Andrew Powell, MBA
Andrew got his start in outdoor adventure in 1997, guiding expeditions for an outdoor program at his college. His education in International Affairs and Spanish led him to an early career of international development, devoting his energy to small business and organizational development as a volunteer in Peace Corps El Salvador and later as Country Director of Vision Spring. However, this period was punctuated by constant work with youth, as Andrew found himself returning to his passion of using the outdoors to help kids achieve their potential. From facilitating adventure challenge in an Arab/Israeli conflict resolution camp to running leadership camps in El Salvador, Andrew always found his way back to working with young people. However, it was not until he came back to the US and started work as curriculum director for a program serving at-risk youth out of Philadelphia that he saw the need for a much more engaging and focused intervention in the outdoors.
That was exactly what Andrew’s wife Sara found when she began working in wilderness therapy and convinced him to check it out. The work that Andrew and Sara did on the ground with wilderness therapy students was so powerful that it inspired Andrew to walk away from a fellowship in International Administration and focus his career on reaching young people as they navigate these critical years in their development.
After three powerful years on the trail, Andrew moved into field and program administration. Seeing the need for better organizational management in wilderness therapy, Andrew sought and completed his MBA at the University of Utah with the goal of helping wilderness become the most professional and consistent intervention available. Now at Elements, Andrew has found the best blend of professionalism and fun inside a small, specialized, and intimate program. His favorite part of the job is the ability it gives him to get involved on every level and in every department, with great people who are as passionate as he is about giving kids and their families the most meaningful experience possible.
Andrew and Sara love sharing the outdoors with their children Maya, Sebastian and Xavier, and their dog Wrigley. When Andrew’s not at home or on the job, he’s probably on his bike somewhere in the Wasatch Mountains.