Andrea Ketchmark, Executive Director

Andrea KetchmarkAndrea took on the Executive Director role in August 2017 after serving as NCTA’s Director of Trail Development since 2009. She has a degree in Natural Resources Recreation and Tourism from Colorado State University, where she fell in love with trails and connecting people to outdoor spaces. Prior to joining NCTA, Andrea managed the Volunteer Vacations program for the American Hiking Society. Andrea has extensive experience in trails development, management, protection and advocacy and enjoys providing guidance to chapters, members and volunteers on all aspects of trail management and protection. Andrea has engaged in building countless partnering relationships at state, national and local levels, and representing NCTA in the larger trails and recreation community. Andrea is on the Leadership Council of the Partnership for the National Trails System and the Board of the Michigan Trails and Greenways Alliance as well as the state’s Non-motorized Advisory Workgroup. She lives in Lowell and enjoys exploring the trail and other outdoor spaces in Michigan and beyond.

V: (616) 897-5987, ext.6  |  E:

Valerie Bader, Director of Trail Development

Valerie joined NCTA in January 2018 as the Director of Trail Development. She graduated from the University of Pittsburgh and has recently moved back to her home state, Pennsylvania, with her husband, Max. Valerie has previously worked in the National Trail System with the Pacific Crest Trail Association and Continental Divide Trail Coalition and has worked on trails across the US with various non-profit trail groups, volunteer organizations and youth corps. She loves spending time in the field with volunteers and teaching trail skills. In her free time, Val enjoys hiking, paddling and gardening.

V: (412) 606-7617  |  E:

cowlesDavid Cowles, Director of Development

David came to the NCTA as the Director of Development in 2010. He has a BA in Anthropology from the University of New Mexico and a MA in Nonprofit Management from Regis University. Much of David’s career has been managing and leading nonprofit organizations in the outdoor arena including youth camps, city and county parks, therapeutic treatment programs, faith-based wilderness expeditions and an outdoor leadership school. He has traveled extensively in the backcountry by canoe and on foot. He lives with his wife, Anita and two children, Gabe and Bryana in Big Rapids, MI.

V: (616) 897-5987, ext.5  |  E:


lindstromLaura Lindstrom, Financial Administrator

Laura joined the NCTA in April 2008 as the Financial Administrator. Laura retired in 2007 after 30 years in private industry, primarily automotive, in the finance sector. She has a BBA from Eastern Michigan University and an MBA from Central Michigan University. Laura is an avid tennis player. She lives in Lowell with her husband Phil, son Larz, and their dog Baby.

V: (616) 897-5987, ext.7  |  E:

Tarin Hasper, Annual Fund Coordinator

Tarin joined NCTA staff in 2017 to serve as the Annual Fund Coordinator.  You may recognize Tarin and her beagle Baxter (pictured) as they previously served as administrative staff and volunteer from 2012-2014.  Tarin has a B.S. in Sustainable Business from Aquinas College and does her best to live as sustainable as possible with her family in Lowell, MI. Tarin and her Husband Bob recently welcomed newborn Max on April Fools Day, 2017 and they can’t wait until he takes his first steps on the trail; until then he will be along for the ride!

V: (616) 897-5987, ext.9  |  E:

Nicole Murphy, Administrative Assistant

Nicole joined the NCTA in September 2017.  She is a native Canadian who moved with her husband and daughter to Michigan earlier this year. Nicole comes to us most recently from a non-profit in California where she worked at a land trust. Her passionate interest in conservation programs and land protection combines well with the strong administrative skills she brings to our team. She has more than twenty years of experience in administration, office management and executive assistance. She is also a certified trainer in a wide range of fitness programs. Nicole’s family lives in Lowell and her back yard opens onto the trail!  Nicole cares deeply about protecting the land so that future generations will be able to enjoy it.  She is also passionate about health and wellness, and understands that we need more nature is our lives! She is very excited to work with the team at NCTA to continue to build and strengthen the trail.

V: (616) 897-5987, ext.4  |  E:

Alison MyersAlison Myers, Administrative Assistant

Alison came to the NCTA in March of 2016 as the Youth Outreach Coordinator for the Hike 100 Challenge. She is now our Administrative Assistant and Trail Shop Associate. After graduating from Greenville High School in 1999 she spent her summer volunteering with the Student Conservation Association at Mammoth Cave National Park. Alison is a self-proclaimed “Nature Nerd” and enjoys Geology, learning about plants and animals, and being outdoors. She has a deep love for Celtic music and plays in multiple area bands.

V: (616) 897-5987, ext.1  |  E:


Matt Rowbotham, GIS Coordinator

Matt was first introduced to the NCTA in 2002 as an intern studying geography at Grand Valley State University and joined the staff in 2004. In addition to GPS and mapping, Matt also provides IT support for the NCTA. Matt, his wife, Brigid and their two daughters, live in Traverse City, MI. Matt enjoys hiking and flyfishing, most of which he does on or near the NCT.

V: (616) 897-5987, ext.3  |  E:


menkeBill Menke, Regional Trail Coordinator–Wisconsin

Bill joined the NCTA team in 2001 after retiring from the NPS where he served as the North Country Trail Manager for nine years. Bill now serves as our Regional Trail Coordinator for Wisconsin. He holds a half time position and works out of his home in Dodgeville, WI. During the summer months, the majority of his time is spent in the field. Bill is considered a specialist in trail design and construction, including project set-up and crew leadership.

V: (608) 553-3489  |  E:


mattdavisMatt Davis, Regional Trail Coordinator–Minnesota & North Dakota

A Connecticut native, Matthew has worked for the North Country Trail Association since fall 2006. Before joining the NCTA, he worked for the Appalachian Trail Conservancy and University of Wisconsin-Extension. Matthew has an M.S. in Outdoor Recreation and lives in Detroit Lakes, MN with his wife, Stacy. They are avid long-distance hikers, who have section-hiked the Appalachian Trail together and hope to one day do so again with their four young children.

V: (701) 388-1883  |  E:


kennywKenny Wawsczyk, Regional Trail Coordinator–Michigan

Kenny joined the NCTA as the Regional Trail Coordinator for Michigan in August of 2015. Seven years prior he worked seasonally for the U.S Forest Service in the Manistee National Forest as the Trails Crew Leader. He was born and raised in the trail town of White Cloud and still lives close by with his wife Maureen. On his spare time you can find him outdoors either fishing, hunting or hiking.

V: (231) 250-6779  |  E:


Kate Lemon, Marketing/Communications Coordinator

Kate joined the NCTA in May 2018 as the Marketing/Communications Coordinator. She is a native Michigander who moved to the Grand Rapids area in 2018 with her husband Jake, their son Gus, and their dog, Indy. Prior to joining the NCTA team, Kate was a graphics specialist in a research grant proposal development office at Penn State University. She also worked with environmental nonprofits and state government in Colorado, and she earned a B.A. in journalism from Indiana University at Indianapolis (IUPUI). Kate cares deeply about public land accessibility and conservation, so you can often find her outside, advocating for and enjoying our spaces: Hiking, skiing, paddling, camping, and fly fishing. She is excited to rediscover Michigan and log some miles on the NCTA with her family.

V: (616) 897-5987, ext. 8  |  E: