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You deserve to have your adventure facilitated by experts. From backyards to boardrooms, in gyms and on glaciers, our staff have traveled, trained, and led in most places you could imagine and many you’ve never thought about. Engaged and excited an entire middle school of over 200 students at the same moment? Been there. Challenged leaders of several Fortune 100 companies to reach greater heights? Done that. Created a critical communication training for over 100 Air Force personnel? Check. Made a family’s living room into a lava pit where only the most communicative and coordinated survive? That too…

The EDGE Adventures Leadership Team average more than 10 years of experience leading, teaching, facilitating, and coaching - regionally, nationally, and internationally - our staff have created powerful experiences for people of all ages that lead participants to greater accomplishment. The expertise of our team adds to the quality of the experience while mitigating the risks.

Experts from our leadership team enlist the services of fellow professional adventurers and leaders from our EDGE network to give you a high-impact experience every time. These amazingly gifted people add to our capacity and give us the ability to deliver your personal, group, or corporate sized event anytime, anywhere.

John Conway

John ConwayWith over 20 years of experience working with people of all ages and backgrounds in the adventure field, John has logged well over 500 days in the backcountry, and countless hours on team building courses and in corporate training venues. After receiving his master’s degree in social work from Loyola University in 1996, John focused his passion for the outdoors and use of experiential therapy towards assisting individuals, families, and other groups, in achieving their potential. John is a licensed clinical social worker (LCSW), certified alcohol and drug counselor (CADC), Wilderness First Responder, and lifeguard. John is an international trainer in the field of adventure and experiential therapy, and has been invited to present at multiple professional conferences, in the US and abroad. As a corporate trainer, John has worked with hundreds of professionals from around the world, motivating, challenging, and facilitating leadership skills and increased productivity, through cooperative success strategies. John has brought these same skills to schools, colleges and universities, working with students and faculty to achieve greater academic success and professional identity development. As a husband and father of two daughters, John enjoys sharing his passion with his own family, finding balance and joy in the things that the outdoors has to offer.

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Sean Hoyer

Sean HoyerSince 1990, Sean has guided leadership development opportunities with youth and adults in a variety of settings including youth development, corporate training, professional military education, organizational change, and wilderness therapy. As a National Outdoor Leadership School instructor and Master Trainer, Sean leverages his 1000+ days of wilderness trip leading to shape personal growth experiences. As an international trainer, professional leader, and published author, Sean is sought after for his ability to integrate theory and practice within a stimulating learning environment. Sean was hand-picked by the United States Air Force to rewrite curriculum and oversee the professional education for military mental health providers. He regularly consults with private organizations and state agencies on implementation of effective clinical interventions and is a guiding force in developing best practices for a national professional organization. He led a small clinical program to national recognition as Organization of the Year in 2005. He currently serves as Chair on the Board of Directors for a regional youth camp. Sean holds degrees from Valparaiso University and the University of Chicago with advanced certifications in clinical social work and adolescent substance abuse counseling.

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Mary Beth Kerf

Mary Beth KerfMary Beth has spent the last 18 years overseeing clinical supervision to a staff that provides youth development and treatment services to teens and their families. Mary Beth is versed in wilderness and adventure programming and has played an active role within a team customizing and delivering successful wilderness experiences. Mary Beth holds a master’s degree in clinical psychology and is a licensed clinical professional counselor (LCPC) and is state certified in addictions.

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Brian McKenna

Brian McKennaBrian McKenna has committed the past 18 years to helping organizations and individuals reach their potential. He develops effective leadership in people of all ages by building important character traits and lifelong values through relational experiences. He holds a bachelor’s degree in social work (BSW) from Valparaiso University and a master’s degree in social work from Jane Addams College of Social Work at the University of Illinois at Chicago. He is a licensed clinical social worker (LSCW) and a certified alcohol and drug counselor (CADC) in the state of Illinois, and in this role, Brian trains and counsels through an experiential approach. Being an athletic coach and a member of the National Youth Sports Coaches Association (NYSCA), Brian knows how to achieve peak performance in both sports and skills for life. He is a husband and father of four children, while being a role model for countless others. 

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Katie Verlee

Katie VerleeKatie has been working with adolescents in wilderness adventure for the past seven years. She has significant experience with group facilitation, high and low ropes courses, climbing walls and has logged over 400 days of field work in wilderness environments. Katie has a background in environmental science, philosophy and art. She enjoys integrating learning about the natural world into all her trips, as well as capturing it's beauty through photography and other mediums. Her certifications and areas of training include Wilderness First Responder, lifeguard, and climbing/cave rescue. She shares her passion for the outdoors with her husband and has just begun introducing her young son to the joys of the wilderness.

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Mike Verlee

Mike VerleeMike began his career in youth work right out of high school, spending seven years as a camp counselor and wilderness adventure guide. He is a certified alcohol and drug counselor, holds a bachelor’s degree in youth ministry, and is currently pursuing a master’s degree in mental health counseling at Trinity International University.  Additionally, this jack-of-all-trades holds a wide range of professional rescue certifications and technical training.  Mike relies on strong technical ingenuity and creativity to easily adapt to the ever changing conditions of the wilderness; developing relevant teachable moments and providing a well-rounded experience for all adventure participants. He is uniquely gifted in connecting with and shaping youth from all walks, and he treasures the opportunity to use his gifts to make a positive impact in your young person’s life. When he’s not in the office or out in the field, Mike is most likely at home with his equally adventurous wife and son; playing improvised ballads on the acoustic guitar, making unnecessary modifications to the family vehicles, or suiting up for whichever adrenaline sport corresponds to the current season. 

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Jason Wynkoop

Jason WynkoopJason has been involved in adventure programming as a participant or facilitator for more than 20 years. His passion for leading young people to greater heights through adventure-based experiences began when participating as an eighth grader on a high-ropes course. A graduate of Valparaiso University where he received his bachelor’s degree and the University of Chicago where he earned his master’s degree, Jason is a licensed clinical social worker (LCSW). He has presented about adventure therapy at regional conferences and has trained and supervised therapists in experiential techniques. Jason leads wilderness trips at EDGE and is a certified Wilderness First Responder and lifeguard. With a wealth of student leadership experience to draw upon, he is able to connect youth with the experiences necessary to prepare for leadership at the college level and beyond.

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Staff Bios