Leader Bios: Meet Domi, Daryl, Andrew, Meg & Zach!

Domi Frideger – Pacific Coast

We’re thrilled to welcome Durango, Colorado’s own Domi Frideger to the Apogee team this summer to lead our Pacific Coast biking trips! Domi grew up skiing, mountain biking, rafting, and trail running in the mountains around Durango, creating a connection with the outdoors from a young age. Now a rising junior at Bates College in Lewiston, Maine, Domi has rolled his love of the outdoors into his major, as he pursues a degree in Environmental Studies. Bicycle touring literally runs in Domi’s blood, as his dad works for an adult bike touring company. Building on his father’s knowledge and experience, Domi planned and rode his own self-supported 2,500 mile bike tour from Bergen, Norway to Barcelona, Spain in 2016. In addition to his own outdoor pursuits, Domi is passionate about passing his love of the outdoors on to others. In high school, Domi worked to establish an organization that provided affordable access to Avalanche Education for high schoolers in an effort to reduce backcountry skiing accidents among young people. Domi also spent several years working for a local Durango adventure camp, leading campers ages eight to thirteen on hikes through the mountains. Domi has continued his outdoor leadership at Bates, where he leads orientation trips for incoming students. When he’s not biking, hiking, skiing, or doing any other number of outdoor pursuits, Domi will still probably be found outside, practicing with the competitive Ultimate Frisbee team on campus. We can’t wait for Domi to be in his element this summer, throwing a frisbee to his students at a campsite on the Pacific Coast after a successful day of bike touring!

Daryl Konstandt – Pacific Coast

Daryl Konstandt may not have led an Apogee trip yet, but she’s an Apogee veteran in her own right. During her pre-college years, Daryl was a student on our erstwhile Coast to Quebec and Montana Service Adventure biking trips, as well as our Alps Explorer hiking trip. We’re thrilled to have her back with us to lead our Pacific Coast bicycle touring trips this summer! Aside from her trips with Apogee, Daryl boasts an impressive travel resume, having recently concluded a semester abroad in Barcelona, and within the last two years has been to Indonesia, Uganda, and Israel. In Uganda, Daryl spent two months working for a health-related NGO, evaluating a health outreach project that trains village members to be first responders. When she’s not traveling the world, Daryl can be found on campus at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, where she is a rising senior majoring in Biology. Daryl has a passion (and a knack) for teaching and has taken on a role on campus as a tutor for both her fellow peers at UNC and for refugees in the Chapel Hill community as part of a refugee outreach program. Daryl has also assumed a leadership role on campus as a “Transitions Veteran,” in which she serves as a mentor for first-years who are struggling with the adaptation to college life. Additionally, Daryl’s students should look forward to learning some tricks in the kitchen, as she spent part of last summer working at a culinary camp for middle schoolers, teaching cooking and baking skills. We know that the combination of Daryl’s bike touring, teaching, and travel experiences are the recipe for a great Apogee trip, and we can’t wait to see it come together on the Pacific Coast this summer!

Andrew Kratsios – Pacific Coast

After a three-year hiatus, we’re delighted to welcome Andrew Kratsios back to the Apogee family – though in a new role this summer! After completing our America Coast to Coast trip in 2014 and participating in our Maine Coast College Essay program in 2015 as an Apogee student, Andrew returns this summer to explore all that the Oregon and California coasts have to offer as a leader on our Pacific Coast trips. A dual citizen, Andrew calls both the United States and Canada home. After growing up in New York, he now lives in Montreal, where he’s entering his fourth year at McGill University. At McGill, in addition to double majoring in Finance and Math, Andrew also joined the Triathalon team, which has motivated him to register for his first half Ironman this spring. He hasn’t lost touch with his roots, either; Andrew has continued to pursue his lifelong passion of ice hockey. Along with serving as the captain of his high school team, Andrew is a certified referee and has spent two summers working as a hockey coach for five to fifteen year-olds. On top of that, Andrew was a two-time member of the US under-19 Men’s Floorball Team (like floor hockey) that attended the World Championships in Sweden. We’d be remiss if we didn’t mention that Andrew is an Eagle Scout as well; he’s served as his troop’s leader for two years, which included mentoring younger students, planning camping trips, and organizing fundraisers. Between all of Andrew’s bike touring, camping, coaching, and leadership experiences, we know that he’s going to be a fantastic addition to our leading team in 2019!

Meg Manning – Pacific Coast

Seattle-based Meg Manning joins the Apogee team this summer as a rising junior at upstate New York’s Hamilton College. Before moving across the country, however, Meg grew up taking full advantage of her proximity to the great outdoors; whether she was hiking, backpacking, kayaking, or swimming, she was practically raised in the shadow of Mt. Rainier. Meg caught the travel bug while visiting Costa Rica, Peru, Tanzania, Zanzibar, and several countries in Europe, and her adventures continued when she spent a year of high school at the Island School in the Bahamas. Back in the States, Meg quickly developed a passion for Ultimate Frisbee and she now captains Hamilton’s team, coaches elementary and middle schoolers, and spends the remaining bit of her free time playing on teams in Seattle. Also at Hamilton, Meg serves as an Adirondack Adventure leader, where she leads overnight camping trips for incoming freshman as part of their pre-orientation program. Elected class president her senior year of high school, Meg also created an outdoor education curriculum that focused on the Leave No Trace principles. We know that Meg’s love for the outdoors (including her Geoscience major at Hamilton), passion for making authentic connections, and even the occasional ukulele serenade will make her a tremendous fit to lead our Pacific Coast trip this summer!

Zach Botnick – Pacific Coast Support

Apogee is excited to introduce this year’s Pacific Coast Support Staffer, Zach Botnick! Zach joins the Apogee team as a rising senior at Johnson & Wales University in Providence, RI. Originally from Dunbarton, NH, Zach discovered his love for travel at an early age. After several years of summer camp and a youth adventure trip throughout Europe, Zach spent much of his free time working to fund his worldwide travels. Along the way, he’s lived in homestays in China, fine-tuned his Spanish in Costa Rica, and spent a semester of his junior year exploring the far corners of Australia. Regardless of the setting, his leaders were what made the biggest impact on Zach, inspiring him to take on roles as a camp counselor and Teen Leader at his YMCA camp for two years. A passionate swimmer, Zach captained his high school swim team, where he focused specifically on mentoring younger students and a team-first mentality. Clearly a community-oriented person, Zach always made time to give back to his local community, including volunteering with his local food pantry. Now at Johnson & Wales, Zach has focused his academics on his Business Management degree – but he’s always thinking about the next adventure. This summer, he can’t wait to be a positive role model for his students, and we know his knack for frisbee tricks and endless positivity will be vital for each group’s success as they make their way towards the Golden Gate bridge!