wea Staff

Most functions of the Association are completed by volunteers on the Board of Directors and various committees and workgroups. Their work, however is always buoyed by the diligent efforts of our Association staff.

Executive Director
Ryan B. Carlson, M.S. Management and Leadership

Ryan comes to the WEA with 20 years of experience leading, instructing, and innovating in the outdoor industry. In 2008, Ryan was hired by Camp Merri-Mac and Timberlake to design and launch Black Mountain Expeditions (BME), an adventure company delivering custom programs for independent schools, universities, and corporate teams internationally. Under Ryan’s leadership over the last 11 years, BME grew to serve hundreds of participants annually across the country. Prior to that, Ryan directed collegiate wilderness programs at Ohio Wesleyan University and Bethany College. 

Ryan's work in the industry is informed by his extensive field leadership experience. Since 2000, he has instructed activities including bacpacking, rock climbing, mountaineering, canoeing, kayaking, and outdoor leadership. His experience with WEA began in 1999 on his first WEA course as a college student. Ryan has instructed numerous WEA programs in partnership with affiliate programs.

Ryan has served on the Board of Professional Climbing Instructor's Association and worked closely with WEA affiliate Coalition for Christian Outreach.  Ryan has also taught as an adjunct faculty member in Montreat College's Outdoor Education department.

Ryan holds an M.S. in Management and Leadership and B.S. in Outdoor Education from Montreat College. His certifications include the WEA Certified Outdoor Educator, American Mountain Guide Associaiton Certified Rock Instructor, Professional Climbing Instructor's Association Certifying Instructor, and Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics Master Educator.

Ryan B. Carlson's Bio  |  Contact Ryan

National Office Administrator
Kevin Earhart Sutton, M.Ed. Environmental Education

In 2009, Kevin attended his first WEA annual conference and joined the  Events Committee (now Promotions and Outreach Committee) and for many years, coordinated the Service Crew at the annual conference.

Kevin joined the Board of Directors in 2014 for his first of two three-year terms. He did not finish the second term as he stepped down in early 2020 to assume an interim role of National Office Administrator. Kevin is now a full employee of the WEA as of January 2021.

Some of Kevin's chief achievements include the countless donations he secured to support the  auction at our annual conferences, crafting membership newsletters, and volunteering since 2009, unbroken, for the betterment of the Association. In 2016, Kevin received the Student Leader Award in recognition of his devoted service to the WEA.

Kevin Earhart Sutton's Bio  |  Contact Kevin

Wilderness Education Association, Inc.
151 NC Highway 9, Ste B
Black Mountain, NC 28711

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