Team

Unveiling

 

ChrisSharma

Chris Sharma

Owner, Designer

Chris Sharma’s meteoric climbing career started when he won the Bouldering Nationals at age 14, and opened the hardest climb in America (at the time, 5.14c) a year later. In the years since, Chris has dedicated his life to pushing the limits of what is climbable.  He has climbed multiple 5.15 routes, bouldered V15, onsighted 5.14b, and established deep water solo routes at the highest grades.  At the same time, Chris has served as rock climbing’s most visible ambassador, inspiring climbers young and old, new and seasoned, the world over.  Chris holds claim to establishing the hardest route in America,  Jumbo Love, at Clark Mountain in California.  Of late, Chris has been establishing a string of 5.15 routes in Spain, including First Round First Minute, Stoking the Fire, and La Dura Dura.  Sender One has given Chris the opportunity to use his years of climbing experience over thousands of feet of terrain to give back to the climbing community in yet another way.

WesChu

Wesley Chu

Partner, General Manager

Wes first fell in love with climbing in high school, when a friend introduced him to the great gyms of the San Francisco Bay Area. Since then, he has had the good fortune of climbing in New York, throughout the Northeast Corridor, in Colorado, up and down California, and as far away as Spain, Bulgaria, and Thailand. A computer nerd and mathematician by trade, for Wes it was a serendipitous climbing vacation in Spain with Chris Sharma that prompted a career change and sparked Sender One. When not climbing, Wes enjoys good food, playing a wide variety of other sports, and cheering for his Bay Area teams — even the Golden State Warriors.

WesShih

Wesley Shih

Partner, General Counsel

Wes started climbing during the summer between college and law school and ended up spending much of that summer at Williamson Rock and chasing the shade at Joshua Tree. Not surprisingly, Wes spent as much of law school as he could out at the climbing areas of the Northeast–Rumney, Pawtuckaway, and the Gunks. His legal career has taken him across the country–to Arkansas, up to Maine, and then back to his native southern California. The local climbing community at each stop made every place feel like home. Wes is ecstatic that Sender One has allowed him to apply his legal training to climbing in a way he could never have dreamed–to give back to the climbing community that has given him so much. He dreams about returning to Castle Hill, New Zealand and its limestone boulders on green grass hillsides.  When he’s not climbing, Wes is carving canyons on his motorcycle.

AliceKao

Alice Kao

Partner, Sales and Marketing

Alice discovered climbing while living and working in London.  The climbing gym was her community during the harsh British winters.  Her first outdoor rock climbing adventure was at Snowdonia National Park in Wales.  Since returning to California, Alice has predominately climbed indoors, but ventures outside to local areas from time to time.  Alice has worked for 4 different toy companies and has launched numerous successful brands to boys and girls of all ages during her toy career.  Prior to joining the toy industry, Alice worked as an investment banker in Silicon Valley, CA. When she’s not climbing, selling toys, or crunching numbers, Alice spends her time snowboarding, swimming, and practicing yoga.

Bio Photo - Santa Monica Pier

Chris Danielson

Special Contributor

Originally from New York, Chris’s obsession with climbing began after an Outward Bound trip to Colorado.  During college, grad school, and many travels since, he worked in various aspects of the climbing industry and turned the climbing passion into a profession.  Chris has become one of the most accomplished competition routesetters in the world, a top professional consultant, and a representative of leading climbing brands.  Chris also works with USA Climbing and the IFSC, bringing a wealth of diverse industry experience to Sender One.  With his company Thread Climbing, Chris began as a consultant during our start-up and was integral in the facility and operations planning and overall climbing wall design.  He has partnered with us as a Special Contributor and is excited to apply his experience with Sender One during regular visits for events, routesetting, and continued work on business development from his home in Colorado.  Chris’s favorite climbing area is Fontainebleau.

MosesPotter

Moses Potter

Head Routesetter

Moses Potter has been route setting since 1997.  From 2007-2012 he managed the route setting program for Planet Granite.  Now a resident of the OC, Moses brings his unique perspective on route setting to Sender One Climbing. Moses’ route setting, and the style he imparts to his coworkers, is informed by his rock climbing experiences from around the globe in places like Rocklands in South Africa, Catalunya, Spain, Fontainebleau, Squamish, the American South East, and Hueco Tanks, among others.  His climbs are known for their sustained, technical nature, as well as their “flowing,” comfortable movements.  Moses has climbed routes up to 5.14a, and boulders v12.

SarahRichardson

Sarah Richardson

Programming Director / Coach

With her extensive background in gymnastics, dance, and yoga, Sarah took to climbing immediately because it combined her love of moving through space with the outdoors (and, at that point in her early 20s, she’d been REALLY wanting to get outside).  Climbing quickly became the center of her life—she even made climbing the subject of every one of the research projects for her Kinesiology degree.  Climbing trips and competitions have taken Sarah across the US, particularly after she founded her first youth climbing team with fellow coach, Chad Gilbert.  Alongside Chad, Sarah has come to Sender One to continue fostering the indoor and outdoor climbing skills of both youth climbers and other community members.  Next up in Sarah’s climbing endeavors is a long, overdue visit to the Red River Gorge, and perhaps, in the near future, the endless, limestone cliffs of Catalunya, Spain.

ChadGilbert

Chad Gilbert

Routesetter / Coach

Chad began climbing in 1992, mentored by his oldest brother, mostly in Joshua Tree and Yosemite.  The emphasis on technique and movement he learned would later inspire Chad’s future interest in strength training and kinesiology.  Not long after, Chad moved into competition climbing, which eventually took Chad as far away as Chamonix, France, where he represented the US in the World Cup. In 2000, Chad exchanged his own competition climbing for the time and attention of training others to climb—both at competitions and in the outdoors.  Chad brings these decades of climbing experience to both his coaching and his setting at Sender One.  He has climbed 5.14a, bouldered V11/V12, in world-class areas such as Bishop, Fontainebleu, Magic Wood, Ceuse, Rifle, Squamish, Smith Rock, and Hueco Tanks.  Chad is currently finishing up his degree in Exercise Science at CSU-Long Beach and is looking forward to studying Sports Psychology.

KodyShutt

Kody Shutt

Routesetter

Kody, a Long Beach native, has been addicted to climbing since 2005. He started gym climbing when he was a spry tween, at what was formerly The Rock Gym in Signal Hill, gleefully absorbing every dimension of the sport. Having now evolved into the man-child seen above, his love for climbing has pushed him deep into the art of route setting. His eternal goal with every hold and route that he bolts is to bring joy and enlightenment to those that choose his climbs. It is a lofty goal, but he enjoys the challenge. Beyond setting, Kody enjoys wrestling boulders outside with a child-like enthusiasm. His favorite areas include The Buttermilk Country of Bishop, Black Mountain, and Geology Tour Road in Joshua Tree. His proudest sends include Evilution (to the lip), Zen Flute, and his recent ascent of Sharma Traverse.

Randy

Randy Casillan

Routesetter

A SoCal native, Randy Casillan has been climbing since 2006 and has turned into both a career and a way of life, through routesetting at all of the gyms in Orange County, studying climbing movement, and of course, actually climbing! He enjoys both bouldering and sport climbing and is trying his hand(s) at doing more trad routes. Some of his favorite climbing spots include the Bishop, Hueco Tanks, Joe’s Valley, and the Tramway, where you can frequently find him and his friend, Gumby. His other interests include sailing, biking, photography, and other any excuse he can find to be outdoors.

HankGreene

Hank Greene

Front Desk Staff

Hank grew up surfing, hiking and racing mountain bikes in Southern California. His love for climbing didn’t reveal itself until he moved to the rock-mecca of Boulder, Colorado in 2006. He spent the next four years splitting his time between climbing, mountaineering, skiing, and earning his degree in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. Since moving back to California in 2010, he’s continued splitting his time between working as a wildlife biologist and climbing as much as possible. After a series of injuries and revelations, Hank is excited to dedicate himself completely to climbing by teaching others about technique, training, safety, stewardship, and getting stoked. When Hank isn’t climbing he likes to play in the ocean, ride bikes, make music, strengthen antagonist muscles, and study biology.

DersaCyr

Dersa Cyr

Funtopia Manager

Dersa is a Lake Tahoe native and no stranger to the outdoors. She learned to ski, climb trees, hike mountains, swim ice cold waters, camp in the wild and respect nature by the age of three. When Dersa moved to southern California she was invited out to New Jack for rock climbing and was hooked. The next week she enrolled in lead climbing classes. Now rock climbing is on her long list of outdoors activities. Whether it’s a day trip to Big Bear, snowboarding in Tahoe, canyoneering in Zion or climbing in Red Rocks she wants to be there! Dersa originally moved to southern California for college earning a BA in Theatre Arts. After graduation she began working at Disneyland as a supervisor and eventually learned to teach Yoga, Pilates and Personal Train. In addition to outdoors activities and teaching, Dersa volunteers as a foster for different dog rescue organizations within the Orange County area. Dersa always looks forwards to new adventures and all the people she can share them with.

Goldie

Goldie Szto

Front Desk Staff

Goldie began her climbing journey after high school, when she took an introductory class at Orange Coast College. With a childhood spent climbing trees in Nigeria, she took to climbing immediately. She was surrounded by strong climbers in her gym, and was inspired by the potential of the human body. It fueled her passion for the sport, and her desire to tap into that potential. Goldie’s first outdoor experience was in Red Rock Canyon, Nevada where she learned all different styles of climbing. It is a place she calls home, and a place that shaped the climber she is today. Goldie and her husband, Parker, also enjoy travelling the world in search of adventure and beautiful lines. They have been lucky enough to climb in Thailand, Peru, Puerto Rico and the Philippines. When Goldie is not climbing, she is in the ocean, playing guitar or in her kitchen. She also enjoys practicing yoga, taking photos and riding her bike. Climbing for her is about possibility. She believes in being an ambassador for the sport, and sharing her love for climbing with new people.

Alvin Kim Bio

Alvin Kim

Front Desk Staff

Alvin’s first encounter with climbing came during high school when a friend introduced him to the sport. Prior to that, he thought rock climbing was only for National Geographic explorers or wackos. Now pursuing a Bachelor’s in Photojournalism at CSU Fullerton, Alvin is proud to say that he is one of those wackos and will be for the rest of his life. He loves getting outdoors whenever he can and loves nothing more than to relax on his hammock with a good book in one hand and a cup of coffee or tea in the other. He also loves traveling and photographing his adventures. His ultra-awesome dream destination is Iceland where he hopes to possibly go climbing under the Northern Lights.

NickRhoads

Nick Rhoads

Front Desk Staff

Nick enjoyed his first day climbing at a gym in the Midwest in 2000. That experience not only hooked the inner-climber but became a career as well. Over 12 years later he’s still at it. As a National Outdoor Leadership School graduate Nick built a base for outdoor adventure pursuits and plans to build on that for a wealth of personal fulfillment throughout his lifetime. Nick not only enjoys those experiences himself but also sharing them with others through teaching, encouragement, and stewardship. In addition to being an all-around climber Nick is a former crew rower, adventure racer, and triathlete which culminated with the 2006 Ironman World Championships. Fitness is his lifestyle and sharing that with the surrounding community as well as helping others achieve their goals is what gets Nick motivated.

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Natali Zogheib

Front Desk Staff

A city girl who feels more at home in the outdoors, Natali Zogheib was born and raised in Southern California and has sought greater heights since she can remember.  An adventurer, she loves exploring the world in new ways, whether it’s from high above ground, deep below sea level, in the backstreets of another country, or gazing into space. Besides climbing (rocks, trees, buildings, etc.) she enjoys photography, dancing, yoga, cooking, traveling, and scuba diving (to name a few). Rock climbing came into her life when a wall was built at Chapman University, where she enthusiastically worked until her graduation.  Before Sender One, Natali worked in South Korea, where she got into lead climbing. She is always open to new experiences and dedicates her life to feeling alive and compassionate understanding, with hopes of helping others do the same.

Winnie2

Winnie Zhong

Front Desk Staff

Winnie has a great love and passion for adventures and the outdoors. Naturally, she fell for rock climbing while away at college in Arizona. The beautiful Arizonan landscape and awesome rock formations, along with strong climber friends have inspired her to push, or pull, harder to reach brand new heights. Aside from climbing, Winnie enjoys long walks on the beach, candle-lit dinner, and beating boys at ping pong.

NicolaStrother

Nicola Strother

Fitness Coordinator

Nicola Strother grew up in an athletic family and as a teenager was a competitive gymnast training 6 days a week, 5 hours a day.  Being in peak condition was critical to her success.   As she grew up, she had a desire to pursue more intense sports such as rock climbing, wake boarding, skydiving, martial arts, and stunt driving.  Nicola was able to parlay her athleticism into a successful career as a stuntwoman in Los Angeles.  Again, being in great shape and knowing the strengths and limits of muscles helped her succeed in another fiercely competitive field.  After moving to Orange County from Los Angeles, Nicola transitioned into personal training, tennis specific training, and nutrition, working with both athletes and adults that wanted to improve their overall health. Over time her role expanded into Fitness Director with Advantage Tennis Academy (an elite academy where juniors train with aspirations of playing on the tour), and Fitness Coordinator at the Racquet Club of Irvine where she oversees the fitness department and group exercise programs which including yoga, Pilates and circuit training.

CourtneyRoberts

Courtney Roberts

Yoga Instructor

Courtney Roberts, RYT, a Yoga Alliance certified Vinyasa Flow Yoga Instructor. She has also studied and practiced Vipassana mediation, completing a ten-day silent meditation course in December 2011. Courtney began teaching yoga after a ten-year career in public education during which her own practice allowed her to find more patience, compassion and clarity. Her philosophy is one of meeting her students where they are on their journey and she welcomes yogis of every level. Classes are influenced by the styles that she practices, including Vinyasa, Bikram, Ashtanga and Kundalini and her main focus is to inspire in others a love and appreciation for all of the benefits (spiritual, mental and physical) that a consistent yoga practice provides. Her students are encouraged to foster a deeper connection to themselves and others. She is currently pursuing her PhD with a focus in Mindfulness-based Education.

AliRitto

Ali Ritto

Yoga Instructor

Ali Ritto’s yoga practice began as a way to escape the mental stresses of the daily grind but quickly blossomed into a challenging physical practice as well. Teaching since 2010 and practicing since 2008, Ali is certified at the 200- hour level as well as in Pre/Post-natal and Yoga Sculpt. She also assists in teacher trainings with friend and mentor, Rachel Silverman, E-RYT 200.  Ali teaches at locations all over Orange County and enjoys working with a varying clientele, blending vinyasa flow and power yoga styles for all levels. From children to retirees, from strong athletes to beginners or anywhere in between, Ali has taught them all and strives to give something special to each person who steps onto their mat. Yoga is truly a gift that can be shared by all, and Ali believes that everybody can do yoga, no matter their age, physical ability, strength or other limitations.  Encouraging nervous, hesitant, or sedentary people to try yoga for the first time is her passion, and Ali enjoys seeing her students return and grow in her classes. Constantly reminding students to let go of their ego and just enjoy their time on the mat is a key theme in Ali’s teaching. The toughest challenge for Ali is balancing the desire to master an advanced pose, such as an arm balance or an inversion, with the yogic belief of non-attachment. Don’t be surprised by her offbeat sense of humor in class–it’s just yoga, and like life, is meant to be enjoyed!

RebeccaFink

Rebecca Fink-Bennett

Yoga Instructor

Rebecca has a great passion and desire to share yoga with the world.  She believes that helping to bring balance and harmony to one’s body, mind, and spirit is a remarkable gift. Rebecca began her yoga journey four years ago with restorative yoga, continuing on to vinyasa flow and finally, ashtanga.  Today she continues to practice each of these arts of yoga to sustain her journey.  Rebecca decided to become a yoga teacher (RYT-200) to be of service to yoga students and hold a space for them to discover their inner beauty and outer consciousness.  With her daily strengthening of body, mind, and spirit, Rebecca could not help but share her discoveries.  Her teaching style and persona is traditional and begins with compassion for the body, mind, and spirit–compassion for the whole person.  In her opinion, each of these aspects is to be equally nurtured to gain peace or samadhi, the ultimate enlightenment. A fan of Pantanjali and his eight-limbed path of yoga, she is delighted with his philosophy, learning to control the restlessness of the mind to bring peace. The Yoga Sutras are a big part of her life, and a gift she wishes to radiate to others. Rebecca is also pursuing her Certificate of Yoga Philosophy from LMU, which includes an in-depth study of some of her favorite treasures, the Yoga Sutras and the Bhagavad Gita.  Her studies allow her to continue her path and desire to free her soul and gain finer spiritual qualities.

RachelSilverman

Rachel Silverman

Yoga Instructor

Rachel Silverman has been teaching yoga for over 5 years and practicing yoga for over 7 years. Rachel is a Yoga Alliance 200-hr E-RYT , ACE Certified Personal Trainer, NASM Performance Enhancement Specialist, Corepower Certified Yoga Sculpt Teacher, and Fit-X Fitness YogaMAX certified. She is the Director/Creator of her own 200 hr Power Yoga Teacher Training School –  Rachel Silverman Yoga School. Rachel is working towards completing her 500-hour teacher training with Tiffany Cruikshank Yoga. She has always been physically active, growing up with dance, cheerleading, figure skating, and going to the gym. Rachel first discovered yoga during college at a local studio, and she has been hooked ever since. Rachel teaches fun yet challenging yoga classes. Her classes will leave you feeling stronger, more flexible, and happier overall.

Rohaya

Royaha Esa

Yoga Instructor

Rohaya has long been involved in health and fitness.  From a very young age, she experimented with many forms of cardiovascular fitness, strength and endurance exercises.She has extensive experience in the health and fitness industry including competition, with a variety of formal training and certifications under her belt.  Yoga has come in and out of her life and did not become a permanent dedication until after 1996; culminating in formal classes and training at various cities throughout the world.  Rohaya started teaching Yoga thereafter at a well-known health and fitness center in Asia Pacific.  She has taught and donated her time and experience throughout the world, as she traveled at various established health and fitness centers, including facilities throughout Asia Pacific, North California, and Orange County.  She is certified in various programs, including certification in 200RYT YogaFit International, 500 RYT YogaWorks teacher training with Erika Burkhalter; and a lifetime MADDOG Athleticspinning certified.  Coming from a very athletic background competing in Asia Pacific equestrian and a few marathons; she bring a vinyasa-flow vigorous style of yoga linking breath and moment, with an established nimble sequence of sun salutation and numerous posesthat catered to all levels.  Her passion for teaching gives her the feeling of fulfillment, and purpose.  She loves helping others strengthen their physical, mental, and spiritual body.

Shireen

Shireen Kaviani

Yoga Instructor

Shireen Kaviani tried yoga for the first time when her muay thai coach and training partners told her it would make her kicks more powerful.  Like everyone else just beginning yoga,  it took her a few classes to understand the difference between Warrior 1 and Warrior 2.  Physically, she started to feel stronger and the tension in her lower back was alleviated. However, yoga didn’t fully reveal itself to her until she had to go through major transitions in her life. It was during this period where she committed herself to a consistent practice, that she found how powerful yoga was in physically releasing emotional and physical tension stored in her body.  This began her journey to becoming a certified instructor.   Shireen did her 200hr teacher training at Yogaworks and then moved on to the 300hr program at Yogaworks mentoring under Toni Wilkey.  Her favorite style of teaching is a strong vinyasa flow with close attention to alignment.  She is a true believer in letting go of the “ego”, and encourages this by making her classes a fun and safe environment to try new things.  Having spent half of her life in the diversity and uniqueness of the Berkeley culture, and majoring in philosophy, she brings with her a curiosity and passion for understanding the essence of life underneath all the layers of the self.

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Laura Hovrath

Yoga Instructor

Having grown up in Huntington Beach, Laura has always been able to take advantage of outdoor as well as indoor activities. Sailing, ballet, gymnastics , backpacking and surfing has kept her busy throughout her youth.  As work demands became greater, weight training became a consistent and convenient physical outlet to maintain the strength necessary to compete in offshore sailing regattas. In 2010 Laura bought a Groupon with several friends and began taking yoga classes at CorePower. The vinyasa style of yoga offered a fluid flow along with the option to step-it-up with the more powerful strength moves.  Her family noticed a change in her that she didn’t think they could detect. Yoga revealed itself everywhere in her life. Besides improving the athletic aspects of life such as surfing (balance),sailing (strength) and backpacking (breath control /stamina), yoga provided an inner contentment, patience and bliss.  From the beginning she was hooked on the joy that yoga brought to her life and in 2012 she decided that she needed to share that joy with others. Laura received her 200Hr certification through CorePower, completed the extensions program and level 2 teacher training. “Yoga can open up a whole new world in which patience, strength and balance live in harmony.”  By teaching yoga Laura has been able to see that path open up for others and watch that joy blossom within their lives.

Laguna

Carrie Cowan

Yoga Instructor

Carrie grew up in Southern California, living a very active lifestyle, surfing, skiing,biking etc.  Wanting to experience a different lifestyle she moved to Kauai, Hawaii and started racing outriggers around the islands and surfing a lot.  Carrie was introduce to pilates for the strengthen and lengthening and adding grace to her movements.  Carrie is a BASI Cert.,PMA Cert Pilates instructor.  Again wanting a change she decided to try mountain living and moved to Colorado, where she taught pilates and was a ski instructor.   Carrie loves an adventure,  which led her into Ice Climbing and rock climbing.  Through all these changes an or adventures Carrie kept getting on her yoga mat,  it was her place of centering/balance and calming. Carrie loved her yoga practice she went to numerous yoga festivals / workshops etc.  Once Carrie decided to move back to California to be near family she enrolled in Yogaworks 200 hr Teacher Training, and onto the 300 Hr. and is now 500 RYT, and enrolled in Tiffany Cruikshank 1000 hrs.   Carrie loves a challenge, she loves giving her students challenges, Carrie believes that’s the place you discover the most about yourself when your on the edge of freaking out   Carrie truly believes if you begin to be able to handle these challenge on the mat with some kind of ease and calmness, that you will eventually be able to handle lives challenges off the mat with the same ease and calmness.
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