Our Support Team

There isn’t anything our team can’t do–we’ll work until we get it right!  The folks below are responsible for keeping things together behind-the-scenes and work passionately to make our team & tours a little bit better everyday.

Jeff Pietka, OR General Manager

Born and raised in Portland, OR, when Jeff studied International Affairs and Geography in Washington, D.C. he had an eye on working in the foreign service – being a naturalist and tour leader was nowhere on his map. But upon graduation, his father asked: “So, what was the most important thing you learned back East?” And after a moment’s contemplation, he replied: “That I belong back West.” Travel became a central theme in Jeff’s life, and he learned quickly that a good guide can make or break a traveler’s experience. Inspired by his own travel experiences with guides both skilled and dubious, he started his interpretive guiding career in Southeast Alaska in 2004, and branched out year by year, working in the Pacific Northwest, then Mexico’s Baja Peninsula and British Columbia. Jeff is a National Association of Interpretation Certified Interpretive Guide, and learned from some of the best around as an Interpretive Ranger at Glacier Bay National Park in ’09 and ’10. After seven years guiding at all latitudes from 30 to 60 degrees North latitude, he returned to his roots in Portland – smack in the middle at 45 North – where he is prepared to put the places that are nearest and dearest to him on center stage and make them shine for you.

Danny grew up in Wisconsin where he studied Recreation Resource Management & Forest Science at the University of Wisconsin. He has served in the Forest Service as a wildland firefighter, lead big game hunters in Montana, guided multi-day river trips in the Desert Southwest, and worked as a sea kayaking guide in the Pacific Northwest. He’s now called Seattle home for eight years. For three unforgettable years, Danny guided tours for Evergreen Escapes in Washington!

Danny genuinely believes that travel and guiding are the only lines of work worth doing.  He loves utilizing his years of guiding experience, customer service, and homebrew web design skills to further Evergreen Escapes’ reach and storytelling. When he’s not at work, you can find Danny taking in a sunset on Alki Beach or wrestling his six-month-old son, Abe, into submission and into a backpack.

Danny Schneider, Director of Sales & Marketing
Eric Rupp, Director

A broad range of talents combined with an unwavering desire to explore have taken Eric all over the planet and resulted in a delightfully abstract resume.  Having recently completed a two year walk-about through Asia and South America, Eric can now add Director of a university to a list of vocations that includes missile propulsion design in California, bartending in Greece, stone construction in Spain, and designing landmark structures in Seattle, WA.  That same love of exploration has resulted in Eric leading trips everywhere from up the mountains and volcanoes of Washington and Oregon, to grand kayaking adventures in the US and Canada.   A lover of the outdoors, from deserts to rainforests, one of the few things Eric loves more than biking, hiking, paddling and climbing is sharing it all with others.

Kenzi Lacey, WA Ops Manager

Kenzi Lacey pretty much keeps the whole place together.  You’ll find her busily making sure things are on track at our Washington basecamp; she’s so focused that it might be a little bit before she has a bio.

She’s the newest member of our team, but she’s already keeping us all on our toes!

A Pacific Northwest native, Jake is the Founder of Evergreen Escapes, which he started in 2006. Jake graduated from Southern Oregon University with a degree in Hospitality & Tourism Management and was recognized by the Puget Sound Business Journal as a ‘Top 40 Under 40 Business Leader in 2014.’ He has a penchant for innovation, tenacious ambition, unquenchable entrepreneurial spirit, and genuine personality. An avid outdoorsman and a responsible and active traveler, Jake has turned his passion for the transformational power of travel into his life’s work. Even his closest friends cannot decipher when he is working or playing.

Jake Haupert, Founder & Owner