Mat Erpelding is a small business owner, educator, high-altitude mountain guide, and political activist who is running for District 19 House Seat A in the Idaho House of Representatives. Mat moved to Idaho in 1993 to attend Idaho State University, and has lived in Boise since 2006. His passion for recreation and a vibrant and healthy urban community is what drew him to Boise, and it is why he loves Idaho.
In 2012, Mat served as a policy aide to Representative Brian Cronin and the Democratic Legislative Caucus and is familiar with the challenges faced by our Democratic legislators. He worked hard to support the members of both the house and senate by organizing and preparing the 2012 Idaho Jobs and Opportunity Blueprint during the legislative session.
Mat is a co-owner of Experiential Adventures LLC, which he founded in 2004. Experiential Adventures LLC specializes in leadership development, group facilitation, and teaching collaboration using experiential education as its foundation. EA has grown and expanded over the years to include a host of different clients including the military, higher education institutions, and corporations who want to improve their organizational culture.
Mat is an instructor at the College of Western Idaho Department of Physical Education, specializing in training teachers to use experiential education in the classroom. Additionally, Mat is an adjunct faculty member in the Leadership Studies Minor at Boise State University. Prior to working as an instructor in higher education, Mat worked in the Division of Student Affairs at several different colleges and universities including Boise State University, California State University, Chico, Evergreen State College, and Texas Tech University. Most recently, Mat co-edited a text for outdoor leadership programs called Outdoor Program Administration.
Mat is also an accomplished high-altitude mountain guide having reached the 20,320 ft summit of Denali (Mt. McKinley) 4 out of 5 attempts while helping more than 20 clients to achieve their goal of standing on top of North America. Mat’s success in the mountains has always been tempered by this quote from Willi Unsoeld – “The final test for me of the legitimacy of the [mountaineering] experience is ‘How well does your experience of the sacred in nature enable you to cope more effectively with the problems of mankind when you come back to the city?” Mat’s passion for the wilderness and the unique experiences it offers has solidified his view that civic engagement is essential to living in our community.
In 2011 -2012, Mat served as the Vice Chair of the Ada County Democrats, and was awarded Activist of the Year by the Idaho Democratic Party at the 2012 Frank Church Banquet. He is the Past President of the Association of Outdoor Recreation and Education, and was awarded the Wilderness Education Association’s Instructor of the year award in 2010. Mat is a passionate and dedicated leader committed to making a difference in every organization he works in, and he is confident he can make a difference in the House of Representatives.