Florida Trail Association

Board of Directors Ballot 2019

Cast your vote to play an important role in the future of the Florida Trail Association

As a member of the Florida Trail Association, you have the privilege of casting your vote in the 2019 Board of Directors election.  You have a voice, and we want to hear it!

To view a list of our current board members, visit: https://www.floridatrail.org/about-us/ourboard/
There are a total of 15 Directors on the Board.  Leslie Wheeler and Megan Eidel are resigning. Pam Hale, Bill Turman, Greg Knecht, Ralph Hancock will continue to complete their term, and are not up for re-election.  Please vote for the President, VP Trails, VP Governance and Administration, Secretary, VP Outreach and Development, and up to 3 Directors-at-Large.  This slate of candidates has been vetted by the Nominating Committee.  The VP of Membership will be filled at a later date by the Board per the Bylaws.

Several Ways to Cast Your Vote!

  • By Mail: In the Winter Footprint, you can find a paper copy of the ballot that can be mailed. Mail in ballots must be postmarked by March 30, 2019.
    • Mail your ballot to: Florida Trail Association 1050 NW 2nd Street, Suite A Gainesville, FL 32601
  • Electronically: There is now an option to vote online! >>>>

Online voting will close March 30, 2019 and the new board will be announced at the April 6, 2019 Annual Meeting.

*You must be an FTA member in order to vote. Note: only one vote per membership. If you chose to submit your ballot by mail, you will not need to vote electronically.

The Florida Trail Association Nominating Committee has verified all applicant qualifications. To learn more about 2019 candidates, please read the bios below.


Officer Candidate Biographies


David Waldrop
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, and chapter chair of the Heartland Chapter. For the past two years, David has served as VP Trails on the FTA Board of Directors.


VP Development and Outreach

Carlos Schomaker
Fort Myers, FL
Carlos has been active in outdoor recreation and environmental causes since the 1970s, including USFS RARE II, Passport in Time, and trail work in CA and the Pacific Northwest. He is employed as a Radiation Therapy Equipment Service Engineer, and has also worked in R&D and factory testing environments in that medical industry. He is an active PADI scuba instructor and guide. Raised in Venezuela, Japan, Spain and the US, he attended Michigan Tech University and served in the United States Navy. He is a former Chapter Chair and Chapter Council Rep in the FTA. Carlos previously served as President and VP Development and Outreach on the Florida Trail Association Board. Carlos enjoys hiking and a number of other outdoor land, water and winter sports.


VP Governance

Pete Durnell
Deland, FL
Pete graduated from Miami University (Ohio) with a BA in Psychology and has an MA in International Relations from the University of Arkansas.  After graduating from Miami, he joined the US Air Force and served a 20-year career there with a focus on Intelligence.  After serving at various locations worldwide with the USAF, including living and working in England for several years, Pete returned to the US in 1994 and joined the FTA.
Pete became active with the Central Florida Chapter serving as an Activity Leader, Activity Coordinator, and Chapter Chair.  He helped with the transition of the FTA Footprint from a newspaper format to a magazine format and served as co-editor and editor.  He joined the Board in 2000 and served as a Director, Vice President of Administration, and President until 2011.  He has now rejoined the board and has served his most recent term as VP Governance.


VP Trails

Steven Womack
Port St. Joe, FL
Steven’s background and experiences are primarily from 28 years in the military.  He is a retired Army Command Sergeant Major who has led organizations of over 5,000 soldiers.  He has a Bachelor of Science degree from Troy State University.  Steven has always been an outdoor enthusiast who enjoys the National Parks and the various state parks around the country.  He moved to Florida with his wife, Heather, and they soon found the Florida Trail and the Florida Trail Association.
Steve is currently serving as a Trail Section Leader and Activity Leader in the Panhandle Chapter and is also the Chapter Membership Chair.  He attends Volunteer Work Parties when possible.  He is also a board member for the Friends of St. Joseph Peninsula State Park and monitors eagles for the Eagle Watch Program with his wife.  They are attempting to visit all the National Parks, but still have many to go.  He says he has the time to volunteer and would be able to participate extensively as the VP Trails.
His goals for this nomination are to support the five-year strategic plan and to “build more than trails.”  He says he will work hard to develop innovative solutions with our partners and volunteers.



Deborah Schroth
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. Deborah has previously served on the FTA Board as an at-large board member.


At-Large Board Member Candidate Biographies

Candidates are listed in alphabetical order

Shellie Johnson
LaBelle, FL
As a nominee for the Board of Directors, Shellie’s quest is both personal and semi-professional. As a land planner with 25 years of experience, she offers expertise in collaboration, consensus-building and education of long-range planning processes and what it takes to accomplish organizational goals and objectives. Her career includes representation of both community and development interests and gives her an in-depth understanding of creating balance with regard to public good versus private benefit. As FTA continues its acquisition of trail lands, she believes her experience can be beneficial in the effort and communication of such endeavors.
On a personal front, she is a native Floridian who enjoys learning and experiencing our Florida ecosystems and what better way to do so than to get out into it! She recognizes and understands that the preservation of our environment is paramount to the continued enjoyment of our flora and fauna which plays a significant role in the tourism industry of our state.


Darryl Updegrove
Panama City, FL
Darryl graduated from the University of Virginia in 1988 with a Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering. He began his career at the Naval Mine Warfare Engineering Activity in Yorktown, VA where he met his wife Melissa.  In 1994 they moved to Panama City, Florida to continue his career for the U.S. Navy at the Coastal System Station.  In 1998 he completed his Master of Science degree in electrical engineering from Florida State University in Panama City while continuing to work for the Navy.
In 2007, Darryl became a project manager, and then enrolled in a Master of Business Administration program at FSU, completing his degree in 2012.  In 2013 Darryl was promoted to a management position, where he oversees engineers and engineering projects.
Besides his engineering profession, Darryl has been involved with the FTA since 2016, beginning as a trail maintenance volunteer. In 2017 he was elected as the Co-Chair of the Panhandle Chapter and became an Activity Leader for the 2017-2018 hiking season.  He also completed chainsaw training to help support trail maintenance activities.
In 2018 Darryl was elected as the Chair of the Panhandle Chapter and has also recently completed trail skills training. He is currently the Activities Chair and continues to support fundraising events, educational activities, trail maintenance and fun hikes.  He enjoys leading overnight camping trips and longer hikes but has also led shorter hikes within the Florida Panhandle.  His other interests including playing electric bass for his church orchestra, volunteer child care worker, bicycling, jogging, reading and helping his wife with gardening.


Jan Wells, PhD, AICP
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, 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. Jan has previously served on the FTA Board as Secretary.