George Basch (aka Curious George) has circled the globe as an Adventurer, Explorer, Photographer and a Creative Entrepreneurial Businessman.
He’s been on all seven continents, and in more countries than he’s taken the time to count, and is still going strong as an explorer / adventurer after celebrating his 81st birthday in March 2018.
Born in Vienna, George immigrated to the United States as a small child, ahead of Hitler’s Hordes, and holds dual US and EU citizenship. He grew up in Chicago and graduated from MIT in 1959 with a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering, and earned an MBA from Northwestern University’s Kellogg Graduate School of Management in 1961.
After graduate school, while living in New York City, Curious George operated a consumer photographic products division for a Fortune 500 company. He discovered that large corporate life did not suit him, and seeking something more stimulating and rewarding he moved to Denver in 1968 and embarked on his adventures as a serial entrepreneur. These endeavors took from Denver to Anchorage, Tucson and Phoenix, and in 2006 to Taos, New Mexico.
Curious George’s professional career has been devoted to a wide and diverse array of pursuits over the decades of his involvement in “business”. He founded Property Tax Relief Specialists; a Phoenix based Property Tax Consultancy in 1987 which is still going strong after 31 years under the dynamic leadership of George’s long-time colleague, Charlie Carson (with very occasional bits of input from George).
He has had a lifelong love affair with the Himalayas, which he visited for the first time in 2001, helping to provide base camp support for blind climber Erik Weihenmayer’s successful summit.
He returned to Nepal in 2009, trekking into the remote Upper Mustang Restricted Area (he did obtain a permit) with his friend and colleague Yale Jones, also of Taos, and a small group of other close friends.
This trip became the inspiration for the philanthropic Himalayan Stove Project which George founded in 2010. Since that initial founding the HSP has delivered over 5,000 clean burning, fuel efficient Envirofit cookstoves to families in the under-served regions of Nepal’s High Himalayas.
These 5,000 stoves, combined with the earthquake relief efforts that HSP did after the devastating 2015 Nepal earthquake, have impacted the lives of more than 40,000 people (which would fill the stadium of the Houston Astros).
George was inducted into the Explorers Club in 2010 and he, and the Himalayan Stove Project, were awarded the club’s Citation of Merit in 2017. He is also a long-time member of both the American Alpine Club and Rotary International.
He remains Founder and “Chief Cook”, of the Himalayan Stove Project after 9 successful years, but was, in mid-2018, elevated, to “Chairman Emeritus” and is assisting the newly appointed Board of Directors and Executive Director, Pam Miller, in transforming “George’s one-man band” to a real organization.
That transformation is moving forward vigorously and effectively, and George’s “bonus” is now having unencumbered free time to pursue his exploration and adventure passions.
Between September 2018 and mid-January 2019 he will be “adventuring and exploring” in Namibia, Botswana, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Swaziland, Lesotho and South Africa … and then in Patagonia (Southern Chile and Argentina) … and then to the Antarctic Peninsula and following the route of Sir Ernest Shackleton from Elephant Island to South Georgia … and then on to the Falkland Islands and Tiera del Fuego before returning to Taos for the second half of the 2018/2019 ski season.