Executive Leadership Expedition Testimonials




"This was one of the great experiences of my adult life. The opportunity to spend time in a beautiful mountain wilderness area with a group of terrific people was priceless."

Morris ‘Buzz’ Busby
Former US Ambassador and Senior State Department official (2011)

"NOLS ELLE 2014 was a catalyst for me, inspiring me to get in shape and get prepared beforehand, to try to perform at the high level of my excellent peers during the expedition, and to re-set my priorities after the expedition. Spending seven days in some of this country's most beautiful wilderness with ten high achievers and six llamas is a recipe for growth, reflection and re-charging your soul. I can't recommend it highly enough."

John Ford
former President and General Manager, Discovery Channel (2014)

“This expedition was more than just team building and leadership. We faced adversity, accomplished goals, and developed skills we would use every day, not only in the woods, but in our businesses, at home and in our busy lives as community leaders. I grew as an individual and also as a team member, and challenged myself in ways I did not think possible in a breathtaking setting. The ELLE was truly a life-changing experience that left me thirsty for more in all aspects of my life. I can’t wait to go back.”

Rosamaria Acuña
Chairman's Circle Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties (2015)

“It was a pleasure to be in the company of instructors who have so much first-hand knowledge about the wilderness and about leadership, and with others in senior leadership roles who have so much to share. A highlight for me was watching the space station fly from west to east across the starlit sky while our instructor read a message from one of the astronauts in it, also a NOLS alumnus. I’ve found no better place to learn to lead with heart, insight, and deep wisdom than with these people in these mountains.”

Ernest Gundling
Managing Partner, Aperian Global (2014)

“I’ve spent tens of thousands of dollars on “leadership training” which usually consists of sitting in a hotel meeting room with a bunch of other people listening to a self- proclaimed leadership guru click through PowerPoint slides chock full of free advice. In the NOLS world you get the opportunity to exercise full contact leadership in an environment designed to expose you for who you really are, guided by instructors who can show you who you could become.”

Ron Nash
Vice President of Sales and Marketing, North America - Laticrete International Inc. (2015)

“All participants brought their life experiences and strengths to the game and teamed up for a unique adventure. I couldn't have hoped for a better group of course mates. This NOLS course proved to be the perfect combination of physical, mental, social and emotional elements and challenges to make it a top spot on anyone's Bucket List!!”

Mary Regner
Senior Advocate for Marine Corps Family Readiness. (2011)

“The NOLS Executive Leadership Expedition 2015 was a fantastic experience. The NOLS Leadership Model isn’t taught in a classroom. Instead, the instructors allow the lessons and language of NOLS to unfold in the very real context of adversity and uncertainty that present, inevitably, in the wilderness setting. “Expedition Behavior” is my new mantra, and it is just as relevant in the workplace as it was in the Wind River Range. Do yourself a favor, unplug and recharge for a week, and learn lasting lessons about team dynamics and about yourself as a leader under the care and guidance of the wonderful NOLS Instructors.”

John W. Jarvis
Principal & Senior Vice President, Hughes Marino (2015)

“While I expected to enjoy the NOLS ELLE experience, I didn’t expect it to affect my morale and outlook on life as profoundly as it did. Spending time in the breathtaking wilderness, teaming with great people to accomplish common goals, and having a week away from distractions allowed me to reflect on my personal goals and future opportunities. This expedition was an absolutely phenomenal experience, and I find myself savoring the memories and communicating with my new shipmates frequently in the months that followed our return to the front country.”

Gretchen Herbert
Rear Admiral (retired) US Navy (2014)

"The Wind River course was the best experience in risk management I have had in thirty years in education and business leadership. At 11,000 feet on a snowfield, with a storm threatening and 200 feet of elevation to gain, the risk was real. Our team edged across the snow and ice, cleared the pass and descended 800 feet before dark to a sheltered valley below the tree-line where we caught brook trout for dinner and weighed our lessons learned."

Stephen Wrage
Professor, US Naval Academy (2013)