Erika Thompson is the founder and owner of Texas Beeworks. As a child, she was fascinated with insects and spent her nights and weekends collecting every bug she could find. She took a beekeeping class in 2011 and started her first hive soon after. As her adoration and admiration for honeybees grew, so did the number of hives in her backyard. She started Texas Beeworks in 2014 while working another job full-time, and after years of doing it on the side, quit her office job in 2019 to become a full-time beekeeper. Her work with honeybees and her advocacy efforts to protect pollinators has been featured worldwide through a variety of media outlets and social media. You can follow her beekeeping adventures on Instagram @texasbeeworks.
Avid outdoorsman and award-winning freelance writer Dan Oko is based in Houston, Texas. He channels his passion for the outdoors into his work, and his articles have appeared in a wide range of outlets including Texas Monthly, Adventure Journal, Outside, Texas Parks and Wildlife, Texas Highways and Garden & Gun. Dan loves spending time outdoors with his wife and teenage daughter, and they’ve made many memories together camping and hiking in Texas State Parks. Dan also loves fly-fishing, backpacking and mountain biking. Currently, Dan is working on a non-fiction manuscript about climate change and recreation across the Texas Coast due out in 2022.
Alton Jones Jr.
Alton Jones Jr. is hard-wired for his career as a professional bass angler. Growing up, Alton traveled the country with his dad, Alton Jones Sr. as he competed in professional fishing tournaments. It was a family affair, and Alton and his sisters were home-schooled by their mom in a well-traveled RV as Alton Sr. fished. But home-base was Waco, Texas, and Alton Jr., a diehard Baylor fan, graduated from his hometown university with a marketing degree before embarking on his own professional fishing career. He sometimes competes against his dad, and though 6-feet tall is still called “Little Alton” by many fellow competitors. When not on the water searching for that next big bass, Alton enjoys spending time outdoors and is a passionate duck hunter.
Edgar Diaz has always been called by the ocean and mountains, where he developed his love of fishing, mountain biking and snowboarding. While his affinity for the outdoors began with these activities, he came to understand that it was the inner peace he experienced when he was outdoors and the connection he felt to nature that was the primal draw. In 2015, Edgar sought an accessory to represent his love for the outdoors, and after much searching, he took things into his own hands. Sight Line Provisions was born with the creation of his first outdoor-inspired bracelet. He realized the bracelet didn’t just represent his passion – it took him right back to some of his greatest memories on the water, and he knew he needed to share it with others.
As the only child of an avid bird hunter, Texas native Amber Haynes had the opportunity to tag along on numerous bird hunts with her dad, which instilled a deep love not only for the outdoors but also for the relationships bonded through hunting. Time spent chasing birds also provided a fashion muse for her later in life when she founded McKenna Quinn, a Texas-made outdoor apparel company designed with the female wingshooter in mind. Amber’s favorite part of her business is the opportunity it provides to pass on her love for the outdoors by introducing and encouraging ladies in their own bird hunting journeys. McKenna Quinn provides hosted hunts and other events aimed at cultivating women’s presence in the bird hunting community, helping to ignite a passion for both hunting and conservation.
Josh Crumpton is a 7th generation Texan who owns and operates Spoke Hollow Outfitters and is the primary steward of Spoke Hollow Ranch in Wimberley. Josh is an avid angler and huntsman, with a passion for being in the outdoors, and he has a calling to share his knowledge and joy with others. A culinary background set the stage for a major “light bulb” moment when he harvested his first large game several years ago. A sense of satisfaction enveloped his life when he was able to bring his harvest to the dinner table, and he believes there is a true connection to the natural cycle that comes from being an active participant in bringing your own protein to the table. His life mission and calling are to share that feeling with others.