National Wilderness Conference Keynote Speaker: Juan Martinez, National Geographic Explorer and director of the Natural Leaders Network

A proud product of south-central Los Angeles, Juan D. Martinez is Director of Leadership Development and Natural Leaders Network for the Children & Nature Network. His passion to empower individuals and youth led him to direct the Sierra Club's first Environmental Justice Youth Leadership Academy in Los Angeles.

In 2011, Martinez was named a National Geographic Emerging Explorer. The series of National Geographic promotional videos highlighting his work won an Emmy in 2011.

His TED Ed talk is featured on the curated TED educational videos and his TEDx in Jackson Hole, WY, is also enthusiastically reviewed. Juan is a North Face Ambassador for outdoor engagement. In 2012 he became the youngest member in history of the Sierra Club Foundation Board of Trustees. Among his numerous accomplishments are reaching the Summit of the Grand Teton in 2010 with legendary alpinist, Conrad Anker; introducing Department of Interior's Ken Salazar at Powershift in Washington, DC, in 2009, the largest youth gathering on climate change, and being an invited guest to the White House to attend the National Forum on Clean Energy Economy. A keynote speaker at the 2010 Outdoor Retailers Winter Show in Salt Lake City, Utah, Martinez received a standing ovation following his presentation. He also gave a presentation at the Western Wilderness Conference 2010 in Berkeley, California.

In 2006, he was a delegate to the Latino Congreso, the largest gathering of Latino key figures in the U.S., and is included in the book Hispanics Living Green, which was celebrated in March 2010 with a Congressional reception in Washington, D.C., and featured in Fall 2013 edition of BlindFold magazine.

Martinez received former Secretary of Labor and then Congresswoman Hilda Solis' "Environmental Youth Leadership" award, and the "Looking to the Future" award from the Breaking the Color Barriers Conference, the largest conference on people of color in the great outdoors. He also received a "Green for All" 2009 fellowship, and served as Explorer In Residence at the Murie Center, Jackson, Wyoming in 2012.

He dedicates his energy to connecting all people with nature and the great outdoors.

Martinez will be speaking at the National Wilderness Conference on Saturday, October 18th as part of the public, outdoor 'Get Wild' Festival.