Meet the Team
Chris Martenson, Founder and CEO
Chris Martenson, PhD (Duke), MBA (Cornell) is an economic researcher and futurist specializing in energy and resource depletion, and founder of PeakProsperity.com. As one of the early econobloggers who forecasted the housing market collapse and stock market correction years in advance, Chris rose to prominence with the launch of his seminal video seminar: The Crash Course which has also been published in book form (Wiley, March 2011). The Crash Course is a popular and extremely well-regarded distillation of the interconnected forces in the Economy, Energy and the Environment (the “Three Es” as Chris calls them) that are shaping the future — one that will be defined by increasing challenges to growth as we have known it.
Following that, the book Prosper! addresses personal resilience by building eight forms of capital. His COVID video series garnered in excess of 40 million views and helped millions better understand, adapt, and prepare for the Pandemic of 2020. In addition to the analysis and commentary he writes for his site PeakProsperity.com, Chris shares his insights on his own social media channels, as well as through traditional media, academic, and civic and private organizations around the world, including the UN, the UK House of Commons and US State Legislatures.
Chris and Evie now live on a 180-acre rural property in western MA and love being close to nature’s bounty and beauty.
That’s the formal version, but here’s the informal version in his own words:
I think it’s important that you understand who I am, how I have arrived at my conclusions and opinions, and why I’ve dedicated my life to communicating them to you.
First of all, I am not an ivory-tower economist. Instead, I’m a trained scientist, having completed both a PhD and a post-doctoral program at Duke University, where I specialized in neurotoxicology. I tell you this because my extensive training as a scientist informs and guides how I think. I gather data, I develop hypotheses, and I continually seek to accept or reject my hypotheses based on the evidence at hand. I let the data tell me the story.
It is also important for you to know that I entered the profession of science with the intention of teaching at the college level. I love teaching, and I especially enjoy the challenge of explaining difficult or complicated subjects to people with limited or no background in those subjects. Over the years I’ve gotten pretty good at it.
Once I figured out that most of the (so-called) better colleges place “effective teacher” pretty much near the bottom of their list of characteristics that factor into tenure review, I switched gears, obtained an MBA from Cornell (in Finance), and spent the next ten years working my way through positions in both corporate finance and strategic consulting. From these experiences, I gather my comfort with numbers and finance.
So much for the credentials.
The most important thing for you to know is the impact that the information that I’ve now placed on this site had on me. Let’s do this as a Before and After.
Before: I am a 40-year-old professional who has worked his way up to Vice President of a large, international Fortune 300 company and is living in a waterfront, 5 bathroom house in Mystic, CT, which is mostly paid off. My three young children are either in or about to enter public school, and my portfolio of investments is being managed by a broker at a large institution. I do not really know any of my neighbors very well, and many of my local connections are superficial at best.
After: I am a 58-year-old who willingly terminated his former high-paying, high-status position (at 42) because it seemed like an unnecessary diversion from the real tasks at hand. My children were homeschooled, and the big house in Mystic was sold in 2003 in preference for a modest homestead in rural western Massachusetts. In 2002, I discovered that my broker was unable to navigate a bear market, and I’ve been managing my investments ever since. I grow a garden every year; preserve food, know how to brew beer & wine, build structures, operate a sawmill, play guitar, and raise chickens, pigs and cows. I’ve carefully examined each support system (food, energy, security, etc), and for each of them I’ve figured out either a means of being more self-sufficient or a way to do without. But, most importantly, I now know that the most important descriptor of wealth is not my dollar holdings, but the depth and richness of my community.
I hope you find what I have to offer here useful.
All the best,
Aaron McKeon, Business Manager and Head of Technology
Aaron McKeon, member of the Peak Prosperity Tribe since 2014 and former corporate renaissance man turned country homesteader, joins the Peak Prosperity team as Business Manager and Head of Technology.
During his 15-year career at a publicly traded medical device company, he eventually became the company’s only other general manager besides the CEO, personally running an $8 million sales and manufacturing operation in Australia / New Zealand. Prior roles spanned IT, sales, marketing, and operations, giving him a rich understanding of all major areas of the business. Ever since his high school days running his own company building websites, he has also maintained a passion for developing websites, one he now brings to the table at Peak Prosperity.
In 2014, Aaron discovered the Crash Course and has been a member of the Tribe ever since. He and his wife spent their time in Australia learning permaculture and, upon moving back to the United States, left Corporate America to build a homestead in New Hampshire. He has truly taken the Peak Prosperity ethos to heart.
Aaron’s aim is to maintain alignment between the vision of Peak Prosperity, the business strategy, and its day-to-day operations.
Jeanne Sheffield, Head of Marketing and Strategy
Leading our Marketing and Strategy department is Jeanne Sheffield of Charleston, SC.
Jeanne spent nearly 15 years rising the ranks of corporate America, managing many areas of the business from retail operations to data analytics and ultimately customer experience marketing. However, she left the comfort and security of the corporate world to pursue her own entrepreneurial goals; ultimately launching 2 successful businesses of her own, a marketing management consultancy as well as a niche self-directed IRA real estate investment agency. When Jeanne learned that Chris, one of her most trusted resources during the COVID-19 pandemic, was looking to build a world-class team of experts to spread his critical message far and wide, she did not hesitate to offer her talents and skills in order to help Chris help others during this time of great crisis and transition.
A born adventurer and of an eternally curious mind, Jeanne is always looking for new ways to engage with and learn about life, people and the world around us. She is an avid world traveler, speaks 5 languages, and can be found in her leisure time traveling North America in her sustainable RV, chasing her unique version of the American Dream.
Livio Sanchez, Head of Production
Award-winning editor, producer, and director Livio Sanchez joins the Peak Prosperity team as Head of Production.
Throughout his career, Livio has worked with numerous world-renowned advertising agencies, brands, studios, and foundations, spanning an immensely diverse and distinguished body of work – from documentaries, commercials, and music videos, to feature films and 360°/VR experiences. His work has earned top industry honors, including a Cannes Entertainment Lion Grand Prix, AICP Most Next Award, and Television Academy Honors.
After stumbling across the Crash Course and attending a Peak seminar in Denver, Livio’s collaborations with Chris began earnestly in 2011 with a visit to Zuccotti Park during Occupy Wall Street to witness firsthand what was really going on.
Livio brings his passion for visual and emotional resonance to the Peak Prosperity community, helping the tribe to craft stories with maximum impact.
Whitney Easton, Content Manager
Whitney Easton, an anthropologist, works with Chris and the team to change minds and build resilience through content.
Whitney has worked in both industry and academia and anthropology’s context-rich, holistic lens on human experience is always at the heart of her work. She has consulted on projects for major international clients, ranging from design research for global mobility ecosystems and financial wellness products, to cultural analysis of pastoralists’ livelihoods. For her dissertation, she conducted long-term ethnographic field research on agricultural change, livelihoods, and tourism in Italy. She is committed to building sustainable food systems and is glad that Peak Prosperity has a healthy contingent of food producers, homesteaders, and gardeners.
Whitney is a lifelong asker of “big questions” and in her early days, her father urged her to “just watch the Crash Course!” Finally, she did, and she doesn’t regret a thing. Her “resilience” shirt is far and away her favorite.