As we are well into our 2015 summer season, many members of Venture Outdoors may have already seen some our new Trip Leader Specialists out and about whether they’ve been leading trips, baiting hooks at TriAnglers, or at some of our Free Member Social Outings, like July’s Free Family Fishing Derby outing! All of our Trip Leader Specialists are multi-talented and bring unique perspectives to our organization. If you haven’t had a chance to meet in person yet, allow us to introduce you to a few of our new staff members.
TLS of the Month: Eric Schnitter
June’s TLS of the month is recognized for his hard work and willingness to jump into programs in a pinch. Eric approaches his position with a great team mentality and has helped to bring the new TLS’s up to speed on the organization. Eric hails from Princeton Junction, New Jersey, graduating from Earlham College in 2012 with a degree in Psychology. Eric finds working for Venture Outdoors brings fulfillment to his life because he loves being outside and helping other people learn how to love being outside. Eric can be seen working on a variety of programs including much of the grant-funded children’s programming, adult public outings, and custom outings. You may also see him at some of our outreach events throughout the summer. Some of Eric’s favorite outdoor activities include exploring, hiking, biking, rock climbing, kayaking, canoeing, and camping. Eric has been to most of the 50 states and plans to make it to all of them by the time he turns 30. His other passions include U.S. history, constantly exercising, eating mandoo (a Korean dumpling) and playing his guitar. His musical tastes range from opera to Brutal Death Metal, but he has an appreciation for all musical styles.
A Pittsburgh native, Ashley is studying Recreation and Park Management at California University of Pennsylvania. Ashley loves VO so much that she’s also an intern with them this summer! Ashley has taken charge of the Tyke Hike Programs and has been working with the youth programs as well as helping with our outreach events and Bike Rodeos. Ashley is a proud mom of a wonderful two-year old, loves paddle boarding, and is always ready to try new things.
Evan has also grown up in Pittsburgh and graduated from Franciscan University of Steubenville. Having spent his entire life in the outdoors, he loves everything about it and loves helping others to experience it. Evan has been leading many of our youth and custom outings with kayaking, biking, hiking, and fishing. Some of his favorite hobbies include backpacking and mountain biking, and Evan has recently competed in the Rachel Carson Ultra Challenge.
Another local from Oakdale, PA, Brittney has graduated from Edinboro University and is an active member of the PA Army National Guard. Her favorite part about working for Venture Outdoors is getting to see people experience the outdoors in and around Pittsburgh and seeing them experience what Pittsburgh has to offer. You’ll see Brittney on youth and adult kayaking, geocaching, fishing, and biking trips as well as neighborhood hikes and outreach events such as Open Streets. In her free time she enjoys kayaking, hiking, and biking and is a member of Pittsburgh Passion Football. She loves reading travel guides and real life stories about extreme sports like BASE jumping, and her wire wrapped jewelry is only outdone by her cooking and baking skills, Thai being the flavor inspiration of choice.
Iris grew up just north of Pittsburgh in Slippery Rock, PA. She then graduated from Alfred University with a degree in English and Anthropology. Iris is passionate about connecting community, culture, and environment, and she loves the programs Venture Outdoors is a part of to encourage those connections. She has been leading and assisting both public and custom outings with youth and adults in geocaching, hiking, biking, and kayaking. Prior to Venture Outdoors she was an Assistant Camp Director and Trip Leader for the Outing Club with Girl Scouts Western PA. In her free time she volunteers at a local yoga studio, loves window gardening, and always tries to keep up to date on the local art and theater happenings.