Honoring the Women of YExplore on March 8, 2014
Today is International Women’s Day, and we’d like to share some contributions made by the women of YExplore who continue to share wonderful Yosemite experiences with guests from around the world. We are so thankful to have such strong women on our team and would like to recognize them for their contributions to helping turn YExplore into a leader in the outdoor adventure industry.
Catherine DeGrazio is the Co-Founder and Director of Operations for YExplore Global Adventures. She is recognized as the voice of the company as every visitor who joins us on a tour will be in contact with her from the first inquiry right up until they reach the trailhead. Catherine left a teaching career in New York City to embark on a new life’s journey to the Foothills of the Sierra Nevada just outside Yosemite National Park in California. She juggles handling the day to operations of this business with raising two wonderful daughters.
Lindsay Black has been the lead wilderness guide at YExplore for the past several years. She has developed our Yosemite backpacking trips and enjoys nothing more than escaping into the wild for a few days at a time. She continues to lead tours but is also currently finishing a degree in nursing where she is bound to achieve unlimited success. She has promised to continue to lead for us on a part time basis this summer but cannot make any guarantees after that. Something tells us she will find a way to escape for occasional trips down the road.
Elspeth Mange is a youth educator in Yosemite National Park. She also leads hiking adventures for YExplore in her spare time. She is also a very talented musician, an avid rock climber, and is adored by our children who love spending time learning and creating with her.
Tamara Faulkner is also a wilderness guide in Yosemite. She and her husband Ryan created our backpacking program. A meticulous planner, Tamara has taught us so many elements of what makes a successful trip. She will be taking this summer off to take care of her beautiful newborn daughter, but there is no doubt she will return to the trails in the near future.
Cherie Newman is a Yoga instructor and the owner of the Yoga Loft in Sonora, CA. She has helped us develop a Yoga Hiking Tour that combines a gentle walk with relaxing yoga in the mountains of Yosemite National Park. Her energy is contagious.
Speaking of energy, there is not a living person who can match the positive power of Christine White Loberg. Christine holds so many different roles in Yosemite National Park and is a former photo instructor for YExplore’s Yosemite photo workshops. After some encouraging conversations, we are hopeful she will return to develop what she is calling the Yosemite Wild Women Workshops where participants will bring their photography equipment and backpacks into the Yosemite Wilderness for a few days of photography and fun.
Christelle Harris & Alexa Melville are a mother and daughter team who have assisted in guiding outdoor adventures for YExplore. They have also taught rock climbing at a local Sonora gym and youth center. They share their love of the outdoors with every group they lead and have an affinity for jump shots on the top of Yosemite peaks.
Laurel Boyers is a former resource manager at Yosemite National Park and also shares her wealth of knowledge of all things Yosemite with YExplore. We are thankful for every hour she dedicates to our guests.
Janet Petersen is a veterinarian in Sonora, CA, an avid backpacker, and a naturalist. She occasionally lends time out of her busy schedule to help us whenever called upon. For that we are grateful.
Susan Lawrence is a yoga instructor, river guide, and trip leader with a wealth of experience planning trips into the outdoors. Her energetic approach is welcome to our team at all times.
We would also like to thank Jennifer Perry, Ashley Pittman, and Carson Craven for dedicating past summers to working with us while in school. As they develop into successful women, they know there will always be a place for them at YExplore. We’d also like to thank Lindsay Trevino, an organic farmer, who was our very first female guide.
Special thanks to Alissa Sears and Gillian Christie of Christie Communications who believe in our vision and continue to present us with countless opportunities to share it with the rest of the world. They are another mother-daughter team who we admire and offer the utmost respect. We have shared so many adventures with them and look forward to many future journeys together.
You would not be reading this blog if it were not for Linda Gough. She is the highly talented designer of this website who has spent many hours creating media that has helped us build the brand of YExplore. Her patience and insightful creativity are very much appreciated.
Many thanks to all the women of YExplore and to all our female explorers from all over the world. Without you, this dream would never be possible. If you are interested in reading about more reflections from Yosemite, please read here, as well as learning more about other holiday days including Thanksgiving at Yosemite.