ORA Board

Kurt Schroeder

President

Kurt Schroeder is Chief Operating Architect for HSR Associates and has been involved with ORA since its inception when it began as Human Powered Trails in 1999. Kurt is an outdoor, silent sport enthusiast who enjoys giving back to the community and improving the venues for activity. Kurt was elected President of ORA, yet he thoroughly enjoys working on the trails, driving the snowmobile-ski groomer and having people say,

“these trails are great!“

Jed Olson

Vice President

Jed plays in the dirt all day as the owner of VeloCity Projects. He has been back and forth across the globe following one adventure after another by bike, board, or boots. When it came time to raise a family, he and his wife, Kelly, paused just long enough to plant a few roots in the Driftless Area, and then started the adventures all over again, this time with kids in tow. La Crosse and the surrounding area offer all the recreation possibilities they could ever ask for accompanied by a warm welcoming sense of community. Jed loves that he can pick his kids up from school, hit the woods, slopes, or water, and still have dinner on the table before his wife gets home from work. By serving on the ORA board, he has an opportunity to improve and highlight this beautiful place he calls home.

Brian Burns

Treasurer

Brian is a sales representative for CPC Printing & Promotions, a niche printing company whose primary focus is magazines, catalogs and direct mail. Brian became involved with HPT/ORA in 2012 to act as a service project conduit for his son’s BSA troop. A fourth generation Wisconsinite, Brian firmly believes understanding our ancestor history provides us with a foundation to community pride. He and his family are 4 season outdoor recreationalists. His most rewarding achievement is skiing the Kortelopet with his then 13 year old son.

Scott Cooper

Secretary

Scott is a professor of biology at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, and became a member of the ORA board in January of 2014. He has been actively involved in grooming and maintaining the ski trails in Hixon Forest Park. Scott Cooper is active in endurance sports including cross country skiing, triathlon, kayaking, and biking. His top achievements include qualifying for the elite wave in the Birkebeiner and the Ironman in Kona Hawaii.

Marvin Wanders

Board Member

Marvin Wanders is the owner and operator of Three Sixty Real Estate Solutions, LLC that plans, develops, and manages real estate holdings from brownfields to repositioning of multi-family communities. Marvin is active in the La Crosse community and serves on many community committees and non-profit boards.

One of Marvin’s fondest pursuits is engaging in healthy outdoor recreation by serving as a founding board member of the Outdoor Recreation Alliance of the Seven Rivers Region Inc. Marvin believes our unique resources that make-up the Mississippi River, Driftless Region Landscape, combined with our great community amenities is a strategic proposition for local company’s seeking to hire the best and the brightest. Marvin resides in La Crosse with his wife Michelle and their three daughters.

Ralph Heath

Board Member

Ralph Heath is an author, consultant, and keynote speaker on innovative leadership, marketing, and wellness. Ralph was a founding member of Human Powered Trails, past president of Mississippi Valley Conservancy, and current president of La Crosse Promise. Ralph is a four-time Triathlon All-American, and two-time finisher of the Hawaii Ironman. Ralph is writing a follow-up book to his best selling Celebrating Failure: The Power of Taking Risks, Making Mistakes, and Thinking Big. He helps organizations with leadership, branding, and public relations through his company Synergy Leadership Group.

Rick Diermeier

Board Member

“In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks,” John Muir. Whether it involves walking, bike riding, skiing or paddling, Mr. Muir’s words ring true for Rick. The Driftless Area provides the very best opportunities for someone to experience these outdoor adventures. The Outdoor Recreation Alliance seeks to give more people more opportunities to experience the “John Muir effect.” This is why he is a board member.

Chris Stindt

Board Member

Chris is a Career Advisor at UW-L and is proud to be a part of the La Crosse community. Chris has truly come to enjoy the vast opportunities available in the Driftless Area, including fishing, hiking, trail running, and cycling (in almost all of it’s many forms). His wife, Anna, and two children love spending time outdoors. For all of these reasons, Chris is proud to serve on the ORA board and help protect and promote the resources that we have available.

Paul McLellan

Board Member

Paul has enjoyed outdoor recreation his entire life and is now working to preserve outdoor recreational opportunities for future generations as a way of giving back. He believes that outdoor recreation provides so many health benefits and by supporting more opportunities to participate in outdoor activities we will see a vibrancy in the local community that will strengthen it economically and from a whole person perspective. Environmental health and wellness can make a significant impact locally. Paul is excited to be part of such a group of outdoor minded individuals that works with local government to enhance those outdoor recreational opportunities.

Jake Hegge

Board Member

Jake Hegge is a physical therapist, running coach, and ultramarathoner. As a physical therapist, he works at Dynamic Physiotherapy to make sure that the La Crosse community can continue their active lifestyles pain-free. He enjoys running the Hixon trails, Perrot State Park, and Kickapoo Valley Reserve. He is one of the race directors for the Hixon 50 a trail ultramarathon throughout the Hixon trail system. He is excited to be a part of the Outdoor Recreation Alliance to bring awareness to all of the amazing activities that this area has to offer.

Jeremiah Burish

Board Member

August Weber

Board Member

Lisa Young

Board Member

Lisa is a mom of two littles, a lover of the outdoors, and a teacher at heart. The beauty of the driftless region and the outdoor activities it offers is what brought her husband, Jesse, and children to La Crosse a few years ago. You can usually find Lisa and Jesse on a bike year-round, whether it's exploring coulees on road bikes, racing trails on mountain bikes, or exploring the winter woods on fat bikes. As a family, they also enjoy fly-fishing, hiking, snow-shoeing, kayaking, and exploring new places!

Jeff Breit

Board Member

Randi Pueschner

Portfolio Director

Randi and her husband, Erik, are the owners of Smith's Bike Shop. Randi is always volunteering in the community and thought ORA would be the perfect organization to put her time and energy into. You can find Randi and her family biking or running around the Driftless Area throughout every season. She is excited to share her love for outdoor recreation with everyone.

Josh Blum

Trails Coordinator

If you go to the trails, you probably know Josh. If he isn't working at his day job, at a board meeting, teaching trail building classes, or spending time with his wife, Rachel, and their two daughters, he is most likely working on the trails. Josh is the ultimate trail advocate, volunteer coordinator, and mountain biker. He is a certified Master Trail Builder and has completed the IMBA Trail Labs workshop where he learned a how to construct and coordinate a model community trail system from planning, design, building, and activation, to promotion and measuring success. Josh is our trails guru.

Faye Ellis

Board Member

Faye Ellis is a Senior Lecturer in Biology at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse. Faye and her husband, Troy, have two sons and are long-time nature advocates. Faye is also a long-distance trail runner, mountain and road biker, and hiker. Faye recently earned her Trail Master certification and volunteers to build and maintain shared-use trails in Hixon Forest. She has a strong belief in the power of nature to help maintain physical and mental health.

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