The Ultimate Outdoorsman: Yardzen Co-Founder and COO, Adam Messner
Have you always been passionate about nature?
I grew up an outdoorsman and conservationist. My mom was born with a green thumb, always planting, growing, and gardening, and I like to think she passed that down to me. As early as 8 years old, I told her I wanted to move to Alaska (I later would, following a very cool girl named Allison). Though I don’t live there anymore, I think my early interest in Alaska really bolstered my passion for the outdoors – I always wanted to witness the most extreme beauty that nature had to offer.
So it’s safe to assume you always wanted a career that incorporated the outdoors?
Definitely. There are a ton of jobs that allow you to connect to nature, but it took some time for me to find the right one. Out of college, I was an environmental consultant, but realized the farther along I got in that role, the less time I would actually get to spend outside. I then launched an electrical supply company that recycled and refurbished things like large transformers, saving millions of pounds of equipment from going into landfills. I was, and still am, eager to find ways to protect the planet through sustainability and conservation. My mission has always been to spend as much time outside as possible and at Yardzen, I have a career that allows me to do so.
What do you love most about your role at Yardzen?
When it comes to corporate responsibility and the ability to influence outdoor projects across the country, Yardzen can make a real impact. I love connecting with people that have problems that need to be solved, and I firmly believe we can help improve the lives of homeowners by inspiring them, through great design, to spend more time outside.
Can you tell us about your work outside of Yardzen?
I’m on the board of the Golden State Salmon Association – where our mission is to restore the California salmon population. The health of our rivers, and the salmon that populate them, is a very strong indicator of the health of our environment as a whole. Salmon are the proxy for a bigger picture – It might sound crazy, but every day I think about how my actions will affect California Salmon, and I hope it’s made me a more sustainable, responsible human.
What do you enjoy doing outside of Yardzen?
My favorite thing to do is camp and fish with my kids, Max and Coco! They’d honestly rather sleep outside in a tent than in their own beds, and catch or grow their own food instead of buying it. I am so fortunate that they love nature as much as I do.
Every lyric from One Sweet World by Dave Matthews Band is my mantra, but I’ll do you a favor and not sing it for you!