We are deeply committed to helping our clients define, achieve and sustain their desired outcomes.

our history

Our work began in the 1980s to improve results for professional and amateur athletes. This research led to rediscovery of an old Greek model that addressed the Body, Mind and Spirit. Consistently high performers pay attention equally to all three domains:

mind
Mind
body
Body
spirit
Spirit

This research consistently revealed that peak performing people weigh each domain with equal importance, put in practices to support the type of ongoing behavior they desire, and use experiential learning to ensure that they are able to put their learning into action.

Over the next three decades we have refined processes for creating and sustaining high-performance through leadership, health and team training. In 2012 we merged two companies — Performance Unlimited and Activ8 — to deliver an integrated offering that supports improved business performance and the culture of health within an organization.

our core team

Erik Gabrielson
Partner

Erik heads up our relationship building efforts. In this capacity Erik bridges disciplines, connecting with prospective partners and clients, gaining insight into their issues, co-creating solutions, delivering training, and coaching. Erik has a passion for collaborating with others to build outcomes that are bigger than anyone initially could have conceived.

After a 15-year career as a real estate entrepreneur, Erik committed himself to helping others achieve high performance. He has partnered with Larry over the last decade on a variety of engagements and joined him as a partner at Performance Unlimited. With Moira Petit, he founded Activ8 to focus on the relationship between health and performance. Over the course of his career, Erik has worked extensively in multi-national, multi-cultural settings.

Erik grew up on the international Alpine Ski Racing circuit where he learned the value of taking action within fear and to experience the exhilaration that waits on the other side. He studied – and skied – at St. Olaf College. Erik continues to pursue various outdoor adventures, especially if he can include his son Kieran

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Erik Gabrielson
Larry Burback
Partner

Larry heads up our performance training team, mentoring our consultants and engaging with clients in the classroom and in the outdoor laboratory. With a focus on physical awareness, effective communication, and teambuilding, Larry has over 30 years of experience in training individuals, teams and organizations to achieve high performance. Over the course of his career Larry has personally worked with thousands of individuals in both large and small group workshops and one-on-one coaching sessions.

Larry was a co-founder of Sportsmind, which conducted some of the initial research upon which key elements of our philosophy is based, and he founded on of our predecessor companies, Performance Unlimited.

A life-long athlete, Larry competed in college football at Lewis & Clark, international rugby, the rodeo circuit, marathons, and triathlons, having finished more than eighty, including twelve Ironman competitions. Larry Lives in Seattle, Washington with his wife Mary, loves Led Zeppelin, Jimi Hendrix and Erik Clapton – and refuses to tiptoe through life in to arrive at death safely.

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Larry Burback
Moira Petit, PhD
Partner

Moira heads up our health and wellbeing efforts. Along with Erik, she co-founded Activ8 with the objective of helping people achieve healthier, more fulfilled lives.

Moira has over 20 years of experience supporting health and exercise performance in communities. She brings her experience as an academic researcher, coach and former athlete to support our clients as they strive for health and performance. She has published peer-reviewed research articles and book chapters on issues related to sports medicine, physical activity, and health.

Moira received her doctorate in Exercise Physiology from the University of British Columbia in 2000 after receiving her MA from St. Cloud State and BA from St. Olaf College. After serving on the faculty at Penn State University, she joined the faculty at the University of Minnesota in 2005. She resigned her Tenured Associate Professor position to bring research into practice.

While an undergraduate at St. Olaf, Moira was a 5-time Division III All-American runner. She currently applies these skills to keep up with her active young son Kieran.

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Moira Petit, PhD
Nancy Knop, PhD
Director Health & Wellbeing

Nancy serves as director of our health and wellbeing work. She has worked in higher education, health, fitness and wellness for over 30 years. For 18 years Nancy coached collegiate track & field and cross-country allowing her the opportunity to work and learn from some amazing athletes at various Division I, II, and III colleges around the country. Most recently Nancy completed a 17-year tenure as a professor in Health and Human Kinetics at Ohio Wesleyan University focused on understanding the role intentional movement can play in supporting injury prevention, long-term functional fitness, and overall lifetime well-being. Her work involved integrating the science of performance-based physical training and applying it to populations who represent a full range of abilities and needs. To that end, Nancy developed a highly successful model for faculty-staff fitness at Ohio Wesleyan using a train-the-trainer method of trainer development. An intended outcome of this trainer development model is transformative learning through applied experiences deeply seated in theoretical frameworks. This program, called FITOWU, is available to all campus’ employees has helped change the fitness culture on campus while supporting proactive preventative chronic illness practices within the university insurance program. Nancy currently holds certification as an Corrective Exercise Specialist and Performance Exercise Specialist with NASM (National Academy of Sports Medicine), a Kirpalu yoga instructor, a Functional Movement Screen (FMS) Level 1 and 2 certified professional. She has also held certification as an ACSM (American College of Sports Medicine) Health Fitness Specialist and Certified Personal Trainer. As a faculty member she focused on finding ways to create environments where students are challenged to be creative, learn critical thinking skills and demonstrate these skills in progressively more complex environments.

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Nancy Knop, PhD
Todd Firebaugh

Todd collaborates with the Activ8 team to support clients on strategic, governance and executional issues.  He helps clients develop grounded assessments, gain clarity regarding choices, and move into aligned action.

Formerly, Todd held multiple senior positions within financial services companies during a 25+ year corporate career.  Most recently, he was a member of the executive leadership team at Piper Jaffray.  As its chief administrative officer, he led corporate strategy, marketing, human resources, technology and operations, before becoming the co-head of public finance and fixed income.  Prior, at U.S. Bank, he headed up investment, insurance and small business products before becoming head of the corporate management office where he led planning and communications functions.

Todd received his bachelor’s degree from Cornell University and his master’s in business administration from New York University. He currently serves on the boards of Ehlers, Inc. and Solutran, Inc. Todd lives in Laguna Beach, CA.

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Todd Firebaugh
Mary Burback
Executive Assistant

Mary keeps us all organized. She heads up our bookkeeping and supports our financial wellbeing. When she is not keeping us in line, she spends time with her granddaugther, Lily, traveling to see her family in Louisiana, and pursing her various artistic passions. She lives in Seattle with her husband, Larry and their 2 dogs.

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Mary Burback
Brian Green

Brian partners with Activ8 in delivering our performance and leadership training, specializing in high ropes course facilitation. He is grounded in the adventurous model of experiential learning, coaching individuals and teams to take positive risks and practice moving through their fears and barriers. Brian has over 18 years of experience developing high performing teams, working with adults and youth, corporate and non-profit clients in locations around the world. Brian is passionate about helping individuals see the possibilities within themselves and recognize the powerful value of connecting with their teams, community and planet. Brian has a BA in English from the University of Colorado. He is a certified coach through the Newfield Network and has extensive technical and safety training as a challenge course practitioner and builder and is a Wilderness First Responder. Brian’s interests include photography, traveling, swimming in the sea, being outside more than inside and playing guitar in his Rock & Roll band until he’s old and gray.

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Brian Green
Lisa Davis

Lisa supports our work with Tactical Athletes and brings a unique perspective with over 30 years experience as a Police Officer and a Marine. She retired from the Minneapolis Police Department where she let the MPD Fit Team. She helped to create a culture of health and high performance in her organizations and has taught Defensive Tactics and Use of Force for over 25 years. She was presented the Excellence in Performance Award from the Minnesota Association for Women Police and received the Officer of the Year Award by the International Association for Women Police that same year.

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Lisa Davis

Some folks we’ve worked with:

SRG SPSpj_logo_white MPD Medica Ecolab Cargill