Middlebury native to head Green Mountain Club

WATERBURY CENTER — The Green Mountain Club, which maintains the Long Trail, has hired a man who grew up in Middlebury as its new leader.
On this past Wednesday, the club’s board of directors announced the appointment of Michael DeBonis as the organization’s next executive director.
DeBonis, the son of Addison County Sheriff’s Department Deputy and regular Addison County courthouse guard Richard DeBonis, is currently the executive director of the Forest Guild, a national nonprofit forestry organization based in Santa Fe, N.M.
According to a Green Mountain Club press release, Michael DeBonis said he his happy to be returning to his home state; he and his wife, Jennifer, will be relocating from Santa Fe.
“It is an honor to have the opportunity to join the dedicated team of staff and volunteers at the Green Mountain Club. I very much look forward to getting back out on the trail in Vermont,” said DeBonis.
DeBonis is a longtime member of the Green Mountain Club who grew up hiking, camping, and backpacking in the Green Mountains and has hiked both the Long Trail and Appalachian Trail. A former Peace Corps volunteer in Jamaica, he also served as a park manager for Lake Carmi State Park in Vermont. He has a bachelor’s degree in Natural Resource Management from Johnson State College and a master’s degree in Forestry from Yale University.
Jean Haigh, president of the Green Mountain Club, said DeBonis, who will begin work for the club in May, was a strong candidate.
“We have been impressed by Mike’s intellect and his quick understanding of the issues,” said Haigh. “Mike’s strengths and experiences lie in the areas of organizational, financial, and personnel management — skills that he has used to successfully manage organizational change within the Forest Guild, and which are very important to the Green Mountain Club. And he already has a number of positive and collegial relationships in Vermont. Mike is very much a fit for the club”
The Green Mountain Club is recognized by the state of Vermont as “the founder, sponsor, defender, and protector” of the 450-mile Long Trail System. With its 273-mile footpath, 175 miles of side trails, and nearly 70 primitive shelters, the Long Trail is the oldest long-distance trail in the U.S.
In addition to the Long Trail System, the club also maintains Vermont’s Appalachian National Scenic Trail and many hiking trails in the Northeast Kingdom in collaboration with partners including the U.S. Forest Service; Vermont Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation; and the Appalachian Trail Conservancy.

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