Meet the Team

Gina Bégin - Founder
Gina Bégin - Founder
Executive Director
Social Media
The concept of using adventure sports as a tool to empower women came to Gina after returning west from her Florida home state. In Utah, she watched others’ confidence grow with their participation in individually-focused sports. Thinking of Florida and her experience in underserved communities, Gina realized an adventure program for girls would help reroute many young women from risky paths to positive avenues of self-value.
In 2007, while developing this idea, adult peers asked to join her in local, women-only outings. Due to demand and her desire to create a foundational, female-focused space to assist with access to the outdoors, Outdoor Women’s Alliance grew to include women everywhere, regardless of age, location, or skill level.
Gina majored in geographic information + environmental sciences, and is a freelance adventure photographer, writer, and digital marketing strategy consultant. She is the Executive Director of Outdoor Women’s Alliance, editor-in-chief for OWA’s editorial mentorship program, and directs the organization’s social media program.
She loves mighty bear hugs; dancing to underground hip hop + 1940s swing; and eating all the southern food ever.

Editorial Program

Emily Downing
Emily DowningManaging Editor
Emily is the managing editor of Outdoor Women’s Alliance’s Editorial Mentorship Program. She stumbled across OWA in the fall of 2014 while on a mission to find a way to increase the presence of female writers and photographers in outdoor media. After contributing a couple of stories to OWA, Emily started taking a hand in editorial tasks and developing the Editorial Mentorship Program.
Emily received a bachelor’s of the arts in Print Journalism from the University of Montana, with a minor in Wilderness Studies. After graduating in 2012, Emily settled in Whitefish and began working as a hiking and rafting guide in Glacier National Park, then spent winters working as a cat skiing guide.
She’s now back in her home state of Colorado pursuing a graduate degree in Integrative and Public Lands Management at Western State University.
Grace Olscamp
Grace OlscampEditor
Grace has lived in the midwest, northeast, west coast, and abroad. She can be found petting every dog she sees on the trail, at the crag, or on the way to the water. She meditates, uses her turn signal, and focuses on environmental policy.
Haley Littleton
Haley LittletonEditor
Haley is a writer, skier instructor, and trail runner based out of Dillon, Colorado. She’s also an avid art-viewing, story-telling, mountain-climbing, and traveling fiend.
Lynn Lieu
Lynn LieuSEO Content Manager
Lynn grew up in Southern California and spent zero days camping as a child. It wasn’t until her later years in high school that she began exploring the outdoors. It started with snowboarding and, when the weather warmed, long hikes under the trees. Recently, her adventures have taken her to the mountains, where she is an avid climber (who actually enjoys slab).
She is a journalist turned brand and lifestyle marketer specializing in digital storytelling. She’s worked for community and international publications including The Enthusiast Network, Los Angeles Times, USA Today and their affiliate publications. She enjoys marketing and branding projects in the agency setting for various brands.

Grassroots Program

Allie Kresen
Allie KresenGrassroots Program Director
Allie is a West Virginia native who lives by the state’s motto “Wild & Wonderful.” She is happiest when the sun is on her face and mountain peaks are in her view. She loves backpacking but can also often be found on a paddle board or swinging from a rope into the lake—from the water to the woods, she enjoys all activities that get her outdoors.
Allie joined OWA as Program Director and, along with helping to develop and manage our online Grassroots Program, she works with OWA’s Grassroots Team Leaders to plan, promote, and grow their local communities of outdoor women. Allie graduated with a bachelor’s of science in Sustainable Design with an added minor in Recreation, Parks, Tourism, and Resource Management. Her experience includes formulating trip models, guiding beginner-level participants in outdoor sports, and risk management.
On her days off, she is probably snuggling up with her two cats and a good cup of coffee (or maybe a burrito).
Andrea Willingham
Andrea WillinghamGrassroots Program Manager
Andrea is a lifelong outdoor woman and all-around nature enthusiast. Originally hailing from Florida, she spent three years working in Alaska as an interpretive park ranger for the National Park Service. After moving to Oregon to get her master’s degree in environmental studies, she unexpectedly fell in love with the U.S. Pacific Northwest and decided to stay.
Andrea enjoys hiking in the Cascades, playing in the snow, visiting national parks, climbing, paddling, and camping. She is an avid outdoor photographer, writer, and amateur filmmaker, always looking for the next great adventure.
Andrea is the Program Manager for OWA’s California and Oregon Teams.
Holly O'Brien
Holly O'BrienGrassroots Program Manager
Holly has loved the outdoors ever since she can remember. She spent her childhood camping, exploring the woods, and boating in the Finger Lakes of New York. Her degree in archaeology led her to a career that involved lots of backpacking in mountains all around Europe and California.
In 2014, she fell in love with the Colorado lifestyle and became an avid mountain biker, 14er peak bagger, and backpacker. Eventually, Holly decided she wanted to be outside on her bike 24/7 and got a job as a bicycle rep for a mountain biking brand. Most days you can find her exploring the trails of Colorado with her doggo.
Holly is OWA’s Colorado Program Manager.

Grassroots Team Leaders

Amy Weiss
Amy WeissBC Team
Annie Lawson
Annie LawsonColorado Team
Cristina Guzman
Cristina GuzmanColorado Team
Denver Bauter
Denver BauterUtah Team
Elisabeth Seward
Elisabeth SewardOregon Team
Erin Pryor
Erin PryorOregon Team
Genny Mae Rowed
Genny Mae RowedBC Team
Maria Paspuel
Maria PaspuelUtah Team

OWA Partnerships + Projects

Glynnis Gorman
Glynnis GormanPartnerships Manager
Glynnis is originally from Seattle but left the city life a few years ago for an opportunity to manage a remote ranch in Central Idaho about 30 miles from Sun Valley. She now lives at the base of the Sawtooth Mountains in a small town with a population of 67 people.
She has a bachelor’s degree in English Literature from Sierra Nevada College at Lake Tahoe and a Certificate in Digital Brand Management from Oregon State University. She thrives on timelines and delivering projects that make partners happy. Being late scares her.
Previous work experiences include: lifeguarding, office assistance, managing properties for the rich and famous, and traveling the country as a project manager for Nike clients.
In her free time she loves exploring wild, untouched places. She is an avid hiker, biker, split-boarder, runner, and animal lover.
Helen Thompson
Helen ThompsonGraphic Design + Illustration
Helen is an Oakland, California native but currently lives near Burlington, Vermont. She graduated from Elon University in North Carolina with a degree in communication design and a minor in adventure-based learning. She is a graphic designer with a love for magazines, clean composition, and sans serif font. Helen is currently working toward building a career in graphic design with a focus on editorial and publication design.
Helen has loved the outdoors since her childhood, with summers spent camping and hiking at ranch camp in Northern California. She has since worked for that camp, leading hiking and backpacking trips for kids, and is a strong believer in outdoor education. Helen loves hiking, backpacking and swimming in alpine lakes. Her ideal outdoor day would include a hike with a riverside spot to hang her hammock and read a good book.
Rachel Sotak
Rachel SotakGraphic Design + Illustration
Rachel is a New Englander at heart — she grew up in rural Vermont, studied at Skidmore College in upstate New York, and is now settled in New Hampshire with the White Mountains at her fingertips. Having studied health and exercise science while at Skidmore, she is a lover of all things health and wellness and loves what exercise can do for the mind and soul. An artist at her core, Rachel is a self taught graphic designer and illustrator who takes inspiration from the mountains and her earthy-crunchy upbringing. She is lover of watercolors, collage and bold colors.
Rachel’s earliest memories are of living with her family in a house without electricity or running water, so she is no stranger to the wild. Her first overnight hiking experience involved summiting Mt. Moosilauke in the winter as part of a high school elective class. These days she’s hiking her way through New Hampshire’s 4000-footers and climbing at the local gym.

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