Peaks Foundation is honored to present the following speakers at the 2013 Women’s Leadership & Adventure Summit:
Michelle Theall, Keynote Presenter
Founder, Women’s Adventure Magazine
The same year she launched Women’s Adventure, Michelle Theall was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis, a progressive neurological disease that might have threatened her ability to enjoy many of the activities in her own magazine. Instead of focusing on potential limitations, Theall renewed her commitment to a healthy lifestyle complete with every adventure on her bucket list. Ten years later, she is winning the war against MS, and is quick to tell others how the disease has made her stronger and more focused on achieving personal and professional goals.
Professional Climber, Author, Filmmaker
Majka Burhardt is an ambassador/athlete for Patagonia, Osprey Packs, SnapMyLife, Petzl, Scarpa, Julbo, Outdoor Research and is an AMGA Certified Rock Guide. She also serves on the AMGA Board of Directors. She champions “Additive Adventure” – when adventure goes beyond exploration to cultural and environmental connections that create a larger conversation of singular and collective human meaning.
Janet Bergman-Wilkinson is a Mountain Hardware athlete based in New Hampshire. Janet finds inspiration from long alpine rock climbing and loves bouldering and mountain travel. She is a blogger and works as a consultant to nonprofit organizations to help them expand their reach.
Adventurer, Author, Speaker
South African climber Cathy O’Dowd is best known as the first woman to climb Everest from both south and north sides. She has been practicing mountain sports for over 25 years and in 2012 was a team member on the first ascent of Nanga Parbat via the Mazeno Ridge, one of the most significant ascents in the Himalaya this year.
Mountaineer, Outdoor Recreation Specialist
Laurie Normandeau is on a journey to climb the Seven Summits, the highest peak on each continent, for cancer research. She has climbed five of the Seven Summits, with plans to attempt Mt. Everest in 2014. Laurie has over 20 years experience in the fitness and recreation field and is a retired professional bodybuilder.
Dr. Caroline Fisher
Founder and Principal, Fisher Consulting Group
Dr. Caroline Fisher has 25 years of experience in communications and organizational effectiveness. She holds a Master’s in Organizational Development and Management and a Doctorate in Organizational Psychology. Caroline serves on the Board of Directors for the Girl Scouts of Colorado and dZi Foundation. She enjoys marathon running, cycling, skiing, snowboarding, and travel.
Dr. Shari Leach
Executive Director, Women’s Wilderness Institute
Dr. Shari Leach began adventuring in the wilderness at age 16 and made it to NOLS after spending time in the Peace Corps in Honduras. Shari wandered into and out of the cohousing community movement and academia as the chair of a Master of Arts program at Prescott College over the years. She is also the author of “Head, Hands and Heart”, a manual for building community. Shari volunteers as an EMT/fire fighter on the weekends and teaches Wilderness Medicine Institute courses.
Executive Director and Co-Founder, Peaks Foundation
Laura Borner is based in East Africa where she is able to meet and greet many of Peaks Foundation’s trekking teams. Laura helped launch the 3 Peaks 3 Weeks Challenge and was part of the original 2007 team. Prior to moving to East Africa, Laura worked with the Grameen Foundation Technology Center based in Seattle, WA. Laura holds a B.A. in International Studies from the University of Arizona and received the Honor’s College award for an Outstanding Commitment to Social Responsibility. She is undertaking a Masters of Science in Wildlife, Biodiversity and Ecosystem Health with the University of Edinburgh.
Jennifer Miller was working in an office job and realized she needed a career change. Jennifer transformed her career from being in the corporate world to diving into the paddling industry where she creates adventure for others. She holds a Master’s in Recreation with a focus on Outdoor and Environmental Education.
Patricia Ellis Herr
Patricia (Trish) Ellis Herr is mother to Alexandra (age 10) and Sage (age 8). Together, the three have hiked all 48 of New Hampshire’s highest mountains and have ascended 42 of the 50 USA state highpoints. In March 2013, they are walking the 500-mile Camino Frances route of the Camino de Santiago across northern Spain. Patricia is the author of “UP: A Mother and Daughter’s Peakbagging Adventure”.
Stephanie Hathaway has spent most of her life alternating between exploring the ocean and the mountains. In 2012, she gave up her job to travel the world after being selected as a member of Peaks Foundation’s 3 Peaks 3 Weeks Africa Challenge. Her trip was cut short after four months of travel when she was diagnosed with Breast Cancer in Phuket, Thailand. After enduring the trifecta of cancer treatments, Stephanie is cancer-free and recently spent nine weeks trekking New Zealand as one of Air New Zealand’s Great Walkers.
Co-Founder, Peaks Foundation
Chloe Chick is passionate about the empowerment of women and developing solutions to address challenges facing women and girls. Chloe began her career in television and advertising before moving to Tanzania in 2003, where she worked with the School of St. Jude. During her time in East Africa, she helped found 3 Peaks 3 Weeks Africa. Chloe spent six years with the GSMA Development Fund in London and Geneva, focusing on accelerating economic, social, and environmental development through the use of mobile technology. Chloe was awarded Young Australian of the Year in the UK, is a Cordes Fellow, and holds a B.A. in Communications from the University of Canberra, Australia. She recently relocated from Chamonix in the French Alps to Singapore where she lives with her husband James and two young children, Olive and Max.