About Us

Dan Ashe: Founder and Lead Trainer

I started Challenge Applications shortly after departing active duty from the US Army in 1993. After serving in the First Gulf War, I wanted to do something that brought people together, like I learned to do as an organizational leader in the military. I am proud to have served and cherish every minute I wore the uniform.

Dan Ashe Picture CA 2019 Short.jpeg

After my service in the Army, I was teaching in Tacoma when parents who were chaperoning one of my rock climbing classes recommended I start a training company. That sounded intriguing, and so it began. The company was a side project up until 2002 when I ramped it up to full-time and started training nationally.

I am "mind-numbingly" passionate about working with people in small teams. The capability of a small group is extraordinary whether a squad of soldiers, high school student body leaders or executive team for a county agency, the power of 6-12 people gathered with a laser beam focus is where the tide of change and influence can happen.

My company serves as an education-based consulting and training business. We teach critical skills that improve teamwork, increase clarity and promote engagement.

Working with people is so rewarding. I hope you and I have a chance to talk about ways I can help your team become a better version of itself. Send me a message.

As team leader, I am proud to have assembled a talented pool of individuals who can pull off amazing events and services for clients. I also rely on my Advisory Board for insight and direction around special projects.

Our Associates

I have assembled a diverse community of facilitators, subject matter experts, designers and consultants to provide a deep well of knowledge and experience. This team stretches from coast-to-coast, and I am honored to have such talented people on-board.

We match our assets with your goals and expectations to create custom-tailored solutions that ultimately meet your needs.

We have relationships with partners throughout the United States to provide a variety of services in your geographic region. Contact us to learn more about where we can schedule your next team event.

Our Current Projects

In addition to our client base, we actively manage multiple large-scale projects from enterprise organizational training to faculty and student programs that promote team and life skills.

> GEAR UP: Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs is a nationwide education project designed to increase the number of low-income students who are prepared to enter and succeed in post-secondary education. We assist them directly by teaching the essential life-skills necessary to succeed in college, whether that is community college or four-year universities.

> COMMON GROUND LEARNING: a professional development program that helps community college faculty and staff to intentionally engage students to increase instructional effectiveness, program completion and student retention.

> THREE THINGS M3X: support services for a dynamic faith-based project grounded in Pope Francis’ 2017 proclamation on the New Evangelization where he says “this new stage is certainly the work of the whole Church, ‘people on the way to God’”. The project aims to engage all people as they search for meaning, a pathway and a community to belong.

> PIERCE COLLEGE:  an annual professional development training program that emphasizes the power of “people-skills” for leadership, faculty and staff members. This experiential, hybrid course encompasses an immersion day followed by eight, in-person processing seminars.

> DELTA MINUS ONE: a focused effort to help raise awareness and skills in combating post-traumatic stress and secondary post-traumatic stress effects to gain homeostasis and move toward peak performance in critical life-threatening situations.

> THE EVERGREEN STATE COLLEGE: a relationship where Challenge Applications has supplemented our expertise in providing professional teambuilding and group development services through the campus challenge course. We facilitate our ground-level Team Challenge Programs on campus, both indoors and outside throughout the entire year.


W.L. Gore, Newark, DE

JPG Plumbing Services, Inc., Jessup, MD

University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle, WA

Washington State Department of Corrections, Olympia, WA

Saint Peter Family Medicine, Olympia, WA

Appoquinimink School District, Middletown, DE

Pateros School District, Pateros, WA

Klickitat School District, Klickitat, WA

Wahkiakum School District, Cathlamet, WA

Willapa Valley Middle and High Schools, Willapa Valley, WA

Wicomico County Board of Education, Salisbury, MD

The Evergreen State College, Olympia, WA

American Lung Association, Baltimore, MD

Ocean Beach School District, Ilwaco, WA

Mansfield School District, Mansfield, WA

Vancouver Public Schools, Vancouver, WA

St. Michael Parish School, Olympia, WA

Clover Park Upward Bound, Lakewood, WA

Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD

Georgetown University, Washington DC

George Mason University, Manassas, VA

Victor Treatment Centers, Sacramento, CA

Virginia Beach Public Schools, Virginia Beach, VA

The Summit School, Annapolis, MD

Delaware Children In Nature Coalition, Dover, DE

YMCA of Greater Brandywine, Kennett Square, PA

Pierce College, Lakewood, WA

Washington State GEAR UP, Olympia, WA

Harford County Public Schools, Bel Air, MD

Maryland GEAR UP, Crisfield, MD

Maryland State Department of Human Services, Ocean City, MD

The Salvation Army, Scott's Valley, CA

US Air Force, Dover, DE

AmeriCorps, Eatonville, WA

National Civilian Community Corps, Perry Point, MD

Kent County Department of Social Services, Chestertown, MD

Talbot County Department of Social Services, Easton, MD

Caroline County Department of Social Services, Denton, MD

Caroline County Recreation and Parks, Denton, MD