BCM Celebrates 2020 Partners of the Year

This year has required a lot of soul searching, finding untapped reserves of determination, and looking for those moments of positivity and silver lining.

We found a lot of silver linings and positive inspiration thanks to our partners and friends around the country. In prior years we have honored our “Partners of the Year” to thank and recognize those closest to us and who have gone above and beyond for BCM. Well, with so much altered in 2020 and with so much of the country reeling, we decided to take a new spin on how we recognize those we know and how they have helped not just BCM, but their community at large.

Please read on to learn about how people, organizations, and companies connected to BCM have come together to make their community better this year. We are genuinely humbled and inspired by their generosity and we are thankful to have a community of supporters who care deeply about ensuring that everyone – regardless of their background – has access to experiences in nature, and the personal growth those can inspire.

Youth Agency Partners of the Year

Urban Boat Builders (Minneapolis, MN) –  For their ability to manage through the initial wave of the COVID outbreak, developed safety protocols, and re-orient their program to still allow for in-person programs at their workshop with a focus on much smaller cohorts. This ensured their students could still engage in vital out-of-school learning opportunities through their hands-on and meaningful programs.

Seattle Nativity School (Seattle, WA) – For their quick reaction and mobilization to provide meals to students during the height of the crisis. All of their students received free or reduced lunch at school.

AntFarm (Sandy, OR) – For being awarded a contract to do COVID support in their rural community. From the very onset of the pandemic, they were mobilizing to provide support to the elderly in their community to assist in any needs they had. The organization continues to support their students with Zoom and Google classes and have been able to continue to engage students in their in-person through their garden and community projects.


Libby Gemperline (Denver, CO) – For her work to build a suite of BCM promotional videos that we could use to tell more people about who we are and the important work we do. More importantly, she gave space for our students to tell their story and what impact the BCM experience had on them. She traveled to Minnesota to serve as an adult volunteer, built trust with the students to interview them, and document their paddling trip. She volunteered a second time to travel to the Michigan Ice Fest to capture the students’ experience at that event. Finally, she put in many hours to review the footage, build a script, and stitch together the videos in time for our end of year fundraising efforts.

Anna Gonzalez & Gustavo Goncalves (San Francisco, CA) – For their work in the community and their consistent volunteering on BCM expeditions annually. While we missed having them on a trip this year, they were very supportive of our California Program Manager Jenna at virtual volunteer information sessions we were hosting in the spring. They are eloquent spokespeople for BCM and what it means to be a BCM volunteer. Specifically, we are so appreciative of how they incorporate and understand justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion principles when they speak about their role as an adult volunteer.

Sandy and Richard “Ozzie” Osburn (Boston, MA) –  For their support of our new England Program. They stored our gear for free and have been a tremendous resource for our New England Program Manager Scott while he builds our program in the region. We’re hopeful that in time, we can use their local knowledge to build a paddling program into the offerings we provide in the region.


Christina Maples (Portland, OR) – For her support of our Pacific Northwest Program Manager Anne on a scouting trip to the Mount St Helens region. She helped identify and document a new course area for our students to visit in 2021. These scouting trips are crucial for understanding trip logistics, evacuation routes, water resources, camping locations, and trip difficulty.

Marisa Jarae (Denver, CO) – For hosting one of our first virtual programs this summer. The pivot to virtual lessons was tough but MJ’s creation of an awesome outdoor photography lesson really helped ease our mind that this could be done well. She is also an amazing photographer in the field and her pictures are often used in BCM materials. It is so wonderful of her to offers her unique skills to our programming on top of her ability to facilitate students in the field. She is deeply committed to DEI work in her personal and professional life.


NEMO Equipment (NH) – For donating 1,600 sleeping bags to BCM and 16 additional community partners around the country. The donation is in addition to their cash contribution the past two years of over $10,000 thanks to the Labor Day e-sales campaign they run on our behalf.

Arc’Teryx (BC) – For redirecting dollars that would have gone to Facebook ads and delivering those critical funds to BCM to buoy us through this tough time. Not only did they take a stand against Facebook’s ad practices but they made sure that BCM’s Assistant Instructor Program has the resources it needs to bring our students up through the ranks from participants to paid trip leaders for the organization.

Hoka One One (CA) – For stepping in as a new donor in 2020! Of all the years for a retailer to add to their philanthropy, HOKA stepped up to support our LEADERS Program. Additionally, they have gotten involved personally and authentically. They hosted a career pathways panel with our students bringing forth a diverse, passionate panel of speakers that spoke to a lot of the lived experiences of our students. They went above and beyond to honor our request to provide Spanish translation and paid for and found a translator to make it happen. Lastly, they included BCM into a collaborative cause marketing campaign with Cotopaxi that is set to raise funds for the organization in 2021.

SFS/AFS Participant

Johnny Jesson – For his exceptional enthusiasm and personal commitment to making the Summit for Someone adventure fundraising program a success. Johnny has completed 4 separate trips with SFS since 2018, including 2 in 2020 (Mt. Hood, Mt. Whitney, Grand Teton, and Longs Peak). In addition to his personal drive and passion for mountain climbing, he is always thinking about how to improve the program, provide more meaningful experiences for fundraisers like him out on the mountain, and dreaming big for BCM. He brings his life experience with him to his mountain adventures and looks forward to both the challenge of each climb and the wonderful camaraderie that comes with teaming up with like-minded volunteers.

Rob, Christine, and John (Tahoe Rim Trail) – This amazing trio planned their own adventure fundraising challenge and found success together even in an extra-challenging year. All hailing from east of the Mississippi, they set their sights on completing the 165-mile Tahoe Rim Trail with a goal of raising $5000 for BCM’s youth programs. Not only did they complete their ambitious thru-hike, they also surpassed their fundraising goal. Rob, Christine, and John caught up with one of BCM’s regional program managers after their trek to celebrate, talk about the importance of equitable access to the outdoors, and their personal passions that led them to design this meaningful adventure.

Board/National Council

John Andriola, Board Member (CO) – For his steadfast volunteerism to help BCM process and record all of our donations throughout the year. It takes a lot of coordination and organization to make sure our donations are recorded accurately and that the donors are thanked consistently. John plays a critical role to the organization in providing these tasks as a volunteer. His support in this regard allows us to put staff resources in other areas of the organization more focused on direct mission success. As an attorney with a specialization in employment law, John is also helpful in crafting organizational policies, reviewing our hiring practices, and editing our volunteer and youth agency application forms each year.

Nathan Ballard, National Council (CA) – For supporting the California Program while we found our full-time Regional Program Manager Jenna. He has been instrumental in keeping relationships in place, on-boarding Jenna, and holding important permitting documents with our US Forest Service partners. He has a long history of serving as a volunteer mentor, serving as a paid instructor, and really making CA programs happen year in and year out.


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