Stephen Koch

The Official Website of Pioneering Snowboard Mountaineer and Keynote Speaker Stephen Koch

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Testimonials

Stephen Koch’s speech was excellent, right on target and right on message. He completely motivated our team. Stephen’s message was relevant to what we’re trying to do as a company and as a team. I think that his experience in the adventuring world is perfect and very relevant to our experience in the business world.

Robert Grosz
Vice President
Dish Network

I am always looking for inspiring men to surround myself with who will push me to levels of success I never thought possible.  Stephen is one of those guys for me.  His training techniques have helped me to better tackle challenges not only as a climber, but more importantly as a leader of men.  His practical principles on dealing with fear are powerful principles I use in my everyday life.

Holt Condren
CEO and Founder
Ink Custom Tees & TrailblazeNow

Thank you for coming to speak at the Bienen School of Music at Northwestern University, Evanston, IL. You connected your professional experience in climbing, snowboarding and mountaineering with the world of music in simple and clear analogies. Training, impeccable preparation and total commitment, as well as the ability of the performer to trust their training at the time of the performance, are familiar themes to both professions. I have used your analogies many times since your presentation in my own teaching, practice and performances. You connected and inspired the students with your energy and candor, giving them practical tools and advice with which to successfully approach and attain their goals. You are the ideal speaker for schools who value the potential of their students for success and achievement. I look forward to having you speak again to the students at Northwestern University.

- Gail Williams
Professor of Horn, Northwestern University
Charles Deering McCormick Teaching of Excellence Professor
Retired, Chicago Symphony Orchestra Associate Principal Horn

Thank you for your speech at ENSM (French National School of Mountain Sports) in Chamonix, France. Everyone very much appreciated the opportunity to listen to you as you shared your experiences. The interns training for ski and alpinism guiding and instructing, the school Director Bruno Bethune and I all loved your presentation. It characterized your extreme engagement and your determination despite difficult events, all the while knowing when to stop and not exceed unmistakable limits. The whole hall applauded and cheered, as they greatly benefited from the knowledge and wisdom of the outstanding adventures that you have lived through. Your stories will serve them well as they become professional guides, athletes and mountaineers.

- Anselme Baud
Legend and Pioneer of Extreme Skiing, ENSA Instructor, Mountain Guide and Author

I would like to tell you that lot of people told me this morning, that they really appreciated your show and they were very interested in your experience. All of them thought that you have big quality to transmit the facts. For me, I want to thank you for this event. It was a great pleasure to meet you, you know…sometimes you meet people who gives you energy and others who takes your energy. Obviously, you are in the first one and I appreciated to meet someone who decides, who is modest but who realizes some great things. I sincerely was lucky to meet you.

- Isabelle Eynaudi
Chef de mission communication, partenaraits and relations internationales
Ecole National des Sports du Montagne (French National Mountain Guiding and Ski/Snowboard Instructor School)
Chamonix, FRANCE

Thank you for your role in making the ACL Study Group meeting in Jackson the best ever. You were an important “force.” You presented clearly, effectively, with passion and were an inspiration to all. “All” is a big word because we had 165 attendees from more than twenty countries and nearly every continent. All could identify with your message and your commitment. Your presentation was superb in every detail and we wanted to hear more. Thoughtfully you gave us more through the lunch in your honor, and your attendance at our professional and social occasions. We appreciate your professionalism, the interaction with us and the friends made and shared. On behalf of the ACL Study Group and our membership,  a heart felt thanks for a very special time together.

- John A. Feagin, MD
Duke University Emeritus Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery
Founder and President of the American Orthopedic Society for Sports Medicine
Commander of Keller Army Hospital at West Point
Team Physician for the U.S. Olympic Ski Team

Your presentation at the ACL-Study Group Meeting in Jackson Hole was both thrilling and inspiring.

- Niklaus F. Friederich, MD
Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery
Head, Dept. of Orthopaedic Surgery
Kantonsspital, CH-4101 Bruderholz/Basel (Switzerland)

Stephen was able to connect his personal experiences in managing the obvious risks associated with his passion with those of the Shell workforce in the Pinedale Anticline. Stephen was effective in getting the complex topic of risk management to a very basic yet powerful level, one of individual choices and self awareness.

- James L. Duran
Operations Manager – Wyoming/Colorado
Shell Exploration & Production Company

Stephen Koch was the right speaker with the right message for our sales meeting. We wanted a speaker with mountaineering or winter sport background to compliment our meeting location in Utah, but we wanted more than a cliché message that is common with this speaker type. We chose Stephen because his theme, One Step Further, simultaneously illustrates two key points: how the everyday person can make decisions that result in accomplishing extraordinary things; and the accomplishment can be remarkable for the way it is achieved, even if the objective is not grandiose or uncharted. His presentation takes you on a journey with breathtaking photos, suspense, humor, and self reflection. Leave plenty of time for questions, and then double it!

-Ronda Robinson, ZymoGenetics, Inc.

As a producer of corporate events for over 15 years, I have worked with many inspirational speakers. I found Stephen Koch’s message to be one of the more unique and compelling. Stephen’s story is a perfect metaphor for the challenges facing modern corporate America, especially in today’s current economy. His presentation is equally entertaining and his willingness to share professional and life skills “on the mountain” with clients sets him apart from most speakers.

- Chris Carleson, President, Carleson Production Group

Stephen Koch was our special guest for a client appreciation event held on November 11, 2010 in Charlotte, North Carolina. His presentation combined spectacular film and photography with stories and anecdotes that brought to life storied mountain locales from around the world. Stephen captivated the audience with his humility and humor for one so renowned as a world class mountaineer. We’ve never hosted a client appreciation event with so many unsolicited compliments received the day after.

- John D. Richards, Managing Director-Investments, Wells Fargo Advisors

Stephen Koch is a dynamic and captivating speaker. He’s a one-of-a-kind storyteller, I think, in part because of his authenticity and his ability to share his experiences even if they aren’t always glowing reflections. Stephen’s adventures are serious, full of risk and calculation but he doesn’t boast about what he’s accomplished. He simply likes to share. Stephen is himself on the mountain, looking up and looking down. He’s also very at ease on stage.

Stephen spoke during our recent “Voices of the Valley” storytelling program held at the high school auditorium. People in the audience were on the edge of their seats during his stories, me included. One aspect of the program I found very interesting was how well Stephen teamed with his mentor, Tom Turiano, who is quiet in demeanor compared to Stephen. Their combined energies must have worked well on the slopes of the Tetons too as they told amazing true stories of their snowy country sojourns over the years.

Stephen is also very creative. I think he could speak to any group and deliver a message that would ring true to whoever is listening. He’s good at tying things together, bringing circum-stances and challenges together into a meaningful whole. My favorite thing about Stephen and the way he delivers his stories are that I never knew what was going to come out of his mouth. This keeps people wanting to hear more from a man that understands how to entertain, inform, and inspire—all at the same time.

- Karen L. Reinhart, Curator of Education and Outreach, Jackson Hole Historical Society and Museum

Stephen Koch gave an outstanding presentation to the entire student body of the Jackson Hole Community School in February of 2010. Using a combination of incredible photos and entertaining storytelling, Stephen held the students spellbound as he described his early days as a snowboarder, his first descent accomplishments, and his harrowing experience in an avalanche on Mt. Owen in the Tetons. While he provided excellent information regarding snow safety and avalanche awareness, what made Stephen’s presentation so meaningful was its motivational aspect. Asking students, “What’s your avalanche?”, he asked students to reflect on the obstacles or difficulties in their own lives, and encouraged them to meet those challenges head on. Guest speakers at our school sometimes encounter restless students and the occasional side conversation; during Stephen’s talk, you could have heard a pin drop. The students were fully engaged and clearly absorbed his message of maintaining strength and courage in the face of life’s obstacles. I would highly recommend Stephen as a speaker for young people.

- Amy Fulwyler, Dean of Faculty, Jackson Hole Community School

We searched extensively for a speaker that would actively engage our clients and provide a unique story, well beyond the traditional business motivational speakers. Stephen delivered on all accounts given his non-traditional life experiences. Stephen added immense value to our offsite client marketing event because of his candid interaction with our clients regarding his adventures. We found that Stephen added a refreshing spin on his approach to facing challenges, which is not often communicated in an interesting fashion by traditional business speakers. We would not hesitate to include Stephen in future events.

- Michael Jordan, American Capital

At Pepsi-QTG Canada we asked Stephen to come in and get our
employees ready to ‘climb’ our mountain of being the top Consumer
Packaged Goods company in Canada. Stephen did an incredible job
sharing his experiences and translating that into what it takes to
ready yourself for any challenge. Our employees just loved hearing
Stephen talk.

–Pepsi-QTG Canada

In addition to being artistically communicated, Stephen’s accounts of his alpine adventures were told from the heart. Each tale included insight on important life-lessons, and naturally encouraged further dialogue from all who were present. Breath-taking photos only served to further enhance the imagery that was inspired by Stephen’s accounts. Although he described a variety of circumstances and missions, the central idea of this presentation clearly revolved around the importance of remaining resilient and goal-oriented on all levels of one’s life.

- Kate Ritter ’08, Coordinator of Recreation, Office of Student Life
Bennington College

I have known Stephen Koch for several years. He represented JHMR as a sponsored athlete for over 10 years. More recently I have gotten to know him through summer climbs and winter backcountry ski ascents that he has guided me on throughout the Tetons, including this past summer an overnight climb of the South Ridge of Nez Perce. Stephen possesses great communication skills and is an excellent teacher and guide. Stephen has earned respect and admiration throughout the skiing, snow boarding, guiding and climbing industries. He has outstanding intuition, knowing what people are capable of and just how far to push them. He is very encouraging and a wonderful asset to have during any type of adventure or emergency. He possesses a quick wit, tells good stories and knows how to tear up a dance floor!

I look forward to skiing with Stephen Koch this winter.

- Connie Kemmerer, Owner, Jackson Hole Mountain Resort

Stephen Koch has given a vey special presentation at the Explorer’s Festival of Lodsz (Poland) in November 2009, very different from all the others, only concentrating on a specific topic of theirs.

Stephen mixed up every aspect of his life into it, showing that all is important in an explorer’s mind to succeed : his son, his love of snowborading and climbing, his desire of challenging others achievements and also his dancing aptitudes! All of those were used to build a complete show rather than a presentation to help share with the audience his personal experiences, the good ones and the bad ones. What he added was a very sensitive touch, a sense of love of mankind coupled with his love of adventure and explorations through his body and soul strength.

He very unsually showed himself injured and suffering instead of promoting only success and achievements. This gave to the students listening to this touching, tall and blond man the flavour of the terrible difficulty that you may need to overcome when you give yourself a target like his. Risk is always forgotten when there is a success and still, Stephen likes to show that you not only need to be clever, brave and skilled, you also need to be lucky to succeed. Life is a permanent challenge…

Stephen has high spirits and a powerful body, together with the skills and the sensibility to achieve grand projects. We certainly will hear about him again soon.

- Christine LOŸS, Journalist, Writer, Communicator

I enjoyed your presentation at the JH Conservation Alliance today so very much. You deliver your compelling stories with engaging drama and vivid details and an authentic voice that is both true to who you are and evocative in the truth of your unique experiences. Thank you so much for sharing your stories!

- Theresa Griswold, Writer

Not only is Stephen an amazing mountaineer, he challenges
traditional thought and provides a new paradigm of accomplishing
the impossible.

–Jack Tackle, World Class Mountaineer

Stephen Koch’s presentation was clear, concise, insightful,
and peppered with good humor and surprising humility for
one so accomplished. His intelligent decision making and amazing
ability to focus on an objective come through loud and clear. His
respect for the natural world and the diversity of people living in it is
refreshing. Stunning photographs from Everest color and clarify his
story and leave the viewer wanting more. Be prepared for question and
answer sessions that go on and on!

–Suzanne Hanlon, UO Outdoor Program, University of Oregon

I was so happy you gave the opening talk as it was a great beginning of our conference….I was busy but you drew me right in and I was entranced with your stories, setting such unfathomable goals and then working through very difficult trials to achieve them…Great talk and great audience reception!

- Cindi Griggs, Manager, Teton Hand and Upper Extremity Conference

On behalf of the American Alpine Club I want to thank you for coming and doing a slideshow/open talk at the Climber’s Ranch. Despite the technical difficulties, your talk was a huge success! As you sat in the arm chair you brought everyone in with you. Through your epic journeys to your experience with misery and pain. You are truly an inspiration to the climbing community and the AAC is honored to have you as a member.

- Dana Richardson, American Alpine Club