Wells Fargo, No Barriers Warriors Announce the 2017 “Warriors to Summits” Team

12 veterans with disabilities will attempt to summit Mount Brooks in Denali National Park and Preserve on September 11
Apr 18, 2017 2:00 PM ET

FORT COLLINS, Colo., April 18, 2017 /3BL Media/ – Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE: WFC) and No Barriers Warriors today announced the team of 12 veterans with disabilities selected to participate in the 2017 Warriors to Summits expedition. This year’s expedition is to Mount Brooks in Denali National Park and Preserve, Alaska and is scheduled for September 6 -18. Since 2014, Wells Fargo and No Barriers Warriors have taken more than 50 veterans with disabilities on Warriors to Summits expeditions to locations including Mount Whitney in California, Gannett Peak in Wyoming, and Mount Sneffels in Colorado.

“Wells Fargo is proud of the courageous veterans who applied for the 2017 team,” said Jerry Quinn, Wells Fargo Military & Veterans Programs manager. “We have seen, time and again, the inspirational transformation that occurs for each of the brave participants and the tangible and lasting impact on their lives. I am humbled by their determination to continue to serve and excel alongside their families and communities.”

No Barriers Warriors helps improve the lives of veterans with disabilities through transformative, curriculum-based expeditions in challenging outdoor environments. Each No Barriers Warriors expedition is designed to push veterans mentally and physically in some of nature’s most incredible wilderness settings. Through these expeditions and additional experiential offerings, No Barriers Warriors encourages veterans to look beyond personal barriers to reach new heights.

This year, No Barriers Warriors received more than 150 applications and nominations, which featured stories of veterans struggling to transition to civilian life. Many of the applicants who were not selected to participate in this year’s Warriors to Summits expedition will attend other No Barriers Warriors experiences to help them achieve a No Barriers mindset.  

 “We are honored to guide these incredible veterans as they overcome barriers and experience tremendous growth together, “said John Toth, No Barriers Warriors director. “Recognizing the significant challenges they face, it's heartening to know that this team has the support of Wells Fargo and its team members. For the fourth year running, we are proud to work with a company that shares our passion for those who have given so much for our country.”

The Warriors to Summits team will hold two team trainings in the Rocky Mountains, Colorado, on June 12-16; and the Wind River Range, Wyoming, on July 14 – 20. The training sessions are critical to help the veterans build the skills needed to successfully climb Mount Brooks in the iconic central Alaskan Range in Denali National Park and Preserve. Following the expedition, the veterans and the No Barriers Warriors leaders will gather for a post-expedition developmental session later in the fall, which is an important part of the meaningful engagement phase to keep them on track for personal growth.

The 12 team members selected for the Warriors to Summits expedition face life-altering injuries ranging from emotional and physical trauma, to impaired senses and chronic pain. 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 these challenges, the team of four female veterans and eight male veterans believe in their ability to overcome barriers and realize the expedition represents more than a climb.

The 2017 Warriors to Summits team includes:

  • Bradley Chidester – St. George, Utah – Army – PTSD, shrapnel wounds and burns

  • Lindsay Carlson Reeves – Worcester, Massachusetts – Army – PTSD, TBI, inner ear damage

  • Eric Johnson – Des Moines, Iowa – Army – PTSD, TBI

  • Jason Jones – Colorado Springs, Colorado – Army/Marine – PTSD

  • Justin Madore – Fort Mill, South Carolina – Army – PTSD, thyroid cancer survivor

  • Joni Marquez – King City, California – Air Force – PTSD

  • Reena LaVoie – Rhode Island – Navy – PTSD

  • Edward Mertz – Burnet, Texas – Navy – PTSD, TBI, renal cancer survivor

  • Danny O’Neel – Folsom, California – Army – PTSD, TBI, shrapnel wounds

  • Ashley Richards – Bartlett, Tennessee – Air Force – PTSD

  • Wade Spann – Falls Church, Virginia – Marine – PTSD, TBI

  • Paul Swanner – Boca Raton, Florida – Marine – PTSD, TBI


    To learn more about the 12 team members of the 2017 Wells Fargo-sponsored Warriors to Summits expedition, visit WarriorstoSummits.org.

    About No Barriers Warriors

No Barriers Warriors, a program of No Barriers USA, improves the lives of veterans with disabilities through transformative, curriculum-based expeditions in challenging outdoor environments. Each No Barriers Warriors expedition is designed to push veterans mentally and physically in some of nature’s more incredible wilderness settings. No Barriers Warriors creates a safe space and encourages participants to reflect on their past, recognize where they are in the present and then look with positivity to the future. The experience serves as a catalyst for change as veterans stretch their boundaries, innovate through adversity, and build lifelong rope teams.

About Wells Fargo's Commitment to Military and Veterans
In 2012, Wells Fargo created the Military & Veteran Affairs Program to expand our outreach to members of the military, veterans, and their families who may be facing financial hardships as part of our Commitment to helping communities succeed by being a part of the solution.

Wells Fargo has:

  • Donated more than 300 homes, valued at over $50 million, to veterans in all 50 states.

  • Hired more than 6,700 veterans, and participated in more than 900 military job fairs since 2012. More than 200 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 362,000 since July 2013.

  • Donated more than $25 million to military- and veteran-related nonprofits since 2012.

About Wells Fargo
Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE: WFC) is a diversified, community-based financial services company with $1.9 trillion in assets. Founded in 1852 and headquartered in San Francisco, Wells Fargo provides banking, insurance, investments, mortgage, and consumer and commercial finance through more than 8,600 locations, 13,000 ATMs, the internet (wellsfargo.com) and mobile banking, and has offices in 42 countries and territories to support customers who conduct business in the global economy. With approximately 269,000 team members, Wells Fargo serves one in three households in the United States. Wells Fargo & Company was ranked No. 27 on Fortune’s 2016 rankings of America’s largest corporations. Wells Fargo’s vision is to satisfy our customers’ financial needs and help them succeed financially. Wells Fargo’s corporate social responsibility efforts are focused on three priorities: economic empowerment in underserved communities, advancing diversity and social inclusion, and environmental sustainability. The Chronicle of Philanthropy, on its most recent list of the top corporate cash philanthropists, ranked Wells Fargo No. 3. In 2016, Wells Fargo donated $281.3 million to 14,900 nonprofits and Wells Fargo team members volunteered 1.73 million hours with 50,000 nonprofits. News, insights and perspectives from Wells Fargo are also available at Wells Fargo Stories.

Note to editors: Participant photos and bios are available upon request.

For more information and interviews, contact:

Lisa Westermann
Wells Fargo
(415) 845-7759 (cell)

John Toth
Director - No Barriers Warriors
970-484-3633 x 312

Jaime Donnelly
Marketing Director - No Barriers USA
970-484-3633 x 316