Franklin “Ox” LaFond thru hiked the AT in 1997, became an ATC life member in 1998, and has been an AT maintainer since 1999; first with the Georgia Appalachian Trail Club and currently with the Smoky Mountains Hiking Club (SMHC). He has been a volunteer trail supervisor since 2013 and led efforts to refresh the Volunteer in the Forest agreements for the Nantahala National Forest district. He has been the SMHC’s representative to the Southern Regional Partnership Committee since 2013 and currently serves as the Southern Region’s RPC Chair. He is an active trail volunteer in the Southern Region, supporting the Konnorock, SWEAT, Rocky Top, and Hard Core Trail crews as well as partnering with other trail network groups. He is engaged with the on-boarding, training, and mentoring of new trail volunteers for SMHC and has been a proponent for their college outreach efforts.