Catamount Trail Assoc. hires new director

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BURLINGTON — The Catamount Trail Association, which manages a 300-mile public-access ski trail that runs the length of Vermont from Massachusetts to Canada, has chosen a Vermont native, athlete and outdoors enthusiast to serve as its new executive director. Matt Williams will succeed Amy Kelsey, who became the CTA's first full-time director nine years ago. Williams comes to the CTA from Warren Wilson College in Asheville, N.C., where he served as director of strategic initiatives in athletics, and as head cycling coach.

A native of Sharon, Williams grew up on a small sheep farm skiing, sledding, mountain biking, and hiking out the back door. Much of his life, and career, has been spent in the world of mountain biking and Nordic skiing. He and his wife, Nina, both enjoy traveling by bike, ski as often as possible, and are enthusiastic about returning to their roots and to new professional pursuits in Vermont.

"My favorite training days are always the ones that veer off the map and involve a little bit of bushwhacking, route finding, or exploring on a new road or trail, and I've always had a little stash of maps marked up in pencil with unnamed trails and ski lines," Williams said in a news release. "Over the years, I've looked for ways to share that passion for getting outside with others, whether it was through promoting events, coaching, my blog, or simply working to consistently rally friends to join me on small excursions.

"I'm incredibly excited to have the opportunity to put all these pieces together at the CTA and to be a part of stewarding the amazing resource that is the Catamount Trail, while also working to expand opportunities for backcountry recreation throughout the state."

"Matt brings a strategic and creative mindset, superb communication and organizational skills and a collaborative leadership style to the executive director role," Michael O'Leary, chair of the CTA's board, said in a release.

"He will be a fresh voice for Vermont's outdoor recreation community, and we are very excited to have him on board."

In a farewell note on the CTA website, Kelsey said she will be taking on a new role with the Center for Rural Studies at the University of Vermont.

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