The Team

CO-FOUNDER
Nick Blackman

+ Art Director and Over-analyzer for Wazoo

+ BS Mechanical Engineering, BS Aerospace Engineering

+ Search And Rescue Team Lead and K-9 Training Specialist with Alpha Search and Recovery in Houston, TX

+ Instructor and Evaluator for the National Association for Search And Rescue (NASAR)

+ Associate Instructor for Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD)

+ Basic Wilderness Survival Workshop

+ Spent 4 years working as a NASA Engineer

+ Certified Appalachian American

His innate desire to understand how everything works led him to earn degrees in both Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering from West Virginia University. He dabbled in everything from data entry to deep-sea drilling tools and even as far as training astronauts. His last job was as an engineer at Johnson Space Center working with some of the largest vacuum chambers in the world. Needless to say that job 'sucked'. No matter how hard he tried to force himself to sit back and earn a good salary, life in a cubicle was slowly crushing him. Wazoo Survival Gear was the dream; unlimited design potential, researched, tested, and applied in the outdoors. Engineering gone wild! 

CO-FOUNDER
Dustin Hogard

+ Public Safety Diver (PSD) trained in body and evidence recovery in blackwater

+ Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI) Divemaster

+ Apnea Total Advanced Freediver

+ Wilderness First Aid/ First Responder (WFR/WFR)

+ Texas State Guard (TXSG) Corpsman

+ Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) Wildland Firefighter

+ Crewman | United States Coast Guard (USCG)

+ Graduate of Incident Response to Terrorist Bombing (IRTB) and Prevention and Response to Suicide Bombing Incidence (PRSBI) from New Mexico Tech

+ Courses Completed: ESEE Advanced Bushcraft, Hunter & Gatherer Desert Survival w/ David Holladay, Ropes, Knots, and Rigger w/ Pathfinder School, Winter Skills Course and Wilderness Skills Course w/ Gray Bearded Green Beret, Austere Medical Management w/ Ed Calderon and Voodoo Doc

After graduating from the University of Texas with degrees in Advertising and Business, Dustin actively avoided "getting a real job." Instead, he opted for alternative careers in the outdoors. He attributes his work and hobbies in a variety of industries to giving him well-rounded firsthand experience and ability to pull and combine technical concepts from various fields that are now being applied to Wazoo designs. His "odd jobs" have included canopy tour zip-line manager, cave tour designer, exotic animal caretaker, and he has worked from Alaska to Peru to Switzerland, and now lives aboard his 1966 Alberg 30 sailboat in Kemah, Texas. He loves getting high whether on a rope, mast, tree, or rock slab and feels most comfortable in small, dark, confined places, especially within the Earth's crust.

Chief operating officer (COO)
Noelle Juengling

+ Masters in Outdoor Recreation/Tourism Management

+ NOLS Wilderness First Responder

Taking on the concrete jungle, Noelle earned a B.S. from New York University. From there she made her way into the startup ecosystem in both New York City and Chicago. Looking for a change of pace she traded skyscrapers for mountains and she earned a master's degree from Colorado State University in Tourism Management and Outdoor Recreation. Having worked for a impact investing fund, whitewater rafting company, craft beer magazine, and lifestyle tech startup; she's lucky to have always been able to be a part industries that she enjoys. But none of these fits better than Wazoo for an outdoor activity junky. Everyday at Wazoo is an adventure and navigating all its moving parts keeps her on her toes. Speaking of toes, she's a big fan of going where her own two feet can take her and spends a lot of her time camping in the backcountry, atop one of Colorado's 14,000 ft peaks, skiing down a mountain, or paddling in a pack raft on an alpine lake.

Office Manager
Tara Brinkman

Tara's hobbies include:

+ Staring at the sun.