Meet The Dream Team

Meet Explorer Chick Nicki Bruckmann

Nicki is the Founder of Explorer Chick, a breaker of American Dreams, and the Head Instigator of SHE-nanigans. She did that whole Adult thing for a while – bought a house, got married, worked a promising corporate career. Turns out she didn’t fit that mold very well, so she broke that American Dream in 2014...

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Meet Explorer Chick Lauren Beatty

Lauren is an Explorer Chick Guide, with a passion for adventure ‘in the great wide somewhere’. Born and raised in Cincinnati, Ohio, Lauren has also lived in Georgia, Louisiana, and Kentucky- she loves exploring new places and meeting new people! Lauren graduated from Georgia State University with her degree in...

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Meet Explorer Chick Amy Mixell

Amy is the Senior Destination Manager for Explorer Chick. With her knack for organization, detail, and customer service she is the point-woman for communicating with you, your guides, and our partners. If you have a questions about a trip, Amy is your gal! She calls Cincinnati home and loves to explore with her...

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Meet Explorer Chick Kirstie Mullikin

Kirstie is an Explorer Chick Guide who loves scrambling up mountains and dancing on top of them. Hailing from May’s Lick, Kentucky, she’s a graduate of the University of Kentucky carrying a B.S. in Horticulture, Plant, and Soil Sciences. She developed her love for the outdoors and hiking by spending most of her...

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Meet Explorer Chick Erin Halliwell

Erin is an Explorer Chick Guide who is always thinking about her next adventure. She is an avid traveler who loves to explore new places internationally and domestically both solo and with friends. She has visited nearly 30 countries and lists South America as being a favorite destination. One of her most epic...

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Meet Explorer Chick Jeannie Panchal

Jeannie is an Explorer Chick Guide who considers herself a nomad, having lived in four countries and 11 states. Currently residing in Anchorage, AK after a sporadic decision to move from Portland, OR during a pandemic. She follows her heart fiercely and quit a career in pharmaceutical sales to travel the world for six...

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Meet Explorer Chick Karen Kaylor

Karen is our Operations Manager. She works behind the scenes on your Explorer Chick Trips and Adventures. A long-time traveler with Explorer Chick, she has been interested in being more involved with the company from the start. She got hooked at West Virginia Wild 2017 and became an ambassador shortly thereafter. Aside...

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Meet Explorer Chick Savannah Tuttle

Savannah is an Explorer Chick Guide with a passion for meditation on foot. In 2015 she became a long-distance hiker, walking from Key West to Maine on the Florida Trail and Appalachian Trail. This experience changed her life in many ways, instilling deep gratitude within her for the simple things in life. Since then...

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Meet Explorer Chick Janie Allen

Janie is an Explorer Chick Guide who loves to explore the Red River Gorge! She grew up in Cincinnati, OH where she spent her childhood hiking, camping, canoeing, and playing in creeks. She decided to follow her heart and ended up at Appalachian State University where she studied Recreation Management and Outdoor...

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Meet Explorer Chick Christina Bruno

Christina is an Explorer Chick Guide who loves reconnecting with herself in remote wilderness, deserts, mountains, rivers, and different cultures. Being a professional snowboarder, Christina has traveled all over the United States, Canada, and New Zealand challenging herself through freeride competitions and chasing...

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Meet Explorer Chick Ashley Delehunt

Ashley is the Guide Manager for Explorer Chick. She has been a guide in wilderness therapy and travel abroad programs and has accumulated over 1,000 professional field days as a guide. Needless to say, she’s got an eye for what it takes to be a successful guide. Ashley has a BA in Adventure Education from Fort Lewis...

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Meet Explorer Chick Kayla Lamb

Kayla is an Explorer Chick Guide with a passion for rock climbing and exploring the outdoors. She is a rock climbing coach, route setter, illustrator, and naturalist. She calls Birmingham, AL home, however, Kayla has been living her best van-life having traveled and lived in North Carolina, Arizona, Tennessee, and...

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Meet Explorer Chick Jayme Vance

Jayme is an Explorer Chick Guide who is passionate about getting people outdoors and firmly believes we can all always benefit from more time spent in nature! Her love for the outdoor community and lifestyle started during summers in college doing trail work for the Appalachian Trail Conservancy. Her pursuit for...

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Meet Explorer Chick Anna Banks

Anna is an Explorer Chick Guide who is fueled by adventure sports! She calls the Appalachian mountains her home, settling down in Boone NC. Anna studied Outdoor Education and Sustainable Development at Appalachians State University. She also spent time in New Zealand at ARA Institute of Canterbury studying Outdoor...

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Meet Explorer Chick Steph Ray

Steph is an Explorer Chick Guide who deeply cares about getting people outside and exploring our connection to nature. She started guiding in 2010 leading kayak tours on Lake Superior, and from there she was hooked. Steph has guided international visitors on backpacking trips in the Southwest, instructed adaptive...

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Meet Explorer Chick Ashley Butler

Ashley is an Explorer Chick Guide who found her strength in the mountains. Lead by curiosity and two willing legs she left her very small Ohio town to first explore Red River Gorge, KY. Solo backpacking in the Gorge was her introduction to the wilderness. Not only did she build up her hiker muscles, through backpacking...

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Meet Explorer Chick Kat Porter

Kat is an Explorer Chick Guide nicknamed the “energizer bunny”. An outdoorsy extrovert, Kat thrives on bringing energy and sharing adventures. Kat has worked as a part of the climbing industry for over a decade. As a competitive rock climbing coach, Kat has trained athletes at the national level. She also holds her...

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Meet Explorer Chick Kara O'Dea

Kara is an Explorer Chick Guide who loves to get out of her comfort zone! She calls Columbus, OH home and has hiked hundreds of miles in Ohio, but considers the Red River Gorge her happy place. She spends much of her time in KY hiking, stand-up paddleboarding, and backpacking. She discovered her love of the outdoors in...

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Meet Explorer Chick Steph Kelly

Steph is an Explorer Chick Guide who is always ready for adventure, and the next cup of coffee. She grew up in the rural Midwest, surrounded by animals and nature in her own backyard which inspired her to be the creative and confident outdoorswoman she is today – except these days that “backyard” is endless!...

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Meet Explorer Chick Leah Wzientek

Leah Wzientek is the Digital Marketing Associate with Explorer Chick who loves over saturating in natural hot springs, putting sombreros on saguaros, and munching Cheetos on the trail.  She has a degree in Civil Engineering from the University at Buffalo, but she retired from a short engineering career to chase the...

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Meet Explorer Chick Ida Garcia

Ida is an Office Admin helping to make all of your Mini Adventure Day Trips run smoothly. Born and raised in the Philippines she has travelled to many of the beautiful spaces that her country has to offer. As a competitive swimmer who spends so much of her time in chlorinated water, being back in nature or surrounded...

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Meet Explorer Chick Emily McDonald

Emily is the Digital Marketing Manager at Explorer Chick. She has a bachelor’s degree in English and communications, and she loves getting to help connect women to the outdoors through storytelling and media. Combining her passion for media and the outdoors, she has worked with outdoor brands like Nemo Equipment,...

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Meet Explorer Chick Dannah Nilay

Dannah is an Office Admin taking care of all of our Explorer Chick with guest services, reservations, and assisting our Destination Managers. She calls the the Philippines home where she is currently finishing her post-graduate studies at the University of the Philippines in Business Management. She loves to chase the...

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Meet Explorer Chick Mary Morton

Mary is an Explorer Chick Guide who prioritizes seeing a little more of the world every day. In her 17 years as a seasonal road-warrior nomad, she has hiked in all 50 states, lived in 9 (PA, MD, VA, ME, OR, NM, MT, CA, and currently CO), and is well on her way to standing on 1,000 summits. She celebrated both her 30th...

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Meet Explorer Chick Katie Klos

Katie Klos is an Explorer Chick Guide whose love for the outdoors started as a child in the rolling hills of Pennsylvania. Drawn to the simplicity the outdoors had to offer she became an Adventure Guide at the University of South Florida where she got certified as a Wilderness First Responder and led backpacking trips...

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Meet Explorer Chick Amy Anslinger

Amy is an Explorer Chick Guide who has been exploring the wilderness for over 30 years.  Her passion for the outdoors was sparked by an Outward Bound (OB) Course in Maine that set her on a path of adventure. She completed another OB course in Utah and a semester NOLS course in Alaska before earning a degree in Natural...

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Meet Explorer Chick Amanda Gerwing

Amanda is an Explorer Chick Guide who spent most of her childhood outside. She was born and raised outside of Chicago, Illinois. For college, she attended Appalachian State for Elementary Education and Sustainable Development. It was there that she fell in love with the lush green forests and abundance of water in...

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Meet Explorer Chick Jessica Urton

Jessica is an Explorer Chick Guide who, along with her three amazing daughters, stepped out on a journey to search for kindness, love, sharing, and peace in this world. We have news for you, they found it! They found it on the trails, in caves, under the water, and hanging from the edge of cliffs. Jessica’s...

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Meet Explorer Chick Jody Miller

Jody is an Explorer Chick Guide who grew up running wild in her family orchard in southeastern Indiana. Jody has raised 2 sons and found her love for backpacking later in life. She journeyed for two weeks walking the Camino D’Santiago with her father. This life-changing hike inspired her to see what else is out...

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