Who We Are

We are outdoor and business leaders who understand the importance of community in building new ideas into new companies

Vision


Mission



& Values

VISION

​Wild Gift envisions a more just and sustainable world built by changemakers who share a common bond with wild nature.

MISSION

​Wild Gift connects and empowers environmental entrepreneurs through immersive wilderness experiences and dynamic business programming.

VALUES
  • We believe that reverence for wild nature is essential for leadership and the welfare of all people.
  • We believe that the dynamism and diversity of wild places are vast resources for learning and creativity.
  • We believe that strong connections with wild places and a supportive community are the foundation for lasting change.
  • We believe that diversity in race, age, gender, ability, and sexual orientation makes us a more capable organization.

 

Meet Our

Team

Adam Marvel

Executive Director

Cassidy Cichowicz

Program Director

Bob Jonas

Founder

Wild Gift

Alumni Board Members

Executive Director

Adam

Marvel

Adam Marvel, born and raised in Idaho, is a dynamic, community focused, leader in sustainable entrepreneurship with expertise in business and political strategy, specifically in impact analysis and strategic development. He has international experience in leading coalitions of profit with purpose, non-profit, and mission driven enterprises. He has a deep commitment to environmental and social impact, with demonstrably positive financial and community achievements including developing and delivering over $100 Million into impact funds and projects.

Program Director

Cassidy

Cichowicz

Cassidy’s academic and professional journey has been greatly influenced by a fascination and admiration for nature. She joined the Wild Gift team after mountain guiding in Ketchum, Idaho. Prior to that, Cassidy lived in Crested Butte, CO, where she attended Western Colorado University. In 2020, she graduated with a Masters in Environmental Management and focused on mountain community resiliency. Throughout her graduate program, she mentored community stakeholders and students working on conceptualizing and implementing sustainability projects.  

Cassidy brings management, facilitation, and teaching experience to her role as Program Director. She is enthusiastic about supporting startup founders as they navigate the entrepreneurial journey and deepen their connection with wilderness. Cassidy lives in Bellingham, Washington and spends her time appreciating the Northwest on skis, bike, and foot.

Cassidy WG
Founder

Bob

Jonas

Bob is a lifelong wilderness traveler, advocate, and backcountry ski guide. Appreciating the transformative values of the wilderness experience on the well-being of people, Bob, in 2002, founded Wild Gift, a non-profit that selects extraordinary young leaders, takes them on a deep wilderness trip and expert mentorship to accelerate their better world ideas. There are more than 60 Wild Gift alumni who are changing the world as a result of Bob’s initiative. 

​Bob’s love of the backcountry led him to establish Sun Valley Trekking Company in 1982. Over the years, he created five backcountry ski huts that continue to this day. As a pioneer in backcountry hut to hut skiing and multi-day backcountry ski trips, Bob was inducted in 2020 into the Sun Valley’s Snow Sports Hall of Fame. His true passion, however, remains with his connection to the Wild Gift, its alumni, and new classes of young leaders who are changing the world. ​Bob and his wife, Sarah Michael, live in Ketchum, Idaho.

Alumni

Board

Lisa Curtis '12

LISA'S BIO AND IMAGE COMING SOON

Sarah Eminhizer '03

Sarah Eminhizer '03
Sarah loves her work with UC Santa Cruz's new graduate program in coastal science and policy where she works with inspiring young leaders who are working on solutions to today's biggest environmental problems. To both her work and engagement with Wild Gift, Sarah brings extensive experience in the areas of monitoring, evaluating, and learning, facilitation, fundraising, and organizational effectiveness from her time as a consultant, nonprofit program director, and environmental planner. She is a graduate of the Nicholas School of the Environment at Duke University in Coastal Environmental Management and UC Santa Barbara in Aquatic Biology. As one of the inaugural Wild Gift fellows, Sarah has seen the organization grow and been inspired by numerous cohorts over the years. Sarah joined the Wild Gift Board in 2019 and has served on the fellowship selection committee for the 2015, 2017, and 2019 cohorts. Sarah has worked across many geographies to help communities conserve their natural resources most notably in Fiji, American Samoa, the Wider Caribbean, and US West Coast.  Sarah splits time between Oakland and Santa Cruz, CA and enjoys coaching ultimate frisbee with her husband and getting out in nature with their lovable, albeit boisterous, dog Brie. 

Laura Fieselman '18

Since joining Wild Gift as a fellow in 2018, Laura has served the organization in numerous roles including Trek Facilitator, Program Director, and Interim Executive Director. When not wearing her Wild Gift hat, Laura is an impact-driven entrepreneur and entrepreneurship educator. She has worked at the intersection of sustainability, food systems, and social ventures for over a decade and has taught environmental sustainability and entrepreneurship at UNC Chapel Hill, Pacific University, and Meredith College. Laura is currently building Good Bowls, a social venture to address food access. Laura also founded Raleigh City Farm in 2010, an urban educational farm incubating the next generation of farmers, and serves as Board Chair at Transplanting Traditions, a beautiful 8-acre farm supporting 50+ refugee families from Burma in Carrboro, NC.

Arun Gupta '16

Arun is the founder of Skyven Technologies, a renewable energy technology company that's reducing the carbon intensity of the industrial manufacturing sector.  Arun and his team at Skyven have been recognized by the National Science Foundation and SXSW (twice), and in 2017 they were awarded the $1M Grand Prize in New York State's 76West Clean Energy Competition.  Arun also holds a PhD in electrical engineering from the University of Texas at Dallas and began his career as a research and development engineer for Texas Instruments.  Today, Arun travels frequently for work, but he loves to squeeze in a bit of hiking or skiing wherever he goes.

Chris Howell '09

Wild Gift helped Chris launch Vermont Farm Tours in 2009, which he ran for ten years before switching careers from food and agriculture to finance. Chris completed his MBA in 2018 and currently splits his time between Rock Point School, a small private high school, and Image Relay, a digital asset management company. In his free time, Chris can be found binging on podcasts about entrepreneurship, technology, and design while backcountry skiing, mountain biking, or gardening. Chris lives with his wife and dog in Burlington, Vermont.

Pete Land '03

Pete is the co-founder of Tamarack Media Cooperative, which helps environmental initiatives communicate their work through websites, videos, and print materials. He is a graduate of Dartmouth College and the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies. He has served on the boards of Wild Gift, the DREAM Program, the Vermont Land Trust, and the Vermont Natural Resources Council. During a hiatus from the Green Mountain State, he worked at the San Diego Zoo and Defenders of Wildlife; he also directed education programs at a black bear sanctuary in northern Minnesota. Now attached to his computer most of the time, he appreciates more than ever the wilderness opportunities provided by Wild Gift. He and his family live in his hometown of Burlington, Vermont.

Ki'Amber Thompson '19

Ki’Amber is a queer Blaxicana educator, organizer, artist, and entrepreneur from the West Side of San Antonio, Texas. She works at the intersection of Environmental Justice and Prison Industrial Complex Abolition. Since graduating from Pomona College in 2018 she’s done environmental justice work in Flint, Michigan through the Doris Duke Conservation Scholars Program at the University of Michigan and spent a year in Washington, D.C. doing policy, research, and storytelling work with the Ocean Conservancy through the RAY Conservation Fellowship. Ki’Amber is the Founder and Director of the Charles Roundtree Bloom Project, an outdoor healing justice program for youth of incarcerated parents in San Antonio. She is currently on the move to Santa Cruz, California where she will be pursuing her Ph.D. at UCSC and continuing to build out the Bloom Project.   

Raj Vable '12

Raj is the co-founder of Young Mountain Tea, which is working to build a new Indian tea region in partnership with remote Himalayan communities.  Says Raj: "Writing the Wild Gift application was the first time I committed the idea for Young Mountain Tea to paper. Over the course of the last four years, my own trajectory and Wild Gift's have remained entwined. As we move into the next era of the organization, it's a privilege to work with the other Alumni to make the fire burn brighter."

Alex Bailey '19

ALEX'S BIO AND IMAGE COMING SOON