Holly Morris is the founder of Adventure Divas, Inc., and is writer/director/host/exec producer and all around creative heavy of Adventure Divas, the award-winning PBS documentary series. Whether she’s interviewing Prime Ministers on the hot seat, or Black Panthers on the lam — in the brothels of Mumbai, the cane fields of Cuba, or the beauty parlors of Iran — Morris chases down her subjects and exacts a story that is fresh and idea-driven. Morris’ writing and reporting has garnered acclaim from the audience and critics alike. Her newest book, Adventure Divas: Searching the Globe for a New Kind of Heroine (Random House/Villard) chronicles her journey from desk-bound editorial director of the publishing company Seal Press, to global correspondent. The book was named an “Editors’ Choice” and one of the year’s notable books about exploration by the New York Times.
Her recent print journalism, “A Country of Women,” about a surprising group of survivors living in the shadow of Chernobyl, won the Meredith Editorial Excellence Award, was reprinted in London’s Daily Telegraph, and The Week, and was selected for the book The Best Travel Writing (2012). The story is being made into a documentary film called The Babushkas of Chernobyl.
Morris also works as a correspondent for the television series’ “Outdoor Investigations,” “Lonely Planet Treks in America,” “Treks in a Wild World,” and “Globe Trekker” and “National Geographic Today.” In these programs she’s scaled the Matterhorn and lassoed reindeer in sub-zero Lapland; she ate rat in Arunachal Pradesh, fended off jealous elephants in India’s Andaman Islands, entered a camel race against Tuareg Nomads in the middle of Niger’s Sahara, and flicked off endless numbers of Indonesian leeches.
A public speaker and writer, Morris’ literary work is widely anthologized and she is a regular contributor to The New York Times Book Review and is a columnist for National Geographic Adventure. She’s published two anthologies, A Different Angle and Uncommon Waters, both collections that reflect her affinity for fly fishing.
Jeannie Morris, Adventure Divas’ co-executive producer and co-founder, is an author, television writer, producer and for many years, CBS sports reporter.
Jeannie has been honored 11 times with Emmys for sports productions, and has also received Emmys for sports news reporting. She won an Emmy for children’s programming for a television adaptation of her book, Adventures in the Blue Beast, the story of her family’s one-year camping trip in Europe and the Soviet Union.
She began as a columnist for the Chicago Daily News and has written many articles as well as Brian Piccolo: A Short Season, the best-selling biography that later became the film Brian’s Song.
Jeannie’s independent television work has included “The Science of Sports” with Bill Kurtis and featuring Michael Jordan (PBS), “Science Held Hostage: RU486 and the Politics of Abortion” with Cybill Shepherd (TBS), “Expedition Inspiration,” the story of 17 women, all breast cancer survivors, who climbed Argentina’s 23,000-foot Mt. Aconcagua (PBS) and “The Search for Shangrila,” a documentary set in the Himalayas, for The New Explorers (PBS).
She lives in Seattle, Washington, and Sundance, Utah.
Rena Bussinger, web manager and contributing editor, joined the Divas pilgrimage in 2000 as a production assistant and has been along for the journey ever since. In addition to keeping this website humming, Rena takes the tiara for “Most Versatile” crew member, having put her Swiss-Army-esque skillset to use in numerous areas of the Diva empire.
When she’s not holding down the fort at HQ West, Divas’ Seattle, WA outpost, Rena is working on her side project, The Story Foundry, a boutique creative company that specializes in commissioned personal and family histories. She is credited on numerous other film and documentary productions including the films of artist/animator David Russo, and the new film by internationally acclaimed director Guy Maddin, The Brand Upon The Brain!.
Heather Reilly, coordinating producer and post-production supervisor, killed time between her travels pre-Divas by working on a variety of historical documentary television and video projects, with subjects ranging from dead U.S. presidents to formerly living rock musicians. She has enjoyed the opportunity to work on a series that features real live women, (not to be confused with live nude girls!).
Heather is currently contributing her talents to the future Divas production, Adventure Divas: Science.
Jill Hodges, managing editor, was a reporter at various newspapers, most recently the Minneapolis Star Tribune, before wandering onto the web in the mid-90s. She was a senior producer at ABCNEWS.com and vice president, content, at Prairielaw.com before joining Adventure Divas. She has worked and studied in the Middle East, Eastern Europe and the South Pacific.
Kate Thompson, design diva, has won recognition from Society of Publication Design, Print Digital Annual, Communication Arts, Society of Newspaper Design, and Print Magazine for her print and digital design work. She currently is a partner in Dillon Thompson Communications, a design firm that primarily serves web and broadcast clients.
The Adventure Divas project melds personal passions for travel and adventure with her design skills.
Previous to starting Dillon Thompson, she enjoyed a four year tenure as Creative Director at Starwave Corporation where she led the design, the development and managed the day-to-day creative operation for ABCNEWS.com, Mr. Showbiz, NBA.com, NASCAR.com, Family Planet, Wall of Sound, TheCentury.com, NFLDraftTracker.com and Finals.com.