McKinley Jane Lenker
Co-Founder and CEO
McKinley was born and raised in Atlanta, Georgia. Her parents always loved and valued the outdoors, so she grew up going on adventures to the wild west. She learned to ski in Crested Butte when she was only three years old. She remembers being in school, in Georgia, saying that she wanted to be a ski instructor when she grew up to the surprise of her teachers. She had also said for as long as she can remember that she wanted to start her own business. Instead of moving straight to the mountains after high school, McKinley went to college at Tulane University in New Orleans. She graduated with a Business degree with a major in Marketing and two minors, one in Management and the other in Political Science. After graduation, McKinley went on a self discovery road trip and found herself stopping in Crested Butte. She quickly realized that she had to live there, so she drove back to Georgia pack her things and move to Crested Butte in January of 2013 to follow her dreams of living in the mountains. Working as a ski instructor and camp counselor durning the last five years, McKinley realized that she wanted to do more to positively impact the lives of young women. After a lot of self discovery and growth, she discovered her passion and purpose is to inspire girls to live their best lives. Good Life Girls represents McKinley’s heart and soul. She just needed the right business partner, and along came Anna-Marie. She believes that a positive outlook on life along with the right tools for self-care can empower anyone to live the life of their wildest dreams. McKinley is a certified Yoga Instructor, Wilderness First Responder, Certified Ski Instructor, Certified Children’s Specialist, and Lifeguard. She enjoys all outdoor adventure sports, yoga, spending time with her dog Buddha, and travel. McKinley is inspired and empowered to follow her life purpose which is to inspire all girls to live the good life
Co-Founder and COO
Anna-Marie grew up in southeast Michigan loving the outdoors. She attended Western Michigan University and graduated with a degree in Biomedical Sciences originally in pursuit of attending medical school to become a doctor. During these college years, she struggled with her self-image and confidence. The summer before she graduated, she moved to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan to spend more time outside, work on an organic farm, and shadow a neurologist (her original career dream). She found sanctuary in the outdoors, and learned that being healthy and happy meant being true to herself. After graduation, she decided to return to the upper peninsula, leading her to spend all of the time she could in the outdoors, and began teaching snowboarding to children and teens. She knew this was a sign of a change in direction in life. Still with the goal of improving the lives of others, she thought she could contribute in a different way - to inspire people to live better lives, to be healthy, happy, and connected with their community and the environment. Anna-Marie is Wilderness First Aid Certified, Certified Snowboard Instructor, and Lifeguard. Her passion is to inspire young women to treat themselves well through nutrition, self-love, adventure, and exploration of the arts. She brings her wisdom from a transformational experience and hopes to share what she’s learned with the Good Life Girls. She loves mountain biking, snowboarding, hiking, cooking, painting, making jewelry, playing the banjo and hand drums, sailing, science, and live music. She strongly believes that we as humans can spend our lives in better ways than plugging into a television or iPad - unplug to connect with our world. She wants to share this idea of the good life to young women living in and visiting the Gunnison Valley.
Intern Summer 2019
Nicole Akselrad was born in New York City and grew up across the bridge in northern New Jersey. She attended school there where she had a learning disability and struggled with academics for many years. Nevertheless, the struggle she felt in school made her more aware of the insecurities of those around her. She was sure from early on that she wanted to help her friends, her family and even strangers that she would come across. Her priority was to make sure everyone around her was comfortable and happy. From that point on she knew she had a passion for psychology and sociology. She went to school at Pace University in New York City where she started to take classes in psychology and shortly after realized that the hustle and bustle of the city was not for her. Nicole grew up skiing in Vermont and attended sleep away camp in Pennsylvania. Taking that into consideration, she would make a move and follow in her big brother and sisters foot steps and move to the mountains, where the outdoors would become a place that would fill her with peace and tranquility, something that she was long searching for. The unknowingness of this move was the thing that would result in the best thing for her. Living in Winter Park, Colorado, she became the crew leader of lift operations where her lift would be the primary lift for The National Sports Center for the Disabled and beginner skiers and snowboarders in ski school. In addition, she has had years of experience babysitting children of all ages and has several years being a summer camp counselor in New Jersey. During my journey in Winter Park she realized that watching kids grow and learn would become a passion of hers, bringing her to Western State Colorado University where she would study Psychology, Sociology and Philosophy. She would combine these three degrees to continue teaching children while knowing more of what is developmentally appropriate for all ages. She has contributed in bringing the Sources of Strength program to Crested Butte schools. She has also attended conferences specifically on rural mental health with her advisor and mentor of GCSAPP. Being in CO since 2012, Nicole has rediscovered herself, finding holistic ways and new remedies to feel good and be her best self. Nicole loves finding new and creative ways to engage with children around her and is excited to begin her journey with Good Life Girls, combining her education and her personality to help and inspire young girls in the valley!