Kari is an educational leader, storyteller, and adventurer. He loves empowering individuals, teams, and organizations to perform at their best. In his first book, My Top 40 at 40: Making the First Half Count, Kari presented an original, meaningful way to celebrate his 40th birthday by sharing his own collection of 40 favorite stories spanning 6 continents and 2 decades.

He has worked for nearly three decades at a range of innovative educational institutions, beginning with Teach For America and serving as headmaster at the Good Hope Country Day School in the U.S. Virgin Islands. 

In addition, Kari Loya is a bilingual, Emmy Award-winning voice talent and musical artist. He has worked with clients such as PBS, VH1, NBC Sports, McDonald’s, and many other Fortune 500 companies. 

Kari holds a B.A. from Dartmouth College and an MBA from Columbia University. 

He currently lives with his wife and daughter in Sugar Land, Texas.


In Conversations Across America, Kari chronicles the TransAmerica bike ride he and his dad, Merv, took to discover America, just in the nick of time. They had a long-standing dream to bike the TransAmerica Bike Trail, which is a 4,200 mile path between Yorktown, VA, and Astoria, OR. It wasn’t until Kari’s dad was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s that they finally seized the day and went on the adventure of a lifetime. At 75 years old, Merv was one of the oldest people to bike the TransAmerica Trail. 

During the 73 day bike ride, Kari and his dad wrestled with the realities of his early-stage Alzheimer’s. This time ultimately would become a gift of pride, laughter, and joy for his father’s final years. At the beginning of their journey, there were many times that they almost quit, but decided to keep going. Along the way, they had to learn to persevere and adapt. 

While they were on their adventure, they stopped in 10 states and got a snapshot of America. Chronicled in the book are 300 short, candid conversations with the people who approached them as they rode along. The book shares these conversations and captures the soul of rural America. 

The book takes readers on a day-to-day retelling of the heartwarming trip. 


  • Father’s Day 
    • The beauty of a Father/Son relationship in the older years
    • How to build those special moments before it’s too late
    • What Kari learned about caregiving from journeying with his dad 
  • Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness Month (June) & Alzheimer’s Awareness Month (November)
    • Tips for becoming a caregiver to a loved one 
    • What lessons Kari learned from going through this experience 
    • How to ‘Seize the Day’ and enjoy the time you have together 
  • Adventure/Cycling Travel 
    • How to prepare for a journey this long 
    • ‘Must Haves’ for a cycling trip 
    • An inside look at the little known TransAmerica Bike Trail
  • Fourth of July 
    • What Kari and his dad learned about the richness of America’s culture
    • Taking time to listen to and appreciate others who are different from  you