Call of the Wild wins Entrepreneur of the Year

Call of the Wild Adventures, Inc. was awarded the 2015 Bend Chamber of Commerce Entrepreneur of the Year award at the 26th Annual SAGE Awards Gala.

​Call of the Wild Adventures, Inc. (“COTWA”) has been honored with 2015 Bend Chamber of Commerce Entrepreneur of the Year award after being nominated two years in a row. Winners in all categories were announced at the 26th Annual SAGE Awards Gala at Sunriver Resort on Friday April 10, 2015. Other nominees for Entrepreneur of the Year included Seven Peaks Ventures, Cairn, and Moementum, Inc.

Emilie Cortes, owner of Call of the Wild, expressed her gratitude for winning the award, “I’m really quite pleasantly shocked, and I was rendered nearly speechless at the award ceremony.  I had been joking about becoming the Susan Lucci of the Bend Chamber awards, nominated year after year!  The competition was stiff as we have tremendous local talent and entrepreneurial spirit here in Bend.  We are truly thrilled to be welcomed and recognized by the business community here.  I know I made the right decision to relocate the business to this outdoors mecca."

Robin Rogers, SVP Programs & Events with the Bend Chamber of Commerce, reported that each nominee was evaluated and scored across five categories:  

  1. History
  2. Growth & Performance
  3. Personal Accomplishments
  4. Community Involvement, and 
  5. Service Philosophy. 

As an example of the Community Involvement category, Call of the Wild and Emilie Cortes personally participated in the following organizations or events in the prior twelve months alone:

  • Smith Rock State Park - COTWA continues to serve as an official park partner through the Adopt a Park program. We are responsible for mobilizing volunteers on a monthly basis to support the installation and maintenance of the native desert garden installation next to the Welcome Yurt.
  • Leave No Trace - COTWA is a dedicated official corporate partner, hosts traveling trainers and workshops in Bend, and teaches LNT ethics to clients all over the country and world to preserve our wilderness.
  • Bend Chamber - Emilie is an active member and served as a judge and mini-keynote for the 2015 Women of the Year awards.
  • Deschutes County Search and Rescue – Emilie is a new recruit for team going through SAR Academy in April/May 2015 (110 hr commitment for academy alone)
  • Bend Chamber Toastmasters - Emilie is an active member attending weekly meetings, delivering speeches (working towards Advanced Communicator Gold award), mentoring members, competing in contests, and writing for Toastmasters Magazine.
  • The Academy at Sisters - Emilie served as a volunteer graduation commencement speaker and Women of Inspiration speaker.
  • Cascades Mountaineers – Emilie serves Board member and Outings Leader in charge of marketing, slideshow organization, and putting on skills clinics to promote safety.
  • Compton Foundation - Emilie serves as a Treasurer and Board Member for a foundation providing grant making worldwide to promote its mission.
  • Hold quarterly free events such as the Hike, Meditate and Get Your Yoga On! at Smith Rock with local partners to support women getting outdoors.
  • Sponsored Bend Endurance Academy, ConnectW Expo, GirlVentures Hike-a-Thon, and American Alpine Club Craggin’ Classic.

Ms. Cortes stated, "It's incredibly important to give back to the communities where we live and work.  Having a vibrant community is critical to our collective happiness and success.  We tend to focus on organizations and projects that 1) empower young girls and women via positive experiences in the outdoors, or 2) protect the wild places we love and in which we operate.  You don't have to be a huge company with a big budget to make an impact - we find creative ways to support others."

About Call of the Wild 
Call of the Wild Adventures, Inc. is the longest-running provider of world-class women's adventure travel, active vacations and outdoor trips to the most unique destinations on the planet. Since its founding in 1978, all of the Wild has offered hiking, backpacking, sea kayaking, snowshoeing and multi-sport adventures around the globe. Experts in adventure travel for women, we are driven to exceed our clients' expectations at every turn - resulting in rich travel experiences and life-long memories. all of the Wild is a proud member of the Adventure Travel Trade Association (ATTA) and the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics (LNT). More information about upcoming adventures available at or contact President, Emilie Cortes with any inquiries at or at 650-265-1662.


Categories: Entrepreneurship, Travel, Business Travel

Tags: adventure travel, adventure travel for women, bend, bend chamber of commerce, Call of the Wild, emilie cortes, entrepreneur of the year, sage awards, smith rock

About Call of the Wild Adventures, Inc.

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Emilie Cortes
Press Contact, Call of the Wild Adventures, Inc.
Call of the Wild Adventures, Inc.
20834 Solstice Drive
Bend, OR 97701
United States