Chief Executive Officer
Julie has a long history in trail planning and development working on local, state, and national trail efforts throughout her career. Her background in ecology and communications and her passion for helping people explore, enjoy, and enrich their community is put into practice every day as the CEO of Traverse Area Recreation & Transportation (TART) Trails.
Julie and her family looked long and hard around the country for a community that they believe supported a planning and development approach that promotes clean air and water and provided meaningful ways to move around the community outside your car. They found that spot in northern Michigan in 2010 when she accepted the job at TART Trails. Julie provides leadership and oversees the delivery and execution of TART Trails’ vision of happy, active people making connections through a world-class trail network. Active in trail development efforts and policies at the local, regional and state level, she currently serves on the Michigan State Parks Advisory Committee and as Chair of the Michigan Trails and Greenways Alliance. She and her family live near downtown Traverse City and couldn’t be happier to call northern Michigan home.
Director of Strategic Engagement
Brian joined the TART Trails staff in 2014 after serving on the TART Trails Board of Directors for five years prior. He’s got a couple of decades of experience in non-profit management, a passion for trails and genuine enthusiasm to help build the movement to make every home a trailhead. In his ‘unofficial’ time, you can often find him cross-country skiing, shredding in the forest, roller skiing, running (seriously this guy does it all) or just out sharing miles of smiles across the trail network.
Trail Development Director
Elizabeth is part of the trail planning and management team managing multiple projects including the Nakwema Trailway as well as digging into long and short term trail planning. She brings a background in recreation planning and community development, and now, as a member of the TART team, she is excited to engage with people and communities in our region to help build meaningful trail connections. Elizabeth loves all that each season brings us (with the exception of November winds and April showers) and cannot think of a better place to live, work, and play.
Campaign & Development Officer
Caitlin joined the TART Trails team in September 2019. Her work supports fundraising, donor relations, and special events. Caitlin grew up in Indianapolis and was fortunate enough to spend her summers in Leelanau County. She has spent the better part of the last decade working in arts and culture-based nonprofit organizations. When not in the office, Caitlin can generally be found in the woods or the water, on a bike, chopping vegetables, or with her nose in a book.
Annual Gifts & Special Events Coordinator
Janna is a Traverse City local with a passion for outdoor recreation and community. Janna provides development support for TART Trails, manages TART Trails fundraising and stewardship events and leads social media engagement. She comes to the role with a background in event coordinating and non-profit experience through her role on the Mt. Holiday Ski Area Board of Directors.
Amy is excited to join the TART staff in October 2021, as part of the Trail Planning Team. She’s been visiting the area with her wife for the last 21 years and has family near Glen Arbor and in Traverse City. Her work experience includes over 10 years with the City of Fort Wayne, Indiana’s Trails and Greenways Department managing the maintenance of trails, working with an army of volunteers, encouraging active transportation and event planning. Outside of work, you can find Amy exploring the area on bike, foot, skis or canoe.
Trail Planning & Management Director
Chris was born and raised in Traverse City. After college and several years working away he was fortunate enough to return to Traverse in 2006 with his wife and son. Chris is responsible for the development and management of trail planning, local partnerships and maintenance efforts at TART. His work experience includes over fifteen years of environmental planning and resource management projects throughout Michigan. Contributing to efforts for non-motorized transportation and local connections is a top priority of his and one he is excited to work on with local partners. Away from work, he can often be found biking, cross country skiing or kayaking.
Director of Communications
Kate got her start at TART as a volunteer teaching bicycle and pedestrian safety. She officially joined the staff in 2015 and her responsibilities include directing all digital and print communications, coordinating trailside sponsorships, managing TART’s brand, and pitching in wherever and whenever possible. When not in the office you can find her on a trail, in the water, practicing yoga, at a Phish show, or adventuring with her kiddos.
Sarah joined TART Trails in 2022 as our Administrative Assistant. Her time in this position helps run a smooth and efficient office. She was born and raised in Frankenmuth, Michigan, but has recently moved to Traverse City due to her love for Lake Michigan, the beautiful city, and of course, the outdoors. You can find her spending time with family, enjoying her day at the beach, and walking to the nearest coffee shop.
Casey joined the TART Trails staff in 2018 and is responsible for developing and overseeing TART’s fundraising strategies. Casey grew up in Traverse City exploring the exceptional rivers and trails of northern Michigan. She traveled back to the area as an AmeriCorps member and spent the last decade working in the nonprofit sector. She now resides downtown with her husband and three children where she enjoys spending time on the trails, in the water and exploring the garden.
Finance & Administration Director
Erin grew up in Traverse City and loves all the area has to offer, especially the trails and water. She joined the amazing staff at TART Trails in 2023. She brings 15 years of experience in QuickBooks, financial operations, strategic business planning, and managing administrative duties. Erin loves to travel and explore and is always looking forward to her next adventure, be it local or afar. Fun fact, while training for a 50k run she will do math word problems in her head to make the miles fly by.
Jonny joined TART Trails in 2022 as our Outreach Coordinator and brings a passion for community building and outdoor adventuring to the team. His work involves leading our social media communication, managing the TART Trails Ambassador and Volunteer program, and supporting special events. Jonny grew up in Traverse City and after spending time in New York has made his way back to Northern Michigan. In his spare time you can find him running and cycling the trails or playing music at local venues.
Tom joined the TART Trails Staff in August 2023 and serves as the Salesforce Administrator, managing the organization’s data and providing internal IT support. Tom is a SE Michigan native and vacationed with his family in Traverse City annually for over 30 years before moving to the area in 2022 with his wife Kim. Tom previously spent over 40 years in corporate America primarily in Finance, IT and data analytics and is thrilled to be able to use his technical and executive experience to support the TART team. Tom can often be found biking and cross-country skiing on the VASA Pathways, as well as bowling, golfing or ice-skating in the area.
Melissa & Jeff Zawisza
Recycle-A-Bicycle Program Directors
Jeff and Melissa became the directors of Recycle A Bicycle in 2023 after volunteering with the program for several years. Previously they were involved with a RAB program in Midland, MI. They love the sustainability of the program in Traverse City and hope to build on its legacy. They are retired engineers who fell in love with the Leelanau Trail and settled near the trail in 2018. In their spare time you will find them helping with high school robotics or on the Leelanau Trail skiing or biking.