MEET THE TEAM

Frank Potter

Founder

 

 

Frank has broad knowledge of climbing as his first climb was at the raw age of 6 months old -- out of his crib. When his brother presented the idea of opening a climbing gym, he had no hesitations in helping bring the latest equipment and facilities in climbing to Kansas City. He spent the next 2 years visiting state of the art climbing gyms all over the United States. His passion deepened for the climbing culture during that time, and he could not be more excited to help develop this phenomenal gym, right here in Kansas City.

Andrew Potter

Founder

 

Andrew began climbing at a young age in Germany, where his father was stationed. As a junior at the University of Central Missouri, he co-founded the UCM Climbing Club, and led trips all over the Midwest, to places like Horseshoe Canyon Ranch and Sam's Throne, Arkansas.

 

As a Captain in the 75th Ranger Regiment, during his third Tour in Afghanistan, Andrew found himself dreaming of climbing the cliffs surrounding the combat zones he was fighting in. While he loved serving his country, he knew the time had come to begin a new mission, that mission became RoKC.

Carol Fittell

Manager & Head Climbing Instructor

 

Carol loves sharing her passion for movement and the great outdoors with anybody and everybody who is interested in learning. An engineer by trade, Carol brings a unique perspective to rigging, systems, and the risk involved in climbing. Add that to 8 years competing in gymnastics, and 10 years coaching, giving Carol a strong background in body mechanics, spatial awareness, and an ability to communicate tricky topics to a wide array of students. But mostly, Carol just loves helping people realize that they are capable of so much more than they think they are!

 

The mental aspects of climbing are also intriguing to Carol as the body can only be trained to a certain extent. Everyone has their own, unique interests and reasons for climbing. Carol likes to explore individual motivations by asking, "Why do you climb?"

 

When not training for splitter cracks and alpine suffer-fests, Carol can generally be found upside-down in a handstand, napping, or eating other people's food.

Connor Link

Youth Climbing Team Coach

 

Connor started his climbing career about 5 years ago at Lifetime Fitness. After a year, he switched gears and began climbing in a local bouldering gym. That’s when he was presented with the opportunity to be the sole gym instructor and head coach of their climbing team. Teaching was not his expected path in life, but it quickly became clear that he had a knack for it. Soon after moving on, Connor’s passions were realized by joining the RoKC.

 

"In my eyes it doesn’t matter if you started climbing at a birthday party, are a seasoned vet, or just a proven natural, everyone can always improve. That’s what I love about climbing. RoKC is dedicated to helping people improve, not just climbers, but all who want the opportunity to better themselves. That’s what The RoKC is all about"

Alexis Potter

Community outreach & Director of marketing

 

Alexis began climbing when she met Andrew, which is ironic because she grew up with a terrible fear of heights.  Climbing helped her overcome that fear which has translated to many other aspects of her life.  Creating RoKC became her passion when she and Andrew got married.  She has a heart for community outreach and leadership development and is excited to use RoKC as a tool for both!

Dan Allenbaugh

climbing instructor

 

Dan has been climbing with ropes for 22 years now, but still has much to learn. He has spent 14 years working with the Division of Youth Services teaching experiential education through low and high ropes courses, rock climbing, back packing, river outings, caving, and bicycling.  He believes we’re born with two fears… loud noises and falling, and because of this common trait, rock climbing can be a great way to learn more about ourselves, each other, and how we react to fear in general. Dan received a B.S. in Sociology from The University of Central Missouri

 

Jacob Eizenga

Head Routesetter

 

Born in Michigan, Jacob has lived in Pennsylvania, Illinois, Texas, and China. Now he calls Kansas City home and fulfills his passion by challenging himself to set new & inventive routes for RoKC customers to enjoy. When he's not hanging on a rope with a bucket of holds strapped to his harness, he might be taking care of his 17 fire bellied toads or exploring the outdoors with his wife. He also has a soft spot for cats that don't get along with other cats.

Kyle Larsen

climbing instructor

 

Kyle was fortunate enough to have taken a rock climbing class at Calvin College as a senior and develop a love for the sport. In addition to learning a bit about rock climbing he spent his time at Calvin studying philosophy. Shortly after graduating Kyle decided to change things up and did a year of service. This is what sparked the move from West Michigan to Kansas City, where he spent the year working for Kansas City  Community Gardens. A non-profit that seeks to help low income individuals in the area grow their own food.

 

In addition to a passion for climbing and gardening Kyle also loves coffee. He has spent lots of time trying to create the perfect cup of coffee. He also enjoys cooking especially fresh vegetables straight from the garden. With his cooking skills, impeccable  coffee drinking ability and arcane knowledge of philosophy Kyle makes a great guest at a dinner party, mostly because he doesn't talk much about philosophy.

Will Nagengast

ROUTE SETTER

 

Will started climbing in college and was immediately hooked.  He quickly discovered his chief interests; pushing himself while sport climbing, and long climbing trips.  These passions have led him to visit Asia multiple times for lengthy trips, as well as to climb all over the US and Europe.  While he calls Kansas home, his climbing home has always felt like Yangshuo, China, a place he has visited often.

 

When he's not abroad, he enjoys spending time with his incredibly supportive wife, playing soccer, and dressing his cat in sweaters.

Jon Feder

Manager

 

Jon fell in love with climbing in college at the University of Nebraska, where he became an instructor of climbing and paddling. After graduating from college, Jon moved to Colorado to teach both in the academic classroom and in an experiential, outdoor format and spent the summers teaching climbing and outdoor living at Philmont Scout Ranch in northern New Mexico. Jon is stoked to have moved back to his hometown of Kansas City and to be a part of the RoKC crew!

 

In addition to climbing, Jon loves running, skiing, playing and coaching soccer, reading about philosophy and adventure, and constantly seeking delicious burritos.

 

Jon is also pursuing AMGA guiding certification.

Ali Judy

YOGA INSTRUCTOR

 

Four years ago Ali discovered yoga and made it a part of her daily life.  Soon she was inspired to share this practice and in 2014 Ali obtained her 200 hour training certification in Baptiste Yoga. Baptiste Yoga is a power vinyasa flow for not only the physical aspect of yoga but also connecting the mind to the body. The same principles of mind-body connection apply to climbing. Ali loves climbing and has created a yoga flow with a focus on skills utilized most in climbing. She is looking forward to her Yoga for Climbers class to improve your climbing and overall mind-body connection.

Jesse Shroyer

YOGA INSTRUCTOR

 

Jesse would “do yoga” with her grandma in the backyard as a kid, along with gymnastics and cheerleading. She kept with the cheerleading competitively through college and started to get serious about yoga in 2011 after realizing the benefits of the breathing exercises which forced her busy mind to slow down and focus.  After being diagnosed with celiac disease and dealing with the symptoms that came with it, yoga was the only form of exercise she could manage some days and it really helped with some significant anxiety that had developed.  After 12 years of teaching cheerleading camps she realized she could take those same skills to teach yoga to a much broader demographic.

 

Jesse loves heights (see cheerleading) and iseager to learn how to be a better and more efficient climber. You can usually find Jesse with #rosathedog on various adventures throughout KC.

Essie Titus

YOGA INSTRUCTOR

 

Essie Marie Titus is a Kansas City, Missouri firefighter and she really enjoys sharing her yoga practice with the community. Wednesdays will be dedicated to first responders. We invite all first responders, active duty and veteran military personnel to enjoy the benefits of this mindful practice on the house. After yoga, stay and climb with us!

Cooper Fankhauser

 

Cooper was born and raised in Kansas City. He grew up in the Northland and graduated from Park Hill High School in the spring of 2016. He has played ice hockey since the age of 4 and also played lacrosse throughout high school. He started climbing in late June, 2016 and has enjoyed learning more about climbing and it’s culture!

Spencer Denney

 

Spencer joined the RoKC team in the first weeks of the gym being open. He has since picked up climbing and enjoys spending time on he wall. His favorite thing about working at the gym is being exposed to the climbing community and making new connections. He also enjoys instructing birthday parties and climbing club.

 

Spencer is in his senior year of high school at Park Hill South. Spencer plays soccer at his high school and lacrosse for Northland Lacrosse. He plans to attend the University of Arkansas in the fall of 2017.

Jake Wilson

 

Jake was a junior in high school when he first found out about RoKC through the NorthlandCAPS internship program at his school. NCAPS is a program that works in connecting high schoolers to a multitude of professional businesses in the Kansas City area. Luckily, he found us. Jake was not totally new to climbing, he had started climbing shortly before he found out about the internship opportunity at RoKC. After joining, he decided his goal would be to connect with as many costumers as he could before leaving for college, so if you see him, say "Hi.”

Sebasttian Panimbosa

 

Sebasttian is a student at Park Hill South High School and is part of the soccer program. He was born and raised in Kansas City, Missouri but his family is originally from Colombia and Ecuador, South America. Sebasttian has always been adventurous and has loved the outdoors and traveling,  so his love for rock climbing didn't come as a surprise. He had the opportunity to start rock climbing in the summer of 2016 and hasn't stopped since.

Abby Emerson

 

Abby is currently a Junior at Parkhill South Highschool. She plays cello in her school orchestra and is on the tennis team.

Abby is fairly new to the climbing community. She started climbing when ROKC first opened and quickly fell in love. Abby now aspires to learn as much as she can about the sport, and to continue to grow as a climber.

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