As we’ve developed River Mountain, we’ve had the opportunity to collab with some incredibly talented individuals. Their stories, perspectives, and passions are what elevate River Mountain from a destination to an unforgettable experience. These folks make up the heart and soul of River Mountain. These are the Faces of River Mountain.
Meet Becca Gurney, Founder of Design Choice, a boutique graphic design studio in Washington, DC. Becca and her team work with progressive clients to make the world a better place, by encouraging entrepreneurial endeavors, advancing social justice and women’s causes, and supporting women in leadership positions. She's also the creative genius behind our print designs and an absolutely awesome human.
To kick things off, share a photo of yourself when you were extremely happy. What's the story behind this photo?
This was last summer (2019) at Fort Reno. That’s me singing. With my band Louder Messy. I usually play bass, but sing on this one song. Playing Fort Reno was an accomplishment and high for us. For over 50 years there’s been a summer concert series in this park, and a lot of DC Punk Rock bands have played here. I’ve been going to these concerts since I was in highschool. So it was a BIG DEAL for this punk rock girl. So many friends were able to come, with their kids (and dogs!); it was a beautiful night (even for summer in DC); and I love love love the women in my band, playing with them is pure joy.
Who do you think you are?
A quirky, quiet goofball, who likes polka dots. These dots are Yayoi Kusama’s.
Where do you live?
In Washington DC! In a tiny condo. So here’s sunset at Fort Reno, one of the highest points in DC, the afore mentioned park, and the best place to catch sunset here.
Recent history or years past, what is a memorable risk that you've taken? Why does it stand out? How did it pan out?
I partnered up with a real cool dude. It’s hard to be a partner and to be vulnerable enough to share your life completely with another person. But right now, it’s nice to be stuck in this tiny condo with him while everything is such a mess. And! When we’re not in a global pandemic he indulges my quirkiness by going to cheesy dinosaur parks with me.
Where do you derive inspiration from to continue to evolve yourself and your work?
Life. Trees. Mountains.
And all the activists and grassroots organizers doing real work to make things better for folks.
Who do you look to for guidance?
My sister. She is kind, thoughtful, peaceful, spiritual, and a calming and loving presence in everything she does. In this picture she’s wearing a sweater our mom used to wear all the time, so this picture feels like one big loving hug from both of them.
Where do you go to reset?
The calmness and vastness of water.
This is Lake Superior. We stripped down and ran in – and let cold wash over us. And had the “beach” to ourselves for rest, recharge, and contemplation. (that’s also my swollen ankle from taking a fall during a hike the previous day )
What project in your work most represents who you are, your beliefs, and your values?
Besides the postcard and brochure for River Mountain?! (which are pretty sweet and I am proud of)
Last year I launched She Freelances. An open, online directory of creative, women freelancers in the DC area. A tool to help close the pay gap. Now has over 150 freelancers listed and has produced hundreds of job leads for them.
Some parting words...
A prayer my sister shared with us. If Lord is not your jam, reach out to the sea, the sky, the earth, your partner, your friend, yourself, and eventually we will be able to open our doors and walk through them:
Lord, help me now to unclutter my life, to organize myself in the direction of simplicity. Lord, teach me to listen to my heart; teach me to welcome change, instead of fearing it. Lord, I give you these stirrings inside me. I give you my discontent. I give you my restlessness. I give you my doubt. I give you my despair. I give you all the longings I hold inside. Help me to listen to these signs of change, of growth; help me to listen seriously and follow where they lead through the breathtaking empty space of an open door.
In a River Mountain survey of 400 workers in the DC area, we asked participants to give their opinion of the statement “Getting out into nature makes me feel better and improves my mental health?” Not surprisingly, over 90% of participants said that statement is ‘very true of what I believe.”Read More
The Covid-19 pandemic has impacted every aspect of the American economy and workforce. Out of nowhere, we’re all suddenly dealing with titanic changes in how we go about our workday – perhaps none bigger than the new realities of remote work. For many of us, this reality isn’t going away any time soon and is here to stay.Read More
River Mountain’s cabin pods combine modern, minimalist, luxury. Near DC in the Appalachian Mountains of Pennsylvania, it’s the ideal road trip destination for a safe and scenic escape.Read More
From the beginning of the River Mountain land development process, we’ve had 3 goals in mind…Read More
Our first trip to the River Mountain site was in late January 2019. It was the perfect winter day in the mountains — beautiful blue skies and fresh snow on the ground. I don’t remember our group’s exact, initial reaction as we drove down the gravel driveway, but I do remember…Read More