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  • Writer's pictureJeffrey Shor

Reflections from Lillian Chao-Quinlan, Executive Chair Sportrock Board of Directors

Dear Sportrock Member -

If you are a recent addition to our community, I’d like to introduce myself. If you have been around awhile, hello again! My name is Lillian Chao-Quinlan. For 18 years I served as Sportrock’s President and now serve as the Executive Chair of Sportrock’s Board of Directors. As I reflect on this moment, I am filled with so much gratitude for you all, our amazing community, and the reason we are here today. Sportrock Rio is our company’s biggest project to date, and we are finally ready to invite you to help us write Sportrock’s newest chapter.

Portrait of Lillian Chao-Quinlan

While Rio is Sportrock’s most recent page, it exists as part of a much longer and deeper story, which started in 1994 as one of the first indoor rock climbing gyms in the country. We grew our roots in Maryland, where we built our very first gym and after almost 30 years, we couldn’t be more excited to finally return home!

My own love and passion for climbing started at Sportrock Alexandria in 1999. I remember learning to tie the figure eight and taking my first step off the ground up the 40’ wall. Since then, my personal and professional commitment has been to find greatness – both for myself and to encourage others to find it for themselves. I continue to be committed to creating a space that welcomes everyone – from the beginner to the accomplished climber, for everyone of every color and every ability, to anyone who is willing to step off the ground and find their greatness.

As we stand here today, we are supported by our foundational pillars which we call R.O.C.K. - Routesetting, Original, Community, Knowledge. These values are incorporated into who we are and everything we do. When you are at Sportrock Rio, as you look out from almost 60’ off the ground with a view of the lake, or topout on the boulder and find your way down the former swimming pool ladder, or are hanging out in one of our many community spaces, it is my hope that you will feel those values.

This is only the beginning! The rest of the story we will write together and when we look back another 18 years from now, I look forward to talking about all the amazing connections that were made, all the impactful moments, and wild stories we will share!

Rock on everybody!

Lillian Chao-Quinlan

Executive Chair | Sportrock Board of Directors

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