The Team

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Jeff Pedersen – CEO

In 1982, Jeff and a college roommate taught themselves to climb in Rock Canyon in Provo after purchasing a copy of Royal Robbins’ Basic Rockcraft to guide them. During these early climbing years, Jeff completed his bachelor’s degree in Engineering Geology. He then proceeded directly to what he calls, "the graduate school of new rock climbs,” making many first ascents on the steep cliffs of American Fork Canyon, the Virgin River Gorge, Logan Canyon and Maple Canyon. From pioneering American sport climbing, to opening Provo’s first gear shop and later co-founding Momentum in 2006, Jeff has played a significant role in the evolution of climbing for over 25 years.

“I am fortunate to be a part of Momentum, working with a team of like-minded climbers sharing the beauty, excitement and reward of climbing with new generations," says Jeff.

In addition to leading Momentum’s expansion, Jeff serves on USA Climbing's board of directors, hikes regularly in the Wasatch backcountry, and enjoys time with his family at home and in the outdoors.

Nathan Maughan – CFO

Nathan has been involved with climbing since 2000, when he helped Jeff Pedersen start The Quarry, a climbing gym in Provo. Shortly after, he received his MBA from the University of Chicago in 2005 and returned home to run a family enterprise in Washington State.

In 2015, Nathan was passing through with his family after a Marathon and reconnected with Jeff. As if it was fate, Momentum had just opened up a position for CFO and the two began working together again. Nathan hopes to support Momentum’s future growth and help it become the most successful climbing brand in the nation.

“We intend to be a dominant force in the climbing industry and the company itself has a tremendous future and a lot of potential,” says Nathan. “People contact us every week wanting us to put a gym here or put a gym there...It’s an exciting time for Momentum because there is an opportunity to have ideas, work through them and see them take fruition.”

While Nathan only dabbles in climbing, he has been an outdoorsman since his younger days in the cattle industry and gets out on a variety of adventures with his family as a local scout master and when competing in Ironman races.

Nicole Brandt – Youth Programs Director

In 2012, Nicole started as the director of summer camps before pursuing a position with Black Diamond as Receiving Dock Supervisor. Since returning as the Youth Program’s Director in 2013, she has elevated Momentum’s youth programs to a new level, making Momentum’s Youth Programs amongst the largest and most comprehensive in the nation.

Having gone to school for Outdoor Recreation, Nicole describes being the director of Youth Programs as a dream job. She has been in facilitation roles since her first job on a ropes course at age twelve. She has also held roles as a summer camp counselor, high ropes course director, trip manager and corporate team building facilitator.

“My goal in youth programs is to create a path for kids who have never climbed before to enjoy the sport at the level they desire- from purely recreational all the way - hopefully - to the Olympics one day,” says Nicole. “I also want to make a program that attracts passionate climbers from the community to share their experience with the next generation of climbers.”

Nicole pursues the more adventurous side of rock climbing with multiple ascents of the Grand Teton and numerous peaks in the Wasatch and in the Pacific Northwest. When she is not climbing, she spends time on her other passions of skiing, yoga and cooking.
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Noah Bigwood – VP of Development and Construction

Noah took to the mountains and cliffs in 1976 and has pursued climbing passionately ever since. In addition to a variety of international trips and competitions, he founded a successful climbing guide service in Moab, UT in 2001. During this time, he received his bachelor's degree in philosophy from Colorado College and worked his way from laborer to carpenter, then from foreman to general contractor for more than twenty-five years.

In 2011, Noah was thrilled to have an opportunity to put his extensive background in guiding, coaching and professional climbing to work as a coach of Momentum’s youth team. Within such a comprehensive team program, Noah’s skills could be applied and passed on to many remarkable young athletes.

Today Noah directs all real estate acquisition and construction activities for Momentum, but he sees his role and goals as further reaching. “I intend to help Momentum lead climbing into its next stage of maturity as a sport and to develop Momentum’s gyms into the places that climbing communities call home,” explains Noah. “The only passion in my life which overshadows climbing for me is my family. I love camping, biking and playing with my children and yes…climbing too.”

Steven Jeffery – Routesetting Director

Steven began climbing at age 9 and quickly became one of the nation’s top competitive climbers. He pushed indoor and outdoor standards throughout the 90s both at home and abroad. Many of today’s top climbers have competed against Steven or have aspired to one day climb like him.

Climbing since well before gyms were commonplace, Steven began setting in the Salt Lake area when gyms started opening in the early 90s. His first setting gig was for Rockreation at age 15, and years later he is still perfecting his craft today. Steven started setting at Momentum Sandy in 2007 and is currently Momentum’s head route setter.

Steven hopes to help develop the nation’s best route setting program and to elevate the profession of setting to the highest standard. He believes the best climbing gyms will not only have amazing facilities but the best team of setters who can provide quality movement across a variety of disciplines and styles for all levels of climbers.

“The future of gym climbing is going to be like fine dining,” says Steven. “You can have this really nice restaurant with ambiance, but if you don’t have the proper chefs with the right ingredients you won’t have good food. Route setters are the chefs at gym and I would like to see those amazing gyms also have the best setting in the industry.”

When he isn’t setting or climbing, Steven spends a lot of his free time outside. He enjoys hiking, exploring and especially fishing amongst many of the boulders he learned on and developed. Steven is in the process of finishing up a comprehensive Joe’s Valley bouldering guide and had a large role organizing the first ever Joe’s Valley Bouldering Festival fall 2015.

Nancy Feagin – Controller

From the Himalayas to the Salt Lake’s Wasatch Range, Nancy has been influential in a variety of climbing disciplines for over 30 years. She was the 11th American woman to summit Everest, the first woman to climb both El Capitan and Half Dome in a single day and has put up first ascents throughout the world.

With her extensive climbing background and a MBA from the University of Utah, it is no surprise that she found herself as the accountant for Momentum Sandy in 2007. Since then, she has worked in a variety of financial roles including her current position as “The Controller.” Nancy says the key is “balance,” whether it is budgeting and financial planning for Momentum’s expansion or continuing to work, climb and spend time with her family.

“I do my best to find a balance in everything that I do. In the financial world at Momentum, I'm constantly trying to balance the financial needs of the customers, employees and the business itself,” explains Nancy. “In my personal life I must also find balance between work, play and family obligations.”

Nancy says she feels fortunate that she can work within the climbing industry for such a great company and is excited to be a part of Momentum’s future. When Nancy isn’t climbing or working at Momentum, she can be found spending time with her family skiing and mountain biking.

Brendan Nicholson – Experiential Design Leader

Brendan Nicholson joined Momentum as a route setter in 2008 as a means to facilitate his love of sport climbing; he's been fortunate enough to mix his passion with work ever since.

With a BFA in Graphic Design from the University of Utah, Brendan started 3D modeling on a smaller scale as a medical illustrator and progressed to larger projects with his collaborative designs of Momentum Millcreek and later Momentum Lehi.

“I would like to share Momentum's vision for building better climbers with the world through design,” explains Brendan. “Design is the refinement of big ideas and there is none better than personal progress and achievement.”

When not inspiring others with his designs or creative work, Brendan enjoys being inspired while on big adventures in the mountains with his wife (whom he met at Momentum) and daughter, including ultra runs and backcountry skiing.

Jim Knight – Brand Director

As a climber since the 70s and a creative and branding professional since 1976, Jim Knight has been designing for and directing brands in the outdoor industry for over 40 years. He has been with Momentum since its start in 2006 and even earlier, as part of Jeff’s first climbing gym, The Quarry. With first ascents throughout the Wasatch and a passion for the adventure, Jim brings expertise and experiences that are deeply rooted in the sport that has given rise to our gyms.  

“Climbing is one of several adventurous sports I've helped pioneer and grow,” explains Jim. “Designing for companies and organizations that support those sports has been my good fortune and a career passion.”

No one knows the Momentum brand as intimately as one who has been there from the start. While Jim focuses his efforts on the brand’s ever increasing print demands, he is instrumental in the integrity of Momentum visual components from print to online. Jim looks forward to improving and maintaining the Momentum look and feel as it grows to be one of the largest gym operators in the U.S. and beyond.  

“I want to continue building climbers, the sport, and our brand as a way of giving back. Climbing has always brought out the best in myself,” says Jim. “If nothing else, I hope to keep adults in touch with their inner kid.”

Jim is still an outdoorsman to the core, and spends much of his free time climbing traditional routes and ice in the Wasatch. When Jim isn’t climbing or designing, he can be found doing a multitude of other adventurous activities including tinkering with gear, ski mountaineering, teaching yoga, ultra-running, kayaking and volunteering.

Jonathan Vickers – Digital Content Manager

Jon Vickers has been working at Momentum since 2011 when he started as a desk/floor staff. Since, he has filled a variety of roles with Momentum as it grew. From personal coaching and guiding to blogging and video production, Jon has done a little bit of everything. Now the social media manager and the editor of the blog, Jon spends most of his time thinking and spraying about climbing on the internet and at large.

"My hope is to manage our online media in a way that helps build an authentic community within our gyms and supports the climbing communities where they exist,” says Jon. “It is important to not only convey who we are as a company, but to facilitate productive conversations about safety, stewardship and the future of the sport we love both in and out of the gym.”

With a master’s degree in journalism from West Virginia University, Jon has been combining his love for the outdoors with multimedia since college. He worked as a videographer and photographer for several adventure resorts in the summers, managed WVU’s climbing wall, revived the university climbing club and worked as guide for outdoor trips. It was during these same college years that Jon developed his passion for climbing, a pursuit that has given his personal and professional life direction ever since.

“The great thing about climbing is that it can be so many things to so many different people,” says Jon. “I am lucky enough to like almost everything about rock climbing. I love the people I meet, the places I go and the adventures I have. I particularly love the moments of clarity that exist when you can focus on nothing else but climbing.”

Jon admits he does very little other than climb, talk about climbing and think about climbing. Despite his obsession, Jon still loves to dabble in a variety of outdoor activities and may even skip a climbing day for a chance at some whitewater. When Jon isn't working or recreating you may find him using his Armaid while watching documentaries about physics or the Daily Show.

Rich Connors - Facilities Director

Referred to as a “cyborg of endless energy” by Jeff Pedersen, Rich joined Momentum in 2011 after relocating to Utah from “back east" aka Connecticut. Formerly a geotechnical engineer, Rich has applied his background in numerous roles over the years, from climbing instructor to General Manager. In his current role, Rich oversees inspections, maintenance and improvements to existing gyms while assisting with the development of new facilities beyond Utah’s borders.

With a Bachelor's degree in Civil Engineering, Rich’s inner engineer wants things to run like a well-oiled machine. With his engineering background and his extensive in-gym experience, Rich hopes to create gyms that run as smoothly as possible and provide the best experiences for all users and staff.

“My goal as Facilities Director is to maintain low risk, indoor climbing environments that allow users to experience the joy of climbing regardless of their experience level,” explains Rich. “I want every guest to have a safe, fun, and enjoyable experience every time they visit!”

Rich loves all disciplines of climbing, but given the choice, he prefers multi-pitch adventures. Outside of climbing, Rich can be found trail running with his dog or going on a multitude of adventures with his wife, Patrice.
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Chris McFarland – Regional Manager

Chris started climbing in 2003 when he took a trip to visit his older brother in Logan, Utah and has been climbing ever since.

Chris notes, "When it came time for me to pursue my climbing career, I focused on Momentum because of the strong emphasis it puts on climbing education and community. Momentum and its founders have deep roots in climbing history of the Wasatch; I am proud to be a part of its future.”

While completing his bachelors of science at Weber State University, Chris worked as a climbing instructor and trip leader for their Outdoor Program.

“I realized how much I enjoyed sharing my passion for rock climbing and teaching others about the sport,” explains Chris. “As climbing continues to gain popularity, it becomes ever more important for organizations like Momentum to provide high quality climbing instruction with an emphasis on safety and stewardship.”

Chris’s position at Weber State and guiding experience have helped define his future at Momentum. He holds a current Single Pitch Instructor certification from the American Mountain Guides Association and particularly enjoys helping to expand the Climbing School program at Momentum in hopes of ensuring that Momentum offers learning for everyone, from the first-time beginner to the lifelong climber.

When not climbing or at work, Chris can often be found reading or woodworking in his garage building picture frames, book shelves and other pieces of furniture.
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Erin Noble – Accounting and HR

With her father’s passion as a climbing photographer, Erin has been involved with the sport since she was a child. She cherishes the time she spent with him at the base of classic Wasatch climbing routes as a young girl and is excited to pass a love for climbing and the outdoors on to her own daughters.

“I have two daughters that occupy most of my free time and both participate in youth programs at Momentum,” says Erin. “Hannah is 7 and started climbing at Momentum when she was 3, and Halle is 4 and climbs in the Mo Mini 1 class at Millcreek. When they get a chance, they love to go to the climbing gym with their grandpa.”

With a BS in Anthropology and over 10 years of accounting experience, Erin has been running Momentum’s payroll since 2013 and heads the human resources department. She says that her favorite part of working for Momentum is the people she works with and feels that both the staff and clientele are unlike any other industry.

“This is the first time I’ve worked for a company where everyone genuinely gets along and really enjoys being together. There is a comradery here that I haven’t experienced before, and I really enjoy being a part of it,” says Erin.

Erin is looking forward to helping Momentum continue to grow as a leader in the climbing industry and hopes to support the staff in a way that keeps the gyms flourishing. She spends most of her free time with her family and loves traveling with them when able.
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Shelley Marshall – Project Manager

Shelley moved to Salt Lake City from Baltimore, Maryland where she combined administrative, project coordination and technical skills for a successful tenure at the Space Telescope Science Institute. She began climbing in 2009 and within a year of starting she began sharing her passion for climbing as an indoor and outdoor instructor.

Shortly after arriving in Salt Lake City, Shelley received a facility tour from Devin Ashby. It was then that she knew she wanted to join the Momentum community. “Devin’s enthusiasm and authentic welcome reminded me of the best parts of my climbing community back east- and I wanted more of that!” says Shelley. Since, Shelley has worked in various capacities at Momentum and joined the team full time in October of 2015 as a project manager.

Shelley's role allows her to provide support, organization and energy to a number of activities that support Momentum as it grows its business in Utah and beyond. Her many projects include creating an archive of artifacts and actions from executive level meetings, launching the Klimbz route tracker and working with the Regional Head Routesetter to document routesetter job descriptions, training and setting manuals.

“I am a fan of Utah’s limestone sport climbs, sandstone crack climbs and multi-pitch routes, but I started climbing at a local gym in Baltimore and will probably always feel most comfortable in a climate- and light- controlled gym setting,” says Shelley. “Still, no matter where or what I am climbing, what I enjoy most is the feeling of flow that comes with concentration and trying hard. Climbing allows me to push past my known ability and make space for something new.”

When she's not working or climbing, Shelley appreciates Salt Lake City's easy access to long, hard day hikes, the ability to listen to (nerdy business and neuroscience) audio books from the Salt Lake City Library and building her community in a city she's pleased to now call home.
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Kyle O’Meara – Team Momentum Head Coach

Kyle O’Meara started as Team Momentum’s coach in 2014 after being drawn to Momentum for its reputation for youth programing.

“I wanted to work with a youth program that was doing big things and had room to grow even more,” explains Kyle. “It’s a perfect fit for me to combine my passion for climbing with my passion for working with kids, all while getting to use my degree!”

Since graduating with a BS in Exercise Physiology and a minor in Athletic Training, Kyle has worked as a personal trainer and climbed extensively all over the world. Coupled with the fact that Kyle himself climbs at an elite level, it would seem that he is the perfect fit for the Momentum Youth Team.

“I'd like to build the best competitive climbing team in the nation and continue to train world class athletes in our exceptional facilities…Oh, and my personal goal is to have more fun than any other team while we're practicing or competing,” says Kyle.

Kyle admits that when he is not climbing, he is usually doing something to help prepare for more climbing. He believes every day is a training day.

Stephanie Forte – PR

In 1991, Stephanie Forte ditched her job in New York City’s fashion industry to move to snowy Colorado. With a vision for a more creative and inspired life, Stephanie believed then, as she does now, that the ideal life doesn’t just happen—you make it happen.

Stephanie, who has a bachelor’s degree in finance and economics from Bentley University, is the founder of Forté PR and her Las Vegas based PR agency specializes in serving brands that improve people’s lives. Prior to her career in PR, she was a freelance writer for magazines including Prevention, Climbing, Rock & Ice, Desert Companion and Cerca Adventures and is a former reporter for Glamour.

“The Momentum team has incredible vision, which is apparent in every gym that carries the Momentum name. Having been climbing for over two decades, it’s important to me to work with people who share my passion for climbing, understand the sport’s inevitable growth and who want to be a part of shaping the future,” says Stephanie.

As a rock climber, Stephanie has been featured in pages of magazines such as Sports Illustrated for Women, Climbing, Vegas Seven, Vegas Magazine, Las Vegas Life and Vegas Magazine. Rock and Ice Magazine even named her one of the top ten women in American rock climbing

With years of being a climbing athlete and a snowboard instructor to the stars in Aspen, Stephanie has never regretted her decision to live an inspired life. As a climber of nearly 25 years and a brand communicator for nearly 20, Stephanie sees being a part of Momentum is an incredible opportunity to continue telling stories about authentic brands.

“Learning to climb in a gym in the early 1990s changed my life and to be a part of shaping the future of this brand and the sport of climbing is an honor,” says Stephanie. “My goal is to help Momentum go beyond creating more people who have learned how to climb but rather to develop inspired climbers and supportive climbing communities.”

When Stephanie is not working or climbing you can find her snowboarding, sweating it out in the yoga studio or writing.

Scott Leeper – Climbing School Manager

Describing Utah as a climber’s state, Scott had been trying to find a way to Salt Lake ever since 2010 when he first visited Momentum Sandy as the head route setter for a regional USAC youth sport climbing competition. He was impressed by the the ease of access to rock climbing and the area’s robust climbing culture. Six years later, he finally moved to the Wasatch to lead Momentum’s Climbing School in October 2016.

A veteran in the industry, Scott has done nearly every job a climbing gym can offer and is a certified personal trainer, corrective exercise specialist, and USAC level 4 route setter. He has been involved with youth programs, setting, coaching, training, and even wall construction. Scott has lived and breathed climbing for the better part of 15 years, and is excited for the opportunity to pass on his extensive knowledge to other instructors and the community as he develops Momentum’s Climbing School.

“When I was learning how to climb, I wish I had an adept instructor! My buddies and I were all psych and no skill, and it set my development as a climber back dramatically. Now, 16 years later, I have the skill and knowledge to help others avoid the same pitfall,” explains Scott.

Scott found climbing at 19 while looking for a physical outlet to replace highschool wrestling. After trying martial arts for a short time, he found climbing and was immediately hooked. He started climbing at local crags such as the Madrone Crag (now closed due to access issues) and climbed outside for some time before ever stepping into a gym.

As a budding climbing addict in the Northwest, he quickly found climbing indoors to stay psyched and strong during the many wet months in Portland, and admits he often has just as much fun climbing inside. Despite his many personal success climbing, lately Scott has shifted is climbing passion to passing the sport on to others.

“My favorite part about teaching is seeing climbers progress! To empower climbers to be their best is where it’s at for me and seeing those ‘ah-ha’ moments get me psyched,” says Scott. “I really hope to make Momentum the go-to gym for technical instruction!”

Scott continues to climb both indoors and out with new Salt Lake friends, and is excited for weekend trips of sport climbing and moderate multi pitching in Red Rocks. Scott also enjoys backpacking, fishing and all things outdoors. When he is not playing outside, he likes reading good sci-fi novels and cooking awesome meals.
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Aaron Child – IT Manager

Aaron Child has worked for Momentum since February 2015. Coming from jobs outside of the climbing industry, Aaron wanted to work in an environment where he shared a common lifestyle with his co-workers. As a climber of 18 years, the flexible schedule and community at Momentum has enabled him to stay passionate about both his job and climbing goals.

“I thrive on getting to know and interacting with people. Working in the climbing industry is important to me because it allows me to connect with others on a fundamental level,” says Aaron. “We all share climbing as a passion, and it’s easy to use that as a segue to getting to know someone on a deeper level. It creates a comfortable work environment while simultaneously growing a strong community. Who doesn’t want more climbing partners and friends?”

Aaron started climbing in Colorado at age 9—one of his first memories of clinching is being scared out of his mind his first time top roping at a slick granite crag near Gunnison. At age 12, he moved to Provo, Utah and progressed quickly, frequenting Rock Canyon and American Fork Canyon.

During his climbing career, Aaron has shifted back and forth between a variety of disciplines with a focus on continual improvement—projecting sport routes and boulders, and pushing his limits on desert trad, ice and alpine. With a particular passion for extremely remote, aesthetically beautiful alpine routes, he has established first ascents on Mt. Huntington, and climbed multiple classic routes in the Cirque of the Unclimbables, the Bugaboos, the Wind Rivers and on Mount Kathadin’s impressive North Basin wall.

Aaron deeply appreciates climbing because you can pursue any style of climbing that fits your psych, age, or physical capacity—it truly lends itself to being a lifelong pursuit. “For me, climbing is a form of meditation, a lifestyle, a way to connect with the Earth in this ever-growing metropolitan world, a way to socialize with my best friends, or to spend time alone,” says Aaron. “It’s an activity in which I can find happiness because many facets of it cater to my personality.”

When Aaron is at work, he strives to ensure that the inner and outer workings of all things IT at Momentum are operating smoothly and that the company is on top of the ever changing technological world. Outside of Momentum, Aaron is also a session musician for a several studios around Salt Lake and Utah counties and plays guitar in a couple of world-class bands.
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If you are interested in employment opportunities with Momentum please check out our employment page