Proud Man/Woman Award

The Appalachian Trail Conservancy’s (ATC) Proud Man/Woman award – ATC’s highest recognition for outstanding performance by a staff member – was established in 2015 to recognize the profound and enduring contributions of Bob Proudman who served the A.T. for 50 years in a variety of roles, including 35 years of employment with the ATC. The award criteria is based on demonstrated excellence in each of the ATC’s five core values: cooperation, integrity, inclusion, dedication, and empowerment. The recipient is chosen by fellow ATC employees through a nomination and voting process.

This year, Laurie Potteiger, the ATC’s information services manager, was chosen for myriad reasons — all of which demonstrate her dedication to the ATC and the Appalachian Trail and her devotion, professionalism, compassion, introspection, and grace.

Laurie takes a break after a long (and muddy) day hiking in the Mahoosucs in Maine.
PPhoto by Dick Potteiger

Some of the many highlights of her service to the ATC and the A.T. include: her cooperative spirit, which extends beyond staff to her consistent support and advisement to Trail maintaining clubs, A.T. Community volunteers, visitors, every type of hiker, and Trail management partners as both a sincere listener and trusted voice.

As for integrity, her communication, in all forms, is always well thought out and is consistent and clear about Trail standards. She challenges any system that she sees as falling outside of the highest of professional or ethical behavior, and is honest and fair in all her communication. Her steady demeanor challenges the rest of the ATC staff to meet this standard even half-way as she is the consummate leader by example.

“Dedication is her most significant asset to the ATC. Outside of work hours, she is volunteering on the Trail, responding to e-mail and social media requests and comments, and always there to chat at night if a colleague is also working late,” says Julie Judkins, the ATC’s education and outreach director. “Her heart and soul are absolutely dedicated to the Appalachian Trail, and all who have hiked the Trail or interacted with her have experienced this first hand. With passion and authenticity, she genuinely cares for all aspects of the Trail, our organization, and the community of people the Trail has caring for it and enjoying it.”

She is known as the trusted face and voice of the ATC to all Trail visitors and our link to connecting ATC to the broader A.T. community. “What makes this trusted link genuine and effective is that it is often unscripted and it is sustained by a deep understanding of the human spirit, the beauty of nature, and the insistence that all members within the broader Appalachian Trail community have an important role in protecting (and enjoying) the A.T.,”
says Judkins. “I love that.”

For more information about Laurie and other ATC staff members visit:

New ATC Bylaws Adopted

The bylaws amendments (summarized in the Winter issue of A.T. Journeys) were adopted by the Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC) Board of Directors at its May 12 meeting at Amicalola Falls State Park in Georgia. Most of the changes were driven by a new nonprofits law in the District of Columbia, where the ATC is incorporated, including a requirement for annual membership meetings. Another major change was to have staggered terms for board members.

The revised bylaws can be found at: