Bonnie McDonald, Chief Happiness Officer
With a passion for the outdoors and love for mountain adventure, Bonnie moved from Massachusetts to Colorado as soon as she graduated from college. She arrived in Vail, jobless and homeless, where she remained for 13 fun-filled years. There, Bonnie became a practiced ski bum, rock climber, and mountain biker, as well as a successful business owner, then skilled healthcare executive, specializing in Communication and Operations.
Bonnie met fiance Will Olson on a mountain bike trip in 2010. His sudden death, in August 2015, on Stage 3 of the Big Mountain Enduro race in Crested Butte, CO, was the catalyst for her co-founding Backcountry Lifeline, whereby she hopes to bring safety and training to mountain bikers and event organizers.
Bonnie’s credentials include a BA in Business, a Graduate Certificate in Health Management, and graduate studies in Health Informatics. Bonnie is a Wilderness First Responder, an American Red Cross instructor, and an EMT.
Flynn George, Dirt Monkey
Flynn grew up in a tent in the woods with no running water or electricity. During that awesome time of his life, he learned to ride a bike by jumping three feet off the porch to flat, and building tracks in the woods of Port Townsend, WA. After hitting the books, studying physics and math at Colorado College, he decided that working and riding bikes was far more appealing than the florescent lights of a lab. He has worked in the manufacturing and distribution side of the bike industry for years.
While racing mountain bikes in the professional Enduro circuit, Flynn has used his Wilderness First Responder skills all too often, and can only hope his friends have some training to scrape him off the ground on occasion. Now he plans to make those skills available to others, while continuing to race professionally and adventure by bike.
Courtney Lewallen, Marketing Genius/Instructor Extraordinaire
Originally an East Coast girl, Courtney grew up in Maine, then Alabama. After moving up and down the east coast, as well as abroad a number of times, she set her heart on Colorado.
Courtney refers to herself as "a jack of all trades," although BCLL co-founder Bonnie calls her the ultimate badass... Courtney has been instructing Wilderness medical classes for eight years; she takes high school students on expeditions to developing countries for weeks to months at a time; and she is a full-time marketing director in Fort Collins. Courtney is also a former EMT and Search and Rescue (SAR) team member, as well as a full-time outdoor guide.
Courtney got involved with BCLL after she was asked to instruct the group's first ever WFA course. From there, she fell in love with the organization, its mission, and all things mountain biking. Not only does Courtney continue to teach for BCLL, but she recently became an official BCLL business partner, and has taken on the company's endless marketing endeavors. In her own words, Courtney is elated to be apart of the BCLL family!
Heidi Dohse, Inspirationalist
Heidi is a lifelong heart patient who decided not to be a victim of heart disease, but to live the life she wanted instead. For her, that means riding and racing mountain bikes on some of the world's most beautiful trails.
Given her medical history, Heidi has always been aware of the risk of being in the backcountry and having an emergency. She always assumed it would be her that needed help in this situation, until she was one of the people responding to Will Olson's crash in Crested Butte. It was then that Heidi realized she needed to be prepared to give, as well as potentially receive, lifesaving help from fellow riders.
A Google Program Manager currently working in the digital health space, technology is a passion for Heidi. Past achievements include implementing Wi-Fi networks for cities in need, and working with Emergency Services in Idaho to develop a portable Emergency Operations Center (EOC) using incident command structures.
Dr. Gloria Beim, Medical Advisor
Dr. Gloria Beim is one of the most highly credentialed orthopaedic trauma surgeons in Colorado. She went to college at age 14, quickly earning her medical degree (University of California at San Diego), before going on to earn orthopaedic credentials (New York Orthopaedic Hospital at Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center). Dr. Beim is board certified in Sports Medicine, and fellowship trained in Shoulder and Arthoscopy (University of Pittsburgh Center for Sports Medicine). She is the founder/owner of Alpine Orthopaedics (Crested Butte, Colorado) and Alpine Surgery Center (Gunnison, Colorado). Dr. Beim has provided care around the globe, and for some of the world's greatest athletes, serving as Team Physician and Chief Medical Officer for Team USA at several Olympic and Paralympic Games.