WAITSFIELD, VT – Karrie Thomas, a whitewater kayaker who has led private-party expeditions to Chile, India, Mexico, Nepal, Peru and throughout North America, is the new executive director or the Northern Forest Canoe Trail based in Waitsfield. She takes over from outgoingdirector Kate Williams, who has joined Waitsfield-based 1% for the Planet.
A native of New Hampshire, Thomas graduated from Colorado College, and spent the past 15 years living in California and Washington states. Most recently, she managed fundraising and community relations for the Placer Land Trust in Placer County, California. She has also done independent development consulting for farm-to-school projects, and hands-on coordination for community-supported agriculture.
Before managing teams in the nonprofit sector, Thomas had excelled in whitewater kayaking and co-led expeditions throughout the world.
“The Northern Forest Canoe Trail’s vision of strengthening communities – both of paddlers and of place – through 740 miles of the Northern Forest aligns with both my life and career goals,” said Thomas. “I look forward to working with paddlers, volunteers, community members, land owners and policy makers to ensure that the trail enhances the vitality of the region for generations to come.”
The nonprofit’s board of directors conducted a national search to fill the executive director position seeking an individual to lead implementation of the organization’s 2020 Strategic Plan. Thomas’ background in development, program administration and staff management fit the nonprofit’s expectations and vision, said Warren Cook, president of the board of directors of the Northern Forest Canoe Trail, in a press release announcing Thomas’ hiring.
“The Northern Forest Canoe Trail has developed into a strong, internationally-recognized water trail,” added Cook. “We are proud of what we have built and look forward to expanding our impact under Karrie’s leadership. We will be forever grateful for the leadership and hard work that Kate Williams provided during her tenure, and we wish her all the best in her new pursuits.”