Chris Martenson, Founder and CEO
Chris Martenson, PhD (Duke), MBA (Cornell) is an economic researcher and futurist specializing in energy and resource depletion, and founder of PeakProsperity.com. As one of the early econobloggers who forecasted the housing market collapse and stock market correction years in advance, Chris rose to prominence with the launch of his seminal video seminar: The Crash Course which has also been published in book form (Wiley, March 2011). The Crash Course is a popular and extremely well-regarded distillation of the interconnected forces in the Economy, Energy and the Environment (the “Three Es” as Chris calls them) that are shaping the future – one that will be defined by increasing challenges to growth as we have known it.
Following that, the book Prosper! addresses personal resilience by building eight forms of capital. His COVID video series garnered in excess of 40 million views and helped millions better understand, adapt, and prepare for the Pandemic of 2020. In addition to the analysis and commentary he writes for his site PeakProsperity.com, Chris shares his insights on his own social media channels, as well as through traditional media, academic, and civic and private organizations around the world, including the UN, the UK House of Commons and U.S. State Legislatures.
Chris and Evie now live on a 180-acre rural property in western MA and love being close to nature’s bounty and beauty.
That’s the formal version, but here’s the informal version in his own words:
I think it’s important that you understand who I am, how I have arrived at my conclusions and opinions, and why I’ve dedicated my life to communicating them to you.
First of all, I am not an ivory-tower economist. Instead, I’m a trained scientist, having completed both a PhD and a post-doctoral program at Duke University, where I specialized in neurotoxicology. I tell you this because my extensive training as a scientist informs and guides how I think. I gather data, I develop hypotheses, and I continually seek to accept or reject my hypotheses based on the evidence at hand. I let the data tell me the story.
It is also important for you to know that I entered the profession of science with the intention of teaching at the college level. I love teaching, and I especially enjoy the challenge of explaining difficult or complicated subjects to people with limited or no background in those subjects. Over the years I’ve gotten pretty good at it.
Once I figured out that most of the (so-called) better colleges place “effective teacher” pretty much near the bottom of their list of characteristics that factor into tenure review, I switched gears, obtained an MBA from Cornell (in Finance), and spent the next ten years working my way through positions in both corporate finance and strategic consulting. From these experiences, I gather my comfort with numbers and finance.
So much for the credentials.
The most important thing for you to know is the impact that the information that I’ve now placed on this site had on me. Let’s do this as a Before and After.
Before: I am a 40-year-old professional who has worked his way up to Vice President of a large, international Fortune 300 company and is living in a waterfront, 5 bathroom house in Mystic, CT, which is mostly paid off. My three young children are either in or about to enter public school, and my portfolio of investments is being managed by a broker at a large institution. I do not really know any of my neighbors very well, and many of my local connections are superficial at best.
After: I am a 58-year-old who willingly terminated his former high-paying, high-status position (at 42) because it seemed like an unnecessary diversion from the real tasks at hand. My children were homeschooled, and the big house in Mystic was sold in 2003 in preference for a modest homestead in rural western Massachusetts. In 2002, I discovered that my broker was unable to navigate a bear market, and I’ve been managing my investments ever since. I grow a garden every year; preserve food, know how to brew beer & wine, build structures, operate a sawmill, play guitar, and raise chickens, pigs and cows. I’ve carefully examined each support system (food, energy, security, etc), and for each of them I’ve figured out either a means of being more self-sufficient or a way to do without. But, most importantly, I now know that the most important descriptor of wealth is not my dollar holdings, but the depth and richness of my community.
I hope you find what I have to offer here useful.
All the best,
Aaron McKeon, Business Manager and Director of Technology
Aaron McKeon, member of the Peak Prosperity Tribe since 2014 and former corporate renaissance man turned country homesteader, joins the Peak Prosperity team as Business Manager and Head of Technology.
During his 15-year career at a publicly traded medical device company, he eventually became the company’s only other general manager besides the CEO, personally running an $8 million sales and manufacturing operation in Australia / New Zealand. Prior roles spanned IT, sales, marketing, and operations, giving him a rich understanding of all major areas of the business. Ever since his high school days running his own company building websites, he has also maintained a passion for developing websites, one he now brings to the table at Peak Prosperity.
In 2014, Aaron discovered the Crash Course and has been a member of the Tribe ever since. He and his wife spent their time in Australia learning permaculture and, upon moving back to the United States, left Corporate America to build a homestead in New Hampshire. He has truly taken the Peak Prosperity ethos to heart.
Aaron’s aim is to maintain alignment between the vision of Peak Prosperity, the business strategy, and its day-to-day operations.
Dane Larsen, Director of Marketing
Dane Larsen is a real estate investor and enthusiast who was first introduced to the world of Peak Prosperity at a seminar on the other side of the globe from his current home in Western Washington. He chose not to pursue the traditional school route, instead opting for jobs that focused on gaining skills. His career began as a laborer in commercial construction and then progressed to managing a 102-unit apartment complex. After, he became a home mortgage lender and purchased his first rental property – allowing him to house hack at 23 years old!
In addition to his passion for learning, Dane loves anything related to finance or investing and hosts an investor meet-up locally. He has a passion for reading and enjoys hunting, fly fishing, and golfing. Dane is always striving to learn more so he can help others reach their peak prosperity. His enthusiasm continues to drive him to expand his horizons – being committed to growth, there is no telling how far he will go. Dane is the perfect addition to the Peak Prosperity team.
Morgan Stewart, Media Relations
Morgan Stewart brings to Peak Prosperity 30 years of communications experience from multiple industries including energy, retail, consumer electronics, economic development, shipping/logistics, restaurant/food service, tourism, legal, and nonprofit. His corporate roles also included investor relations communications.
He had a brief journalism career, ending as the Associate Editor for Campaigns and Elections Magazine, before transitioning to PR/marketing. Morgan then spent over 15 years working for two Fortune 200 companies and later consulting to national solar energy companies, restaurant chains, nonprofits, and schools. He’s also worked in media relations with reporters and news organizations in more than 160 media markets, including CNN, Fox News, USA Today, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, New York Times, Good Morning America, the Today Show, 20/20, and Dateline.
Michael Congero, Events Manager & Director of Strategic Partnerships
Born and raised in Las Vegas, Mike Congero spent his initial working years freelancing in various showrooms across the city – even serving as a “grip” in his family’s record studio – until eventually signing up for the U.S. Air Force, yes, one month prior to September 11.
Between a 15-year tour in the military and five years at URS (later Amentum), Mike has nearly two decades of project management, operations, maintenance, and logistics experience. In the military, he last served as Assistant Director of RAF Lakenheath’s Process Improvement Office. In his corporate role, he was responsible for managing the movements of hundreds of employees and their families as well as millions in parts and equipment across various projects and site locations, including Germany, Italy, UK, UAE, Jordan, Iraq, Afghanistan, Qatar, Kuwait, Djibouti, and others.
A self-described economic “nerd,” Mike discovered the Crash Course through a trail of self-study on different economic theories prior to and during the 2008 crash, which inevitably led him to Chris Martenson in 2009. He has been a member of the Peak Prosperity Tribe ever since. Combining mission and passion, he now puts his logistics experience to work organizing our events, building partnerships, and growing our community into one that will help us thrive in what we all know is coming.
Ryan Tiefen, Content Producer
Ryan Tiefen joined the Peak Team in 2022 after having discovered Chris and the Crash Course and subsequently joined the tribe, like so many others, in the heat of the Covid mayhem (2020). Up until then Ryan was working in Los Angeles, CA—the place where he was born and raised—in the film industry and in the process of forming his early career. While in Los Angeles, he dabbled in all facets of video production, from sound, to cinematography/lighting, directing, and editing, experiences which contributed to a well-rounded competency in all things production.
Coming to view Los Angeles as a severely unsustainable city-sprawl in an age of de-industrialization, however, and to mention nothing of the political and socio-cultural miasma, Ryan (again, like so many others during the Pandemania) joined in the exodus from California and, as luck would have it, wound up at Honey Badger Farms to help fight the good fight and become Peak Prosperity’s new Content Producer.
In addition to filming and editing the Peak Prosperity show, Ryan is filming the goings on around Honey Badger Farms (as seen in “Resilient Life”), and he’s working hands-on alongside Chris and Evie in an effort to bring Honey Badger up to its full potential, which we know will be of utmost importance in the times ahead. Learning and practicing all things Resilience along the way is his top mission—having grown up without much exposure in the suburbs of California—and so he keeps plenty busy with the cows, chickens, pigs, and all else that the farm life demands.