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Ashley Clement

Ashley is an East Coast native, growing up in the suburbs of New Jersey and the hills of Connecticut. After completing her undergraduate work in the Appalachian Mountains, Ashley returned to New England and spent her weekends exploring the mountains and climbing crags of New Hampshire. After graduate school, she took some time to travel around the southern U.S. and Mexico in search of new rock and new experiences. Afterwards she officially made the move to Colorado. As a lifelong explorer, Ashley knows first hand the transformative experience of travel, pushing your limits in open spaces, and getting above sea level. A passionate social worker, ...

Rachel Strommen

For Rachel, her work with No Barriers is the perfect combination of her two passions: service and travel. Growing up in Minnesota as the sibling of a brother with disabilities, Rachel was given a unique perspective on what it means to live a life with no barriers. She was taught to always use the unique gifts and abilities she was given to reach her true potential and inspire others to do the same. Throughout her life, Rachel has spent much of her time volunteering; whether that meant jumping into a frigid cold Minnesota lake in the middle of February to raise money for Special Olympics or traveling to New Orleans to build Habitat homes after ...

Jill Royster

Jill has 20+ years experience leading integrated marketing efforts for well-established brands such as Sports Illustrated and Swedish Match as well as start-ups including Sentient Jet, the creator of the hourly jet card. She has traveled the globe, building partnerships around some of the world’s premiere sports and entertainment events, including the Olympic Games, the America’s Cup and the Super Bowl. Recognized for her success in both the creation and execution of strategic initiatives, Jill’s sweet spot is her ability to balance the ideation process with the nitty-gritty details, every step of the way. She has been on the brand, media and ...

Manuel Sanchez

Manuel is the Executive Vice President of Administration for Q’Max Solutions, which offers solutions and services in Drilling & Completion Fluids, Solids Control & Waste Management, Wellbore Clean Up, Transportation Services, and Technical Testing & Analysis Services. A multi-lingual attorney, Manuel’s skills include Legal Department Management, Senior Management Advising, Business Transactions, Contracts, Cross Border Advising, Environmental, Comparative Law Advising, Compliance, Internal Investigations, Litigation Management, and Mergers & Acquisitions. Specialties: Industry experience includes significant time working for (i) ...

Mehul Patel

As Chief Operating Officer, Mehul has responsibility for driving the expansion of Apollo Global into the Asia, Middle East, and Africa geographies. In this role, he oversees Apollo Global's business in these regions. Mehul also oversees the company's central operations and services functions including Technology, Marketing, Enrollment, Academic Affairs, and Program Management. Mehul joined Apollo Global from Kaplan, Inc., where he was President of the Kaplan Professional Publishing and Kaplan Professional Schools divisions. Prior to joining Kaplan, Mehul served in various leadership positions with Thomson Learning (now Cengage Learning) and served ...

Nancy Pollak

Nancy Pollak completed her bachelor’s degree in Business from Indiana University and Master’s degree in Education from DePaul University with high honors.  Nancy spent her early career in marketing and advertising with Burger King Corporation and DraftWorldWide.  Nancy has been actively involved with the Hinsdale, IL schools since 2003, assuming leadership positions as President of the Elm School PTO, D181 Foundation the Hinsdale Central PTO, the D86 Community Speaker Series. Nancy is a national trustee of the Foundation Fighting Blindness and has chaired many events for FFB raising millions of dollars for the cause.  Nancy resides in Hinsdale ...

Dr. Indira Lanig

Indira is a physician leader committed to engaging cross-sector collaborative efforts that address health and health-related quality of life issues for persons with spinal cord injury and other acquired disabilities. Dr. Lanig provides consultative facilitation and tools for administrators and clinicians committed to unified strategies as they seek to optimize fiscal and clinical outcomes. New ways of patient-centered thinking are necessary to move forward with agile and mission-driven courage. She facilitates with empathy, credibility and understanding. Indira spent 21 years as an attending physician at Craig Hospital. She has served as the Ch...

Joanna Sprtel Walters

Joanna Sprtel Walters is a 1994 graduate of the US Naval Academy. She was a Division I swimmer for Navy. Upon graduation, she went on to become one of the first women serving aboard combatants as a Surface Warfare Officer. She served aboard the USS PAUL F FOSTER and the USS LA MOURE COUNTY and finished her career in the Navy at Recruit Training Command Great Lakes while getting her MBA from DePaul University. Since graduating with her MBA in 2001, she has enjoyed a very diverse career ranging from Procter & Gamble, Real Estate Investing, REI Course writing, Casino Owner, COO and eventually CEO, Principal of a Private Equity Firm--Meridian 105--and ...

Penn Street

Penn Street's life took the path toward working with people with disabilities at age nine when she joined their group. After being bitten by a Western Diamondback Rattlesnake, Penn was diagnosed with Stevens Johnson Syndrome (SJS). SJS took most of her vision and weakened her vital organs, but did not steal her tomboy spirit. It was then that she began her "No Barriers" life. After graduating high school with honors, Penn taught Independent Living Skills in a group home in Fort Collins. While teaching in Fort Collins, Penn met her future husband, Moses, during a photography project for her students. In 1987, Penn moved to Boulder where she ...

Amy Van Dyken

Amy Van Dyken is a six-time Olympic Gold Medalist swimmer even as an asthmatic. She was the only American swimmer inducted into the International Swimming Hall of Fame Class of 2007. She was inducted into the Olympic Hall of Fame in 2008. And in 2014 she suffered a paralyzing spinal cord injury in an ATV accident and was told she’d never walk again. Two months after this unexpected tragedy left Van Dyken paralyzed from the waist down, she took her first post-accident steps with the help of an exoskeleton… As an Olympian, Van Dyken attacked her training as a swimmer with both mental and physical strength. Now, after her paralyzing accident, she ...

Kelly Wagner

Originally from Madison, Wisconsin, Kelly called Chicago home for nine years before relocating to Colorado to work as the Corporate Sponsorship and Acquisition Officer at No Barriers. After attending school at the University of Iowa, Kelly graduated from DePaul University with a degree in Advertising and Public Relations and a minor in Design. She worked alongside creative thought leaders and innovators in special events and environment design for over eight years as an event producer. Looking to expand on her love of brands, she transitioned from live events to agency work where she spent two years at Stone Ward, No Barriers' creative Agency-of-...

Adam Ray

Adam has a long history of creating integrated products and media campaigns with business partners like AOL, Cisco, Intel, Learning Network, Pearson, and Publicis/Hawkeye. He has also worked with numerous nonprofit partners, including First Book, Jane Goodall Institute and NEA Foundation. For the last decade, his work has focused on tying businesses to key issues in education and making new connections through communications, media, products, and outreach.

Rich Goodstone

Rich Goodstone oversees Superfly’s agency services. As head of the agency offering, Rich is responsible for driving development of award winning strategic and creative lifestyle marketing solutions for a variety of leading brands, leveraging Superfly’s unparalleled expertise driving youth minded culture. He also develops and oversees revenue sources for Superfly’s landmark festivals with a focus on creating innovative partnerships and multi-channel brand extensions

Carrie Visintainer

Carrie Visintainer is the author of Wild Mama, and the founder of of Free Your Wild, empowering people to unlock and embrace their inner "wild." Her work has appeared in print or online at Outside, Backpacker, The Huffington Post, 5280, and Thought Catalog, and in several Travelers' Tales "The Best Women's Travel Writing" volumes. When not off the grid, Visintainer writes in a tiny shed in her Colorado backyard, where she lives with her husband and two young kids. Visit her and share your insights at www.freeyourwild.com.

Heather Thomson

Heather Thomson is a fashion designer, stylist, entrepreneur, reality TV show celebrity, philanthropist, and (last but not least) wife and mom. And she’s all about inspiring women everywhere to look and feel their absolute best. Heather is the creator of Yummie by Heather Thomson, a popular and innovative brand of wardrobe essentials. In more than 20 years as a successful designer and stylist, Heather has worked with some of the biggest names in entertainment including Jennifer Lopez, Beyoncé, and Sean “Diddy” Combs. As the creative director for his Sean John label, she is credited as a major force behind multiple CFDA award nominations. A ...

Sean Swarner

With only one functioning lung, a prognosis of fourteen days to live, and being in a medically-induced coma for a year, Sean Swarner is the first cancer survivor to stand on top of the world…Mt. Everest. Sean has broken through defined human limitation in order to redefine the way the world views success. Sean was diagnosed with two deadly, different, and unrelated forms of cancer, once at the age of thirteen and again at the age of sixteen. After an incredibly poor prognosis, and being read his last rites, Sean astounded the medical community when he survived both these brutal diseases. He realized that after defeating cancer twice, no challenge ...

Kyle Maynard

Kyle Maynard is a motivational speaker, author, entrepreneur and athlete. Despite being born with arms that end at the elbows and legs near the knees, Kyle’s wrestled for one of the best teams in the Southeast, set records in weightlifting, fought in mixed martial arts, and most recently became the first man to crawl on his own to the summit of Mt. Kilimanjaro, the highest mountain in Africa. Kyle was born with a condition known as congenital amputation. His parents, Scott and Anita, had no idea their firstborn son would be born with a disability, but they made a critical decision early on to drive him to be as independent as possible -- beginn...

J.R. Martinez

Your path in life is decided by your own ability to adapt and overcome.

Katie Hnida

Katie Hnida is a pioneer in the world of sports, being the first woman to play and score points in an NCAA Division One football game. Ms. Hnida graduated magna cum lauda from the University of New Mexico with a degree in Psychology. In 2004, Katie spoke out publicly about the sexual harassment and rape she endured while at the University of Colorado. She has become a prominent speaker on the topic of violence against women, traveling extensively throughout the country to share her powerful message at colleges, for women’s groups and with other organizations. She has been a keynote speaker at numerous fundraisers.

Mandy Harvey

Mandy Harvey is a deaf American jazz singer and songwriter. A Vocal Music Education major at Colorado State University, Mandy lost her residual hearing in 2006-2007 at age eighteen due to a neurological disorder and left the program. She pursued several career options, including education, but returned to music in 2008. She quickly became a regular performer at Jay's Bistro in Fort Collins and then branched to having regular concerts at Dazzle Jazz Lounge in Denver (Top 100 Jazz venues in the world). While her dream of becoming a music teacher has died, the music is still alive and well within her. Though her hearing loss is profound her timing, ...

Brent Shafer

As the Chief Executive Officer of Philips North America, Brent Shafer is responsible for driving growth, expanding market share and elevating the Philips brand across the region. With healthcare rapidly evolving and the need for innovative business models and solutions, Mr. Shafer has the experience and skill set to lead the company, as it focuses its efforts around Healthcare technology or HealthTech. In 2015, he spearheaded a landmark 500 million dollar, multi-year, enterprise services agreement with a major hospital network, allowing them to expand and innovate, while mitigating risk. During his tenure at Philips, Mr. Shafer has also served as ...

Greg Sullivan

Greg Sullivan is CEO and cofounder of AFAR Media. Greg launched AFAR in 2009 with cofounder Joe Diaz, and AFAR has already become one of the leading travel media companies in the world. Its flagship magazine has twice been named Best Travel Magazine in America. AFAR’s groundbreaking website provides distinctive travel guides for destinations around the globe and enables users to choose their favorite recommendations to build trip plans they can use on their mobile phones wherever they are. AFAR also works with top brands, hotel companies and destinations to provide content, inspiration, and advice to effectively connect with and serve discerning ...

Jennifer Lynch

Jennifer comes to No Barriers after four years of soaking up the sun on the island of Oahu where she got into triathlons and obstacle races. She is brand new to Colorado and ready to dive into every outdoor activity it has to offer, even though she’s really really cold. Most of her free time is spent cycling and hiking with her dogs then blogging about the adventures. With a background in events and production management, including a stint owning and operating a food cart in the Pacific Northwest, Jennifer will be coordinating logistics to help make this year’s No Barriers Summit the best and the biggest yet.

Nick Colgin

Nick Colgin, a native of Chesterfield, VA, served on active duty as a combat medic in the 82D airborne. Over a 15-month deployment to Afghanistan from 2007-2008, he participated in more than 700 combat patrols, earning an Army Achievement Medal and a Bronze Star. Toward the end of Nick's deployment, a rocket-propelled grenade struck his Humvee, and he suffered a traumatic brain injury. Returning home, he experienced a number of issues during recovery, including the inability to spell his own name, walking with a cane and barely being able to speak. He also required multiple surgeries on his face. Despite his injuries, Nick never quit. ...

Jesse Collins

Born and raised in the rolling plains of Oklahoma, Jesse discovered his love for mountains, rigging, and extreme environments when he was ripped from his flatlander ways by the Army and sent to various places including Air Assault, Mountain Warfare, Rappel Master and the mountains of Afghanistan, where he served as Light Infantry Recon. During his time in Afghanistan, Jesse was known for his luck, although no one was sure if it was good or bad luck. Being hit by several IEDs, Jesse had the grace to walk out without any apparent damage. It was not until years later that the unforeseen damage of Jesse’s experiences began to appear. He found ...

Paul Ronto

At 17, Paul left the green, lush corn fields of Illinois behind and headed toward the setting sun in search of crisp mountain air, cold running water and endless possibilities. He landed in Fort Collins, Colorado, a place he is proud to have called home for the better part of two decades. Since leaving the flatlands behind, Paul has discovered the transformative power of seeing the world. Over the years he has had many opportunities to meander around the globe and meet new people. He has lived abroad in both Australia and Spain, navigated down some of the West’s wildest rivers, rode his bike from the Canadian border to the Mexican one and ...

Erin Guy

Erin's commitment to Diversity began when she started volunteering with The Adaptive Sports Center in Crested Butte, CO; A company dedicated to providing adaptive outdoor recreation opportunities to anyone and everyone. Erin gained experience with people from all walks of life, and coupling those experiences with her love for the outdoors, she was hooked. From there, Diversity became a cornerstone of her personal and professional development. She carried this commitment with her as she pursued her undergraduate degree in Food Science and Human Nutrition at Colorado State University. In her time at CSU Erin continued to foster a philosophy of ...

Mark Matson

Since he was a young boy, Mark wanted to be just like his father, Joe. Joe built a successful financial planning practice and helped many people plan and save for a healthy retirement. After Graduating from Miami University at Oxford, Ohio in 1986 with degrees in both Finance and Accounting, Mark joined his Dad's financial practice ready to provide his clients with the same confidence and success that he had seen his father deliver. In just four short years as a financial planner, Mark built over $30 million in assets under management using top-rated mutual fund managers. Although his clients were happy and successful, he never felt that the ...

Ryan Tu

Ryan believes that all humans on our planet are connected by three common threads: 1. The love of our children/family 2. The fun we have pursuing our interests, relationships, and achievements 3. The food we enjoy. While growing up in the Bay Area, Ryan aspired to be a technology company CEO, but has since found a passion for bringing a modern, culinary, and relevant approach to the fresh prepared foods industry. Ryan enjoys how the love of food pulls people together across cultures, geographies, and demographics. Ryan is the President of Valley Fine Foods, a family business on a mission to produce wholesome, gourmet food products under their Three ...

Nora Broyles

After living abroad in London for most of my childhood before moving to Colorado, I realized that exploring the world is something I am very passionate about. This and frequent travel with my family led me to study abroad during my junior year of college. Living in Australia and being part of the culture for six months was one of the most amazing experiences of my life and gave me a deeper understanding of the unique and diverse cultures outside of the United States. Some of my favorite memories were snorkeling in the Great Barrier Reef and climbing the Sydney Harbor Bridge. I am currently pursuing a degree in Marketing at Colorado State University ...

Adrienne DeGeorge

Adrienne has always had a great passion for traveling and exploring the world. At age 8, she traveled to Thailand with her family. This was her first real taste of travel and she has had the bug ever since. In middle school she was introduced to Global Explorers, now No Barriers Youth, and fell in love with the organization and what it stood for. Since then, she has traveled with the organization three times, and loved every trip. But it wasn’t until she traveled to Cambodia with Global Explorers that she realized that her passion for travel goes much deeper than simple vacations. Here, she came to the realization that no matter what our differences ...

Allyson Hannah

Allyson knew from a young age that she loved the outdoors. She grew up on the border Rocky Mountain National Park and spent her childhood exploring the mountains with her father. Then during her senior year of high school she was offered the opportunity to travel to Costa Rica through the Sister Cities Foundation exchange between Estes Park and Monteverde. The program not only taught Allyson about the importance of the natural environment but also the vital role that society plays in managing fragile ecosystems. It was here she learned about her passion for cultural immersion and service. This experience inspired her to begin taking Spanish classes, ...

John Toth

John joins No Barriers after more than 21 years as a United States Army Infantry Officer. He has experience leading soldiers in challenging situations around the globe. During his career, John served tours in South Korea and Egypt, and was deployed to combat in Iraq. His assignments included the 82nd and 101st Airborne Divisions as well as the Pentagon.  He is a graduate of the rigorous U.S. Army Ranger School and is a Master Parachutist, Pathfinder, and Air Assault Soldier. He recently completed his final assignment as the Professor of Military Science at the University of Colorado at Boulder where he was responsible for training future officers ...

Sara Kaner

Currently serving as the No Barriers Summit Coordinator, Sara supports No Barriers USA through event planning, community building, and growing opportunities for people to connect with the No Barriers Mindset. Sara comes to No Barriers with 15 years of experience in the fields of conference management and logistics, outdoor education; and designing outdoor programs for youth, veterans, and diverse populations. Her work has always centered around empowering others with the tools necessary to make positive change and forming a connection with the natural world. Sara holds a Masters degree in Recreation Administration and a Bachelors of Science in ...

Kaitlyn Millen

Kaitlyn was first inspired by transformative experiences in the outdoors and through travel during her time at Hampshire College in Amherst, MA where she studied Outdoor Education, Deaf Studies, and Environmental Science. In addition to a semester of field study in Patagonia through the National Outdoor Leadership School, she developed a passion for activities including backpacking, rock climbing and mountain biking through Hampshire’s outdoor program. After graduating in 2006, she led adventure-based trips for teens including ropes/challenge courses, rock climbing, backpacking, community service, ecological restoration, surfing, sailing, rafting ...

Christina Dahmen

Growing up in a military family, Christina was an expert at moving and adapting to a new place every two years. From a young age, she was immersed in travel, which opened her eyes to the different regional cultures and environments that exist across the United States and overseas. She is grateful for the opportunities over the years that allowed her to meet new people and explore new places that have shaped her. With a passion for the outdoors and truly believing that nature is good for the soul, Colorado called her name and she happily traded the hustle and bustle of New York City for the mountain air. Once here, she came across No Barriers and ...

Brian Smith

Brian Smith loves to tell stories. Whether they are his own — eating a shark’s heart on national television, getting in a stand off with a grizzly bear while salmon fishing, or catching a 320-pound halibut in the Gulf of Alaska. Or No Barriers’ — a deaf teenager who found his life’s purpose, a veteran amputee who went from considering suicide to climbing Gannett Peak, or a woman who used the No Barriers mindset to get her through chemotherapy treatment for ovarian cancer. He is No Barriers’ storytelling coordinator, which means he is often wrapped in a cocoon of audio cables, nearly drowning in stray memory cards and always lost ...

Tom Sullivan

Even as a child Tom Sullivan was an entrepreneur. He’d charge the kids in his Boston neighborhood to watch him do bicycle tricks, and as the oldest of 11 children there were plenty of kids around. He dreamed of building a business he could one day take public. His first official business, a contracting firm, wasn’t quite the success he hoped for and neither was the syndicated travel show he tried to launch in the 1980’s. His persistence and desire for success paid off in 1993. He began buying excess and scrap wood from lumber yards and reselling it out of the back of his pick up truck to homeowners and contractors. A business was born when he ...

Jamie Moldafsky

As Wells Fargo’s Chief Marketing Officer, Jamie Moldafsky leads the development and implementation of enterprise marketing strategies for the Wells Fargo brand, considered one of the world's 25 most valuable. Her responsibilities also include advertising; direct, experiential and diverse segments marketing; the integrated marketing calendar; market research; social media; brand reputation efforts; management of the company’s meeting and events; and leadership of the company's 11 history museums. She also is a key partner to the company's lines of business, influencing their strategies for the promotion, distribution, and pricing of their products ...

Wells Fargo

In 2012, Wells Fargo created a Military Affairs Program to elevate its efforts in serving active duty military and veterans, and named a Military Affairs Program manager. Wells Fargo also announced that it is committing $35 million over the next three years as part of its ongoing commitment to supporting military service members, veterans and their families. The commitment includes real estate owned (REO) property donations and support valued at $30 million to qualifying nonprofits that serve military service members and veterans, hiring and mentoring initiatives, customized financial education efforts, and funds for philanthropic donations and ...

Alissa Garner

Professionally, Alissa has provided financial accounting advisory services to clients for more than 14 years with Ernst & Young. She has extensive experience working with global organizations, and lived and worked in Europe for 5 years. Alissa is passionate about travel and has explored more than 40 countries. She is an avid outdoors woman who enjoys triathlons, hiking, fishing, skiing, running, biking, snowshoeing, climbing and mountaineering. She has done extensive long distance through-hiking in Alaska, Colorado, the European Alps and the Himalaya. Alissa obtained a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from California State ...

Kevin O’Brien

Kevin O’Brien is a Managing Director of CCMP Capital, a member of the firm’s Investment Committee and co-head of CCMP’s Healthcare practice. CCMP Capital is a global private equity firm specializing in buyout and growth equity investments in the U.S. and Europe in four targeted industries. Mr. O’Brien has been responsible for CCMP’s investments in CareMore Medical Enterprises, LHP Hospital Group, Medpace, National Surgical Care, Infogroup, KRATON Polymers, Pinnacle Foods Group, La Petite Academy, and National Waterworks. In addition, Mr. O’Brien oversees the execution of debt capital markets transactions undertaken by the firm. Prior to ...

Erik Weihenmayer

Blind Adventurer

George Heinrichs

George Heinrichs is the president and cofounder of Intrado Inc., a global provider of public safety communications services. A recognized expert in emergency services, Mr. Heinrichs has played a key role in the evolution of the nation’s emergency communications network for more than 30 years. His company is proudly dedicated to supporting the men and women of public safety in their quest to save lives. Mr. Heinrichs’ background includes service in both Law Enforcement and Emergency Medical Services as a field responder. After serving 10 years as a law enforcement officer, Mr. Heinrichs left the department at the rank of Lieutenant. During his ...

Brian Smith

Major, U.S. Central Command in Tampa, Florida

Brad Prewitt

VP of Government Relations and Mississippi Operations, Circadence Corporation

Raul Perea-Henze

Senior Advisor to The MITRE Corporation

Michael J. Moniz

Founder, President and CEO of Circadence Corporation

Donald Morel, Jr. Ph.D.

Dr. Morel was elected to the Board of Directors of West Pharmaceutical Services in March 2002 and appointed Chairman of the Board in March 2003. Since April 2002 he has served as President and Chief Executive Officer. West Pharmaceutical Services is a diversified global technology company that applies proprietary materials science, formulation research and manufacturing innovation to advance the quality, therapeutic value, development speed and rapid market availability of pharmaceuticals, biologics, vaccines and consumer healthcare products. Prior to his current position, Dr. Morel served as President and Chief Operating Officer of West. He was ...

Charley Mace: Senior Advisor

Founder, Soldiers to Summits

Mike Haynie

Ph.D. Executive Director-Institute for Veterans & Military Families, SU

Dr. Peter Hackett MD

Clinical Professor of Surgery, Emergency Med., CU Denver School of Medicine

David Fedler

Founder, Summit of Everest Group

Jeff Evans

MountainVision Expeditions

Karen Diener

Senior Advisor in the Geospatial Services Industry

Jennifer Brusstar

President and CEO of Tug McGraw Foundation

Matt Kareus

Matt is the executive director of the International Galapagos Tour Operators Association, an association of travel companies, conservation organizations and other groups dedicated to the complete and lasting protection of the Galapagos Islands as a unique and priceless world heritage. Matt’s career in the travel industry began in college when he spent a summer guiding groups of travelers across Alaska and Canada’s Yukon and Northwest Territories. Since then, his love of adventure has taken him from the high Arctic to the Antarctic and, in between, to many wild and wonderful places throughout Asia, Africa, Europe, South America and the Pacific...

Guillermo “Willie” Benegas


Andrea Delorey

Andrea is passionate about connecting youth to their place in the world. With twenty years of experience as an educator, Andrea most recently worked as an assistant principal and as a curriculum specialist. Prior to these roles, she taught in international schools in Venezuela, Chile, and Ecuador, as well as in the New York City public school system. Andrea earned her master’s in Education from Teachers College Columbia University. Before putting roots down in Fort Collins, Colorado, Andrea called at least a dozen different cities “home.” She continues to thrive on new experiences and learning, and is most fulfilled when out exploring ...

Peter H. Bailey

Senior Vice President of The Prouty Project

Ron Kubit

Ron is the father of two students who have participated in the Global Explorers Leading the Way program for students with and without visual impairments. Ron is an executive with Optum, which serves virtually every dimension of health care systems, working with diverse clients across 140 countries – from those who diagnose and treat patients to those who pay for care; deliver health services, and those who supply cures. His vast experience includes founding a healthcare IT service company that developed disease / wellness solutions in the U.S. and Canada, ER pen based solutions, ICU applications and pharmacogenomics decision support applicatio...

Bill Barkeley

Bill’s story reflects not only the incredible advances in hearing technology but also the power of determination and the ability to motivate others – with and without disabilities – to reach for their dreams. Bill is one of 20,000 people in the United States and 100,000 worldwide who suffer from Usher Syndrome, a condition characterized by hearing loss and progressive blindness. In September 2007, Bill climbed Mount Kilimanjaro as a project on assistive technology for the deaf-blind. A documentary about his climb, Walk Your Own Path – Bill Barkeley’s Climb of Mount Kilimanjaro, has been released to the adventure film circuit. He has been ...

Alexander “Sasha” Rabchevsky, Ph.D.

Sasha is currently a Professor of Physiology at the University of Kentucky and a core faculty member of the Spinal Cord & Brain Injury Research Center (SCoBIRC). Sasha is paralyzed from the chest down as a result of a motorcycle accident in 1985 which broke his thoracic vertebrae, rendering him a complete T5 paraplegic. Based in Lexington, KY, since 1997, Sasha has been investigating experimental therapeutic approaches for spinal cord injury (SCI). Sasha conducts scientific research with the aim of developing clinical treatments to improve the quality of life for individuals already living with secondary complications of SCI, such as alleviat...

David Shurna

After losing his hiking boots to a hungry hyena on the Nyika Plateau of northern Malawi, Dave and his friends spent a few intense months backpacking across Southern Africa while crafting their personal visions for changing the world. Years later, after many more experiences in Central and South America, Dave and Julie Dubin created Global Explorers, now No Barriers Youth, an organization built on their mutual belief that immersive travel experiences have the unique ability to change lives at a young age. Dave has spent more than 10 years building strong nonprofit organizations. A passionate and seasoned educator, he has worked with such diverse ...

Erik Weihenmayer

Erik has become a celebrated and accomplished athlete despite losing his vision at the age of 13. Redefining what it means to be blind, Erik has transformed the image of blindness and opened up the minds of people around the world. On May 25, 2001, Erik became the first blind climber in history to reach the summit of the world’s highest mountain, Mount Everest. At the age of 33, he became one of less than 100 individuals to climb all of the Seven Summits – the highest peaks on each of the seven continents. Erik refuses to let blindness interfere with his passion for an exhilarating and fulfilling life and actively seeks opportunities to help ...

Tom Lillig

Tom has the drive of an entrepreneur, the curiosity of a child, the passion of a Notre Dame fan and the good judgment of an Eagle Scout. He identifies this unique set of characteristics as the reason he has been able to survive, and sometimes succeed, throughout his 15-plus years in the marketing industry. Tom has been recognized for his efforts leading award-winning advertising campaigns, crafting groundbreaking marketing initiatives, and launching new products for a number of prestigious companies and organizations including Kellogg’s, Reebok, the U.S. Postal Service, and the Peace Corps. Tom helped guide the re-launch of the Peace Corps brand ...

Cindy Bean

Cindy comes to No Barriers with 25 years of Development and Field Operations experience, most recently from the National MS Society, a $225M per year voluntary health organization based in NYC. Cindy and her husband of 35 years are longtime residents of Fort Collins, Colorado, where they enjoy the mountains, the blue skies and all four seasons.  Blake and Cindy have two daughters and seven grandchildren. Their oldest daughter, Jasmine, and 2-year-old granddaughter, Isobelle, are stationed at Fort Hood, where they await the safe return of their husband/dad, Jake, who is a captain in the U.S. Army, serving in Afghanistan.  Their younger daughter ...

Jordan Robbins

Growing up in the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont, Jordan was immersed in nature from the start. Early environmental education programs cultivated her relentless interest in biological systems and a drive to create more harmonious human connections with our planet. At 18, Jordan embarked upon a year of travel including working with dolphins in Hawaii, using American Sign Language to communicate with Chimpanzees in Washington, teaching high school English and Biology in Kenya, and conducting flora and fauna surveys in the wilds of Queensland, Australia. Forever changed from this transformative experience, Jordan’s passion is two-fold: helping individu...

Dave Shurna

After losing his hiking boots to a hungry hyena on the Nyika Plateau of northern Malawi, Dave and his friends spent a few intense months backpacking across Southern Africa while crafting their personal visions for changing the world. Years later, after many more experiences in Central and South America, Dave and Julie Dubin created Global Explorers, now No Barriers Youth, an organization built on their mutual belief that immersive travel experiences have the unique ability to change lives at a young age. Dave has spent more than 10 years building strong nonprofit organizations. A passionate and seasoned educator, he has worked with such diverse ...

Rob Panos

Rob is a Washington, DC native that traded in his tie for a Chaco tan and the mountain trail. Rob anticipated a career on Capitol Hill after graduation but headed west for a summer before diving in. This led him to Vista Verde Ranch in northwest Colorado, where the mountains took hold, as they often do. After three seasons as a ski and mountain bike guide Rob was ready to leave VVR but not Colorado. He was drawn to Fort Collins by its urban opportunities amid a mountain lifestyle. From the moment Rob stumbled upon No Barriers he was hooked. It resonated with his soul and reignited his passions. Rob first experienced the power of travel as a high ...

Julia Breul

Julia first developed an appreciation for the natural world when growing up in the great state of Rhode Island by riding her bicycle all-day, every summer and exploring the beaches in her neighborhood. It wasn’t until college that she had her first truly immersive international experience. In 2010, she participated in a Sustainable Development Studies program with the School for Field Studies in Costa Rica. The program involved an immense amount of travel throughout the country as well as a few weeks spent in Nicaragua and Panama. This had such a profound impact on Julia that upon return she chose to work for her University’s Office of Internati...

Christy Hartman

When Christy was 8, her family moved to England, much to her chagrin. Still, things all worked out and by the time they moved back to the States, she had settled in to British life, picked up an English accent (now gone), and been lucky enough to see a great deal of Europe before she was 12. Her family valued travel and moved quite a bit, allowing for extensive domestic vacations. In college, she participated in the Institute for Shipboard Education’s Semester at Sea program, travelling around the world in 100 days and stopping at 10 ports. Having had the opportunity to see so many places and diverse cultures at a young age instilled a curiosity and ...

Jessica Bowler

From a young age, Jessica learned that while Colorado was the most amazing place to call home, she had a desire to see what else was out there. She traveled on many occasions whether for international soccer tournaments, to visit relatives overseas, or for just plain fun. Her most eye-opening experience though came in Spring 2009 when Jessica packed up and headed to London for a semester. Not only was it the most character building experience of her life thus far, but it also led Jessica to her passion for sustainability. While over studying in London, Jessica was able to travel to Egypt for a week which became a defining moment in her life when she ...

Julie Ivker Dubin

Julie has spent much of her life exploring the great outdoors in Colorado (her home state), around the United States and in as many faraway places as possible. Her first international travel experience to a remote community in the Fiji Islands at 13 years old was truly life altering. This initial international immersion experience as a teenager set the stage for Julie’s academic and professional interests. Since that time she has done all she can to learn about and enhance others’ understanding about the incredible richness and vulnerability of diversity around the globe. Julie received her master’s in Environmental Management and her B.A. in ...

Shannon Gagnon

It was on a park bench in southern Spain where Shannon first understood the transformational power of travel. There, she sat and watched life unfold: kids chasing balloons, women chit-chatting, birds singing, couples arguing, parents loving. On that bench, she first saw past the different language, clothing, food, customs and realized people are just people. Her study abroad experience changed the way she viewed herself and her place in the world and ignited a passion to help other people, no matter their background or ability, experience similar truths and joys. Upon completion of her Technical Journalism/Spanish degrees at Colorado State Univer...

Jane Jennings

Jane is a firm believer in the power of international experiences to expand the mind, teach valuable life lessons, and gain an understanding of what makes our world spectacular.  A native Coloradan, Jane’s appreciation for nature began at a young age. Summers were spent in Telluride, and she and her family would picnic in Rocky Mountain National Park.  However, she didn’t fully understand the wonder of the world until her first international experience.  As a freshman in college, she spent her first time abroad trekking through Peru and Bolivia with classmates and professors. It was standing upon Huayna Picchu (the peak that overlooks Macchu ...