She manages the Gainesville office, supervises the FTA staff, helps with event planning, and continues to keep the books.
Janet grew up in St. Petersburg, FL, and attended Berry College and the University of Florida. Since 1976, Janet and her husband, Randy, have lived in Gainesville, where they managed Burrito Bros. Taco Co. – a popular local restaurant – until 2017. They have been members of the FTA since 1982.
Diane came to Gainesville in 1990 for school and never left. She earned a degree in history and secondary education in 1994. After graduation she worked at the University of Florida’s College of Medicine for 15 years.
Diane grew up in Orlando, where she spent a lot of time on the Wekiva and St. Johns Rivers. She is married to an entomologist who works with the USDA on the University of Florida campus.
Diane and her husband enjoy spending their free time kayaking and fishing in the Gulf.
Alex unearthed his love of hiking, camping, and storytelling as a teen in the wild and wonderful mountains of West Virginia and western North Carolina. He channeled this passion into the simple mission of introducing people to the natural world. Alex joined the FTA with over a decade of experience in the outdoor industry. He has lead and directed scores of wilderness adventures in the Southeast, the Pacific Northwest, New England, Nova Scotia and the US Virgin Islands.
Jeff works with volunteers and agency partners to coordinate trail construction, maintenance, protection, and outreach efforts. He also engages volunteers in stewardship events on the Florida National Scenic Trail.
Previously, Jeff worked with the Student Conservation Association (’06 – ’13), as both a seasonal trail crew leader and a full-time staff member. For 4 years he managed a large SCA program and maintained 100 miles of the North Country National Scenic Trail through the Allegheny National Forest in Pennsylvania. He has led crews in Alaska, the US Virgin Islands, Arizona, Colorado, and Kentucky.
Jeff is a graduate of Hampshire College in Amherst, MA, where he studied environmental education and outdoor leadership. An avid backpacker, he loves to spend time out on the trail, as well as playing music, fermenting food, and organic agriculture.
After graduating, Kelly completed a year of service as an AmeriCorps VISTA volunteer at Boston City Hall. She then went on to manage a regional food access program at a non-profit in Upstate New York.
As our Central/Southern Regional Representative, Kelly manages the 600 miles of trail between the Ocala National Forest and the Big Cypress National Preserve. She is responsible for coordinating trail management, protection and volunteer work in her region.
Now immersing himself in the unique environments found along the Florida Trail, he’s working to ensure this exceptional resource is developed, maintained, and protected for current and future generations of users.
Adam grew up in northern Indiana. He studied biology at Indiana University, European studies at Jagiellonian University, and environmental law at Vermont Law School. Previously he worked with the Appalachian Trail Conservancy, Randolph Mountain Club, and Green Mountain Club. As the FTA’s Panhandle Regional Representative, Adam coordinates trail building, maintenance, resource protection, and volunteer work along the Florida National Scenic Trail from to Suwannee River State Park.
Over the past decade, Van has backpacked several sections of the Appalachian Trail as well as other hikes throughout the country and abroad. She has served as an outdoor guide for youth & adults and has a background in organic farming. Of all the wilderness settings she has explored, Van finds her greatest happiness when she is immersed in the natural Florida landscape where she was born and raised. She considers the Florida Trail to be one of the state’s greatest gems and is enthusiastic to ensure that it is enjoyed by a diverse community of current and future recreationists and stewards.
Van’s professional background includes work at a Florida-based nonprofit organization directing a food access program and years of experience managing volunteers in an organic farm setting. As our Community Outreach Coordinator, Van is responsible for building and improving outreach programs for the FTA by ensuring that volunteer stewardship events are inclusive, fully promoted, well-coordinated, engaging and rewarding.
Van is a graduate of the University of Florida (class of 2011) where she studied Horticultural Science and was actively involved in the university’s outdoor leadership, Travel and Recreation Program (TRiP). In addition to hiking, Van enjoys chasing sunsets on her bicycle, gardening, surfing and finding humor in day-to-day life.