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Michael Thornhill

Director of Diversity Equity & Inclusion

1. Briefly tell us about your background: where did you grow up, where did you learn your skills, and what brought you to Venture Outdoors?  

I’m second-generation Ghanaian Cuban American and grew up in Ft. Lauderdale FL.  I learned my skills as a DEI practitioner from navigating white institutions including about 73 CE credits in trauma-informed care.  I came to Venture Outdoors looking for a human-centered work culture where I can do my best work alongside amazing people.


2. Describe your role at Venture Outdoors in 10 words or less.  

I open eyes to the barriers to belonging and free humans to participate in the goodness belonging brings.


3. If you had to pick only one recreational activity to practice for the rest of your life, what would it be and why?  

Mutual combat, specifically; American Boxing, Hapkido, and Brazilian Jiu-jitsu. As Bruce Lee said, “Better to be a warrior in a garden, than a gardener in war.”


4. What are your top five favorite outdoors/travel destinations?   

  • Cape Town, South Africa
  • Hawaii
  • Dubai
  • Sweden
  • Cuba


5. What is your favorite forest/camping snack?  

Walnuts & Platanos (fried banana)


6. Name three people in history (dead or alive) with whom you would want to get outdoors with.  

  • James Baldwin
  • Resmaa Menakem
  • Dr. Gabor Mate


7. What is the earliest memory you have of being outside?  

Wild dogs in Florida on the loose 


8. Any hidden talents?  

I have been a DJ from Seattle to Miami & I’m a Latin Ballroom instructor


9. What is your favorite song (or album) right now?  

It’s a toss up between Mr. Morale and the Big Steppers by Kendrick Lamar & Love, Damini by Burna Boy


10. What is your biggest challenge nowadays? 

Being the father of passionate & powerful black/brown children in the United States of America

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