Appalachian Trail Conservancy Announces New Board of Directors

Top Quote The Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC) announced the newly elected members of their board of directors. The board of directors is made up of 15 elected volunteers who are elected to serve two-year terms. End Quote
  • Asheville, NC (1888PressRelease) July 30, 2013 - On July 20th 2013, the Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC) announced the newly elected members of their board of directors. The board of directors is made up of 15 elected volunteers who are elected to serve two-year terms.

    Elected to the board were new members Beth Critton, Edward R. Guyot, Carrie Rodriguez-Tweeten, Samuel J. Sarofeen, Nathaniel Stoddard, and Greg Winchester. Lenny Bernstein, Richard J. Daileader, Marcia Fairweather, Arthur Foley, Mary Higley, Terry Lierman, Sandra L. Marra, Elizabeth Pierce Thompson, and Clark Wright Jr. are all returning board members.

    "The board of directors plays a vital role in shaping the Appalachian Trail Conservancy and the Appalachian Trail by approving policies that govern the Trail and ensuring that the organization has the resources it needs to complete its mission," stated Steve Paradis, acting executive director of the ATC.

    The board is responsible for communicating the mission and the purpose of the ATC. They establish and maintain relationships with the stewardship council, clubs, partners, members, and other stakeholders. While enhancing the public standing of the ATC, they also ensure legal and ethical integrity and fiscal accountability.

    Marra of Alexandria, Virginia is chair of the ATC and has been a volunteer to the Appalachian Trail (A.T.) for over 25 years. She has served in a variety of positions, including three terms with the former Appalachian Trail Conference board of managers, where she played an active role in the ATC's reorganization process. Marra has also served on the Stewardship Council and the Development Committee. She also served two terms as president of the Potomac Appalachian Trail Club (PATC). She is a life member of the ATC, an honorary life member of the PATC, member of the Benton MacKaye Society and the Appalachian Trail Legacy Society. Marra is currently serving as Chief Operating Officer for St. Coletta of Greater Washington, Inc., a Washington DC nonprofit organization that operates a school and adult programs for developmentally disabled children and adults. As a board member, Marra brings professional skills in nonprofit management and human resources to the organization.

    Wright of New Bern, North Carolina is vice chair of the ATC. He found his passion for the A.T. during a hike of over 1,200 miles of Trail which started in March of 2001. That hike served as inspiration for the North Carolina Special Tag project, an endeavor that obtained passage of legislation authorizing a new special license plate designed to raise funds for the approximately 300 miles of the A.T. that runs through western North Carolina. Wright, with many others, including NC Senator Joe Sam Queen, drafted the Special Tag project which has now grown to three other A.T. States. He enjoys his family, long-distance hiking, mountaineering, the land trust movement, photography, and competitive beach volleyball. As an ATC board member, he brings his legal expertise to bear on the organization's efforts, as he is a partner in the law firm of Davis Hartman Wright PLLC. His areas of practice include litigation and appellate practice, zoning and land-use law, administrative law, and environmental law. Wright has been selected by his peers for inclusion in "Best Lawyers in America" for over fifteen years.

    Foley of Colorado Springs, Colorado is treasurer of the ATC and has been an active ATC volunteer for over 40 years. His love for the A.T. began as a Boy Scout while growing up in Virginia and has continued throughout his adult life. Foley is a life member of the ATC and the PATC. He previously volunteered with the Kanawha Trail Club and the Carolina Mountain Club.

    Thompson of Ridgefield, Connecticut, is secretary of the ATC and in her fourth term as a member of the ATC's board of directors. In addition to her efforts there, she is co-owner of a local wine shop and is an active advocate in state and local government. Thompson is a Michigan native who earned an advertising degree from the University of Illinois and formerly worked in sales and marketing for a national insurance agency. She continues to volunteer with issue-based organizations.

    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.

    Critton of West Hartford, Connecticut first learned about the A.T. when she mailed resupply packages to her son, Bryan, a 1997 2,000-miler. She began her own A.T. odyssey in 2004 and has hiked over 1,800 miles of the A.T. since then. A life member of the ATC, Critton joined the stewardship council in 2011, becoming council chair and a board member in July 2013. She is a land use and environmental attorney at Shipman & Goodwin LLP in Hartford, Connecticut. In 2011, she was recognized by the Connecticut Forest and Park Association as an outstanding advocate for outdoor recreation. Critton is past chair of the Connecticut Chapter of the Appalachian Mountain Club, a life member of the Appalachian Long Distance Hikers Association, charter and current member of the Appalachian Trail Museum Society, serves on the board of the Connecticut Society of Women Environmental Professionals, and is trained as a plant conservation volunteer for the New England Wild Flower Society.

    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 Canoe Club, the Appalachian Mountain Club, Green Mountain Trail Club, PATC, Roanoke Trail Club, Nantahala Trail Club, and the Maine Appalachian Trail Club.

    Fairweather of Heathsville, Virginia is an adventurer at heart and participates in many outdoor activities. After visiting the ATC headquarters on a rafting trip to Harpers Ferry in 1993, she caught the bug to hike the Trail. She completed the entire A.T. in August of 2008. She has initiated A.T. hikes for others as part of a mission to get as many people to hike at least 10 miles of the Trail in every state through her A.T. in Every State program (ATIES). As an avid Girl Scout, she was introduced to nature and the outdoors in her youth and has provided continued support as an adult leader and trainer. She plans outdoor adventure excursions through her Fresco Adventures program for adults and youth to explore nature by land, water, and even air with skydiving and hang-gliding adventures. She is a member of the PATC and Appalachian Mountain Club, as well as other outdoor related clubs, and is on the board of directors of Washington Women Outdoors. Her previous career in information technology and as a consultant in the business and real estate development industry provides professional experience to assist in the many development efforts required by the ATC.

    Guyot 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.

    Higley splits her time between Naples, Florida and Plymouth, Massachusetts. She previously worked as an executive for USG Corporation and its subsidiary United States Gypsum Company for 26 years in a variety of financial, information technology, strategic planning and project management positions. She is a life member of the ATC, a member of the Appalachian Mountain Club and of the Appalachian Long Distance Hiker's Association and a past field editor for the A.T. Thru-Hiker's Companion. Higley holds a Bachelor of Arts in business administration from Gettysburg College and a Masters of Business Administration from DePaul University. She is past president of the La Grange Area Historical Society in La Grange, Illinois and is an avid genealogist.

    Lierman of Chevy Chase, Maryland became Chief of Staff for then House Majority Leader, and now Democratic Whip, Congressman Steny Hoyer in June of 2007. Lierman came to Washington in the early 1970s, after earning a bachelor's degree from Winona State University and then a master's degree from the University of Wisconsin, to work at the National Institutes of Health. Community service and volunteerism have always been instrumental parts of his life. He was a founder of the Children's Research Institute at Children's Hospital, the National Coalition for Cancer Research, the National Organization on Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, the Pancreatic Cancer Network, Research America!, and the Partnership for Prevention.

    Tweeten of Raleigh, North Carolina runs a family owned, multi-state, hospitality management and development company based in Raleigh, North Carolina with her husband Rolf. She began her career in public accounting as a CPA in Chicago, Illinois. Tweeten started section-hiking the A.T. in 2000 and has completed 1,600 miles. She was inspired by the photo of the first three women to hike the Long Trail in Vermont in 1927, known as "The Three Musketeers." Her principal hiking partners are her two college age sons who have served on several trail crews. Now her youngest son at age nine is ready to be introduced to the Trail. Tweeten is new to the ATC's board, and brings a strong entrepreneurial, as well as volunteer non-profit accounting, background.

    Sarofeen of Auburn, New York is an avid camper and outdoorsman. He grew up camping and hiking in the Adirondacks and spending his summers on the Finger Lakes. He fell in love with the A.T. a few years ago and has been passionate about the Trail ever since. Sarofeen holds a B.S. in marketing and management from NYU's Stern School of Business and recently graduated from Notre Dame Law School where he focused his studies on corporate law and corporate governance. Sarofeen has legal experience working with non-profits as well as federal agencies, including the Environmental Protection Agency where he assisted attorneys on Clean Air Act enforcement efforts aimed at coal-fired power plants. Sarofeen will be joining IBM as an in-house counselor this fall.

    Stoddard of Eagle, Colorado section-hiked the A.T. between 2004 and 2012. Stoddard has served as Chairman of a public corporation and as a director on numerous private, not-for-profit, and governmental boards. He brings a passion for the outdoors and his experience as a leader to the board.

    Winchester of Milton, Georgia is a longstanding A.T. section hiker and life member of the ATC. His passion for the A.T. began as a Boy Scout hiking Roan Mountain on the Tennessee/North Carolina border and grew during college while section-hiking with the University of North Carolina Outing Club. Recently, he has served on the Development and Membership Committee of the ATC. Currently, a Principal with TriMont Real Estate Advisors in Atlanta, Georgia, he brings over 30 years of experience in banking, real estate, and finance. He has been involved in various leadership roles with the Boy Scouts of America for over 20 years. Winchester and his wife, Jan, are active outdoor enthusiasts and enjoy hiking, skiing, and biking.

    About the Appalachian Trail Conservancy
    The Appalachian Trail Conservancy mission is to preserve and manage the Appalachian Trail - ensuring that its vast natural beauty and priceless cultural heritage can be shared and enjoyed today, tomorrow, and for centuries to come. For more information please visit

    Contact: Javier Folgar
    Appalachian Trail Conservancy
    Tel: 304.535.2200 x117
    Fax: 304.535.2667
    Email: jfolgar ( @ ) appalachiantrail dot org

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