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Press Releases

Backbone Media Expands Team with Recent Hires

The Company Grows in Both Carbondale and Denver

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CARBONDALE, Colo. – Jan. 24, 2018 

Backbone Media, the country’s leading active lifestyle media agency, has added accounting, media planning and buying, and public relations expertise with the recent hiring of Alice Hackney, Kyle Dodson, Melissa Haupt, Joe Risi, and Eric Whiting.

“As we continue to add category-leading clients to our agency roster, we’re excited to welcome this group of seasoned professionals to our team,” said Nate Simmons, managing partner at Backbone. “Notably, hiring a dedicated, experienced controller like Alice marks a pivotal moment in our agency’s history as we scale for growth.”

Hackney comes to Backbone Media after more than nine years of working in accounting for the City of Aspen, Colorado. In her former role, she managed a $100 million budget and payroll for the city’s more than 400 full-time employees. In the newly created role of Controller at Backbone, Hackney will oversee the agency’s financial transactions and reporting, as well as annual budgets. She is a graduate of the local Roaring Fork Leadership program and holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Colorado State University.

Dodson and Haupt were hired as Senior Media Planners at the agency. Dodson has five years of agency experience, including stints at media, publishing and technology firms, as well as a breadth of digital media buying knowledge. He has earned recognition by numerous digital media platforms, including certifications from Google and Kenshoo.

Haupt has experience in a variety of marketing roles and most recently worked as a media planner. She has years of media planning and buying experience, negotiating media buys for a diverse mix of clients, including destination, healthcare, and automotive brands. Haupt is an alumna of the University of Colorado Denver, with a Bachelor of Science in Marketing.

Risi and Whiting join Backbone Media as Public Relations Account Managers. Risi comes to Backbone from SCARPA North America, where he oversaw the brand’s event practice. A seasoned guide and industry professional, Risi is also the Race Director of COSMIC Series, the largest ski mountaineering race series in the country. He is a graduate of the University of Vermont, where he studied recreation management.

Prior to Backbone, Whiting co-founded Iron Will Outfitters, an archery hunting broadhead company. There, Whiting drove marketing efforts for the brand and developed a robust social media presence. He also served in marketing roles at Timbers Resorts and Alpine Hardware of Colorado, also based in Carbondale. Whiting is an alumnus of the University of Wyoming, where he earned a Bachelor of Science in Marketing.

Dodson, Haupt, and Risi will work in the agency’s expanding Denver office, and Whiting and Hackney will work from the company headquarters in Carbondale.

About Backbone Media

Backbone Media targets, engages and inspires the active lifestyle market through public relations, media planning and buying, and social media. For over 20 years, Backbone has worked with leading outdoor gear, apparel, technology, food and beverage brands, as well as tourism destinations around the world. Backbone has offices in Carbondale and Denver, Colorado, and has been named one of Outside magazine’s “Best Places to Work.” For more about Backbone Media, visit


Janelle Huelsman