Bea is the Executive Director of the North Carolina Outward Bound School (NCOBS) and the first female to serve in this post. She brings over 25 years of experience in senior nonprofit leadership and consulting roles to NCOBS. Bea’s career has been defined by her love of adventure, the outdoors, conservation, and working in different cultures. She started her career in experiential education as a wilderness guide working with youth at risk in the Grand Tetons in Jackson, Wyoming, and then went on to work for Pacific Crest Outward Bound School, headquartered in Oregon, as the Director of Admissions, an instructor, and a staff trainer. Bea then worked as an international guide in mainland China and Tibet, as a national and international nonprofit consultant, ran an endowed college foundation lecture series and served for twelve years in the environmental sector and water conservation business as the Director of Communications, Marketing, and Development at the Deschutes River Conservancy in Bend, Oregon. Before assuming the NCOBS Executive Director role, Bea served as the Director of Philanthropy at Hong Kong Academy and an Adjunct Professor in the Masters in Nonprofit Management Program at Hong Kong University. She holds an M.B.A. from the University of Oregon Charles Lundquist School of Business and a B.A. from Randolph-Macon Woman’s College. A native Southerner, Bea is thrilled to be back in her old stomping grounds exploring new and old areas with family, friends, and the NCOBS community.
What is your role at NCOBS?
I work with staff, the Board of Directors, and NCOBS Regional Advisory Boards to ensure we are a thriving nonprofit successfully accomplishing our mission to change lives through challenge and discovery.
What inspired you to work at NCOBS?
The people, programs, students, culture, and amazing NCOBS community. I have been involved with Outward Bound - in some capacity - for thirty years. It is an honor and extremely rewarding to work with mission driven teams and individuals to facilitate impactful, life changing experiences in the outdoors, communities, schools, organizations and companies. There are 40 Outward Bound schools worldwide and, no matter where you are in the world, the people associated with Outward Bound are incredibly inspiring.
Is there a pillar that resonates with you?
All four pillars – self-reliance, physical fitness, craftsmanship, and compassion – deeply resonate with me. Above all, compassion is the one I lean into the most. It has consistently been my experience that compassion opens the door to meaningful, authentic connections which are vital for wellbeing and community.
Are you an NCOBS alum? If yes, when/where did you do your course?
Yes! I did an eight-day backpacking and rock climbing course in Joshua Tree, California. It was an impactful experience and I later returned to instruct in that course area. It is one of my many favorite places on the planet.