Wild Wilderness Women is run by its co-founders, a dedicated team of board members, an inspiring social media maven, and its crew of Wilderness Ambassadors who continue to spread WWW’s message beyond the D.C. Metro Area. 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, Partnerships Chair
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.
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
Mia Zavalij, Annual Trip Co-Chair
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. As a Board Member, coordinates trip planning for the D.C. Metro Area’s members. 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
Sarah Berlinski, D.C. Community Co-Chair
Sarah joined WWW in the Spring of 2017 in search of a group of people to enjoy the outdoors with. She has lived in DC for a year and spent much of her first year exploring the areas of Rock Creek Park surrounding her home. Despite growing up in Manhattan, Sarah appreciates mountains more than she does skyscrapers. She cultivated this preference during a semester of high school spent living on a farm in Vermont in which she completed a 4-day solo in the woods. Sarah is thrilled to have the opportunity to bring a group of awesome ladies even closer together! She sees the value in having a community in which women empower one another to get outside and cannot wait to support WWW in continuing to see this mission through.
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!
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.
Board Members at Large
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.
Courtney Hans, Annual Trip and Partnerships
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.”
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.
Kate Konkler, Annual Trip and Communications
Kate joined WWW in early 2017. Originally from southern Indiana/Louisville, KY area, Kate has lived in the Washington, DC area for 18 years. When Kate isn’t planning some international adventure, she can be found in the woods around DC with her golden lab, Basil. Basil, incidentally, is named after one of Kate’s other great loves, bourbon. Kate finds herself most at peace in the outdoors and is excited to be joining WWW’s board as an at-large member and hopes to share her passion of the outdoors to inspire more women to #getoutside.
You can follow her on Instagram @theoriginalkatniss
Former Board Members
Allison was raised by outdoorsy folks in Los Angeles, and attended an outdoors-oriented, entirely illegitimate little school for her pre-teen years. She spent her teen summers with Deer Hill Expeditions in the Four Corners area of the Southwest, backpacking, paddling, and working on service projects with Native American communities. She later spent a summer as the Outdoor Living Skills Instructor at a FreshAir Fund girls’ camp, where she met WWW’s president, Korrin. Allison graduated from Colorado College with outdoor leadership training and a degree in art. She continues to make art at the Milepost 5 Studios in Portland, Oregon, and lends her graphic design skills to WWW. Allison coordinated and co-led the group’s inaugural Babes off the Beaten Path trip to Glacier National Park.
Kristen joined Wild Wilderness Women in December 2016 after relocating to Denver, Colorado in search of mountains adventures. She spends her weekends hiking, running, and taking pictures, but is always looking for new activities to try. During the week, she works as a copywriter for a small digital marketing agency just outside of Denver. She shares stories and photos from weekend outings on her blog, Muddle + Joy, and can’t wait to connect with more awesome women in the outdoors!
Nicole Lesnett, Wilderness Ambassador in East Bay, CA
Nicole became a member of Wild Wilderness Women after joining the group for a weekend of cross-country skiing in rural Maryland. While living in Washington, D.C., she was stoked to have such a great group of women to adventure with. Currently residing in Berkeley, California, Nicole is working to provide healthcare for the underserved. She can also be found making as many bad jokes as the average dad.
Marlene Haggblade, Wilderness Ambassador in Davis, CA
Marlene joined WWW at its inception in 2014. The space created by these strong, outdoorsy women made living in D.C. such a charm. She is now living in Davis, CA working on her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree. Marlene’s favorite things in this world include: dark chocolate (>72%), rock climbing, backpacking, dogs, and yoga. Please hit her up if you want to hike, run, climb, ski, or play in northern California.
Sara Scheller, Wilderness Ambassador in Chapel Hill, NC
Sara joined WWW in 2014 while she was living in Washington, DC. Although she’s since moved to North Carolina, she still loves opportunities to connect with members of the Washington crew when she can. She loves trail running, which counteracts her love of food, and is looking forward to some fantastic, nature-focused trips in the coming months!
Kelly Rincon, Wilderness Ambassador in Boston, MA
Kelly joined Wild Wilderness Women in 2014 to take advantage of the beautiful nature surrounding D.C. and meet other women excited about the outdoors. She grew up in New Hampshire where she spent her summers hiking and rafting and her winters skiing. Kelly relocated to Boston in 2016 to earn her MBA from MIT Sloan with a focus on Sustainability. She’s looking forward to getting to know the outdoor women in New England.
Kim Aagaard, Wilderness Ambassador in Paris, France
Kim joined Wild Wilderness Women in 2016, but soon left Washington, D.C. for a new type of adventure in Paris: a master’s degree in international relations. Originally from the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains in Northern California, she loves skiing, camping, and hiking. Kim has also recently discovered a love of mountain climbing. Her goal to summit Mount Rainier has been thwarted for two consecutive summers, but she hopes to summit in the next couple of years. Kim is excited to be WWW’s European ambassador and is looking forward to some great adventures in France.
Header photo credit: Nicole Lesnett