Meet the Board

Hometown About Me
Jim Grijalva Chair Grand Forks

Jim moved from Seattle to Grand Forks in 1994 to take a faculty position at UND's law school.  He stays active in winter, snow-kiting and snow-biking, and sometimes “farming” ice for climbing.  When the snow and ice melt, Jim and his wife and three kids go camping, hiking, rock climbing, mountain biking, adventure racing, and paddling.  Jim has kayaked whitewater for over 30 years, paddling rivers in Alaska and throughout the west, including four trips down the Colorado River through Grand Canyon.


Josh Hunter Board Member Grand Forks

Josh grew up in the hills of southern Indiana but spent his summers canoeing and backpacking in Minnesota, Ontario and further west. He's spent the better part of his professional life working in outdoor education/leadership and natural history interpretation with school kids and adults and can think of no better thing being outside with people - teaching skills and helping others have a deeper and more exciting experience in the environment. He views this work as some of the most important to be done and looks forward to returning to it as a board member of Ground UP.

Joel Larson Board Member Grand Forks

Joel moved to Grand Forks in 1998 to get an education.  He is a 2002 and 2005 graduate of UND eventually ending up with a law degree.  He is currently employed at Camrud, Maddock, Olson & Larson, Ltd. focusing his practice in criminal defense.  Joel is a married father with two amazing boys.  Joel is relatively new to the wild world of adventure, competing in his first adventure in 2007 at the first END-AR.  He was quickly hooked and continues to race whenever he can.  Joel runs, rides bike, climbs, adventure races and is open for just about anything that his work and family schedule allows.  He's just your average Joel.


Wes Peck Board Member Grand Forks
Dexter Perkins Vice-Chair Grand Forks

Dexter is an aging athlete who has always been an outdoor enthusiast.  Biking, boating, climbing, hiking, racing, orienteering – he still enjoys them all. He is also a college teacher and gets great pleasure working with students.  These two interests of his combine nicely in the mission of Ground Up - helping people to discover themselves through outdoors activity.   He looks forward to playing an active role in the organization as a board member.

Michelle Rydz Board Member Grand Forks

Michelle Rydz has over twenty years of community organizing and grassroots lobbying experience. Michelle has designed and implemented local, state and national grassroots lobbying campaigns when she was the western field director of a national transportation safety organization. After the fall of communism, she worked with hundreds of Romanian Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) leaders as the Advocacy specialist with the National Democratic Institute in Romania.  Michelle loves running, biking, skiing and yoga. She lives in Grand Forks with her husband and 2 children.