Why we're here

We're building a world where the leader community is global - where leaders are recognized for the badasses they are - where leader skills are highly valued and understood in the marketplace - where friends, family, and employers stand in awe of what leaders accomplish. We're building a better world for leaders.

The Core Team

Kai Johnson

Founder

Kai's experience as a leader and director drove him to found Act Normal. He has lived through the challenges of leader life and wants to make life better for the next generation.

Maria Rachal

Social Media & Marketing Intern

Maria is a journalist and former leader whose continuing interest in adventurous industries make her excited about the possibilities for Act Normal.

Chris Berry

Social Media Intern

Chris has developed his career in experiential education and service learning for the past eight years. He is currently pursuing an M.Ed through a Plymouth State University.

Advisory Council

Our advisory council has a collective 80+ years of experience in the industry and brings together expertise from the high school travel, gap year, adult travel, and study abroad segments of the field.

Dave Dennis

Director of Safety and Risk Management - Rustic Pathways

Dave has worked in the travel industry for over 20 years and has a Master’s Degree in Business Continuity. In addition to his current work at Rustic Pathways, Dave owns a consulting firm focused on supporting tour operators, study abroad organizations, and recreational businesses in emergency response and risk management best practices.

Robin Pendoly

Founder - Thinking Beyond Borders

Architect of, and visionary behind, an industry-leading international education institution with social impact leadership programs spanning 14 countries. My goal is to create opportunities to support the growth and achievement of individuals committed to making meaningful contributions to a more just, equitable, and sustainable society.

Patrick Ziemnik

Tanzania Country Director - Rustic Pathways

Patrick began his career in experiential education as a Harvard student, managing the University’s First-Year Outdoor Program. After graduating, Patrick continued his passion for social enterprise as an AmeriCorps volunteer. He now brings his strong leadership skills, love of the outdoors, and experience to country operations in Tanzania.

Beth Warsof

International Programming Lead - LeapNow

Beth is a heart-forward, globe-trekking, social justice educator. She has launched and led gap year programs for Thinking Beyond Borders, Winterline, Class Afloat, and LeapYear. Beth holds a Ph.D. in Developmental Psychology, and M.Ed. in Educational Psychology, and serves the world as a licensed psychologist, certified professional life coach, and restorative justice facilitator.

Dianna Hahn

Associate Director - Gap Year Association

Dianna is an international educator with more than 15 years of experience. Prior to joining the GYA she worked as the director Global Routes and its partner organization, Windsor Mountain International Travel. In recent years she has been consulting for various international education organizations with a focus on staffing, strategic planning, and crisis management.