Passionate About Linking Education to Meaningful Careers
Kristen is an educator, project manager, program creator, and expert pivoter, which makes her highly-effective in any situation that doesn't go exactly to-plan. She was born and raised in the western suburbs of Chicago and fell in love with the outdoors playing competitive softball and running countless miles on the Illinois Prairie Path, hailed as the first successful Rails-to-Trails conversion in North America, and the iconic Chicago Lakefront Trail.
She started her career in higher education at her alma mater, DePaul University, where she worked in career services helping employers develop campus recruiting strategies, and helping students figure out what they wanted to do when they grew up. She and her partner, John, escaped the brutal Midwest winters and lake effect snow when they moved to Colorado in 2012.
On the Front Range, Kristen continued her career in higher education, joining the staff at the University of Colorado Boulder's Leeds School of Business, to manage and grow Leeds' nationally recognized Professional Mentorship Program (PMP). During her time at Leeds she served as an instructor for their Professional Development course, and later developed and implemented a comprehensive career readiness curriculum as part of the Leeds' core second year coursework. After leaving Leeds, Kristen joined CU Boulder's Research + Innovation Office, supporting the university's industry sponsored research and corporate philanthropy programs.
In 2018, Kristen leapt at the opportunity to join the Outdoor Industry Association (OIA) as their Manager of Emerging Leaders Programs. This role put Kristen at the helm of the Skip Yowell Future Leadership Academy (FLA). During her time at OIA, she also worked to expand accessible, industry-aligned educational opportunities, helping to create and spearheading the launch of OIA's Outdoor Industry Business Certificate Program, in partnership with Utah State University and Western Colorado University.
Kristen left OIA in late 2020, and after years of helping others figure out what they wanted to do when they grew up, she embarked on her own journey to answer that question. That journey has brought her here today, merging her passion for education and the outdoor industry into Path to Peak.
Kristen has a BA in both human development psychology + community psychology from DePaul University. She is a Certified True Colors Facilitator, a former member of the Utah State University Outdoor Product Design + Development Program Advisory Board, and a current member The Wright Collegiate Challenge Advisory Group.
When she's not learning how to run her own business, you can find her hitting close-to-home trails, bingeing the latest Netflix show, or hanging out with her emotionally complicated rescue dogs, Dixie, a sassy red heeler mix, and Auggie, a Rottweiler/Chow, who is certain he's a lap dog.
To learn more about Kristen and her work, head over to the Media + Presentations page.