Happy New Year from Adventure Sports Journal

Celebrating growth and potential as we enter our 15th year in ’15

Happy New Year 2015

As we close the book on 2014, ASJ is looking forward to the new year with a feeling of giddy anticipation. The anticipation is because a number of big changes that were set in motion a couple of years ago are coming to fruition. Cathy and I are thrilled with the results so far, and awed by the potential we see.

A few months ago we launched our Environmental Partnership Campaign (EPiC), and we’re fully committed to growing this part of our business to support California organizations working for sustainability. With this series of articles we do more than just champion the efforts of a few worthy non-profits. More importantly we highlight the fact that playing in the outdoors is not a mindless activity but part of a heart-centered approach that combines a joy for living with the courage to see our situation for what it is: an environmental crisis. Accordingly we join companies like Patagonia in using our media voice to both wring every last drop of fun out of every day and stay involved in the most important story of our times.

The last few years have seen incredible growth in our events program. We now travel to over 25 events each year. Our presence at these gatherings is an excellent way to check in with readers and advertisers alike. Steve Shaw has completely saved our road show program, which over the years had grown too large for us to handle on our own. Steve is the “master conversationalist,” and besides dealing with all the logistics of setting up and taking down our cumbersome booth by himself, he takes the time to make our readers and advertisers feel valuable as they wander by the ASJ booth.

As we look forward to our fifteenth year in business we are proud to announce the addition of three other key staff members! Early last year, we were stoked to add Michele Lamelin for social media and content development. She has done an excellent job increasing our online engagement and has helped with outreach to the mountain biking community.

We also are thrilled to announce the addition of two ad sales professionals, Geoff James and Charlie Pankey. What makes both Charlie and Geoff such a good fit is they are both totally committed to the story we are telling. As a result they will be actively engaged in our content each and every issue, and staying connected to the work of our wonderful team of editors and journalists.

By filling key staff positions Cathy and I will be able to take ASJ to the next level and we are humbled and excited by this opportunity. Welcome aboard Michele, Steve, Geoff, and Charlie. You are joining a wonderfully dysfunctional family that is destined for greatness.

Lastly, Cathy and I would like to wish you and yours a happy new year and express our sincere gratitude for your ongoing support. Fourteen years ago I was a tree trimmer and Cathy was a second grade teacher and we decided to start a magazine and a family all in the same year. People told us we were crazy and they were right. At the same time, we both learned that anything is possible if you stay committed to your dreams.

Happy New Year!

Matt & Cathy

ASJ founders Cathy Claesson and Matt Niswonger with their adventurous brood.

ASJ founders Cathy Claesson and Matt Niswonger with their adventurous brood.


Some new faces to the ASJ team!

Michele Lamelin Social Media and Content Development
Michele getting giddy on slickrock.

Michele getting giddy on slickrock.

A dynamo of many hats, Michele enjoys connecting the myriad of communities she is involved with. An avid mountain biker, Michele volunteers as the Marketing Director for the California Enduro Series as well as her local mountain biking club. She also works part-time at a local bike shop and runs a non-profit horse advocacy program. Michele’s previous experience working for an animal defense magazine combined with strong social media skills and a passion for outdoor adventuring made her the perfect fit with ASJ, and she enjoys juggling tasks as needed. In addition to being a passionate mountain biker, Michele also loves hiking, backpacking and climbing, and hopes someone will someday kidnap her to the snow and teach her to ski.

Steve Shaw ASJ Roadshow Coordinator
Steve spreading the good word at Guitarfish Music Festival.

Steve spreading the good word at Guitarfish Music Festival.

“Roadshow Steve” likes to travel with the ASJ Roadshow to fun events and expos all around the Golden State. It suits his gypsy spirit. Having worked two years with ASJ, Steve’s knowledge of the outdoors industry has taken two mighty steps forward. Where once he was merely an outdoors enthusiast, he is now fluent in the full spectrum of sports and associated gear. Having extensive experience as a backpacker, including the completion of a 23 day 420 mile hike in 2014, Steve is now becoming interested in mountaineering. He hopes to bag a peak this spring and another next winter between his duties at ASJ.

Charlie Pankey Ad Sales Professional
Charlie catching a photo op with Half Dome.

Charlie catching a photo op with Half Dome.

Charlie dubs himself an Enthusiastic Explorer of Possibilities in Life and Business and is looking forward to exploring outdoor industry partnerships via his new position as an ASJ ad sales professional. He is a 20 year veteran of the newspaper trade, with extensive experience in business marketing both in print and digital. Charlie loves to hike, camp, hunt, kayak, and explore. His favorite adventures are hiking Yosemite or exploring new routes in Alpine County off the current trail systems. Charlie’s passion for hiking and exploring in the Sierra is displayed on his personal adventure blog sierrarec.com.

Geoff James Ad Sales Professional
Geoff racing his SUP.

Geoff racing his SUP.

A businessman and bag carrying salesman of 15 years in the technology services and hardware sector, Geoff has figured out a way to always sneak in a ride, surf or paddle while selling his technology wares on the road. Geoff is excited to integrate outdoor industry sales into his routine. He and his family have lived in Sausalito for 20 years, an ideal location to paddle and train for SUP and outrigger canoe racing. About a year and a half ago, Geoff founded supcurrents.com, a website and blog focused on the sport of stand up paddling in California. He also authors a SUP blog for Marine Magazine called On The Water.

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