“Let yourself be silently drawn by the stronger pull of what you love. Come, be drawn by your True North.”
– Rumi –
I have to say 2016 was a year that challenged me on so many levels that I didn’t even knew existed. I spent a good portion of the year weathering the blows that life dished out. At one point, I really didn’t know what else could happen. It just seemed like every week, there was one thing after another – with no escape.
But I did have an escape.
This year reminded me that my true north and best self can always be found in the mountains.
I found strength and perseverance by getting outside, connecting with the trail, and leaving any concerns at the trailhead.
I am truly honored to have a career in the outdoor industry and have the opportunity to connect with so many amazing individuals.
With that said, here is Ladyhawk’s 2016 and looking forward to connecting with all of you in the year to come.
102,398 – Miles flown on United Airlines
This is not one of my highlights of the year, but it for sure was one of my realities. In August of the year, I was promoted to National Account Manager for the Marmot brand. With this promotion, meant more travel to visit our key partners in North America. At one point this year, I was on a first name basis with the flight crew from Chicago to San Francisco.
I can’t really complain, since I will be using my saved up miles to skiing in Japan for two weeks next month!
8,000 Meter Challenge
What did I get myself into? This past September, I competed in the 8000 meter challenge, sponsored
by Jansport. An exclusive hiking / trail running event for outdoor industry retail staff and brand representatives. Where participants climb the three tallest peaks in Southern California in 24 hours, for a total elevation gain of 8,000 meters and trail distance close to 42 miles. It was an amazing event and you can read more about Ladyhawk’s experience here.
26.2 miles – Marine Corps Marathon
This year we celebrated #9 Alive Day for my brother, Major Andrew Tong. I feel very blessed that he survived the explosion and continues to serve his community and be an impactful leader.
In October, I competed with AJ and his friend Matt in the Marine Corps Marathon in Washington DC and will be a marathon that I will never forget.
Prior to race weekend, I asked friends and family via my blog and social media to consider donating to the Semper Fi Fund. The nonprofit assists over 16,000 veterans and their families in their recovery and transition back into their communities. With the support of many of you, I raised over a $1000 for this cause and I am incredibly grateful for everyone’s continued support of my family and other wounded veterans.
25 years – Since the last Temple of the Dog tour
I am weird.
Mentally, I archive hundreds of songs that I would call my “life soundtrack”. Having grown up in Seattle in the 1990’s, there are multiple bands that fueled my adolescents and Temple of the Dog would be at the forefront.
Temple of the Dog consisted of members of Soundgarden and Pearl Jam who weren’t really well known when they started the project and when the album debut in 1991. The album was didn’t really hit, until both Soundgarden and Pearl Jam destroyed the music charts with their first LP’s in 1992.
As soon as the toured was announced, I put my name in for tickets through the Pearl Jam fan club and I got them. Despite a busy work travel schedule, I was able to squeeze two shows in – San Francisco and Los Angeles.
I am that girl that gets to the show 8 hours before the doors open, so that I can wait in line and run to the front of the stage.
I am that girl that will sit in line and talk for hours with fellow fans on past shows and plans for the next tour.
I am that girl that makes no apologies for singing every word of every song they played.
Hands down, THE highlights of the year.
16th Annual North Bay Business Journal: Top Women in Business Awards
Honored to have been nominated and selected by the North Bay Business Journal’s Women in Business Award. There were over 52 women were nominated and 25 winners were selected based on leadership roles, vision, and community involvement.
The North Bay Business Journal serves Marin, Napa, and Sonoma County and is committed to empowering and highlighting women in the business community.
This by far will be one of the highlights in my career and you can read the full details on the Gala here.
12 years with Dolly
There isn’t a single day that goes by that I don’t think about and miss my Dolly girl. It is a pain and a piece of my heart that constantly hurts. It has been six months since she past and it hasn’t gotten any easier.
When I got her ashes, I made the decision to spread them on every trail, peak, river, and mountain that I went to. Every time I go ski in the backcountry, ride my mountain bike, hike, or camp – I bring a part of her with me.
I look back at the past twelve years with her and they were nothing short of amazing. I was lucky to have one of the most beautiful souls fill my life with joy, happiness, and unconditional love. I am forever indebted to my Dolly girl.
4 – #iamladyhawk featured
The inspiration for #iamladyhawk is to feature woman that I have met over the years that are crushing the outdoor and active lifestyle industry. These women are putting their passion first, authentically, and without any apologies along the way.
You all are truly amazing women!
2nd Cohort – Skip Yowell Future Leadership Academy
Honored to have been selected out of a pool of over 200 applicants for the 2nd annual OIA, Future Leadership Academy. The program is a six-month program to prepare, unite and amplify the voice of future outdoor industry leaders.
I am thrilled to meet my mentor and cohort for this program at Outdoor Retailer Winter Market next week. I will be updating the blog after our retreats, to give future applicants more insight to the program. Again, it is an honor to have been selected to be a part of this amazing opportunity.
1 – Promotion
In August of this year, I was promoted to National Account Manager for Marmot Mountain. I joined the Marmot sales team over three ago and have been promoted each year. I have been able to gain new skills, develop partnerships, grow distribution channels, and execute sales strategies with key retail partners.
Marmot celebrates its 43rd year of being the industry leader in developing the highest quality technical equipment and apparel for the outdoor enthusiast. Proud to be leading the Marmot sales team and partnering with some of the most respected retailers in North America.
It has been a year that I will never forget, filled with many highs and lows. One thing is for sure, I couldn’t be on this journey without my amazing husband, family, friends, and industry colleagues. You have all made a difference in my life – especially in 2016.
See you at the trailhead!