People have been running since the beginning of time, and in 1908, people participated in the first marathon (with a distance of 26.2 miles) at the London Olympics. Since then, the racing industry has evolved. Around 1969 was the first run for a charity; their focus was to raise funds to fight against hunger in North Dakota. Our communities have come a long way since then, and there are races for charities all across the nation.
In 2012, our Founder and Board President, Salem Stanley, started Vacation Races. His vision was to create a half marathon (13.1 miles) series that inspired people to explore the beauty of America’s greatest treasures, the Nationals Parks! Early on, as the company began to grow, he realized that Vacation Races has a moral obligation to create positive impacts in the communities where the races are being held. In 2015, Vacation Races began raising money through the Charity Bib program to give more than just commerce back to these communities.
This grew organically, and in 2018, Wander Project was created to serve as a nonprofit leader in the racing industry. Our goal is to engage other endurance racing events and racers to support local communities through inspiring fundraising and service. With grassroots fundraising efforts through peer-to-peer fundraising, we have raised over $600,000 since our inception.
We look forward to expanding our race event partners, the number of athletes who participate in the Charity Bib program, as well as the impact we have with community organizations around the globe in 2020 and beyond!
Wander Project Board & Staff
Founder & President
Salem is a believer in real corporate responsibility, and that not every worthy pursuit should have a profit motive. Wander Project was born out of his desire for his company to be an asset to the communities in which it operates.
Salem has a bleeding heart and will try to help anytime someone asks. He loves supporting outdoor preservation, responsible entrepreneurship, and providing better opportunities for those born into less ideal financial situations.
Megan has worked with Vacation Races since its beginning. She loves the National Parks and running in the great outdoors. She is excited to help support the mission of Wander Project.
Steve has been organizing events for over a decade. After helping build the Ragnar Relay road series to a national scale, he started the Ragnar Trail series which has introduced more people to the beauty of trail running than any other group in the Western Hemisphere. He is proud of what he helped build at Ragnar, especially a strong focus on environmental sustainability. Since leaving Ragnar, Steve freelances for numerous events and feels lucky that “work” revolves around adventuring with friends and exploring beautiful places...and from time to time, dressing up in costumes. He is honored to help the Wander Project achieve its goals.
Jocelyn has worked in the nonprofit sector for more than 16 years, primarily in the public lands realm. Jocelyn began her nonprofit career working for Grand Teton National Park Foundation (GTNPF). Her current position is Director of Development for Public Lands Alliance.
When not at work, you can find Jocelyn enjoying the outdoors with her husband and 2 sons rafting, camping, skiing, fishing and hiking.
Jocelyn is passionate about public lands and is inspired by the mission of Wander Project and the power of philanthropy to help support important projects and programs that make a meaningful impact.
Rusten is the proud father of three children with his best friend and wife Karen. When he is not outside enjoying running, traveling, playing soccer and swimming, he is working at Family Search. He is a Strategy Leader there responsible for creating and executing the future vision for the Family History Library and the 5,000 Family Search Centers across the globe. Rusten is always discovering new ways to add value to his family, community, and the world around him. He looks forward to bringing his leadership, expertise and passion for creating a better world to the Wander Project Board of Directors.
Stanford is originally from Kayenta, Arizona on the Navajo Nation and has been trail running for the last 5 years. Stanford is passionate about volunteer work and giving back to his community especially Navajo Nation.
Stanford is currently a co-
owner of an engineering and project management company in Flagstaff, Arizona. He also sits on a few boards for other nonprofit organizations.
Stanford looks forward to helping Wander Project grow, with his leadership from his past involvement with various boards. He hopes to support the nonprofit by providing insight with his diverse background and his experience with outdoor activities.While not trail running, he likes to hike at National Parks.
Amy has worked in the nonprofit sector for the past 13 years. While her work has primarily been focused within the youth and education realm, she, like most people in the nonprofit sector, has worn almost every hat imaginable, including co-founder for an organization in 2014. Amy has also had the honor of presenting at TEDx Vail in 2016, sharing what she believes is the key to helping youth reach their full potential. Stepping into the role of Executive Director for another start-up organization, Amy is passionate about service to others and is extremely excited to help support the amazing mission of Wander Project.