Summit 2024


We will update these pages as we receive more information.

Cullowhee

Keynote Speaker | Friday Night Speaker | Clinicians | Schedule | Sponsors | Photos

Clinicians

We will be adding our clinicians as they are confirmed. Please check back regularly for updates.

Amanda Aguillard

Solo Backpacking and Hadrian's Wall

Amanda Aguillard was only 16 years old when she realized she wanted to become a CPA, and she's used that passion to encourage innovation in the industry she loves. That commitment lives on through her work as the Chief Operating Officer of Padgett, one of North America's largest accounting service and business consulting providers. Amanda oversees operational and logistical guidance for the company's network of firms. This includes identifying and incorporating the latest cloud technologies into the Padgett operating model. She also is focused on developing and facilitating the necessary trainings to ensure these platforms and tools are successfully implemented by Padgett firms.

Amanda, who is a past Top 50 Women in Accounting, is the author of Xero: A Comprehensive Guide for Accountants and Bookkeepers. She was the Xero Evangelist of the Year in 2016, and used her experience as a Xero Certification instructor to co-found Elefant, a continuing education company for accountants and bookkeepers. Prior to joining the executive team at Padgett, she ran Aguillard Accounting LLC, focusing her efforts on providing unparalleled client support service through a cloud-based practice that could be done anywhere in the world. Amanda also is the founder of Accounting Salon, a thinktank of cloud accounting experts, and its virtual offshoot, SALONv.

Amanda, who holds a Master's Degree in Taxation from the University of Denver, regularly speaks at state CPA societies and industry technology conferences, including Accountex, AICPA Engage, Scaling New Heights, Clio Cloud Conference and Xerocon.

When she's not advocating for her industry, she spends her time cooking for her two children, reading historical fiction and backcountry hiking.


Stacey Brazier aka Scootch

Solo Travel and the Cross-Country Road Trip

Stacey is a mom, educator, and serial crafter. As a late-diagnosed woman with ADHD, she goes on adventures without planning, overpacks, has a very messy gear room, and tells lots of great stories.


Stacey "Scootch" Brazier and Pam "Purple Haze" de Graaf

The Joys of Glamping

Tired of sleeping on the hard, rocky ground? Dining on Ramen? Stubbing your toe when you get up in the pitch dark of night to answer natures call? Then it is time to learn about the decadent, indulgent world of Glamping. Stacey and Pam share all their secrets....from in-tent heaters, carpets and the fattest of blow up mattresses to chandeliers and fairy lights. You will never look at camping the same again!


Sarah Carillo

Blazing a New Path: From Hiking to Homesteading

One woman's story of falling in love, hiking the AT and then decided to go all in: selling most of our belongings, moving to a cabin in the woods, and established Maitri Homestead.


Ginger DeHaan

Hitting the Trail with My Students

My name is Ginger DeHaan; my trail name Iris. I'm a mother of eight, grandmother of four, wife of a Chef, and wrangler of three sassy dogs. I also teach first grade at a title one school in upstate South Carolina. Each year I pretend thru-hike my students. Last year we did Bama-to-Baxter. This year we completed the Eastern Continental Trail (ECT). Next year we will school calendar year Triple Crown!!! From Leave No Trace Principles to Trail Magic, we incorporate as much love and respect for the outdoors as possible.
As well, I am Appalachia. I did not realize just how much until I started hiking on and around the AT. Each time we go to the trail we find more and more direct family history. I have had the opportunity to walk the footsteps of my ancestors who called regions of the trail home.
I'm in the beginning stages of sharing what I do in the classroom on Instagram, Facebook (pending), and YouTube. If you'd like to follow along check out the links below.
Thank you so much and Happy Trails!!!
Iris.hikerbox@gmail.com
https://www.instagram.com/iris_hikerbox/
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCibC8ZNyteNdwEtUwrBObHA


Anna Huthmaker

Dancing Down the Inca Trail

Anna, aka Mud Butt, shares the story of her four-day hike on the Inca Trail in Peru. In between learning how to 'Diesel Down', dancing on top of Dead Woman's pass, and night hiking under the stars of Peru, Anna stepped up and down a million rocks and had the time of her life.

Tips and Tricks for Leave No Trace

Anna, aka Mud Butt, is the founder of Trail Dames Incorporated, a hiking club for women of a curvy nature. Between running her families violin shop (Huthmaker Fine Violins), working in Trail Dames, and teaching new skills around the world with Luthiers without Borders, she is always looking for ways to experience the magic of the outdoors and the beauty of the trail.


Bev McDowell

Hiking for Seniors

A hike and backpack guide for the Carolina Mountain Club and Blue Ridge Hiking Company. She's led children and adults on trail adventures for more than 15 years. She is an Appalachian Trail Maintainer for the Max Patch section and is attached to the CMC Friday Maintenance Crew. She has completed Educator Outward Bound, 28 Miles in a day Make a Wish Hike, several CMC Challenges and 200 miles of the Spanish Camino del Santiago. The bulk of this was accomplished post 50 years old. She is grateful to be able to hike, help others do the same and to live in these gorgeous old mountains.


Christine Reed aka "Lady Unicorn"

Writing for the Outdoors

Christine was a thru-hiker before she became the founder of Rugged Outdoorswoman Publishing, whose first publication, Blood Sweat Tears, is a perfect example of the mission to promote the adventure stories of women and gender-expansive folks. Her award-winning memoir, Alone in Wonderland, shares the story of her personal transformation via thru-hiking. She has been forged by movement through nature, and she firmly believes in the power of story and representation to invite every body into the outdoors where we can see ourselves more clearly.


Regina Reiter

5 Surprising Essentials for Crafting YOUR Radiantly Fulfilling Walks

Developer of Forgiveness Walks

When her third son finished homeschooling in 2007, Regina walked the Appalachian Trail from Maine to Georgia. At 52, it was now her time to walk into her dream. Getting to the trail, completing the journey, and navigating the stormy relationship waters of attracting a hiking partner gave Regina plenty of personal experience to test her new skills as a certified Radical Forgiveness Coach.

She had hiked the AT to get it out of her system only to realize that walking in Nature for personal transformation IS her system.

The following year, Regina thru-hiked the 2500-mile Pacific Crest Trail. Inspired by the majestic beauty and personal fulfillment of that journey, she declared that she would do whatever it took to make her living hiking in service to others.

In 2009, she started her business, Forgiveness Walks. And she kept walking, stepping into the possibility of being "joyously prosperous." She's now logged over 10,000 miles of long-distance walking, worked for seven seasons as an Appalachian Trail Ridgerunner in Virginia, and dedicated nine winter seasons as a Park Interpretive Specialist at Anza-Borrego Desert State Park on the Pacific Crest Trail in southern California.

Regina is an expert hiker and backpacker and shares her well-honed, creative skills with everyone who walks or trains with her. She offers individual, personal coaching sessions, videos, online sessions and Forgiveness Walks ranging from 2 hours to 6 months.

Her clients, both hikers and homebodies alike, love Regina's gentle, warm, spontaneous ability to love them just as they are as she helps them take their next easy steps to self-love and to new perceptions of their past. With their path clear of old emotional baggage, they are free to walk into their lifetime dreams.

www.forgivenesswalks.com


Debby Roberts, aka Bear Repellent

My 30+ Year Section Hike of the Appalachian Trail

Debby became a Girl Scout leader when her daughter was young, and found herself learning all the camping and backpacking skills so that she could take her troop out. What started as a fun thing to do soon became a passion as she jumped into year after year of adventuring on the Appalachian Trail. She had no grand plans of doing the whole thing, and it wasn't until years into her journey that she thought, "I have worked so hard, I might as well finish the thing!" The 30+ year trek took her from her mid-40's to her mid-70's and she has now completed the entire thing. Along the way, she inspired and motivated so many as she chipped away at the mountains and miles.


Dr. Karen Lord Rutter

How a Homeless Golden Retriever Turned Me into a Hiker and a Writer

Dr. Karen Lord Rutter is an award winning author who loves animals, children, and travel. Her adventures have taken her to all 7 continents, 50 states and 79 countries. She has hiked parts of the AT, CDT, PCT, and Camino de Santiago. Before retiring and writing her first book, Karen won multiple state and national awards for her achievements as a public school educator and administrator including her selection by USA TODAY as one of the top 25 teachers in the nation. Karen's adventures and musings can be found on her blog and social media accounts. Her book: Norhtbounders: 2,186 Miles of Friendship can be purchased on amazon.com, barnesandnoble.com, audible.com and booksamillion.com


Carol Steiner, aka "Ink Pen" and her side kick, Jim Steiner, aka "Inspector Gadget."

The Adventures of Ink Pen, the Appalachian Trail Day Hiker: Stories About Day Hiking 992 Miles of the 2,197 Miles of the AT

Carol is the writer, hiker, trip planner, and speaker. Jim is the electronic geek, photographer, treasure hunter, and hiker. In photos, he captures the beauty and details along the trail for Carol to bring to life on paper. Together they crafted The Appalachian Trail Day Hikers' Guide: Downhill to Fine Wine and Accommodations, Georgia, North Carolina, and Tennessee.

Carol and Jim have hiked nearly 1000 miles of the Appalachian Trail; aka "992 miles." Their slackpacking adventure began in 2007. They hike a few sections of the trail yearly-- except during COVID--. They savor the mystique of the A.T. and explore the hidden treasures of Appalachian communities.

When asked, "How long do you think it will take you to finish the Appalachian Trail?" Jim laughs and says, "Our son hiked the trail in a hundred and twelve days. Carol thinks we can hike it in a hundred and twelve years." Their goal is to enjoy each hike, one day at a time, and to explore the small towns along the way, but not necessarily to complete the entire Appalachian Trail from end to end.

Carol is a retired public health nurse, program director, and college professor. She has authored more than a dozen articles for scientific and professional journals. In 1991, she received the Dorothy Barfield Award for scholastic achievement in the promotion of public health in Georgia.

Jim is a computer consultant, developing computer systems, programs, and training materials, and conducting computer classes. He is the co-author of The CDP Review Manual, Second Edition, published by Van Nostrand Reinhold Company.

Carol and Jim love exploring the outdoors and traveling to new places. They grew up hiking in the piney woods of Northwest Florida and boating and skin diving in the Gulf and inland water ways. When they married and moved to Cape Canaveral, they explored the Atlantic for sunken Spanish galleons and hidden treasures. Carol became a private pilot and explored the airways from California to New York in the Power Puff Derby, the Bahamas on vacations, and small Georgia towns as a public health nursing consultant. They love the challenge of exploring new places and finding natural wonders in nature and discovering the art, music, and culture of small towns in the Appalachian Mountains. Every day hiking trip along the Appalachian Trail is an adventure to be shared with others.


Nora Tocups

A Gazillion Fun Tips for Gals on the Trail

Nora grew up car camping with her parents and the Girl Scouts, but she abandoned the wild by throwing her life away working incredibly long hours as a patent, trademark, and copyright lawyer. Now that she's into her "glory years (60+)", Nora has returned thankfully to the natural world via Trail Dames, but she still practices IP law, too, because Nora has a wonderful daughter to see through college and beyond. Via slide presentation and hands-on samples, Nora will pass on tips, tricks, and advice she learned her first year of getting back into the wild with Trail Dames. Avoid her mistakes–don't sleep with your Camelbak water bladder even if it's really sexy (unless you 100% sure it won't leak); don't eat reconstituted Chili Mac unless you want a visit from some hungry bears; and don't challenge the group's fire diva or you may find yourself in a flame war.


Judy "Gray Jay" Young and Max "Wicked Wahine" Berman Cohen

Trekking Through Nepal

Monkeys, leeches and water buffalo, oh my!! Gray Jay and Wicked Wahine join together to talk about their November trek to Nepal!


Follow the links below for more information!

Keynote Speaker | Friday Night Speaker | Clinicians | Schedule | Sponsors | Photos