Jeff is an accomplished thru-hiker who comes to the PNTA with completed end-to-end hikes of both the Pacific Northwest Trail and the Pacific Crest Trail under his belt. As a outdoor industry journalist, he brought the story of the PNT to an international audience in 2014, and then went on to tour the Northwest with a multimedia presentation about his experiences the following year. In 2015, he was appointed to the Department of Agriculture’s Pacific Northwest National Scenic Trail Advisory Council, where he is a member of the Nature & Purposes, Trail Uses, and Puget Sound Regional subcommittees. Jeff is excited to apply his passion for the trail and his background in entrepreneurship and small business administration to his role as Executive Director of the Pacific Northwest Trail Association.
Director of Trail Operations
After 21 years in the US. Army Infantry, Lewis developed a fondness for the forest and hiking trails. Lewis lives in Sedro-Woolley with his wonderful wife. They have 2 sons and 2 dogs. In 2005 Lewis began working on construction projects and volunteer crews for the Pacific Northwest Trail Association. In 2009 he became the Regional Coordinator for the Western Washington Region and now heads trail work of all types across the entire trail. He enjoys days on the trail, working with youth, volunteers, and partners on trail projects.
After thru-hiking the PNT end-to-end, Eric knew he found his favorite National Scenic Trail. He saw the untapped potential of this adventure-packed trail to satisfy the need for wilderness in the next generation of hikers. A jack of all trades, he has designed award-winning products, led marketing teams and practiced and taught the art of graphic design. A gear geek and professional outfitter with over 7,000 miles of backpacking experience, he has prepared and inspired Pacific Northwesterners of all ages and abilities for the outdoors. Eric is thrilled to continue promoting human-powered adventure as Communications Manager of the Pacific Northwest Trail Association.
Laurel Downing, a native of Washington, was born in Tonasket and was lucky to grow up in a family that enjoyed the outdoors (camping, hiking, skiing, etc.). She was raised in a scouting community, with a grandfather and uncle in the Forest Service. Thanks to her upbringing, she learned to respect and love nature and its diversity. A graduate from Skagit Valley College with technical degrees in Science and Database Program Management, Laurel spent 20 years working as a bookkeeper in the retail industry. In the Pacific Northwest Trail Association, Laurel has found an organization that shares a similar respect for the natural world.