Sometimes you visit with someone and may never realize a superstar is in your midst. This holds true for Dreamland Safari Tours’ new owner as of March, 2020, Sunny Stroeer, who was recently named to Utah Business magazine’s ‘30 Women to Watch’, and for good reason. 

Utah’s ‘30 Women to Watch’ celebrates the women of Utah who are leading the way in business, law, education and so much more. There is no shortage of women breaking barriers and blazing ahead despite a difficult business landscape, and Stroeer represents the finest among women who are making waves in Utah. 

Formerly a hard-charging strategy consultant and Harvard MBA graduate, Stroeer turned her back on material possessions and a career to pursue living in an Astrovan so she could run and climb full-time instead. As an avid climber she has summited some of the highest peaks in the world, setting a new female speed record from basecamp on Argentina’s Aconcagua peak (22,841 ft). 

In addition to being a prolific outdoor enthusiast, she is a world-renowned photographer with images published in National Geographic, Outside Magazine, Forbes and many others. Originally from Germany, she spent her formative years on the East Coast before coming to the west to share her favorite places with guests, and is always up for a big day in the backcountry around Kanab. 

A major reason Stroeer was nominated for the award was because of her AWE (Awe Inspiring Women’s Expeditions) organization created by women, for women. 

AWE runs all-women’s (and a few co-ed, but predominantly-female) high mountain trips across three continents and decreases barriers of entry to mountaineering for women from all walks of life. She is on a mission to get more women involved in outdoor sports to help boost self-confidence and close society’s gender gap. 

The organization helps provide funding for women to participate in extraordinary mountaineering expeditions, skill building trips and stepping stone experiences. Stroeer said, “I firmly believe that women who get to experience and embrace adventure sports are poised to develop a higher level of self-confidence, that they’re more likely to challenge the status quo and be strong leaders and female role models for their communities.”

When asked what accomplishment she is most proud of, she replied, “Leaving behind my fast-tracked corporate career at age thirty, in order to pursue a path I truly care about: being outside, connecting with others, and prioritizing experiences and memories over material possession and monetary wealth.” 

Kanab has a magical way of attracting amazing people from all walks of life, so the next time you have a conversation with a stranger, dig a little deeper, ask an extra question, stay curious and you may find you’re conversing with a superstar.