Hiking Buddies has roots dating back to June 2020 where it originated as a social media group focused on connecting people to group hike the 48 4000-footers of NH. With a grass-roots online presence the group exploded to over 16,000 members and became one of the largest and most active group hiking conduits in the United States. In 2021, Hiking Buddies began organizing members for positive purposes by supporting fundraisers, planning events, and promoting the safety benefits of group hiking to new and less experienced hikers. In 2022, several fatalities shook the hiking community, most of which involved solo hikers and heartbreaking outcomes that may have been avoided with education, preparedness, and/or experienced hiking partners. The mission and heart of Hiking Buddies continued to evolve, and the organization established as a nonprofit corporation in January 2023. Hiking Buddies is committed to reducing avoidable tragedies through education, community, and impactful projects. While not all tragedies are avoidable, some are, and Hiking Buddies believes it will quietly save lives by pre-emptively educating, preparing, and connecting hikers.
Ben is Chairman of the Board for Hiking Buddies, a New Hampshire non-profit. He is also the founder of the 16,000+ member Facebook group, Hiking Buddies NH 48, that operates as a conduit for individuals to set up group hikes and connect with others in the hiking community. Professionally, Ben has over 20 years of experience in the financial sector that includes department leadership, people management and investment strategy. Ben holds an MBA degree, a B.S. in finance and economics, and a graduate certificate in marketing from Southern New Hampshire University, as well as professional certificates in executive presence and change leadership from Cornell University. Ben is married with 4 children and has hiked all 48 4000-footers in New Hampshire.
Julie is Vice Chairman of Hiking Buddies. She is also an administrator for Hiking Buddies NH 48, a 16,000+ member Facebook group that provides opportunities for individuals to organize group hikes within New England. As a professional, she has a 28 year career within the United States Postal Service, primarily focused on operations. She is Lean Six Sigma, Green Belt certified, and trained in mediation, marketing, negotiation, and enhancing operational efficiencies. Julie has also been an active real estate salesperson for the past 18 years in MA. Julie has a son attending college in NC, enjoys numerous outdoor activities, and completed all 48 4000-footers in NH.
Philip is a Director on the Board for Hiking Buddies. He is also one of the founding members of the 16,000+ member Facebook group, Hiking Buddies NH 48, that operates as a conduit for individuals to set up group hikes and connect with others in the hiking community. Professionally, Philip has over 20 years of industry experience within Information Technology. Philip holds a variety of IT related certificates, most notably Security +, MCP, MCSA, ITIL and Apple certifications. Philip is married with 2 children and is a lifelong hiker.
Lynn is the Secretary for Hiking Buddies. She is an active member of the Hiking Buddies NH 48 Facebook group, and holds Wilderness First Responder credentials. She is a proud veteran of the CT Army National Guard, and volunteers in various capacities around New England. Lynn holds a B.A. in Psychology from the University of CT, and is a freelance photography and marketing professional, concentrating her efforts within the outdoor industry. Lynn lives in central CT with her 18 year-old son Collin, who is an aspiring residential carpenter. In her free time, she is passionate about backpacking, kayaking, and indoor rock climbing.
Bill is the Treasurer for Hiking Buddies. Bill has over 35 years’ experience in taxation and financial planning with direct experience in individual, trust, estate and nonprofit taxation. Bill is credentialed as an Enrolled Agent with the Internal Revenue Service, allowing him to represent taxpayers at every level. He has over 15 years of non-profit experience as the founder and past President of Rise Again Outreach, Inc., a faith-based nonprofit organization operating in central New Hampshire since 2007, where he is currently a board member. He has also served on several other nonprofit boards over the years. Bill is an ordained minister with the International Foursquare Church is a Chaplain at the NH State Prison for Men in Concord, NH since 2019. Bill has hiked 30+ 4,000 footers and explores many other beautiful areas of NH. He has two daughters and two granddaughters, and lives with his wife, Maggie, in Boscawen, NH.