth (ages 18-25) and 150 public participants from the United States, including counties along the historic trail.
THE NORTH FACE
Born and raised in Boulder, CO, Emily Harrington has been climbing for most of her life and boasts an impressive list of achievements to show for it.
She started as a member of the USA Junior Climbing Team in 1998 and continued on to become a member of the USA Climbing Adult Team (difficulty) from 2004 - 2010. In 2007, Emily became the second American female to climb 5.14b. Additionally, the same year she finished second at the Sport Climbing World Championships.
Despite her roots as a competition climber, Emily has explored several other aspects of the sport. Recently, she claimed the first female ascents of Roadside Prophet (5.14a), Living the Dream (5.14a), and Waka Flocka (5.14b) in Rifle, CO, and ascents of Powder Finger (5.14a) in the Getu Valley in China and Full Equip (5.14a) in Oliana, Spain. She won the women’s division at the Ouray Ice Festival in 2012 and in the same year was a member of the Everest Education Expedition, successfully summitting Mt. Everest on May 25, 2012.
While busy accumulating these athletic achievements, Emily also managed to graduate Magna Cum Laude from the University of Colorado with a Bachelor’s Degree in International Affairs in 2007. Her other achievements include serving as a USA Athlete Representative at the 2006 Winter Olympic Games in Torino, Italy, and currently representing the Access Fund as a National Ambassador. She served as an Athlete Representative on the USA Climbing Board and is currently an athlete ambassador for Outdoor Nation and Protect Our Winters.
It is clear that Emily does not do anything half-way, whether it is school or donating her time or climbing. She clearly has a passion for every endeavor she undertakes – a passion well beyond her years.
For the latest updates on Emily, visit her website at www.emilyaharrington.com.