Kristian Gustavson, Director of Government Contracts

1. Where are you from and where did you grow up?

I was born in Bloomington-Normal, Illinois and grew up in Chicago before going to high school in the Chicago suburbs. I moved to San Diego in 2004 and have lived here happily since. I have had the opportunity to travel globally but always consider Chicago home and San Diego where I like to live.

2. What are you into or what do you do in your spare time?

Spare time, what’s that? I heard a quote along the lines of, “if you don’t think you have time to spend outside and focus on your health, then you are exactly the type of person who needs to do so.” Finding the work/life balance is a key component I strive to achieve in my daily activities and it is a core tenant of why Exist Tribe exists, so to speak. That said, I like to spend my time surfing, hiking/rucking, practicing yoga, humbling myself in jiu-jitsu, and finding other fun ways to stay fit and enjoy nature on land and in the water.

I have been a serial entrepreneur for over ten-years now. Most of my ventures have always focused on personal health and the health of our planet. I have done a substantial amount of work in the renewable energy space including setting the first land-speed record on an algae-fueled motorcycle. In addition to being on the Exist Tribe Team, I currently work as a Government/Defense contractor and I am also in the Army Reserves at an Airborne unit.

3. Where did you go to school and what did you focus on?

I did my undergraduate studies at the University of California San Diego (UCSD) in Political Science and shifted gears to do my Masters at Scripps Institution of Oceanography. My graduate school pursuits were fueled largely from my love of the ocean through surfing and diving. My interest in exploring the oceans was driven further when I began to understand more about the mounting impacts nature is facing and working toward ways we can offer solutions.

4. Why did you join the Exist Tribe team and what do you hope to accomplish?

Nearly ten years ago, I met Robert Sweetman at the Baja 1000 offroad race in Ensenada, Mexico. This was well before Exist, existed and we became good friends over the years. Our common interests in the outdoors, wellbeing, along with experience in the military and wanting to better ourselves and others formed a solid foundation for our friendship and working relationship.

5. Any parting words of encouragement for our followers...

Good health and wellness starts from within! Some of the ways to live your best life are quite often the most simple, such as time in nature and a solid night’s sleep. How to go about achieving those solutions can be a bit more challenging so we want to help you develop a roadmap to wellness and create a culture of good health…

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