Q: Where do you hail from, Marti?
A: I was born and raised in Cincinnati, Ohio, home of the "Cincinnati Reds," one of the first Major League baseball teams, and also home of the "Flying Pig" Marathon. I have participated in the 1/2 Marathon twice.
Q: How long have you worked for GSMA?
A: For over 15 years, both in the visitor centers and in membership.
Q: Is it true you've hiked every trail in the Smokies?
A: Yes, I have hiked every trail. I am very goal oriented. It has helped to keep me healthy and in shape (just like the editor talks about in this spring's Smokies Life Magazine #14).
Q: How long did that take?
A: It took me 9 years to finish all of the trails. I started in 1999, not long after I started working for GSMA. I finished in 2008, with a small hike in the Deep Creek area, with most of my hiking buddies at my side.
Q: Which was the most difficult for you?
A: The most difficult trail for me was Jenkins Ridge Trail. Even though I did it going downhill, it was so steep, I was relieved when we encountered an uphill section. I remember talking to our publications department afterwards and asking them to change the trail profile in Hiking Trails of the Smokies.
Q: What's your favorite trail in the park for a spring day hike?
A: A favorite trail in the spring is Ramsey Cascades. I love the carpets of dwarf crested iris all along the old roadbed for the first mile and a half of the hike.
Q: What do you like most about your job?
A: I enjoy working for a non-profit organization that "supports the perpetual preservation of Great Smoky Mountains National Park." I like the variety of duties in my job description, and I especially enjoy using my creative abilities in coming up with new ideas for membership support and events.
Q: Are you looking forward to the fall membership meeting at Lake Junaluska?
A: I am really looking forward to this year's Annual Membership Meeting. Lake Junaluska is a new venue for us, and there are many outdoor activities there that we plan on using in our scheduled events. The setting, with the lake and the mountains as a backdrop, is especially serene.