This group works year round pulling together the details to ensure a successful conference experience for all of you! Many of them give endless hours of volunteer time to ensure that our community has ample professional development and networking opportunities through out the event. Several have visible roles on-site and others do a lot behind the scenes serving as the ambassadors for our conference. We are happy to serve this amazing community so please don’t hesitate to reach out if there is anything we can do to help make your conference a memorable one. We are so excited to welcome you to Portland for our 33rd Annual International ACCT Conference & Expo in February!
When presented with the opportunity to volunteer for the conference work group, I gladly signed on, knowing that I would be contributing to a team that puts in the work each and every year to create unique experiences for every attendee. As an exhibit hall coordinator, I am proud to support our vendors as they promote the products and services that help our community grow. Come find me in the exhibit hall and say hello!
Alexis Webb Bechtold
Outdoor Experiential Educator and Trainer, Eco-Artist, Photographer, Author, Tour Guide, Entrepreneur (X37Adventures). Alexis lives at the intersection of Art and Adventure, where her heart yearns for the blending of community and curiosity. In her view, this can be achieved while respecting the past and dreaming of what can be in the future. Her passion for adventure, the outdoors, community and art is what drives her to the brink of wild enthusiasm! While still in high school, (yes, that was over two decades ago) she joined the professional outdoor industry, which led her to get her bachelor’s degree from Oklahoma State University. Specifically in the challenge course and zip line industry, she has served as a facilitator, zip guide, assistant coordinator, coordinator, director, and currently Lead Trainer and Operation Reviewer. Alexis has also served the ACCT community, first in Service Crew, then transitioned to the role of Conference Workshop Coordinator starting with the Orlando conference in 2014.
Alicia has been working in the marketing and corporate event industry for over 8 years. She got her start as a Trade Show Manager and since then has planned various types of events, including trade shows, conferences, VIP events, golf tournaments and offsites. She enjoys the face paced nature of event planning and is passionate about bringing people together.
Angie Spearman has been planning, marketing and executing events around the globe for over 20 years. In addition to a breadth of experience in meeting and event operations, she has specialized skills in meeting technology and event marketing campaigns. Fluent in German, Angie started her event career overseas with the USO. Her experience to date includes working in the Hospitality, Association, Corporate and High Tech Industries overseeing marketing campaigns, tradeshows, incentive programs and conferences. Education: BA, Business Management.
Annika took to the outdoor industry after following a familiar progression: She went to camp, fell in love with the community and eventually became a staff member. Annika has spent 14 years chasing seasonal work, earning her way into various leadership roles. She currently finds herself preparing for training and certification courses while supporting her local community. Annika first began volunteering for the ACCT in 2021 after attending her first conference virtually, and she has loved getting connected with so many incredible humans. She’s stoked for her first year on the Conference Work Group as a Digital Coordinator!
Carina has worked in non-profit, military, higher-education, and corporate sectors empowering and developing the next generation of leaders for over 15 years. She graduated from Chaminade University in Honolulu, Hawaii with her Bachelor’s in Psychology. Carina later received her Master’s in Administration & Leadership from North Carolina State University in Raleigh. At NC State, she found her passion for the outdoors by working at the NC State Challenge Course. This is also where Carina began her volunteer journey with ACCT. In 2014, she served the PR&M Committee for a few years until joining the Conference Work Group in 2017 as the Service Crew Coordinator. Carina currently resides in Boston, Massachusetts where she enjoys hiking, cycling, baking fun things (sometimes her bakes look like various masterpieces on the show Nailed It!), cooking, and spending time with friends. She has proudly worn her Yellow Hat since 2015.
Courtney has always found comfort and community in the outdoors. She discovered a passion for challenge courses in 2016 as a facilitator on her college campus’ course, which has driven her goal to become a Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist, helping those of all abilities discover new recreational loves or re-kindle those they thought they had lost. She first attended the ACCT Conference as a Yellow Hat in 2017, where she fell in love with the conference and attended every year since, trying to find every way to be more involved. After obtaining a Bachelor’s degree in Kinesiology at the University of North Georgia, she went on to the University of Mississippi to oversee their outdoor program as a graduate assistant while she earned a Master’s in Recreation Administration. She now works with Adventure Experiences, LLC, sharing her passion for the industry with others around the world. She is excited to join the Conference Work Group as a Hybrid Workshop Coordinator!
Elizabeth is an ACCT certified Challenge Course Manager and has been in the Challenge Course industry for over a decade. She graduated from Radford University in Virginia with a Bachelor’s degree in Recreation, Parks, and Tourism and French. In 2017, she was a Yellow Hat for ACCT and doing this allowed her to discover the Conference Workshop Team which she has served since 2019.
Jason is an experienced camp director that has been in the Challenge COurse industry for 20 years. He graduated from Western Illinois University. Jason is passionate about wilderness travel, animals, and paddling. He serves as Special Projects coordinator on the ACCT Conference Work Group. He started with the ACCT in 2005 as a conference attendee and Service Crew volunteer.
Jessica "Bird" Brown
Brown graduated from North Georgia College and State University (NGCSU) with a degree in Physical Education and a minor in Leadership. She also has her Master’s degree from NGCSU in Phys Ed. Registering for a ropes course class as a student was her first taste within the world of outdoor rec and ed. Bird’s first involvement in ACCT was in 2015 as a Yellow Hat. In 2017, she joined the Conference Work Group as the Exhibit Hall Liaison, and has been practicing thickening her skin ever since.
Kristin launched her career in the hospitality industry in 1999 and spent more than a decade
working in hotels and resorts in both group sales and marketing roles. In 2011 she joined
HPN Global’s meeting and events consulting team. She is now an advocate for meeting professionals. She is primarily responsible for site selection and contract negotiation for meetings and events.
Lara graduated from Texas A&M with a double major in Wildlife Conservation and Forestry Science. She had her mind set on working with animals, but instead stumbled by accident on the outdoor education world in 2012. Since then, Lara has worked at various camps and education centers in numerous different roles. Lara worked her first ropes course at one of these outdoor education centers and has continued to grow her knowledge and love for the industry ever since. Her first experience with the ACCT conference was as a Yellow Hat in 2019. In 2021 she joined the Conference Work Group. Currently Lara lives in Colorado and is a Co-Director for a team building and leadership conference center. In her free time, Lara enjoys rock climbing, skiing, exploring nature, spending time with friends, doing all sorts of creative projects, and hanging out with her dog (Sir Winston).
For over 15 years, Laura has been in the meeting management and event planning arena in the corporate meeting, incentive markets, and the association market. She has managed and implemented all elements of the pre-planning and on-site logistics. Laura has traveled all over the globe, both professionally and personally.
I serve because I love being a part of someone else having a successful conference. ACCT has changed my life for the better and I love any opportunity I can to provide a similar experience. I also love getting to bust out my dance moves first thing in the morning to brighten people's conference!!
Melissa is an experienced Events Director with a demonstrated history working in the recreational facilities and services industry. She is skilled in Catering, Food & Beverage, Sales, Hotel Management, and Outdoor Education.
Mike works at Bonclarken Conference Center in Flat Rock, NC. He has been working on challenge courses and facilitating multiple elements with people of all ages and abilities. He has worked in various camps and conference centers in Oklahoma, Colorado, Michigan and North Carolina. His passion is problem solving, excellent customer service and quality programming. Time off favorites are hanging on the beach, hikes and Disney. Mike started out volunteering as a yellow hat in 2011 and stayed involved every year to the present. It's a great way to stay up on all the current trends and work with a bunch of really great people.
Mistie Ibarra is an ACCT certified Challenge Course Manager and has been in the Challenge Course industry since 1998. As Chief Operating Officer and part owner of CCF Investments LLC, Mistie has also managed the operations of other various programs, some to include: Outdoor Education, summer camp staff training, camp challenge courses, zip line adventure tours and leadership programs. Since 2008 she has been the Director of Operations for Changing Course Foundation, and currently sits on the Board of Directors as Secretary.
Mistie has been a member of ACCT since 2009. She served on the Service Crew (Yellow Hats) 2009 to 2018, and joined the Conference Work Group as the Registration Coordinator in 2019.
Robb can be described using many words but two of the first that come to mind are; enthusiastic and lanky. He has been in the adventure education industry for over 15 years and with ACCT since 2006. As cliche as it is, Robb does enjoy long walks on the beach and moonlit swims. He currently is the Program Director at Dylan’s Wings of Change based out of Newtown, CT.
Tyler serves as the digital coordinator for ACCT.