Jessica Carrillo Alatorre is the Executive Director of OutGrown (formerly Hike it Baby), a national, community led nonprofit she has helped build from the ground up over the last decade with the goal of helping families of all kinds spend more time outside together. She lives with her husband, two daughters, and four generations of family under one roof. Growing up on the Oregon coast, Jessica spent a lot of her youth outdoors, falling in love with nature. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Management and Organizational Leadership from George Fox University. She is committed to building a future where the outdoors is a welcoming, accessible space for all families to enjoy, regardless of their identity or ability and that the definition of outdoorsy isn’t limited to one type of person with specific gear engaging in specific ways. It is her belief that by building towards a more welcoming and inclusive vision of the outdoors, we can work towards a world where more people have the opportunity to fall in love with nature from birth and grow into people who work to protect the natural wonders of this planet we are all a part of.
Director of Programs
Kayla Klein serves as OutGrown's Director of Program. She has been with OutGrown, since 2014. After serving in the United States Navy, she sought to find a way to connect with her local community where her small children were welcome. She ventured out with the Hike it Baby Hampton Roads chapter, where she began leading hikes, and eventually became a national volunteer, which led to a position at Hike it Baby. Kayla has a Masters in Public Administration and a Bachelors in Criminal and Social science at Ashford University. As the Director of Programs, she works directly in developing and supporting the Bring it Outside program, the Turn the Blues Green Program, and the Hike it Baby program to support all families adventuring outside. On her off time you can find her in Moyock North Carolina at one of many sports practices/games for her four kiddos, or in her hammock with a book.
Corie Reeves is our Operations Manager. Corie has been a part of the OutGrown Community since 2014. She and her husband are initially from California but live in Cleveland Ohio, currently. Starting a family in a new city was a unique experience for her, and as a result, she started the first Ohio branch in Cleveland to help find other families that liked to get outside with their babies. Corie quickly joined the National team as a volunteer and has worked in various roles since starting in 2014. It was a natural fit that Corie came to support the organization’s work in becoming the Operations Manager. She holds a BS in Criminal Justice from the University of Central Florida with victim advocacy and data analytics management certifications. For fun, she, her husband Mike, and their two sons, William and Mark, go camping in their pop-up camper. If it’s the weekend and good weather, she’s camping!
A’Nova joined the board in July, 2018, and has enjoyed supporting staff as they hone Hike it Baby’s operations and mission-driven work to support all families who want to connect to nature. Being outside has been a huge part of A’Nova’s life from her own childhood in Montana and New Mexico to now raising a stepson and son in the Pacific Northwest. She believes that all people who want to connect with nature should be able to do so, in the various ways that feel good to them! This isn’t possible right now, partly because of the long history of how our country and society have included, excluded, or limited people in terms of activities done outside—from generations of subsistence to exploring and adventuring, to farming and other kinds of work, to recreation. A’Nova is deeply motivated by working with others to understand how this legacy affects what Hike it Baby is trying to accomplish now. In 2022 she is looking forward to building new partnerships, nerding out on org systems, and maybe getting on a plane to go hug some people.
Whitney (she/her) started her outdoor adventuring in the woods behind her home in Massachusetts as a young child, continued on to Smith College in Western Mass studying Environmental Science and Psychology, and then continued much further west to Portland, Oregon where she lives with her wife, two kids, two kittens, and lots of trees. She is the Deputy Director at Friends of Trees, a non-profit organization that brings people together to plant, care for, and learn about trees and the importance of healthy urban tree canopy and green spaces in Pacific Northwest communities. Whitney thrives working at the intersection of nature and people and is thrilled to support the Hike it Baby board. Accessing nature and green spaces is an important source of both physical and mental health benefits for communities throughout the world and Whitney is passionate about creating opportunities for individuals to experience the awe that nature can bring. Whitney loves spending time in the garden, crafting, and staring at one of her favorite trees, the Dawn Redwood.
Jake Chesnutt has a professional and personal passion for the outdoors, having worked in parks and recreation over the past twenty years in the greater Washington, DC area. He grew up with a family enthralled with the outdoors, spending time in the mountains and on the various bodies of water in West Virginia, Virginia, and Maryland—and he and his wife are doing their best to instill this love in their toddler. Core to OutGrown's mission, vision, and values, he believes that time spent outdoors and in nature has life-altering impacts and that everyone should have the opportunity to experience the benefits of getting outside. It is easy for those with the means, ability, and appreciation to make time to be outside. Still, it is essential to advocate for and support efforts to share the wealth of knowledge about positive outcomes, which includes breaking down barriers (financial, physical, social, language, etc.) to participation. We know that early childhood experiences have lifelong impacts, so encouraging parents and caregivers to take intentional steps to be outside and in nature is hugely important in positively impacting our children and communities that have traditionally been denied the access that others have enjoyed.
Blaine Miller-McFeeley recently relocated from Washington, D.C. to the Twin Cities in Minnesota on historical Lakota lands. In his personal life, Blaine spends his time with his wife and two young sons, hiking, camping, and running marathons in any spare time. In his professional capacity, Blaine is a Senior Legislative Representative with Earthjustice, an organization focused on protecting people’s health, preserving magnificent places and wildlife, advancing clean energy, and combating climate change. He is based in the Policy & Legislation office and specifically works to protect public lands and sustainable access to those lands. Prior to joining Earthjustice, Blaine served as a Senior Legislative Assistant for Congressman Jared Polis of Colorado where he covered public lands and environmental issues, among others. Prior to that, he served as Chief of Staff for Colorado State Senator Andy Kerr. Blaine was raised in Idaho before attending college in Pennsylvania, followed by working in a variety of capacities on politics and policy in Maine, Colorado, and D.C. (with a year-long detour climbing volcanoes in Guatemala).
Leah is a Certified Public Accountant who works for an outdoor camping company as their controller. She lives in New Hampshire with her husband, daughter (6), and a yellow lab. This is her second term on the Hike it Baby board and she is really excited to see everything that HIB did during the last year and a half. She is looking forward to helping HiB move forward as the organization moves through this challenging time.
Keira has been with HiB in multiple roles since 2018, with the birth of her oldest. She was an ambassador for Lexington, KY, and held multiple national volunteer roles, including helping get The Family Trail Guide off the ground. She has a strong belief in what the organization has done and can do in the future. Keira is in NY just outside of NYC with her two boys and husband. The outdoors has always been a big part of her life growing up. From early camping trips in extinct volcanos in southern Italy (where she spent her younger years) to all the outdoor experiences Maryland had to offer. She spent every day she could working at the horse farm she rode at. She strongly believes being outdoors is important to mental health and everyone should have equal access to its benefits for multiple health reasons. As a nurse and infectious disease epidemiologist turned mom, she is looking forward to using her public health skills and knowledge to continue to move HiB's mission forward in 2022
Adam is a family physician who specializes in caring for multigenerational families. He enjoys working with families from the local community in the Portland Metro area and getting to know its diverse residents. He joined the Hike it Baby board after being an active participant with his family because he believes in getting families and children outside and wants to connect that work to improving health outcomes for families. He believes that spending time in nature has incredible health benefits, and building a love of nature leads to the preservation of the environment for future generations. Adam also enjoys spending time with his family in his free time, including his wife and their two young boys. They enjoy hiking in their local forests, camping, and playing tennis.
Julio Soria is a trained naturalist and natural resources interpreter. He loves the outdoors and values working, learning, and playing in nature. He lives with his family and their chickens in Los Angeles, California, also known as Tovaangar, the unceded land of the Gabrielino-Tongva. His career over the last 18 years has been working in the government and nonprofit sectors with a focus in the fields of conservation, sustainability, and youth development. His early years in the outdoor industry included work as a trail guide, naturalist, and wilderness survival skills instructor. He serves as Stewardship and Restoration Manager at Community Nature Connection, a Los Angeles-based nonprofit. He oversees workforce development initiatives that provide a pathway to careers in parks and conservation for members from historically excluded communities. He is excited to bring this passion to Hike it Baby where he looks forward to supporting the organization's growth and eliminating barriers to the outdoors for every type of family. In his spare time he enjoys experimenting with growing food on his small urban farm or exploring the mountains and coast of California with his partner and child.
Catalina Romo Paxcle (Santa Ana, California) is a queer adult adoptee passionate about placed based growth and learning. Especially that which prioritizes the historically disenfranchised people, plants, and animals of a geographic area. This can include supporting the development of curriculum, community-based organizations, and people-led policy. Currently, Catalina works to support housing justice and eviction prevention with the most vulnerable residents throughout Los Angeles County, California. Cata has worked on climate Justice campaigns across the states of New York and California at the forefront of bridging community to policy. Catalina and her wife Alejandra also love hiking and biking. They completed the AIDS Lifecycle bike tour from SF to LA, California in 2021 and look forward to bringing their baby on many future outdoor adventures.
In her childhood dreams, Brenna wanted to be the female Jacques Cousteau, an astronaut, or a World Cup ski racer. Growing up in Rhode Island and New Hampshire, she explored the best of both worlds: the ocean and mountains. After almost two decades of living in New York City, Brenna returned to New England a few years ago.
She is a Community Development Officer with the Island Institute, helping island and coastal residents develop their leadership skills to thrive in a rapidly changing social, economic, and environmental climate.
Before moving to Maine, she was the District Environmental Coordinator for Patagonia NYCT, managing environmental activism, advocacy for staff and customers, grantmaking, and capacity assistance for more than 100 environmental non-profits in NY, NJ, and CT. She and her husband also hosted Rivergigs, an intimate concert and dinner series with jazz, Latin, African, folk, and indie musicians.
Brenna started her career on Capitol Hill and served in Americorps with the Capital Area Food Bank. She turned a winter stint in Colorado into four years, coaching ski racing, teaching outdoor education, and helping to run the Telluride Historical Museum. The allure of medicine drew her to NYC, where she pursued post-baccalaureate pre-medical studies and worked as a research assistant in emergency medicine and various medical labs. She became certified in holistic health coaching on the way to medical school and pivoted to a master's in public health and environmental studies.
She and her husband live, hike, ski, and bike on Wabanaki land in South Portland, Maine. She is excited to serve the families and staff of Hike it Baby.
Nicholl Summers joins the Board after volunteering with Hike it Baby since 2015. As a Branch Ambassador, she worked to build and grow Hike it Baby communities in five states. She has also volunteered for several teams and projects at the national level. Nicholl is the East Coast Marketing & Process Manager for Dominguez Accounting. She holds bachelor’s degrees in Finance, Marketing, and Management. She has spent several years as a full-time parent, homeschooling her three children since 2020. She lives with her family on a little hobby homestead in Maine. Nicholl enjoys yoga, gardening, chicken-tending, hiking, and learning alongside her three kids. Seeing the world through her children’s eyes reignited her love for the outdoors. Recognizing the significance of her childhood experiences in nature, she tries to give her children similar opportunities to explore. Hike it Baby has been an integral part of Nicholl’s parenting journey. She believes that all children should have equal access to nature and recognizes that this is not currently the case for many families. Having witnessed the evolution of Hike it Baby over the years, she is excited to join the Board of Directors in 2023 as we continue to blossom into a multifaceted network of support for families with children of all ages.
Hike it Baby Founder
Shanti Hodges is the founder and visionary of Hike it Baby. With the help of Jessica Carrillo Alatorre, she brought the organization from being a small hike group she founded in 2013, to a national non-profit supporting thousands of families to get on trails together. She founded the group after looking for a way to get outside with other parents in her area. She quickly realized that her experience in media and marketing could help spread the idea around the country and create a way for families to help each other get outside, even if Shanti wasn’t in their neighborhood. She gains inspiration to charge on with the organization through hiking and adventuring with her adventure buddies, her son Mason and husband Mark. They reside in La Verkin, UT but can be found hiking all over the map throughout the year. Shanti is also the author of “Hike it Baby: 100 Awesome Outdoor Adventures With Babies and Toddlers”>. You can follow her adventures on Facebook and Instagram.
James is a freelance journalist and an independent media producer. In a career that spans more than 20 years, he specializes in telling stories about outdoor recreation, environmental conservation, acts of charitable giving, and practices of sustainable living. Working in the outdoor industry since 1989 as a guide, outfitter, independent sales representative, writer, and photographer his experience includes a broad range of expeditions that include mountaineering, rock climbing, backcountry skiing and kayaking. James has written extensively for a range of publications, including news media, outdoor industry and adventure, academic, and public interest. He is the author of the book “The Adventure Gap: Changing the Face of the Outdoors”, and the co-writer/co-producer of the documentary film An American Ascent. He is also an accomplished audio storyteller, with radio production credits including Wisconsin Public Radio, the Public Radio Exchange, American Public Media and Public Radio International. He is the producer of a blog and podcast series that focuses on adventure culture called The Joy Trip Project. Currently as a faculty assistant at the University of Wisconsin Nelson Institute For Environmental Studies James teaches a summer course for undergraduate students on diversity, equity and inclusion in outdoor recreation and public land management called Outdoors For All. He also sits on the boards of directors at the Aldo Leopold Nature Center and The Ice Age Trail Alliance. James lives in Madison, Wisconsin with his wife and two lovable dogs, Mekela and Sasha.
Courtney has spent over a decade leading research projects for local, state, and federal agencies, with an expertise in the design and execution of behavioral research across the lifespan–all with a focus on integrating nature exposure into a salutogenic healthcare approach for people and communities. A NOLS graduate, an avid rock climber, a long-distance road biker, and a standup paddle board enthusiast, as well as a Type 1 diabetic, Courtney uses her personal experiences to inform her research practices. After earning a PhD in Parks, Recreation, and Tourism Management from NC State University, along with a BS and MS in Parks and Recreation Management from the University of Missouri, Courtney launched Health & Technology Partners (HTP), a social science research consultancy dedicated to improving wellbeing through cooperative partnerships with healthcare providers, communities, and natural resources. While serving as the Executive Director for HTP, she also volunteers her time as the Research Fellow for Park Rx America, sits on the Advisory Council for the SHIFT Emerging Leaders Program, and is adjunct faculty at the University of Missouri. While she is a proud born and bred Midwesterner who currently calls Wisconsin home, she is always planning her next outdoor adventure. Visit www.HealthAndTechnologyPartners.com to learn more about her work bridging nature, people and communities, and healthcare.
Mauricio Valadrian was a member of HiB’s nonprofit Board of Directors from August 2018 through December 2021, including nearly two years as the Chair of the Board. He continues as a member of the Advisory Board, supporting communications and program strategy. Mauricio is a first-generation Colombian immigrant and father of four, who worked as a Spanish Language broadcast professional for two decades, and for the last six years, has worked as a JEDI (Justice Diversity Equity & Inclusion) Consultant and Multicultural Communications strategist in partnership with organizations in the private and governmental sectors nationally and across the world.
Eva Valadrian (she/her) is a Pacific Northwest native who has worked as a multicultural marketing and communications strategist for over a decade. She co-founded Valadrian Creative and Consulting, a DEI consulting firm and media production house, where she works on actionable strategies for building partnerships across difference for private, non-profit and governmental agencies in the public lands sphere.
Eva is a GIS Specialist focused on using spatial data to illuminate inequities in access to outdoor spaces, allowing the data to inform strategy development to create a more equitable, diverse and inclusive outdoor community. She is part of the two-parent team behind Northwest Family Daycation, a community-based program serving families from underrepresented communities created in partnership with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and for the past several years has worked as a consultant to the Hike it Baby staff team, developing new programming, communications, and strategy. Most recently, she stepped onto the Board of Directors for the Intertwine Alliance, where she serves as Vice President.
Eva is a mother of four living in a mixed-race partnership, a traveler, a dancer, and a passionate naturalist. She firmly believes that being outside in natural spaces as a child sets the stage for a lifetime of outdoor adventure, and plants the seeds for conservation, stewardship, and a sense of belonging in those spaces.
Colin grew up adventuring outside on the slopes of the White Mountains in New Hampshire, the waters of Narragansett Bay in Rhode Island, and the peaks of the Green Mountains in Vermont. Currently serving as the head of eCommerce for Turtle Fur, an outdoor and snow sports accessory company based in Vermont, he leads digital marketing, online presence, and operational initiatives. Colin believes that access to nature is a right of all people and leverages his experience in technology and marketing to help strengthen and expand the Hike it Baby community. He sees Hike it Baby as a powerful opportunity to instill a love of nature and time outside from an early age, connecting people to the healing power of the outdoors.