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Learn Wild Gift recipients’ vision of the future on Monday
Christy LeFaivre-Giles is Wild Gift’s new development director.
Sunday, February 22, 2015


                Ketchum’s Jon Duval wants to increase public participation in the political process with a mobile APP called LocalVote, which would connect municipal governments with stakeholders and constituents.

Michael Long wants to create second chances for high-risk juveniles using the ocean wilderness as a classroom.

Tinia Pina wants to develop a renewable, natural fertilizer for hydroponic growers that increases yields more safely while reducing CO2 from fossil fuels.

Leo Pollock wants to divert food waste from urban landfills by turning organic waste from  restaurants, food processors and businesses into compost and other products.

These are the 2015 Fellows for WildGift, a Hailey-based non-profit organization that helps fund, support and mentor young social entrepreneurs.

You can meet Wild Gift’s 2015 Fellows from 4 to 7 p.m. Monday, Feb. 23, at the Ketchum Innovation Center, 100 Lindsay Circle near the new Bigwood Bakery.

The fellows will meet with local students from 4 to 5 p.m. They’ll then share about their social ventures and the lessons they learned from a recent two-week winter alpine expedition in the Idaho backcountry with the public.

Ketchum adventurer Gerry Moffat will also speak—his presentation called “Guiding Towards Change—the Third Act.”

Wild Gift offers its fellows a wilderness experience to help them unplug from the daily routine, focus on their projects and look for ways to help one another and learn how to work through new and diverse challenges using the wilderness survival skills they gained on the expedition.

Duval  said Wild Gift will help him develop his app and bring it to the market with a team of mentors to make sure he’s on the right track every step of the way.

“Without their support, this challenging process would have taken much longer and had much less of a chance for success,” he added.

                Wild Gift, founded in 2003, has mentored 47 Fellows ages 21 through 35 with 16-month Fellowships that provide mentoring, seed funding, networking and other services to help their ventures get off the ground.

The wilderness component is an important part, said Wild Gift’s Executive Director Deborah Knapp:

“The road to social change is not an easy one.  For those choosing that path, the ability to sustain personal clarity and strength of vision are as important as a good business plan or raising capital. Wilderness challenges us physically, intellectually and spiritually, while maintaining the contemplative space for thoughtful reflection on oneself and our relation to the world. On the trek, our fellows gain confidence, resilience, a deeper understanding of the connections between seemingly disparate efforts, the collaborative spirit necessary to social change work, and grit – the ability to weather the storms and seize challenge as opportunity.”

For more information, call Deborah Knapp at 208-471-5091 or email or


Christy LeFaivre-Giles is the new development director for Wild Gift.

LeFaivre-Giles has worked for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the Bellevue Art Museum in Washington. She has more than 15 years experience in relationship building as director of Admissions and Recruiting at the Bush School and the Seattle Teacher Residency Program at the University of Washington-Seattle.

LeFaivre-Giles recently moved to the Wood River Valley with her husband and three children. Her father Rick LeFaivre is one of the driving forces behind the Ketchum Innovation Center and the Sun Valley Angels, a new local impact-investment group.

LeFaivre-Giles said supporting Wild Gift fellows can stimulate the economy and change the world at the same time. “I am thrilled to be a part of something that is meaningful and connected to the wilderness that I love.”

The position is funded in large part by a three-year grant from the M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust.


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