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Meet SheJumps Board Members: Q&A with Wendi Siebold

Welcome to the Board of Directors: Wendi Siebold. We’re excited to have you and learn more about you.

Q: Tell us a little about yourself.

A: I am the Founder and President of Strategic Prevention Solutions and specialize in prevention research, program planning and evaluation, community coalitions and collective impact, assessment of organizational and community capacity for prevention, and evaluating a criminal justice response to intimate partner and sexual violence. I hold advanced degrees in Health Education & Behavior and Community Psychology and am recognized as a national expert in the prevention of intimate partner violence and sexual violence. For over twenty years I have conducted prevention research and trained communities to prevent violence while emphasizing scientific rigor within a realistic community context.

I was born and raised in southern California, and had an active early childhood of soccer, water and snow skiing, and backpacking in the Sierra Nevada mountains. I recently completed the John Muir Trail through-hike and have enjoyed mentoring other women in the backcountry. Growing up on the beaches of Los Angeles, I'm keenly aware of the intimidation other girls and I felt when surfing and engaging in other largely male-dominated outdoor pursuits. Snowboarding was invented when I was in high school, so that’s saying something! I have dedicated my career and much of my personal life to gender equity. As a lifetime athlete and outdoors enthusiast, I have been honored to serve on the SheJumps board of directors. I've been honored to help lead the initial efforts of SheJumps to be a more inclusive organization, and brings my organizational planning and assessment background to the role on the board. I now live in Juneau, Alaska, on the unceded Tlingit territory of the Auke Kwan.

Q: Place of work, title, location.

A: Strategic Prevention Solutions, President and Founder, Juneau, Alaska.

Q: Why did you join SheJumps as a board member?

A: In 2016, I had the honor of joining the Board just as we started the journey of expanding to support SJ in becoming an organization that steps up to the challenge and journey of going to the next level. SJ has always been rad, and now we are stretching our wings and beginning to fly. I came on to ask the hard questions and use my experience from running my own business for twenty years to help build the organizational infrastructure to make SJ as strong as possible. It has been quite the honor.

Q: What goal of the SheJumps 5 year Strategic Plan is the most important to you?

A: It may not be the most exciting of our goals, but goal #1–to ensure the sustainability of SheJumps and build our internal infrastructure as an organization–is really important to me. Along with researching how to prevent violence, I do a lot of organizational capacity building and strategic planning work, and it is of utmost importance to me as a Board member that we get SJ to a place that is sustainable and functioning efficiently. SJ has so much unreached potential to change the face of the outdoor industry and we are just getting started!

Q: What do you hope to contribute to the SheJumps Board of Directors?

A: I am a planner at heart and by trade. I also love to measure things and have good conversations. So, I’m looking forward to assist with some of our meeting facilitation and moving our organizational work forward so we accomplish our goals. The outdoors has helped ground me in my life and has given me the confidence and skills to be a strong woman, and I enjoy working alongside other amazing women to mentor others.

Q: What is your vision for SheJumps?

A: The past few years our Board and Staff have learned A LOT about the potential for where SheJumps could go in the outdoor industry...and it is big! We are a dynamic, engaging and exciting organization that engages people to get outside and get active in ways that they may have not yet done. I want us to bridge some of the gaps we see with regard to the mainstream outdoor community and communities of color and the LGBTQ community. I want us to be a messenger and a vehicle for helping people connect to themselves and the world in a better way. The outdoors is healing and invigorating for all of us, and everyone deserves to have equal access and support when getting outdoors.

Now, it’s time for the lightning round:

Q: Outdoor activity of choice (pick one, two if you must)?

A: I love backpacking, but backcountry skiing in the mountains behind my house is my newest joy. This winter I’m super excited to get my daughter Avery, who is 18 months old, onto her first set of skis, and maybe a snowboard. Teaching my child how to enjoy the outdoors is one of my goals in life, and I’m so excited to be able to do this in my backyard!

Q: Who inspires you to go outside and why?

A: My women friends here in Southeast Alaska are amazing! They are backcountry skiing and running to the tops of mountains on a regular basis after work on a weekday–even in the darkest hours of winter. Before moving to Alaska, I didn’t know people went backcountry skiing in the dark just for funsies! Seriously, people here experience the outdoors to the fullest, and in a way that is humble and encouraging. Also, my karelian dog Maddie has joined more adventures with friends than I can count, and she has summited more mountains in Juneau than I think any human.

Q: Where is your favorite place to go outside or on an adventure?

A: While I love living in Northwestern climates, my heart still lives in the Sierra Nevada mountains. I love the dry, yet rich lands that are full of manzanita bushes, sweeping vistas, warm weather and thundershowers. I also miss camping in the desert. There is something about the sweet air after an afternoon shower in the desert that awakens such life.

Q: How has the outdoors benefited your health and overall physical, emotional, and spiritual wellbeing?

A: The outdoors is my well being. All of the above ;). I tend to live my life with a healthy sense of gratitude, and this is made easy by the fact that every day that I can step outside into sweet clean air and see an eagle soar overhead with a backdrop of glacial mountains and thick evergreen rainforests. Staying connected to the outdoors is essential for me to stay grounded in life, and all of the challenges and successes that come with it.

Follow Wendi's adventures and career on Instagram and LinkedIn.

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