Florida Trail Association

Board of Directors

Current FTA Board of Directors

David Waldrop, President

Lake Wales, FL

David is a graduate of USF with a BS in Engineering Technology and is employed by the Lake Wales Charter School District. He has been a member of the Florida Trail Association since 2005 having joined after working with members of the Heartland Chapter doing trail maintenance. He is a section leader for the Kissimmee River section of the FNST.

Deborah Schroth, 1st VP Governance and Administration

Orange Park, FL

Deborah has been a member of the North Florida TrailBlazers for a number of years now, and participates in hikes, maintenance work, and has volunteered for IDidAHike for the past three years. She is proud to have a National Scenic Trail in Florida, and knows the importance of managing this resource.  She is a Florida public interest attorney interested in environmental matters with experience in both state and federal regulatory matters.

For almost 25 years she has worked for non-profit law firms, gaining public advocacy and litigation skills.  She is experienced in grant writing, and for a number of years was tasked with raising the money for her own salary.

Bill Turman, 2nd VP Membership

Oviedo, FL

Bill was born and raised in central Virginia and as a Boy Scout attained the rank of Eagle Scout. He enjoyed many backpacking trips on the AT. A graduate of Virginia Tech with a B.S. in Civil / Structural Engineering, he began his career as a construction engineer, then design engineer with Dominion Resources / Virginia Power. A unique work highlight included underwater inspection activities as part of the civil engineering dive team.

Bill moved to central Florida in 1990 when he took an engineering position with Westinghouse Electric Corporation, where he helped develop and implement gas turbine and combined cycle power plants. His responsibilities increased as he progressed into the positions of group and department manager within Westinghouse and later Siemens Power Generation when Siemens purchased Westinghouse. A career highlight was living in Germany, performing the integration manager duties.

A member of the Florida Trail Association since 1991, he has backpacked and hiked many of the trails in central Florida. Since retiring, Bill has been active with the Central Florida Chapter, helping to perform trail maintenance activities, acting as an activity leader, chapter chair, and representative at the Chapter Council. He is an avid hiker, cyclist and kayaker, and enjoys traveling the country with his A-frame camper, visiting the National Parks.

Tom Daniel, 3rd VP Trails

Pensacola, FL

Tom grew up in Hialeah, Florida and resided in Dade County for 35 years. In 1980 his family moved to Pensacola. He received a BS in Accounting from Florida State University. He began volunteering with the Florida Trail Association in 1998 and has held positions as Activity Leader, Trailmaster, Eglin Section Leader, Trail Coordinator, FTA Board member, VP Membership (3/2007 – 12/2009) and VP Trails (3/2011 – 3/2016). He is a founding member of the Choctawhatchee Chapter which serves Okaloosa and Walton Counties. He served as Trail Coordinator from the Chapters inception until February 2017. He personally supervised and coordinated the routing and construction of 95+ miles of the Florida National Scenic Trail on Eglin, Nokuse Plantation and Northwest Florida Water Management Division lands.

In the aftermath the 2004 and 2005 hurricane seasons, Tom coordinated trail recovery in the Western Panhandle with local volunteers and USDA-FS. His trail related schools include Trail Crew Leader Training at the University of North Georgia and participation in several American Hiking Society trail maintenance and construction Volunteer Vacations.

As an Activity / Crew Leader, Tom has organized and lead well over 100 Florida Trail maintenance and trail construction activities. He has served as the Choctawhatchee Chapter Meetup Organizer from October 2008 until present. He and Anne are Lifetime Members of the Florida Trail Association.

Leslie Wheeler, 4th VP Development and Outreach

Jacksonville, FL

Leslie has been a member of Florida Trail Association ever since she went with the Western Gate Chapter on a field trip to Garcon Point and observed rare pitcher plants on her hands and knees. That would be 15+ years ago. After she moved to Jacksonville, she became active in the North Florida Trailblazers Chapter and has been instrumental in keeping that chapter going during a period of low activity. She considers her time serving at the state level as a learning experience and is grateful for the opportunity to meet many members of our great organization.

Leslie graduated from Millsaps College with a BS in Biology. She became a medical technologist and earned her Specialist in Blood Banking at Ochsner Hospital in New Orleans. She has a Master of Healthcare Administration from Tulane University. After a long career of managing transfusion services at Florida hospitals, she now works part time as a validation specialist for a healthcare software company.

Pam Hale, Treasurer

Palm Bay, FL

Pam has been an FTA member since 1978 and has served in a number of volunteer capacities including chapter officer, activity leader, section leader, state Director, VP-Administration and Treasurer. Together with her husband and two sons, she put in many hours developing and maintaining trails in the Central Florida area. She is also an avid hiker, logging miles on trail from the U.S. desert southwest to the mountains of Europe. She is a Leave-No Trace Master Educator.

Pam is a graduate of Rollins College with a degree in Business Administration and minors in accounting and organizational communication. She has been employed with Harris Corporation for over 30 years in various accounting, finance and business operations roles, currently as a lead financial analyst on federal government programs.

Darryl Updegrove, Secretary

Panama City, FL

Darryl was born in Pennsylvania. After graduating from the University of Virginia with a degree in electrical engineer, he has spent the last 31 years working for the Department of Defense, first in Virginia, and now in Panama City, Florida.  He received a master’s degree in electrical engineering from Florida State University in 1998, and Master of Business Administration from FSU in 2012.

He joined the local chapter of the FTA in 2016, and has since become co-chair, chair (current), activity coordinator (current), and activity leader, and been certified as a sawyer.

He enjoys cycling and hiking.  He is active in his church, where he plays the electric bass for worship services.

Alan Bradshaw, Director

Sanford, FL

Alan is a semi-retired International Business Development Executive living in Sanford. Alan’s multiple roles as Vice President have provided extensive business development, operations and leadership experience. Alan had a long career with AAA, over 60 million members strong, and its associated partners. Alan served on the Executive Board of Directors for the EDTA (Electric Drive Transportation Association) in Washington DC before relocating to Australia for work.

Alan stays active with four children and three grandchildren, and has a long history and passion for the outdoors from his early years growing up in Western New York and Minnesota. Alan spent much of his childhood with a pack strapped to his back in the mountains of the West and woods of the North. His father had him in the woods camping, canoeing and hiking from very young age. Alan, an avid world traveler, has backpacked, hiked, and canoed through the Upper Midwest, the Rockies, US and Canada, Big Horns and Glacier National Park.

Dr. Patrick Brennan, Director

Panama City, FL

Patrick Brennan (Ph.D., Ed.D.) enjoys and cares about our northwest Florida resources and is ready to play an active role in preservation, promotion, and education. Patrick has cultivated his passion for Northwest Florida and its trails,
springs, and creeks while growing up in Niceville, Florida. (Class of ’87)

In his research and curriculum development, Dr. Brennan is exploring human history in landscapes. As a member of the Board, Patrick will continue to promote the Florida Trail Association and all of its goals. Patrick will also continue to communicate and share time with several local organizations he knows that share similar and overlapping interests.

When he is not in the classroom Dr. Brennan runs, bicycles, hikes, snorkels, fishes, and kayaks the St. Andrew Bay and Gulf Coast State College district of Bay, Gulf, and Franklin counties.

Bill Bush, Director

Glenwood Springs, CO

Bill Bush graduated with a Degree in Business Management from USF. He is an avid backpacker, having completed thru-hikes of the A/T, PCT, CT, FT, Pinhoti and the Wonderland Trail. Bill has thru-hiked the Florida Trail seven times, completing it both SOBO and NOBO and has completed more than 20,000 hiking miles. Bill is a retired Federal Law Enforcement officer, having served as an agent for the US Postal Inspection Service, retiring in 2005.

Bill has been married to his wonderful wife Lynne for 49 years. Bill has been a member of the hiking community for many years and has many friends and contacts in the hiking community. Bill practices and promotes Leave No Trace and strongly believes in “Hike Your Own Hike”. Bill plans on completing the CDT and earning his Triple Crown as soon as possible. Bill loves the Florida Trail and has also completed the Ocean to Lake trail many times. Wherever Bill has hiked, he always presents and promotes the FT as a pleasure to hike. And as usual, Bill offers a Happy Trails to all.

Karl Byars, Director

Milton, FL

Karl is a retired Army Officer and currently licensed as a Florida Nurse Practitioner. He has been a life-long hiker and an active member of the Western Gate Chapter since 2018 where he volunteers 1-2 times a week on average (approx 3- 5 hours per session). He received his National Sawyer Certification Card (April 2019) and also helps his chapter by trail mowing, lopping, tree removal, bog bridge-building and repair, campsite cleaning, and equipment transport.

His background and commitment provide an ideal foundation for advising the Association’s missions in these areas: public health awareness and safety; skills training (especially in emergency first-aid response); budget management; trail work planning and implementation; equipment requirements; and personnel and volunteer recruitment and oversight.

He received a BSN from the University of Mississippi and an MSN from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. He graduated and received a Nurse Practitioner certification from Johns Hopkins University Post-Masters/Nurse Practitioner in Baltimore.

While on active duty he held clinical and management positions in Germany, Hawaii, Maryland, and Kansas. He served on the medical transition team for Presidential inaugural activities in Washington D.C. and on a special healthcare team during a Presidential European visit. After leaving the military, he worked as a Nurse Practitioner (NP) in internal medicine and gastroenterology practices in Maryland and Florida. He was a Clinical NP instructor at Johns Hopkins University and Howard University in Maryland. His other interests include hiking/camping (he has done sections of the AT and FT, among others,), boating (American Sailing Association certifications: Basic Keelboat Sailing; Basic and Intermediate Coastal Cruising; Bareboat Chartering), and travel.

James Catalano, Director

Tampa, FL

James is a Florida licensed civil engineer who received his BS in Civil Engineering from UCF in 1987. He worked for Dyer, Riddle, Mills & Precourt, Inc. as a land surveyor, chief bridge engineer, and Tampa regional manager. He is currently the president of Catalano Engineering, Inc, where he has worked since 1994 in civil, structural, and marine engineering.

As a lifetime Florida resident, James has a deep love and respect for its natural spaces and adheres religiously to the Leave No Trace (LNT) principles. James has hiked and camped on many sections of the Florida Trail from Okeechobee to Escambia and Seminole to Citrus.

James has a thorough understanding of the challenges of operating within a 501(c)organization. Through his professional life, he has developed the skills and knowledge necessary to successfully navigate regulatory jurisdictions including State, County, water management districts and the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP). James has significant volunteer experience ranging from performing trail maintenance for the SWAMP Mountain Bike Club to serving on the Habitat for Humanity Hillsborough, Inc. Board of Directors. His hobbies include hiking, kayaking, mountain biking, camping, cycling, fishing, paddle boarding, surfing, and photo/videography.

Rick Robbins, Director

Gainesville, FL

Rick was raised in southwestern Ohio and has spent most of his life enjoying the outdoors. He has undertaken many backpacking and hiking trips, which include the Continental Divide, AT, Ice Age, and Florida Trails.

After receiving his degree in Soil Science and Resource Management from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, he accepted his dream job ….mapping soils. He couldn’t believe that he found a job where he was paid to hike 40 hrs/wk, 52 wks/year.

Later in his career, he migrated to designing land use interpretations and working with Geographic Information Systems. Rick is now semi-retired and resides in Gainesville.

Amanda Kincaid, Director

Panama City, FL

Amanda was born and lives in the Florida panhandle.  She graduated from Florida State University with degrees in English and Italian and the University of Florida with a degree in Law.  She works as an attorney for the State of Florida.

She began hiking in college with her father and has since found a love for long section hikes.  She was a 2018 Granite Gear Groundskeeper, picking up trash as she hiked along the Florida Trail.

Jan S. Wells, PhD, AICP, Director

Lakeland, FL

Jan is a native Floridian and graduate of Florida State University. However, she spent most of her professional life in New Jersey where she taught urban planning at Rutgers University, specializing in housing, land use and transportation. Her major focus of research concerned transit oriented development and pedestrian issues.

Jan is an avid hiker and in addition to being active in FTA since she returned to Florida.  Jan is the Chapter Chair for the FTA’s Heartland Chapter.  She is a long time member of the Appalachian Mountain Club, life member of the New Jersey-New York Trail Conference, member of the Appalachian Trail Conservancy and the Carolina Mountain Club. She loves to travel and has hiked widely in the US and around the world. Jan also serves as a docent at the Frank Lloyd Wright Visitors Center at Florida Southern College in Lakeland.

Board Member Responsibilities