Our Team

Jake King

Founding Partner, Lead Instructor, CEO

Jake has spent thousands of hours in the wilderness, in group and solitary settings, learning and growing. He has led hundreds of youth and adult day and overnight trips, teaching wilderness survival and leadership skills and is passionate about passing this knowledge on. A father of four, Jake has made it a point to be prepared and to know his family will have every opportunity to Thrive in any emergency situation.

Jake has spent the last 20 years in social services, working with at-risk youth, recovering addicts, the homeless, and inner city adults & youth. He and his partners created Thrive Outdoors as a way to increase knowledge of the natural world, help instill confidence and positive self-worth in all its’ students, teach survival in extreme circumstances, and help guide people to a better understanding of stress reduction & real leadership.

Click here to learn more about Jake.

Ed King, MD

Founding Partner, Instructor, Research and Development

A physician by education and trade, Dr. King has a variety of life-skills and experiences that led him to his interest in founding Thrive Outdoors. He has been an active back=country backpacker, and scuba diver.  He has been diving in places ranging from Mexican cenotes (sinkhole cave diving) to the Egyptian Red Sea.  He relates S.C.U.B.A. diving heavily with on land survival since every aspect demands a serious preparedness mindset.   He currently has interest in traditional archery, is an accomplished artist, and is working towards his black belt in the Kyokushin Karate.

Click here to watch Ed’s TEDX talk on The Persistence of Stigma in Mental Health.

Click here to learn more about Ed.

Vinnie Haney

Founding Partner, Life Management

Vinnie has his Masters in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and in his thesis studies, he emphasized the role of nature as a tool for achieving therapeutic initiatives. He has been a lover of the outdoors since childhood when he would spend his days exploring the woods near the reservoir in his town. The freedom that nature gave him over modern conveniences helped build his respect for wilderness and the living creatures that call it home.  

He has experienced many diverse places across our country and throughout the world.  From the Rain forests of Costa Rica to travels in European and the Caribbean. He has an admiration for living life to the fullest, outside of the busyness of that can distract.

Click here to learn more about Vinnie.

The Rest of the Team:

It Takes a Village

Thrive Outdoors would not exist without the expertise and commitment to involvement of many incredible individuals. Please click on the name of our team members to learn more about each one and the vital role that they play in our work.

Nicole Smith-Martin: Programs Coordinator

Lauren Grout: Recovery Program Coordinator

Ryan Chasse: Extreme Activities Coordinator/Recovery Hike Leader

Erin Turner: Youth Program Coordinator

Lee Houston: Military Training and Camp Leader

Christie J.E. Chapman: Mental Health Consultant

Jenny Everett King: Director of Therapeutic Initiatives

Melanie Haney: Marketing and Creative Director