The Guide Life: Behind the Thrills with Michael Schwitek Remember we said we’d be giving you a sneak-peak into the lives of our employees? We weren’t kidding. Here’s another employee highlight for your enjoyment and we’re pretty sure you’re going to love this guy! After 16 years in the amusement park industry, Michael Schwitek has come on board our team as our new Director of Operations. He’ll be overseeing, well…basically all of our operations! From Zipline to Adventure Park, from Rafting to Bus Transports, from our Outdoor Adventure Camp to maintenance, this is the guy who will handle it all. After you read his story, you’ll understand why we are so excited that he’s joining us! Interview with Michael Schwitek Question: How long have you been with River Riders? Answer: “1 month” We’re excited to have you, Michael, and looking forward to some fresh perspective! Question: How did you get into the guiding/adventure related industry? Answer: “I began working at Cedar Point for a summer job during college because I had always had a strong love of amusement parks and Cedar Point was the biggest park around.” Question: What’s the first memory you have of an adrenaline rush when you were a child? Answer: “Riding my first upside down roller coaster at Opryland Theme Park when I was 7 years old” We’re catching a theme…this guy likes speed and adrenaline! Question: What’s the absolute craziest thing you’ve ever done? Answer: “Got rid of my house and car and hiked the Appalachian Trail solo while living out of my backpack.” Okay, respect, dude…nothing but respect. Question: What would you say to someone that wants adventure but doesn’t know how to make the time for it? Answer: “Don't talk about it, Be about it. There is always time if you make it a priority.” Wow, good stuff…can we quote you on that? Oh, wait, we already did. Question: What did you have for breakfast this morning? Answer: “Apples” Hmmm, filling Question: How do you relax? Answer: “I take a walk in the woods” You’ve come to the right place for that. Question: What’s an adventure or destination on your bucket list? Answer: “To visit Asia and ride some of the biggest roller coasters over there! Awesome! You’ll have to come back with some adventure tips for us! As you can see, Michael is going to be an inspiring addition to the River Riders team with his extensive background in the amusement park industry and his full-throttle love for adventure! We can’t wait to see what he brings to River Riders. When you see him around this season, make sure to say hello! Update on previous employee highlight: We now have a blog option built onto our website! This is coming along with some great new changes we’ve been making to our navigation. In case you missed last month’s Employee Highlight because of restricted Tumblr access, we’ve added that to our blog as well. Don’t miss it…it’s about our CEO, Matt Knott!
The Guide Life: Behind the Thrills with Matt Knott Do you ever just wonder what it’s like in someone else’s world? Each month, we’ll be giving you a mini peek into the quirky and intriguing side of our employees (or in the case of today’s highlight…our CEO!). River Riders' CEO Shares about Adventure We asked Matt Knott, president and CEO of River Riders, a few fun questions about his journey in the adventure industry. While Matt started his adventure journey as a river guide, since he’s been CEO and president of the growing company, his time is spent less ‘in the middle of adventure’ and more ‘in the middle of the business’. But he still loves the thrill of running such an exciting company and makes sure he finds time to foster his own love for adventure! Enjoy his answers below. Oh, and check out “How do you relax?” Pretty epic way to relax! Question: How long have you been with River Riders? Answer: “24 years” Question: How did you get into the guiding/adventure related industry? Answer: “My older brother and several friends were raft guides. A friend of mine suggested we respond to an ad in the paper, but it was for Blue Ridge Outfitters. We went to River Riders on accident and loved it. The first time I went rafting that day, I knew it was what I wanted to do.” We’d say that ended up being a pretty fortuitous accident! Question: What’s the first memory you have of an adrenaline rush when you were a child? Answer: “My dad’s cousin, who worked on our farm, told me that when I was 3 years old, they couldn’t find me one day. They finally found me standing in the middle of the barnyard with the cows in a major thunderstorm looking up at the sky!” Question: What’s the absolute craziest thing you’ve ever done? Answer: “Quitting my job at State Farm and buying River Riders” We’re glad you did! Question: What would you say to someone that wants adventure but doesn’t know how to make the time for it? Answer: “You can’t afford not to do it. The only way to really find yourself is to get out of your comfort zone and explore nature.” Question: Most awkward moment on the river…go… Answer: “As a guide, once, I fell out of the raft and landed on my head on a rock, then I had to swim back to the raft in excruciating neck pain and have my guests help me back in the raft because it hurt so much. I finished the run, though!” Yes, awkward. But rather ‘boss’ that you finished! Question: What did you have for breakfast this morning? Answer: “Cranberry oatmeal” So healthy! Nice. Question: How do you relax? Answer: “Fly airplanes” So…can we expect that as the next added adventure at River Riders?! Question: What’s an adventure or destination on your bucket list? Answer: “I love travelling with my family. I still have hundreds of places I want to go. The one I always talk about, though, is running the Grand Canyon.” Ooh, can we come?! Thanks, Matt, for sharing a little about yourself and for continuing to provide great experiences for all of us seeking adventure! To see more of our other employees, visit Riverriders.com. Look for more employee highlights in the months to come.
Nothing builds character, confidence and friendship like our action-packed, fun and unique summer camp program. River Riders Outdoor Adventure Camp located in Harpers Ferry, WV provides weekly sessions all summer long to give your kids the ultimate outdoor adventure experience. Register today at: www.outdooradventurecamp.com