December 9, 2015 - Comments Off on RIP Doug Tompkins — a true explorer and conservationist

RIP Doug Tompkins — a true explorer and conservationist

I've always admired Doug Tompkins, as much for his experience and leading expeditions and his ecological perspective. He was brilliant as Yvon Chouinard's counterpart in 180° South, and opened my eyes to conversation as more than something you support, but as something you live out. His commitment to Deep Ecology, took him to take his profits from his sale of North Face, and Espirit and invest them into land trust in South America, for the specific goal of creating a large national park for the people of Patagonia.

Proponents of deep ecology believe that the world does not exist as a resource to be freely exploited by humans. The ethics of deep ecology hold that the survival of any part is dependent upon the well-being of the whole.


His death, at 72 is a huge loss, as he had much more to give to the land and the people that knew him. His legacy will live on, both in the movement he has helped create, and the land he has bought to protect. Godspeed Doug.

And for some extra viewing... here is his outspoken views on Technology and Nature // A Clash of Concepts.

December 4, 2015 - Comments Off on for the love of coffee and tea

for the love of coffee and tea

Quick trip to Salt Lake City this week to attend La Barba's annual shareholders meeting... was a great time to catch up with the team and see where the brand is going. Josh, the CEO, also asked the question, "Why did you want to get involved in Charming Beard (now La Barba) in the first place, and what do you want out of this as shareholders?"

A great question.

Read more

November 20, 2015 - Comments Off on 2016… the year of side project(s).

2016… the year of side project(s).

2015 has been a great year... I feel like work/life balance finally has a fulcrum as Sonic, which has been and is an incredible place to flex my skillset in digital innovation and experience development. The team is fantastic, clicking along toward some great great stuff over the next 12 months. This week, we finally launched a project we've been working on for close to a year, it's not the full vision, but a huge step in the right direction. You'll see more in the coming weeks on the work we did for the new Interactive POPS experience... I can't wait for everyone to experience the full version of this experience!

In the balance, I was finally able to get Lake Surf Co. and Woodshed Tea off the concept floor and into Oklahoma state certified businesses!

Lake Surf Co. has been around for a few years, but will pivot away from SUP board sales and rentals and focus on the SUP boarding lifestyle. We'll be venturing into apparel and other accessories for the lake and river SUP boarding lifestyle in the Midwest. I'm looking forward to leaning into this space, as the brand is super fun to work on and anything to get us out on the water is a good thing! We are launching next week with two hat styles, and should be able to move into some t-shirts before the new year. #getboard

Woodshed Tea is a passion project from my time at Alpha Dominche. We worked so hard to position the Steampunk brewer to be ambidextrous, that is, to revolutionize coffee and tea brewing, both in extraction time and flavor profile. In that experience I got the opportunity to visit some of the top coffee roasters in the nation, as well as some of the top tea importers and blenders. A working man's master's degree in coffee and tea has been stuffed in my head, and with Woodshed Tea I get to explore the tea side of things in much more detail. We will be launching with nine tea varieties, a curated list of loose leaf teas including some organic single origin green, black, white tea and a couple expertly blended herbal teas. You'll find our offerings incredibly diverse, and yet pure to their original intent. So much to be excited for with this project. #looseleaf


So, here is to 2016! Lot's to look forward to and lots of building to be done. Because builders gotta build.

November 17, 2015 - Comments Off on give me your tired, your poor…

give me your tired, your poor…

"Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me.
I lift my lamp beside the golden door."

- From "The New Colossus" an 1883 Emma Lazarus poem quoted on the Statue of Liberty.

The idealism behind this sentiment and proclamation seems to be directly tied to the fact that in the land of opportunity you don't need to kill to provide for your family... you just need to work. And when you work and are paid, you find an affordance of things, thereby making your fundamentalist viewpoint un-ideal.

As resources get scarce, it becomes a bit hazy.

And when people get backed into a corner, the fundamentalist viewpoint seems more ideal, as the alternative of Heaven is a reprieve from the reality of scarcity.

And here I'm talking about most religions and beliefs, not just one in particular.

Clarification. I'm not saying we shouldn't be open to refugees, just pointing out the different socio-economical environment we are now living in. If we can figure out the income gap and revitalize the middle class, there is mounds of opportunity. But if the gap continues to widen, we won't have much opportunity for the natural born citizen or the immigrant. And in the vacuum -- fundamentalism/extremism will continue to bloom in the ghettos and in the suburbs. Creating such polarization, violence will seem to be the only answer.

But again, as Emma Lazarus declared, there is another way. A way of peace and equality. I'm not advocating for socialism, but a regulated capitalism. An economy protected against collapse by a robust middle class, who advances in economic booms, and digs it's heels in during economic busts. A majority of people, diverse in ethnic background, and religious tradition, but unified in opportunity. With this stability, our land can truly be the "Mother of Exiles," a place of refuge for the tempest-tossed.