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MEET THE TL! TEAM

Matt Gaskins Board

Matt Gaskins

Tread Lightly!’s Interim Executive Director

Matt believes experiencing the outdoors inspires personal growth and transformation. He has been transformed through exploring the Southwest over the last 2 decades and seeks to help others explore responsibly to protect public land access for future generations. He is a Master Tread Trainer and loves leading groups on off road journeys with a focus on stewardship and education.

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Matt most recently served as the Chief Vision Officer for Rivian Clubs of America where he is building educational and experiential programs promoting safe and responsible off road behaviors. In 2019, he joined Rivian where he and a small team established the treasury and risk functions in preparation for a successful IPO in 2021 which opened the door for an incredible opportunity to transition to the special projects team. As senior manager of prototype experience, he helped launch the R1T, R1S, and Tread Lightly! programs and collaborated with several internal teams to create an internal off road ethics review board which informed company wide programs on product launches, content creation, and stewardship initiatives.

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Danielle Fowles-McNiven

Tread Lightly!’s Assistant Director

Danielle Fowles-McNiven works to further the organization’s mission through partner development, program management, educational outreach and oversight. Previously, Danielle served the organization as the Assistant Director and Education and Training programs manager – administering all aspects of Tread Lightly!’s Tread Trainer program.

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Formerly the Grassroots and Legislative Affairs Coordinator for the American Motorcyclist Association, Danielle has recruited, trained and mobilized advocates to influence motorized recreation related issues.
A graduate from the University of Utah with a bachelor’s degree in political science, she has worked with numerous volunteers at the local, state and national levels. Danielle enjoys shooting, horseback riding and all forms of motorized recreation.

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Mike Sype

Tread Lightly!’s Director – Marketing & Communications

Mike Sype is responsible for leading and creating the strategic and tactical plans for the marketing and communications team.

Mike’s career has spanned over 20+ years in the automotive industry; most recently as Brand Manager for Rancho Suspension, DynoMax Exhaust & Thrush Exhaust.

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As an avid outdoorsman, Mike enjoys spending time with his family & friends off-roading, over landing, hunting, hiking & fishing.

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Evan Robins

Tread Lightly!’s Education and Stewardship Manager

works to expand in-the-field education by facilitating Tread Trainer courses, maintaining visibility for Tread Lightly! through outreach events, and supporting Tread Lightly!’s nationally recognized programs. With a degree in Public Relations and Advertising, Evan understands the effectiveness of using communication to reinforce high ethical standards for all outdoor enthusiasts.

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He is an avid fly fisherman and bow hunter and brings a lifetime of outdoor experience to the team. Evan is proud to use his love of the outdoors to better educate others about responsible recreation, while supporting Tread Lightly and its mission.

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Jerrica Archibald

Tread Lightly!’s Communications Manager

 With a Bachelor of Science degree in Communications/Journalism, Jerrica focuses on creating new communication materials, strengthening communications to all stakeholders and disseminating information through traditional and new media strategies.

Brian Higgins

Tread Lightly!’s Marketing Manager

Using multi media and innovative techniques to tell Tread Lightly!’s story to a wide and varied audience. Creating community through creative communication. Originally from Northern Ireland, Brian brings his worldly experience from many industries and melds it with his passion for outdoor recreation and healthy lifestyles.

Mandy Wilkey

Tread Lightly!’s Membership Manager

Mandy has an extensive background in customer service which serves to help to grow and maintain Tread Lightly!’s member relationships. Mandy helps promote the Tread Lightly! mission by working directly with our dedicated members. When she’s not working, she enjoys camping, hiking, and motorized recreation.

Lowell Eckart

Tread Lightly!’s Program Manager

Lowell brings a wealth of automotive industry knowledge on both the client and agency side of the business.  Growing up in Akron, Ohio, Lowell started his career in the “Rubber Capital of the World” as a Performance Tire Development Manager for BFGoodrich Tires.  Through his 16 year career at Michelin he has been a Brand Manager, OE Sales Manager and Major Events Manager.

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His next 20 years were spent on the agency side helping his multiple clients create and execute some of the most iconic product launches and influencer events in the industry including Moab, Rubicon, Baja and Banff National Park!  Lowell loves everything with a motor…cars, trucks, Jeeps, UTVs, motorcycles, etc.  “Fast or slow, if you can drive it, I’ll like it!”.  Lowell will be based in South Carolina and working with our partners in the east to build Tread Lightly! programs through communication, development, cleanups, and distribution of education materials and marketing messages.

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Michelle Meet

Michelle Ramos

Tread Lightly!’s Arizona Program Manager 

Michelle has nearly 20 years of experience in nonprofit leadership. This includes directing multifaceted informal education programs and community engagement for large organizations such as the Phoenix Zoo, Southwest Wildlife Conservation Center, and the Arizona Humane Society.

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Michelle has spent much of her career building relationships in the community, creating programs that fit current needs and educating on conservation and the importance of wildlife/human coexistence.
Michelle has also served as a volunteer with AZOP racing, assisting with race ops and as an offroad photographer for UTV Offroad Adventures. A native of Arizona, she spends much of her free time enjoying the trails and the beautiful wild places Arizona has to offer.

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Kiersten Jordan

Tread Lightly!’s Office Administrator

Working along side all team members to help make sure day-to-day operations run smoothly to promote Tread Lighty!’s mission. She holds a Bachelors of Science in Communicative Disorders from Utah State University, as well as 8 years of customer service and office experience. She enjoys motorized recreation and spending summers camping with her family.

Brandon Alvarez

Tread Lightly!’s California Program Manager

Brandon joins Tread Lightly! with 16 years of experience in off-road motorsports and a passion for preserving public access to natural areas throughout the Californias. A native San Diegan, Brandon grew up crawling around stacks of race tires and enjoying the magic of SCORE’s racing series since before he could walk.

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He was lucky to later join this community professionally, first as a tire-fitter and groover stateside and as a fueler when the races headed to Baja. Brandon later shifted into marketing, working as an agency partner on the BFGoodrich Tires Enthusiast Events team. In that role he planned and participated in events at some of the most beautiful and iconic wheeling locations across the U.S., such as Moab, Johnson Valley, the Rubicon, and the stark deserts of Nevada. Brandon is excited to be working in California to keep areas like these open and accessible for all, and to give back to the community that he’s been a part of since childhood.

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Laura Butcher

Tread Lightly!’s Nevada Program Manager

As the Nevada Program Manager, Laura creates and fosters relationships with the land managers that allow for the implementation of Tread Lightly!’s stewardship, education, and outreach programs.

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Laura went to the University of Alaska- Fairbanks, earning a bachelor’s degree in Emergency Management. Throughout her career she has spent time as a firefighter/paramedic in many areas of Nevada, including wildland fire experience.

She has served as the CEO of VORRA (Valley Off Road Race Association). She and her husband have been longtime racers and volunteers with VORRA, and many other race organizations, and has gained a great deal of knowledge through the process, giving her a strong background in areas of land management and local government districts within the state of Nevada.

Laura has also competed in the Rebelle Rally twice and continues to enjoy opportunities to participate in other offroad events. Laura and her husband BJ have a strong background in the offroad community, and together they received a nomination for an ORMHOF impact award in 2019.

When she’s not working, Laura enjoys family outings whether it be camping trips or off-roading with her husband, daughter, and their dogs.

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Scott Ammerman

Tread Lightly!’s Northeast Program Manager

Scott Ammerman grew up rafting, canoeing, fishing and hunting in the mountains and rivers of the northeast. He got involved in motorized recreation and overlanding to get further out into the wildlands and enjoy all the beauty our public lands have to offer, ultimately taking a position as a staff writer for Quadratec’s Torque Blog.

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As the Program Manager for the Northeast, he uses his knowledge as a wilderness first aid instructor and co-founder of Go Fox Adventures to help teach the public to enjoy the outdoors in a sustainable way, while also helping to improve the recreation opportunities they already have.

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Kabe Wolf

Tread Lightly!’s Utah Program Manager

As the Utah Program Manager, Kabe brings a passion for the outdoors and a lifetime knowledge of Utah’s outdoor recreation opportunities. Before joining the TL! Team, Kabe was a longtime Tread Lightly! volunteer. His career has spanned over a decade in the aviation industry, where he coordinated with multiple organizations and industries.

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Kabe grew up along the Wasatch Front in Northern Utah which gave him the ability to experience Utah recreation in many different ways. From exploring the many roadways and backpacking in the deserts of Southern Utah, to riding ATV’s and fishing in the high mountain lakes, he has had the privilege to experience outdoor recreation most of his life. In his free time, he enjoys camping, kayaking, paddleboarding, off-roading, snowshoeing, snowmobiling, hiking, backpacking, foraging, and fishing.

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Shawnessi De Donatis

Arizona Program Manager

As the Arizona Program Manager, Shawnessi will be the liaison between Tread Lightly! and the land managers, supporting the like-minded efforts to maintain and protect the OHV trails we all love and use!

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As a native Arizonan, Shawnessi is excited to be back in her home state after living in the Colorado Rocky Mountains for the past 15 years. While in Colorado, Shawnessi followed her passion for the outdoors where she was a raft guide, snowmobile tour guide, and outdoor education volunteer.  Shawnessi brings to the team her experience in a variety of industries, a strong talent for building trusted relationships, and her devotion to conservation.

In her free time, Shawnessi enjoys anything that has to do with the outdoors; rafting, camping, hiking, fly fishing, snowmobiling, backpacking, paddleboarding, yoga, dirt biking…you name it, she is there!

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Ellen Wayte

Tread Lightly!’s Oregon Program Manager

Ellen Wayte has spent over a decade working in the outdoors as an overlanding tour leader, scuba and freediving instructor, naturalist, and park ranger. As a tour leader, she has led adventure holidays through over 40 countries on five continents. She has guided clients on overland expeditions from Cape Town to Cairo, across the Silk Road, South America,

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and the Indian subcontinent, as well as through her favorite locations in her home state of Oregon.

Ellen’s passion for the outdoors was nurtured in her early years in Alaska and Oregon, where she spent summers camping, fishing, and exploring. She holds a Master’s Degree from the University of Chicago and a BS from the University of Oregon.

She currently resides in an off-grid home she built with her husband in Central Oregon. She is passionate about wildlife and can often be found overlanding, hiking, and riding motorcycles.

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