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The B.I.Stander Podcast is a local and cultural long conversation podcast serving Bainbridge Island, Washington community.

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Jul 6, 2024

Meet Greg Nance


Greg Nance grew up in Kitsap and is on a mission to pay it forward for the next generation of Kitsap kids. He is a youth mentor, distance runner, and nonprofit leader recognized by President Obama.

Greg grew up in a middle class union family on Bainbridge Island and worked as a landscaper, house painter, and firewood splitter. The son of a social worker and public defender, Greg learned the value of hard work and community service around the dinner table. His Mom spent over 20 years as a nursing home social worker ensuring seniors across Kitsap have access to quality care and are treated with dignity. His Dad was a Seattle Seahawks beer vendor before helping unionize the Seattle Public Defender to ensure everyone, including the poor and marginalized, are provided effective legal representation as guaranteed by our constitution.

He grew up idolizing his grandfathers: Grandpa Charlie, a Marine who fought at Iwo Jima; and Grandpa Kick, a Navy Seabee who fought at Okinawa. WWII cut both their educations short so they stressed the gift of public education and the importance of lifelong learning.

Greg attended Kitsap K-12 public schools and graduated from Bainbridge High. He played baseball, basketball, and football across the peninsula and excelled in track and debate. During his senior year at BHS, he was the 3A Washington State Debate Champion and proudly represented Team USA as 1 of 5 All-American debaters at the 2007 World Championships in Seoul, South Korea. Following competition, Greg loved telling debaters from Pakistan, Scotland, and Japan about the peninsula west of Seattle that he was lucky to call home.


Congressman Jay Inslee nominated Greg to the United States Military Academy at West Point in December 2006, but he decided to attend UChicago after earning a scholarship. He was elected Student Government President at UChicago and was named Washington State’s 2010 Harry S Truman Scholar — the Presidential Memorial to Public Service. In 2011 he earned a full ride to Cambridge University where he studied Management and innovation as a Gates Scholar.

Despite early successes, Greg also struggled. Following the loss of his beloved Grandpa Charlie, Greg battled depression and began self-medicating with alcohol at age 16. He tried to quit drinking a hundred times before finally getting sober on December 29, 2011. Now sober for over 4300 days, Greg loves sharing lessons learned while working to help young people build resilience and compassion.

Greg recently completed a 3,156 mile run from the Atlantic to the Pacific for youth mental health (read the Seattle Times recap). He is the CEO of Run Far Foundation, a nonprofit building youth resilience coast-to-coast. He founded Dyad Mentorship and Moneythink, organizations that helped students earn over $27 million in university scholarships. President Obama recognized Moneythink as a “Champion of Change” at the White House on March 15, 2012.

He has been working to protect Puget Sound since 1995. His 6th grade science class raised and released salmon eggs (the chum salmon now returning from the Pacific are 7th generation). He represents Kitsap on the Citizens Advisory Group for the Hood Canal Coordinating Council, our region’s Lead Entity on salmon recovery. He is working to mobilize the next generation of environmentalists to save our salmon and protect Puget Sound.

Greg is a frequent speaker at Kitsap public schools because he loves inspiring kids with adventure stories like running 7 marathons in 7 days on 7 continents. He became the first person to ever run 86 miles — and climb 14,410ft. — from Puget Sound to the summit of Mt. Rainier. Greg’s running career peaked in 2016 when his beloved Seattle Seahawks named him “12 Ambassador” and featured his ultrarunning in TV commercials (watch here).

Greg now proudly represents Kitsap as State Rep — he’s working for working families, like the one he grew up in.

Let’s work together to Fix our Ferries, Protect Puget Sound, and fully fund public schools so the next generation of Kitsap kids can grow up happy and healthy!