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American Hiking Society Board Members enjoy a scenic hike in Arizona’s Peralta Canyon

Executive Committee

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Jennifer Chambers
Board Chair
About
Organization: Hiking Along, LLC.
Title: Educator and Author
City: Silver Spring, Maryland
Biography

Jennifer Chambers is an author, middle school science teacher, environmental educator and small business owner. In 2004, she started her own business, Hiking Along, LLC. to engage children in exploration of the natural world and encourage them to appreciate and learn about the environment and how humans impact it while hiking on scenic trails around the DC region.

As a volunteer with Potomac Appalachian Trail Club, Jennifer helped implement PATC’s family hiking program, family weekend at Bear’s Den, created the grant-funded Student Trail Steward program at Northwood High School, and organized youth-focused trail building projects in her hometown.

Jennifer was an Environmental Education Specialist with the Audubon Naturalist Societies’ GreenKids program whose goal is to make environmental education and meaningful watershed educational experiences an integral part of the instructional strategy at participating schools and to create formative experiences for students that foster lifelong environmental literacy and stewardship.

She is currently a middle school science teacher at The Siena School; a private school whose mission is to educate college-bound students with mild to moderate learning differences.

Jennifer is a children’s book author of Watershed Adventures of a Water Bottle, published by Tate Publishing in April 2013 and a hiking guide book, Best Hikes for Kids: Washington DC, The Beltway and Beyond, published by Mountaineers Books in September 2014.

Jennifer is the Chair of the Board of Directors for the American Hiking Society and is the Maryland State Advocate for Leave No Trace. She lives in Silver Spring with her husband and two children who are an active outdoor family.

 

Favorite Hikes
The Northwest Branch and Rachel Carson Loop in Silver Spring, MD
Scott Beckett Board Pic 2014
Scott Beckett
Board Vice-Chair
About
Organization: Insigniam Performance
Title: Partner
City:Minneapolis, MN
Biography

Scott has a long history with conservation, trail building and maintenance, and non-profit service. While in college, he helped launch a ground-breaking trail crew program at Philmont Scout Ranch, operated by the Boy Scouts of America. More than twenty years later that program has generated four similar conservation and trail building programs at the three other national BSA high adventure bases. Those programs have hosted more than 3000 Scouts who have built and/or repaired dozens of miles of trail and portages, as well as impacted marine environments throughout the the Boundary Waters and Florida Keys.

An Eagle Scout himself, Scott served as Program Chairman for the Boy Scouts of America’s ArrowCorps5 program, a 5,000 person service project conducted over five weeks in in five national forests. He served as co-chairman for the BSA’s SummitCorps program in 2011 with 1,500 Scouts and Scouters building 13-miles of trail in the New River National Park (WV). Scott has also served on the National Outdoor Adventures committee for the Boy Scouts of America.

Scott is an Advisory Board member of the Cottonwood Institute, a board member of the Denver Area Council (BSA), a national vice Chairman of the Order of the Arrow (BSA), and an avid outdoors person. His wife Adrienne currently reside in Minneapolis, MN. Scott is a partner with Insigniam, a world-wide consultancy in breakthrough performance and strategic and organizational transformation.

Favorite Hikes
Zion Narrows

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Kevin Thomson
Board Treasurer
About
Organization:
Title: Certified Public Accountant
City: Ligonier, PA
Biography

Kevin lives and works in the beautiful Laurel Highlands of western Pennsylvania and enjoys the many hiking, camping, backpacking, and kayaking opportunities available in the area.

Kevin volunteers with his local outdoors group, Venture Outdoors as a trip leader and as a member of VO’s Trip Leader Council.

He has participated in AHS Volunteer Vacations in various parts of the United States, and volunteers locally with the Ridge Runners, a trail maintenance group that works in conjunction with the Pennsylvania DCNR, helping to maintain the 70-mile Laurel Highlands Hiking Trail.

Favorite Hike
West Highland Way and Laurel Highlands Hiking Trail
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Larry Luxenberg
At-Large
About
Organization: Lexington Avenue Capital Management
Title: Financial Advisor
Organization: Appalachian Trail Museum, Pine Grove Furnace State Park, Gardners, Pa.
Title: Founder & President
City: New City, New York
Biography

Larry thru-hiked the Appalachian Trail in 1980 and is the author of “Walking the Appalachian Trail.” He is the founder and president of the Appalachian Trail Museum in Pine Grove Furnace State Park, Gardners, Pa. The Museum also sponsors the Appalachian Trail Hall of Fame.

For many years, National Trails Day, which is sponsored by the American Hiking Society, has been an important part of his life. In 2007 the Museum opened the first exhibit of the A.T. Museum on National Trails Day at ATC headquarters in Harpers Ferry. In 2010 on National Trails Day, the A.T. Museum held its Grand Opening in Gardners, Pa., before a crowd of 750 people. Each year the induction ceremony for the A.T. Hall of Fame is held on the weekend of National Trails Day.

For 15 years he was Trails Chair of Sierra Club, Atlantic Chapter and also served on the Sierra Club’s Atlantic Chapter Outings Committee, New York City Executive Committee and Atlantic Chapter board.

For many years he has been a member of the board of the Earl Shaffer Foundation. An honorary life member of the Appalachian Trail Conservancy and the Appalachian Long Distance Hikers Association, he is also a life member of the Keystone Trails Association and the New York-New Jersey Trail Conference. In 2010 he was Grand Marshall of the Hiker’s Parade, Trail Days, Damascus, Va.

He married Frieda on Bear Mountain, the first section of the A.T., in 1984 and has three grown children.

Favorite Hike
Larry’s favorite hike is the Major Welch and A.T. circuit on Bear Mountain with its sweeping views of the Hudson River Gorge and Harriman Park.

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Jane Daniels
At-Large
About
Organization: Independent
Title: Professional Volunteer
City: Mohegan Lake, NY
Biography
Devoted to the outdoors and committed to the protection of open space, Jane’s hiking accomplishments include climbing the 46 high peaks in the Adirondacks and section hiking the 2175-mile Appalachian Trail. She and her husband are authors of two editions of Walkable Westchester, a guide to over 600 miles of trails and 200 parks in suburban New York City.

Jane is a retired reference librarian. She served on the Trail Conference board from 1990-2011, including six years as board chair and on the Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC) board from 1993-1999. In 2007, she chaired a committee hosting the Appalachian Trail Conservancy’s 36th Biennial Confernece, an eight day event with over 850 attendees and 376 volunteers. Having built and managed trails, she understands trail issues from the shovel to the board room. In April 2013, she was named NY Trail Worker of the Year by American Trails. Jane is the president of NY State Trails Council, on the board of the Hudson Greenway Conservancy, the president of the Friends of FDR State Park and on the board of the American Hiking Society.

Favorite Hike
Sylvan Glen Park Preserve in Mohegan Lake, NY

Jack Hess

Jack Hess
At-Large
About
Organization: Geological Society of America Foundation
Title: President
City: Boulder, CO
Biography

Jack joined the board in 2015 and has enjoyment in hiking and backpacking since his time as a Boy Scout and Explorer Scout as a youth in State College, PA.  He still serves the Boy Scouts at both the local council and the national levels.  He has hiked a good bit of the Appalachian Trail, been on many backpacking trips in the Colorado wilderness and hiked many of the mountain ranges in Nevada.  This year (2015) he and his wife have taken the challenge to hike 100 miles in Rocky Mountain National Park in celebration of the park’s 100th anniversary.

Recently, after 13 years of service, Jack stepped down as the Executive Director of the Geological Society of America. Before coming to GSA in 2001 Jack work for the Desert Research Institute in Nevada and then spent 18 months working for Senator Harry Reid (D-NV) working on nuclear waste and water issues.  He has served on a number of boards including the National Cave and Karst Research Institute, Karst Waters Institute (Chair), Association of Earth Science Editors, Longs Peak Council Boy Scouts of America (President elect), Renewable Natural Resources Foundation, and Colorado Society of Association Executives. Additionally Jack serves on the US National Commission for UNESCO and the US National Committee for Geological Sciences.

Favorite Hike
 Ruby Crest Trail, Nevada

Directors

Melissa Avery

Melissa Avery
Board Member
About
Organization: Chasqui Mom and Latino Outdoors
Title: Writer & Regional Coordinator
City: San Francisco, CA  
Biography

Melissa Avery is an outdoor family blogger based in the San Francisco Bay Area.  With camping, hiking and backpacking and anything outdoors among her activities she and her family are up for the challenge.  She is also a youth leader at her local church, where she has integrated a wilderness program into the church’s regular youth activities with much success.

She received her B.S. at California State University Hayward (East Bay) in Business Administration/Accounting and entered the world of federal law enforcement for the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation.  Even though her work experience has been primarily financial and law enforcement, Melissa continues to explore her love of outdoors locally as well as adventuring down to South America to backpack the Salkantay and Inca Trail to Machu Picchu.

She has been a church youth leader with her husband for nine years and has led many camping, hiking, backpacking and even international outreach/camping trips to Ensenada, Mexico with her Jr. High and High School students.  Melissa believes that with all the difficult and complex issues our society is confronted with, it is beneficial to give young people the opportunity to gain real perspective on the world, understand true poverty, understand true service and develop integrity and character.

After leaving the government and entering motherhood, Melissa understood that being outdoors was essential to parenting and continued her outdoor lifestyle with her children.  In August 2012, she felt the need to start writing about her family outdoor adventures because so many of her friends and family were curious how her family spends so much time outdoors.  She was given the trail name “Chasqui Mom” because of her Peruvian heritage and motherhood, but took this name as her blog identity because just as the Chasquis were the Incan Emperor mountain runners that relayed important information, she wanted to be a messenger of the outdoors to everyone and in particular Latino families and youth.

Favorite Hike

The Chochenyo and Lizard Rock Trail marsh pond hikes at Coyote Hills Regional Park in Fremont, CA.

Amy Csink
Board Member
About
Organization: Washington Trails Association
Title: Board Member
City: Seattle, WA 
Biography

Amy Csink has finally settled down in the Pacific Northwest after living in Georgia, Missouri, Philadelphia and Pittsburgh. She has traveled throughout America and has hiked and backpacked in most of the states. After retiring from a career as a research geneticist and professor she joined the board of directors of Washington Trails Association (WTA) which is the largest state-based hiking organization in the country with more than 12,000 members and 108,000 hours/year of volunteer trail maintenance.

As a member of the WTA advocacy committee she has met with law makers to discuss issues important to hikers at both the state and national level such as fees on public lands, funding for trail maintenance and wilderness areas. She is particularly interested in advocacy because she believes that the relationship between citizens and the natural environment is important to our national character.

Favorite Hike
Obstruction Point to Deer Park, Olympic National Park, Washington
The northern most 100 miles of the Pacific Crest Trail
AHS board photo Kathleen 2015
Kathleen Fitzpatrick
Board Member
About
Organization: CVL Consultants
Title: Director of Business Development and Marketing
City: Phoenix, Arizona
Biography

Kathleen has served with the AHS board since October 2013.  She met the AHS board of directors at their Spring 2013 meeting in Phoenix Arizona where she led the group on a hike up the Peralta trail in the Superstition Mountains. In 2005, Kathleen started and continues to lead a small hiking club on monthly adventures in and around  Arizona.  “We have a strict rule in the CVL Hike Club, NO work talk in nature!”  As Director of Business Development, Kathleen is responsible for creating strategic partnerships that will ultimately lead to mutually beneficial outcomes for all parties.  The Hike Club acts as a way to bridge the gap between work and play.  A majority of the hikers are clients and employees and she finds there is no better way to forge a relationship then in nature. There is no pretense or barriers when we are on the trail.

Kathleen was born and raised in central New Jersey. Hiking every Sunday after dinner with her grandmother along the Raritan River, became a way to connect with nature. As she became older, the trails became more challenging and the adventures drew her out west to Arizona.  “I found myself always coming back to Arizona to hike and camp on vacation, why only come on vacation, I should move to Arizona and hike every day.”  Kathleen met her husband David on a Grand Canyon rafting trip in 2001.  He was the trip leader and she was the ecological interpretive guide on that trip, the rest as they say is history!  They married at the rim of the Grand Canyon in 2010 surrounded in the beauty of the place that they both deem the most magical place on earth.

When not working or hiking, Kathleen can be found with her husband David and daughter Kylee either camping, rafting or behind her tripod photographing.  She is a published photographer with work gracing the covers of American Trails magazine and a feature in the AZ Highways blog spot. Kathleen holds a degree from Rutgers University in Environmental Health Science/Marketing and an MBA from Grand Canyon University.

Favorite Hike
Anywhere in the Grand Canyon. 
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Howard Kern
Board Member
About
Organization: UBS
Title: VP & Sales Manager
City: Westlake Village, California
Biography

An active hiker and outdoorsman, Howard has hiked and worked on many trail projects in his local area of Los Angeles as well as in the Golden Trout Wilderness in the southern Sierra Nevada Mountains. He has served as a member of the management committee for the Southern California Steelhead Coalition and currently is the Volunteer Project Coordinator for the state’s Golden Trout Restoration Project.

A big proponent of youth education, Howard has served on the Boy Scouts of America’s Order of the Arrow National Committee. He was a contributor for the BSA’s Fly Fishing merit badge pamphlet and was instrumental in the writing of a new fishing ethics book published by the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics.  Howard has been the recipient of a number of national conservation awards including recognition by the California Department of Fish and Game, US Forest Service, the Boy Scouts of America and the US Fish and Wildlife Service.

Favorite Hike
 Hiking up Devil’s Slide Trail to the peak of Mt. San Jacinto in southern California.
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Dennis Lewon
Board Member
About
Organization: Backpacker Magazine
Title: Editor in Chief
City:
Biography
Coming soon.
Favorite Hike
Coming soon.

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Jeff Senterman
Board Member
About
Organization: Catskill Center for Conservation and Development
Title: Executive Director
City: Tannersville, NY 
Biography

Jeff is is currently Executive Director of the Catskill Center, an organization that works to preserve and protect New York’s Catskill region. Prior to joining the Catskill Center, Jeff worked as the regional trails program manager for the New York-New Jersey Trail Conference. Jeff was an environmental planner for the Maine Land Use Regulation Commission; Massachusetts Aeronautics Commission; and for Waterman Design Associates.

He is an avid hiker and outdoorsman who has hiked extensively in the Catskills, Adirondacks, and New England. Jeff is a long-time volunteer with the New York-New Jersey Trail Conference. He began volunteering with the Trail Conference with his father at age 11 and continued in many capacities throughout the Hudson Valley and Catskills. He holds a BS from Lyndon State College in Vermont, with a concentration in environmental science.

Favorite Hike

The Indian Head loop in the New York’s Catskill Mountains

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Dennis Crowley
Board Member
About
Organization:  Southeastern Foot Trails Coalition
Title:  Past President / Board Member

Organization:  Sheltowee Trace Association
Title:  Chairman Emeritus of Advisory Board / Past Board Chairman

Organization:  Kentucky Recreational Trails Authority
Title:  Hiking & Backpacking Representative

City:  Louisville, Kentucky  

Biography
For many years, Dennis has volunteered to build, maintain and promote foot trails at the local, state and regional levels.  Through these experiences, he has been engaged in AHS programs such as National Trails Day, Volunteer Vacations and Alternative Spring Breaks.

In his own community, he has worked on trails, led hikes in local parks, and promoted hiking at local events.  He met his wife, Julie, hiking with the KISHAW hiking club on a group hike in Kentucky’s Red River Gorge.

At the state level, in Kentucky, he has served on boards of Sheltowee Trace Association and Pine Mountain Trail Conference.   For several years, he has worked with Kentucky Tourism Cabinet’s Adventure Tourism as the representative for hiking and backpacking on the Kentucky Recreational Trails Authority.

On the regional level, Dennis has worked on trail relocations on Appalachian Trail Conservancy’s Konnarock and Mid-Atlantic trail crews.  He participated in Cumberland Trail Conference trail building crews in Tennessee for several years.

He was involved in planning what was to become the Southeastern Foot Trails Coalition (SEFTC), a joint project of American Hiking Society and National Parks Service RTCA.    From this coalition, the Great Eastern Trail Association (GETA)was formed.  Dennis has served on the GETA board for several years.  He was also the first president of SEFTC.

Dennis is retired from Michelin where he worked as a chemical engineer.  He joined the board of American Hiking Society in April 2016.

Favorite Hike
Dennis makes frequent hiking trips to Acadia National Park in Maine with his wife and their Labrador retriever, Teddy.

 

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Bradley Ellis
Board Member
About
Organization: Icard Merrill
Title: Attorney
City: Sarasota, FL  
Biography

Bradley Ellis is a Florida native that grew up in Jupiter, Florida and currently practices land use and development law in Sarasota, Florida. Bradley completed his undergraduate studies at Florida State University, and his legal studies at the University of Florida.

Bradley is an Eagle Scout and remains active in the Boy Scouts of America and the Order of Arrow. It is Bradley’s involvement with the Order of the Arrow that started Bradley on his path towards his involvement with the American Hiking Society. With the Order of the Arrow, Bradley has served as a key staffer on repairing and/or creating trails around the country. In 2001, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2010, and 2011, Bradley repaired historic portage trails in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness in Minnesota.

In 2008, his team created the “Arrow Trail” mountain-biking/hiking trail in the Bridger-Teton National Forest in Wyoming. In 2011, his team created the initial portion of the “Arrow Head Trail” in the New River Gorge National Park in West Virginia. Bradley has also built trails in Michigan, Indiana, and of course Florida. Bradley is a key staffer for the Order of the Arrow’s “Arrowman Conservation School” and he hopes to create high synergy between his work with the Order of the Arrow and the America Hiking Society.

Favorite Hike

The Grand Portage (Grand Portage, MN)

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Sarah Baker Morgan
Board Member
About
Organization: American Red Cross
Title: Chief Fundraising Strategist
City: Silver Spring, MD
Biography

Sarah’s love of hiking and the outdoors developed at an early age while exploring the Adirondack Mountains, a place she returns as often as possible. Her family’s tradition of “vestigating”, a shared pleasure of meandering new places, hiking new paths, swimming new water holes, and searching for vistas and sunsets is a focal point whenever they carve time together. Time spent in the Adirondacks, Pacific Northwest, Southern California, San Juan Islands, White Mountains and the Shenandoah Valley has fueled Sarah’s wish to spend time on trails and enjoy the peace of wooded areas.  Sarah also has a passion for photography and is particularly inspired by blending natural and architectural elements.  Sarah joined the Board of Directors of the American Hiking Society in 2016.

Sarah has over 30 years fundraising experience in the university and non-profit arena.  She currently serves as chief fundraising strategist for the engagement of the president & CEO of the National American Red Cross. Previously, she held several leadership positions at The George Washington University, where she directed school-based fundraising and alumni programs including: annual, reunion, planned giving, endowment and capital campaigns; management of advisory and alumni relations boards; and developing and implementing special campaigns for targeted constituencies. Earlier in her career, Sarah held fundraising positions at the University of Southern California, Wellesley College and Clark University.

Sarah has served as a member of the Gould Academy Board of Trustees; Reunion Giving Chair and Member of the National Committee on Clark’s Future for Clark University; Fundraising Chair for the Highland View Elementary School PTA; Executive VP of the Silver Spring International Middle School PTSA; and Co-Leader for Girl Scout Troop 4274.

Sarah holds a BA in Art History from Clark University. She lives with her high school-aged daughter in Silver Spring, MD.

Favorite Hike

Cascade Mountain, Adirondack’s, New York