Tom Johnson, President, Great Eastern Trail Association
Tom Johnson has been active in foot trail matters for many years. Beginning in 1996, he served alternately as president and vice president of the Potomac Appalachian Trail Club; president of the Potomac Trail Council (managing the Potomac Heritage National Scenic Trail); and has served on the Board of Directors of the American Hiking Society since 1997, and as recording secretary since 1999. In 2003 he became involved with the effort to establish a long-distance hiking trail that became the Great Eastern Trail, and convened a coalition of hiking clubs to pursue the dream. When the Association incorporated in 2007 he became its president. He maintains sections of the Appalachian Trail and Great Eastern Trail and hikes whenever he can.
Tom has worked in the intelligence community since 1964, and at present writes classified histories of clandestine intelligence programs for the Central Intelligence Agency. He is a retired Air Force officer, and he and his wife Sharon have been married for 50 years; they have a married daughter who lives in Alexandria. They live in Front Royal, Virginia, about 3/4 mile from the AT, and maintain a hiker hostel and hiker shuttle service.
Pat Monahan, secretary, Great Eastern Trail Association
Pat Monahan has lived in the Finger Lakes region of New York State his entire life. He has been actively involved with the Finger Lakes Trail Conference as president, regional trail coordinator and project manager for various trail work in New York. Pat has served on the Great Eastern Trail Association as a board member and secretary. Pat was instrumental in leading the Great Eastern Trail construction effort in New York (GET in NY project). The 55 mile section of the Crystal Hills Trail (GET in NY) will be completed in summer 2013. Pat has hiked the entire Finger Lakes Trail system (about 955 miles), enjoys leading hikes for a local club, and is a trail maintainer and a certified sawyer.
Pat has worked for more than 30 years in education as a teacher, public school administrator and as an educational specialist at Alfred University. He volunteers and has served on numerous Boards for non for profit organizations. Pat and his wife live in Corning, NY. His son is currently attending college.
Pete Fleszar, board member and geospatial coordinator, Great Eastern Trail Association
Pete Fleszar grew up hiking the hills of New York State’s Finger Lakes Region, and graduated from the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry at Syracuse. On returning to the East in 1998 he began volunteering with hiking clubs. In 2001 he became involved with the effort to connect the long-distance hiking trails of Pennsylvania and New York that became part of the Great Eastern Trail. He maintains sections of the Appalachian Trail and Great Eastern Trail and hikes, XC skis, and rides rail trails with his family whenever he can.
Pete and his wife Krista met while hiking the Tuscarora Trail. He is a licensed professional engineer employed by a small consulting firm that designs community water and wastewater systems. Krista, Pete, and their daughter live near Hershey, Pennsylvania.
Shad Baker, Board Member, Great Eastern Trail Association
Shad Baker enjoys outdoor recreation, be it hiking hunting or backpacking. He began section hiking the Appalachian Trail in 1993 and has now backpacked over 1,000 miles of the AT (he jokingly says he’s on course to have the longest section hike on record). He was one of three founding members of the Pine Mountain Trail Conference in 1998. He has served alternately as Vice-President and President since its inception. He has also served on Kentucky’s Recreational Trail Authority Board.
Attending a Southeast Regional Footrails meeting in Mounteagle, TN in 2003 he became involved in preliminary discussions to create the Western Appalachian Alternative (WAA). It would later take the moniker of Great Eastern Trail, a name he proposed. He was present at the birth of GET at Hungry Mother State Park (VA) in 2007 and has served on its Board since.
He currently works for the University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service as a county extension agent in Letcher County, KY. He specializes in agriculture, natural resources and community development. When he isn’t tending to his blueberries or helping at church, he can be found with his wife Melanie and daughter Alyssa Faith. He is a 2001 graduate of the Kentucky Natural Resources Leadership Institute, and was designated Admiral by the Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Cabinet for his work on the Pine Mountain Trail in 2002.
Warren Devine, Board member, Great Eastern Trail Association
Warren Devine has been a volunteer for Tennessee’s Cumberland Trail Conference since 1998. He has led trail design teams and construction crews, and currently serves as Vice-Chair of the Board of Directors. Warren has also been involved with the Southeastern Foot Trails Coalition, and is currently a member of its Board. Warren and his wife Carol are Appalachian Trail 2,000-milers, Long Trail End-to-Enders, and have backpacked thousands of additional miles throughout the United States. Until a few years ago they were avid whitewater kayakers.
In an earlier life, Warren helped design nuclear power plant control and safety systems for General Electric, worked at an energy policy “think tank” in Oak Ridge, and co-authored a book on electricity and economic growth. He and Carol have two sons and a grand daughter.