Nate Postma, President
Nate is the founder/President of Vertical Endeavors and has more than 22 years of experience in the ownership and operations of several large commercial climbing facilities. He is a founding board member of the former Climbing Gym Association (CGA) and the current Climbing Wall Association (CWA) and also a former board member of the Climbing Wall Industry Group (CWIG). In addition, Nate is a member of the CWA’s Engineering Standards Committee (ESC) – the group that is currently updating and re-issuing the old CWIG climbing wall standards. Nate has been an avid climber for over 30 years.
Pam Postma, Vice President
Starting in 1979, Pam formerly worked in administration and accounting for Midwest Great Dane Trailers. Pam married her high school sweet-heart, Nate, in 1981 and was introduced to climbing later that year at a time when you didn’t really see women on the rock. Pam traveled from the east coast to the west coast climbing everything and trying to keep up with Nate. She participated in numerous local and national competitions meeting great people in the climbing industry. Climbing became the way of life. In 1995, Pam left her career of sixteen years with Midwest Great Dane Trailers to help with the birth of Vertical Endeavors, her husband’s dream.
During the growth stages of Vertical Endeavors, and in the early days when the company operated from the couple’s residential garage, Pam worked in almost all of the various jobs at VE. Pam takes care of the financial and HR aspects of the business today. In her free time, Pam enjoys wind surfing with Nate, which results in vacations to the Hood River, Columbia River Gorge, and Caribbean Islands. She enjoys the beautiful country and of course scoping out the rock formations.
Jason Noble, Operations Manager
Jason Noble has been deeply involved in the climbing industry since joining Vertical Endeavors in 1992. In his tenure at Vertical Endeavors, Jason managed the first climbing facility to participate in the CGA (Climbing Gym Association) Accreditation Program and acted as an Examiner for the Accreditation Program. Jason held a position on the CWA Industry Practices and Certification Standards Committees, which were tasked with maintaining the Industry Practices and a National Instructor Certification Standard. Jason is currently the Chair for the new CWA Industry Practices Committee which is revising the Industry practices for its third Edition. Jason is also one of the few instructors nationally that is able to provide certification for Providers of the Climbing Wall Associations Climbing Wall Instructor Provider Course. As the District Supervisor for Vertical Endeavors, Jason oversees four commercial climbing facilities. He enjoys spending time with his wife and twin boys, Tristan and Taylor. Some of his passions are climbing, downhill ski racing, wake surfing, water skiing and mountain biking.
Noal Ronken, Training + Business Development Manager
Noal is currently the Training and Business Development Manager for Vertical Endeavors but was formerly the facility manager at the St. Paul location. His climbing career began on a beautiful line on the north side of a local crag dubbed the “REI Pinnacle” in Bloomington, MN. Despite these very plastic beginnings his climbing has now taken him as far east as the Red River Gorge in Kentucky and as far west as Smith Rock in Oregon. His tendency to jump on difficult boulder problems off the couch has led to just as many rumors of hollow bones as tweaked tendons. But his love for the sport and talking (extensively, as a many of never-enough words) about the sport is undeniable. Outside of climbing he enjoys running, paddleboarding, hiking, golfing, watching sports, attending concerts, playing guitar, writing music and exploring new corners of the Twin Cities.
David Schwab, Director of Safety, Training & Guiding (VEGA)
David is the Director of Safety and Training for Vertical Endeavors and the Director of Vertical Endeavors Guided Adventures (VEGA). He began rock climbing in 1987 and has been heavily involved with the sport ever since. His experience includes numerous trips to various climbing areas including Joshua Tree, California, Red Rocks, Nevada,The New River Gorge, West Virginia, Eldorado Canyon, Colorado and his “home” climbing area of the Black Hills of South Dakota. In addition to being a certified Level III VEGA guide, he is a nationally certified provider for the Climbing Wall Association in Boulder, Colorado,as well as an American Mountain Guides Association (AMGA) certified Single Pitch Instructor and Professional Climbing Instructors Association (PCIA) Single Pitch Climbing Instructor and Climbing Wall Instructor. Based on his credentials, David has been training and certifying rock climbing instructors throughout the nation since 2010.
David is a former Program Development Specialist for the US Probation Office where he was a professional trainer for over 20 years. He also continues to teach snowbording at Afton Alps and is a former member of the American Association of Snowboading Instructors, Central Division Education Staff.
Feel free to contact David at firstname.lastname@example.org for your next outdoor guided adventure or for private climbing lessons at either of the Twin Cities Vertical Endeavors facilities.
Bill Wendt, Facility Manager
Bill hails from the famous, mountainous town of Wheaton, Illinois. A few friends suckered him into rock climbing at Vertical Endeavors – Warrenville (R.I.P.) and he has been hooked ever since. He was quickly, and surprisingly, accepted by the amazing climbers at the gym. Given his football goon body type and lack of endurance, he took to bouldering right away.
He extended his roots into the climbing scene when he became one of the VE Warrenville routesetters under the mysterious setter name of Rufio. This is confusing because he does not carry a sword and he does not fight pirates. Though his lifestyle does resemble the lost boys of Neverland because of the whole “not wanting to grow up” mentality.
However, he did just that. He got a job at VE Warrenville and has been moving up the ranks for the past seven years, minus a nine-month leave of absence. Bill has done nearly everything at VE from Head Coach to Head Routesetter and finally Facility Manager of Vertical Endeavors – Warrenville.
After the end of an era at Warrenvillle, Bill closed the doors and moved on to newer and bigger things. He now resides as the Facility Manager at Vertical Endeavors – Glendale Heights.
John Cartozian, Assistant Facility Manager
John began his climbing career based on a chance visit to Vertical Endeavors – Warrenville about a decade ago. From that simple gym visit he took his sights and dreams across the country. From wrestling boulders or getting on the “Big Stone” out in Yosemite, he is content with just being around rock. Besides managing, you may spot around the gym involved in his duties as VE Glendale Height’s Head Coach or out at Devils lake as the VE Glendale Height’s VEGA Coordinator. Apart from climbing he spends his time with his growing young family and is expecting his first blood related climbing partner, along with his wife Hannah and hyperactive dog Kylie, in September of 2015.
If you cannot find John in the gym, or at crags around the Midwest, you can probably find him at a driving range or on the links progressively destroying his golf game.
Anita Johnson, Group Sales & Programs Coordinator
Anita’s favorite place to be is on top of a Colorado 14’er. She and her husband have climbed 33 of the 54 Colorado peaks over 14,000 ft. in elevation and hope to complete the task by the time they are 70! When not in Colorado her favorite place to climb is Joshua Tree. She taught yoga for ten years, practiced as a massage therapist for fourteen years, worked in public libraries for six years and is a Wilderness First Responder. Anita is also a master knitter, making hats, socks and mittens to keep family and friends warm and toasty. And, she thoroughly enjoys a PBR at the end of the trail!
Chris Godskesen, Full Time Manager + Clinic Specialist
It all started when Chris watched a mountaineering documentary called “Vertical Limit” when he was a young boy. After seeing what those climbers went through and the risks they took, Chris immediately fell in love with climbing, mountaineering, and wood burning fires at 26,000 feet. He quickly began to run thousands of laps on autobelays, perfecting his technique of dynos with nitroglycerin strapped to his pack. His anti-vegan, gluten rich diet only aids in his nearly inhuman ability to climb even the hardest of futuristic 5.8 boulder problems, even though bouldering is dumb and not real climbing. Outside of climbing, Chris enjoys hiking in his La Sportiva approach Solutions, and is an active member of the Mountain Project trolling community. Aside from being most excellent at all things climbing, bathroom mirror selfies, and that weird mouth kazoo sound he can make, Chris is also a professional photographer specializing in slightly blurry black and white photos of patio furniture and trees that cast interesting shadows. Or cats, cats always pay the bills.
Eric Berseth, Graphic Design + Marketing Specialist
Eric is a graduate of the University of Minnesota, Duluth, with a BFA in Graphic Design. He brings with him a passion for climbing and design. Eric’s first experience climbing was at a birthday party as a child. It wasn’t until recently that he rekindled his interest in the sport. He started back up with his brother in March of 2013, climbing weekly at VE Minneapolis, and has progressed to sport lead climbing outdoors in Red Wing, Minnesota.
You might see him in the gym as he frequents the VE Twin Cities locations. In his free time, Eric enjoys cooking, new music, camping, biking and skiing.