Who is Team Meraki?
Jenn Zipp Richmond and Heather Lewis are two women who share the passion for adventure. Both women have a contagious attitude of joy, kindness, and a let’s do our best and put our heart and soul into it! Hence the name Meraki. The Greek term meaning to do something with soul, creativity, love, to put something of yourself into your work.
Jenn Zipp Richmond has been living her adventure and succeeding in making the most of it. Jenn’s bucket list continues to grow with her sights set on competing in the women’s only Rallye Aicha des Gazelles held in Morocco as well as the historic SCORE Baja 1000 race series. With her “let’s go for it” attitude she is destined to make it happen. She started navigation training and learning more about off-road driving by getting out there and getting dirty! Jenn began her training in 2014 and has since successfully completed the first all women’s adventure navigation rally held in the U.S.- The Rebelle Rally, in 2016 as a driver. Her experience on the Reblle Rally has given her that edge and confidence that we all seek to achieve. Before her adventures began in the off-road world Jenn decided she wanted to follow a dream of opening up a boutique. She left her career as an Oral Surgery Assistant after 14 years and opened up that boutique, a place she put all her passion into. But this was not the end of the road for Jenn. Moving on to bigger and better things Jenn became a mother to two beautiful children. Her new journey, being the best mom and wife she can be. She has not lost herself in that journey, but has embraced the challenge and continues to act as an exceptional role model for her children and women alike. Jenn tells me about her upbringing, how she drifted from the world of off-roading and why she came back to it.
“I started off-roading and riding dirt bikes when I was 15, but over the years the desert trips got fewer and far between which make me sad because of how much I loved being out in the dirt. After my second child turned 2y/o- it was like a switch flipped and I knew it was time for me to get back out there. At first, I felt guilty taking time away from my little ones, but I quickly realized that I was setting an example for my kids, to always follow their heart and do what makes them happy!”
When you hang out with Jenn or get the chance to drive with her you will be inspired and energized! As a past competitor, Jenn brings her experience and wisdom along with her to bring her one step closer to Morocco and Baja. She is a determined, and passionate..two qualities she shares with her teammate, Heather Lewis. As Jenn prepares to return for the 2017 Rebelle Rally she says, “There’s no one I’d rather have by my side on this journey!”
Heather Lewis is a Forensic Scientist, professional motorcycle rider, women’s off-road ambassador, photographer, and adventure seeker. She has been working to empower women and young ladies to gain confidence and try things that are out of their comfort zone since the early 2000’s. In 2001, Heather worked for BMW Motorrad, USA as a women’s ambassador. She traveled the nation speaking to women about riding motorcycles that are a bit intimidating. She taught them how to overcome their fear of riding a big off-road adventure bike and doing this as a woman in a male-dominated sport. Heather continues to work with companies such as KLIM, Touratech USA, and KTM, and continues to speak and teach at Motorcycle Adventure Rallies and events.
Heather is an instructor at the Jimmy Lewis Off-Road Riding School on the weekends and is a Forensic Scientist by day. Heather is a true friend and encourages everyone she meets to enjoy the now, live up to your potential, and succeed without regret. Heather also enjoys capturing the beauty of this world through art and photography. She seeks adventure by exploring the outdoors; capturing her experiences through photography. She is a passionate person who puts her heart into everything she does. Her next adventure and goal are to finish the challenging Rebelle Rally with more knowledge than she went into it with. Heather is excited to team up with Jenn to reach this goal.
“I can’t wait to get out there and conquer challenges with one of the most positive people I have met in my life. I am excited to plot our journey together after all the journey is the adventure!”