Wells Fargo, No Barriers USA announce the Warriors to Summits Expedition Team of Wounded Veterans

World-renowned mountaineers join warriors to overcome barriers and climb Gannett Peak
May 13, 2015 4:20 PM ET

Fort Collins, CO, May 13, 2015 /3BL Media/ – Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE: WFC) and No Barriers USA today announced the team of 13 healing injured veterans participating in the 2015 Warriors to Summits expedition to Gannett Peak, the apex of the entire Central Rockies at 13,804 feet, located in Wyoming. The team of warriors will be led by one of America’s best-known mountaineers, Jeff Evans, when the expedition launches on September 4. Erik Weihenmayer, famed blind adventurer and the only blind person to reach the summit of Mt. Everest, will be one of the assistant expedition leaders, among others. Previous expeditions include Mission: Mt. Whitney in California, the South Pole Allied Challenge (SPAC) with Britain’s Prince Harry, as well as climbs of Peru’s Mariposa 1, Ecuador’s Cotopaxi and Nepal’s Lobuche.

No Barriers Warriors focuses on enhancing inner strength and determination by helping veterans and service members overcome barriers, regardless of the emotional, mental or physical challenges in their lives. The program’s mission is to unleash the potential of the human spirit. No Barriers Warriors empowers veterans and transitioning service members with disabilities to become “Warrior Strong” inside and out by developing an attitude built on endurance and perseverance. Through its expeditions, climbs and experiential offerings, No Barriers Warriors encourages veterans to look beyond barriers to reach new heights.

Entering the second year of working together, Wells Fargo and No Barriers USA received numerous applications and nominations highlighting the lives and trials of dedicated veterans from across the country. The 13 team members chosen for the Warriors to Summits expedition face life-altering injuries ranging from emotional and physical trauma to impaired senses, chronic pain and amputated limbs. Some experience combat flashbacks and survivor’s guilt, while others continue to struggle with readjusting to civilian life. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) are common injuries among the warriors. Despite the challenges, the team of two female veterans and 11 male veterans believe in their ability to overcome barriers and realize the expedition represents more than a climb. The expedition to Gannett Peak occurs September 4 – 14, and the warriors include:

  • Amado Gracia – Cameron, NC, Marine Corps – Injury sustained during combat deployments in Iraq (OIF) and Afghanistan (OEF)
  • Benjamin Sanchez – El Paso, TX, Army – Injury sustained during combat deployments in Iraq (OIF) and Afghanistan (OEF)
  • Boyd Murphy – Springfield, VA, Army – Injury sustained during airborne training at Ft. Benning, GA
  • Denny Salisbury – Lakeport, CA, Marine Corps – Injury sustained during combat deployment in Iraq (OIF)
  • Gina Kothe – Shokan, NY, Army – Injury sustained during post-military first-responder civilian service
  • James Stanek, Jr. – Rio Rancho, NM, Army – Injury sustained during combat deployment in Iraq (OIF)
  • Janet Gonzalez – Bronx, NY, Army – Injury sustained during pre-deployment training at Fort Jackson, SC
  • Kyle Miller – Billings, MT, Army – Injury sustained during combat deployments in Iraq (OIF) and Africa
  • Mark Yearsley – Jerome, ID, Air Force – Injury sustained during deployment in Kuwait (DESERT STORM)
  • Nathan Wright – Cypress, TX, Army – Injury sustained during combat deployment in Afghanistan (OEF)
  • Paul Smith - Ardmore, OK, Army - Injury sustained during combat deployment in Iraq (OIF)
  • Ryan Kelly – Denver, CO, Army – Injury sustained during combat deployment in Iraq (OIF)
  • William Treacy – Augusta, GA, Army - Injury sustained during deployment in Afghanistan (OEF)

The team’s assistant expedition leaders will be Charley Mace, one of America’s most respected and successful Himalayan mountaineers, with numerous notable ascents including Everest, K2, the first American ascent of Manaslu, and every continental high point; Nick Colgin, a veteran who has met the challenges of his wartime injuries to become a professional outdoor guide and be a part of previous No Barriers expeditions; Josh Jespersen, and a Navy veteran who deployed to Iraq in 2008 and Afghanistan in 2010 with SEAL Team IV, now a Colorado resident pursuing a college degree.

Prior to the expedition launch, the Warriors to Summits team will hold three team trainings: Colorado, June 6 – 11; Utah, July 9 – 12; and Colorado, August 7 – 10. To learn more about the 13 team members of the 2015 Wells Fargo-sponsored Gannett Peak expedition, visit WarriorstoSummits.org.


About No Barriers Warriors
No Barriers Warriors, is a program of No Barriers USA, whose mission is to unleash the potential of the human spirit. The program empowers veterans and transitioning service members with disabilities, and survivors of the fallen, to overcome barriers and unleash their potential. Their experiences serve as both an opportunity for growth and catalyst for change as these brave men and women stretch boundaries, build teams, innovate through adversity and step up to lead and serve others. Complementing the reintegration process, this program provides quality transformative experiences that inspire warriors to grow and continue to contribute their absolute best to the world.

About Wells Fargo’s Commitment to the Military and Veterans
In 2012, Wells Fargo created a Military Affairs program to elevate its efforts in serving active duty military and veterans, and named a Military Affairs Program manager. Within the first two years, Wells Fargo donated more than $49 million to homeownership, career transition and financial education initiatives.  As of first quarter 2015, Wells Fargo has:

  • Donated or is in the process of donating to wounded warriors more than 280 Real Estate Owned (REO) properties valued at more than $45 million.
  • Hired more than 3,600 veterans and participated in more than 500 military job fairs since 2012. More than 150 team members are on military leave at any given time.
  • Launched Hands on Banking for Military®, a financial education program that has been viewed by more than 61,000 people since July 2013.
  • Donated well over $12 million to military- and veteran-related nonprofits since 2012.

From the start of our program, Wells Fargo always believed in giving a hand up, rather than a hand out. The Company plans to take that a step further in 2015 by helping empower military members, veterans and their families to own homes, and achieve professional and financial success. Wells Fargo is also proud to renew and expand its relationship with No Barriers USA in 2015 through its sponsorship of the Warriors to Summits expedition.

For more information and interviews, contact:

No Barriers Warriors
John Toth
No Barriers USA
(970) 484-3633

Wells Fargo
Lisa Westermann
Wells Fargo & Company
(415) 222-6236
(415) 845-7759 (cell)