Former ATC Executive Director
David Startzell David Startzell served as assistant director and then director of the Appalachian Trail Conference (ATC) from 1978 to 2012 -- the longest serving executive director in the ATC's history. Under his stewardship more than 250,000 acres of public lands were protected along a 2,000-mile corridor. He secured nearly $200 million to enable acquisition of the corridor and for reinvigorating the Appalachian Trail Conference as a confederation and an organization structured to meet the obligations set forth 1984 by the National Park Service.
Director of Conservation Operations
Bob’s involvement in the A.T. dates back to his first year on AMC’s New Hampshire Trail Crew in 1965. He rose through the ranks becoming the first fulltime, club-wide Supervisor of Trails in 1972. On the former ATC Board of Managers from 1975 to 1978, Bob joined the National Park Service A.T. Park Office in 1979-80 after which he joined the staff of ATC in 1981. Bob is author of ATC’s Appalachian Trail Design, Construction and Maintenance (1st and 2nd editions, with Bill Birchard and others), as well as AMC’s Trail Building and Maintenance, 1977 and ’88 editions. Bob also helped found ATC’s corridor monitoring program, trail crew programs, ridgerunner and caretaker programs, as well as major government-funded procurement programs for removing structures and dams along the Trail, maintaining the exterior corridor boundary, and other federal and state-funded initiatives.
ATC Publisher and Author
After eight years of helping with the Appalachian Trailway News and three on the board’s public-relations committee, King joined the ATC staff in June 1987 as director of public affairs, responsible for public-information, media-relations, publications, membership, and direct-mail programs and the archives. Following a number of reorganizations that spun other programs off into separate departments, he assumed this title in December 2006, with responsibility for sales activities, the books and maps published for them, and the archives. A native of Washington, D.C., King was a 1968 graduate of Georgetown University with an A.B. degree in government and previously attended the University of the South and Northwestern University’s National Journalism Institute. During college, he worked for the Charleston (S.C.) Evening Post. King worked for The Associated Press from June 1968 until January 1980, in Albany, N.Y., and Washington, there covering food and agricultural policy from the Capitol. (While in the Army in an award-winning information office, he also worked for the AP in Denver, Colo., and as assistant city editor of the Colorado Springs Sun.) He served as the editor for the agriculture secretary’s policy projects for the last year of the Carter administration, worked as director of public affairs for the Agriculture Council of America from 1981 to 1987, and then was a contract writer for a Ford Foundation-funded Michigan State project promoting multidisciplinary approaches to rural development.
ATC Information Services Manager
Laurie Potteiger thru-hiked the A.T. in 1987, fulfilling a lifelong dream. Eager to broaden her understanding of the A.T. and contribute to its protection, she joined the ATC staff the following year. Since 1996 she has overseen the ATC visitor and information center, which includes supervising a dedicated and talented crew of two staff members and dozens of volunteers. She also represents the Conservancy at a variety of outreach events. Continually seeking to experience the Trail from different perspectives, she has used her vacation time at ATC to volunteer on the Konnarock, Rocky Top, and Mid-Atlantic trail crews and has re-hiked more than 1600 miles of the A.T. a week or two at a time. With her husband, a 1983 thru-hiker, she maintains a section of the A.T. and section of the A.T. boundary. Laurie also has a master’s in Russian Language and Literature from the University of Virginia.
Former ATC Executive Director
Wenger is active in the Appalachian Trail (A.T.) community as life member of both the Tidewater Appalachian Trail Club (TATC) and the Old Dominion Appalachian Trail Club. He is past program chair, vice president, and president of TATC. He was most recently Regional Partnership Committee (RPC) representative and RPC chairman for the Virginia region. He also served on the steering committee for the recently completed 2011 Virginia Journeys, the ATC’s 38th Biennial Conference. Wenger has held a variety of leadership positions over 32 years with the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation in Williamsburg, Virginia, the largest outdoor museum in the world and one of the largest museums in the United States. Wenger graduated from the University of Southwestern Louisiana with a Bachelor of Architecture degree. He received a Master in Architectural History from the University of Virginia and is a licensed architect in Virginia and Louisiana.
Henegar is a Tennessee native and currently resides in the Tri-Cites area of East Tennessee with his wife Cari. His love of the outdoors began with hiking at the age of 11; since then he has hiked every year with his father on the AT. After graduating from East Tennessee State University with a B.S. in digital media, he worked as a studio and field photographer. Henegar then shifted into video and worked for Harris Television Productions in the production of television shows, commercial spots, web videos, and various promotional videos.
Dan Gold's 20 years of solo-mic experience brings the story of the Appalachian Trail to life. He's a national award winner and has performed major agency work in Hollywood, Chicago, Dallas, Miami, San Francisco, and Atlanta. Dan's resume includes an impressive list of clients such as Disney Motion Pictures, Disney Television, Infiniti, Lexus, Southwest Airlines, Budweiser, Honda, MacDonald's, Home DepotOffice, and many other high profile brands.
Composer and Solo Pianist
Ralph Zurmühle (or Zurmuhle), Swiss composer and pianist, discovered his natural talent for the piano at the early age of five. He fostered it over decades with jazz and classical music studies. Ralph's 4 CDs, composed mostly for piano, have been met with international critical acclaim. For more than twenty years Ralph has been scoring music for film and performing solo piano concerts, mostly playing his own repertoire. The Appalachian Trail An American Legacy features four of Zurmühle's solo piano pieces.
Jeremiah Nave lives in Nashville, TN and is the owner/operator of East Coast Mobile Recording. Nave specializes in location recording for live audio capture and has been involved in the recordings for many national touring artists such as Bucky Covington, Rascal Flatts, Jason Aldean, Percy Sledge, 10th Avenue North. He has also recorded for CMT, GAC, and MTV. High quality live audio capture and mastery is very familiar to this 14 year pro.
Starting with his first camera and darkroom in 1971, by the end of the '70s Cecil's work became more and more abstract, ultimately leaving anything recognizable completely. Although some marvelous images were produced, they bore no resemblance to any contemporary photography, making positioning of them problematic. Still, there was some critical acclaim. As a New Orleans resident at the time of “ Hurricane Katrina “, some of his portfolio was lost. His new work in landscape represents a radical departure from what he‘s known for. Whitt has mastered the digital darkroom, though he would never admit to it. His work is not currently for sale; he creates his work out of his passion for it and to uplift mankind. Whitt embodies the definition of “artist under the radar.”
Check out more of Cecil’s stunning photography at
ATC Director of Marketing and Communications
ATC Coordinator for The Appalachian Trail An American Legacy
Javier received his Bachelor of Science Degree from Rutgers University (Newark, NJ) in 2007, where he majored in Marketing. Upon graduation, Javier worked in the Pharmaceutical/Biotech industry working for a Contract Research Organization as the Marketing and Communications Manager. During that time he also volunteered with local nonprofits such as NJ Community Water Watch, NJ Public Interest Research Group, and Global Environmental Projects. He also served as a Catechist at Our Lady of the Valley Parish. In 2010 he joined the Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC) as the Marketing and Communications Manager. In January 2013, he was promoted to Director of Marketing and Communications. He is also working towards his MBA in Business Administration and Marketing. Javier developed a strong passion for hiking after completing a missionary trip to Tohatchie, New Mexico.
Javier has been a crucial contact to the ATC in the production of this film.
Hiker, Production Assistant, Development for The Appalachian Trail An American Legacy
Father of Sam Henegar, Steve has been a part of several of Sam's projects through the years and has offered his assistance on set and during all phases of production for The Appalachian Trail An American Legacy.
Steve Henegar is a Tennessee Department of Agriculture Watershed Coordinator and provides oversight for the Tennessee Department of Agriculture's efforts to protect and conserve the natural resources of northeast Tennessee.