Board & Staff
Behind every trail and CHTC event is an all-star crew running the show. At the top of the food chain are our Board of Directors and staff that keep the show on the road. Our all-volunteer Board sets policy, creates the budget, decides which trails to build or update, and guides the organization forward. If you have any big ideas that you'd like to see us implement, bribing them with beer and chatting with these people is your best bet. We also have a full-time Executive Director that manages the day-to-day work that keeps things running smoothly, and a two-man summer maintenance crew keeping the trails in prime shape. Learn about our team below.
2023 Board of Directors
Adam Yeoman, President (2021-2023)
"I'm originally from the UK, but moved to Houghton and fell in love with the UP throughout high school. After graduation I moved back to the UK to tour extensively throughout Europe and the USA in various punk rock and metal bands. In 2007 I returned to Houghton with my wife and settled into UP life again. Through my love of the local architecture and history I tackled several historic building renovations in downtown Houghton. I renovated the Dover Building, the home of Rhythm Bike and Board which I was an owner for a number of years, and then renovated The Continental Fire Company into a bar, nightclub and now restaurant. My other passion at the time was rally cars. I developed and raced for FY Racing in the Rally America national championship. My love for mountain biking blossomed when I gave up racing cars at the end of the 2015 season. Sending it full tilt down the trails in Copper Harbor is the perfect replacement for the feeling I miss in the race car. You'll find me most shuttle days trying to regain my KOM on Overflow, or convincing whoever is eyeing up Manpants that they've got it!"
CASEY KRUEGER, VICE-PRESIDENT (2021-2023)
“Growing up in a cabin in Cable, WI, mountain biking and nordic skiing have been in my blood since the beginning. After spending a few years in Duluth, MN I saw what can be accomplished when a great group of like-minded people (COGGS) gather behind the cause of trail advocacy. During those years I also assisted my brothers Tim and Ryan with starting Advocate Cycles, Terrene Tires, and Esker Cycles and was immersed into the wonderful group of people that make up the Mountain Bike “Industry.” Spending time mountain biking in Copper Harbor since 2006, I fell in love with this awesome place. When Architect David Salmela asked me to build one of his designs here in 2015, I jumped at the chance to spend more time in the Harbor and expand my business. In 2018, I somehow talked my wife Ronnie Mae and our dog Gnarnia into moving to Copper Harbor permanently as I saw a large need for housing and contractors here. We continue to live here year-round, operating our business, Hyaline Builders, and exploring the magical terrain around us by ski, bike, and foot.”
CALEB WENDEL, Treasurer (2023-2025)
"I have been around bikes all my life with older brothers who were into BMX racing. By the time I was old enough to race, the BMX scene had fizzled out and mountain biking had started to take over. My first mountain bike came along in ‘91 and my first race was in ‘94 for which I was horribly underprepared. I have worked in and around the bike industry for over 20 years. I currently own and operate Rhythm Bike & Board in Houghton. Our family camp is in Eagle River so I have been visiting the Keweenaw most of my life. I moved here in ‘99 to attend Michigan Tech where I met my wife through biking friends. Shortly after was when I started volunteering in Copper Harbor. To see the growth in the past 20 years from all of the hard work of volunteers has been amazing."
Cory McDonald, SECRETARY (2022-2024)
"I’ve been mountain biking since I was 15, and I first discovered the Copper Harbor trails when I moved to Houghton in 2004. The Harbor has been my favorite place to be ever since. It is truly amazing how much the trail network and the community have grown since then, and it’s great to be able to contribute my time and energy to the Club now. I represent the Singletrack Flyers on the board - I have two kids and it is great fun watching their skills improve each ride (it’s only a matter of time before I won’t be able to keep up with them). In my professional life I am an Assistant Professor of Environmental Engineering at Michigan Tech, where I teach and study water quality. There are so many great rides in the Harbor, and more every year, but the Red Trail is still my happy place.
Kim Barna (2022-2024)
"I was born and raised in the UP. I moved downstate to go to school at Michigan State University where I got my BS and DVM degrees. I was lucky to move back to the Keweenaw in ’95 and now co-own the Northland Veterinary Clinic in Hancock. I love traveling and have been all over the world- New Zealand was my favorite so far. I love being outdoors as much as possible, especially scuba diving, mountain biking (of course), kayaking, and skiing."
Sarah Kuhl (2021-2023)
"I have always loved the outdoors and mountain biking, but it wasn’t until I moved to Houghton in 2010 that it quickly became my favorite sport. I studied Earth Science Secondary Education at Northern Arizona University and got a Masters in Environmental Education from University Minnesota Duluth. I’ve been a wilderness guide and I’ve brought countless kids on adventures to some of my favorite places including the Porkies, Isle Royale, and the Boundary Waters. One of my passions is helping people connect with the natural world. Getting people outside and on an adventure whether it’s a canoe trip or a mountain bike ride, it’s an entry point to help them connect to natural places. Advocacy for conservation of land and recreational areas is a logical next step once people feel a connection to a place, which is why I wanted to join the CHTC board. I most recently worked at Michigan Tech as an academic advisor and prior to that taught Earth Science, but I am currently hanging out at home with my baby daughter. My husband Scott is a professor at MTU. We love living in the Keweenaw and are both originally from MN. A few of my other hobbies include kayaking, olympic weightlifting, gardening, skiing and cooking."
DAN WIERSGALLA (2022-2024)
"I enjoyed all the outdoor opportunities the Keweenaw has to offer as a kid. I stumbled upon mountain biking when I moved here for a summer working for the Keweenaw Adventure Company and quickly fell in love with Copper Harbor. As I became more of a full time resident, my involvement grew and it was only natural to join CHTC by volunteering to clear trees and fix drainages along the trail. Now these trails are my backyard I'm excited to be a part of this great organization."
BEN CIAVOLA (2021-2023)
Ben spent several years on our Board as our President, guiding the organization from 2016-2022. Since 'retiring' from the top job, he's dedicated his CHTC efforts towards developing our Bike Patrol program, one of the first in the nation under the National Ski Patrol program. He lives and works in Houghton for Trisight Engineering alongside his business and life partner Lianna. When he's not busy with CHTC, he assists Mont Ripley with their ski patrol and explores the backcountry by ski or bike.
Greg Lis (2022-2024)
Greg hasn't sent us a bio yet! He lives in Copper Harbor with his family and is the current Grant Township Clerk. Everything else about this guy is a mystery until he reveals his secrets.
Emily Runovaara (2023-2025)
Emily's love for the U.P started when she was studying Environmental Science at Northern Michigan University and found that being outside serves as an endless resource of inspiration and source of connection. She linked her love for wild places and outdoor recreation during her time at the UP Land Conservancy where she gained her experience in fundraising and outreach. She feels most excited about getting more women riding to gain confidence and expand boundaries...on bikes and beyond! When not working at Michigan Tech, you'll find her in the woods on two wheels with her husband, Alec, chasing their dog, Margo.
Nathan Miller, Executive Director
Nathan joined our team in May 2018, the same month he bought his first mountain bike (a Trek Stache). Prior to joining CHTC as our Executive Director, Nathan earned his Copper Country credentials working with the Keweenaw Land Trust, helping to protect favorite local places like Hungarian Falls. Nathan first discovered the Keweenaw during his time at Michigan Tech before graduating with a Masters of Regional Planning from SUNY Albany. Returning to the Keweenaw was a no-brainer due to its abundant natural and recreational resources. His many side hustles include writing about your next adventure for Visit Keweenaw and photographing the entirety of Ontonagon County every five years. In his spare time, Nathan enjoys DJing on WMTU 91.9 FM, exploring new places across the U.P., paddling every lake in the Ottawa National Forest (197 and counting), camping year-round, and working on various projects around his hobby farm. Also known as Nathan Invincible.
Kyle Hiltunen, Trail Maintenance Lead (retired for 2023!)
"I made many trips to the area as kid to visit family and moved to Houghton in 2013 to attend Michigan Tech. I graduated in 2018 with bachelor's degrees in Surveying Engineering and Civil Engineering and have lived in and enjoyed the Keweenaw with my wife Audra ever since . It was not until our first summer working and living here that we discovered all of the local mountain biking trails and we have been all-in ever since. In the summers, I help to maintain portions of the North Country National Scenic Trail and the Churning Rapids single-track trails and I could not pass up the opportunity to become involved with Copper Harbor Trails Club as well. We also enjoy kayaking, hiking, backpacking, gardening, skiing, snowshoeing, and pretty much anything else that gets us outside!"
Nathan Fettig, Trail Worker (Retired for 2023!)
"I grew up in Elo as an outdoors kid and remember taking family trips to the Porcupine Mountains during all seasons. My parents, being leaders of a 4-H challenge club, also got me involved in a variety of outdoor activities. In recent years I spent the summers working on Isle Royale for eight seasons. I had various jobs in the marina, on a tour boat, and as a maintenance worker for the NPS and resort. More recently, the Keweenaw National Historical Park hired me as a trails worker for maintenance around their buildings and property. I have always enjoyed mountain biking, but working summers on an island made that hard to do. I'm glad to be on the mainland again where I can get back into biking. I also enjoy snowboarding, skiing, kayaking, photography, hiking and camping with my wife Molly and our dog Palmer."