Van Eaton

Executive Director

About Rich

Rich brings over 25 years of leadership experience across diverse environments including startups, corporations, global business, and nonprofits to his role at Wilderness Trek. His journey is fueled by a deep passion for causes that empower young people and foster encounters with a loving God to bring about eternal transformation.

Born and raised in Tennessee, Rich’s affinity for the outdoors was kindled early eventually leading him to Colorado in 1994 where he began as a guide with Wilderness Trek. It was there that he not only found a heart for outdoor ministry, but also met his wife Lynette, from Alaska, who shared his passion for the outdoors and ministry.

Rich’s professional trajectory includes co-founding a tech software company which grew to #1 in its’ industry and 14 years with Compassion International, a leading global nonprofit, where he held a leadership role during the period of greatest growth for the ministry. He served on the Board of Wilderness Trek from 2006-2015, including 7 years as president, and currently serves on the Engineering Advisory Board at Westmont College in Santa Barbara, CA.

His academic foundation includes undergraduate studies in Biology at Harding University, Executive training from Harvard University, and Global Business from Georgetown University.

Unable to resist the allure of both mountains and ocean, Rich and Lynette divide their time between Colorado and Florida. They love spending time with their family, son Alec and daughter-in-law Allie in Nashville, TN and daughter Abby in Colorado Springs, CO.

For nearly three decades, Rich has seen both the legacy work of the past and the visionary work for Trek’s future align and is honored to play a role in facilitating even more God encounters in the grandeur and majesty of His creation.