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Looking Back: GoWild team members share their favorite memories

Looking Back: GoWild team members share their favorite memories
September 7, 2022

Five years ago today, GoWild was born. 

The journey has been wild in itself. It’s taken our team all over the country, we’ve met people from all over the world and we’ve made new friends. Our company survived a pandemic and some turbulent economic times. We had to adapt to make it in this new world. All of that adversity made us stronger. 

This isn’t a pitiful “look at the hard things we’ve done” blog post though. No, screw that. We’re sharing the good times. We chatted with a few of our more tenured teammates to ask them about their favorite memories along the way. Before we share their stories, just know we’re grateful to every single person who downloaded our app, all of the customers who spent their hard-earned pay checks with us, every brand who trusted the newcomer in a partnership, all of our investors for believing in the business, and the team who made this dream a reality. We couldn’t be here without you all. 

Alright, with that said, enjoy this collection of stories from Team GoWild. 


Zack Grimes

Cofounder, President
Start date: The beginning,  Fall 2016

“One of my favorite memories was when we got into the Stadia Ventures business accelerator. Brad got the whole team—six people at that time—together in our conference room to prepare yet another round of financial projections for the program. He’s walking through all of these confusing spreadsheets, then he said he needed to expand on one point. He clicked a YouTube link, and Kool & the Gang “Celebration.” Out of nowhere, a bottle of some really rare and expensive bottle of Belgian beer comes out of his bag. Cups start floating around, and he says, ‘we are in!’ Everyone starts cheering, meanwhile I’m looking around the room trying to figure out if it was real or not. It was. We still have the empty bottle in the conference room as a fun memory.


Chris Gleim

Cofounder, Chief Development Officer
Start date: The beginning, Fall 2016

“The founders all had full-time jobs when we started this. In fact, we side hustled for nearly two years before the last founder went full-time. We would utilize our company holidays off, such as Christmas or New Years Eve, to get extra days to meet up. About a year into it, we all took the day off to work at my house. It was especially cool, because it was the day of the solar eclipse. So we’re at my house, enjoying some beers and pizza, working on this app we’re about to launch, and it was fun to just spend a day working together. On top of that, I’ll never forget walking outside and watching this epic eclipse with my buddies and cofounders. There was something special to it. We launched the first version of GoWild in the AppStore a few weeks later.”


Jacob Knight

Director of Strategic Partnerships
Start date: August 7, 2019

“Two memories come to mind for me. First, it was my first week at GoWild, and I knew I was going to fit in immediately. I was talking to Brad in the hallway when Zack, a cofounder, walks up and looks me up and down. He looks at Brad and said, “What in the hell is he wearing?” I was formal—slacks and a button down shirt. Zack? He was wearing shorts, because it was August. From that day forward, I wore whatever I wanted. 

Another unforgettable moment was this year in Vegas. GoWild has been a crazy ride and we’ve made some great memories. But forever, one of the weirdest moments will be standing  poolside at a boutique hotel in Vegas at Black Rifle Coffee’s after show party. Brad says, “Who’s the guy singing Tone Loc covers?” I was like, dude, that’s the real Tone Loc. “Funky Cold Medina” is playing as Zack goes to take a leak. He comes back and said, ‘so, there’s a guy wearing a medal of honor over by the bathroom.” That solidified my suspicion that we were the softest dudes at the party.”


Ben Johnson

Senior Backend Developer 
Start date: Feb. 11, 2019

“One of my favorite memories was simply starting at GoWild. I ran my own company for 15 years, so this was a huge shift in my career. The team, culture, goals, and flexibility of the company made it an enjoyable transition. I was able to get back to my passion of writing code and problem solving for another business I truly believe in. I’ll never forget our first retreat. I was a remote team member, so it was great to get to know everyone on a more personal level. Sharing good food, drinks, and experiences while also brainstorming on the current and future state of GoWild. It is something I look forward to every year.

Finally, I have to say I’ll always remember our first ecommerce order. The culmination of all the hard work the team put into the pivot to ecommerce and seeing the excitement of the entire team as it kicked off. Remembering where we started and seeing where we are today is a little mind boggling.”


Arica Johnson

Director of Member Experience 
Start date: Sept. 23, 2019

“I have a lot of memories, most of which were deemed inappropriate for a public blog. One that is sharable, though, was the first day back after our COVID lockdown. Donovan and I were sitting outside on the picnic table, when all of a sudden a bush suddenly erupted. I mean, it was on fire. We thought the burning bush was likely a sign of times to come. Thank goodness it wasn't.

Another great memory was recently. Looking around in the thick of the Send It Slam crowd, I realized not only did we pull off an event like this, but I could see how real our community was. We built this. Knowing that strangers want to share this with us, drove from as far away as Texas and Arkansas to be there, and had a great time was one of the best feelings. Hugging the team that night before we all left, I thought about how this is such a unique team. It would be impossible to replicate it. These are the days.”


These stories go on for days. Years, really.

If you enjoyed this, see our Cofounder and CEO’s piece on just how challenging of a journey it’s been. That story is here. 

Thanks again to everyone who supports the business. We’ll always be grateful for the support. 

— Team GoWild 

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