SOUTHEAST AMBASSADOR: VIRGINIA BEACH, VIRGINIA
Growing up on the Lynnhaven River in Virginia Beach instilled in me an appreciation for the natural world and outdoors. As a kid I loved fishing, camping and exploring outside, especially at the beach, river, or ocean. As an adult I found myself falling in love with the mountains while I studied Anthropology and Biology at James Madison University in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. I would often camp and hike throughout college, and learned to ski and snowboard at nearby Massanutten Resort.
By the time I graduated I had fallen in love with snow and making turns so much that I applied for a job teaching snowboarding. I will never forget how nervous I was about trying out for the job. I barely knew how to ride and my skills were so weak that I fell getting off of the chair lift during the training. I thought they would never hire me, but they did, and my riding improved so much by teaching others the basics in one year that my passion for mountain sports was ignited.
After teaching for 5 seasons in Virginia I moved to Lake Tahoe where I was able to really experience the mountain lifestyle. I worked for the Northstar Ski & Snowboard School, attained full certification with AASI, as well as a Children’s Specialist and Freestyle Accreditation. The last season I was in Tahoe I helped develop one of the first terrain based teaching methods at the Burton Snowboard Academy.
My husband and I decided to return home to the Southeast 8 years ago when I was pregnant with my first daughter. Part of me longed to raise her in that winter paradise, but we wanted to bring her home where we could be near more of our family. Now we have two daughters, and the only thing more amazing than watching them learn about the wonders of our natural world is seeing the bond between sisters form over time.