As founder and executive director of The National Center for Outdoor & Adventure Education (NCOAE), Zac Adair finds himself in the position of ensuring the proper feeding and caring of this growing outdoor and adventure education company of ours. And he accomplishes this by possessing more than two decades of outdoor industry experience under his belt.
Zac has a high proficiency in outdoor program business management and administration. He is tasked with developing and executing the strategy and vision of NCOAE, which includes establishing the philosophy, mission, policies and procedures of the organization. And while he’s performing and perfecting these tasks, he’s also making programming decisions and directing training and education functions.
All the while conferring, meeting and deliberating closely with the Center’s board members, advisory board members, contractors and the teaching staff.
That’s quite a change from Zac’s initial interest in outdoor adventure, which began at the age of nine when he took up surfing. That love of the ocean developed into a desire to teach this so-called Sport of Kings to others, and this energetic youngster began traveling to Costa Rica, Panama, Mexico, the Dominican Republic and Hawaii to surf and teach surfing on epic waves around the world.
By the time he was 18, Zac had developed a new outdoor interest — rock climbing — and like surfing, he took that activity to extremes. Soon he was traveling from North Carolina to California and everywhere in between summiting a variety of extreme routes. And then, two years later, Zac was leading trips down the Gauley, Ocoee, Chattooga, Nantahala and Pigeon rivers as a whitewater river guide.
Somewhere within that time frame, Zac managed to picked up a Bachelor of Arts degree in Therapeutic Uses of Adventure Education and a master’s degree in Adventure Education with an emphasis in Adventure Programming — both from Prescott College (Prescott, Ariz.).
Zac is certified as a North Carolina EMT and Wilderness EMT, and is a member of the Association for Experiential Education and the Wilderness Medical Society. His professional certifications and designations include North Carolina EMT, Wilderness EMT, Leave No Trace (LNT) Master Educator, and Wilderness Medicine Instructor.
Zac is married to Celine Adair, NCOAE’s co-founder and director of operations. The pair has a son, Sawyer, and Alfred the yellow Labrador retriever.