Discussing the Future of the Trail

Membership Meeting 2022

Thank you to everyone who joined our 2022 Membership Meeting!


The Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC) Membership Meeting took place on Saturday, October 1, beginning at 10:30 a.m. EDT. You can view the recording of our live stream above or on our YouTube page.

Our Membership Meeting is an opportunity for us to come together as a community to discuss the future of the ATC and recommit to educating and empowering current and future caretakers of the Appalachian Trail (A.T.).

During the meeting, we also announced the results of the 2022 Board of Directors election, which you can see below.

The below Board of Directors candidates were voted in by ATC Members:

New Directors

Rita HennessyRita Hennessy

Rita Hennessy began hiking the Appalachian Trail (A.T.) as a teenager in Connecticut and later served as an A.T. Ridgerunner for three years. She is an ATC life member and has completed the 14 State Challenge. She held a 30-year career with the National Park Service, where she served as Recreation Specialist and then Assistant Superintendent of the A.T. for 18 years. Rita completed her career as the National Park Service Program Lead of the National Trails System and Wild and Scenic Rivers.

Rita currently serves as the Vice President of Jefferson Growers, Artisans and Producers Coalition with a focus on sustainable food systems, the creation of a local food hub, and USDA farm-to-school initiatives. She is a Master Gardener and an instructor for the West Virginia Master Naturalist program.

Rita holds a bachelor’s degree in Recreation Resource Management from the University of Montana and a master’s degree in Community Change and Civic Leadership from Antioch University. She lives with her husband, Sean, in Shepherdstown, West Virginia.

Yong LeeYong Lee 

Yong Lee’s decades-long career in management has spanned both non-profit and for-profit sectors. She served as the chief of staff to the Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C., the world’s largest museum and research complex. She has previously served as the chief of staff to the President of Morehouse College, a historically black college for men in Atlanta, Georgia. In both roles, she worked with various constituent groups to increase the support for the institutions through relationship-building, corporate relationships, and government appropriations, as well as helping to create and implement internal oversight systems. 

Yong is currently the director of a family office for a prominent Washington, D.C., family. In that role, she is the family’s representative in areas of asset management, tax and estate planning, capital projects, and philanthropy. 

Yong has hiked portions of the A.T. in Virginia, Maryland, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, New York, and Maine. She aspires to attempt the Four State Challenge — hiking the A.T. from Virginia through West Virginia and Maryland to the Pennsylvania line in a single day — and to one day thru-hike the entire Trail. She is an avid backpacker, mountaineer, and rock climber and has traveled through North America, South America, Europe, and Africa. She is deeply committed to land conservation, resource conservation, and the protection of public lands. Yong holds a bachelor’s from the University of Chicago. 

Katherine RossKatherine Ross 

Katherine Ross is the retired President of Johnson & Johnson (J&J) Health Care Systems. She has more than 35 years of operating experience and has led supply chains (and lived) in Asia, Europe, and the United States. Her most recent role was leading J&J’s global logistics and customer service operations, managing a $2 billion spend across 70 countries.  

Katherine received a bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering from Princeton University and a master’s degree from Harvard Business School. She currently serves on the Boards of Directors for Biotouch, Voxware and It’s Fetch, and on the Boards of Advisors for Elementum, o9 Solutions, and Unity SCM.  

Katherine’s hobbies include hiking, geocaching, and golf. She has hiked portions of the A.T. throughout her life and in 2022 embarked on a SOBO section hike from Harpers Ferry.

Re-Elected Directors

John KnappJohn Knapp 

John grew up hiking and paddling in the Blue Ridge Mountains and Shenandoah Valley and has been section hiking the A.T.since earning his Boy Scout 50-Miler patch many years ago. A graduate of Wake Forest and UVa, he retired from a career at Verizon in 2012 and then worked as State Director for U.S. Senator Tim Kaine during his first term. He also served 24 years in the Army National Guard, retiring as a Lieutenant Colonel. John and his family live in Richmond but spend as much time as they can at a family cottage on Virginia’s Rappahannock River.

Patricia ShannonPatricia Shannon

Patricia is currently the Chief Financial and Operational Officer for AARP Foundation, based in Washington, DC. She enjoys exploring the great outdoors and has most recently been hiking the trails of the Shenandoah National Park and Southwest Virginia. She has extensive for-profit and nonprofit management experience. Patricia received her MBA from Georgia State University and received a BS in Accounting and Economics from St. John’s University. She is a CPA and a Chartered Global Management Accountant (CGMA).

Have a question you would like to ask the ATC?

While this year’s Membership Meeting may be over, we are always ready to answer your questions.



View the 2021 ATC Membership Meeting Below

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