Vernon Trails Board

Vernon Trails Board

Board Members

We couldn’t do what we do without a dedicated group of board members. Come meet them.

Brian Huebner

Who are you?

My name is Brian Huebner and I am the father of two young ladies (Denali and Odessa) and husband to a wonderful outdoor loving wife (Stacey). As a lifelong resident of Vernon County I am interested in highlighting, accentuating, and marketing the natural beauty of the Driftless Area.

Why are you on the VT board?

In 199? Dave Maxwell and I put on the TriChallenge, which was a Run, Bike Golf event in Timber Coulee. We started with the idea of creating an event to draw people to experience the resources of Vernon County.

Since that time, I have worked with a number of groups to host events in the Greater La Crosse area. Some of those have included West Salem Triathlon, Dam Challenge, and the Syttendie Mai fun run. All of those events have brought new faces to the area, but I believe there is more work to do and other outdoor interest which may bring more people and that is why I work with Vernon Trails.

What are your special interests?

I have taught Social Studies and coached at Westby High School for the past 14 years. As a Cross Country coach I work hard to incorporate the topography of our area into our everyday workouts. I also participate in many endurance events. I have finished over thirty marathons, three

50 mile trail runs, fifty triathlons of various distances, and five Ironman triathlons. I love racing and in my prime I was very competitive, but on the north side of my competitive age I am finding enjoyment in hosting and running outdoor endurance events.

What do you see for the future of VT?

Limitless. Five years ago, I thought a trail between Westby and Viroqua was a pipe dream, but VT was a huge facilitator of the fulfillment of this idea, so I really think anything can happen. The best part of being on the VT board, for me, is connecting with like-minded people in Vernon County, people I probably would not connect with just walking down the street. In the future, I would like to see VT continue to promote and help develop more trails in the Westby and Viroqua area.

Favorite VT event?

Sidiefest-because it highlights the wonderful trail system built at Sidie Hollow Park.

Brandon Hysel

Who are you?

My name is Brandon Hysel and I am from La Farge where I live with my family. I grew up in LF and moved back eight years ago to raise my kids in the Kickapoo valley. I am the owner/operator of On the Level Masonry. I volunteer for the La Farge Fire Department, I am a Village Trustee, and sit on the board of the Kickapoo Valley Reserve and Trails sub committee.

Why are you on the VT board?

I was asked to join the Vernon Trails board when it was formed because I was active in trail building and interested in advocacy to improve biking opportunities. I am still on because we have made great progress and the future of silent sports has never looked more promising.

What are your special interests?

I love biking, hiking and snow shoeing. Anything in the outdoors that involves nature.

What do you see for the future of VT?

It’s hard to predict the future but I know that there will be a dedicated group of individuals working to improve silent sport opportunities and tourism in Vernon county.

 

Elizabeth Roberts

Elizabeth Roberts

Who are you?

Hi.  Elizabeth Roberts here.  I joined the Viroqua/Westby area in 2011.  My husband, Gregg Roberts, and I decided to move our family back to the Midwest to be closer to our extended-families (I grew up in the Twin Cities; Gregg around Mineral Point, WI).  We have three little kids: Wynne, August (Gus), and Henry.  I work as a family medicine physician in Viroqua.

Why are you on the VT board?

Like so many others, we were drawn to the hills and rivers, trees and farmland, and the forward-thinking nature of this area.  We left mountains and ocean behind in Alaska, and knew we couldn’t live just anywhere.  We chose here and love it because many before us have already been working hard to make this a great place to live and raise a family.  That said, I am on the board because I want to help make Vernon County an even better place to live.  I want as many opportunities as possible in this area for my children to thrive outside in nature.  As a family doctor I promote a healthy active outdoor lifestyle – trails of all kinds are essential and we need more here.

What are your special interests?

I enjoy silent sports of all types, but my favorite is cross country skiing.  Classic, skating, backcountry  – I love it all and am happy on skis out on a sunny winter day, or a quiet snowy evening.

What do you see for the future of VT?

A legacy for our children:  massive outdoor “playground” of trails and silent sport opportunities.  And my personal goal = more ski trails.

Favorite VT event?

Love Stomp – candlelight snowshoeing, great food, and the love of your life – how could it get any better than that?

Chris Rozeske

Chris Rozeske

Who are you?

Hi, my name is Chris Rozeske. My wife Emily and I moved to Viroqua in December of 2007 and have enjoyed every minute of our time here. Our reason for moving out of Madison had everything to do with our daughter, Lily. We love Madison, but we wanted to raise Lily in a smaller town with a strong sense of community. Prior to moving we had been making trips to the Driftless region for a few years, so when the time came we knew exactly where we wanted to be. I am a community banker by trade and as Market Manager for Royal Bank in Viroqua I spend most of my time lending and developing new relationships. My role helps me cultivate my desire to help people and the community that I live in.

Why are you on the VT board?

I had been looking for an opportunity to volunteer some of my time to a great cause and when the opportunity to join the Vernon Trails board presented itself I jumped on it. I have known Pete, Alycann, and other board members for a number of years now and have enjoyed playing a part in all that Vernon Trails is about and the projects we focus on. My financial background has aided me in my role as treasurer and my love of disc golf has driven my focus in that area.

What are your special interests?

In the fall of 2010 I found the sport of disc golf. I’ve always enjoyed challenging myself from an athletic perspective, but had fallen out of the more intensive team sports that I enjoyed growing up. Disc golf has filled that competitive void. The only disadvantage to being a disc golfer in Vernon County at the time was the limited number of courses close at hand. Our dedicated group of local disc golfers and volunteers has focused on bringing disc golf to Viroqua and the surrounding area. To date, Vernon Trails has aided the Village of Cashton and the Village of La Farge with the design and construction of their 9 hole courses, supported the efforts of the Bad Axe Country Club in developing Eagle Run, their 18 hole course, and have designed, built, and maintain Veteran Hills at the Viroqua VFW, an 18 hole championship caliber course. My other hobby is cooking. I love good food and one of my greatest joys is sharing that with others. I consider my young daughter’s love of curry to be one of my greatest accomplishments.

What do you see for the future of VT?

Vernon Trails has done some amazing things over the years and has worked hard to further their mission. That said, I think that we’ve only seen the tip of the iceberg. The ever growing network of trails will continue to expand and in doing so we will open up greater possibilities to bring new and unique events to the region. This, in turn, will further the development of the area as a destination for outdoor enthusiasts. I see disc golf as a huge opportunity for this area. The topography of the Driftless region offers up many of the aspects of what makes a disc golf course great and Veteran Hills is a great example of this. Disc golf is one of the fastest growing sports in the country and is highly accessible. Discs can be purchased for less than $10 and you only need one to play. As we progress forward we anticipate hosting and developing leagues and tournaments, all of which have the opportunity to bring more and more people to this beautiful area we call home.

Pete Taylor

pete-taylor

Sharing the dream with Chris Kehmeir of IMBA

Who are you?

Pete Taylor- I am the husband to my best friend of 17 years-Alycann, the Daddy of two very strong willed little girls, and the obedient servant to a trail crazed, yellow lab. I am a local, small business owner, and the volunteer Board President of Vernon Trails.

Why do you sit on the Vernon Trails’ Board?

Seven years ago I moved to Viroqua with my family to start a small business. Having come here from the mountains of Idaho, we really wanted to do our part to help create the same kind of spectacular outdoor playground. This area is well on its way to becoming just that. The topography of southwestern Wisconsin is the perfect canvas to work with. We have found the community to be very supportive and the land managing agencies to be very cooperative. Understanding the strength in numbers, we’ve organized with some other passionate locals to start developing, promoting and protecting our environmental resources. We are determined to introduce silent sports to those who are new to them, and continue to provide the best outdoor opportunities we can for those who are already hooked.

What are your special interests?

I would suspect that the word out there is that I’m “all trails all the time”, mountain biking and trail building. Those are definitely two of my very greatest passions. Really, I just want to be outside always, whether the medium is snowshoes, skis, foot, or wheels. The forest is my cathedral. That’s where I gain affirmation that there is something bigger than I.

What do you see for the future of Vernon Trails?

The growth and success of Vernon Trails hinges on four main factors: membership base, volunteer support, strong leadership, and financial structure. Provided we can keep heading towards positive growth in these areas, I believe that Vernon Trails can do great things for the communities in which we live and reach. I want to continue to promote our existing events and programs and see them grow in terms of participant numbers. I want to work with other organizations to help with similar projects. I want to continue to gain greater access to lands, both public and private, and develop more “shared use” trail networks. This provides our local communities the opportunity for a healthier lifestyle and presents a real economic driver in “eco-tourism”. And that benefits us all.

Alycann Whalen Taylor

Alycann & Wilma

Who are you?

My name is Alycann Whalen Taylor. I am the proud wife of Pete Taylor, and mother of two fabulous girls, Wilma and Lucy. Pete and I have had many life adventures, including living in the mountains of Idaho, but after the birth of our daughter Wilma, the desire to move closer to family and simplify life for our young family, was powerful. So we decided to call Wisconsin home again. We choose Viroqua because it is in the heart of the Driftless Region, and the outdoor recreation potential is vast .
I am the co-owner of Bluedog Cycles/Brewdog Coffee Corner and Driftless Gymnastics. I am also the Human Resource Manager for the Viroqua Food Cooperative.

Why do you sit on the Vernon Trails’ Board as Volunteer Executive Director?

We live in an area that is rich with outdoor recreational potential. I believe that outdoor activities and recreation is essential to a happy life. I want future generations to be able to have access to the outdoors and all it’s wonder. Vernon Trails is an avenue that allows us to create, promote, and educate on the benefits of outdoor recreation.   This belief, coupled with over 20 years of non-profit management experience ,  and a wide variety of both local, regional, and national board work, makes being a part of Vernon Trails a logical fit.

What are your special interests?

Being outside, and enjoying the sun on my face, whether it’s hiking or biking, or playing in the garden dirt.  I long for afternoons when I can lay in the sun and read a book. I love listening to music, dancing with my family, and recently I began taking Banjo lessons.

What do you see for the future of Vernon Trails?

Limitless possibilities. When we starting on this VT journey 8 years ago, we were trail users looking to gain some access. Since those intial meetings, we have built miles, and miles of new trails. We have gained access to public and private land. We have certified trail builders that are nationally recognized . We have added countless events, and promoted dozens of recreational activities. We have educated countless youth groups.

If we can continue to build, and maintain, what we have been doing, I think Vernon Trails will begin to be recognized as a transforming agent in our local economy. Vernon County is still one of the poorest counties in the state of Wisconsin, recreational tourism has proven to provide positive financial impact on local economies. Vernon Trails is the organization committed to expanding it’s outdoor recreation opportunities. Our future is bright and full of things.

Favorite VT event?

I really don’t have a favorite event. I think there is greatness in all of them.  But if I have to pick just one I would  have to say,  I really appreciate the Viroqua Community bike ride.  It is the first event of the season. Because it’s the first, it really generates excitement surrounding recreation. It is 100% family friendly, and all abilities can participate. It is a free event that really builds community.


Vernon Trails On The Road

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