Chip & Skip’s Wonderful Journey Marches on in Jackson Gap


Welcome to Chip & Skip’s Wonderful Journey (EA), an occasion the place monetary service business gamers collect every year to promote nothing, do no offers and speak as little as attainable about enterprise.

In 2012, EA organizers, Chip Roame (Tiburon Strategic Advisors) and Skip Schweiss (Sierra Funding Administration), issued an invite to a few of their business pals to climb 14,505-foot Mt. Whitney in California. 13 courageous, principally male, souls answered the decision. 

All hikers accomplished the 25-mile, 6,000-foot vertical ascent in sooner or later, though many have been worse for the damage. Little did they know the seeds of an business custom had been planted.

Yearly since—together with the COVID years, a time when top individuals hunkered down—the EA crew has assembled for an excessive mountain climbing expertise and a joyous post-hike celebration.

Chip and Skip choose the situation and announce the date, however the occasion belongs to the members. There aren’t any sponsors or official organizers within the conventional sense. Only a unfastened confederation of like-minded adventurers bent on testing themselves and having fun with one another.

This 12 months the venue was Jackson Gap, Wyoming, nestled on the base of the jagged Teton Vary. 

The occasion has grown and morphed considerably from its hardcore, testosterone-driven, “there-must-be-a-risk-of-death” beginnings. 

The “huge” hike was a 24-mile, 6,000-foot vertical ascent loop from Teton Village to Marion Lake and again. However there have been shorter treks obtainable for these with sufficient sense to take them.

Business denizens at the moment are typically accompanied by spouses, sons, daughters, pals or the entire above. It’s actually a household affair.  A complete of 72 individuals confirmed as much as hike or cheer on the hikers and have fun afterwards.

The male/feminine ratio is near equal now. The quickest finishers have been a bunch of three path runners: Jodi Vanneman (sister of Orion’s Rusty Vanneman), her son Sam, and his good friend Kiana Levin.  In truth, Sam and Kiana ran a number of further miles on the finish of the hike to make it a marathon-length day.


Kiana’s efficiency earned her the “Junior Stud” award (sure, there’s an awards ceremony on the post-hike celebration). And the “Rookie of the Yr” award went to Julie Cane (CEO of Democracy Investments) for coming off the path on the head of the primary group of hikers (not path runners). Julie was accompanied throughout the end line by Orion’s fleet-footed Eric Clarke.

Hikers began the trek in three waves. The primary group of 14 left at 2:30 am and have been rewarded by a good looking dawn as they crested the height 4,000 toes above the village under. The majority of the EA crew launched at 4 am. The “mop-up” staff left at 6 am and loved an excellent waffle breakfast on the height, the place the early birds had loved the dawn.

After summiting the mountain above the ski village, the hikers dropped over into the distant Wyoming again nation.  Though moose and bear are plentiful there, they allow us to cross peacefully by the woods and countless wildflower meadows they name house.

The climate was not as cooperative. Intermittent rain and hailstorms handed over, leaving the path a muddy mess in elements. There was some slipping and sliding, however rain gear and an excellent perspective all the time beat dangerous climate. By the point we completed, the solar was shining.

Skip’s spouse Lisa and her crew, together with daughter Anna and daughter-in-law Amy, handed out chilly drinks at path’s finish. This earned the group a well-deserved “Greatest Supporting Actors” award. Their cooler was solely so huge, so we settled in at The Deal with Bar, positioned just a few toes from the trailhead. It’s Jackson Gap, in any case. The get together was on.

Among the best elements of every EA tour is reliving it at journey’s finish. The bonds which are cast by frequent effort and teamwork on the path are palpable and the bonds which are shared by those that have participated in a number of EA gatherings are even stronger.

That is what I consider units the EA expertise other than all different business occasions. It’s actual and real. No cash modifications palms and all people is a winner. The sense of accomplishment that comes with finishing the trek, regardless of which model you select, is yours to maintain. And the friendships that develop out of it are steadfast and lasting.

The EA ambiance is mirrored in the truth that essentially the most coveted award bestowed on the after-party is the “Spirit of the Summit” award. It’s granted to the one that exhibited essentially the most selflessness and supplied essentially the most assist to others on the journey.  This 12 months’s winner was Alex Trianine of Flyer Monetary Expertise, whose participation within the EA was a Father’s Day reward from his daughter, Isabella Ekaterina Trianine. Alex received for aiding Colin Barber, Managing Director of the Sierra Mutual Funds, after Colin sprained his ankle early within the hike. Alex and Isabella hiked with Colin, and Alex carried his backpack for a lot of miles.   

This 12 months’s get-together additionally mirrored important modifications in our business.  The next long-time EA members who began and/or grew their companies because the EA custom grew, are transferring on, stepping again from management roles or beginning new corporations:

  • Eric Clarke, Co-Founder and CEO of Orion, is exiting his CEO place at year-end;


  • Scott Hanson, Co-Founder and Senior Associate of Allworth Monetary, will quickly hand over his CEO title, whereas staying totally concerned with the enterprise;


  • Alex Potts, long-time CEO of Loring Ward, now President of Buckingham Strategic Companions, is exiting his place on the finish of the 12 months;


  • Skip Schweiss, for years President of TD Ameritrade Belief Firm and the face of all issues fiduciary for TD, is now CEO of Sierra Funding Administration;


  • Frank Trotter, retired Co-Founding father of on-line financial institution EverBank, not too long ago left the sidelines to start out Battle Financial institution;


  • Invoice Van Legislation, left his place as President of the Raymond James Funding Advisors division and shaped WVL Group, a wealth administration consultancy; and


  • First Ascent, a flat price turnkey asset administration platform (TAMP) that I helped discovered because the EA custom was simply getting began, was not too long ago bought to GeoWealth. I nonetheless play an lively position within the enterprise, making GeoWealth the sixth TAMP I’ve been affiliated with over the course of my profession.


Time strikes on, and our business, just like the EA, evolves and brings in new blood. Nevertheless it additionally builds on the traditions of the previous. Frank Trotter and I’ve been competing for EA’s “Senior Stud” award because it was first bestowed, however we’re too outdated to recollect who wins it from 12 months to 12 months. It’s time for extra new blood. Be part of us subsequent 12 months in Telluride!        




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