Scout Motors’ CEO praised for leadership during Ecuadorian mountain expedition

June 13, 2024

Retired military special operators describe Scout Keogh as tough and tenacious

By Chris Carter

Scout Motors’ CEO Scott Keogh joined global expedition leader Dr Tom Mullikin; his son Thomas, Jr., president of the environmental non-profit Global Eco Adventures(GEA); and three decorated combat veterans on a climb to the highest point on earth – Ecuador’s famed Mount Chimborazo (more than 6,000 feet further into the atmosphere than Mount Everest due to the Ecuador bulge).

[Pictured L-R – Steve Vitali, Dan Lenz, Tom Mullikin, William Rivera, Thomas Mullikin Jr., Scott Keogh, and Lowell Koppert.]

“Our climb to the roof of Earth was exciting and difficult,” said Dr. Mullikin. “We climbed against winds of nearly 50 mph and made it to high camp at 17,500 feet above sea level.”

Everest’s peak is the highest altitude above mean sea level at 29,029 feet. Chimborazo’s peak however is the furthest point on Earth from Earth’s center with Chimborazo’s summit being more than 6,800 feet farther from Earth’s center than Mount Everest’s.

At high camp the team found themselves in the jaws of an extreme weather pattern hunkered down in a tent on a small outcropping a few feet from a cliff with sustained freezing winds in excess of 50 mph.

“Scott was a perfect member of the team,” said Mullikin. “He was skilled, collaborative and tough as woodpecker lips. He will no doubt make a great leader in South Carolina.”

Former U.S. Army Green Beret Lowell Koppert, who participated in the Chimborazo expedition, reiterated Keogh’s being “the perfect member” of South Carolina’s Chimborazo team.

Following a distinguished career in Special Forces and no stranger to arduous campaigning, Koppert today leads GEA’s Operation Evergreen, engaging veterans in protection of the environment.

“Scott Keogh demonstrated his leadership on one of the most difficult climbs on earth,” said Koppert. “His tenacity in the face of extreme weather reminded each of us of the qualities of a great leader. The winds were ferocious, but Scott was unbending.”

The team spent time in Quito and the Chimborazo region preparing for a push to the summit with acclimatization hikes.

“I have spent a career with some of the greatest leaders of our generation,” said Dan Lenz, also a Green Beret who retired from one of America’s premier special operations units. “Scott Keogh is a natural leader and was skilled with our team as we faced difficult decisions due to the high winds and extreme cold.”

Retired U.S. Marine Col. Steve Vitali also noted Keogh’s natural leadership ability. “I have witnessed leaders in difficult combat situations but none were more steadfast and determined than Scott Keogh as we faced hurricane type winds at high camp on Chimborazo,” Vitali said. “The conditions were dangerous and Scott remained calm and cool as we made decisions in a life-threatening situation.”

Keogh will lead South Carolina and the world with a new state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in South Carolina.

Mullikin Jr, son of the senior Mullikin, is himself a global expedition leader and accomplished mountain climber. He said: “It was exciting to spend time with a business leader who obviously cares about others on the team – their stories, their insights and the collective challenges. Scott is exactly the type of leader we need in South Carolina to help us usher in our economic renaissance.”

According to his father, Dr. Mullikin: “Scott Keogh will be another great leader in our state showing the world that the Palmetto State can enhance its economic output while decreasing its environmental footprint. Scout Motors, Volkswagen’s off-road brand is building a $two-billion manufacturing facility in South Carolina for trucks and SUVs. Scout plans to help lower carbon emissions by focusing on three principles: ‘First, effective and sustainable CO2 reduction. Second, switch to renewable energy sources for power supply. And third, compensate for remaining emissions that cannot be avoided.’ Collectively Scout will add policies and methodologies that serve the nation and world as best practices for clean manufacturing.”


Chris Carter is a former semi-pro football player and U.S. Air Force veteran whose articles have appeared in Ops Lens, Human Events, Canada Free Press, Deutsche Welle, and NavySEALs.comamong other publications.