2022 CWA Summit
Product Presentations Coming Soon

Each year the CWA convenes the industry's top companies, manufacturers, and vendors. Don't miss the opportunity to be on the cutting edge with your indoor climbing industry peers!


Read on for a peek at the 2019 lineup, and stay tuned for 2022 announcements.


Walltopia Harmonized System

Presented by: Adam Koberna, President of Walltopia USA; Walltopia Team

Date: Thursday, May 16, 2019  Time: 11:30 am - 12:15 pm

Location: River Birch, Embassy Suites Conference Center

Description: Walltopia's Harmonized System aims to optimize the way route setting is being done. The Harmonized system is a universal platform that brings a healthy dose of standardization by giving the opportunity to set routes that can be replicated around the world and allowing climbers to give feedback about those routes through a mobile app. It offers climbing gym owners access to an online database with quality routes, gives route setters a way to sell their creations to climbing gyms around the globe, and provides climbers with a diverse selection of routes set by the best setters in the world. It combines a standardized set of climbing wall modules (harmonized walls) and a route sharing app (E-walls), to allow the replication of routes in any climbing gym equipped with the system.

About the PresenterIvaylo Penchev has founded and is actively involved in a number of companies - the best-known being Walltopia - the leading manufacturer of artificial climbing walls and adventure attractions with the largest production factory in the world. Ivaylo studied Physics in Sofia, Bulgaria. Some of the skills he gained is how to use available resources to create and develop new concepts; how to establish mechanisms for innovation; how to simplify existing problems and to find fast, efficient solutions.


Bouldering Flooring, Business, and Workability

Presented by: Jamey Sproull, Owner of Asana Climbing and Asana Climbing Gym, and Michael Alvarado, Sales Manager, Asana Climbing

Date: Friday, May 17, 2019  Time: 10:00 am - 10:45 am

Location: River Birch, Embassy Suites Conference Center

Description: Asana prides itself in being a company of its word. When we say something or promise something, it is at our core to deliver on those words. We judge ourselves by how workable our systems are and how workable our actions are in dealing with sales and how we interact with our customers and our product development. We want to share this concept with the climbing industry so that everyone who attends our seminar leaves with a sense of what Workability is and how it applies to all aspects of business: customer service, employee relations, and product development. When a team focuses on and commits to Workability, it leads to increased productivity, brand awareness, and ultimately higher sales.

About the Presenter: Jamey Sproull is the founder and owner of Asana Climbing and Asana Climbing Gym in Boise, Idaho. He was introduced to bouldering 20 years ago and fell in love with the sport immediately. He started Asana is his garage and today continues to own and operate the company in Boise, Idaho. Alvarado has been with Asana Climbing since 2016 and is currently the Sales Manager. He started climbing over 3 years ago and has been falling ever since.


The Latest Technologies in Climbing Holds

Presented by: Daniel French, Owner and Executive Director, Composite-X

Date: Friday, May 17, 2019  Time: 10:00 am - 10:45 am

Location: Goldenglow, Embassy Suites Conference Center

Description: The focus of the talk will be on current products' performance and improvement, while looking into the future of climbing holds - new materials and technologies. The presentation will also include a brief description of the services provided by Composite-X and the introduction of a new product that will be available shortly. Suitable for all audience types From Brand owners to Distributors to Gym Owners to Route setters and general climbers with an interested in Climbing holds.

About the Presenter: With more than 20 years of experience in climbing hold manufacturing, Daniel French is behind a number of innovations in our industry. With the persistent combination of science, engineering and experimentation, his company is at the forefront of the climbing holds industry today.


Flashed: How We Serve The Climbing Community

Presented by: Keith Nalepa, Sales Director & Office Manager, Flashed Climbing

Date: Thursday, May 16, 2019  Time: 11:30 am - 12:15 pm

Location: Elderberry, Embassy Suites Conference Center

Description: Flashed is known for being a world leader in gym flooring and innovative bouldering gear. There is much more that we offer to the climbing community that might not be immediately noticed; Floor Maintenance, Gym Equipment, Competition Sponsorship, Competition Series Grant Program, Demos, Festival Sponsorship, etc. We want to celebrate the climbing industry and help promote growth from a grassroots level. And we are doing a product giveaway for those that attend!!

About the Presenter: Keith Nalepa is the Sales Director & Office Manager of Flashed Climbing. He has been with Flashed for just over 12 years but his experience doesn't stop there. He was part-time and full-time Desk Staff / Instructor / Route-Setter with the Calgary Climbing Centre for 4 years prior to his time at Flashed. His creative approach stems from his education as a Graduate with a Bachelor of Management, Major in Marketing from the University of Lethbridge.


MyClimb: Attract, Engage and Keep Gym Members

Presented by: Bill Brooks, Founder, MyClimb

Date: Thursday, May 16, 2019  Time: 11:30 am - 12:15 pm

Location: Lake Loveland, Embassy Suites Conference Center

Description: We will go over how gyms can use MyClimb's Engagement, Marketing and Route Setting Management tools. This will cover everything from running Leagues, Challenges and Competitions, to direct marketing to local climbers in the MyClimb app and also Route Setting Management, which includes climb + grade feedback from climbers and posting video beta

About the Presenter: Bill started rock climbing in Joshua Tree, California when he was five years old and have loved climbing in the gym, on rock and ice ever since!


Outdoor Retailing 101: Learn How Best to Purchase Products for Resale in Your Gym

Presented by: Jon Rockefeller, Managing Director, Sport Division, Petzl

Date: Thursday, May 16, 2019  Time: 11:30 am - 12:15 pm

Location: Goldenglow, Embassy Suites Conference Center

Description: In this presentation we will cover the basic information every buyer or gym owner should know about purchasing products from Outdoor Retail brands and making the most of your investment. We will cover the core principals and terminology associated with purchasing products for retail sales and provide a simple to understand pathway to making the most of your investments in products from the Outdoor Industry.

About the Presenter: Jon Rockefeller began working in the Outdoor Industry in 1988 and has remained in the Outdoor Industry for the past 30 years. His experience spans 10 years of working retail plus 20 years of working for various brands including Patagonia, The North Face, Arc’teryx and Petzl. He has been a retail sales associate, buyer, store manager, dealer service rep, sales rep, product line manager and now the Managing Director for Petzl America’s Sport Division.


A Brand New Approach to Climbing Gym Software

Presented by: Andrew Potter, Co-Founder, Approach

Date: Thursday, May 16, 2019  Time: 11:30 am - 12:15 pm

Location: Big Thompson, Embassy Suites Conference Center

Description: The Approach workshop will introduce the software and demonstrate the use of the Client Relationship Management Interface, Store, Digital Cash Drawer, Inventory, and Calendaring and Booking. In addition we will be giving a short demonstration of our Ipad Check-in App and our integrated tool "Amazon Quicksight", which is used to generate business intelligence and break down data that each business captures. Approach was built to be a highly secure and cloud based platform with no hardware to maintain. Our demonstration will include how merchant accounts can be separated between facilities and how reports can be generated to help keep your books in order. Additionally, we will discuss features that are currently being developed and what the future will look like. We will open up the floor for questions after our demonstration.

About the Presenter: Co-Founder of Approach, Andrew Potter is a successful climbing gym owner with a good understanding of multi-gym management. With a background in leadership, Andrew knows how to bring the best out of the people around him, building teams to solve problems. Through his intimate knowledge of a climbing gym's day-to-day process, Andrew works with Approach's lead software engineers to develop applications that give businesses the user experience needed to simplify processes and streamline efficiency.


The Importance of Retail Sales and How to Make the Most of Brand Partnerships

Presented by: Kevin McNally, Climbing Gym Business Manager, Black Diamond Equipment

Date: Friday, May 17, 2019  Time: 10:00 am - 10:45 am

Location: Aspen Daisy, Embassy Suites Conference Center

Description: Join Kevin McNally from Black Diamond Equipment in a discussion on retail sales and logistics, how to approach your members and guests in the facility, and how to get the most out of working with brands in the outdoor industry.

About the Presenter:  Kevin McNally has 12 years of indoor climbing experience, and might hold a record high number of waivers signed with Rock Gym Pro. Kevin helped First Ascent Climbing and Fitness to open two of their locations in Chicago. He has spent the last 14 years in the outdoor industry working in retail sales, indoor climbing gyms, as a sales representative for several outdoor brands, and is currently Black Diamond Equipment's Climbing Gym Business Manager. Kevin is responsible for the sales, marketing, events, and overall brand campaigns that are targeted towards indoor climbers and the gym industry.


Systems-Based Risk Management: Simplifying It for Your Gym

How to Handle Chalk Dust and Indoor Pollutants

Presented by: Steve Smith, Patrik Jansson, and Matthew Crouch

Date: Friday, May 17, 2019  Time: 11:00 am - 11:45 am

Location: River Birch, Embassy Suites Conference Center

Description: Do you know that indoor air is a least twice as polluted as outdoor air? and this is for fairly rural locations! Metropolitan areas are much worse and our attempts at making building more green results in restricted air flow and harbors more particulate, gases and VOC's that are harmful and costly. Lets talk about how dust and chalk dust in particular moves and acts indoors so we can better understand how to make a huge issue of no consequence in our gyms! And lets just have fun! This topic may have sound like another boring hour in a conference room but this is fascinating stuff with lots of interaction! Come join us!

About the Presenter:  Steve Smith lives in Traverse City Michigan and still enjoys athletic endeavors! Down-hill, cross-country and water skiing practiced avidly! (I will slow down later!) Patrik Jansson lives in Sweden and spends lot of time in the Alps backcountry skiing, bottomless powder is his favorite! Matthew Crouch is our Canadian and true to form..... owns hockey skates and has played on a number of leagues....really nice guy but when he bumps into you, he calls it checking!


Innovation, Sustainability, and Safety in Today’s Gyms

Presented by: Blair Williams, VP, EDELRID North America

Date: Friday, May 17, 2019  Time: 11:00 am - 11:45 am

Location: Elderberry, Embassy Suites Conference Center

Description: This workshop will focus on real issues and challenges that face climbing gyms today. This workshop intends to leave attendees with a broad understanding of the most innovative and sustainably made products available in today’s marketplace as well as the most up-to-date enhanced safety features that help reduce the risks in climbing gyms.

About the Presenter: Aside from staying busy as the VP of EDLERID North America, Blair Williams is an avid climber on rock and ice, in the alpine, on snow, and wherever else vertical adventures can be found. 

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Shaping the Climbing Experience: Where Shaping Meets Setting

Presented by: Ryan Angelo, Founder, Escape Climbing

Date: Thursday, May 16, 2019  Time: 11:30 am - 12:15 am

Location: Carter Lake, Embassy Suites Conference Center

Description: Hold design is the most influential aspect of a climber's gym experience.


We as routesetters, shapers, and gym owners are faced with countless decisions that inevitably impact our community’s experience. From the moment our climbers walk in the door, to the moment they throw themselves at the sick new problems peppering the wall, to the moment they leave at the end of a session, our decisions impact whether or not they are anticipating a return visit. To add the most value in today’s market, the modern climbing gym must be an intentionally curated experience.


For this talk we are going to focus on the important role we as hold designers play in this process. Some questions we invite you to explore with us:

  1. How much of a setter’s power is in the shaper’s hands? How tied together are these two professions?

  2. How should we think about designing holds for different customers, different ability levels, and different experiences?

  3. How do we design holds to be a tool in routesetter’s hands that empower them to positively impact the climber’s experience? What does this mean practically?

  4. Where has shaping come from and what does the evolution of holds suggest about the future?


This is going to be a great conversation for gym owners, routesetters, hold designers, and anybody else who plays a pivotal role in the gym climber’s experience. Stop by and add your voice to the conversation as we discuss the fascinating interplay between shaping climbing holds, setting routes, and crafting unforgettable gym climbing experiences.

About the Presenter: Ryan Angelo has been shaping and designing climbing holds since 2006 as the founder of Escape Climbing. He has participated actively in the ever evolving climbing hold industry over the past 13 years in various roles ranging from managing the local climbing gym to now running the entire Escape Climbing Family which includes Kingdom Climbing, Working Class Climbing, Friction Climbing, and Fusion Climbing.


Insurance 101 - CWA Member Insurance Program

Presented by: The Monument Sports Group

Date: Friday, May 17, 2019  Time: 11:00 am - 11:45 am

Location: Goldenglow, Embassy Suites Conference Center

Description: In the fall of 2013, The Monument Sports Group became the endorsed insurance provider of the Climbing Wall Association. Under this partnership, CWA members have access to General Liability, Property, Worker's Compensation, Participant Accident Medical, Excess Liability, and other insurance products. This presentation will address the products, policies and services offered to CWA members through Monument. We will also take some time to answer audience questions about insurance, the CWA program, and The Monument Sports Group.  

About the Presenters:

Mark Grossman is the Founder and President of The Monument Sports Group, which has been servicing the insurance and risk management needs of professional and amateur sports teams, leagues, facility owners, and players since 2000. In 2013, Monument Sports became the endorsed insurance provider for the CWA, and MSG is very proud of the CWA program. Mark routinely speaks and presents at sports/recreational Conferences throughout the country, but particularly enjoys attending and presenting at the CWA Summit. Mark is now able to start climbing despite being really old as he has successfully recovered from knee replacement surgery last year. 


Will Jorgensen is an Account Executive for The Monument Sports Group. Will graduated Cum Laude from Ferrum College where he also played Varsity Soccer. Will works directly with climbing gyms to help them secure insurance coverage and implement risk management procedures. He attends national conferences each year and helps to conduct insurance seminars that focus on risk management, claim prevention, and sports-specific insurance coverage for new and existing businesses. He is an avid rock climber and Eagle Scout, and has climbed all across the country.


Jacob Franks is a Customer Service Representative for The Monument Sports Group. In 2016, Jacob graduated from the University of South Carolina earning his degree in Business Administration with an emphasis in Risk Management and Insurance. Jacob has used his education and prior work experience in the insurance industry to help guide Monument's Pro Sport and Indoor Sport Facility clientele with proper risk management techniques and sports specific insurance knowledge. In addition to being one of the many former college soccer players at Monument Sports, Jacob's love for hiking has recently opened the door to his developing climbing career. This has been great for Jacob as he has recently been added to the team at MSG helping climbing gyms secure insurance coverage through Monument's CWA program.  


Berkley Driskill is an Account Manager and the Assistant Director of Programs and Development for The Monument Sports Group. He is an accomplished account manager with five years of underwriting and risk management experience. Berkley works alongside the CWA Account Executive to provide statistical analysis on trends within the CWA insurance program. Along with being the newest member of the Monument Sports Group team, he is an avid soccer player, and a former martial arts world title holder.


Unpacking More Than Your Climbing Rope:
How to Unpack Unconscious Bias in Climbing and Why It Matters


Using Personal and Small Group Training to Take your Gym to New Heights


Achieving Perfect Balance with Perfect Descent Auto Belays

Presented by: Andrew Miller, Chief Operating Officer for Aerial Adventure Technologies LLC

Date: Friday, May 17, 2019  Time: 10:00 am - 10:45 am

Location: Elderberry, Embassy Suites Conference Center

Description: Climbing gyms are the new community centers catering to an increasingly diverse audience who are driving changes in everything from facilities and equipment, to amenities and culture. Auto belays are both beloved and bemoaned for their influence on changing gym norms and are quickly becoming a standard site at the top of routes. Learn how Perfect Descent Auto Belays can support a growing and diverse customer base in your facility and how to manage your auto belay program to reduce risk and optimize return. Explore the core technology inside each Perfect Descent Auto Belay and get insight to the benefits common to PD gyms. Get details on how you can run an effective Perfect Descent program in your gym by identifying the common risks and evaluating the primary management considerations.

About the Presenter: Over the last 25 years, Andrew has worked in the adventure industry as a private guide, photographer, outdoor educator, and administrator for a comprehensive outdoor education center. In 2011, Andrew began work with a family of companies focused on the vertical adventure industry. That lead to his appointment in 2015 as COO of Aerial Adventure Tech and the transformation of AAT into a comprehensive online outfitter and global distributor for Perfect Descent Auto Belays.


Developing a Business Plan for Funding a New Climbing Gym


Rock Gym Pro Introduction and Feature Overview

Presented by: Tod Bloxham, CEO, Rock Gym Pro

Date: Friday, May 17, 2019  Time: 10:00 am - 10:45 am

Location: Snowberry, Embassy Suites Conference Center

Description: In this presentation, Tod will give a general overview of the Rock Gym Pro software and demonstrate, through screenshots and live sessions, the capabilities of the service. Some of the topics he’ll cover:

  • Tools and reporting for front desk managers

  • Tools and reporting for gym owners

  • Overview of the online booking and calendar

  • Waiver management in RGP (including free Smartwaiver integration)

  • Hardware requirements

  • RGP Cloud vs RGP Installed


Whether you’re new to Rock Gym Pro or a current user who wants to strengthen your knowledge of the software, this session will provide the tools and information you need to move forward. Time will be provided at the end of the session for open Q&A.

About the Presenter: Tod Bloxham is the CEO of Rock Gym Pro and has 20+ years in the outdoor industry as a climbing gym owner, retail buyer, AMGA climbing guide, and business and database consultant.

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As Climbing Goes Mainstream, How Is Your Gym Adapting?

Presented by: Sarah McNichols

Date: Thursday, May 16, 2019  Time: 11:30 am - 12:15 pm

Location: Aspen Daisy, Embassy Suites Conference Center

Description: What amenities and programs will keep your gym on the cutting edge of climbing's ascent to the mainstream? Our panel of climbing industry professionals will highlight key tips and tricks that have kept their gyms healthy and positioned them for success in the future. This will be an open discussion focused on keeping and enhancing your membership pipeline with features such as: Routesetting, Auto Belays, Kids Programming, Co-Work Space, Food and Bev, Fitness, etc.

About the Presenter: Born and raised at the foot of the Flatirons in Boulder Colorado, Sarah’s love for climbing started at the ripe age of 8. A lifetime member of the Boulder Rock Club, Sarah was one of the first people raised by a climbing gym. Starting in the climbing club and working up to Team USA in 2006, Sarah has had the pleasure of being coached by Justin Sjong, Chris Wall and Jimmy Redo to name a few. In 2006 Sarah qualified for the USA Youth Junior Girls speed team. This is before speed climbing was homogenized. Through out high school, College and even a few years after graduating from CU, Sarah work at the BRC clocking in 10 years at both the front desk and as an instructor before taking her passion of growing the sport to Head Rush Technologies. Sarah currently works with climbing wall builders, operators and owners all over the world which brings an unbelievable perspective of how gyms are pushing themselves to be better than ever before.


Creative Coaching: Tools to Help Climbers and Coaches Meet Their Goals

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Padded Flooring: Not Just Foam and Fabric

Presented by: Chris Morgan, UCS

Date: Friday, May 17, 2019  Time: 10:00 am - 10:45 am

Location: Lake Loveland, Embassy Suites Conference Center

Description: Join UCS Inc. for an in-depth look into what foam and materials go into boulder flooring.


Attendees will learn about:

  • The different types of foam including what it is made of and how densities and compression play a role in overall performance.

  • The difference between contained and loose foam.

  • Fabric types for safety, cleanliness and appearance over time.

  • Stitching, seams, hems, and why they are important.


The objective will be to educate attendees on what questions to ask manufacturers when deciding on the ideal flooring option for their specific gym.

About the Presenter: UCS is the Worldwide Leader in Track and Field Equipment and Padding. With over 50 years of experience, UCS is at the forefront of innovation being the first to attach pole vault and high jump landing mats with Velcro and use multi-density foam in a landing mat. UCS Boulder Floor padding is put through a variety of qualitative and real-life research to meet a high standard of cushion and durability.


Latest Technology in Climbing Shoes

Presented by: Matt Ginley, SCARPA North American Sales Manager

Date: Friday, May 17, 2019  Time: 11:00 am - 11:45 am

Location: Aspen Daisy, Embassy Suites Conference Center

Description: Come find out why SCARPA technology and innovation makes us the leading climbing shoe brand in the market. The presentation will focus on our unique feature and benefit offering, and how SCARPA products will enhance your retail assortment and ensure you are offering the highest quality, performance options to your customers.


Climbing Wall Instructor Provider Certification


How to Transform Your Gym into an Interactive Training Venue

Presented by: Matthias Polig, Founder and CEO of Vertical-Life

Date: Friday, May 17, 2019  Time: 11:00 am - 11:45 am

Location: Snowberry, Embassy Suites Conference Center

DescriptionMatthias will discuss Vertical-Life's journey and explain why close to 150 gyms globally trust the company to handle nearly all of their digital needs. He will describe how and why the team developed Vertical-Life's Smart Climbing Gym system, and the advantages it offers gyms, setters, and climbers who use VL's platform and app. Furthermore, the presentation will give insight into the latest advancements being made and new services launching soon. Namely, it will touch on the Training Log feature that enables climbers to create individualized training plans based on their abilities and training interests, syncing their choices with the climbs available at their home gym, all created within seconds by the app's algorithm. On the back end, this service will be available globally for trainers to use and derive income from within the coming year. Additionally, VL's patented sensor-based Smart Quickdraw aims to provide gyms with anonymous ascent tracking. Matthias' presentation will give an overview of the comprehensive services VL offers to gyms.

About the Presenter: Vertical-Life envisions and develops innovative software solutions for the climbing community. Since its foundation six years ago, VL has become the world's largest platform for climbing with the goal of connecting all participants within the industry. VL's services include an app for climbers, the Smart Climbing Gym concept for route setting, the Smart Scorecard for event scoring, and Smart Quickdraw for ascent tracking. Recently, the IFSC commissioned VL to provide a scoring system for competitions. 


Matthias Polig is the co-founder and CEO of Vertical-Life. He’s also a national route setter, guidebook author, and climbing event manager who possesses a passion for innovation and technology.


The Science behind Climbmat

Presented by: Bozhidar Oreshkov, Head R&D scientist, Climbmat

Date: Friday, May 17, 2019  Time: 11:00 am - 11:45 am

Location: Carter Lake, Embassy Suites Conference Center

Description: The session will be focused on various safety issues that should be taken into consideration when equipping climbing gyms with flooring and mats:

  • The physics of falling and where is the fatal line

  • Boulder climbing flooring and what are the international mat standards

  • Life Saving Flooring and how it works 


Attendees will learn more about the science behind climbing mats production and design. Climbmat’s Head of R&D will share more about the international standards and the latest innovations in the field of flooring. They will show how Climbmat products are being tested and improved so that they can save lives.

About the Presenter: Bozhidar Oreshkov is the head R&D scientist of Climbmat. He has a PhD in the field of Physics. Joining Walltopia’s team in 2011, his main goal was the design, development and field testing of an innovative safety flooring for lead and top roped walls.



GymRealm Manager Overview

Presented by: Dimitar Georgiev, CEO, Gym Realm Technology

Date: Thursday, May 17, 2019  Time: 12:30 pm - 1:15 pm

Location: Goldenglow, Embassy Suites Conference Center

Description: Key software features for climbing gym owners and managers. Monitor important metrics and generate insightful reports to track growth against goals. Manage your climbing business effectively and stay on top of your competitors.

  • How to take customer service to the next level

  • How to spend less time on administrative tasks

  • Taking reservations and online payments 24/7 and how it affects your bottom line

  • Understand customers behaviour better and incorporate automations.

About the Presenter: Dimitar Georgiev CEO of GymRealm Technology JSChas more than 10 years of experience in the IT sector. The company develops a GymManagement software that is specialized in regular gyms, climbing gyms, and family entertainment centers.