A team must have a unique set of skills to trek the length of Bhutan while documenting its Gross National Happiness. Besides the endurance to handle grueling physical challenge, the team needs media savvy and the technical skills to broadcast a real-time multimedia project to the outside world, as well as the humility and curiosity to absorb lessons from an exotic culture. Team Expedition Bhutan embodies these skills. The Team is comprised of seasoned competitors, entrepreneurs and passionate adventurers who thrive in sharing experiences via voice, ink, film, and Internet. We are professional, down to earth, and represent the tenacity, determination, and curiosity of all adventure seekers.
TERRI SCHNEIDER – EXPEDITION LEADER
Few athletes surpass Terri Schneider’s consistency, durability, longevity and charisma in endurance sports. She has blazed a singular path through the endurance world that combines a zeal to experience new cultures with a hunger to push her physical limits. Terri shares these experiences with others as a motivational speaker, author, coach and consultant.
As an adventure racer, triathlete, ultrarunner, and mountaineer, Terri has raced and adventured in over 65 countries and has established herself as one of the most experienced multi-sport endurance athletes and coaches in the world. As a world-class professional triathlete for 10 years and elite international adventure racer for eight, Terri has been featured on the Discovery Channel, USA Network, high profile talk shows, news segments, and popular outdoor publications highlighting her personal experiences in triathlon, ultrarunning and arguably the most grueling sport on the planet: adventure racing.
Terri’s record in multi-sport and endurance events is endless, but here are some of the highlights: She competed internationally in 7 Eco-Challenge® Expedition Competitions, the Mild Seven Outdoor Quest in China, the ESPN X-Games Adventure Race, the Raid Gauloises in Tibet and Nepal and La Ruta de Los Conquistadores mountain bike race in Costa Rica. She’s raced many 50 and 100 mile endurance runs and several 7-day running stage races in the Sahara Desert in Egypt, the Gobi Desert in China, and in Costa Rica. Terri has completed 22 Ironman Triathlons, finishing in the top 5 three times in the Hawaii Ironman Triathlon World Championships.
Terri has earned her Masters of Arts in Sports Psychology with an emphasis on team dynamics and a thesis on risk taking, and her Bachelor of Science degree in Exercise Physiology. She speaks and writes on topics such as teamwork, motivation, sports psychology, and risk taking. She is author of Triathlon Revolution: Training, Technique and Inspiration, co-author of Triathlete’s Guide to Mental Training and has contributed to two additional books. As a coach for 25 years, she is an expert at helping individuals and teams create their own authentic vision and potential.
As Expedition Leader, Terri offered her vast experience, passion, organizational and relationship building skills for a solid team foundation. She returned to Bhutan in 2012 to live for 2 months and volunteer with the Bhutan Olympic Committee. And her work supporting Youth and Olympic Sports in Bhutan continues today.
Terri currently lives in Santa Cruz, CA.
Greg Thomas is an adventure athlete with deep experience in multimedia sports publishing. Most recently he served as Senior Vice President of the Competitor Group, the leading media and event entertainment organization in the endurance-sports industry. Prior to that he was Chief Operating Officer of Inside Communications, a niche sports media company, where he led the company from the red to over $1 million in revenue in less than two years. With a Bachelor’s degree in Marketing from San Jose State University, he started his career as a producer and project manager for Apple Computer and then Quokka Sports. At Quokka he oversaw the coverage of two Eco-Challenge races and spent 45 days in Pakistan as base camp manager for Alex Lowe’s ascent of Great Trango Tower, where he also filed daily reports, photos and maps to the web.
Greg’s passion for sports has taken him from Ironman triathlons to the waves of Costa Rica, the high peaks of Pakistan, sand dunes of Morocco, and the mountains of New Zealand. As a veteran competitive adventure racer in over 10 expedition length adventure races he’s led teams as navigator and/or captain at the Primal Quest in Colorado and Lake Tahoe, the World Championship Adventure Race in Switzerland, and the Eco-Challenge in Morocco, New Zealand, and Fiji.
Greg’s determination, consistency, and levelheaded decision-making have helped him excel in both athletic and business endeavors. He’s constantly looking for that next experience that allows him to explore new facets of his own life as well as gain a better understanding of other people and their respective culture and beliefs. Greg lives in Boulder, CO.
Tony brings a dedication to sport, as well as a head for business and an entrepreneur’s knack for finding a way around obstacles to a spectacular conclusion. Tony has founded 5 companies of which the largest, Speck, has grown to be the leading international brand in protective cases for mobile phones and devices. Tony’s companies have been featured several times on the Inc 500 list of fastest growing private companies, with as high a ranking as #43. Tony’s designs and business experience have been featured in many high profile magazines including Business Week, Inc., Wired, and Fast Company. He is also a founding member of the business leader group, Gathering of Titans (GOT), that annually gathers business leaders from around the world and a handful of presenters to learn, inspire, and bring forth change.
As an athlete, Tony has been a triathlete for over 15 years and now competes internationally, racing 3 full Ironmans a year. He enjoys competing in local ultrarunning events and mountaineering throughout the varied landscapes of California’s Sierra Nevada. He is an experienced open water swimmer who trains in the rough waters of the San Francisco Bay and is in the process of planning the first crossing of an undisclosed body of water in 2011.
Born of immigrant parents from Greece and Brazil, Tony has also spent much of his life exploring the cultures and landscapes of over 30 nations to date.
Tony earned his Bachelor’s of Science in Electrical Engineering and Masters of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Stanford University. He was a General Motors scholar and was awarded the JF Lincoln award for his Masters work with Schick Razors. He enjoys performing regularly with his band in San Francisco and racing cars at Infineon Raceway. Tony has been cast for his unique skills in a variety of national TV commercials and print advertisements for companies that include Kia, Mass Mutual, and the Food Network. Tony lives in Lake Tahoe.
David comes to the expedition team with a rare and rich combination of adventure experiences and business world background.
In addition to adventuring in over fifty countries, his racing CV includes over one-hundred multi-day races that have taken him through, over, and occasionally under, six continents. He raced in twenty-five expedition-length adventure races, including eight Eco Challenge Expedition Competitions.
Over the last half-dozen years he’s consistently been one of the top-5 most decorated ultra-distance paddlers in the world. In doing so, he’s also proven to be one of the most versatile paddlers: having raced kayaks through Europe, canoes toward the Arctic and down the Missouri, outriggers and surfskis in open-ocean crossings of the Pacific and South China Seas, and rafts down the Amazon.
In a variety of categories, as a solo racer and as a team member, he’s logged numerous race wins, course records, and placings in such prestigious ultra-distance paddling races like the Yukon River Quest, the Missouri River 340, Great River Amazon Raft Race, Devizes to Westminster, Catalina Challenge US Outrigger Championships, Molokai Hoe World Outrigger Championships.
David recognizes that there is much more to experiences than results and performance. His racing and travels continue to be inspired by the desire to explore remote and difficult-to-access corners, folds, and heights of the world, to openly learn about and from cultures and peoples, and share the richness of these experiences with others.
David is currently an executive coach and sales consultant for business leaders. He spent ten years serving in various senior management roles in a large medical services business. Although trained as an Industrial Engineer at California Polytechnic San Luis Obispo, he consistently has worked in sales and business leadership roles for growth-oriented service and technology companies.
BEN HENRETIG – DIRECTOR
Ben Henretig, Creative Director & Founder of Micro-Documentaries, believes in the power of documentary film to bring about social change.A graduate of Stanford University Film and Media Studies, Ben has used his background in art, music, communications and filmmaking to produce hundreds of short-format documentaries for nonprofit and purposeful businesses making positive change in the world. Currently, Ben is working on a feature length documentary film, A Las Calles, that follows the lives of working street children in Quito, Ecuador and explores the resulting socio-economic and political implications of this cultural phenomenon affecting millions of Latin American youth.
Ben is a founding member of the Stanford Peace Innovation Lab, which focuses on the use of technology to make measurable progress towards peace. He is also a regular contributor to the Stanford Persuasive Technology Lab, whose research creates insight into how technology can be designed to shift attitudes and behavior. Ben lives in Palo Alto, where he is a volunteer teacher/leader with the Art of Living Foundation, instructing hundreds of college students and young professionals in stress management techniques through the regular practice of yoga and meditation.
AMY BENZIGER – EXECUTIVE PRODUCER
Amy Benziger has been building the field of social enterprise and innovation as one of the Executive Producers for the Social Capital Markets Conference since the organization’s inception in 2008. Interviewing hundreds of thought leaders across the social enterprise landscape each year, she has focused on content development and multi-media initiatives. Amy has been proud to oversee the growth of the event to over 1500 attendees from 50+ countries. Interested in the intersection of media with social enterprise and activism, she has used short form documentary, live-streaming and online challenges to engage a global audience. Amy orchestrated a strategic partnership with The Good Pitch, a collaboration between Channel 4 BRITDOC Foundation and the Sundance Institute Documentary Film Program.
Amy was a member of the founding team and serves as a strategic advisor to Hub Bay Area, a diverse local and global community dedicated to building solutions for social, economic and environmental sustainability. Prior to coming onboard with SOCAP, Amy was the youngest sales specialist for Diageo North America, managing San Francisco and the greater Bay Area. She is a graduate of Dartmouth College with a B.A. in History with an emphasis on social activism. A lifelong traveler to over thirty countries and counting, she has lived and worked in Mexico, Spain, Argentina and Thailand. She lives in San Francisco, CA.
LARKIN DONLEY – CINEMATOGRAPHER
Larkin works in Los Angeles as a cinematographer, though operating more on the road than in the city. He developed a love for documentary film from a dual BA in Anthropology and Film Production at UC Santa Cruz, which has lead towards filming numerous national advertisement spots. The pursuit of intriguing subjects and stories is the real driving force behind his work. He also operates a digital camera rental house, and is on a constant quest for gear and cutting edge camera equipment. From 100k cameras to GoPros, he’s willing to do anything it takes to get the shot. Larkin has traveled to over 30 countries and spent extensive time in South East Asia and New Zealand.
PETER STODDARD – SOUND
Peter is a seasoned and passionate film maker with a lust for life, storytelling, and the outdoors. He believes that documentaries facilitate the sharing of human experiences, making us more compassionate, aware, and connected. He has been immersed in the Film, TV, and Digital Industries for the past 12 years in San Francisco, New York, and Los Angeles. Working for Al Gore’s at Current TV, he produced and edited hundreds of short-form human-centered documentaries, and a handful of feature length investigative documentaries for Current’s Emmy Award winning Vanguard Journalism team. Peter has also produced works for the San Francisco International Film Festival, the Sonoma Valley film Festival, Glide Memorial Church, and WeOwnTV, a collaborative media education project empowering the youth of Sierra Leone.
Peter studied environmental science at the University of Colorado, Boulder, and furthered his education in film at San Francisco State University. He lives in the Bay Area, and spends much of his free time traversing the Sierra Nevada, surfing, and cycling. He is also a member of the Surfrider Foundation, and the Bay Area Bicycle Coalition.
JAMES H. FITZGERALD
James H. Fitzgerald is a New York based entrepreneur and a frequent visitor to Bhutan who is doing businesses there in the travel and food and beverage exports industry. The first business he started there in 2007 as a partner is www.cafebhutan.com which is a global internet radio station and information source for tourists interested in visiting Bhutan. James is serving as our link to Bhutan with relevant government ministries, the Bhutan Olympic Committee, tour operators, guides, and technical support staff to assist us in the making of our “Expedition Bhutan” documentary film.
CANDRA CANNING – STORYTELLER
Candra Canning, “storyteller” and “experience sharer” will support Expedition Bhutan in capturing the emerging stories of each day’s adventures and weaving them together to reveal subtle cultural contexts, rich meaning and opportunities for reflection. She will support us in sharing our learning and perspectives with the rest of the world.
Candra Canning is an entrepreneur, organizational development guru, leadership coach and speaker. A former marketing and agency executive, she now supports companies and individuals in the inquiry process leading to insights, clarity and meaning for their brands, work teams and lives.
A business graduate at UC Berkeley, Candra began her career in sports marketing and in her role as Promotions Director and Event Director, her international event production projects have literally spanned the globe from Asia, (Hong Kong, Vietnam, Korea, Philippines, Thailand and China) Europe, South America and across the U.S
Candra has been a lifelong adventurer and world traveler. Her adventure pursuits include high altitude mountaineering, competitive paddle sports, cycling, backcountry skiing with a light sprinkling of rock and ice climbing. Highlights include summiting Denali and the 5 trekking peaks of Nepal, paddling and climbing extensively in South America and the US, crossing the Sierra Nevada high route on skis, and transcontinental cycling in the US and Europe. In 2000 Candra spent 3 weeks trekking in Bhutan, falling in love with the people and culture of this magic kingdom.
During her adventures Candra has established a reputation, as the go-to person for navigating even the most complicated of details to make things happen in a foreign land. Her unbounded curiosity have taken her to all corners of the world to connect with new cultures, geographies and attitudes.