Board Members

Board Members

Adam Dowell

Adam Dowell was born and raised in Jackson Wyoming. Growing up he played all sports but loved the independence of skating and snowboarding and that’s where he felt his passion. After about 15 years pursuing it as a profession he decided to step away and focus his efforts on his family, work, and starting Carving The Future. Today he’s married with two young boys he hopes to raise as little rippers!

Q: Why do you think it is important to introduce people to the sport of snowboarding?

A: First of all, I don’t think there is anything more fun than snowboarding. Secondly, If you look at a sport like snowboarding and the people who pursue riding a lot, you can see that it’s a deep part of them. It’s an addiction that gives them a high quality of life. I believe everyone should have access to that.

Q: Why are you a part of carving the future?

A: Well, I started it, and my story is an interesting one, you can read all about it on this website “ABOUT” section.

Talia Atkins

Talia Atkins was also born in Jackson, WY. She began snowboarding as a teenager and progressed quickly with the JHSC Freeride Team. She was often found styling backies on Teton Pass or hucking front flips off the Smith Limo in a yellow one-piece referred to as the “Wicked Banana.” After an unfortunate incident at a park competition in Snowbird, Talia rolled away in a wheelchair. No worries though! She was out in a couple months with only four compression fractures in her spine. She was back on a board the following year, this time with a camera in her hands. That camera became a vehicle for Talia around the world for six years and thirty countries on a shoe-string; A journey that began with her first international trip to New Zealand at 16 years old with a press pass to photograph for the 2007 NZ Burton Open. 

Despite her philanthropic and nomadic 20’s, Talia always kept snowboarding and her mountain community in her mind’s eye. She returned to her hometown in 2014, full circle, to coach for the JHSC Freeride Team. Talia has also worked with youth of all ages, teaching english, a personalized anthropological music curriculum, art, yoga and coaching gymnastics, big-air, snowboarding and leading therapeutic wilderness trips for teens in residential treatment. She aims to alleviate the mental health crisis in Teton County and spread more awareness about the positive benefits of neighborhood cohesion and connection. 

Talia is now pursuing a degree with CWC in Organization Management and Leadership to work effectively with nonprofits: Carving the Future and KILT, an NGO in Cambodia that supports landmine/polio victims and a unique orphanage of fourteen Khmer children. These days, she can no longer fit into the “Wicked Banana” but can be found high in the mountains year-round, skitching behind cars on a skateboard or playing the fiddle while ripping on a snowboard in a new super-suit/green one-piece called “The Mean Green Lima Bean.”

Q: Why do you feel it’s important to introduce people to the sport of snowboarding?

A: I think it is important to introduce people to snowboarding because it gives us a sense of belonging. Snowboarding promotes connection to the mountains, to our community and helps us contribute to something bigger than ourselves. 

Mountain towns and boardsports certainly go hand-in-hand. Our community is built around this culture. Snowboarding is ideal for children who are not engaged in team sports or extracurricular activities. Snowboarding and skateboarding teaches kids how to handle challenges, promote their self efficiency and internalize positive values. Especially in this town, it is important for children to feel connected to this place and a culture that is an integral part of why so many of us are here. 

I also see snowboarding as a gateway into our natural world that I feel everyone should have access to. The more time people spend in nature the more they can understand the importance of conservation, protecting what we have and spreading awareness of climate change.

Q: Why are you a part of Carving The Future?

A: Snowboarding saved my life. Growing up, I won a scholarship with the Jackson Hole Ski Club which gave me the opportunity to snowboard. I progressed very quickly on the team and my connection to the sport and snowboard industry gave me opportunities to travel, photograph and pursue my passions. In turn, snowboarding gave me a positive outlet away from an adverse childhood growing up in Jackson. With the help of precious members in this community, I had mentors and access to a sport that changed my life in the most positive way. I’m here to pay it forward.

Nick Ruiz

Bio Coming Soon

Derek MacDonald

Derek MacDonald believes that pocket PB&J’s are a staple of any day spent on a snowboard.  The Massachusetts native grew up sliding on snow in Vermont’s Mad River Valley at Sugarbush and Mad River Glen where he fell in love with both the ski and snowboard industry at a young age. He would go on to spend most weeknights of his childhood and adolescence at Ski Bradford in Massachusetts, whether in uniform for the ski school or just lapping the terrain park. 

Like many east coast transplants, Derek moved to Jackson, Wyoming in search of big mountains and opportunities to further his career in the snowboard industry as an athlete, coach, and marketing professional. He brings 10+ years of experience as a dual discipline certified ski and snowboard coach. Between coaching for Jackson Hole Mountain Resort’s snowboard school and the Jackson Hole Ski and Snowboard Club’s Freeride Snowboard Program, Derek is grateful to be surrounded by a community of motivated snow sliders. He loves sharing his passion for snowboarding with others.

After attending the University of Vermont, where he majored in snowboarding and minored in both marketing and communication, Derek originally moved to Wyoming to work for NOLS as a Marketing Representative and Events Manager. He has a tremendous passion for leading people outside and has consistently sought opportunities to do so. This led him to spawn his own brand and public speaking career discussing personal leadership, mental health, and the outdoors at www.theexpeditionjournal.com. He has also worked with the Massachusetts Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership organization for over 10 years where he has served as a group facilitator and keynote speaker at their annual leadership seminar for high school students. 

In his time not spent on a snowboard, or spent thinking about snowboarding, Derek contributes to the management team at Roadhouse Brewing Company in Jackson, WY. The content marketer, snowboard coach, and marathon runner is happiest chasing sunrises in the backcountry with several cups of coffee and his snowboard.

To see some of his work, check out Jackson Hole Snowboarder Magazine’s issue 16. You can hear about Derek in his own words from an interview he did with the Occupation Wild podcast

You can find him @_derekmacdonald or at www.theexpeditionjournal.com

Q: Why do you feel it’s important to introduce new people to boardsports?

A: “Boardsports have always provided an outlet for me. They’ve been an outlet for creative expression, an arena to gain confidence through trial and error, and a place to form a respect for hard work. Skateboarding and snowboarding have also been a valuable method of coping for me throughout my life. While building skill as a skateboarder and snowboarder is hard, the act of doing so is fun. Skateboarding and snowboarding have also served as a reminder to me that I shouldn’t take life TOO seriously; that it’s ok, and even encouraged, to seek joy. 

The community of people that skateboarding and snowboarding have introduced me to in life are some of the people who have most positively shaped how I view the world. An introduction to snowboarding is the greatest gift that I’ve ever been given. It changed the course of my life. I hope to be able to provide that level of positivity for others.”

Q: Why are you a part of Carving The Future?

A: “The first time that I went to a skatepark, I was 7 years old. I decided that I would drop into the bowl because after all, I was a skateboarder and I was there to skate. I fell on my face. Hard. To my surprise, the “tough teenage skaters” who were there not only came to my rescue, but coached me until I dropped in by myself. I’ll never forget that. Much like the teenagers who helped my 7 year old self, I enjoy introducing people to the magic of boardsports. I don’t think kids should miss out on a potentially life changing sport because of a financial inability to gain access. 

I grew up snowboarding on the small hill in, and skating the streets of, my hometown. I understand the importance of an organization like Carving The Future, and the role it plays in molding young athletes into well-rounded, contributing members of our community and beyond.”