Wild Wilderness Women is run by its co-founders and a dedicated team of board members. This group of gutsy gals shows the power of what is possible when women partner. Below are the fierce females leading WWW today!
Liz Luckey Suspanic, Co-founder & President
Having benefited deeply from her own outdoors experiences, Liz co-founded Wild Wilderness Women (WWW) in November 2014 in order to help empower more women to get outdoors and engage meaningfully. Liz has a love for water and snow sports; she spent a summer training as a backpacking and rafting guide in the Yukon Territory and a year teaching (and skiing!) in the French Alps.
Korrin L. Bishop, Co-founder, Past President, & Board Advisor
Korrin co-founded Wild Wilderness Women in November 2014 to use the empowering quality of wilderness to champion positive partnerships between great women. She left D.C. in 2017 for a position as the summer artist-in-residence at Oregon Caves National Monument & Preserve, and now calls South Dakota home. Korrin works on local and federal initiatives to end homelessness, and is a freelance essayist and staff writer for Misadventures Magazine. Korrin has an affinity for kayaking, and a deep love for the Everglades, Redwoods, and great Pacific Ocean. She enjoys a good group hug. You can follow her on Instagram: @korrinbishop
Photo by: Jaymie Shearer
Mika Weinstein, Advisor
Mika joined Wild Wilderness Women as a part of the inaugural group in November 2014. As a Board Member, she assists with process development and other activities to help grow the organization. Her bond with the outdoors was solidified during her teenage summers, which were spent meditating and soaking in the earth on solo retreats in a Coloradan meadow. She loves tramping through the woods on or off the trail and skinny dipping in cold mountain lakes. She currently resides in Washington, D.C.
Mia Zavalij, Advisor
Mia joined Wild Wilderness Women (WWW) in October 2015 as a nature lover and an advocate for spaces where women can be challenged and grow together. Her background in adventure includes a 5-month study abroad trip to New Zealand, where she was completely transformed by the great outdoors. Mia enjoys swimming in the waves, all types of parks, hiking and camping, and new exhilarating experiences. In addition to her love of the outdoors, Mia co-founded the Food Recovery Network (FRN) while she was a student at the University of Maryland. FRN is a nonprofit that empowers students to fight food waste and hunger on their campuses.
Laura Tolosa-Leiva, Annual Trip Co-Chair
Laura lived for many years in the Pacific Northwest – combination Seattle and Portland – which provided her with ample opportunities to get outside and enjoy the beautiful PNW wilderness. Laura’s activities of choice are hiking, XC skiing, biking and horseback riding. She moved to Washington, DC in June 2017 and joined WWW soon thereafter. Laura attended a women’s college and is passionate about encouraging women to foray beyond their comfort zone for novel experiences — she is really excited to bring this to life via the annual Babes Off the Beaten Path trip! Laura’s day job is in health policy and on the weekends you can find her practicing yoga and digging into a good book. You can follow her on Instagram: @el_tee_el
Courtney Hans, Annual Trip Co-Chair
Courtney joined the WWW board in November 2017. An Appalachian Trail Thru-Hiker (Class of 2015), half marathon runner, yogi, yoga instructor, and mover, Courtney will almost always choose to be outside rather than inside. Her first love for the outdoors came from her youth in Arizona surrounded by mountains, though she was 22 years old before she went on her first camping trip which was not a comfortable experience. Despite the lack of appropriate gear for the Texas Hill Country, she knew that there was more to learn and that the growth to come from it would be significant. “Let go or be dragged.”
Sara Gassman, Communications Chair
Sara joined Wild Wilderness Women in October 2015 and is thrilled to be in the company of so many adventurous ladies. She grew up with a deep appreciation for the natural world, camping and canoeing in New York’s Adirondack Mountains and traveling to national parks with her parents during school breaks. Sara majored in Environmental Conservation at the University of New Hampshire, and spent a transformative semester living and learning in New Zealand with the EcoQuest Education Foundation. As Communications Chair, Sara aims to elevate WWW’s mission and vision through visual storytelling. You can follow her on Instagram: @saragee18
Janani Prabhakar, D.C. Community Co-Chair
Janani joined WWW in the summer of 2017 after moving to D.C. from California. Her outdoor roots began after college on a trip to the Pacific NW, where she hiked on a volcano and it changed her life, inspiring her to spend her free time climbing mountains, camping, and backpacking. She also enjoys eating chocolate, watching cheesy SciFi, and pretending to paint. She’s looking forward to meeting fellow outdoor enthusiasts and to the great outdoor adventures to come!
Stacie West, D.C. Community Co-Chair
Stacie’s love for being outdoors was ensured when her parents let her hike to Mirror Lake in Yosemite by herself (OK, for a few minutes by herself). Flash forward many moves, jobs, and a couple chronic injuries later, you can still find Stacie hiking in a national park, now focused on using nature to overcome injury and encouraging others to buck the image of who belongs outdoors (spoiler: everyone). By day, she’s a real-life Leslie Knope, building parks for a living. With over 12 years of saying she’s leaving, but always staying in, the D.C. area, she’s thrilled to help foster the DC Community of WWW. You can follow her adventures on IG @estaciedc
Katie Lay, Fundraising Chair
Katie joined WWW in June 2017 after relocating to DC following grad school. She grew up in the Midwest jumping in every creek and climbing every tree she could find. Katie carried her passion for the outdoors and the environment with her to college, where she studied Biology and then later Environmental Science in her master’s program. She had the amazing opportunity to do environmental field research in South Africa, northern Wisconsin, and Montana. Katie loves to camp, hike, swim, explore the outdoors, and learn about new ecosystems and ways to protect them. As Fundraising Chair, she plans to get more wonderful women involved in WWW through fundraisers in support of annual events and other outdoor activities.
Mehvish Jamal, Partnerships Chair
Mehvish truly became a lover of adventure and the outdoors during college when she had the opportunity to hike and bike trails in Kenya, South Africa, Ireland, Greece, Spain, Colorado and California. She attended college in D.C. and joined WWW shortly after graduating in 2017. Since then, she has started to scratch the surface of exploring the many parks, rivers and trails around the DMV. Mehvish is passionate about using public space to connect people, promote equity and improve quality of life in historically-marginalized communities; she does this through her day job with DC’s 11th Street Bridge Park, and looks forward to creating partnerships and opportunities that will support WWW from historically underrepresented backgrounds in imagining and creating spaces for themselves in the outdoors.
Board Members at Large
Bridget O’Brien, Annual Trip and D.C. Community
At-Large, Annual Trip and D.C. Community
Bridget joined WWW in order to seek out other like minded women in the DC area to partner in adventurers! Bridget grew up with her family camping and hiking in the Catskill mountains and spending every season on the Delaware river canoeing, fishing, and swimming. Bridget enjoys dipping in various kinds of outdoor activities everything from snowshoeing, skiing, to lazy walks in the woods and recently learning to love backpacking, and rock climbing with goals to try mountain biking and overnight bike-packing! She enjoys photography, art and wine night with friends talking about their latest endeavors. Bridget is a mental health therapist during the week and on weekends an outdoor enthusiast with goals to one day combine the two as a wilderness therapist. Bridget is excited to become more involved with WWW and build a broader community with people who love nature as much as her! You can follow her on Instagram @bridget__christine
Caity Valley, D.C. Community and Partnerships
Caity joined WWW in 2017, and is excited to be part of a group of adventurous women. Originally from Ohio, Caity grew up exploring her local tributaries and searching for new trails to hike and mountain bike. She is the Grants Coordinator at Friends of the Earth, where she works as the project manager for all foundation fundraising activities. Before joining Friends of the Earth, Caity worked at American Rivers as the Grants Associate, where she supported foundation and corporate fundraising efforts. She also served as an AmeriCorps VISTA in Cincinnati, Ohio where she built capacity within the development department of CityLink Center, a nonprofit focused on regional poverty alleviation.
Danielle Fisher, Annual Trip and Partnerships
Danielle grew up spending hours in her family’s backyard in Michigan. Her fondness for nature now extends well beyond suburbia and has left her continually seeking opportunities to expand her knowledge and skills related to the outdoors. Danielle discovered Wild Wilderness Women in December 2017 and is thrilled to be part of this empowering community of adventurous ladies. One of her greatest joys is building itineraries for future trips (hypothetical or actual), an affinity she hopes to put to good use as a board member-at-large of WWW’s Annual Trip and Partnerships Committees. You can follow her on Instagram @definitelyfishy
Jennifer Lonnquest, D.C. Community and Fundraising
Jennifer joined WWW in the summer of 2017 after a long search for a group of outdoor-minded friends to adventure with. Growing up in the suburban foothills of Washington DC, she’s no stranger to urban settings, but discovered her love for the outdoors while living along the Blue Ridge Mountains in central Virginia. She spends her weekends and vacation days hiking, biking, snowboarding and hanging among the trees (in her hammock), and she’s always searching for a new national park to visit. She can’t wait for more adventures exploring DC and its surrounding areas with WWW’s awesome women! You can follow her on Instagram: @jlonnquest
Kate Connolly, Partnerships and Fundraising
Kate joined the WWW board in December after joining the community for the 2017 Babes Off the Beaten Path trip to Acadia National Park in Maine. She acts as a remote at-large member on the Fundraising and Partnerships subcommittees, and hopes to collaborate in giving more women the opportunities she has been a part of with WWW. When not exploring outside, she lives in NYC, works in a high school, and is an acting member of Justice League NYC. Her outdoors experiences date back to childhood camping trips with her father and family friends in beautiful northern California. She enjoys long hikes, exploring new settings, and is always looking for the places where the mountains and ocean meet. You can follow her on Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn.
Katie Morgan, Partnerships and Fundraising
Katie grew up an hour outside DC near Catoctin Mountain, where she spent countless hours exploring the outdoors with her family. Today, she still has a penchant for outdoor adventures – whether is grand adventures like backpacking in Nepal, solo camping trips to national parks out west, or the gritty daily training for ultramarathons in Rock Creek Park. Katie’s passion for the environment was born at a young age, carried through her studies, and is reflected in her professional work, where she currently builds communities and advocates for the protection of our national parks. You can follow her on Instagram and Twitter.
Nicole McAllister, Partnerships & D.C. Community
Nicole joined Wild Wilderness Women in the winter of 2018 after participating in the annual cross-country skiing trip. Growing up in northern California, Nicole spent her summers as a counselor at an outdoor education summer camp, writing poetry in fairy rings and exploring old-growth and redwood forests. With a deep appreciation for the natural world, she is excited to bring her perspective and energy to this community of explorers. When not on the hunt for a hot spring, Nicole works at a justice reform nonprofit and is pursuing her MA in Public Management from Johns Hopkins University.
Phoebe Scollard, D.C. Community and Annual Trip
Phoebe joined WWW in 2016 after meeting one of the organizers at a happy hour. She grew up skiing and hiking in Portland, OR and fell in love with backpacking while studying in Vancouver, BC. Since moving to the DC area, Phoebe has also started bouldering. During the weekdays, Phoebe is a research analyst at an international non-profit aimed at supporting the agricultural sector of developing countries. She is extremely excited to continue exploring the outdoors with the amazing group of women that make up WWW.
Trisha Gopalakrishna, D.C. Community and Fundraising
Trisha joined WWW in the Fall of 2017 after reading about it by chance. Having just moved to the D.C. area, WWW was a great way for her to get outside and learn about her new natural surroundings. Trisha is very happy to have met (and to continue meeting) interesting, kind and knowledgeable women, who share her joys of nature and being empowered by the outdoors. Having trained as a tropical biologist, Trisha has hiked and camped (and collected data) in the mountains of Southern India and the jungles of the Congo basin and is currently employed as an Applied Scientist at the Nature Conservancy, focusing on climate change mitigation possible by natural systems. In her spare time, you will find Trisha planning her next adventure, cooking and dabbling in needlework projects.
Header photo credit: Nicole Lesnett