Jeff discovered his love for adventure early on, escaping his home in the suburbs of New Jersey and –unbeknownst to his parents – over-nighting in the remote corners of Central Park, befriending the homeless and sleeping on park benches. At age thirteen, he discovered the real wilderness, backpacking and rock-climbing in the Tetons of Wyoming and studying the ancient lore of the Hopi and Plains Indians.
At the age of sixteen he was attending Prescott College, in Prescott Arizona where he later graduated with a B.A. degree in Outdoor Education and Wilderness Leadership. Jeff, however, “never let his schooling interfere with his education” and the majority of his coursework were adventures, officially titled “independent studies”. At age seventeen he was already traveling the world alone, ice climbing in the Southern Alps of New Zealand and living on vampire bats in the jungles of New Caledonia. His nineteenth year was spent exploring the Andes of South America and completing some of the toughest climbs on the continent from Peru to Patagonia.
In 1977, Jeff received his Masters Degree in Experiential Education from International College and in 1981 his Ph.D. in Cultural Anthropology and Folklore from Ryokan College. At the age of 23, Jeff was invited to join the faculty of San Diego State University where he was later recognized as “Outstanding Professor”. For ten years he was the Executive Director of YBI, Inc. an adventure-based learning organization leading “cross-cultural and executive training expeditions” in the Nepali Himalaya, the Tien Shan Mountains of Western China and the Sierra Juarez of Baja, California.
In 1990 he founded Salz and Associates – now Way of Adventure, Inc. – a speaking and training company. Over the last twenty three years, Jeff has become an internationally respected speaker and leadership coach, regularly presenting at prestigious leadership events around the world – from St. Petersburg, Russia to Phuket, Thailand. His book The Way of Adventure, Transforming Your Life and Work with Spirit and Vision has been called “an operating manual for every aspect of your personal and professional life” and is considered the ‘definitive word on adventure’.
Jeff’s work as Founding Correspondent of Escape magazine has sent him all over the world on adventures and led to an invitation to create and co-host investigative anthropological documentaries on the Travel Channel, the Discovery network and, most recently the History Channel. To date he has led over one hundred wilderness, mountaineering and anthropological research expeditions around the world, including a number of first ascents and first solo- ascents of summits in Southern Patagonia and the remote Western Himalaya of India.
Jeff is the author of the popular book, Way of Adventure: Transforming Your Life and Work with Spirit and Vision. His latest book is The Age of Adventure – A Unique Exploration of the Aging Process.
In 2013 he was awarded the greatest honor of the speaking profession – induction in the the National Speakers Association “Speakers Hall of Fame”. Acclaimed “America’s leading anthropologist/adventurer” by the Discovery Network and the History Channel, Dr. Jeff is equally at home sharing stories with gauchos around a campfire in Patagonia… leading C-Suite executives around a boardroom table in Silicon Valley … or coaching young presenters on a stage in his home town of Encinitas, California.
“When it comes to building effective leadership teams by connecting individuals through their highest values, Dr. Jeff Salz is unsurpassed!”
“More than a keynote…whole new approach to living. A bounding, leaping, imaginative ‘user’s guide’ to a life well-lived!
Into Thin Hair is a fresh approach to what it takes to live a rewarding life… from start to finish. It is also ‘must see’ for those involved professionally or personally in exploring the reality of aging in today’s society…which pretty much includes us all!”