Who are we?

Our Mission

To help people living with disabilities leverage nature’s health benefits through outdoor recreation.

Extraordinary Experiences

Expedition Empower is a nonprofit organization founded in 2020 that provides experiential outdoor programs and outdoor educational resources to individuals living with disabilities. These programs are designed to help participants leverage the health benefits of nature and to promote growth, transformation, and self-confidence.

Our Core values


Everyone has the right to enjoy the outdoors and experience nature’s health benefits. Our aim is to increase the number of opportunities that people living with disabilities have to get outdoors.


Our events are designed to help participants feed their belief in their abilities and self. Our goal is to help people increase their self-confidence through the power of nature and, in turn, live a happier and healthier life.


There are many mental and physical health benefits to spending time in nature, such as reduced stress and a boosted immune system. Our programs leverage the Japanese method of shinrin-yoku to reestablish each individual’s innate connection with nature.

Our board

Phillip Berenz

Phil is our president and a member of the board of directors. He graduated with a BS degree in Computer Networking Information Systems from Wentworth Institute of Technology. Phil was born with cerebral palsy and in 2013 became the third person with cerebral palsy to summit Mount Kilimanjaro unassisted. Phil has raised tens of thousands of dollars for other nonprofit organizations that specialize in helping people living with cerebral palsy. Phil has a true passion for the outdoors, the healing benefits of nature and helping other people living with a disability. He believes that everyone has the right to experience the outdoors and is strongly committed through Expedition Empower to advocating for people living with a disability. He is certified in Wilderness First Aid.

Stephen Trovato

Steve is our vice president and a member of the board of directors. He has been hiking mountains in New England since he was 16 years old. His first mountain was Mount Monadnock, where he fell in love with the thrill of a good hike. He has a wide variety of professional experience, ranging from Emergency Medicine to Aerial and Underground Utility Construction. He loves the outdoors and believes anyone can take advantage of nature’s health benefits. He has volunteered with various nonprofit organizations for almost three decades including fundraising campaigns for the National MS Society and Cerebral Palsy Alliance Research Foundation. He is certified in Wilderness First Aid and co-leader of his local Cub Scout Hiking Club.

Brian Baldeck

Headshot of Brian Baldeck

Brian is our treasurer and a member of the board of directors. A graduate of Emerson College with a Bachelor of Arts, his passion for the outdoors is reflected in his favorite pastime, photography. Brian joined Phil to the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro in 2013 and on the simultaneous journey to raise thousands of dollars for a local nonprofit. He has also volunteered with other organizations and fundraising drives for charity to improve the quality of life for others.

Harry Lawrence

Harry is our clerk and a member of the board of directors. An outdoor enthusiast, he has many years of experience camping and hiking in the northeastern United States, and is currently working on summiting New Hampshire’s 48 4,000-foot peaks. He has been a member of several fundraising teams for various charities, including the American Diabetes Association, Movember, and STEPtember for Cerebral Palsy. 

Spencer Hadbavny

Spencer is a member of the board of directors and the host of the Into Nature with Expedition Empower podcast. He is a B2B salesman for a Fortune 500 company in Cleveland, Ohio. Outside of work, Spencer is a member of International Toastmasters and a volunteer at Big Brothers Big Sisters. In 2020 he participated in STEPtember and raised money towards research for cerebral palsy. As an individual with cerebral palsy, he knows firsthand how important it is to be active and explore the great outdoors. 

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