Guest Speakers

New Haven, CT - October 2, 2013 from 7:00pm-9:30pm

James Haskell
A.T. section hiker
Climbing Mount Katahdin when he was twelve opened up the world of hiking to Jim Haskell.  He started section hiking the Appalachian Trail in 1990 and hiked approximately one hundred miles each year thereafter.  He completed the AT on October 10, 2010.  Jim has also climbed fifty-one of the sixty-seven 4000-footers in New England, and has been an ATC member since 1992. Leaving his native Maine in 1978, Jim studied history at Boston University and earned a master’s degree in public administration from Suffolk University. Jim has been a community development executive and consultant for thirty years. Jim lives with his wife Donna and their son Jason north of Boston. 

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Lana BluegeLana C. Bluege
AMC-Connecticut Chapter Trails Committee 
As a Development Manager /Paralegal for a non-profit located in West Haven called Connecticut Veterans Legal Center; Lana assists veterans recovering from homelessness and serious mental illness every day. This is a rewarding position, but her true passion is the environment and animals. Lana had animals running around the house, woods as a backyard and teachers guiding her from birth; it was only natural to become part of the solution and help AMC and other environmental organizations. At the age of 10, Lana began hiking the 4,000 footers of New England with her father and brother in order to gain her patch. This is an ongoing project that Lana hopes to accomplish in her life.  The dozens of 4000 footers under her belt have already made an impression however. Keeping the trail (and the entire environment for that matter) clean and safe is a new life long mission. Currently, Lana is a volunteer with Branford Land Trust; Outreach Coordinator and Trail Maintainer for AMC-Connecticut Chapter Trails Committee.  As a Maintainer, she works on the section known as “Riga Plateau”, between Route 41 in Salisbury, over Lion’s Head, to Riga Junction.  In her role as Outreach Coordinator, she educates interested groups about the AT, and develops materials designed to encourage interest in the Trail and Trail Management. Lana is volunteering to become a wildlife rehabilitator. She hopes to continue her activism with an MBA to help non-profits that relate to environmental and animal causes. She resides in Branford Connecticut. 

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Javier Folgar
ATC's Director of Marketing and Communications 
Javier received his Bachelor of Science Degree from Rutgers University (Newark, NJ) in 2007, where he majored in Marketing. Upon graduation, Javier worked in the Pharmaceutical/Biotech industry working for a Contract Research Organization as the Marketing and Communications Manager. During that time he also volunteered with local nonprofits such as NJ Community Water Watch, NJ Public Interest Research Group, and Global Environmental Projects. He also served as a Catechist at Our Lady of the Valley Parish. In 2010 he joined the Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC) as the Marketing and Communications Manager. In January 2013, he was promoted to Director of Marketing and Communications. He is also working towards his MBA in Business Administration and Marketing. Javier developed a strong passion for hiking after completing a missionary trip to Tohatchie, New Mexico. Since then, he has been hiking the trails almost every weekend. 

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Tampa, FL - October 30, 2013 from 7:00pm-9:30pm

Bob Williams
Former ATC Land Trust Director, thru-hiker, and ATC member

Bob Williams served as Director of Land Trust Programs for the Appalachian Trail Conservancy from 1994 to 2005, coordinating private land conservation efforts in the 14 states bordering the A.T. Each land tract conserved involved fostering partnerships, coordinating fund-raising, negotiating agreements and working with the ATC Board, committees and staff for requisite policy development and approvals. He recruited and supervised a network of 14 part-time regional coordinators to develop local projects; structured formula and coordinated fund raising for almost all the acquisitions; began a partnership program of land trusts to empower local organizations to adopt ATC acquisition goals; began a conservation buyer and conservation investor program; and had the privilege of conserving more than 100,000 acres along the A.T. in coordination with ATC's many partners. From 1966 to 1990 Bob served in the US Army with tours in Viet Nam and Germany in addition to the Pentagon and other stateside postings. From 1974 to his retirement in 1990, he served as an attorney in the Judge Advocate General Corps. He is a graduate of the University of the Pacific Law School and Missouri State University.

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Wendy Probst
Editor of Appalachian Trail Journeys, the official magazine of the A.T.
Growing up with ten wooded acres as her literal playground, Wendy developed an innate love of the natural world and a passion to help protect it. After receiving her Bachelor’s degree in English from Shepherd University, she naturally found her way into the non-profit industry, and finally to the Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC) in 2005. As the managing editor of A.T. Journeys magazine for the past six years, Wendy has had the privilege and responsibility of conveying the multifaceted “voice” of the Appalachian Trail Conservancy to its membership and beyond. From conservation issues and triumphs to the constant and often messy work of impassioned Trail clubs and maintainers, to the personal and poignant stories of individual hikers, she never tires of balancing the wide yet succinct focus of the protection and promotion of the A.T. A Maryland native, who fell in love with West Virginia during and far beyond her college years, Wendy now lives in – and works remotely from − north east Florida with her husband and two dogs where she has recently had the opportunity to focus on her second outdoor passion – the ocean. She travels back to the woods of her childhood often, where her parents still live.

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Javier Folgar
ATC's Director of Marketing and Communications 
Javier received his Bachelor of Science Degree from Rutgers University (Newark, NJ) in 2007, where he majored in Marketing. Upon graduation, Javier worked in the Pharmaceutical/Biotech industry working for a Contract Research Organization as the Marketing and Communications Manager. During that time he also volunteered with local nonprofits such as NJ Community Water Watch, NJ Public Interest Research Group, and Global Environmental Projects. He also served as a Catechist at Our Lady of the Valley Parish. In 2010 he joined the Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC) as the Marketing and Communications Manager. In January 2013, he was promoted to Director of Marketing and Communications. He is also working towards his MBA in Business Administration and Marketing. Javier developed a strong passion for hiking after completing a missionary trip to Tohatchie, New Mexico. Since then, he has been hiking the trails almost every weekend.

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Atlanta, GA - October 26, 2013 from 11:00am-1:30pm

Richard Judy
Thru-hiker and author of Thru- a Love Story
Richard Judy thru-hiked the AT in 1973 from north to south. His daughter, Laura, and son, Dan, are also SOBO thru-hikers. Richard recently retired from a long career in public relations. He has spent many years as an active volunteer for not-for-profit causes at the officer, board and volunteer level. He is currently the board president of Appalachian Education and Recreation Services which oversees the Len Foote Hike Inn, an educational backcountry lodge located just off the AT Approach Trail south of Springer Mtn. Next year, Richard will finish a 15-year section hike of the AT. His novel, THRU: An Appalachian Trail Love Story, is available at the Appalachian Trail Museum website. Richard is a Life Member and a long-time supporter of the Appalachian Trail Conservancy.

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Javier Folgar
ATC's Director of Marketing and Communications 
Javier received his Bachelor of Science Degree from Rutgers University (Newark, NJ) in 2007, where he majored in Marketing. Upon graduation, Javier worked in the Pharmaceutical/Biotech industry working for a Contract Research Organization as the Marketing and Communications Manager. During that time he also volunteered with local nonprofits such as NJ Community Water Watch, NJ Public Interest Research Group, and Global Environmental Projects. He also served as a Catechist at Our Lady of the Valley Parish. In 2010 he joined the Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC) as the Marketing and Communications Manager. In January 2013, he was promoted to Director of Marketing and Communications. He is also working towards his MBA in Business Administration and Marketing. Javier developed a strong passion for hiking after completing a missionary trip to Tohatchie, New Mexico. Since then, he has been hiking the trails almost every weekend.

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Boston, MA - October 3, 2013 from 7:00pm-9:30pm

James Haskell
A.T. section hiker
Climbing Mount Katahdin when he was twelve opened up the world of hiking to Jim Haskell.  He started section hiking the Appalachian Trail in 1990 and hiked approximately one hundred miles each year thereafter.  He completed the AT on October 10, 2010.  Jim has also climbed fifty-one of the sixty-seven 4000-footers in New England, and has been an ATC member since 1992. Leaving his native Maine in 1978, Jim studied history at Boston University and earned a master’s degree in public administration from Suffolk University. Jim has been a community development executive and consultant for thirty years. Jim lives with his wife Donna and their son Jason north of Boston.

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Ed Guyot
ATC Board Member and founding member of the Board of the Maine Appalachian Trail Land Trust
Edward (Ed) Guyot, CPA, of Keene, New Hampshire is an avid hiker and outdoor enthusiast. He was a founding member of the Board of the Maine Appalachian Trail Land Trust and remains on the Trust’s board of advisors. Guyot has also served on the boards of a number of conservation focused organizations in the Monadnock region of New Hampshire. He holds a Bachelors of Science in Accounting from Stonehill College and a Masters of Business from Suffolk University. Guyot brings his 35 years of experience and skills in finance and strategic initiatives to the board.

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Javier Folgar
Director of Marketing and Communications 
Javier received his Bachelor of Science Degree from Rutgers University (Newark, NJ) in 2007, where he majored in Marketing. Upon graduation, Javier worked in the Pharmaceutical/Biotech industry working for a Contract Research Organization as the Marketing and Communications Manager. During that time he also volunteered with local nonprofits such as NJ Community Water Watch, NJ Public Interest Research Group, and Global Environmental Projects. He also served as a Catechist at Our Lady of the Valley Parish. In 2010 he joined the Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC) as the Marketing and Communications Manager. In January 2013, he was promoted to Director of Marketing and Communications. He is also working towards his MBA in Business Administration and Marketing. Javier developed a strong passion for hiking after completing a missionary trip to Tohatchie, New Mexico. Since then, he has been hiking the trails almost every weekend.

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Pawling, NY - OCTOBER 20, 2013 FROM 2:00PM-4:30PM

Susan Letcher
2,000 miler and author of The Barefoot Sisters Southbound
Susan Letcher is a professor of environmental science at Purchase College (SUNY). She grew up on the coast of Maine, graduated from Carleton College in Minnesota with a double major in biology and music, completed a doctorate in ecology at the University of Connecticut, and spent several years living in Costa Rica and teaching study-abroad courses in tropical ecology. In the Appalachian Trail community, she is known as "jackrabbit," the younger member of the duo called the Barefoot Sisters. Between college and graduate school in 2000-01, she hiked from Maine to Georgia and back again with her sister Lucy, barefoot for much of the way. The sisters wrote two acclaimed books about the experience, "Southbound" and "Walking Home."

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Ralph FerrusiRalph Ferrusi
Thru-hiker, author, and featured in the National Geographic documentary, the Appalachian Trail
Completed the Trail the first time on July 19, 1975, the 311th person to walk the entire Trail. Became an official AT maintainer in 1978, and completed the Trail a second time—about a hundred miles a year for 22 years—in 2000: 4,217 AT miles. Directly involved with the construction/salvation/maintenance of five Trail shelters: Ralph’s Peak Hiker’s Cabin, Morgan Stewart Memorial Shelter, Telephone Pioneers Shelter, Wiley Shelter, and the now-removed shelter in Fahnestock State Park. Presented AT slide shows to over 10,000 people, in New York, New Jersey, and New England.   As an award-winning newspaper columnist—the Poughkeepsie Journal, New York’s Oldest Newspaper—have published 87 columns concerning the AT in the past nine years. Wrote to Benton MacKaye in the seventies, thanking him for “One great idea,” and to Bill Bryson in the nineties, inviting him to join me on the AT. Met Ed Garvey at the AT yearly meeting in New Paltz, New York, and Earl Schaffer on his final AT thru hike, accompanying him across the Stormville Mountain section I’ve maintained since 1990. Appeared in the National Geographic filmAmerica’s Wild Spaces, the Appalachian Trail, representing the countless dedicated maintainers, and was invited, and attended the World Premier of the film in Grosvenor Hall in the National Geographic World Headquarters in Washington DC, where I met David Startzell and his charming wife, and Laurie Potteiger.

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Cassandra Kessman
A.T. Community Ambassador
Cassandra Kessman has a degree in Environmental Studies from MCLA in North Adams, Ma.  She has a love for gardening and native plants and works at Native Landscapes located next to the Appalachian Trail in New York.  She has hiked small sections of the trail in NY, CT, MA, VT and NH providing trail magic to hikers when possible.  She is also the educational director for the Pawling Nature Reserve and enjoys leading educational hikes for her community.  On her days off she enjoys yoga and continuing her education of plants through studying herbalism.

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Charlotte, NC - October 24, 2013 from 7:00pm-9:30pm

Steve Clendenning
US Marine Corps and 2013 Walk Off the War Veteran
Bio coming soon

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Richard DaileaderRich Daileader
ATC Board Member and thru-hiker

Daileader, of Charlotte, North Carolina thru-hiked the A.T. in 2009 while on sabbatical from the financial services industry. Since then, his new lifelong goal has been to give back to the Trail and preserve it for his children and future generations. Daileader is currently a managing director with the leveraged financing group of Ally Financial. Rich is an avid hiker and a former marathoner and ultra-runner. He is also involved with Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Charlotte and the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. His club affiliations include the New York Athletic Club, the Carolina Mountain Club, the Tennessee Eastman Hiking and Canoeing Club, the Appalachian Mountain Club, Green Mountain Club, PATC, Roanoke Appalachian Trail Club, Nantahala Hiking Club, and the Maine Appalachian Trail Club.

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Javier Folgar
ATC's Director of Marketing and Communications 
Javier received his Bachelor of Science Degree from Rutgers University (Newark, NJ) in 2007, where he majored in Marketing. Upon graduation, Javier worked in the Pharmaceutical/Biotech industry working for a Contract Research Organization as the Marketing and Communications Manager. During that time he also volunteered with local nonprofits such as NJ Community Water Watch, NJ Public Interest Research Group, and Global Environmental Projects. He also served as a Catechist at Our Lady of the Valley Parish. In 2010 he joined the Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC) as the Marketing and Communications Manager. In January 2013, he was promoted to Director of Marketing and Communications. He is also working towards his MBA in Business Administration and Marketing. Javier developed a strong passion for hiking after completing a missionary trip to Tohatchie, New Mexico. Since then, he has been hiking the trails almost every weekend. 

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Franklin, NC - OCTOBER 18, 2013 FROM 7:00PM-9:30PM

Amy AllenAmy Allen
2006 thru-hiker and author of Summoning the Mountains 
Amy Allen holds a B.A. in Interdisciplinary Studies from Appalachian State University (1987) combining Anthropology, Native American Studies and Social Work with an English minor. She went on to study at University of Oklahoma's Field School of Ethnography, living and working with the Southern Cheyenne. Amy has been a backpacker for over 28 years. In 2006, at age forty, she thru-hiked the AT using the trail name Willow.

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Lenny Bernstein

Lenny Bernstein
ATC Board Member and 2,000 miler
Lenny Bernstein of Asheville, North Carolina has hiked the entire A.T., has been a Trail maintainer for 25 years, and is a life member of the ATC. He is an active member and past president of the Carolina Mountain Club. Bernstein has a Ph.D. in chemical engineering and had a 40 year career in the petroleum industry. He was a Convening Lead Author for the United Nation's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Fourth Assessment Report, and has taught courses on climate change and energy at the University of North Carolina at Asheville’s College for Seniors, a noncredit, life-long learning program.

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Mary Bennett
A.T. Community Ambassador
Mary Bennett has lived in the Franklin community for twenty years and loves the mountains and forests in the Nantahala region. She is an educator, artist, horticulturalist, and hiker.  She enjoys working with local schools, designing environmental service learning opportunities for students and leading nature-oriented activities for families.  Her passion is discovering the woodlands natural beauty as  it inspires her creativity and artwork.   This being her second year as Franklin’s Ambassador, she is enthusiastic about introducing more people to hiking, camping, and backpacking along the A. T. 

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Hot Springs, NC - October 26, 2013 from 3:00pm-5:30pm ***ADDED SHOW TIME***

Randy Anderson
2,000 miler

Randy Anderson, also known as "Chuck Norris" within the hiking community, thru-hiked the Appalachian Trail in 2007. He currently operates the Hostel at Laughing Heart Lodge in Hot Springs, N.C. with his wife, LuAnne. In addition to the Appalachian Trail, Randy has completed the Florida Trail and the Israel National Trail, and also has extensive hiking experience along the Pacific Crest Trail. Randy serves as the assistant coordinator of the Appalachian Long Distance Hikers Association (ALDHA).

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Anne Baker
A.T. Community Ambassador
A Madison County native, Anne has a double Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and Technical Photography from Appalachian State University in Boone. She has professional experience in media, social networking and in the field of education. Her passion for the Trail developed last summer while hiking the A.T. with her father, completing a total of 200 miles through TN and NC.  “I’ve seen what the Appalachian Trail means to the community and what the community means to the Trail. I’ve realized that the Trail provides a wonderful place for family and friends to come together in a way that only the stillness of the woods allows.” 

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Hot Springs, NC - October 26, 2013 from 7:00pm-9:30pm

Randy Anderson
2,000 miler

Randy Anderson, also known as "Chuck Norris" within the hiking community, thru-hiked the Appalachian Trail in 2007. He currently operates the Hostel at Laughing Heart Lodge in Hot Springs, N.C. with his wife, LuAnne. In addition to the Appalachian Trail, Randy has completed the Florida Trail and the Israel National Trail, and also has extensive hiking experience along the Pacific Crest Trail. Randy serves as the assistant coordinator of the Appalachian Long Distance Hikers Association (ALDHA).

SOLD OUT

Lenny Bernstein

Lenny Bernstein
ATC Board Member and 2,000 miler
Lenny Bernstein of Asheville, North Carolina has hiked the entire A.T., has been a Trail maintainer for 25 years, and is a life member of the ATC. He is an active member and past president of the Carolina Mountain Club. Bernstein has a Ph.D. in chemical engineering and had a 40 year career in the petroleum industry. He was a Convening Lead Author for the United Nation's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Fourth Assessment Report, and has taught courses on climate change and energy at the University of North Carolina at Asheville’s College for Seniors, a noncredit, life-long learning program.

SOLD OUT

Anne Baker
A.T. Community Ambassador
A Madison County native, Anne has a double Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and Technical Photography from Appalachian State University in Boone. She has professional experience in media, social networking and in the field of education. Her passion for the Trail developed last summer while hiking the A.T. with her father, completing a total of 200 miles through TN and NC.  “I’ve seen what the Appalachian Trail means to the community and what the community means to the Trail. I’ve realized that the Trail provides a wonderful place for family and friends to come together in a way that only the stillness of the woods allows.” 

SOLD OUT


Raleigh, NC - October 23, 2013 from 7:00pm-9:30pm

Steve Clendenning
US Marine Corps and 2013 Walk Off the War Veteran
Bio coming soon

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Ron Tipton
ATC's Executive Director/CEO and 2,000 miler
Ron has spent most of the past 30+ years as an advocate for public land preservation and national park protection. He has a degree in American Studies from George Washington University and a law degree from GW’s National Law Center, Ron first worked as a program officer at the National Academy of Sciences and on the oversight/investigative staff of the House Environment, Energy and Natural Resources Subcommittee. Since 1978 he has been a part of the advocacy and/or management team of four non-profit national conservation organizations: The Wilderness Society, National Audubon Society, World Wildlife Fund, and National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA). At NPCA he was the Senior Vice President for Programs and then Senior VP for Policy, and had a major role in National Park funding and new park campaigns. Ron has been a member of the board or governing council of numerous recreation and trails organizations, including the ATC, the Benton MacKaye Trail Association, and the Potomac Appalachian Trail Club. He also helped found the Appalachian Long Distance Hiker’s Association. In 1978 he walked the entire length of the Appalachian Trail.

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Andrew Downs
ATC Regional Director and 2,000 miler
Andrew joined the Appalachian Trail Conservancy in 2007 as Trail Resource Manager for the Deep South Region before moving to Virginia to serve as Regional Director for Central and Southwest Virginia in 2013.  After graduating from Appalachian State University with a degree in Archeology and thru-hiking the A.T. in 2002, Andrew worked as an Archeologist around the Southeast US. Returning to school to study under A.T. researcher Roger Moore, Andrew earned a Masters in Natural Resource Management from North Carolina State while working on North Carolina's Haw River and Mountains-to-Sea trail. 

Andrew has been successful at marketing the S.W.E.A.T. Crew program to young people and has earned a Primitive Skills Award for his work establishing the  'Wilderness Skills Institute'. Trained "old school" by Morgan Sommerville, Andrew is dedicated to the traditions of A.T. management and takes a volunteers-first approach when working to protect the Trail and the A.T. experience.

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Richard DaileaderRich Daileader
ATC Board Member and thru-hiker
Daileader, of Charlotte, North Carolina thru-hiked the A.T. in 2009 while on sabbatical from the financial services industry. Since then, his new lifelong goal has been to give back to the Trail and preserve it for his children and future generations. Daileader is currently a managing director with the leveraged financing group of Ally Financial. Rich is an avid hiker and a former marathoner and ultra-runner. He is also involved with Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Charlotte and the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. His club affiliations include the New York Athletic Club, the Carolina Mountain Club, the Tennessee Eastman Hiking and Canoeing Club, the Appalachian Mountain Club, Green Mountain Club, PATC, Roanoke Appalachian Trail Club, Nantahala Hiking Club, and the Maine Appalachian Trail Club.

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Cincinnati, OH - October 9, 2013 from 7:00pm-9:30pm

Andy Niekamp
A.T. section hiker and ATC Life Member
Andy Niekamp has over 12,000 miles of backpacking experience including more than 7,600 miles on the Appalachian Trail. He was hiked the entire Appalachian Trail end-to-end three times and is currently working on it a fourth time. Andy labels himself a "chronic section hiker" and done all of his AT hiking in sections. He first finished the trail in 1998. It called him back and he completed the AT again in 2004 and 2010. Andy considers hiking on the AT his personal fountain of youth as long distance hiking makes him feel young again. This is just one of the reasons he returns to the AT so often. Andy has a part time business called Outdoor Adventure Connection where he shares his passion of hiking with others. Visit: www.outdooradventureconnection.com. Andy is a life member of the Appalachian Trail Conservancy.

SOLD OUT

Yvonne EntinghYvonne Entingh
A.T. 2,000 Miler
Yvonne, trail name "Princess Doah", began backpacking in 2007 after raising three daughters. She took her first solo hike on the Appalachian Trail in 2008, returning to the trail several times before completing it in 2012 with a 900 mile hike from New Jersey to Katadhin. This year she solo hiked from Key West, Florida to the Appalachian Trail by way of the Eastern Continental Trail. She has now hiked the entire east coast from Key West to Maine and will encourage anyone who has the desire to hike the A.T. to get out and pursue their dream. Last year her six year old grand-daughter, "Little Peacock", hiked a 70 mile stretch of the A.T. with her and the two of them hope to someday through hike the Appalachian Trail together.

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Javier Folgar
ATC's Director of Marketing and Communications 
Javier received his Bachelor of Science Degree from Rutgers University (Newark, NJ) in 2007, where he majored in Marketing. Upon graduation, Javier worked in the Pharmaceutical/Biotech industry working for a Contract Research Organization as the Marketing and Communications Manager. During that time he also volunteered with local nonprofits such as NJ Community Water Watch, NJ Public Interest Research Group, and Global Environmental Projects. He also served as a Catechist at Our Lady of the Valley Parish. In 2010 he joined the Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC) as the Marketing and Communications Manager. In January 2013, he was promoted to Director of Marketing and Communications. He is also working towards his MBA in Business Administration and Marketing. Javier developed a strong passion for hiking after completing a missionary trip to Tohatchie, New Mexico. Since then, he has been hiking the trails almost every weekend.

SOLD OUT


Carlisle, PA - October 29, 2013 from 7:00pm-9:30pm

David StangoDavid Stango
2001 A.T. thru-hiker 
When he was a sophomore in high school in suburban Philadelphia, David Stango stumbled on a book about the Appalachian Trail in the school library. From that point on, he knew that he would one day hike the entire length of the trail. Nearly ten years later, on his birthday, he was standing on Springer Mountain in Georgia and began walking north.  Four months and 20 some days, 2 packs, 5 pairs of shoes and countless pints of Ben and Jerry’s later he walked onto the summit of Katahdin. A Philadelphia area native, David now teaches ceramics and sculpture in a suburban high school. He enjoys nothing more than hiking, camping and backpacking with his family. A fervent Ultrarunner, he currently gets his trail fix by running and exploring daily on southeastern Pennsylvania trails.

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Jim Foster
Long distance hiker, former president of the CVATC, and Board of Keystone Trails Association 
Jim Foster has been an active trail maintainer for several years, personally maintaining a one-mile section of the Appalachian Trail in Cumberland County, PA. He is the immediate past President of the Cumberland Valley Appalachian Trail Club, and currently serves on the Board of Keystone Trails Association.  Foster is an active volunteer at the Appalachian Trail Museum, serving as chair of the A.T. Hall of Fame selection committee and the banquet committee. He got bitten by the hiking bug several years ago. Since then, he has thru-hiked the Appalachian Trail, the John Muir Trail in the High Sierras of California, and the Long Trail in Vermont. Outside of the United States, he has climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro in Africa, hiked trails in New Zealand, completed the "W" Trail in Patagonia, South America, and explored the Dingle Way in Ireland.  Retired from the practice of law, Foster lives near Enola, PA.

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Nicole Wooten
Mid-Atlantic Corridor Stewardship Coordinator
Nicole Wooten works with the Appalachian Trail Conservancy as the Corridor Stewardship Coordinator for the mid-Atlantic region.  She supports local Trail Club volunteers in their work to protect the corridor of conserved lands that surrounds the Appalachian Trail, especially in regions where it passes through National Park Service areas.  Before joining the ATC,Nicole received her Bachelors of Arts in Environmental Studies and in English from the University of North Carolina, and served as an Environmental Education volunteer in the Peace Corps in El Salvador. 

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Javier Folgar
ATC's Director of Marketing and Communications 
Javier received his Bachelor of Science Degree from Rutgers University (Newark, NJ) in 2007, where he majored in Marketing. Upon graduation, Javier worked in the Pharmaceutical/Biotech industry working for a Contract Research Organization as the Marketing and Communications Manager. During that time he also volunteered with local nonprofits such as NJ Community Water Watch, NJ Public Interest Research Group, and Global Environmental Projects. He also served as a Catechist at Our Lady of the Valley Parish. In 2010 he joined the Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC) as the Marketing and Communications Manager. In January 2013, he was promoted to Director of Marketing and Communications. He is also working towards his MBA in Business Administration and Marketing. Javier developed a strong passion for hiking after completing a missionary trip to Tohatchie, New Mexico. Since then, he has been hiking the trails almost every weekend. 

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Trisha Sanders
President, SATC and founder, Day Hikers of Central PA Meetup Group
Trisha Sanders has been hiking all of her life. She started group hiking in 2009 when she founded Day Hikers of Central PA, an online hiking group, whose numbers have grown to over 1,000 hikers in the Central PA area. Trisha is President of SATC, one of the local A.T. trail clubs. SATC was founded in 1954 by Earl Shaffer, the first through-hiker of the A.T. Trisha is also a member of KTA, ATC, MCM, CVATC and a volunteer on the Duncannon Appalachian Trail Community Advisory Committee. She has hiked all over the world including the Northern Alps of Italy, New Zealand's Tongariro Crossing and Abel Tasman National Park, and the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu in Peru. Her next great adventure will be the Tree Top Canopy Tours in Costa Rica. Trisha graduated from Elizabethtown College, is a marketing professional at the corporate offices of a major drugstore chain, and raised her daughter, Julia along with too many pets.

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Philadelphia, PA - October 17, 2013 from 7:00pm-9:30pm

Jean Sobus
2012 Thru-hiker and ATC member
Jean hiked by herself through the course of a night, fended off a stalking creature and crossed a swollen river in the wilds of Maine by moonlight. Come celebrate the trail in all of its splendor! Jean Sobus began her solo thru hike of the Appalachian Trail in April 2012. A native of Baltimore, Jean freelanced in film production, and has a degree in Therapeutic Recreation. Jean would love to inspire others to enjoy all that the Appalachian Trail has to offer. Soul stirring, beauty, humor, challenge, camaraderie, trail angels, trail towns and endless treasure await in this hikers paradise. Her husband, and college aged children joined her at points along the way. Jean is incredibly grateful for all of the gifts of the trail as she goes through treatment for stage 3 breast cancer. Having survived a raging hail storm high in the Smokies and intimate encounters with bold shelter mice, Jean is raring to hike again!

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Ron Tipton
ATC's Executive Director/CEO and 2,000 miler
Ron has spent most of the past 30+ years as an advocate for public land preservation and national park protection. He has a degree in American Studies from George Washington University and a law degree from GW’s National Law Center, Ron first worked as a program officer at the National Academy of Sciences and on the oversight/investigative staff of the House Environment, Energy and Natural Resources Subcommittee. Since 1978 he has been a part of the advocacy and/or management team of four non-profit national conservation organizations: The Wilderness Society, National Audubon Society, World Wildlife Fund, and National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA). At NPCA he was the Senior Vice President for Programs and then Senior VP for Policy, and had a major role in National Park funding and new park campaigns. Ron has been a member of the board or governing council of numerous recreation and trails organizations, including the ATC, the Benton MacKaye Trail Association, and the Potomac Appalachian Trail Club. He also helped found the Appalachian Long Distance Hiker’s Association. In 1978 he walked the entire length of the Appalachian Trail.

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Paul Schubert
A.T. co-chair of the Philadelphia Trail Club 
Paul Schubert is one of two trails co-chairs for the Philadelphia Trail Club. He has been involved in hiking and outdoor recreation since the mid-1970s. Schubert and his A.T. partner Dave Scheid and are in their 14th year of caring for the Appalachian Trail at Lehigh Gap, above Allentown, PA.. Their club has a close association with the Lehigh Gap Nature Center. They have also worked closely with both ATC and the National Park Service in restoring the Trail after it incurred damage during the former zinc smelting operation in Palmerton. Schubert's interests go well beyond hiking and the AT, to birding in South Jersey, botanical field trips with the Philadelphia Botanical Club and working with a grass roots climate change organization in the Philadelphia area. He has been to several biennials as well as to three meetings at the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Services Training Center in Shepherdstown, WV. Additionally, Schubert, with some club member assistance, participated in events with the press at the Lehigh Gap Nature Center as well as sat a table featuring a wide range of outdoor recreation information at the Heinz National Wildlife Refuge's annual Festival of Birds near the Philadelphia Airport. The Heinz event is generally focused on birds but has evolved in recent years into a key regional nature/outdoor recreation event in the Philadelphia area.

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Javier Folgar
ATC's Director of Marketing and Communications 
Javier received his Bachelor of Science Degree from Rutgers University (Newark, NJ) in 2007, where he majored in Marketing. Upon graduation, Javier worked in the Pharmaceutical/Biotech industry working for a Contract Research Organization as the Marketing and Communications Manager. During that time he also volunteered with local nonprofits such as NJ Community Water Watch, NJ Public Interest Research Group, and Global Environmental Projects. He also served as a Catechist at Our Lady of the Valley Parish. In 2010 he joined the Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC) as the Marketing and Communications Manager. In January 2013, he was promoted to Director of Marketing and Communications. He is also working towards his MBA in Business Administration and Marketing. Javier developed a strong passion for hiking after completing a missionary trip to Tohatchie, New Mexico. Since then, he has been hiking the trails almost every weekend.

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Erwin, TN - October 20, 2013 from 6:00pm-8:30pm

Michelle Pugh
Thru-hiker and author of Love at First Hike: A Memoir about Love & Triumph on the Appalachian Trail
Michelle Pugh was born in Atlanta, Georgia, but grew up mainly in Wilbraham, Massachusetts. She moved to Greenville, South Carolina, to attend Furman University, where she earned a degree in philosophy. After college, she hiked the Appalachian Trail, which was the inspiration for her book, Love at First Hike. Michelle has lived in five states since college, but has now settled in Simpsonville, South Carolina, where she works as an Emergency Medical Technician. When she is not working she enjoys hiking, camping, reading, cooking, and quilting.

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Joe DeLoach
Tennessee Eastman Hiking & Canoeing Club Member and Trail Maintainer
Joe DeLoach is a native and resident of Jonesborough, Tennessee and has been a Trail maintainer and member of the Tennessee Eastman Hiking & Canoeing Club (TEHCC) since 1991.  Joe has twice chaired TEHCC’s A. T. Committee, has chaired the Club’s Steering Committee, helped establish the Tennessee Appalachian Trail license plate, and has represented TEHCC on the Appalachian Trail Deep South Regional Partnership Committee.  He has hiked all 50+ miles of the Appalachian Trail in Unicoi County.

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Lenny Bernstein Lenny Bernstein
ATC Board Member and 2,000 miler
Lenny Bernstein of Asheville, North Carolina has hiked the entire A.T., has been a Trail maintainer for 25 years, and is a life member of the ATC. He is an active member and past president of the Carolina Mountain Club. Bernstein has a Ph.D. in chemical engineering and had a 40 year career in the petroleum industry. He was a Convening Lead Author for the United Nation's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Fourth Assessment Report, and has taught courses on climate change and energy at the University of North Carolina at Asheville’s College for Seniors, a noncredit, life-long learning program.

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Robert Martin
A.T. Community Ambassador
Robert Martin graduated from East Tennessee State University with a Master’s Degree in Computer Science. He is an ATC member and a Life Scout in Boy Scouts of America. As an A.T. Community Ambassador, he plans to volunteer his time maintaining the Trail and providing support to hikers. As an avid outdoorsman, Martin frequently hikes along the A.T. and kayaks in the Nolichucky River.

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Front Royal, VA - October 4, 2013 from 7:00pm-9:30pm

Sean GobinCaptain Sean Gobin
Co-founder of Warrior Hike & Walk off the War Program, 2012 thru hiker and US Veteran
Captain Sean Gobin enlisted in the Marine Corps in 1994 as an infantryman and received his commission upon graduating from the University of Mississippi in 2001. As an Armor Officer, Sean served as a platoon commander in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2003 and again in 2005. From 2010 to 2011, Sean served as an Afghan National Security Forces Development Officer in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. Sean hiked the entire the Appalachian Trail in 2012, After completing his hike, Sean is pursuing a Masters Degree in Business Administration at the University of Virginia.

About the Warrior Hike Story: During the summer of 2011, while deployed to Afghanistan, I attended countless memorial services and made many visits to the hospital to see wounded Marines and Sailors. Struck by the number of service members going home with debilitating injuries, I wondered what I could do to help. It was decided to hike all 2180 miles of the Appalachian Trail and host 38 separate fund raisers at Veterans of Foreign Wars Posts along the Trail to raise donations in order to purchase adaptive vehicles for veterans who have suffered multiple amputations during combat operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. For more information visit www.warriorhike.com.

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Alyson Browett
A.T. Community Ambassador
Alyson Browett spends as much time outside as possible, hiking near her home in Linden, Virginia, nearly every day. As an A.T. Ambassador, Browett is working to build stronger awareness of the Trail, encourage volunteerism and conservation efforts, and inspire community members to go outside for some fresh air. She also serves as a volunteer with the Raptor Conservancy of Virginia. Browett holds a Masters in Public Health from Johns Hopkins University and a BA in International Health Care Policy from Davidson College.

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Washington, DC - October 10, 2013 from 8:00pm-10:30pm

Michelle Pugh
Thru-hiker and author of Love at First Hike: A Memoir about Love & Triumph on the Appalachian Trail
Michelle Pugh was born in Atlanta, Georgia, but grew up mainly in Wilbraham, Massachusetts. She moved to Greenville, South Carolina, to attend Furman University, where she earned a degree in philosophy. After college, she hiked the Appalachian Trail, which was the inspiration for her book, Love at First Hike. Michelle has lived in five states since college, but has now settled in Simpsonville, South Carolina, where she works as an Emergency Medical Technician. When she is not working she enjoys hiking, camping, reading, cooking, and quilting.

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Ron Tipton
ATC's Executive Director/CEO and 2,000 miler
Ron has spent most of the past 30+ years as an advocate for public land preservation and national park protection. He has a degree in American Studies from George Washington University and a law degree from GW’s National Law Center, Ron first worked as a program officer at the National Academy of Sciences and on the oversight/investigative staff of the House Environment, Energy and Natural Resources Subcommittee. Since 1978 he has been a part of the advocacy and/or management team of four non-profit national conservation organizations: The Wilderness Society, National Audubon Society, World Wildlife Fund, and National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA). At NPCA he was the Senior Vice President for Programs and then Senior VP for Policy, and had a major role in National Park funding and new park campaigns. Ron has been a member of the board or governing council of numerous recreation and trails organizations, including the ATC, the Benton MacKaye Trail Association, and the Potomac Appalachian Trail Club. He also helped found the Appalachian Long Distance Hiker’s Association. In 1978 he walked the entire length of the Appalachian Trail.

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Javier Folgar
ATC's Director of Marketing and Communications 
Javier received his Bachelor of Science Degree from Rutgers University (Newark, NJ) in 2007, where he majored in Marketing. Upon graduation, Javier worked in the Pharmaceutical/Biotech industry working for a Contract Research Organization as the Marketing and Communications Manager. During that time he also volunteered with local nonprofits such as NJ Community Water Watch, NJ Public Interest Research Group, and Global Environmental Projects. He also served as a Catechist at Our Lady of the Valley Parish. In 2010 he joined the Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC) as the Marketing and Communications Manager. In January 2013, he was promoted to Director of Marketing and Communications. He is also working towards his MBA in Business Administration and Marketing. Javier developed a strong passion for hiking after completing a missionary trip to Tohatchie, New Mexico. Since then, he has been hiking the trails almost every weekend.

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Royce Gibson 
ATC's Director of Membership and Development
Royce has been with ATC since 2005 when he started as the membership manager. He was promoted to his current position in 2006.  His career in the non-profit industry began at the American Institute for Cancer Research. He went on to gain extensive non-profit experience at Zero Population Growth, Planned Parenthood Federation of America, and Public Interest Data (a service bureau for 50 leading social and environmental non-profits). Since joining the ATC staff, Royce has won awards for his fundraising work including a Direct Marketing Association MAXI award and two Gold Awards from Fundraising Success magazine.

Royce is a native of Mississippi and graduated high school in Arkansas before moving to Washington, D.C. where he earned a BA in Political Science from The American University.  He currently lives within sight of the Appalachian Trail outside Harpers Ferry, WV. 

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