Team

A Letter from our Founder


My life is a result of adventure. All of my days have been rooted in and shaped by the call of wild places. Chasing the sun through snow-capped peaks; kayaking untamed rivers; tracking animals through the high country; skiing untouched mountain slopes; and sitting just beyond the break at sunset — these are the spaces and places that are integral to my being.

I’ve been lead to the best places and met the best people through this type of adventure and wandering. I’ve seen how the power of these experiences is rooted deep in our DNA. We lead more intentional lives full of purpose, passion and drive. We learn about ourselves and the world beyond us. Adventure creates the stories we tell that come to define us. It makes us better. It heals us.

I’ve been incredibly fortunate in my pursuit of adventure, and I’ve met some extraordinary folks along the way. And I think all of that is well worth sharing. It’s why I created Stoke Broker. We provide pinnacle, ultra-customized, unmatched adventure experiences built specifically for you, and deliver them to your doorstep so that all you have to do is say “yes” and the rest…. well, the rest is where it all begins.

See you out there,

 

Brad Ludden

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Tom Barry

Head of Operations

Bio

Tom grew up on Long Island, NY about an hour outside of Manhattan- An unlikely setting for adventure. As a teenager, he was introduced to skiing, kayaking, and other mountain sports He immediately began planning trips with friends to get him off Long Island and into the mountains more often. 20 years later not much has changed. Tom splits his time between Crested Butte and Grand Junction Colorado. Many vacations are launched from his 2008 self-built Sprinter Van which has explored mountain towns, powder stashes, and rivers in 37 states and across the powder highway in British Columbia.

Stoke Moment:

I have been fortunate to plan many amazing adventures for close friends and family. The peak “Stoke Moment” for me is always introducing people I care about to a new place, and sharing in their peak happiness through adventure. For me, adventures have always been more about the shared experiences and companionship. When the stars align and you get 18″of fresh powder, or perfect weather for an entire 21-day Grand Canyon trip, those moments are celebrated just as much as the less-than-ideal conditions where you come back with a good story. I am always chasing the next great story but I won’t turn down the pow days!

Lindsey Woodcock

Head of Adventure Design & Experience

Bio

Lindsey grew up in the mountains of Sun Valley, ID and from an early age embraced her adventurous spirit and appreciation for the outdoors.  Whether camping in snow caves, hiking coastlines or simply exploring her own, now Tahoe, backyard, Lindsey’s zest for new experiences has led her around the world in search of wild adventures and cultural connections.

With 10 years of experience in the travel industry, Lindsey brings along her curiosity, an open mind and eagerness to push her limits to every adventure. Lindsey passion for trekking, yoga and wellness, hiking and cultures is what guides her daily and professional life, but that doesn’t hold her back from trying any and all new things as part of the Stoke Broker team. As Maya Angelou so perfectly phrased it “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

Stoke Moment:

A birthday surprise found me sitting in the passenger seat pulling up to the Skydive Truckee Tahoe Center with eyes wide open and my heart rate rising.  I have always been down for a good adventure and the element of surprise re-created that childlike excitement of trying something new and exhilarating. Without hesitation I strapped in, high-fived and rolled head first into the most incredible views of Lake Tahoe and the surrounding wilderness I am so lucky to call home.  I will never forget, but often try to replicate, the feeling of letting go of control, embracing the moment and having a heck of an experience doing it all (cue Bette Midler “Wind Beneath my Wings”).

Kitt Doucette

Lead Adventure Artist

Bio

Kitt’s personal history pulls from all facets. He was born in Wisconsin, raised in the mountains of Idaho, and studied Spanish and international relations on the beaches of Santa Barbara. He began traveling early on, mostly with the family and the Sun Valley Ski Team, before landing a gig as a safety kayaker on the Payette and Salmon rivers in Idaho, and then the jungle rivers and beaches of Ecuador. It was on a cross-continental road trip from Alaska to South America that Kitt sold his first adventure travel story to a national magazine. He’s been relying on the written word to take him all over the world ever since. As an adventure travel journalist and contributing editor for 15 years, he’s filled three passports chasing waves, snow, adventure, interesting people, and new experiences, searching for those moments that make him and the world feel big and small at the same time.

Stoke Moment:

“Growing up in Wisconsin, my dad made us a badass 300-yard long sled run down a big hill in our backyard. It started in a steep, narrow chute that would rocket you around a bank, drop quickly again, and then send you flying out into the marshland below. After 30 years of a very stoke-filled life, that moment always rings as true as they come — eyes wide, hair blown back, careening down a homemade sled run, laughing hysterically each time the sled stopped, then running back up the hill to do it again.”

Ray Shedd

Head of Partnerships & Impact

Bio

Ray grew up adventuring in the mountains of New England. He spent his summers kayaking and surfing the coast of Maine and winters skiing the slopes of Vermont and New Hampshire. Ray has always believed that adventure is nourishment, and that we all benefit from more time spent in wild places. His belief in the healing power of adventure led him to First Descents, where he serves as the organization’s Director of Advancement. Ray is an avid mountain biker, skier, surfer, bow-hunter, and novice whitewater kayaker. Ray is passionate about building relationships with people, companies, and organizations who seek adventure.

Stoke Moment:

“My time on First Descents’ programs always standout among the many adventures I’ve experienced. I recall paddling the famed Tumbleweed and Fang rapids on the Clark Fork River in Montana with an inspiring group of young adult cancer survivors. Each participant made their own “first descent” of these rapids before circling their boats together in an eddy flower formation. The level stoke – and healing – was profound.”

Brad Ludden

Founder

Bio

Brad was born at the base of the Big Horn Mountains in Wyoming, and raised in the Rockies of Northwestern Montana. His days have always been spent outside — through all four seasons, across continents, and on some of the world’s most remote rivers, charting unexplored territory. It is in the heart of the wild, natural moment that Brad comes alive, a draw that led him to start Stoke Broker. An avid pilot, skier, outdoorsman, and whitewater kayaker, Brad sees the stoke from every angle, and most enjoys watching the sun rise and set in places where he feels small and insignificant against the backdrop of extraordinary adventure. He is a former professional whitewater kayaker, and the founder of First Descents, a nonprofit organization that provides free, life-changing outdoor adventures to young adults impacted by cancer.

Stoke Moment:

“Harvesting my first bull elk with my bow on public land, deep in the wilderness on a three-day solo hunt. It required every ounce of physical and emotional energy I had — tracking the bull to his final resting place, and the overwhelming feelings of sadness and gratitude that came over me when I did. It was my coming of age; my full integration into my natural surroundings.”

Ryan O’Donoghue

CEO

Bio

Ryan’s love of the outdoors was influenced by his family at a young age. A beautiful metroparks system in his hometown of Cleveland, OH served as his gateway into meaningful time spent in the natural world. Ryan attended Georgetown University, where he was captain of the football team, an Academic All-American, and where he holds a BSBA in Finance & Technology Management. After graduating, Ryan and his brother Colin set off on a 3-month road trip where they visited over 20 national parks throughout the U.S.. Their experience led to a greater understanding and appreciation for nature, and the unlimited potential of adventure. In the years to follow, Colin was diagnosed with Stage IV cancer. Sadly, cancer claimed Colin’s life in August of 2005. This life experience eventually led Ryan to his role as CEO at First Descents and Stoke Broker, where he now combines his love of the outdoors with a passion for helping those coping with serious health conditions.

Stoke Moment:

“When Colin and I took to the road in 2001, we had very little experience navigating the backcountry. We struggled to make a fire that would last more than 20 minutes, let alone keep us warm! In time and with a bit of experience, we were much more self-sufficient. Henceforth we set a goal to light one-match fires. Our first one-match fire is without question my STOKE moment… it forever serves as a reminder to embrace new experiences with a beginners mindset.”

Adam Schuster

Head of Finance & Administration

Bio

Adam grew up in the Chicago suburbs and quickly developed a strong desire for adventure. At first adventure meant heading down the street to explore the neighborhood creek. It graduated to road trips with a paper map, a tent with a broken pole or two, and no plan (and most likely a case of crappy beer). Eventually his sense of adventure led him to Africa where he spent time volunteering and working in Malawi and Uganda. Adam now loves to get outside in the mountains of his home state of Colorado. He is the Director of Finance & Operations at First Descents and COO at Stoke Broker. These organizations bring together his passions for the outdoors and community building.

Stoke Moment:

“While living in Malawi after college, I would often get around the country by hitchhiking. I have this distinct memory of sitting in the back of a pickup truck driving down the coast of Lake Malawi with the intense African sun hitting my smiling face. I didn’t have a care or stress in the world and felt totally free. It was a moment that was intensely pure.”

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