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Tawnie Wilson | SBJ

12 People You Need to Know in 2024: Danny Collins

An Ozarks Expedition

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Founding and operating 37 North Expeditions LLC, a guided outdoor experience company, has been an eye-opening journey for Danny Collins.

“I really value diverse experiences and diverse learning environments,” he says.

Bringing his passion of being an outdoorsman to his work, Collins says he’s striving to put the Ozarks on the map as the pinnacle of outdoor recreational tourism. But at the root of Collins’ aspirations, he wants to show people how beneficial outdoor recreation can be to physical and mental health.

Growing up in Springfield, Collins says he was raised in an outdoorsy family. After pursuing a career in architecture that led him to New York City, he realized it wasn’t fulfilling all his passions. He began offering guided outdoor experiences in the Northeast as a side job and was later hired by National Geographic as expedition manager in Ecuador for the Unique Lodges of the World program.

“I really fell in love with the intersection of hospitality and outdoor adventure,” Collins says.

He says the massive career change sparked a realization that his true passions were in the outdoors, guiding others through the wonders of the world.

Collins has also dipped his toes in real estate, as well as race directing for Expedition Ozark, which he considers an impactful part of his entrepreneurial journey. He acknowledges being a business owner can be challenging and lonely at times.

“It’s taking that and turning it into a learning experience. That persistence is, in my mind, the only true thing that every entrepreneur has to have,” says Collins.

He founded 37 North Expeditions in 2018. The guided experience company provides curated expeditions, such as hiking, biking, horseback riding and kayaking. The adventures take clients to mountains, mines, rivers and lakes. The company also offers holidays events, such as a hike through Eureka Springs’ holiday light show. When he’s not guiding outdoor experiences, Collins pursues his hobbies of mountaineering and traveling. He has been to nearly 40 countries and has climbed mountains Chimborazo in central Ecuador, Kilimanjaro in Africa and others.

For several years, Collins has attended the Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce’s community leadership visits. The 2023 trip was to Tulsa, Oklahoma. The program goal is to help participants find inspiration on how to better the Springfield region. For Collins, his mission is to achieve that through outdoor recreation: “It’s all about finding ways that outdoor programming can benefit people’s physical and mental health.”

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