Board of Directors

Brent J. Bell

is a professor of Outdoor Leadership & Management (University of New Hampshire) and researcher of outdoor orientation programs. He grew up skiing in Lebanon, N.H. Prior to joining the UNH faculty, Brent directed the First-Year Outdoor Program (FOP) at Harvard University, worked with therapeutic adventure programs (i.e., Santa Fe Mountain Center) and was a program director for an adventure travel company (the Biking Expedition). In 1991, Brent developed the Adventure Bound program at New England College in Henniker, N.H. He was a member of the Association for Experiential Education’s Northeast Advisory Board (1996-2007) and currently serves on AEE’s accreditation council (2016 to present). Brent is co-author, along with Bob Baird and Drew Leemon, of the ‘Guide to Managing Risks in Wilderness Education,’ published by United Educators. Brent is a Nationally Registered Emergency Medical Technician (since 1988), former member of the Henniker Rescue Squad (1993-2000) and National Ski Patrol (1980-2005). Beyond teaching and research at UNH, Brent directs the Outdoor Orientation Program Symposium (OOPS) (2004-present).

Allan R. Clark
is the Fire Chief of Sugar Hill, NH and the founder of the Pemigewasset Valley Search & Rescue Team the largest volunteer S & R group in the State. Chief Clark serves on the NH Board of Fire Control and is the chair of a committee formed by Commissioner Barthelmes, Department of Safety, to coordinate the creation of a NH Fire Academy Training Facility in the North Country. Chief Clark is the founder and President of the North Country Public Safety Officer’s Foundation which was formed to assist families and public safety officers in the North Country during their times of need. The Foundation is responsible for distributing over $1,000,000 in the 9 years that it has been in existence. Allan serves on the Franconia Life Squad as an EMT and is a member of the Cannon Mountain Professional Ski Patrol. Allan has been involved with helping others in their time of need for over 40 years. He lives with his wife Gail in Sugar Hill looking at the Franconia Ridge.

Patrick Hummel
is the Park Manager of Mount Washington State Park. Starting employment with the New Hampshire Division of Parks and Recreation in 2001, Hummel served previously as the Park Manager of Monadnock State Park, which included a heavy focus on back country search and rescue. Hummel also managed the Volunteer Program for New Hampshire State Parks and the Division of Forests & Lands. He is an avid year-round hiker, photographer, and traveler.



Scott M. Gordon
has been an avid year-round hiker in the White Mountains since the 1990s and has served in various roles while a director for the New Hampshire Outdoor Council. A trained wilderness first responder (WFR), he also maintained the Ammonoosuc Ravine Trail for seven years as a USFS volunteer. His outdoor writing pieces have been published in various periodicals including AMC Outdoors and Sacred Hoop. A former Appalachian Trail thruhiker, Scott has also hiked the New England Hundred Highest, completed numerous rounds of the White Mountain Four Thousand Footers in all seasons and in winter, and has run over fifty mountain races in New England including multiple appearances at the Mount Washington Road Race as well as the Pikes Peak Marathon in Colorado. Scott is a former Division 1 AA college tennis player and student-athlete of the year. A long-time New Hampshire resident and science teacher of over twenty-five years, he has served as the Science Department Chair of Lynnfield High School in Massachusetts since 2005 where he teaches chemistry, sustainability, and meditation.

Bill Kane
is the Founder and Director of The Kane Schools of Rescue Medicine, has taught wilderness medicine and rescue since the mid-1970s. Beginning in 1976 Bill managed and eventually became a partner at IME, in North Conway, a climbing shop, climbing school, and guide service. He is the last founding member of the NHOC still serving as a Trustee and Board member. He is also a founding member and former president of the Climbing Sports Group and a former director of Outdoor Industries Association. He became a member of Mountain Rescue Service in 1976 for almost 25 years, and was a team leader and director of that organization for 17 years. Bill is an Advanced EMT (has been an EMS provider since 1976) and is a licensed EMS Instructor/Coordinator in both NH and ME. He has been a member of Fryeburg (ME) Rescue since 1978 (former Chief, current BOD), a member of the Western Maine Disaster Planning Team, and a member of the New Hampshire EMS Advisory Cabinet. Bill has had the opportunity to climb and guide on five continents, competed in hundreds of endurance events for decades, and occasionally still competes.

Lieutenant James Kneeland
is a Conservation Officer Supervisor for the Law Enforcement Division of the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department. Lt. Kneeland began his career with the NH Fish and Game Department in 1992 and has been involved in as well as directed search and rescue responses and management throughout the state. As the District Three Chief, Lt. Kneeland supervises an area, which includes all of Grafton and much of Sullivan County to include the Kinsman, Franconia and Twin Ranges of the White Mountains and the western portion of the Lakes Region. Lt. Kneeland also currently serves as the State Search and Rescue Coordinator, hikeSafe Program Coordinator, Assistant Dive Master for the NH Fish and Game Department’s Dive Team and is the NH Fish and Game Department’s Specialized Search and Rescue Team Leader.

Jeff Leich
is Executive Director emeritus of New England Ski Museum in Franconia Notch and North Conway, New Hampshire. A White Mountain hiker and skier since the early 1960s, his career has included stints on AMC hut crews, as a park ranger on Mount Washington, and ski patrol director at Wildcat. He was a member of the Mt. Washington Volunteer Ski Patrol and Androscoggin Valley Search and Rescue, is a member of North American Snowsports Journalists Association, and author of two books, Over the Headwall: The Ski History of Tuckerman Ravine and Tales of the 10th: The Mountain Troops and American Skiing.

Dylan Summers

is the Stewardship Project manager at the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests, where he is responsible for managing trail and other recreation infrastructure projects on all the Forest Society owned lands. Dylan plans, prepares, oversees, and helps implement projects with staff, volunteers, and contractors. This includes organizing the Forest Society’s yearly Monadnock Trails Week volunteer trail work event. In the winter season, he spends some time putting his GIS skills to work on mapping and other projects. Dylan has worked for a decade in trail maintenance/construction and recreation management, beginning his career at the Appalachian Mountain Club, going on to work for the US Forest Service in New Hampshire and Utah, as well as other non-profits and for-profit trail builders in Colorado and New Hampshire before ending up at the Forest Society. His work has ranged from building wilderness trails to accessible trails. Dylan also worked for the AMC as the Winter Caretaker at Hermit Lake Shelters for 3 winter/spring seasons, which along with talking to thousands of visitors about mountain safety included assisting the Mount Washington Avalanche Center with Search and Rescue operations. He is certified as a Wilderness First Responder. Outside of work, Dylan does as many kinds of skiing as you can think of, rock climbs, and is an avid bushwhacker, loving to explore far flung parts of the White Mountains and beyond. He also enjoys photography, art museums, and good books.

Jocelyn “Josh” Stohl

is a retired Vermont law enforcement professional with over 35 years of search and rescue experience. She began her SAR career as a ground searcher with consistently increasing responsibilities in incident management and leadership, continuing education, and outreach.

She attended specialized schools in mountain climbing and high angle rope work, basic and advanced swift water, and search management for missing persons, just to name a few. During her leadership tenure she established the first Vermont Search and Rescue Working Group composed of all professional SAR volunteer teams from across the state. She recognized the invaluable contributions volunteers made to help others in their time of need. As a resource, their contributions to each mission reduced demands on agencies. For 25 years she was a volunteer EMT. She was appointed to the Board of Directors for a local ambulance service (non-profit) representing the town she resided in. On behalf of the board of directors she oversaw the construction of a new EMS building, operations budgeting and seeking grants. In 2015, she became the director of a Child Advocacy Center (non-profit) and supervisor of a Special Investigations Unit working with other non-profit agencies, law enforcement departments and child services. Since her retirement she has continued her search & rescue endeavors as an educator and consultant. She has provided varied SAR education programs in New York, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine. She has been a Wilderness K9 Handler and most recently, a licensed drone pilot with a focus on the use of a drone as a resource in the woodlands and on the waters of our state. Jocelyn was born and raised in northern New Hampshire. In 2017, she and her husband, Don, moved back to New Hampshire and settled in Carroll.

Chris Thayer

is the Appalachian Mountain Club’s (AMC) Director of External Affairs and Contracts, responsible for developing and maintaining productive state and federal partnerships that provide the foundation for delivering high quality public services. A long-time resident of the North Country, Chris has worked for AMC in the region for 30+ years in a variety of capacities, including roadside and backcountry seasonal positions as well as management positions overseeing core AMC outdoor center and outdoor programming operations. As a senior staff member, Chris serves as a key representative for the organization among a variety of constituencies across AMC’s entire region, including state and federal agencies, non-profit partners, regional tourism and economic development entities, elected officials, and other opinion leaders. Chris serves on a variety of volunteer boards and committees including the NH Charitable Foundation, Ammonoosuc Conservation Trust, and Northern Forest Center. He is a former Sugar Hill Planning Board and Lafayette Regional School board member and a 2013 graduate of Leadership NH. A year-round hiker and skier certified in Wilderness First Aid and as a Leave No Trace Master Educator, he lives in Sugar Hill with his wife and two boys where they enjoy the outdoors and surrounding community assets.

Tara A. Tower

Tara Tower
Tara Tower

has been the Recreation Director for the Towns of Lincoln and Woodstock, NH, since 1998.  During those 23 years, she has increased programming to include an afterschool program, pre-ski lessons, freestyle ski lessons, youth ski racing programs, an adventure camp program, a food pantry, and trips for senior citizens.  She has added events for all ages, including a fishing derby, a high school ski race, a Halloween candy drive, a summer storybook walk, and, most recently, pickleball. She has increased facilities by successfully working with both Towns and the school to achieve an LWCF grant to construct a softball/ soccer field with a walking path, dugouts, concession stand/ bathrooms; by working with OSP, USDA Rural Facilities grants, Rotary and both Towns to purchase and renovate a community center facility; by working with Rotary, AHEAD, and local gardeners to construct and maintain a 25 plot community garden, including a covered pavilion, a rain collection system and compost bins; and currently working on the construction of a skate park to be located at the community center property. She enjoys hiking, running, reading, camping, the beach, and spending time with family (including their pets), and friends.

John E. (Jed) Williamson

is President Emeritus of Sterling College in Vermont, and is a practitioner and consultant in education and outdoor pursuits, including over 70 safety and quality reviews and accident investigations. Jed co-authored the Association for Experiential Education’s Manual of Accreditation Standards for Adventure Programs. He was a faculty member at the University of New Hampshire from 1973 to 1982. Jed’s Outward Bound part-time and full-time work from 1966-84 ranged from Instructor, Program Director, and School Director for several U.S. schools. He was on the board of the American Alpine Club from 1974 to 1998 – President from 1992-94 and Secretary from 1994-98, elected to Honorary Membership in 2007. Jed served as editor of the American Alpine Club’s annual report “Accidents in North American Mountaineering” from 1974-2014. He has served on several other boards, including those of NOLS and WRMC. His avocations include skiing and climbing, which he has done for decades. His climbing expeditions have taken him to the top of North America (twice), to Mount Everest, and to mountain ranges worldwide.