Episode #38

Credit Photo Courtesy of:
Brian Poon


About this Episode

Lace up your ice boots for a trip up north to hear from Valdez Adventure Alliance (VAA). Based in southeastern Alaska, the organization has accomplished some amazing things with just two people on staff. On this month’s episode, Lanette Oliver and Michelle LeBlanc, executive director and chief financial officer respectively, passionately describe how values of community and connection manifest in an organization that weaves together outdoor programs, stewardship, and major events like the Valdez Ice Festival.

With the Chugach Range in their backyard, VAA is focused on bringing people into the outdoors who will not only appreciate it, but need it. We discuss their proudest stewardship accomplishments, the challenges of operating with a small staff, and how they keep their focus on getting underserved and underrepresented communities out into the incredible natural landscapes that the 49th state has to offer.

5:17- Lanette’s intro
10:07- Michelle’s intro
12:59- Alaska rock climbing
16:09-Valdez Adventure Alliance
20:53- VAA’s programming
30:34- The “barrier” of being better than the best
33:02- Coordinating among the staff, board and advisory council
38:40- VAA’s stewardship efforts
44:45- “Ice stewardship”
55:54- Valdez Ice Festival
1:01:57- Fat Bike Bash
1:03:04- The VAA’s podcast
1:07:53- Defining “ice stewardship”

Valdez Adventure Alliance: https://valdezadventurealliance.com/

Valdez Ice Festival: https://valdezadventurealliance.com/ice-fest

Valdez Fat Bike Bash: https://valdezadventurealliance.com/fat

Valdez Adventure Alliance Instagram: @valdezadventureallianceinfo

Mixtress YouTube video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6oFqJ98mTlU