The Adventure Center of Asheville is not only Asheville’s premier destination for outdoor adventures but also an incredibly fun and rewarding place to work. That is all due to our dedicated leadership team whose exemplary leadership and expertise are indisputable in the outdoor outfitter industry. Meet our team!
Managing owner, Jeff Greiner and his family have grown up in the outdoor adventure industry. In 1971 Jeff’s parents started the first whitewater rafting business (Wildwater, Ltd.) in the Southeast U.S. on the Chattooga River. That small family business has grown into one of the largest and most respected professional outfitters in the United States.
The Greiner’s have been involved in setting industry standards for the outdoor adventure industry for over 50 years including river and forest protection standards for outfitters. The family also helped form the eastern and then national professional outfitters association (America Outdoors Association) created to foster awareness, education, development, and growth management for professional guiding services on public and private lands across the country. Jeff served on the national Board of Directors of AOA for over 10 years.
Growing up on the Chattooga River and learning the family business, Jeff loved sharing the beauty and adventure of the outdoors with Wildwater guests. In 2006, being the President of Nantahala Gorge Canopy Tours, Wildwater Ltd.’s four zipline locations on the Nantahala, Ocoee, Chattooga, and Pigeon Rivers, Jeff had a dream to bring outdoor adventure to Asheville city limits in 2011. Under Jeff’s direction, ACA has grown from a few ziplines to a family adventure destination with many different activities and with over 250,000 visitors.
Jeff has over 25 years’ experience as a professional ropes, zipline, and aerial adventure guide, trainer, manager, and owner/operator. Jeff has been ACCT certified CCM (Challenge Course Manager) with a special emphasis on zipline operations and management.
Living in Asheville, Jeff and his wife, Sheena, have three children that love hiking, camping, paddling, skiing/boarding, and sharing anything related to the great outdoors.
Chad graduated from Augusta State University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology. After graduating from college he began his career in outdoor recreation and experiential education, working as a challenge course (“ropes course”) leader and facilitator on St. Simons Island, GA.
In 2001 he began working for a challenge course builder, Challenge Design Innovations, as a trainer, builder, and inspector. He spent several years traveling around the country inspecting zip lines and obstacle courses while also training team members to safely operate those courses.
In 2006, Chad became manager and eventually owner of the challenge course in St. Simons. The company, Peak Pursuits Inc. is an adventure-based team-building program provider. In February of 2015, he moved to Asheville to be closer to his family and pursued interests in outdoor recreation.
Chad has worked at ACA as a zipline ranger and trainer, team building facilitator, and currently as General Manager.
Chad chose ACA as his new home because of the family atmosphere and the wide variety of aerial and team building adventures offered. Asheville has proven to be the perfect place to feed his other passions such as hiking, camping, and bluegrass music.
Callie is originally from Georgia where she grew up regularly camping with her family and spending free time outside. Her undergraduate degree is in Outdoor Education from Young Harris College.
She has worked for over 10 years in a variety of different outdoor fields from being a Naturalist and Camp Director at Elachee Nature Center; a Customer Service Specialist at REI; and a Lead Instructor and Adventure Coordinator at Kanuga Conference Center.
Earning a Master’s Degree in Environmental Education from Montreat College, her thesis research was based on recreational tree climbing and the effects of youths’ affinity for nature.
Callie joined the Adventure Center of Asheville as part of the Guide Team and a team-building facilitator and now is Assistant General Manager, who wears many hats.
In the Fall of 2022, Callie completed the Association for Challenge Course Technology (ACCT) Challenge Course Manager Certification which is the highest level a practitioner in the field can receive. To receive the certification, practitioners must submit portfolios that outline a base requirement level of experience, attend comprehensive training, and pass a written and practical exam.
For 2022, Callie has been awarded one of the 2022 Adventure Park Insider’s Rising Stars in our industry. Based on her exemplary leadership through challenging times, she has “led with grace, humility, passion, and a whole lot of stoke for the outdoor adventure industry. In her article, one of her future goals is to combine environmental education with the adventure side which is a result of enjoying teaching science and creating fun adventure experiences that connect people to the natural world around them.
Linnea Van Manen
Linnea joined the team as a Treetops Adventure Park Ranger at the beginning of 2020 while finishing their Bachelor’s degree in Ecology and Field Biology at the University of North Carolina Asheville. Currently, they manage the Treetops Adventure Park and KidZip course at the Adventure Center of Asheville.
In the Fall of 2022, Linnea completed the Association for Challenge Course Technology (ACCT) Challenge Course Manager Certification which is the highest level a practitioner in the field can receive. To receive the certification, practitioners must submit portfolios that outline a base requirement level of experience, attend comprehensive training, and pass a written and practical exam.
In February 2023, Linnea attended the annual meeting of ACCT with other managers for continuing education in the field.
Linnea came to Asheville from Chapel Hill for undergrad after completing a thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail, where they developed a deep appreciation for the value of outdoor recreation as a personal development tool for people of all ages. In addition to environmental studies, Linnea participated in UNCA’s Outdoor Leadership Training Program, where they learned how to lead groups in climbing, kayaking, and backpacking, and how to facilitate team building. They have been working with children in many capacities for over a decade, starting in a nursery and working at camps, schools, and as an ultimate frisbee coach. Linnea believes that teaching people from all walks of life how to safely and respectfully enjoy the outdoors is the best way to move towards a more environmentally friendly society.
They are passionate about agriculture, ecology, social justice, and helping people experience and appreciate the outdoors. On a day off, you can find Linnea rock climbing, hiking, learning a new hobby or craft, or spending time with friends and family.
Lauren joined the Adventure Center of Asheville in 2020 in many roles, and now oversees The Summer Camp Program.
In 2022, Lauren’s dedication to the ACA Summer Camp Program led us to be accredited by the American Camp Association! Accreditation means that our camp cares enough to undergo a thorough (up to 290 standards) review of its operation — from staff qualifications and training to emergency management. While we have been dedicated to the health and safety of your campers for almost a decade, accreditation is a parent’s best evidence for a camp’s commitment.
Since joining ACA, Lauren has been able to attend the Association for Experiental Education, the Association for Challenge Course Technology, and the America Outdoors annual conference. Participating in continuing education in the field has inspired her to create a welcoming, educational, and fun-filled environment for all of the campers that she works with.
Lauren is from Virginia and grew up exploring her backyard and creeks as much as possible. Starting as a Counselor in Training for a Scouts BSA camp in 2008, she has been working at camps for over 12 years, serving as Camp Director for 4 of those years.
After earning her B.S. in Environmental Science from George Mason University and interning for the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute for Forest Ecology, Lauren wanted to merge her passion for the natural world with working with youth through outdoor education.
Lauren started as an Instructor at Mountain Trail Outdoor School in North Carolina, eventually serving as the Program Director. There she collaborated with school groups and teachers to develop goals and schedules for their students to ensure a positive outdoor learning experience. And when she was lucky, still got to teach about the wonderful world around us!
Moving to Western North Carolina has allowed Lauren to enjoy all her favorite things: backpacking, river floating, bluegrass music, and a great sense of community and connection.
Jordan is originally from California and made her way out to Asheville to pursue adventure and the outdoors in a new environment. After working as a Program Manager at an after-school computer coding organization, Jordan wanted a change. She wanted to pursue a career outdoors and found a job at The Adventure Center of Asheville.
She joined the team as an Office Assistant in February 2021. Soon after that, she cross-trained as a Treetops Adventure Park Guide, Zipline Guide, and Team Building Facilitator. She is now an Adventure Center of Asheville Lead Guide and enjoys working with all the different activities that we have to offer.
In the Fall of 2022, Jordan completed the Association for Challenge Course Technology (ACCT) Challenge Course Manager Certification, the highest level a practitioner in the field can receive. To receive the certification, practitioners must submit portfolios that outline a base requirement level of experience, attend comprehensive training, and pass a written and practical exam.
In the Winter of 2022, Jordan attended the America Outdoors Association Conference with her peers to learn more about the industry and how to make outdoor recreation more accessible for everyone.
Jordan is passionate about creating easy access to the outdoors for everyone and Diversity and Inclusion within the industry. When not working, Jordan can be found rock climbing, hiking with her wife and dog, camping, or playing board games with friends.
Dan has been a local of Asheville for over ten years. He first came to Western North Carolina after his dad retired from the air force and they all moved from Montana to the Asheville area. He attended and graduated from Asheville Buncombe Technical College with an Associate in Arts and the University of North Carolina at Asheville with a Bachelor’s Degree in Management.
While attending college, Dan was introduced to the outdoor industry by working for the YMCA at a summer camp for seven years. After his time with the YMCA was over he returned to Asheville and applied for a job at the Adventure Center of Asheville in March 2020.
Dan joined the team as a Guide, but because of his experience, he was quickly promoted to Lead Guide. Dan has also become cross-trained and is a trained Zipline Guide for the Asheville Canopy Tours at the Adventure Center of Asheville. During his time with the YMCA, Dan also facilitated team-building programs which he also does at the Adventure Center.
In the Winter of 2022, Dan attended the America Outdoors Association Annual Conference in Florida, with his fellow co-workers to learn more about the industry and how to make outdoor recreation accessible for everyone.
Dan is driven by his love for giving people memorable experiences and making sure everyone is having a fun and exciting time. When Dan is not working at the Adventure Center of Asheville he is either outside mountain biking in the wild or inside gaming and playing the latest video game that has been released.
Sarah joined the Adventure Center of Asheville in 2014 as the group sales coordinator. A native of Asheville, Sarah has worked in the tourism industry with hotels, attractions and as a marketing consultant in WNC for 27 years. Currently, at the Adventure Center of Asheville, Sarah books youth and adult groups in Asheville and for those who want a “wilderness” adventure at the Wildwater, Ltd. Pigeon and Nantahala River locations.
Groups include homeschool, scouts, school and church groups, corporate groups, family reunions, clubs and organizations, sports teams, camps, associations, tour groups and birthday parties. The Adventure Center of Asheville is the perfect place for teambuilding, experiential field trips, picnics or retreats, office outings, and just a great way to get outdoors in a challenging atmosphere. “Since we are locally and family owned and are open all year, we can accommodate almost any group and their “special occasion” with a truly “Asheville” adventure.”
Sarah also assists with the Marketing, Advertising, and Public Relations of ACA throughout the year.
Sarah spends time with her husband, two boys and dogs enjoying all the wonderful activities, culture, entertainment, and “foodtopian” options in Western North Carolina.
Sarah can be reached at email@example.com or 828.450.3400.
Recent Articles on Safety, Training, Awards, & Accreditation
Adventure Park Insider has named our own Assistant GM, Callie Murphy, as a 2022 Rising Star in our industry!
“Like so many Rising Stars this year, Callie Murphy—assistant general manager of the Adventure Center of Asheville (ACA)—found the first steps on her path to this career in the outdoors as a child.
I grew up on a farm in Georgia,” she says. “After school was all about playing in the fields and at the creek. It was an incredible way to grow up and built a need in me to be part of the outdoors.” When she headed to college, “I saw the outdoor education [major] and was like, ‘I can actually get a degree in this?’” Callie ended up securing a degree in Ecology and then topped it off with a master’s in environmental education—which she secured while working at Adventure Center of Asheville.
Association for Challenge Course Technology Challenge Course Manager Certification, 2022
In 2022 members of our management team and staff, Callie Murphy (Assistant General Manager), Linnea Van Manen (Asheville Treetops Adventure Park Manager), and Jordan Hisamoto (Lead Guide) attended training to receive their Challenge Course Manager (CCM) full certifications. This certification is the highest level a practitioner in the field can receive. The standards for the CCM were developed by the Association for Challenge Course Technology (ACCT), and the training was delivered by Challenge Towers, a Professional Vendor Member under ACCT. To receive the certification, practitioners must submit portfolios that outline a base requirement level of experience, attend comprehensive training, and pass a written and practical exam.
America Outdoors Association Annual Conference, Fall 2022
In November 2022, members of our leadership team from our Asheville Treetops Adventure Park and Education/Team Building programs attended the America Outdoors Association (AOA) conference in Orlando, Florida of which our company is a member. Also attending was our owner, Jeff Greiner, a former AOA Board Member for 10 years. Our Treetops Adventure Park Lead Guides, Jordan Hisamoto, Dan David, and Zoe Scott, and Youth Programs/Education Director, Lauren Brown, spent the week networking with other outdoor industry professionals and attending workshops geared toward supporting the longevity and success of the outdoor industry. And having a little fun at Harry Potter World!