- Steph Noll
Introducing New Coalition Advisory Council and Steering Committee Members and Staff!
Updated: Feb 2
This January the Oregon Trails Coalition welcomed five new Advisory Council members, five new Steering Committee members, and one new staff person, and we wanted to introduce them to our statewide community.
Pictured from top left: Chris Bernhardt, Renee Patrick, Mel Huie, Thom Batty, Larry O'Keefe, Matt Ruddy, Lloyd Piercy, JoAnna Campbell, Chris Watchie, Kate Harbour, Jenna Marmon.
Mel Huie, Portland, Urban/Multi-use Path Rep, Retired Metro Trails Coordinator
Mel has been a life-long advocate for trails, parks and livable communities. He walked on abandoned ROWs in Portland before they became trails in the late ‘60s and ‘70s and was a professional trails planner for 40 plus years. Mel has worked with a broad coalition of government agencies, nonprofits, citizens and property owners to design and build trails. Consensus building and outreach are key traits of his professional DNA. Mel believes diversity needs to be increased in the professional ranks of trail and park planners, and members of advocacy and volunteer groups. Providing access to all races, ages, diverse skill ranges and all income levels needs to be a key goal. Reaching out to immigrant groups should also be a priority. These goals and values are core to Mel, being a person of color and son of immigrants who did not have the time, language abilities, or financial means to recreate away from home.
Anthony (Tony) Kuenzi, Salem, Oregon State Snowmobile Association Rep
Tony serves on the board of the Oregon State Snowmobile Association and is a member of the North Santiam & Mt. Jefferson Snowmobile Clubs as well as the owner of Salem Hydraulics. He is looking forward to working with the Coalition to better collaborate the snow trail users with other trail users.
Thomas Batty, Lakeview, Southern Oregon Rep, Owner Tall Town Bike & Camp, SE Oregon BLM RAC, Lake County Chamber of Commerce board member, OTTA board member
Thomas brings the perspective that rural SE Oregon has some of the greatest untapped potential for trail and outdoor recreation but is chronically underrepresented at any governmental or NGO gathering. In a time when many areas of Oregon suffer from overuse, SE Oregon remains an underutilized hidden gem in our state. Better promotion of outdoor recreation opportunities in this region would provide needed tourism revenue to the region and reduce the load on the currently popular areas. He’s also working on developing a local trail stewardship presence in Lake County.
Lloyd Piercy, Hermiston, Council Member at Large, Land owner, Sno Road Winery & Echo West Ranch & Vineyard MTB trail system, home of the Echo Red 2 Red XC Race
Lloyd brings a keen interest in community pathways for recreation as well as non-motorized transportation, health, education, building of cultural diversity in his area, and protection of natural resources. He has collaborated in the build out of over twenty miles of trail on private property open to the public and co-sponsors the mountain bike Red 2 Red race. He’s also involved in the effort to develop the Umatilla River Trail.
Lawrence O'Keefe, Corvallis, Council Member at Large, Mid Valley Bicycle Club and Team Dirt Volunteer
Larry recently retired early from a career in Healthcare Technology and relocated to Corvallis. He’s a mountain biker and e-bike rider who also enjoys road and gravel riding and hiking and camping with his wife with their Sprinter van. Larry joined Team Dirt, the local mountain biking club, and really enjoyed the trail building and maintenance work and quickly got interested in long term collaborative planning, advocacy, and fundraising as well. He also brings past experience as a ski instructor and small boat training captain!
Christian Watchie, Eugene, Steering Committee, Principal, Cogito
Chris brings professional expertise in public outreach strategy, facilitation, strategic planning, master planning, and transportation options policy development. Her interests are e-bike trail policy, improved access for all, greater off-street trail connectivity, and the funding mechanisms for successful expansion of Oregon’s trail network. Her background includes time as a wilderness ranger on the glorious slopes of Mount Baker, the development of Benton County’s ADA paratransit system, and a long-standing Board member of the Transportation Options Group of Oregon (ToGo).
Matthew Ruddy, Portland, Oregon Timber Trail Alliance
Matt Ruddy comes to the Coalition Steering Committee very motivated to work on ways in which the Coalition can connect and share the progress of DEI work throughout the many different trail groups in the state. Matt currently serves as the Executive Director of the Oregon Timber Trail Alliance and has worked as a DEI consultant with more than 25 different organizations, schools, universities, non-profits, and companies.
Jenna Marmon, Ashland, Steering Committee (non-voting, advising member), Oregon Parks and Recreation Department
Jenna has worked as a landscape architect in trails, transportation, and parks for almost all of her career. Her Oregon experience began in 2001 as an Americorps volunteer building trails at Emigrant Lake and on the Mule Creek Canyon on the Lower Rogue. Since that time, she has worked with Jackson County, the Rogue Valley Council of Governments, ODOT and OPRD, where she currently works as the Planning and Design Lead. Along with “talking about walking and biking,” she does actually prefer to “do walking and biking,” and can often be found on the trails in Southern Oregon.
Chris Bernhardt, Portland, Professional Trail Builder Rep, Steering Committee, C2 Recreation Consulting
Chris’s passion is sharing the outdoors with others. He has used his 30 years in the industry to tangibly improve people’s lives through recreation, and it is an opportunity for which he is grateful. Working in locations from China to Switzerland, he has focused on creating projects that are both economically and environmentally sustainable, bringing to bear an expertise in land use, transportation, advocacy, and public outreach.
Renee Patrick, Bend, Steering Committee, Renee Patrick Consulting
Renee believes our work is stronger when we come from a place of relationship, and in her work she has been able to develop strong relationships to others in the Oregon trails community through events led by the Oregon Trails Coalition. Renee is a triple-crown thru-hiker with over 20 years of experience planning, hiking, and improving long-distance trails from every angle. She is an environmentalist and passionate outdoor enthusiast who believes that long-distance hiking can deepen our relationship with the landscapes and environmental issues that desperately need more advocates.
Kate Harbour, La Grande and Portland, Trailkeepers of Oregon Board Liaison
Kate has a passion for place and livability, and enjoys helping communities plan and pursue inclusive futures. Using her background in urban and regional planning, nonprofit fundraising, and collaborative processes, Kate has contributed to trails throughout Oregon including from Eastern Oregon, through the Columbia Gorge, and out to the coast via the Salmonberry Trail. She is energized by connecting with other trail enthusiasts and is currently lucky enough to get to do so in her current roles at Eastern Oregon Visitors Association and the Crosscurrent Collective. Kate also leads the World Trails Network's Tourism Task Team and serves on the board of World Trails Network – Hub for the Americas.
JoAnna Campbell, La Grande, Program Assistant
This January the Oregon Trails Coalition reached an exciting milestone of adding a second part-time staff person to support the Coalition’s work. JoAnna Campbell is our new program assistant supporting training program coordination, forwarding signature trails, supporting statewide stewardship capacity, and delivering the Oregon Outdoor Recreation Summit. JoAnna worked as a student intern research assistant on Oregon Trails Coalition’s Signature Trails Inventory project last year and recently earned her B.S. in Sustainable Rural Systems from Eastern Oregon University.