Open Doors Outdoors
Opening doors of hearts, minds and bodies in the outdoors!
The Outdoors are healing and restoring lives
Time outdoors changes people’s nervous systems,” says UC Berkeley psychology professor Dacher Keltner, “It is as effective as any PTSD intervention we have.”
“We hope to make public lands part of a common healthcare prescription,” Stacy Bare, Sierra Club Outdoors director.
“We found that nature decreases the trauma response, improves cognitive function, and promotes healing,” Razani says. “Our study showed that park visits increase resilience in children. It doesn’t take away the adversity in their lives but it buffers stress. Hormones, blood pressure, and heart rate normalize in nature.” Nooshin Razani is a pediatrician and director of the Center for Nature and Health at Children’s Hospital Oakland in California.
How Can You Help?
Board of Directors
Code name: Tax Man
Father of 5 and committed to his community. Brenden is a Tax Partner at Whittlesey and loves spending time outdoors with his wife and kids. His financial expertise and commitment to helping others will take ODO and it's participants into adventures for many years to come!
Advocacy / Vice Chairman
Code Name: Ray Man
Father of two wonderful girls and husband to the incomparable Carolyn, Ray is a long-time hiker, runner and triathlete with a passion for travel, the outdoors and the environment. Ray’s day job is Senior Vice President for external affairs at Clearway Energy Group, one of the largest renewable energy companies in the United States, where he is responsible for public policy and advocacy. When Ray is not working or running, he’s usually traveling with his family.
Codename: Mr. Prepared
Al is currently a Lieutenant Colonel in the ArmyNational Guard. He serves as the Preventive Medicine Officer, keeping his troops safe in all environments and combat ready. He has faithfully served our country for 27 years and "absolutely enjoys helping his military comrades." Al works full time as a Quality Assurance Supervisor with Defense Contract Management Agency. He is a family man with a lovely wife and two very energetic children. His favorite family time is spent outdoors playing sports and family golf.
Team Welfare / Secretary
Codename: The Chaplain
Jessica is proudly currently serving as a Master Sargent in the 103 AW CT Air National Guard. She was deployed overseas as the Superintendent of Chapel Operations for the 103 AW United Arab Emirates in 2017. She loves her husband Jerry, being a mom, serving her church and managing her coffee shop in Glastonbury, Connecticut named "A Cup of Joy Coffee and Tea". She also enjoys hiking and traveling with her family!
Activities and Fitness
Code Name: Fit Man
Matt is a proud father of 2 and resides in Glastonbury CT with his wife Megan. He owns mission FITNESS where the goal is to help each member find their path to their best self. Through commitment, hard work, consistency, healthy lifestyle and a motivating support system all of us can achieve whatever we set our minds to. He recently did 3144 pull-ups in 12 hours to raise money for Veterans.
Accounting / Treasurer
Code Name: Money Man
As a manager at Bloom Shapiro, Ernie has over 20 years of professional experience in the non-profit sector, including reviewing and preparing financial statements; preparing budgets and forecasts; grant reporting; and developing financial policies and procedures.
Ernie is passionate about all things fitness and outdoor related. He'd also be lost without his wife and best friend, Dawn.
Founder / Chairman
Served proudly in the United States Marine Corps and worked as a Mortgage Banker for 12 years. A father of 3 amazing children and an ultra runner. Davey has run across the entire state of Connecticut in 41 hours, completed the Tahoe 200 Mile Endurance Run, multiple other 50 to 100 mile foot races and has accumulated over a 1000 miles on the Appalachian Trail (AT). His passions are his faith, family and sharing the outdoor life! Wilderness First Aid Certified (WFA)
Matt is a Combat Veteran having served in Afghanistan and is passionate about helping Veterans. Loves training and running ultra marathons with his wife and being in the outdoors!
Amy is an educator in the endurance word and within the public school system. As a teacher with her Master's in Education and as a multi-sport coach, she loves helping others pursue their dreams, embracing the learning process.
We’re proud to have Air Force Field Combat Communications Veteran Jesse on board as an ODO volunteer. He served in Afghanistan in 09, 11-12, puts family first and loves all things outdoors!
Cindy is a Speech Pathologist and has been hiking since she was a kid and has conquered mountains all across New York, California, Oregon and Washington. She lives in Glastonbury with her husband and 4 kids. Loves hiking because the mountains feel like "home" no matter where they stand!
Mark was the superintendent at Hartford Detention Center with the Judicial Department. He retired after 21 years with the State of Connecticut and now sells personal and business insurance. He lives in Glastonbury with his wife Tina and three children. He enjoys hiking with the family and playing golf with friends.
Keith is a Air Force and Army Veteran that bravely served in Bosnia. He is passionate about being a dad, helping Veterans and hiking the Green Mountains of Vermont!
Emotional Support Animal (ESA)
Kona Lee is a gentle Labrador Retriever that will be present at any adventure will she will be helpful to all participants!
ODO Corporate Supporters
We build homes based on QUALITY and HONESTY, but the the most Important thing we build is RELATIONSHIPS.
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