1600 Grand Ave
St. Paul MN 55105
About Our Guide
Chris Heeter is an explorer, guide, speaker and poet. She is also founder of The Wild Institute, an organization dedicated to deepening the connection between women and the natural world. As part of her mission, Chris organizes and guides Wild Institute trips to some of the most precious natural places in North America: kayaking in Baja, dog sledding in northern Minnesota, canoeing in Ontario, hiking and paddling in the canyons of Utah. One of her trips was featured on National Geographic Today. In addition to guiding trips, Chris is a professional speaker who brings her passion for wild places to conferences, events, and corporations—deftly connecting nature’s wisdom to everyday urban life.
Chris weaves her "Wild at Work" philosophy into topics such as leadership, teamwork, communication and work/life balance. Using clarity, humor and ample anecdotes and images culled from decades of wilderness trips, she engages audiences and rekindles their sense of optimism and adventure.
A professional speaker since since 2000, her client list includes 3M, Qwest, G+K Services, Parks Canada, College of St. Catherine, Michigan Recreation and Parks Association, Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, Boston Scientific, Alzheimer's Association, Clemson University, Minnesota Government and Finance Officers, Boy Scouts of America, American Camping Association, Federal Women’s Conference, Grant Thornton, and many more.
Chris's popular weekly poems, "Wild Thoughts," originated from her reflections on our spiritual connection to nature and have grown to several thousand subscribers. "Just Outside the Window," her long awaited first collection of published poetry, was released in December 2008. Chris also wrote "Daily Degradations For Women Who Should Know Better" and contributed to "Solo, Silence, and Solitude," which was published by the Association for Experiential Education.
Chris holds a Bachelor's degree in recreation and a minor in social work from George Williams College. She's a certified Wilderness First Responder and a graduate of the National Outdoor Leadership School. She sits on the board of the University of Minnesota’s Raptor Center, is a member of many environmental organizations, and was the recipient of the National Association of Women Business Owners’ 2008 Luminary Award in Minnesota, as well as Upsize Magazine's "Best Practices in Customer Relations" award in 2007. In September of 2010, she received the distinguished alumni award from George Williams College.