Tread Lightly! Board of Directors
Brad Franklin has been involved with the motorsports industry for over 30 years, most currently with Yamaha Motor Corporation USA in numerous and diversified positions within Yamaha’s service group. For the last 10 years he has served as Government Relations Manager, directly involved with vehicle compliance and regulatory issues as well as Land and Water access issues. Prior to his involvement with Yamaha, Franklin worked for American Suzuki Motors.
Franklin’s first experience with OHV recreation started early and took him to Southern California where he and his family make their home. He is an avid motorcyclist and rides as often as possible, including an everyday commute, rain or shine, and at least a few holiday rides. Franklin is an avid outdoorsman. From ATV riding in the desert, and snowmobiling in the mountains, to offshore fishing and hunting with his sons and close friends or backpacking the high Sierra, Franklin is very much at home in the outdoors.
Franklin serves as Chairman of the American Watercraft Association and Chairman of Tread Lightly. He is an active member on many committees of the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) and board member for the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation and the Off-Road Business Association.
Franklin’s extensive experience with the power sports industry, his wide ranging outdoor interests, along with his proven ability to work with diverse individuals and groups, gives him the tools to be an effective champion of outdoor recreation.
Kevin Lund-Vice Chair
Kevin is Product Line Marketing Manager for Utility Vehicles for John Deere in Cary, North Carolina, and oversees Product Marketing for John Deere’s “Gator” line of Utility Vehicles. In this role, Kevin works closely with vehicle customers worldwide to develop and market products to meet their transportation and recreational needs.
Growing up in Minnesota, Kevin developed an affinity for the outdoors, including camping, canoeing, fishing, snowmobiling and water sports. The popularity of these practices across the outdoor areas and especially the wetlands in Minnesota brought the need for responsible use and management of these lands in into keen focus. Year-round camping trips to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area in Northern Minnesota brought this need especially into focus as the popularity of that Wilderness Area has grown over the years.
Kevin graduated from the University of Minnesota, Duluth in 1986, and continues to return to Minnesota to enjoy the outdoor activities with his extended family.
Christine Jourdain is the Executive Director of the American Council of Snowmobile Associations. ACSA works with the state snowmobile associations across the country and provides leadership and coordination on national snowmobile issues.
As the Executive Director of ACSA, Christine has the responsibility to act as the national coordinator and spokesperson for state snowmobile associations and snowmobile clubs throughout the U.S. to educate and inform the public about snowmobiling to increase awareness, understanding and appreciation of the sport.
Christine has been very effective at building partnerships between the snowmobilers and the federal land agencies where snowmobiles are utilized. ACSA coordinates an annual Legislative Visit to Washington, DC and snowmobile rides with representatives from the federal land agencies across the country. Christine is a life-long outdoor enthusiast and grew up snowmobiling. She enjoys summer activities as well as winter activities, both motorized and non-motorized. Christine has been in association management for 25 years.
Pat brings over 20+ years of knowledge and experience in the outdoor industry. Most specifically his professional skills in brand management as well as partnership management, marketing communications and customer relations are an asset to Tread Lightly!.
Over the past twenty years, Pat has served a host of nonprofit organizations within the outdoor recreation and conservation industries by serving on the Board of Directors for organizations such as International Hunter Education Association and the Orion Institute.
Pat is a life-long outdoor enthusiast and brings passion and personal appreciation of fishing, hunting and other like outdoor activities. In fact, he owns more outdoor equipment than most sporting goods stores. Pat’s ability to develop effective action plans and evaluation strategies has brought great value to Tread Lightly! and his service on Tread Lightly!’s Board of Directors has been instrumental in shaping much of what the organization is today.
Michael J. Schmitt, Esp. Attorney at Law-Emeritus
Academically, Mike has a B.S. and a J.D. degree. Occupationally, he has worked for the U.S. Forest Service and later Yamaha Motor Corp. USA for a totality of 4 decades. His mission is to promote appropriate environmental policy and law.
He is proud to have, and continue to serve, on many not for profit Boards & Committees in his field of knowledge, including TL!, for decades. He is semi-retired, but still an active attorney practicing in select matters that are aligned with TL’ mission. He is an active outdoorsperson. He invites all to join him on the Sporting Clay range or a fishery with a fly rod
Division of State Parks, Historic Sites & Trails
State of Wyoming
Growing up in the mountains of Southwest Virginia, Nelson Freeman began bird hunting with his father at age eight and killed his first quail at age nine in the presence of his father, grandfather and two uncles. This first experience led Nelson to a lifelong passion for hunting and the outdoors. After graduating from Wake Forest University, he moved to Washington, D.C. to work for the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation and then joined Safari Club International (SCI) in the Spring of 2007.
Nelson is the Deputy Director of Government Affairs for SCI, handling federal & state policy issues, grassroots advocacy, public relations and is the SCI political action committee liaison. Nelson works to develop effective communications to augment SCI’s lobbying presence in Washington, DC including the development of broad coalitions. Nelson represents SCI as a corporate spokesperson with recent interviews on NRA News, the Mike Huckabee Radio Show, and the Lars Larson radio show. Nelson also serves as the spokesperson and media relations representative of the Hunter Defense Fund which is the first national Super-PAC to represent the interests of all American hunters.
He serves as the Secretary and on the Steering Committee for the 48 member organizations of the American Wildlife Conservation Partners (AWCP), and works on the Hunting and Shooting Sports Roundtable alongside the federal land management agencies. Nelson volunteers as a Professional Member of the Boone & Crockett Club and is the fiduciary agent for the Ruffed Grouse Society in Washington DC.
Golde has held the position of Senior Product Specialist at Kawasaki Motors Corp. U.S.A. since 2006 and has enjoyed working for numerous other powersports industry companies since 1977, including Vetter Fairing Company, Motorcycle Industry Council (MIC), Malcolm Smith Products and Intersport Fashions West. While at the MIC, Golde was part of the industry team that developed and implemented the highly successful Trailbike Workshop program, bringing all levels of public land managers together to understand and plan for the sport of trail riding.
In the mid-1980’s, he served a four year term on the California Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation Commission where he also chaired the Grants and Cooperative Agreements Committee. A lifelong motorcycle and outdoor enthusiast, Golde is well familiar with the need for motorized recreationists to ride quietly and responsibly on public lands.
Falken Tire Corporation
Andrew Hoit is currently the Vice President of Sales for Falken Tire Corporation in Rancho Cucamonga, CA. Andrew has a diverse background with over 20 years experience in the North American tire industry. His past experiences include retail operations, procurement, and executive roles in both the Marketing and Sales functions. In his past role as Vice President of Marketing, he helped Falken introduce itself into the off road category with the launch of its first All Terrain and Mud Terrain tires.
Andrew grew up in Georgia and is an outdoor enthusiast. He enjoys surfing, hiking, biking, camping, motorcycling, and off-roading in his Jeep. His passion for the outdoors helped create his commitment to increasing awareness of responsible land use and protecting our access for the future. Andrew is married with three young adult children.
Patti Klein is the National Lead for Stewardship Programs for the Bureau of Land Management. She has over 22 years’ experience working for the federal government and worked for the Forest Service as an Outdoor Recreation Manager and Partnerships Lead for 12 years prior to joining the BLM.
Patti graduated from Prescott College in Prescott, Arizona with a Bachelor of Arts in Outdoor Recreation and Leadership. She has been an outdoor enthusiast since childhood and is the proud parent of three awesome kids.
Jon is currently the Brand Communications manager with BP. He has served on the Tread Lightly! Board since 2009. His extensive background in the outdoor retail industry makes him a valuable asset to Tread Lightly!
This role also allowed him to be close to the outdoor industry, where he was a regular at events such as Moab Easter Jeep Safari, Jeep Jamboree, Off-Road Expo and King of the Hammers. Jon played a big part in creating incentive programs with Tread Lightly! that increase Tread Lightly!’s base of individual members. In addition to Jon’s career that brought him closer to the outdoor industry, his hobbies include activities that get him into the mountains to ski or camp. He enjoys spending time on the slopes or in the woods with his family.
Mark is a 28 year employee of Discount Tire and is the Vice President in charge of Discount Tire Direct. He is responsible for Discount’s online sales channel and works on much of the company’s marketing and advertising efforts in social, digital, and print media. Started in 1960, Discount Tire is known as the largest independent tire dealer in the country and has over 850 retail stores, all company owned. For the past several years Mark has worked hard to bring Discount Tire into the off-road community in a greater way.
Mark grew up hunting, fishing, and off-roading in Michigan. An off road enthusiast from a young age, he was interested in any motorized vehicle that could move in the dirt. Building and rebuilding motorcycles, ATV’s, snowmobiles, and trucks was the norm and that passion only grew over time. He now has two sons that share these same interests and is motivated to protect their access to the outdoors.
Mark is acutely aware of the challenges to the lifestyle that he has grown to love and the role that responsible use of our public lands plays. He is passionate about protecting access for future generations and feels that promoting education and responsible use fit perfectly into the ideals of Discount Tire.
Prior to becoming Senior Director of Digital Media Advertising for The Enthusiast Network, Jeff was the Group Publisher of TEN’s five 4×4 & Jeep 4×4 magazines. He is a 19 veteran of TEN, the largest publisher of niche-interest magazines, websites & events in USA. TEN’s brands are predominantly automotive with 50+ magazines & websites covering the auto & truck media markets.
Jeff’s passion for the outdoors & off-roading spans 25+ years and he is keenly aware of the challenges facing its future. He has a deep love & appreciation for proper use of the environment and broadcasts it at every opportunity. Jeff joined the Tread Lightly! board of directors in 2006 in an effort to help broadcast its message and help Tread Lightly! develop market-appropriate media campaigns and grow membership. TEN supports Tread Lightly! with a substantial supply of PSA ads annually.
Joel Pedersen has been employed by the National Wild Turkey Federation as a Wildlife Biologist for 15 years. Joel has been a member of the Tread Lightly! Board of Directors since 2007. The NWTF is a non-profit sportsmen’s organization with 230,000 members and chapters in all 50 states. Joel is currently the Director of Lands and Policy and is responsible for the development and management of the NWTF’s More Places to Hunt, program which will help ensure hunter and other recreational access to private and public lands into the future. In addition to projects that directly improve access, an important part of this program is to educate users on their responsibilities to act ethically on the land. In addition, Joel coordinates the NWTF’s Conservation Easement program, and coordinates NWTF policy efforts at both the state and Federal level.
Joel has a strong personal interest in maintaining public access for recreational activities. He firmly believes that the actions of users have a direct impact on continued and future access. As a certified wildlife biologist, Joel is able to offer insight as to how OHV use may impact wildlife and wildlife habitats; a unique perspective to bring to Tread Lightly!’s Board of Directors. As an avid hunter, and representative of a hunting organization, Joel also brings the hunter’s perspective to the Board, and provide insight regarding effective ways to reach this important user group.
Superintendent, Denali National Park and Preserve
National Park Service
Director, Government Relations
Outdoor Ethics Program Manager
USDA Forest Service
Ken Scuito is the Senior Marketing Director for Bushwacker Inc. He has been an active member of Tread Lightly!’s Board of Directors since 2006 and is well known and respected within the off road community.
Ken’s career in the off-road industry goes back nearly 25 years and much of it with Warn Industries in various positions such as Engineering, Manufacturing, Customer Service, Events, and Marketing. After retiring from Warn Industries in late 2014, he was offered and accepted a position as the Senior Marketing Director for Bushwacker Inc. working with a new team to help grow the business.
Ken enjoys the outdoors activities whenever possible including four-wheeling and camping. He also likes working with people in everything he does. In addition to his long-standing service to Tread Lightly!, Ken also serves on the Board of Directors for the Clackamas Children’s Center which is a medical facility dedicated to serve abused children in the local area.
Todd Smith has more than 30 years of media experience creating best-in-class content for online, video and print. He is currently Vice President of Content Development at InterMedia Outdoors where he is responsible for creating large, multi-media editorial programs.
Smith is an avid outdoorsmen whose entire career has been spent in the hunting and fishing industries. Prior to joining InterMedia in 2011, Smith was editor-in-chief of Outdoor Life for 14 years during which time the brand won numerous awards for editorial and online excellence.
While Smith has hunted and fished on five continents, he still considers America’s wilderness his favorite place to escape to. In addition to hunting and fishing, Smith is an avid backpacker, survival authority and Boy Scout leader. He also sits on the board of Tread Lightly!, whose core focus is on supporting and encouraging stewardship from those engaged in outdoor recreation on America’s lands and waterways and on the board of the Rye Nature Center in his hometown.