PEC Welcomes New Program Staff

The PEC team is growing! In October, we welcomed two new staff members: Alexandra Long as Program Coordinator for Trails and Recreation in our Pittsburgh office, and Ryan Kurtz as Mapping/Program Coordinator in our State College office.

Alexandra Long, Program Coordinator, Trails and Recreation. Image credit: Alexandra Long

As Program Coordinator, Alexandra will support the Industrial Heartland Trail Coalition and Laurel Highlands Conservation Landscape initiatives. She has a B.S. in Biology and Chemistry from Point Park University and will wrap up her M.S. in Environmental Science and Conservation Biology from Prescott College in May 2023. Prior to working at PEC, she spent time in Wyoming working at the Teton Science Schools, where she developed an appreciation for the interconnectedness of economy, culture, and ecology – all while exploring the trail systems of the backcountry. She is also on the Board of Directors for the Swissvale Farmers Market and an avid rock climber, cyclist, and runner.

“PEC is the first workplace where I directly feel the effects of my work in my everyday life – something that makes being passionate come easily. For many years I have found community outdoors by exploring new places and relishing the beauty of nature. Conversations with trail friends, new and old, often lead to discussing ways to make the outdoors more accessible and welcoming to all: ‘How can we get MORE people to experience the joy we’ve experienced today?’ I couldn’t be more excited to join PEC in connecting more people to more places through trails,” said Alexandra.

Ryan Kurtz, Mapping/Program Coordinator. Image credit: Ryan Kurtz.

Ryan Kurtz recently graduated from Penn State with B.S. in Geography, focusing on on Geographic Information Systems and Sustainability Leadership. As Mapping/Program Coordinator he will provide mapping support for trail groups across Pennsylvania. Prior to working at PEC, he operated Valley Exclusive LLC, a rider-oriented company in the action sports industry focused on building a stronger community and creating economic opportunities for riders.  

“I’m excited for the opportunity to collaborate with other trail groups in Pennsylvania and make use of my GIS skills to contribute to trail networks across the state. As Mapper/Program Coordinator at PEC I’ve found the ability to make positive impacts on trails with GIS highly rewarding. I look forward to seeing more trail projects through to completion so that others and I can go ride them!” said Ryan. 

We’re very excited to have Ryan and Alexandra joining us!