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Sentry Kelly
Sentry Kelly
Credit: Sentry Kelly

Sentry Kelly

Senior Research Analyst

Sentry grew up in the southern foothills of the Appalachian Mountains in the tiny town of Piedmont, Alabama. He spent his younger years doing anything and everything outdoors since where he lived didn't have access to high-speed internet. Sentry has always been a bit of an adrenaline junkie, picking up a dirt bike from the age of four and spending every weekend he could racing other kids from the Southeast. After twenty years of racing and a long list of injuries Sentry finally decided it was time for a change. Luckily, just a few years prior to his racing departure he had been introduced to rock climbing. He self-taught himself how to climb, dragging his dad out to the crag every weekend for the belay.

Sentry always had an insatiable curiosity for how things worked. He would take all of his gear and equipment apart just so he could understand why it functioned and to see if he could make it work better. This curiosity is what led him to study engineering in college. He spent five years at Jacksonville State University where he double majored in occupational safety and health management and applied manufacturing engineering with a concentration in design and automation. During his studies he worked in the industrial engineering department of a local automotive manufacturing plant optimizing the production of sunroof and interior systems for Tesla, Mercedes, Ford, GM, etc.. Upon graduation he took an internship with a construction company in downtown Chicago where he spent the summer working on the new luxury high rise apartments of Wolf Point East. He ultimately onboarded with the same company and headed West where he worked as a Safety Specialist for the next two years in the San Francisco Bay area. During his time at university and work he gained the following certifications: OSHA 30 General Industry, OSHA 30 Construction, OSHA 510, ITI Qualified Advanced Rigger, First Aid/CPR Instructor, Train the Trainer: Confined Spaces, Train the Trainer: Trenching and Excavation.

Eventually Sentry left his career to pursue more time outdoors and took up adventure photography. He immediately saw the advantage of drone use in his media creation so he became a part 107 licensed drone pilot. Shortly after he and his wife moved into their self converted van and hit the road. During that time, Sentry built up an extensive adventure photography portfolio while he and his wife traveled the U.S. in their van, sharing his photos as well as travel advice & guides on their website. During those five years on the road, he could never give up the part of him that loved to make things work. He filled that void by building four camper vans that he sold to other aspiring adventurers.

Today, Sentry's favorite activities include rock climbing, mountain biking, backpacking, & scuba diving. Sentry has never wavered in his goal of doing work that he is passionate about and that stands true as he has transitioned into his role as a Research Analyst at GearLab.