Board of Directors

Pacific Northwest Trail Association Board Members work hard to provide mission-based leadership and strategic governance for the PNTA.  Board members are involved with fundraising, outreach, strategic planning, and programmatic oversight.

The PNTA is currently seeking new board members. Learn more about open positions on our jobs webpage.

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Charley Carpenter, PNTA Board Presiden

Charley Carpenter
Joined in 2014
Missoula, MT

Charley Carpenter is a lawyer practicing out of Missoula, MT and is also licensed in Montana, Idaho, Maryland and Washington D.C.  He works mostly with government contractors, but has also worked on natural resource issues, including water rights, in his 20+ years of practice.  In his free time, Charley can be found hiking, mountain biking, skiing and snowshoeing.

PNTA Board Member Melanie Simmerman

Melanie Simmerman
Vice President
Joined in 2018
Belgrade, MT

For over thirty years, Melanie worked as a non-profit administrator and fundraising professional for a variety of performing arts and environmental organizations mostly in New York City. More recently, Melanie certified as a personal trainer/fitness instructor. Melanie is an avid outdoor adventure enthusiast and is an accomplished long-distance hiker (Triple Crowner) and outdoor leader. She completed the Pacific Northwest Trail over four summers (2012-15). Since 2012, she has authored the Pacific Northwest Trail Town Guide.

Melanie seeks to give back to the trail, and trail community, through service on the PNTA board. She aims to help create a strong organization that can lead the development of the Pacific Northwest Trail and preserve and protect it for the enjoyment of future generations of hikers and outdoor enthusiasts.

PNTA Board Member Aya Tsuruta

Aya Tsuruta
Joined in 2021
Seattle, WA

Aya comes to the board with a deep love of trails. She’s hiked long stretches of beautiful land in the Northwest, Northeast, and Southwest and maintained trails in Southern Utah as part of a conservation corps. As a northwest native, she’s eager to give back to our beautiful home that gives us so much, and is particularly passionate about advancing accessibility and inclusivity in the outdoors for marginalized groups. Aya holds a BA in Economics from Boston College and is currently the marketing manager at a non-profit in Seattle.

Stephen Simburg, PNTA Board Member

Stephen Simburg
Joined in 2020
Seattle, WA

Stephen Simburg is a product manager and marketer from Seattle, WA. He holds an MBA from the University of Washington. A lifelong outdoor enthusiast, on the weekends Stephen can be found hiking, camping and kayaking. He is interested in promoting access to trails and preserving the cultural heritage of the Pacific Northwest.

Margaret Hartzell

Margaret Hartzell
Joined in 2017
Okanogan, WA

Margaret Hartzell joined the PNTA Board because such trails conserve wild places and get people into nature.  She worked for Federal land management agencies for 32 years as a Park Ranger and with the Forest Service managing teams of wildlife biologists, fish biologists, soil scientists, social scientists, botanists, foresters, and recreation specialists on projects large and small. Now retired, she continues her interest in natural resources and the outdoors by volunteering with local trail groups, a land trust, and the PNTA.

Bob Turner

Bob Turner
Joined in 2022
Coeur d’Alene, ID

Bob Turner is a retired educator from Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. He has been involved in long-distance hiking since 1994 when he and his family thru-hiked Oregon on the PCT. Bob Completed the Triple Crown in 2018. He has been president and a board member of the American Long Distance Hiking Association-West, ALDHA-West. From 2015-2019 he organized the Inland Northwest Ruck long-distance hiking workshop. As a PNTA board member he hopes to help raise awareness of the PNT both with hikers and the gateway communities.

Julie Robertson
Joined in 2023
Portland, OR

Julie Robertson is an educator and trail enthusiast currently living in Portland, Oregon. She holds a B.A. in Science Education from Montana State University and an M.Ed. in Educational Leadership and Policy from the University of Utah. While thru-hiking the Continental Divide Trail in 2021, Julie fell in love with the trail community she experienced. Both with other hikers and with locals in the gateway communities. By volunteering for the PNTA, Julie hopes to promote access and inclusion in the trail and gateway communities and build awareness of the PNT.