The Team

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.

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Dan Ashe

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 rather than being a part of the military machine. I am proud to have served and cherish every minute I wore the uniform.

After 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 began 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.


Howard Kutcher

Senior training consultant for education. Dr. Kutcher’s experience includes leading as a principal, director of HR and service in the US Army as First Sergeant in Special Operations Units. He has a contagious passion for excellence, integrity, organization, and leadership.

Bud Elzey

Master experiential facilitator and specializes in adventure-based learning for both youth and adults. Bud is on faculty at Salisbury University and Wicomico County Public Schools in Maryland.  His experience reaches across university and corporate clientele.

Jon Anscher

Director of eLearning for Graduate Medical Education at University of Washington School of Medicine. Jon is an educator, curriculum designer, and instructional coach with additional facilitation skills in experiential programming and management. He serves as a consultant on the CA Advisory Board.


Rick Deale

Senior project facilitator with over twenty years in the field of experiential education and training. He owns and manages several businesses in Ocean City, MD one of the Mid-Atlantic’s most prolific economic centers. Rick has trained with Dan since 2000.


Augie Lankford

Adventure-based program manager and lead facilitator at two different east coast challenge course sites. He supervises staff development for Challenge Applications contractors and coordinates field projects throughout the Mid-Atlantic.

Dana Squares

Mid-Atlantic special projects logistician. Her attention to detail and dynamic personality are a perfect blend as she keeps everyone focused on the positive. Dana works in a growing corporate company in Maryland while serving as program facilitator and consultant on the CA Advisory Board.


Linda Saarela

Professor at Pierce College and has served as a Senior Consultant / Corporate Trainer for over 25 years specializing in leadership development. Linda has custom-designed programs and led multiple projects including our new eLearning modules.


John Davis

Master experiential facilitator who plans and delivers corporate, for-profit training that builds better teams. His consulting expertise is in company operations and administration.  He serves as a senior leader and CA Advisory Board member.

Joe Toner

Special projects networking partner.  He is the principal of Toner Real Estate Solutions and has expertise in the real estate brokerage, management and development industry. He assists with small and medium business evaluation, development and strategic growth. Joe serves as a consultant on the CA Advisory Board.