jeep staff on the rubicon

About JJUSA

mark a smith off road

Jeep Jamborees are off-road adventure weekends that bring together the outdoors, down-to-earth people, and their Jeep 4x4s. These off-road treks have a long tradition dating back to 1953 when 4×4 pioneer Mark A. Smith organized the first-ever Jeep Jamboree and voyaged across the Sierra Nevada Mountains by way of the old Rubicon Trail. In 1954, Willys Motors — then manufacturer of Jeep vehicles became involved with the adventure, and Jeep Jamborees have been an off-road tradition ever since.

Mark A. Smith is a member of the Off-Road Hall of Fame and The Explorers Club.

Mark A. Smith also led the 1978-79 “Expedicion de las Americas” — a 20,000-mile odyssey from the bottom of South America to the top of North America, crossing the infamous Darien Gap — and headed the 1987 Camel Trophy expedition in Madagascar.

After founding Jeep Jamboree USA in 1982, Mark became a Jeep brand consultant and has conducted intensive training for the U.S. Army Special Forces and law-enforcement agencies.

Mark’s passing in 2014 was a loss felt deeply by the off-roading community worldwide, and he was honored with tributes both locally and even from the corporate headquarters of the Jeep brand itself. His legacy, however, is carried on by his daughter, Jill, who recently moved into a more philanthropic role to fulfill the family’s long-time commitment to causes close to their hearts. A visitor to six of the seven continents, Jill regularly continues her travels to the planet’s most remote regions, most often performing volunteer and service work for humanitarian and animal conservation organizations.

Pearse Umlauf
President & CEO

pearse umlauf

Pearse has been an integral part of Jeep Jamboree USA for more than 19 years, currently as President and CEO, overseeing the business and day-to-day operations of more than 700 staff and 50+ annual events domestic and internationally. Having begun his off-roading career with Jeep Jamboree USA (JJUSA) as a special events coordinator, Pearse’s experience with Camp Jeep events led to his leadership in their company and the growth and offerings.

Pearse Umlauf has worked side-by-side with the Smith family to ensure every part of Mark’s vision is fulfilled. Umlauf at the helm of the operation is committed to not only seeing Mark’s vision for the off-roading community fulfilled in every event they do, but he is devoted to a business that is family-run and continues to seize opportunities for growth and expansion that align with the company’s core values.

Throughout his tenure with MASOR and JJUSA, Pearse has overseen the logistical coordination of the Rubicon Trail operations annually, moving 65,000 lbs of supplies via helicopter each season to set up complete camp accommodations. He oversaw the construction of the Quantico Marine Base Severe Off-Road Track, and vehicle testing on the Rubicon Trail aiding in product development for Jeep products for the past 13 years. Most notably in the past couple of years, Pearse led the JJUSA team that spent 45-days in Brazil installing a permanent off-road test/demonstration course for Jeep’s South American plant in Pernambuco.

In addition to the day-to-day operations, Pearse oversees the development of a worldwide database of trails around the world and traveled to some of the most remote off-roading areas in Kenya, Tanzania, Morocco, India, Cambodia, Vietnam, Argentina, Chile, Peru and many parts of Europe, in addition to thousands of trails in North America. This extensive database has enabled MASOR and JJUSA to facilitate events for brand/owner loyalty, product launches with automotive media, corporate incentive trips and marketing, advertising, video and photography shoots.

Shawn Gulling
Vice President / Operations & Events

shawn gulling

In his 30+ years working in the off-road industry, Shawn has covered terrain on five continents with his trail guide and design skills. Having worked hundreds of off-road events around the globe from concept to completion, his expertise translates to a precise understanding of what is required for curating and executing programs successfully for media events, guiding consumer experiences, and commercial photo and video shoots. Shawn began his off-road career immediately after high school when he worked in a four-wheel drive shop, where his passion as an off-road enthusiast helped him create a career that led to his current position at JJUSA. He has tread on some of the most unique and famed trails in the world, as both a participant and as a professional, including guiding on the Rubicon Trail, and completing the two-month, 7,000-mile 20th Anniversary of Expedicion de Las Americas from Peru to Argentina.

When he does spend time away from the trails Shawn enjoys an active outdoor enthusiast life skiing, SCUBA diving, and camping with his family and friends.

Ty Devereaux
Chief Operating Officer / Off-Road Specialist / Trainer

ty devareaux

Ty brings more than 25 years of experience rooted in the off-road community to his role as COO, where he focuses on operations and logistics for Jamboree and Academy events around the country. He is responsible for overseeing the annual Rubicon Trail Jamboree event which includes more than 85 team members, the helicopter team which provides air support, and all the logistical elements required to set up base camp at Rubicon Springs. Ty participated in the 20th Anniversary of Expedicion de Las Americas with fellow JJSUA team member, Shawn, and spends his free time with his wife Shelli at their cabin in the north Tahoe area camping, backpacking, fishing and taking his Wrangler off-road.

Shelli Devereaux
Chief Financial Officer

shelli devereaux

Shelli spent a large portion of her childhood outdoors and off-roading with her father which eventually led to the purchase of her first Jeep in 2008, a TJ which she quickly modified from an everyday vehicle into a well-equipped off-road rig. She has been a bookkeeper for more than 15 years, is the co-owner of a body shop in Roseville, CA, and oversees finances as the CFO for JJUSA. Shellie’s love of off-roading and being outdoors led her and her husband Ty (who also works with JJUSA) to buy a cabin near Truckee, CA, where they both spend most of their summer near the Rubicon Trail and enjoying the mountains of Lake Tahoe.

Jake Horne
Director of Registration

Jake Horne

Growing up in Moab, Jake had a very early introduction to the off-roading industry. In addition to working at his family’s local Jeep tour and rental business throughout high school, he spent nearly all of his free time exploring the trails around Moab building considerable experience off-roading.

He took a brief hiatus from the industry while studying Criminal Law at Utah Valley University and began working in Section 42 government subsidized property management. During this time Jake was able to assist veterans and individuals suffering from physical and mental illness secure affordable housing.

Shortly thereafter, he transitioned into compliance enforcement and implementation in Nevada’s recreational cannabis industry. While managing a team upwards of 20 people, he authored and implemented standard operating procedures that ensured accurate audit and reconciliation methods reporting directly to the Nevada Department of Taxation.

In 2020, Jake returned to his roots and joined JJUSA as the Director of Registration. His high attention to detail, required by previously held positions, is instrumental in the management of upwards of 10,000 participant accounts. While maintaining the day-to-day operations of Registration, Jake also enjoys attending Jamborees throughout the country and interacting with participants on a personal level; sharing the same passion and excitement for the off-roading industry and what our Jeeps are capable of.

Rhiannon Murchie
Shipping & Receiving Manager

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Rhiannon is based in our Georgetown headquarters and manages the large job of overseeing all of our shipping and receiving. With 30+ Jamborees around the country taking place week after week, her attention to detail is crucial to ensure all of the materials we need are constantly replenished at events and all the stock is kept up to date so we can offer our Jamboree attendees the best variety. Rhiannon had a passion for off-roading instilled in her from a young age when she was given her first driving lesson at age nine in her uncle’s Jeep, which was the same Jeep she had been brought home from the hospital in as an infant. Her longtime love of wheeling has carried into her family and their outdoor activities, which include time at their cabin, camping, boating off-roading and connecting to nature as much as possible.

Jeff Mayfield
Senior Event Staff / Special Events / Trainer

Jeff began working with JJUSA as a Trail Guide and coordinator for the Top of Ozarks Jamboree, and now works as the Jamboree Outdoor Garage driver where he is responsible for the 44-foot trailer containing all elements necessary for setting up events. He covers more than 25,000 miles annually as he travels cross-country and assists onsite at events with the logistics required in varying locations and terrains. He discovered a love for Jeep projects at the age of 16 when he first began modifying vehicles and has owned more than 20 Jeeps over the years. Once Jeff parks the truck for the off-season, he enjoys spending time with his wife, kids, and grandson who also enjoy hitting the trails, and is passing on his love of Jamborees to his daughter and her husband who are now coordinators for the annual Hot Springs event.

Eric Loewenhagen
Special Projects / Senior Event Staff / IT Manager

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Eric attended his first Jeep Jamboree in 1999 as a passenger, and within two months had sold his pickup truck, bought at TJ and has owned nothing but Jeeps since. His passion for off-roading led him to become a trail guide a year later, and his current responsibilities for JJUSA include information technology, graphic design, and onsite event execution. Outside of the office and off the trails, Eric is the crew chief for an Ultra4 4440 race team and volunteers his time for multiple charities having served on the board for Thunder Ride for juvenile diabetes and Restorative Ink.

Jeremey Navo
Logistics Manager / Rubicon Trail Operations Support / Jeep Academy

Jeremy’s first off-road experience was on the famed Rubicon Trail which had a lasting impact and promoted him to switch his passion for imported cars to his new love of Jeeps and eventually his role as a team member at JJUSA. His work on the Jeep Adventure Academy program includes trail scouting and development, as well as onsite support, and is the main installer at the JJUSA shop in Georgetown. Jeremy has appeared on shows like Top Gear (featuring the Jeep 4XE) and eBay Motors and has managed some of the top programs including the Rubicon Extreme Experience, Moab Expedition, and on corporate trail events. His passion project is a 2013 JKU Rubicon build and enjoys spending time outdoors through the Sierra Nevada Mountain range, and spending time with his children and grandkids.  

Jonah Petrus
Jeep Academy / Rubicon Trail Operations Support

Jonah began his career with JJUSA working on the Rubicon Jamboree before transitioning to his current role as a primary instructor for the Jeep Adventure Academy, where he also manages logistics and scouts’ trails across the country. He also oversees the transportation of the trailer to each location where he helps new Jeep owners learn how to operate their vehicles safely off-road through carefully planned tutelage. Jonah enjoys being active when he’s off work and plays ice hockey, hikes, and goes to the beach. 

Dondy Flack
Registration Specialist  

Dondy grew up in the foothills of northern California and her friendship with JJUSA team members since high school are what ultimately led to her direct involvement with the company. She opened a coffee shop, Ricochet Jayne’s Coffee, and after being asked to provide barista service to guests on the Rubicon Trail, Dondy’s espresso machine and supplies were quickly on their way via helicopter to Rubicon Springs. As an expert in customer service, Dondy has more than 30-years of divers experience she brings to the team having owned multiple coffee shops and food trucks throughout the Pacific Northwest and has worked in local government as an assistant city clerk and planning and zoning commission secretary. She is an outdoor enthusiast and classic Jeep lover who owns a 1972 Jeep Commando and 1981 Grand Wagoneer and enjoys her time away from the office whitewater rafting, sailing, and cruising around in her Jeep Wrangler.