About The Salt Lake Off-Road & Outdoor Expo
Meet the team of off-road enthusiasts who put this event together!
Founder for the Salt Lake Off-Road & Outdoor Expo

Phil Rawlings

Phil’s first love of dirt came from riding his bicycle with grafted on BMX parts in the fields near his house in Idaho. His first motorized toy at the age of 14 was a Kawasaki KE100 he kept at his friend’s house so his parents wouldn’t find out. His second vehicle was a ’74 Jeep J10 truck. Phil loves vehicles which is what drove him to become a Mechanical Engineer putting himself through school as a mechanic.

Phil loves Off-Roading and the Off-Road community. We are outdoorsmen, tinkerers, entrepreneurs, gearheads and nature lovers. He has been involved with and designed parts for a number of companies over the years that have gone to shows like SEMA and the Pomona Off-Road Expo. It always bothered him that they had to go somewhere else to have an Off-Road Expo. One night talking with friends he asked why don’t we put on an Expo ourselves? Utah is the mecca for Off-Roading after all. They thought it was a good idea but dismissed it as “campfire talk”.

The idea of putting on an Off-Road Expo wouldn’t leave him alone. After thinking about how to do an Expo and the elements that would go into it he became more convinced that he didn’t want a big event company coming into Salt Lake and leaving without making it a better place. He wanted to be able to help the Off-Road community and came up with 3 pillars for the Expo; Promote the Off-Road businesses in Utah, Promote Utah, Promote Land Use Stewardship in part by uniting the Off-Road Community.

Co-Founder of the Salt Lake Off-Road & Outdoor Expo

Scott Phillips

Scott was raised with Off-Roading in his blood. His Grandpa Phillips introduced the family to Jeeping with a military surplus Jeep Willys MB and the extended family has been using 4×4’s to access the outdoors ever since. Scott’s first ride in a 4×4 was in his father’s Toyota FJ40 on the way home from the hospital. His first “stuck” was 6 months later when his Dad took an impromptu “shortcut” on the way home and his Mom opened the front door to the sight of both Scott and his Father covered in mud. When Scott turned 16 it was a given that his first vehicle would be a Jeep. He built (and rebuilt) a 1984 CJ-7 over the course of 25 years with the only original remaining parts consisting of the Grill, Dash, Steering wheel and Tailgate. 

Scott and his wife Susie have two daughters, one of which was adopted from China when she was 11 months old. They love the outdoors and enjoy spending time together camping, horseback riding, riding ATV’s and they particularly enjoy driving the Jeep on the trails in Moab and exploring Utah’s west desert. Scott is passionate about Utah’s public lands and maintaining motorized access as a way for everyone to be able to access and enjoy the beauty and grandeur Utah has to offer. When Phil Rawlings approached him with the idea for the Salt Lake Off-Road & Outdoor Expo he was immediately excited about the potential that the Expo had for promoting local Utah businesses, tourism as well as utilizing the Expo as a tool to help educate and promote responsible land use stewardship and open access advocacy.

Creative Director for the Salt Lake Off-Road & Outdoor Expo

Neil Peterson

Playing outdoors has been a way of life for Neil from a very young age. He would explore as far as he could – first the backyard, then the neighborhood, soon the Salt Lake Valley, and finally the magnificent state of Utah. “I wonder where that trail goes,” has been the simple catalyst that has propelled Neil on to many memorable adventures. His first love was a 1968 Ford Highboy but he soon learned he shouldn’t rally his ride home so he began enjoying trailered toys including an early 90s wrangler, sport quads, dirt bikes, and a Subaru powered sand rail. Currently his favorite off-road activity is riding ATVs with his wife and daughters in the deserts and red rock areas of Utah.

Organizer for the Salt Lake Off-Road & Outdoor Expo

Taylor Neilson

Taylor first became interested in Off-Roading in high school after moving to Utah from So. California. Like most, he has owned multiple 4 wheel drives over the last 25 years and loves wheeling with friends. He is a 3rd generation mechanic and loves any thing with an engine especially if it is a Jeep and a GM.

Taylor came to be a part of the Expo by default because Phil and Taylor have been friends since high school and friends help friends get into trouble!

Graphic/Media Designer for the Salt Lake Off-Road & Outdoor Expo

Diana Ribera

I’ve been involved in the expo since the very beginning. Phil called me a few months before the first expo in desperate need of a logo. I had no idea what I was getting myself into, but I’m glad I did. I’ve really enjoyed expanding my skills with each new request Phil throws at me. If it weren’t for him, I’d never have designed socks or a social media geo filter! Watching the show grow and be more successful year after year has been especially rewarding as well. I’m looking forward to whatever the future of the expo might bring! See you at the SLOREX booth!


Front End & Will Call Booth Manager

Forrest Pruett

Forrest Pruett has been enjoying the outdoors with his family for over 40+ years. His dad took him out since he was 4 for off-roading, camping, hunting and every mountain top for 200 miles. He has been building or wrenching for just as long. From working on his fixer upper home, 97 TJ or his home built off-road camper, he is always working on something. Forrest also likes to be way above the earth as well and was flying small planes from his teenage years, and big ones for the Army. He is also The Unofficial Easter Jeep Safari Meteorologist. Forrest is father along with his wife Sandy to 2 daughters. Forrest has a Mechanical engineering degree and one in Atmospheric Sciences.

Forrest has been involved in the Salt Lake Off-Road & Outdoor Expo since the very beginning starting out as a Pit Crew Volunteer, babysitter and eventually worked his way into managing the front end and Will Call booth.

Show Logistics for the Salt Lake Off-Road & Outdoor Expo

Heather Wilden

Heather has a passion for the outdoors. She grew up recreating with her family, spending lots of time boating and off-roading all over the beautiful state of Utah, since before she can remember. She joined the SLOREX team as the show logistics coordinator in 2019, and loves that she is able to give back to the off-road community and share her passion for events through her involvement with the expo. 

In her downtime, Heather can be found spending time with family camping and exploring in their SXS’s in the mountains and desert of Utah and Southern Nevada.

Organizer for the Salt Lake Off-Road & Outdoor Expo

Alex Gertsch

Alex has been in the Off-Road world since he was a child. He has been building vehicles for himself and friends over the years. For several years Alex was with Four Wheeler Magazine Top Truck Challenge as recovery crew and member of the film crew.

Alex has been helping with SLOREX since the beginning. He believes there should be unity across all spectrums of this industry and wants to help bring awareness to that. He has had a lot fun meeting new people and exchanging ideas and information on making things better for everyone.

Organizer for the Salt Lake Off-Road & Outdoor Expo - Government Relations

Phoenix Roberts

Phoenix joined the SLOREX team in 2017. With many friends in the legislature, he’s been coordinating the Expo’s government relations. Thru his efforts, several federal, state and county officials have visited SLOREX. Given the lead role in our non-profit partner, the Utah Off-Roaders Alliance, he organized the Land Stewardship Roundtable (bringing together clubs, politicians and government agencies) and the Off-Roaders Day on the Hill (where clubs and companies can speak directly with state legislators). Future plans include seminars to help small-biz owners  grow into big-biz owners. He’s also the creator & editor of Off-Roading Utah, our quarterly newsletter.

Professionally, he’s been a freelance writer-editor-desktop publisher for the last 25 years and is known as “the newsletter wizard”.

Organizer for the Salt Lake Off-Road & Outdoor Expo

Brian Peterson

Brian grew up in the Salt Lake Valley, back when there used to be dirt roads and open spaces. He has always had a fondness of all things motorized, and enjoyed the freedom that came with them. He has experience in many forms of off-roading, including dirt bike racing, rock crawling, and overland exploration.

Brian and his wife have 3 children. Outdoor activities are a family event for them, with an average of 20-30 nights a year spent camping. Brian has spent many hours in service to our public lands, and enjoys the opportunity to give back to the land through service projects.Brian has helped to plan and execute the Salt Lake Off-Road & Outdoor Expo for each year it has been running.

Core Team Member - Vendor Relations

Marissa Wilkinson

Marissa grew up wandering the outdoors in Utah and southern Arizona. She found her off-roading passion in a K5 Chevrolet Blazer and continues her adventures still in a full size Chevy truck. Marissa first participated in the Salt Lake Off-Road Expo by entering her green Chevy in the vehicle display but has since spent several years volunteering on the SLOREX Core Team. Marissa fulfills a crucial role for the expo helping to check in vendors and answering their questions during the event. When not volunteering for SLOREX she spends her time with her family and children who also support her as she operates a non-profit animal rescue that specializes in finding homes for dogs.

Vendor Load In/Out Coordinator

Bryan Gardner

Bryan’s love for the outdoors started as a young boy when his father would take him camping and exploring from the Uintah mountains to the west desert. He got his first off road vehicle, a 1975 CJ 5, when he was 16, which he still enjoys to this day. In his spare time he enjoys metal fabrication projects ranging from custom overland trailers, off road vehicle bumpers, and restoring tractors with his brother.

Bryan continues to go exploring and share his adventures with family and friends.  Having seen many of his favorite trails shut down pushed him to advocate for public land use and keeping trails open. He’s been a valued part of the Salt Lake Off-Road & Outdoor Expo since it started and hopes that his efforts will contribute to helping trails and public land stay accessible for everyone.

Social Media Marketing

Nicole Denson

Nicole grew up in Anacortes, WA with her parents and three brothers who were highly involved in scouting. From their influence she quickly learned to appreciate camping and hiking at a young age. She loves to travel and see nature throughout the world. In high school, she was an avid cross-country runner and now loves training for races when she can. In 2022 she participated in the Ragnar Relay Wasatch Back for the third time.

Nicole graduated from BYU-Idaho in 2018 with a degree in Organizational Communication. She’s worked in news journalism, the events industry, and the digital marketing space. When Nicole’s not working you’ll likely find her hiking in the mountains, on a run, bike ride, or hanging out with her adoring husband.

Core Team Member - We'll Figure Out Her Exact Title Later

Danielle Newman

My life goals are to continually discover and inspire! Offroading has been that pivot point in my life. It has taken me beyond just physical locations. I’ve gained incredible self-confidence, courage, joy, determination, and healing. Offroading has helped me find my power and a community where I belong. 

One of these days I’ll find Bigfoot in my exploring, but until then, I’ll take my cues from him and leave no trace. 

I’m a certified yoga instructor, yet I don’t teach traditionally in a studio. I don’t care for walls or feeling boxed in. I prefer to teach by inspiring others to get outside and reconnect with themselves in nature.

I bought an RV and a Jeep after my husband passed away a few years ago, and I set out to travel full time for 2 years so that I could explore, offroad and practice yoga in the wild. I lived primarily on public lands and dragged my youngest son along for the adventure of our lives! I completed off-road recovery courses before hitting the road to make sure I was prepared, and I can’t tell you how many times I used those skills to rescue men!!

I’m excited to bring these skills and experiences to the Salt Lake Offroad and Outdoor Expo to show everyone why Utah truly is the place to be.

Oh ya, I’m a grandma x2, and a mom x4.

Core Team Member - Volunteer Coordinator

Matt Johnson

Matt was raised in Duchesne going off-roading in anything he could find. He found his passion in a K5 Blazer and still rocks a full size Chevrolet pickup named Hick-up! After approaching the Salt Lake Off-Road & Outdoor Expo to enter his truck in the vehicle display he was invited to participate in the planning meetings and has been on the SLOREX Core Team ever since.  Matt is the Volunteer Coordinator where his work, along with the volunteers, contributes significantly to the success of the event. 

He spends his free time with his wife and two girls venturing off to the great outdoors and also operates a non-profit animal rescue.

Brand Ambassador

Josh Miller

Josh’s love for the outdoors and off-roading started at a young age. Along with his dad they spent endless hours exploring backcountry roads for hunting, fishing, and solitary camping spots. He still enjoys dirt road wandering and overlanding.  I have been “rock crawling” since 1999. I feel like I’m in my zen state when focused on the technical challenge and the proper line.

Josh has said “As a brand ambassador I believe in all aspects of SLOREX from providing a platform for enthusiasts to mingle with the off-road industry to education and good stewards of public lands.”

Off-Roaders Unite!

Join us for the 8th annual Salt Lake Off-Road & Outdoor Expo

This 2 Day event brings together off-roaders and promotes local off-road businesses. Check out cool stuff while getting in some off-road land use!



3 drawing times – Friday 6pm, Saturday 12pm & 6pm; must be present to win.