Inside Out with Jereme Monteau

"You'll find me on the trails." - Jereme on how he likes to spend his free time

Having spent most of his early career in the Bay Area, Jereme Monteau recently moved to Bend in search of a place his family would enjoy but could also serve as a backdrop for growing his latest endeavor, Trailhead Labs. Focused on connecting technology and the outdoors, Bend is the perfect setting for the quickly growing company. 

Interview Highlights

The path to Central Oregon

How he discovered Bend

  • Jereme and his wife had committed to leaving the Bay Area, but were initially considering Portland as their next destination. Luckily Bend's weather and reputation in the outdoor community for being a fun place to live inspired them to visit again and ultimately move here instead. During a weekend trip to Bend last summer Jereme recalled, "We were just sitting on the porch, it was warm, the kids were running around...and we looked at each other and said - this feels like the place for us."

How Bend compared to Portland

  • After deciding on Bend, he took a business trip to Portland and thought "It was the first time that I arrived in Portland and it actually felt a little too urban for me." Jereme's wife was also very keen on the sunshine that Central Oregon had to offer in comparison to Portland's rainier climate.

Moving from San Francisco to Bend

  • Moving with kids is a big process but one of the driving forces for moving to Bend was the quality of the schools and well-rounded lifestyle. It took them about 3 weeks "from when we decided alright, we're going to move to packing up a truck. It probably took us a year to really commit to the idea of leaving the bay, but after that one visit we got so excited about the place that we were motivated to make things happen really quickly."

A technology company focused on the outdoors

The beginnings of Trailhead Labs

  • Jereme was doing some freelancing work when he met Ryan Branciforte who was working in conservation in the parks and recreation community in the bay. This was right around the time "when Google Maps API came out and you could start to build applications." Ryan was working on a project connecting transit lines to trails which was originally supposed to be a printed map. "As soon as he showed it to me, I was like dude...this is a cool idea but we have to try to get this online." And they did.

Bringing together Central Oregon

  • Central Oregon is an area where several agency jurisdictions (Bend Parks and Recreation, The U.S. Forest Service, Deschutes County, Tumalo State Park) overlap. "When you can get a lot of different agency data into one place, you can build a cool regional map that is integrated...the idea is for these agencies to get their authoritative data in one place so that a larger regional level application can be built." Trailhead Labs hopes to see such a solution in the near future. Jereme was nice enough to appease my inquiry into whether the Bend Ale Trail should be integrated into this regional application as well.

Structured data for the outdoors

  • The agencies are managing data for a lot of different reasons like planning, maintenance or tourism. Trailhead Labs focuses on normalizing these datasets in order to make it more consumable for the public. "Establishing open data standards for what visitor information should look like and how it should be structured" is a big step in making the outdoors more accessible. "For us, the exciting thing is to bring it all together so that you get one cohesive view of the park so that its easy to find what you want to do."

Favorite things to do in Bend

Running in Bend

  • "It's so easy to get started. Just throw my shoes on and run out the door." In addition to running he has also been doing some mountain biking on Phil's trail and plans to do more as it gets warmer.

Best place to grab a bite

  • Jereme has a lot of favorite places but likes The Sparrow Bakery for post-skiing hot chocolates and snacks.

Get in touch

Trailhead Labs

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