Corporate Challenge Inc., dba Adventure Más Associates and Staff

Our team’s vast body of experience and knowledge contributes significantly to the quality of service and construction standards adopted by Corporate Challenge, Inc., dba Adventure Más.

Our consulting, training, guiding and building associates have backgrounds as law enforcement officers and military veterans; project coordinators; archeologists; youth program directors and mental health practitioners; outdoor adventure guides; educators, school teachers, faculty members and consultants for universities; challenge course builders, trainers, managers, facilitators and management development specialists.

Their combined body of experience includes experiential education and adventure-based programming and activities; training and team-development; leadership skills and creative thinking processes; executive management development; commercial construction and the construction of ropes challenge courses, aerial adventure parks, canopy zip line tours and reaction/obstacle courses; risk-management, search and rescue, general liability, security and safety, fall-protection, inspection and repair; guiding; wilderness-based development and therapeutic wilderness programs; cave exploration and protection; coaching, physical education and school health programs; site restoration; adventure-based gear repair; and international training excursions. These experiences give our team unique insights into the services we provide our clients.

Mike Barker

Mike Barker, Director of Corporate Challenge, Inc.; VP of the Professional Ropes Course Association (PRCA) is a former chief law enforcement officer who has served as the Risk-Management Program Coordinator for the City of New Haven, Connecticut since 1999. He oversees insurance, self-insurance, general liability, safety, OSHA and other safety-related regulatory issues. He assesses risk within the city’s departments and facilities and designs and delivers plans, programs and training to reduce all hazards and liabilities facing the city.

As an authorized OSHA outreach trainer for the association’s Construction and General Industry Standards, Mike works to ensure specific safety standards are met in these two areas. He has presented OSHA training programs to federal and state OSHA enforcement personnel, including fall protection and defensive driving.

The Connecticut federal and state OSHA offices recognize Mike as an expert in fall protection, calling upon his expertise for investigations and referring him to other state agencies and private industry. He assists the state OSHA office with varied safety training programs for private industry and governmental agencies. He has also presented risk-management, security and safety training programs and lectures at many cities, state training academies and universities, including: Yale University, University of Connecticut, Southern Connecticut State University, the North Carolina Justice Academy, Connecticut State Police Academy, New Haven Police Academy and New Haven Fire Academy.

Mike designed the first program in the nation to address the safe use of law enforcement personnel in work zones in urban or other municipal settings. This formalized safe work zones and involved new ordinances and inspections. This program quickly spread and is being adopted by various municipalities throughout the state.

He also developed a program that combined the national defensive driving certifications with fleet management and “driver empowerment” programs, which has markedly reduced the number and severity of motor vehicle accidents.

Mike has been involved in the ropes challenge course, outdoor adventure industry and high angle rescue for more than 30 years. He builds, inspects, repairs, facilitates, guides, trains staff and rescuers, performs fall protection assessments and in-depth risk-management surveys specific to the industry and municipalities. He currently operates Climb1 Guiding & Challenge Courses and is also a Boy Scouts of America certified COPE director.

Mike is vice president of the Professional Ropes Course Association (PRCA), an international association of ropes challenge course owners, facilitators, trainers and builders. He is a member of the PRCA Standard Consensus Body and helped to write the ANSI draft of the proposed national consensus Ropes Challenge Course Installation, Operation and Training Standard. He is also a member of the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) Advisory Panel on Personal Certificates.

Mike’s training experience is vast, including:

  • Member of Emergency Preparedness/Homeland Security committees
  • DHS-trained as a “Tabletop Exercise Train the Trainer” trainer
  • Former USMC nuclear, biological and chemical warfare trainer
  • Former safety and security planning team member and site safety officer for the Congressionally-mandated Top Officials Exercise III (TOPOFF III)
  • Principal member of World Special Olympics security planning team, New Haven, CT
  • Life Safety and Asset Protection Manager (Formerly Safety and Security) for the American Red Cross Disaster and Weapons of Mass Destruction Operations
  • Gulf Coast Manager of Safety and Security (Alabama to Louisiana) for all Hurricane Katrina Red Cross and associated relief operations (8 weeks).

Mike also holds memberships with The Connecticut Safety Society, National Association for Search and Rescue, Professional Ropes Course Association, American Alpine Club, Canadian Alpine Club and Association for Challenge Course Technology.

Bob Burnett

Bob Burnett has worked in natural and cultural resource management and cave conservation and development for the past 40 years.

He is a fellow of the National Speleological Society. He was honored in 2005 with the society’s Conservation Award for his many contributions to cave exploration and protection and in 2004 with the Certificate of Merit for his co-leadership of a cave restoration project in Mexico. He is a life member of the Texas Cave Management Association, where he has served several terms on the board of directors and is a member of the cave acquisition and management committees for a cave preserve under their care. He also serves on the scientific advisory committee for the Texas Cave Conservancy.

During 22 years of employment with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (1973-1995), Bob worked as a registered professional archeologist, a natural and cultural resource manager and as the statewide cave resource management specialist.

As a project coordinator for historic sites and recreation parks, he was responsible for planning, budgeting and directing construction projects statewide. He directed archeological investigations to gather information for restoration, reconstruction, stabilization, adaptive re-use and interpretive exhibits and facilities. He also designed and supervised the repair, rehabilitation, stabilization and reconstruction of historic sites, worked on planning teams to develop park sites, and participated in pre-acquisition site investigations. As cave specialist, he advised park managers with major caves on the potential for public access, supervised biological surveys, designed and supervised construction of modifications to cave environments and coordinated cave surveys with volunteer caving organizations.

While “on loan” from the state of Texas to the Arizona Parks Department, Bob served as the project manager overseeing the development of an underground portion of Kartchner Caverns State Park. As project manager, he participated in the design and supervised construction of underground facilities for public access, including 1,300 feet of tunnels and 5,000 feet of barrier-free trails. The development involved setting up utilities for electric, water and telephone to provide lighting, climate control, visitor safety, security and maintenance systems. He also designed and implemented construction techniques and procedures to ensure minimal impact on the cave resources. Kartchner Caverns is internationally recognized as a cutting-edge example of show-cave development.

In addition, Bob has consulted on various cave development projects in the United States, Mexico and Anguilla. He was employed in 2003 by Natural Bridge Caverns, a National Natural Landmark cave in Texas, to participate in the design and supervise the construction of new trails and modifications to existing trails.

He was an organizing member of numerous expeditions involved in the discovery and initial investigations of deep-pit caves in Mexico, setting the Western Hemisphere Depth Record in 1964 and in 1966-67 when he discovered multiple entrances to what is now the deepest cave in the Western Hemisphere. He has also boated and trekked in Mexico, Central and South America.

Joel Cryer

Joel Cryer, Founder of Corporate Challenge, Inc.

Our former director and founder Joel Cryer passed away on January 23, 2011. His accomplishments are legendary in the field of experiential and outdoor adventure education.

In 1985, Joel founded Corporate Challenge, Inc., dba Adventure Más, which has conducted successful management development programs for major corporations and other school and non-profit institutions for more than 25 years. It is Texas’ oldest and most experienced firm in its field. Joel began building ropes challenge courses in 1979 and built them professionally since 1988. To meet the growing needs of his adventure-based clients he created another division, Adventure Más, which expanded services to include “training the trainers” and the construction of aerial adventure parks, canopy zip line tours and reaction/obstacle courses to name a few.

Joel was a member of the Texas Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (TAHPERD); the Texas Outdoor Education Association; the American Alpine Club; the Vertical Section of the National Speleological Society; the North American Association for Environmental Education; a founding member of the Texas Experiential Resources Association (TERA); a member of the Association for Experiential Education (AEE) since 1976 and the AEE Select Committee of the National Task Force on Accreditation and Standards in 1992. He was also a board member of the Professional Ropes Course Association (PRCA), a PRCA-accredited vendor and an associate member of the Association of Challenge Course Technology (ACCT) and the European Ropes Course Association (ERCA). In addition, he was an assessor for the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) in their Certificate Accreditation Program.

Joel gave numerous presentations for AEE, TERA, OTRA and TAHPERD at their sponsored conferences. In 1994, he was one of six senior practitioners selected by AEE to start the new International University of Experiential Education at Moscow State University in Russia. He served for eight years as the regional chair and as a council member on the AEE’s Mid-South Regional council. He was co-chair of the 1994 AEE International Conference Committee and was a member of the 2007 AEE International Conference Committee. In 1999, the AEE’s Mid-South Region selected him as the Practitioner of the Year, and in 2006 and 2008 he was selected by the region’s members for the Mid-South Vision award. His latest achievement was receiving the Association for Experiential Education, 2010 Servant/Leadership Award.

His career spanned 35 years, which includes successful programs for major corporations, state agencies, international agencies, universities, public schools, hospitals and other institutions. He conducted an adventure-based program for adolescents and their families in a community mental health setting for four years, and coordinated a wilderness/adventure-based program for a school district for five years. He instructed with Outward Bound and six other adventure-based programs. Joel Cryer and our new director Mike Barker built ropes challenge courses and trained in Mexico, Venezuela, Peru, China, Russia, Finland, Sweden and the Czech Republic. In 1992, Joel built the first ropes course in Sweden; in 2000 he built the largest ropes course in Asia and the first extensive ropes course in China. He served as a Para-Rescue (PJ) Technician with the U. S. Air Force in Southeast Asia, and he was a member of the NASA/Apollo Recovery Team. During the past 35 years, he has trekked, boated and climbed in North and South America, Europe, Australia and Asia. He was an honors graduate of the University of Texas at Austin.

Joel Cryer will be missed but his benevolent nature will live on in the associates, friends and clients who share his passion for the great outdoors, adventure-based and experiential education.

Jim Deline

Jim Deline is a 21-year veteran of the health and physical education profession. He serves as the Implementation Director for the Coordinated Approach to Child Health (CATCH) Program for the University of Texas, School of Public Health – Austin Regional Campus.

Jim was selected in 1995 as the Austin Independent School District Teacher of the Year in Austin, Texas. He has taught or worked at every level of the educational continuum. He has presented more than 250 workshops, staff development seminars and keynote speeches throughout the United States. His professional experiences include teaching and coaching at the public level, authoring a variety of physical education and school health curricula, crafting standards alignment, implementing coordinated school health programs, designing staff development, disseminating and marketing programs, and lecturing at university teacher education programs.

Francisco “Paco” Guajardo

Francisco Guajardo has been working in residential and commercial construction for more than 28 years and began working solely on commercial projects in 1998.

His commercial clients in Texas include: Austin City Hall renovations, Austin Bergstrom International Airport (ABIA) renovations, Austin’s Palmer Event Center; Sterling-Acura Car Dealership in Austin, Fire Station 44 in Austin, the city of Fredericksburg Visitor Information Center and the city of Pflugerville Recreation Center.

Paco is a consultant and builder who also specializes in the construction of ropes challenge courses and climbing towers. He has a BA degree from the University of Texas.

Marc Huber

Marc Huber graduated from the University of Texas at Austin, Magna Cum Laude, with a BA in government. He then earned his MPA from the LBJ School of Public Affairs in Austin, Texas, where he specialized in Environmental Education and Resource Management, from which he was awarded a Full Fellowship. From 1972-1975, he was a legislative aide for the Texas Senate.

Marc has extensive experience and has led groups in whitewater boating, sea kayaking, backpacking, mountaineering, rock climbing and backcountry skiing on every continent except Antarctica since 1970. He has provided these services to many of the leading adventure-based businesses throughout the United States, such as Adventure Más. He has worked as a freelance guide and adventure-based professional with a large number of the finest training and development organizations throughout the world, including Pecos River Learning Center, Metamorphic Learning Systems, Action Learning Associates, Peak Performance, Catalyst Consultants, Pro-Action Associates, Santa Fe Mountain Center, Temecula Creek Learning Center and Experienced Based Learning.

From 1978-1985, Marc was the director of the outings’ programs for the Austin Nature Center in Austin, Texas. During this time, he also led a great variety of natural history-focused adventures for groups of all ages throughout the Western United States, Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean. Since 1987, he has designed and built ropes challenge courses and zip line courses as well as trained and facilitated a variety of age and specialized groups from children to top corporate executives and government officials. He now works side-by-side with Adventure Más to build a variety of adventure-based courses, providing training, consulting and other related services.

Brian Jackson

Brian Jackson is a graduate of the University of Cape Town, South Africa, where he acquired industrial and commercial experience prior to working for the Outward Bound organization in Rhodesia and England. In this capacity, he designed and instructed wilderness-based personal and leadership development programs.

In 1976, Brian joined the staff of Brathay Hall, a British training and development organization whose client base includes IBM, General Electric and Rolls-Royce Motor Cars. As course director, he designed and facilitated executive development programs, using the outdoor environment extensively.

Brian served for three years as a full-time consultant and faculty member with Boston University’s School of Management, where he directed team-building programs for Fortune 500 corporations such as Digital Equipment Corporation, Warner Lambert, Walt Disney World and Morgan Bank.

He is an active member of the American Society for Training and Development and has served as an adjunct faculty member of the BellSouth Leadership Institute. He specializes in leadership skills and creative problem solving methods.

As founder and director of The Orion Trust, Brian is an acknowledged leader in designing and facilitating experienced-based organizational development programs for corporate clients throughout the United States. With more than 25 years’ international experience, he also consults with other nationally-recognized providers to enhance the quality and effectiveness of the services they offer to their own clients.

Jeff Jackson

Jeff Jackson is a graduate of Texas State University and the National Outdoor Leadership School. He has more than 10 years experience as an outdoor instructor for therapeutic wilderness programs across the country. He specializes in repairing a wide assortment of outdoor gear.

Jeff further developed his skills during his employment with two major outdoor outfitters. His passions involve working with communities to better initialize their outdoor resources for recreational use.

Michael Kaspar, PhD

Michael Kaspar is an accomplished science educator and administrator with extensive management and instructional experience. He has taught at all levels, including university, community college, elementary and secondary school. He has also led professional development programs for teachers and other employees.

Michael is a skilled grant writer, fundraiser and events organizer who has led numerous successful efforts to promote education and community involvement in student learning. His experience includes working for large urban school systems and for-profit and not-for profit agencies.

Recently, he has held positions as Director of Science for the District of Columbia Public Schools, Fisheries and Wildlife biologist with the DC Department of the Environment and Training Coordinator for the North American Association for Environmental Education in Washington, D.C. He managed two Environmental Education Centers in Austin and Houston, Texas for more than 10 years.

Michael has written numerous abstracts, journal and newsletter articles, curricula and resource guides; he belongs to several professional associations, including the American Association for the Advancement of Science, National Science Teachers Association, Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development and National Association of Interpreters. He is the founding president of the DC Science Teachers Association and serves on the board of directors of environmental and educational non-profits, including the Maryland/DC Audubon Society.

He holds a PhD in Science Education from The University of Texas at Austin, an MS from Texas A&M in Horticulture and a BA in Botany/Biology, also from the University of Texas at Austin.

Jason (Zippy) Martin

Jason Martin earned a BS in education from Nebraska-Kearney University and an MS in Science Education from Montana State University.

Jason’s impact reaches beyond what one may expect of an educator, including providing adventure-based experiences for students and parents, international training excursions in adventure-based counseling and language acquisition retreats, and extracurricular science instruction that incorporates a wide variety of experiential hands-on science activities and lessons.

He takes great pleasure in motivating young students and athletes to believe in themselves, their schoolmates and their teammates. He believes that individuals should be helped to score their own successes in all areas of their lives.

He has been named a Teacher of the Year finalist four times, was named the district elementary teacher of the year in 2007 and has been one of the top five finalists for Teacher of the Year in the Texas Educational Agency, Region 4. He is currently a consultant for Adventure Más and a middle school teacher in Spring, Texas. Jason is an active member of AEE, TERA and TAPHERD.

Jay McWilliams

Jay McWilliams has a long-standing passion for experiential education, particularly challenge courses, beginning in college when he began facilitating educational and cooperative games at Lake Weddington Recreation area in Arkansas. Jay is the former Challenge Course Coordinator at Heifer International’s Learning Center, located at Heifer Ranch, in Perryville, Arkansas. There he incorporated adventure education into Heifer’s mission of ending hunger and caring for the earth.

Jay has built ropes challenge courses for residential camps, YMCAs, universities and the U.S. military. In 2009, Jay helped construct an adventure recreational program in a small village 20 minutes outside Prague in the Czech Republic.

Jay also assists with the annual course inspections of several programs to ensure they comply with the standards of the Association for Challenge Course Technology (ACCT) and the Professional Ropes Course Association (PRCA). Most recently, his work included facilitating challenge and adventure activities and the design and construction of portable, ground-level and permanently-installed adventure equipment. Jay designed and constructed his own low and high ropes course located at the Heifer Ranch Learning Center.

He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Education with an emphasis in Outdoor Education from the University of Arkansas, and a Master of Science degree in Recreation Administration from George Williams College in Wisconsin. Jay holds many relevant certifications, including: Wilderness First Responder, Level II Certified Challenge Course Practitioner, Certified Challenge Course Manager and Leave No Trace Trainer. He is trained in CPR and First Aid and is an AED Instructor. He has also presented workshops at regional conferences and led staff training events.

Pete O’Connor

Pete O’Connor is an Experiential Educator for the North East Independent School District (NEISD) in San Antonio, Texas and has been playing without purpose in outdoor adventure-based activities for the last 18 years. As part of his work with NEISD, he leads groups from kindergarten through 12th grades as well as works with faculty and administration groups. Pete also works with other organizations and institutions, such as Texas A&M University, Team Leadership Results, University of the Incarnate Word and Our Lady of the Lake University, providing experiential learning. In 2001, Adventure Más sponsored Pete’s trip to Russia, where he worked with the Mr. English Club where, with other professionals, he led groups of students and adults in a multi-cultural setting.

Pete is an active member of the Texas Outdoor Education Association (TOEA), the Association for Experiential Education (AEE) and the Texas Experiential Resources Association (TERA), of which he was president. He has presented at both regional and international conferences of AEE, TERA and TOEA and Texas Safe and Drug Free Schools’ conferences. Pete has been a lead presenter at two Play and Literacy Symposiums sponsored by the University of the Incarnate Word in San Antonio, Texas. His program was named Program of the Year by TOEA, and he was named Practitioner of the Year by TERA.

Noel Pompa

Noel Pompa has 28 years of experience in the mental health field. He has been a ropes facilitator for 15 years, working with organizations such as schools, hospitals, camps, corporate groups, sports organizations and universities. Noel has traveled to Bulgaria, Canada, Mexico, Spain, Italy and Russia to teach and give workshops on a variety of subjects, including team-building, stress management, staff development and conflict resolution. Adventure Más sponsored his trip to Bulgaria and Russia as part of its EdAdventure Russia program.

Noel is an active member with AEE, TERA and TAPHERD. He is an avid outdoor sports enthusiast who can often be found scuba diving or rock climbing.

Bob Price

Bob Price graduated from Lamar University with a BS in Secondary Education and an MS in Health and Physical Education.

After teaching and coaching at the university, high school and middle school levels from 1977 to 1990, Bob helped start a “school within a school” at Northbrook High School in Spring Branch ISD in Houston, Texas. He served as a teacher and then began a career in administration. In 1992, he moved to Memorial Middle School in Houston, where he served as an assistant principal and then as principal in 2001. He retired from Texas public schools in 2008. During his years in education, he coached football, swimming and track and taught a variety of levels of math to seventh through eleventh-grade students.

Bob became interested in experiential education while working with at-risk youth. He began his training in 1992 and subsequently helped build the first ropes challenge course for the Spring Branch Independent School District in Texas, where he was responsible for training all facilitators. Bob continues to maintain a consulting relationship with Spring Branch facilitating groups for students and training facilitators. He works with various other experiential programs throughout the state.

Bob loves working and playing outdoors. He is an avid hunter, climber, camper and backpacker.

Kurt Sampley

Kurt Sampley started building ropes courses in 1987 while he was a student at Oklahoma State University. From the beginning Kurt was inspired by the usefulness of well-designed challenge courses.

Over the past 23 years he has built in 14 states and 2 foreign countries. He has been employed by, or subcontracted for, 5 different companies as well as his own. In the past three years, he has increasingly provided building expertise for Adventure Más out of Austin, Texas. In addition to ropes course construction and trade-craft skill in finish and rough carpentry, Kurt also has experience in commercial construction, landscape drainage systems and remodeling. Kurt was enlisted in the Army Reserves for 18 years in Airborne units and served one combat tour in Afghanistan.