Link Neimark is a master at instilling confidence in people trying an outdoor activity that at first may seem beyond their ability or appetite for adventure. During fair-weather seasons, the Wisconsin native operates Rock Climb Montana and coaches water sports on Whitefish Lake. In the winter, he is one of the most requested ski and snowboard instructors at Whitefish Mountain Resort.

The unique combination has worked for the Whitefish resident, who earned bachelor’s degrees in both psychology and zoology and a master’s degree in oceanography. Neimark worked as a biologist for the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, but his desk job made him beeline for a career in outdoor education instead. “Outdoor physical activities is where I’m in my environment and get to work with people, helping them learn things and have more fun,” Neimark explains.

Skiing or boarding seems an easier sell than rock climbing in terms of scare factor, but Neimark is quick to dispel that myth. “If you can hike, you can climb,” he says, likening it to vertical hiking or walking up a staircase.

With Rock Climb Montana, the experience is not like an amusement park ride but instead a chance to learn the sport. First, clients learn how to fit and put on climbing gear, tie knots and belay (controlling the safety line). The next few hours of a half-day trip are spent climbing, with a variety of ropes available so people can improve skills as they get comfortable with the process and safety of the equipment.

Neimark takes climbers to Kila and Stryker, each approximately 30 minutes from Whitefish for half-day outings, while Koocanusa, near Eureka and the Canadian border, works well for full-day trips. All three locations allow groups with various skill levels and athletic ambition to climb near one another.

Rock climbing can be the ultimate teambuilding exercise for groups, he says: “There is a lot of analogy between climbing and what people are doing in the corporate world such as how to manage challenges and climbing one step at a time but making progress and suddenly reaching the summit.”

Not only does Neimark get to interact almost daily with Mother Nature’s gifts of snow, rocks and water, he relishes seeing clients achieve goals, conquer mountains and win.

Brady Johnson, a former member of the U.S. Ski Team, now balances time between C Lazy U Ranch, Destination Colorado, his family and the ski slopes. 

While most people retire just once in their lifetime, C Lazy U Ranch’s Brady Johnson wants to retire three or four times. 

“I think that’s the fun part about life. Find something new, chase a goal and accomplish it, and then find something even more fun and exciting that aligns with what you’re doing with your life at the time,” says Johnson. 

 

League City CVB manager Stephanie Polk shares her career journey.

Originally from Kentwood, Louisiana, Stephanie Polk, TDM, CTE, first made her mark on the travel and tourism industry as director of marketing for the Beaumont Convention & Visitors Bureau. There, she helped to elevate the city as a destination for recreation travelers and business groups. Wowed by her accomplishments, in 2020, League City brought her on board to lead its marketing efforts. She shares with us highlights and advice from her experience in the industry. 

 

Andrew Heidt has capitalized on opportunities to build a livelihood in thriving cities that bump up against the mountains.