Every day more than 4400 people die in Sub-Saharan Africa needlessly from HIV/AIDS-related illnesses. AIDS remains the primary cause of death in Africa. By any measure, this is a crisis. It is unacceptable not only in terms of the magnitude of suffering and death, but also because we have everything we need and we know exactly what we need to do to help these people live well with HIV/AIDS. All we need is the will to act.

EVEREST TEAM INSPI(RED) is Jeff Dossett, Melissa Arnot and David Morton. We are a team of experienced mountaineers that reached the summit of Mount Everest during a nine week expedition that began on March 27th, 2008. Our goal was to build awareness of an innovative organization known as (RED) and to inspire individuals to join the growing community of (RED) supporters at the official (RED) site and help change the lives of people living with HIV/AIDS in Africa. All it takes is two pills per day costing about $160 per year, and we can enable a person living with HIV/AIDS to live a long, productive life as a respected individual and valuable contributor to the community in which he or she lives.

In 2006, Bono and Bobby Shriver launched (RED), an organization designed to engage the private sector in the fight against AIDS in Africa. (RED) is raising awareness and money for the Global Fund through the marketing and sale of (RED) branded products by (RED) partners such as Dell and Microsoft, Converse, American Express, Hallmark, Gap, Motorola, Apple, Armani, etc. A portion of the gross profits from each (RED) product sold goes directly to the Global Fund to invest in HIV/AIDS programs in Africa – primarily focused on the purchase of anti-retroviral medicine (ARVs) which enables people with HIV/AIDS to live long, productive and meaningful lives.

EVEREST TEAM INSPI(RED) represents what we, as three individuals were inspired to do to help make a difference. We believe that our goal to reach the summit of Mount Everest is a fitting analogy to the scope and complexity of the fight against AIDS in Africa. Success in both of these endeavors will take passion, dedication and perseverance against many obstacles. It will require unwavering hope and optimism in the face of seemingly overwhelming odds. However, just as the highest mountain on earth is climbed one step at a time, we believe that the fight against HIV/AIDS in Africa will be won through the combined efforts of millions of individuals inspired to take action.

On behalf of our EVEREST TEAM INSPI(RED), thanks for following along through our blog, photos and videos. Most importantly, I hope that we will inspire you to take action in a manner that reflects your own personal passions to help the brave and proud people in Africa living with HIV/AIDS. To learn more about (RED), its business model and its leading global partners, please learn more at the official (RED) site.

We are very grateful to our official sponsors, Dell and Microsoft Windows, MSN and MSNBC.com, as well as a number of supporting partners including Converse, Motorola, Gap, SanDisk, Brunton, Infive Media, Remote Medical International and adventX.com.

 Jeff Dossett

As Senior Vice President, US Audience for Yahoo, Jeff oversees Yahoo!'s consumer experiences in the US, including the company's leading media properties which have earned the #1 or #2 position in virtually every category in which they compete.

Prior to joining Yahoo in November 2008, Jeff was Executive Producer & General Manager of the MSN media network in the US, where he provided overall leadership for audience, content and programming strategy and execution.

Dossett joined Microsoft in 1991 as Director of Sales and served in a variety of senior sales and marketing roles including president of Microsoft’s Canadian subsidiary. In 1997, he transferred to Microsoft’s Redmond, Washington headquarters. At this time, he became general manager of the Internet Customer Unit, leading business development efforts to establish technology and service relationships with global network operators. In 2000, Dossett joined MSN to provide strategy and business development leadership for Microsoft’s leading e-commerce services. He then served as Chairman & CEO of MSN Carpoint® (now MSN Autos), DealerPoint® and general manager of MSN HomeAdvisor® (now MSN Real Estate & MSN Lifestyle).

In 2002, Dossett took two years away from his career at Microsoft to pursue his passion for adventure with a goal to climb the highest mountain on each of the seven continents, known as the “Seven Summits”. Reaching the summit of Mount Everest on May 24, 2004, Dossett became the third Canadian in history to successfully complete the Seven Summits. In 2008, Jeff was expedition leader for Everest Team INSPI(RED), a personal initiative to build awareness of (PRODUCT) RED™ and to inspire others to join the fight against HIV/AIDS in Africa. On May 22nd, 2008, Jeff became the second Canadian in history to reach the summit Mount Everest for the second time.

Dossett serves on the Board of Advisors of 1) VillageReach (www.villagereach.org), a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization working to save lives and improve well-being in Africa by increasing community access to healthcare and other essential services, 2) GOOD Worldwide Inc. (www.goodmagazine.com), an integrated media platform for people who want to live well and do good and 3) LiveMocha (www.livemocha.com), an online language learning service designed to help people communicate across borders, languages, and cultures by providing accessible and innovative language learning services in an engaging, interactive, social format.

Dossett holds a degree in business administration with honors from the Richard Ivey School of Business at the University of Western Ontario in Canada. He is married and has three children.

Raised in the Seattle region and a graduate of the University of Washington with degrees in Political Science and Comparative History of Ideas, Dave has been a long-time Northwest skier and climber. Having climbed and guided from the Himalaya to Antarctica, his work and personal travel within in the last few years have included expeditions to multiple 8,000-meter peaks, climbing within the traditional Kazakh culture of western Mongolia, and traveling among the nomads of western Tibet. He has also been teaching climbing courses for Sherpas in the Khumbu and guiding climbs in both Antarctica and the mountainous region of the island of New Guinea. Dave summited Mt. Everest for the fourth time with clients in May 2007.

His consummate professionalism and drive to create a meaningful experience have put him in a premier group of guides operating internationally and particularly in the Himalaya. He continues to focus his endeavors on sharing the wonders of the mountain experience through speaking, photographing, or guiding.

When not in the mountains he can be found consuming too much caffeine while rotating through the various coffee shops of Seattle, listening to new music, spending time with his family, or enjoying the company of his wife Kristine.

Melissa has been teaching wilderness medicine since 2002, and working as a professional mountain guide for Rainier Mountaineering Inc. since 2004. Currently certified as a Wilderness EMT, she regularly works with our medical support group as well as in search and rescue. She also works part-time with a rural ambulance service. You will find Melissa teaching our WEMT and Wilderness First Responder courses. When not teaching, Melissa is rock climbing, ice climbing, or thinking about climbing.