Introducing Dave, Kim, Connie & Maddy: ‘New’ Additions to Our Crew

Backcountry Journeys has an AWESOME team of office staff, including a few ‘new’ members we’d love for you to meet today. They are thoughtful problem solvers. They are dependable, organized & efficient, ridiculously helpful, and thorough. They are the behind-the-scenes backbone of the operation working daily to connect passionate people to exceptional experiences. You’ve maybe talked to or exchanged an email with, a few of these good folks already. Some, you’ll likely never know yet play an integral role.

A good team is never a coincidence, and over the past few months, we’ve added some new faces to the family. Help us welcome Dave, Kim, Connie & Maddy.


Dave Deschenes
Executive Program Director

Dave’s job in his own words: “at a small company we here many hats.  My official responsibilities include the day-to-day oversite of our business operations. I oversee marketing, finance, operations, and customer service… so I do a little of everything!”

Where is home for you right now?
Colorado Springs, CO 

What has been your most ‘interesting job,’ and why?
I worked as a licensed falconer at a wildlife rehab facility. I worked with raptors who were injured and rehabbed them so that they could re-learn to fly.

How long have you been with BCJ?
Been with BCJ for three months.  

What was the initial thing that interested you in working for such a company?
I made the decision to work for BCJ to be able to blend my passion for the outdoors and my professional skill set in business management.  

What is – so far – the best part of working for Backcountry Journeys?
The BCJ team is great but I like being able to provide our guests with amazing experiences! 

What is your favorite season, and why?
The Fall…..absolutely love the cold weather and the color of the changing foliage.  

Favorite National Park?
Glacier National Park – it’s the crown of the continent and has amazing scenery and wildlife. 

What is the wildest place you’ve visited?
The Wind River Mt Range in WY. Really rugged and remote.

If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be, and why?
In the mountains anywhere with 100 acres of land…..so I could go out and explore my own wilderness!


Kim Biggins
Finance

Kim’s job in her own words: “Accountant – A specialist who creates order out of chaos; analyzes and repairs errors that you didn’t even know you had in a way you don’t understand.”

Where is home for you right now?
Orlando, FL

What has been your most ‘interesting job,’ and why?
Working for a regional airport – travel in private jets was a great perk.

How long have you been with BCJ?
Five + months.

What is – so far – the best part of working for Backcountry Journeys?
Actively being able to see parts of the country and wildlife through the guides’ lens.

What is your favorite season, and why?
Spring – The weather is best.    

Favorite National Park?
Pearl Harbor & blessed to call Gettysburg NP home for 45 years.

What is the wildest place you’ve visited?
Alaska.

If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be, and why?
Hawaii – any rock in the middle of an ocean.


Connie Ghiglieri
Photo Adventure Specialist

Connie’s job in her own words: “I am truly excited for guests and I try to utilize my passion and love for the outdoors to critically listen to their needs combined with my product knowledge to fit each guest to the appropriate trip.” 

Where is home for you right now?
Flagstaff, AZ

What has been your most ‘interesting job,’ and why?
Working with Doctors Without Borders in Western Ethiopia on the border with South Sudan. It was my first mission with MSF and I was in charge of a small 25-bed hospital and clinic. I was challenged, learned a ton, about stuff like malaria (peak season), malnutrition, tetanus, and gunshot wounds (got in the middle of a conflict, my first but not my last), and went on to do two more missions.

How long have you been with BCJ?
Three months?

What was the initial thing that interested you in working for such a company?
They go to lots of places I have been and have loved going. 

What is – so far – the best part of working for Backcountry Journeys?
Sharing my knowledge of the places the guests are going.

What is your favorite season, and why?
Fall, I love the colors, the warm days, and cool nights/mornings. 

Favorite National Park?
Yosemite, I lived and worked there and was a hiking fool.

What is the wildest place you’ve visited?
The lower Omo River valley in Ethiopia. 

If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be, and why?
Flagstaff, there is no place like home.


Maddy Church
Photo Adventure Specialist

Maddy’s job in her own words: “Photo Adventure Specialist – A photography and travel connoisseur who juggles a variety of reservations, customer questions, and trip details; connecting people with amazing experiences.”  

Where is home for you right now?
Greensboro, NC. But I am planning to move somewhere new soon. Hopefully either to Asheville, NC, or Salt Lake City, UT!

What has been your most ‘interesting job,’ and why?
I used to train dogs for a living! It was definitely an interesting job, because every dog is different, and I was always learning new things. However, it was also stressful because I typically had 3-4 dogs in my home at one time!

How long have you been with BCJ, what is your position here?
A little over three months.

What was the initial thing that interested you in working for such a company?
I have a degree in photography and a passion for travel, so this seemed like the perfect position for me!

What is – so far – the best part of working for Backcountry Journeys?
The best part of working at Backcountry Journeys has been getting to interact with so many interesting people. In addition, BCJ has given me the opportunity to combine my passions to help others have the adventure of a lifetime!

What is your favorite season, and why?
Fall. I love the colors and the smell of the leaves. 

Favorite National Park?
Glacier National Park! I was there a few summers ago, and the Gatorade-colored water, along with the large variety of wildlife blew me away. While we were there, we went swimming in a lake one day, then hiked in the snow the next. In August! I am planning to visit again soon with BCJ!

What is the wildest place you’ve visited?
I would say Switzerland, but that was when I was a kid, so I don’t have a great memory of it. Puerto Rico is my favorite place that I have been as an adult! Especially the rainforest. 

If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be, and why?
Everywhere! I enjoy exploring new places and learning about new cultures. I would love to travel and live in a lot of different places- especially Southeast Asia or Europe!


Kenton Krueger

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kenton Krueger has spent the past several years guiding backpackers, hikers, and photographers into the wild places of the American West such as Grand Canyon, Yellowstone, Yosemite, Olympic, Glacier, Katmai, Zion, Bryce Canyon, Arches, Canyonlands National Parks, Coastal Oregon, as well as internationally in Costa Rica & Brazil. In addition to backpacking and camping, his adventures include rock climbing, exploring the slot canyons of southern Utah, mountain biking, and bagging 14ers in Colorado’s San Juan Mountain Mountain Range. Kenton is a trail runner, and former pilot, and spent roughly five years writing and photographing for the award-winning Omaha World-Herald newspaper, out of his hometown, Omaha, Nebraska. Kenton looks forward to utilizing his years of trip leading and guiding experience, combined with his passion and experience behind the lens, to provide memorable and unforgettable experiences at the wild places we will visit together.

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