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Staff Contacts and Bios
Trail Conference Contacts
Email: [email protected]
If you are registered and logged on to this website, simply click on the name to send an email. Staff extensions are listed below, or dial 0 for assistance, 1 for book/map orders, 2 for membership, or 3 for volunteer opportunities.
Deputy Executive Director/Program Manager
Finance & Operations Manager
Finance & Operations Assistant
Membership & Development Director
Regional Programs Manager &
New York West Hudson Program Coordinator
New Jersey Program Coordinator
Catskills Program Coordinator & Director of Catskill Conservation Corps
Assistant Catskills Program Coordinator
Director Land Stewardship & LHPRISM
(Lower Hudson Partnership for Regional Invasive Species Management)
Bear Mountain Field Manager
MEMBERSHIP & DEVELOPMENT
Buildings and Grounds Manager
Edward K. Goodell, Executive Director. Ed Goodell joined the Trail Conference staff as its Executive Director in March 2001. His previous positions include developing and/or managing a diverse array of region-wide, multi-party programs involving collaborations among professionals, volunteers and public/private partnerships and amounting to almost $30 million in federal, state and private funds. He has an undergraduate degree in biology, a master of landscape architecture and broad experience in academic research and education. During his 13 years as Executive Director, the Trail Conference has expanded its designated trail network from 1,300 miles to 2,100 miles, increased volunteer hours from 28,000 to 77,000 annually, and protected 5,000 acres of open space.
Josh Howard, Deputy Executive Director/Program Manager, joined the Trail Conference in 2002 (as Josh Erdsneker) in the position of Volunteer Projects Director. He went on to serve as Director of Membership & Development before being named Deputy Executive Director in 2008. Josh graduated in 2000 from the University of Miami with an MBA and concentrations in international business and leadership. He spent five years working for the University of Miami as a computer trainer and help desk administrator. The highlight of Josh’s outdoor adventures began on July 14, 2001 when, from atop Mt. Katahdin in Maine, Josh embarked on a five-month and five-day southbound thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail. During his 2,168-mile odyssey, he rediscovered his passion for the outdoors. His experiences along the AT motivated him to become more involved in protecting and maintaining the trails and trail lands he had just hiked through.
Mary Perro, Finance & Operations Manager, joined the Trail Conference in 2015. She majored in Accounting and Economics at Manhattan College and is a CPA. After graduating college, Mary was an AmeriCorps member through Colorado Vincentian Volunteers, working at homeless shelters in Denver. It was there that she fell in love with the outdoors. Mary returned to New Jersey as an auditor in New York City and then as an accountant in the pharmaceutical industry. She enjoys hiking, camping, traveling, being a Big Sister mentor, and being an aunt to her 11 nieces and nephews. She and her husband live in Morristown, N.J.
Sabina Cardenas, Finance and Operations Assistant, has always been interested in working for a non-profit. Her love for the outdoors was solidified when she spent one summer training to complete the Devil’s Path in one day. Since then, she has continued to explore the outdoors, including serving as a Trail Conference AmeriCorps Trail Crew Member at Sterling Forest. She is currently working on her master’s degree in school counseling and hopes to combine this with her passion for the outdoors to become a wilderness therapist. She’s excited to be able to give back and be a part of the growing hiking community.
Don Weise, Membership & Development Director, is an author, hike leader, environmental advocate, and Trail Conference Life Member. Don joined the staff in 2011 as development manager for major gift donations; in 2012 he was named Director. Don holds a Bachelor's degree in Economics and Business Administration, a Master's degree in Secondary Education, and speaks fluent German. Don brought more than 20 years of business development experience and an inside perspective on hiking and the Trail Conference to the job. Don has served as a Trail Conference board member, trail maintainer, co-chair of the West Milford Open Space Committee, leader of fundraising and advocacy events for the Trail Conference, and author of West Milford Baker’s Dozen, a local hiking book. His latest book, Circuit Hikes in Harriman, is to be published by the Trail Conference. When not working to build support for the Trail Conference, Don enjoys spending time with his family, traveling, hiking, and running.
Jennifer Easterbrook, Membership and Development Manager, joined the Trail Conference in 2012 as Darlington Schoolhouse Campaign Assistant. Jennifer came to the organization after two years as an AmeriCorps member with City Year Greater Philadelphia and a crew leader with the Student Conservation Association. Before joining the Trail Conference team, she worked as a field manager at New Jersey Environmental Federation, which works on environmental campaigns. She resides in West Milford, NJ where she is a commissioner on the township’s Environmental Commission and chairs the Sustainable Subcommittee. Jennifer earned her B.A. in anthropology and sociology at Richard Stockton College of New Jersey in 2009.
Brendan Cunningham, Membership and Development Associate, brings to the Trail Conference five years of previous non-profit work, with two years’ experience in the development field. Previously, he served as a web marketing strategist for a multinational real estate investment corporation. Brendan is a graduate of Washington College of Maryland, where he earned his B.A. in art history. As a Beacon, NY, resident with his wife Stephanie and son Declan, the family enjoys hiking in the nearby Hudson Highlands.
Hank Osborn, Regional Programs Manager and East Hudson Program Coordinator, is an avid outdoor educator and advocate who joined the Trail Conference staff in 2013. The position focuses on developing and promoting public access to and enjoyment of nature in Westchester, Putnam, and Dutchess Counties, and New York City. Hank has a long history and deep passion for the outdoors. He began maintaining trails as a young teen in Garrison, NY and later chaired the Garrison School Forest Committee; became a board member of the Phillipstown Greenway Committee; and led hikes for the Hudson Highlands Land Trust. Hank has taught geology, environmental science and ecology at the high school level and served as assistant professor of physical education and rowing coach at Columbia University, snowboard instructor at West Point Military Academy, and was general manager of environmental preservation for Oslands Inc, in Garrison, NY. Hank graduated from Rutgers University with a degree in Sociology and a minor in Geology and did graduate work at Dartmouth College with a focus in environmental studies. In 2011, he completed the outdoor educator course at the National Outdoor Leadership School. He lives in Beacon, NY, where he was appointed to the local Greenway Committee. He and his wife enjoy hiking the Hudson Highlands with their children.
Soňa Mason, West Hudson Program Coordinator, discovered how satisfying it is to drill and break rocks as a volunteer on the Bear Mountain Trails Project. From there, she volunteered as a trail maintainer and supervisor at Harriman and Storm King State Parks respectively. Once a travel agent, Soňa reignited a love of wilderness and nature while travelling to some global biodiversity hotspots. She then became a full time student of ecology at Columbia and Rutgers Universities, and “dabbles” as a volunteer-trainer in stream monitoring, deer management, and promoting native plant life in her spare time. Sona’s job is to coordinate our trail programs and volunteers in the region west of the Hudson River, north of the New Jersey border, up to the Catskill Mountain region. The region includes Orange, Rockland, and parts of Sullivan and Ulster Counties. She resides in Pearl River, Rockland County, N.Y.
Peter Dolan, New Jersey Program Coordinator, a 2010 graduate of Bucknell University and a resident of Greenwood Lake, NY, joined the staff in 2013. Peter holds a Bachelors in animal behavior and zoology from Bucknell University and brings a variety of training and skills related to outdoor recreation and education to the position. Peter has done research SCUBA diving on giant salamanders in Pennsylvania's Allegheny Basin; led backpacking trips on the Appalachian Trail with inner-city youth; taught State/Federal Standards science curricula to students in California's San Bernardino mountains; worked as a river guide for Wilderness Inquiry in Minneapolis, MN; and built trails as a member of Coconino Rural Environment Corps in Flagstaff, AZ. Peter returned "home" in 2013 for a season as an AmeriCorps member on the Sterling Forest Backcountry Trails Program before being hired on full-time.
Doug Senterman, Catskills Program Coordinator, of Platte Clove (Elka Park) NY, joined the Trail Conference staff in 2015. In addition to bringing non-profit leadership experience to his post, Doug has had a lifetime of service as a Catskill trail volunteer under the guidance of his father, longtime Catskills Trails Chair Pete Senterman. In his role as volunteer, Doug most recently served as the Catskills Lean-to Chair; he was also the recipient of the William Hoeferlin Award for exemplary service in 2013. Doug has a Bachelor of Business degree with a major in Business Administration and minor in Project Management. He brings a variety of skills and training related to outdoor education and recreation, including extensive knowledge of the Catskills, which allows him to confidently work with the diverse groups, agencies, and individuals in the region. He is looking forward to expanding the Trail Conference’s presence in the Catskills and growing the Community Trails Program there.
Will Soter, Assistant Catskills Program Coordinator, was named the Trail Conference’s Southern Catskills Trails Chair in January 2014, and in that volunteer position, coordinated and led the volunteer efforts on approximately 106 miles of trails. He brought a monthly offering of Trail University courses to the Catskills, teaching everything from trail design and construction to HikeSafe and Leave No Trace principles. Will is actively engaged in promoting recreational tourism opportunities throughout the Catskill Park; in 2015, he created the Catskill Adventure Tourism Summit. The summit group uses their collective force to drive eco-tourism and advocate for the resources to protect the natural beauty that draws many visitors to the region. Stewardship is at the core of Will’s actions, and he looks forward to utilizing his new role to grow awareness of the precious natural resource of the Catskill forest.
Jeremy Apgar, Cartographer and GIS specialist, joined the Trail Conference in 2007. He produces a variety of maps, including published trail maps of the NY-NJ area as well as maps to aid with trail-building efforts and open-space acquisition. Prior to joining the Trail Conference, Jeremy received his Master’s degree in Earth and Environmental Sciences from Lehigh University. While obtaining his Master’s degree, he published his research findings that utilized GIS, remote sensing imagery, and fieldwork in the Yukon Territory, Canada to learn about climate change in the Arctic. Jeremy fondly remembers his experiences exploring the trails of northwest New Jersey as a kid and currently resides in the woods of Andover, N.J., with his wife and son.
Amber Ray, Communications Manager, of Warwick, NY, joined the Trail Conference staff in 2014. A writer and editor with experience in both print and digital media, Amber was web editor at Entertainment Weekly before joining the Trail Conference. Prior to that she worked as deputy entertainment editor at iVillage. For nearly a decade, Amber held editorial positions at Metro, a daily print and digital newspaper, starting as an editorial assistant in Philadelphia, then rising through the ranks from staff writer to features editor and finally managing editor in New York City. She studied journalism at Temple University in Philadelphia. Amber is an avid outdoorswoman and loves living in an Appalachian Trail Community with her husband, baby, and cat.
Linda Rohleder, Director of Land Stewardship and Coordinator of the Lower Hudson Partnership for Regional Invasive Species Management (PRISM). In 2013, Linda received her PhD in Ecology from Rutgers University, where she studied the effects of deer on forest understories. While attending graduate school she worked as a park ranger in Monmouth County, NJ and taught beginning biology labs at Rutgers. Before returning to school, she worked for many years at AT&T as a project manager and software developer. Linda built the Trail Conference’s Invasives Strike Force volunteer program. By 2014, the program had about 200 trained invasives-mapping volunteers who collectively had surveyed more than 870 miles of trail for invasive plants. She has organized invasives-removal workdays in parks across southern New York and northern New Jersey. Linda also has spent more than 10 years creating a native plant wildlife habitat in her backyard.
Ama Koenigshof, Trail Builder/Educator, started with the Trail Conference in 2012. Originally from Michigan, Ama received a bachelor’s degree from Grand Valley State University in nonprofit administration. It was at GVSU and a student organization called Alternative Breaks that she found her love for environmental stewardship, trail building, and service learning. Since then, she has participated in and led trail maintenance and construction crews run by nonprofit organizations all over the country from Georgia to Tennessee to Washington to Colorado to Arizona to New Mexico to California to Maine to Pennsylvania and now to New York and New Jersey. “I am excited to put down some roots with the New York-New Jersey Trail Conference and help in continuing the growth of the Conference’s culture of volunteer learning and trail building/maintenance excellence.”
Erik Mickelson, Field Manager, joined the Trail Conference in 2014, already a familiar face to many volunteers who worked with him in 2013 at Sterling Forest State Park, where he was an AmeriCorps member of the Palisades Crew. Erik grew up in Virginia Beach, VA, went to college in Tucson, AZ, and came to Sterling Forest from Oceanside, CA. Before arriving at the Trail Conference Erik had worked at well over 40 different trail sites in Southern California and New York. He worked with the notable trail firm Bellfree Contractors; was a regular trail volunteer with the San Diego Mountain Bike Association (he was their Trail Volunteer of the Year in 2009); and volunteered as Calavera Hills Preserve Trail Captain with the City of Carlsbad, CA. He also sat on the Oceanside Bike/Walk Subcommittee in charge of trail development.
Kevin Simpson, Bear Mountain Field Manager, an AmeriCorps volunteer with the Trail Conference in 2013 on the Bear Mountain Trails Project, Kevin returned this year as field manager on the project. Kevin is from Asheville, NC, and grew up hiking and backpacking. He graduated in 2004 from the University of North Carolina-Asheville. He has traveled and hiked in 11 differenct countries and counting. He was an active volunteer with the Carolina Mountain Club, Wild South, and the Carolina Mountain Land Conservancy before coming to Bear Mountain. One of Kevin's goals at the Trail Conference is “to merge my work with young people and my interests in trails so that we may have a strong base of trail and land stewardship for the future.”
Gary Willick, Fulfillment Specialist, started with the Trail Conference in 2002, after graduating from Ramapo College with a degree in Computer Science. Formerly an avid jazz drummer, hiking gradually replaced this former passion starting in his late 20’s. Before college he did a stint working on a farm in Massachusetts. He says, “studying and interacting with plants was always my calling,” and regrets not actuating that until in his 30’s. He has taken several classes in botany at the NY Botanic Garden and can identify many of the locally invasive plants. Gary maintained a trail in Ramapo Reservation for four years, and has provided GPS data for a few of the Trail Conference maps. Hiking and being outside provide him with the opportunity to “read the signs of nature,” making the woods not only a sanctuary for him, but also a guidepost.
Will Smith, Buildings and Grounds Manager, brings nearly 40 years of engineering and facilities management experience to the position. He has previously held engineering and management positions for several engineering firms. He has a BS degree from Rutgers College of Engineering. Will’s love of the outdoors began as a boy while spending summers with his grandfather in Phoenicia, N.Y., in the Catskills.
Many thanks to photographer Phil Cantor, who donated his time to take our staff portraits.