Board of Directors

President Tom Moberg – North Dakota

Prior to retiring in 2006, Tom had a 40 year career in higher education that included service as a faculty member, IT director, senior administrator, and association executive.  He holds a Ph.D. in Mathematical Statistics from the University of Iowa.  Tom grew up in northern Minnesota, and currently lives in Fargo.   Tom currently serves on the boards of several non-profit organizations, and does other volunteer work including trail building and maintenance for the North Country Trail.  Tom and his wife Mary spend as much time as possible at a rustic cabin in northern Minnesota built by her family during the 1940′s.  From that base they help maintain a nearby section of the NCT in the Chippewa National Forest.
First VP Doug Thomas – At Large
Doug grew up in Madison, WI., and earned a BA in Accounting from the University of Wisconsin in 1978.  He moved to the Twin Cities area in 1979 and spent 8 years there as CPA in public accounting, then 19 years as CFO of a privately held agribusiness company.  During that time he took up marathoning and ultra-marathoning and, in 1991, was part of the group that organized the first 100 mile running race on the Superior Hiking Trail.  Since 2001, Doug has spent several months each year in Flagstaff, AZ, where he became involved in volunteer trail work on the Arizona Trail.  After retirement in 2006, Doug became a Trail Steward on a segment of the Arizona Trail near Flagstaff and took up backpacking. His long term goals include to thru-hike one or more long trails.
VP East Mary Coffin – New York
Mary has been a thoroughly involved trail volunteer for over 20 years, maintaining and building trail in central New York along the Finger Lakes Trail, working with landowners and state agencies, and planning and leading hikes. She has held numerous committee posts for the Adirondack Mountain Club, many of which involve organizing major events that hundreds of people have enjoyed. In both her local chapter and on a state-wide organizational level, she has served many years as either board member or chair, so her administrative experience is extensive. Even after tending trail since 1982, Mary still attends local NCTA-sponsored trail-building workshops to help her create the best possible new pathway as her Adirondack Mountain Club – Onondaga Chapter keeps building the NCT toward its eventual east-end goal. Mary has also received the NCTA Distinguished Service Award, and most recently, in 2013, the Lifetime Achievement Award.
VP West Gaylord Yost – Great Lakes
Gaylord was first elected to the NCTA Board in the 1980s while employed by the USDA-Forest Service. He served as their representative on the Board until his retirement in 1994. His tenure with the Forest Service included working as a District Ranger, Job Corps Center Director, Assistant Forest Supervisor, and as Eastern Region program manager for wilderness, scenic areas, rivers, trails, and dispersed area recreation. Since then, he has devoted his time and efforts to building the North Country Trail and its community in Wisconsin. He also has served as volunteer Wisconsin Trail Coordinator and Great Lakes Coordinator and in various officer roles with Wisconsin’s Heritage Chapter. He is the recipient of a NCTA Lifetime Achievement Award, Distinguished Service Award, and he was chosen Chapter Volunteer of the year several times.
Secretary John Heiam – At Large
John spent his working career in Chicago as a systems analyst, computer systems auditor, and high school math teacher.  He has a B.A. and MBA degrees from Michigan State and a MST (Master of Science in Mathematics) from the University of Illinois at Chicago.  John met his wife on a Sierra Club outing, and both were active outings leaders for the Chicago group of the Sierra Club.  When they retired in 2000 they moved to the Traverse City Michigan area, and immediately became active in local outdoor organizations.  John is the webmaster for the Traverse Area Paddle Club.   In 2001 John became president of the Grand Traverse Hiking Club, and has held the post ever since.  In 2007 he was presented with a NCTA Leadership Award.  He was appointed to the NCTA Board in 2009.
Immediate Past President Larry Hawkins – Michigan
Larry Hawkins Larry is a life-long Michigander and currently serves as the president of the Chief Noonday Chapter in Southwest Michigan. He was enticed into the NCTA by a good friend and hiking companion in 1998, became Vice-president for Trail Management in 2002 and was drafted to assume the presidency of the chapter in 2005. In 2007, he was elected to the Board of Directors as an At Large Director. In 2009, he was appointed 1st Vice-president of the Board. He has a long history of volunteerism in various community organizations in his home town of Hastings, Michigan. He is a practicing family physician.
Joyce Appel – Pennsylvania
Joyce is a retired school teacher. Her multiple outdoor interests and activities on adventure trips always left a lasting impression on her students as they watched her slides in class.  Joyce has also been involved in many outdoor organizations such as AYH, Butler Outdoor Club (former president), Sierra Club, Explorers Club, Nature Conservancy, Keystone Trails Assn.,  and Moraine State Park Regatta. She is also a board member of the Butler Hunting, Fishing and Outdoor Show. Through the years, she has organized local and state wide events such as the “Outdoor Extravaganza”, worked on fundraisers, led hiking and canoe trips, and has been involved in building the NCT in Pennsylvania.
Jack Cohen – Pennsylvania
Jack is the Executive Director of Butler County (Pennsylvania) Tourism & Convention Bureau (BCTCB), to which he was appointed in 2003. In this position, he oversees all marketing and promotional opportunities for BCTCB’s members. Jack has been a member of the Butler Outdoor Club since 2006.  He has served as a board member for many organizations, including the Regatta at Lake Arthur, the North Country Trail, Moraine Preservation Fund, the International Association of Family Entertainment Centers  and the Cranberry Area Chamber of Commerce.
Larry Pio – At Large
Larry moved to Michigan from Wisconsin to attend Western Michigan University, where he earned BS (Chemistry and Paper Science) and MBA degrees, and met his wife Sue. He worked in operations management and sales in the paper industry, and currently works for a small airlaid nonwovens (a type of paper) research and development facility in Kalamazoo.  He has been a member of the NCTA since 2001, and began serving as President of the Chief Noonday Chapter in August 2011.  He has edited the CND newsletter for many years, and is also a trail adopter.
Debbie Zampini – Ohio
Debbie lives in Ohio and started as a child roaming the woods and wading in the Grand River.  In 1998, she began volunteering for a local county metro park system and after a couple years, started leading hikes and sharing her views of the outdoors.  Later still, she began taking care of a few miles of the Buckeye Trail that grew into about 15 miles and led to becoming the Bedford Section Supervisor.  From there, she was nominated to the Buckeye Trail Board of Directors and later was voted Vice President of the BTA Board.  Additionally, she is the Belle Valley Section Supervisor, Trail Preservation Chairperson, Traveling Buckeyes Crew Leader, and has had various other duties over the years.  She has received the Buckeye Trail’s Super Star Award twice and Trail Adopters Award in 2012.  She is self-employed for 24 years as owner and operator of Zampini Cleaning Services.
Brian Pavek – Minnesota
Brian serves as president of the Star of the North chapter. He serves on other trail boards and as a trail volunteer in both state and regional positions. During the great recession he served nearly full time as a volunteer with the NCTA, the National Park Service, the Chippewa National Forest, and with the American Hiking Society. At the present time he works in manufacturing as production supervisor/auditor in the medical devices and semiconductors industry.
Lynda Rummel – New York
Prior to retiring, Lynda taught at Renssalaer Polytechnic Institute, and worked at the Rochester Institute of Technology as a professor and academic administrator.  She holds a Ph.D from SUNY – Buffalo.  Lynda became a section maintainer for the Finger Lakes Trails Conference (FLTC), and then one of their Regional Trail Coordinators.  She headed up the FLTC’s NCT Certification Committee and the Maps and Guides Committee, and also became a NPS Gold Star trail evaluator.  Lynda was trained in the Universal Trail Assessment Process, became a certified sawyer, organized a trail building training team for the FLTC and conducted training workshops.  Currently she chairs the NCTA Field Grant Committee, works on the NCTA Board’s Trail Building and Maintenance Committee, and serves as Director of Trail Quality for the FLTC.
Ed Gruchalla – North Dakota
Ed is a native of North Dakota and currently living in Fargo.  Ed has had an interesting career in his home state of ND.  Currently he is serving his second term in the House of Representatives in the North Dakota State Legislature.  He’s been fully engaged in other aspects of North Dakota government and commerce.  After serving 6 years in the US Navy in the 1960s an 70s Vietnam era, he joined the North Dakota Highway Patrol and had a 25 year career until his retirement in 2003.  Following that he joined the firm of Northern Safety Technology in their sales department and also ran his own firm, Ed Gruchalla Investigations.  His venture into North Dakota politics and election to the Legislature resulted in leaving both of those occupations.  He and his wife are long time members of the NCTA and the Dakota Prairie Chapter.  He’s also been an active member of the Sierra Club in the Fargo area and served as its President for a time.  He and his wife Rennae are outdoor people and both enjoy hiking and traveling.
Jaron Nyhof – At Large
Jaron practices real estate law as a partner in the Grand Rapids firm of Warner, Norcross and Judd.  He is the partner in charge of the firm’s office in Holland, Michigan.  He’s licensed to practice law in both Michigan and Ohio.  As a real estate attorney, he has been involved with land acquisitions, leases, licenses, easements, and land use agreements, and has helped the NCTA with a number of real estate issues on a pro bono basis over the last several years.  Additionally, Jaron has had quite a bit of experience on non-profit boards and committees and formed several non-profit corporations.  He has been heavily involved in his community’s various organizations during his tenure in Holland.  On the personal side of things, he’s been a hiker for almost 20 years and has enjoyed hiking many part of the NCT.
Lorana Jinkerson – At Large
Lorana Jinkerson has been active in the North Country Trail Hikers Chapter in Marquette, since her retirement as a professor of educational technology at Northern Michigan University in 2005. She was appointed to the NCTA Board of Directors in the fall of 2008 and elected to the position of secretary in August 2009. Lorana is currently the NCTH Chapter president, webmaster, newsletter editor, media/communications contact, trail adopter and trail crew member. In 2009, Lorana wrote a, children’s book about the NCT, Nettie Does the NCT: North Country Trail and has donated all profits from the sale of the book to the Association. She is a member of NCTA’s Founder’s Circle, the chair of the NCTA Awards Committee and also the ad hoc Land Protection Committee. In 2009 she received the NCTA Communicator of the Year Award.
Jerry Trout – Minnesota

Jerry was instrumental in forming the Itasca Moraine Chapter and completing the NCT between the Chippewa National Forest and Itasca State Park in northern Minnesota, a 45 certified mile, 8 year project.  Jerry has a BS degree in Business Administration from Drake University.  He completed flying training in the US Air Force and flew jet fighters seven years for the Iowa National Guard.  Jerry had a 34 year career in private industry in information systems, including managing computer programming and operations.  He retired in 1995 to take a 5300 mile ride across America on a tandem bicycle with his wife, Beth.  Jerry has been active in many clubs, civic and church organizations, serving as president of several.  He has held all the officer and board positions in the Itasca Moraine Chapter and has received the NCTA Distinguished Service Award and the President’s Call to Service Award.
Jim Noble – Wisconsin

Jim is a native of Wisconsin who lives in a log home he built in Brule, Wisconsin, not far from the North Country Trail.  He has recently retired from a solo legal practice as an elder law attorney.  Previously, he taught political science at Ohio State, and has a PhD in Political Science from the University of Rochester, New York.  He writes and speaks extensively on legal and political topics and hopes to write more seriously in retirement.  A life-long backpacker and northwoodsman, he joined the Brule-St. Croix Chapter several years ago after being given a ride by a member who picked him up when he was hitchhiking home to resupply while taking an extending backpacking trip across Northern Wisconsin on the trail.  He is now an officer of the Brule-St. Croix Chapter, and actively involved in trail building in Wisconsin with the Brule St. Croix Roving Trail Crew and other chapters.