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Our Staff

Anika A.

Sales Associate

Anika is finishing up a degree in Public Relations and Marketing at Ursuline College. During the year she plays for her college’s lacrosse team and in the summer she works as a white water raft guide down in Ohiopyle, Pennsylvania. When she’s not working or in school you can find her on a river or reading in her hammock.

Anika’s Favorites: Whitewater rafting, whitewater kayaking, backpacking, hiking, climbing, lacrosse and Ultimate Frisbee.

Go-to Brand: Smartwool!

Best Trip: A few years ago, Anika and her friends went on a night white water rafting trip down the Upper Youghiogheny River (class V, second steepest rafted river in the U.S.). The only light they used came from the glow sticks they strapped to their lifejackets and raft. The experience was surreal, thrilling, terrifying and oh so addicting! She has been rafting and kayaking down white water ever since.

Gear Pick: My Hydro Flask!
“I never go down the river without it! On hot days I keep ice cold spring water inside it to stay refreshed and when the temperature drops there is nothing better than having hot coffee or tea in the middle of a river trip. Not to mention it can take a serious beating against rocks!”


BB J.

Sales Associate

BB has been with the Akron Fire Dept. for 30+ years and has specialized training in HAZ-MAT and TROT. He served in the U.S.M.C and enjoys taking long day hikes into the woods.

BB’s Favorites: Hiking.

Go-to Brand: Smartwool, Fits, Patagonia.

Gear Pick: : Osprey day packs “They are light and comfortable and great for a day hike.


Christina M.

Sales Associate

Growing up Christina spent 7 years in Girl Scouts where she discovered her love for the outdoors. Christina is currently working on her degree to become a Registered Dental Hygienist and when she graduates she hopes to travel to other countries that do not have dental services available. When she is not at school or work she enjoys traveling and spending time outdoors with her family.

Christina’s Favorites: Traveling, hiking, biking, rock climbing, camping, and snowboarding.

Go-to Brand: Mountain Hardwear and Nemo!

Best Trip: Last spring Christina took a two week road trip out west. On her trip she visited the Badlands and Mount Rushmore, went climbing at Devil’s Tower, explored Devil’s Overlook in Big Horn Canyon National Recreation Area, and spent 10 days hiking in Yellowstone National Park.


Dan M.

Floor Manager/Marketing & Social Media

Dan is an avid outdoorsman, with an extensive background in team sports, fitness, and recreation. He received his bachelor’s degree in Sports Management from The Ohio State University, and his Master’s degree in Outdoor Recreation from Indiana University. Dan spends most of his free time recreating outside, visiting with his sister down in Florida, or cooking delicious meals with his mom.

Dan’s Favorites: Backpacking, hiking, snowboarding, camping, and kayaking.

Go-to Brand: Sea to Summit, Fits, Columbia.

Best Trip: Dan Spend the Fall after receiving his Master’s degree traveling around the United States hiking, backpacking, and camping various National Parks, National Forests, and Wilderness areas. During this trip Dan covered over 8,500 miles in his car and spent time in 13 new states that he had never been to. Alone on the road, Dan had the time of his life.

Gear Pick: Fits socks
“Being a Marino wool based sock, these socks are the ultimate moister wicking sock out there. Not only this, but they “fit” incredibly well. With a tapered toe box, and a three stich heal cup, these socks never bunch up and will not slide around on you.”


Devin

Devin P.

Sales Associate

Devin has been enjoying the outdoors for his entire life. Being raised exploring the woods with his mother gave him an ultimate respect for the outdoors and a thirst for adventure. Devin is truly a jack of all trades. He’s an expert on everything from knives to beekeeping and loves sharing his cooking and gardening skills with his fellow staff. He enjoys every minute he spends outdoors and loves to be alone in wilderness sitting in his hammock relaxing with a sketch book.

Devin’s Favorites: His favorite things to do outside are kayak, hike and hang out in his hammock.

Go-to Brand: Sea to Summit and ENO.

Best Trip: Traveling out West for a week and a half hiking in Badlands National Park, Custer State Park and visiting Mount Rushmore.

Gear Pick: : Leatherman Juice CS4 Multi-Tool “This multi-tool is lightweight and useful for everyday tasks. I keep it in my apron at work or in my pocket while hiking or just doing everyday tasks at home. I use the scissors most often, but it has other great functions such as the awl and saw blade that I use for leather work.”


Greg Kern

Greg K.

Floor Manager

Greg is the floor manager for Appalachian Outfitters and has an abundance of experience in the outdoor world. While earning earn two masters degrees from the University of Akron in trombone performance and music tech, he worked with their Outdoor Adventure program where he was a rock wall supervisor, route setter and trip leader. He is an avid climber enjoying top rope, lead and traditional climbing. He is also an active mountain biker and loves to go to Rays Indoor Mountain Bike Park in Cleveland. He would love to get a fat-tire bike in the near future to continue his biking endeavors.

Greg’s Favorites: His favorite things to do outside are rock climbing, mountain biking, hiking and camping.

Go-To Brands: Mountain Hardwear and Black Diamond.

Gear Pick: His favorite piece of gear is his Black Diamond Stance Belay Parka. It’s a great winter coat for belaying or just those really cold days. It has a great fit and isn’t super bulky for a heavy-duty coat.

Best Trip: His favorite trip he has been on was his road trip where he stopped at different mountain bike destinations throughout Ohio, West Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee and Kentucky where he spent 8 days traveling and covered 150 miles of mountain bike trails.


Jacob S.

Sales Associate

Jake is a native to Stow, Ohio and is pursuing a goal to become a career firefighter. Jake loves the outdoors with activities like hunting, fishing, shooting and riding his ATV. Outdoor winter sports he likes to go snowboarding, redneck sledding and riding his ATV in the snow.

Jacob’s Favorites: His favorite things to do outside hunt (large, small game) also fish for largemouth bass or catfish, long walks on the beach or hiking trail. Killing Bambi’s father is the most pleasurable way to spend an afternoon.

Go-to Brand: Columbia, Kuhl and Benchmade.

Best Trip: Family beach trip to the gulf shores of Alabama and fishing for Spanish mackerel.

Gear Pick: His gear pick would be a benchmade knife for its long lasting build and high quality grade of materials.


John Ryan

Josh J.

Sales Associate

Josh is a native of Stow, Ohio and is currently in training to become a pilot in the Flight Technology program at Kent State University. He hopes that he will experience travelling through many different parts of the world as a pilot. Other than his passion for being in the air, Josh loves to hunt with a bow or gun and go fishing in local inland lakes and Lake Erie. In the winter, he loves going snowshoeing and indoor climbing. In his travels as a pilot he hopes to see many part of the world.

Josh’s Favorites: His favorite things to do outside are hunting (bow or gun) large and small game, fish, hike, snowshoe and climb.

Go-To Brand: Columbia, Prana and Kershaw.

Gear Pick: His favorite piece of gear is his Columbia PFG because of its versatility. It’s technical as well as casual.

Best Trip: His favorite trip he’s been on is to Gatlinburg, Tennessee, where he stayed in a cabin in the mountains.


Kevin Leffler

Kevin L.

Buyer

Kevin started working in the outdoor industry at Appalachian Outfitters in 2005. He grew up as an active Boy Scout in which he earned his Eagle Scout rank. After spending a short period of time in the Coast Guard, his passion for the outdoor industry brought him back and he is currently the buyer for AO’s hard goods, footwear and technical clothing styles. He enjoys anything from being on the water to backpacking and climbing. Have technical questions? Kevin has the answer for you.

Kevin’s Favorite: His favorite thing to do outside is backpacking.

Go-To Brands: Montbell, Sea to Summit and Black Diamond.

Gear Pick: His favorite piece of gear is his Montbell Ex-light Jacket because of its light weight and exceptional warmth. It’s only 5.5oz and packs to the size of a tennis ball!

Best Trip: His favorite trip he’s been on was his winter climb on Mount Washington.


Kristen Leffler

Kristen L.

Events/Buyer/Social Media/Sales Associate

Kristen grew up in the Stow area and has spent most of her life outdoors fishing, skiing, hiking and camping. She was a girl scout as a child which sparked her passion for the outdoors and traveling. Her favorite places she’s been to are Italy, Alaska and the Dominican Republic. You’ll not only see Kristen working in the store, but managing many of the office duties as well. She loves dogs, does the buying of all of the dog goods and coordinates the dog hikes. If you see two little dachshunds running around they’re probably hers!

Kristen’s Favorites: Her favorite things to do outside are hiking, hunting, fishing and walking her dogs.

Go-To Brands: Toad & Co, Sherpa, Patagonia and Columbia.

Gear Pick: Her favorite piece of gear are Fits and Smartwool socks. No matter where she goes or what she’s doing—these wool socks get the job done. They’re comfy, wicking, and durable. Once you wear wool, you’ll never go back!

Best Trip: Her favorite trip she’s been on was hiking in Denali National Park in Alaska.


Matt P.

Sales Associate

Matt has a love for the outdoors that has driven my passion for the outdoors. His background is in environmental science and biology, these fields have led to various outdoor opportunities in the Black Hills, Ireland and Alaska.

Matt’s Favorites: Backpacking, Snowshoeing and Boating.

Go-to Brand: MontBell Sleeping Bags.

Best Trip: Matt interned at the Cook Inlet Aquaculture Association in Kenai, Alaska during the summer field season of 2011. It was a three month backcountry survey, enumerating salmon populations. He was one of two people out in the field and had to be self-reliant for the duration of the three months. It was the most remote area he has ever been and is still to this day his best outdoor experience.

Gear Pick: MontBell BurrowBag #1:
Matt took this bag to Alaska when employed by the Cook Inlet Aquaculture Association. It held up fantastically over the three month field season, handing the cold, wet weather like a champ. Several times the bag was soaked through, but he was able to dry it out in just a few hours.


John Ryan

Morgan A.

Sales Associate

Morgan grew up hiking and camping with her family starting at a young age. She attended girl scouts for 9 years and is now a cross country trail runner. She loves volunteering with a local middle school cross country team. She’s backpacked at many of the major National Parks in the Unites States including: Glacier National Park, Yellowstone National Park, Grand Tetons National Park, the Smoky Mountains and parts of the Appalachian Trail.

Morgan’s Favorites: Hiking, running, backpacking, camping and fishing.

Go-to Brand: Columbia

Best Trip: A three week trip to Glacier National Park where she backpacked through the mountains.

Gear Pick: Columbia EvaPOURation Jacket “I love my Columbia rain jacket! It has travelled with me all over the United States on various backpacking and hiking trips. It has held up really well and has kept me both warm and dry in the cooler weather. It is light weight and compact – it even packs into its own pocket! This is a great feature for stowing in a small daypack or larger pack for longer trips. Plus, they come in awesome colors!”


Nicole Chrusciel

Nicole C.

Sales Associate

Nicole is a life-long resident of Northeast Ohio and has been hiking in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park for as long as she can remember. She has been backpacking for close to ten years and after graduating from college she completed a thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail. Thinking about hiking the AT? Nicole offers a class on preparing to make the trek and is an expert in anything from boot fitting to making sure you have the right kind of pack. Along with being outdoors, her passions include playing her banjo and ukulele whenever she can.

Nicole’s Favorites: Her favorite things to do outside include hiking, camping, stargazing and playing her ukulele.

Go-To Brands: Fits Socks, Prana and Superfeet.

Gear Pick: Her favorite piece of gear are her Superfeet. She has them in every pair of shoes she owns, not just her hiking boots. Her feet would be miserable without them!

Best Trip: Her favorite trip she’s been on was her 2010 Appalachian Trail thru-hike.


Philip G.

Sales Associate

Ohio Native. University of Utah graduate.

Philip’s Favorites: Trail Running, Rock Climbing and Fly Fishing.

Go-to Brand: Black Diamond.

Best Trip: Backpacking and fly-fishing in the High Uintas Wilderness.

Gear Pick: Prana Stretch Zion Pants.


Sadie N.

Sales Associate

Sadie is an English major and philosophy/nonprofit studies/ French minor at Kent State University in hopes to work with children in need all over the world. She is a member of the KSU ultimate Frisbee team and is a frequent volunteer for the National Parks. In addition to working at Appalachian Outfitters and Kendall Cliffs, Sadie works at YMCA Camp Fitch as a camp counselor. Outside of work and school, Sadie is training to be a yoga instructor, is an avid naturalist, and can be found either climbing, reading, contemplating the meaning of life, or playing board games.

Sadie’s Favorites: Ultimate Frisbee, rock climbing, trail running, backpacking, kayaking, hiking, cross-country and downhill skiing, gardening, snowshoeing, soccer.

Go-to Brand: Smartwool, Black Diamond and Chacos.

Best Trip: A few years ago, Sadie traveled to Sweden for a week of adventure. The journey began in Stockholm, and after 15 hours of train rides, having to break into a deserted train station, ordering pizza in a different language, and a whole lot of reindeer, she arrived in the small Northern village of Umnäs. While there, Sadie went backpacking, snowmobiling and dog-sledding in the Swedish mountains.

Gear Pick: Crescent Moon Gold Snowshoes
“I do most of my snowshoeing in the Adirondacks, and the trail’s condition can vary anywhere from 10 feet of fresh powder, to miles of ice, to sloppy mud and slippery rocks. My Crescent Moons have been outstanding in every condition I’ve been met with so far, while being light enough to be easily carried. Most of all, I LOVE how environmentally conscious CM is.”


Sherry

Sammi V.

Sales Associate

Sammi graduated from Miami University in the winter of 2014. In the future she hopes to live in the Northeast and work in the outdoor recreation field in a university or camp setting. In her free time she enjoys playing ultimate Frisbee, doing jigsaw puzzles, and reading outside in her hammock.

Sammi’s Favorites: Backpacking, Kayaking, Running, Camping, and Geocaching.

Go-to Brand: Osprey, Keen, Columbia.

Best Trip: 100 mile wilderness backpacking trip in Maine on the Appalachian Trail.

Gear Pick: Osprey Ariel 65 Backpack.


Sarah W.

Sales Associate/Merchandiser

Sarah is a Fashion Design major with a minor in Sustainability. She hopes to move out west to work for a company like Patagonia, Columbia, or Prana. In her free time, she can be found working on her Vinyasa yoga practice, trail running, hiking, or rock climbing. When she isn’t staying active you can find Sarah indulging on her addiction to Monster, obsessing over her pets, or working on her fashion homework.

Sarah’s Favorites: Yoga, hiking, rock climbing, camping, and trail running.

Go-to Brand: Patagonia.

Best Trip: When she was in high school her family took a two and a half week trip out west and hit many national parks including Mount Rushmore, Badlands, Rocky Mountain, White Sands, Grand Canyon, and Arches.

Gear Pick: Osprey Day Packs
“I take my Osprey pack with me everywhere I go. I use it for school, travel, day hikes, and anything else. It’s comfortable, lightweight, and has a lot of storage.”


Sherry

Sherry M.

Store Manager

Sherry grew up in Stow and lives in Twinsburg. She attended Kent State University for business management and has spent the last 25 years working in Retail Management of which 9 of those years have been in a sporting goods store. She has a great passion for the outdoors, especially hunting, hiking, camping and kayaking.

Sherry’s Favorites: Camping, hiking, hunting, kayaking.

Go-to Brand: Patagonia, Big Agnes, Sea to Summit.

Best Trip: Grand Canyon Montana. She also owns 124 acres in Southern Ohio where she loves to hunt, fish, camp and hike.

Gear Pick: Talus I sleeping bag “It’s the lightest in the series and offers great three seasons warmth while still being ultralight at only 1 lb. 15 oz. I have had it three years and it works great for a wide range of activities such as hunting, hiking and camping.”

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