Board of Directors/Executive Staff

Board Members

John Stemberger

John Stemberger is an Eagle Scout, a former Scoutmaster, and a Vigil Honor member of the Order of the Arrow. He was the founder of On My Honor movement and became the Chairman of the Board for Trail Life USA in 2013. 

Professionally John is an AV Rated Orlando attorney with a civil trial and business law private practice who has also been a marriage and family advocate for over 30 years. As a native Floridian, he attended Florida State University where he studied political science and philosophy before obtaining a Juris Doctorate of Law at the Cumberland School of Law at Samford University. In 1987, he founded the Institute for Conservative Studies (ICS), a permanent student led think-tank at Florida State University.

After legislative internships in both the Florida House and Senate, Stemberger worked with attorney Ken Connor in Tallahassee for several years and then served as the lobbyist for Florida Right to Life with Connor in 1989. Stemberger has a unique understanding of law, government, and the media from his extensive political background having served as a consultant to state, federal, and presidential campaigns. In 1992, he was appointed as the Political Director of the Republican Party of Florida during the final campaign of former President George H. W. Bush. Stemberger has been quoted in news and media sources hundreds of times as an expert on marriage, family, culture and politics including in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Time, The Economist and National Public Radio. His legal, political and non-profit advocacy work has appeared on ABC News Nightline, Fox News, C-SPAN, MSNBC, and Court TV. Starting in 2001, Florida Governor Jeb Bush twice appointed Stemberger to the Judicial Nominating Commission (JNC) for the Ninth Judicial Circuit of Florida, where he served for eight years screening and recommending new judge candidates in Central Florida.

A sought after speaker around the country, John Stemberger is also a member of the Council for National Policy and in a feature article on his work, the Miami Herald called him, “One of the most interesting and influential people you’ve never heard of.” In 2009, Orlando Magazine named him one of the top 50 most powerful people in Central Florida.

In addition to the private practice of law, in 2004 Stemberger became the President of the Florida Family Policy Council (FFPC). Since starting the FFPC he was Chairman of the 2008 campaign to amend Florida’s Constitution to define marriage as the union of one man and one woman which was adopted by 61.9% of Florida voters. He also launched the “Florida Judicial Accountability Project” by filing a federal lawsuit against the Florida Bar and Judicial Qualifications Commission to strike down Florida’s gag order which prohibits judges candidates from addressing issues during their campaigns and created a statewide judicial voter guide. He has also launched Strong Marriages Florida, a statewide coalition campaign, to reduce the divorce rate and strengthen marriages across Florida.

In 2009, Stemberger’s law firm received international media attention for representing Rifqa Bary, the Muslim teenager from Columbus, Ohio, who fled to Orlando, Florida after she was threatened to be killed by her father for not renouncing her faith after her conversion from Islam to Christianity was discovered.  

Most importantly, he has been married to his wife Olivia for twenty years and they have four children Joseph, Benjamin, Hannah and Rachel. John’s sons are in Trail Life USA and his daughters are in American Heritage Girls at Orangewood church in Maitland, FL. 



Rob Rye

Dr. Rob Rye has been a member of the Trail Life USA board since the ministry’s inception. He currently serves as the Corporate Secretary. Rob also has the privilege of serving on the board of American Heritage Girls, as Vice President. Rob, his wife Elizabeth, and their three daughters live in Northwestern Montana. Both Rob and Elizabeth have a passion for serving children of all abilities and talents, a passion sharpened by the challenges of home schooling their middle daughter who has Down Syndrome. They have served as leaders in Christian education ministries throughout their 15 years of marriage, most recently at The River Church in Kalispell, MT. 

Rob studied history at Stanford University and graduated from Harvard University in 1999 with a PhD in Geology/Geochemistry. He subsequently worked as a postdoctoral scholar of astrobiology at Caltech and an adjunct professor of microbiology at California State University, Northridge and served for several years as a research professor of geobiology at the University of Southern California. Dr. Rye is now committed to working outside of entrenched institutions to transform education and youth development in America.



Jeff Hudson

Jeff dedicated his career to serving the public in his home state of North Carolina. Over the past 24 years Jeff has helped lead large units of local government by serving in such positions as Town Manager, Assistant Superintendent of Schools and County Manager.  He holds undergraduate and graduate degrees in public administration.  Jeff received national recognition by Fox News for his support of our wounded warriors.  And for his commitment to servant leadership, Jeff was named the 2015 Man of the Year in his home community.  In January 2017, Jeff transitioned into the field of public utilities and became the CEO of a North Carolina utility authority. Jeff led the initial program team that created the Trail Life USA Woodlands Trail Unit, which serves elementary school-aged Trailmen. He has been ordained as a deacon by his local Southern Baptist church and has been married to his wife, Dr. Angela Hudson since 1995. Together they have one son, who is an enthusiastic young Trailman.



Pat Garibay

Pat Garibay has been engaged with Trail life since its inception at the coalition meeting. He currently serves as the Corporate Treasurer for the Board of Directors. Having worked with children most of his adult life (including scouts, children’s church ministries, and coaching sports), he looks forward to seeing TLUSA’s ever growing impact on boys as they learn to Walk Worthy and discern God’s will for their lives. 

Pat has been married to Patti for 38 years, has 4 children and 7 grandkids (including 5 boys!). He is a founding member of the American Heritage Girls, and has served as a board member for 23 years. Pat attended Ohio State University studying zoology and earned an MBA from Xavier University. He has worked in senior leadership roles with several multinational companies, and is currently a Partner/co-owner of an energy solutions consulting firm that helps school and colleges upgrade facilities and reduce energy and operating costs.



Stuart Michelson

Stuart currently serves as the Board of Director’s Vice Chairman, and has been involved in Trail Life USA’s program since before its official launch. He is a Lifetime Charter member of Trail Life USA. Before joining the Board of Directors, Stuart served as the State Leadership Chairman for Georgia, and served as the coordinator for the Atlanta venue of the 2014 Trail Leader Training Conference. He pioneered an adult training model and oversaw its deployment as the chairman of the inaugural Equip64 training event at Camp Aiken. He led a diverse national team of volunteers to develop the Trail Life USA shooting sports program. A frequently requested national speaker, Stuart has extensive program and training experience spanning multiple volunteer organizations and has a passion for seeing Trail Life USA Troops produce Godly and responsible fathers, husbands, and citizens.


Stuart Nolan

Stu Nolan earned his law degree from the Catholic University of America and is a member of the Virginia Bar, the National Lawyers Association, the Federalist Society, and the Thomas More Society.  After serving as Grand Knight of his local Knights of Columbus council, he began to prayerfully discern an integrated approach to family, professional, and spiritual life. This resulted in his founding of LegalWorks Apostolate, PLLC, a law practice offering “counsel for a Culture of Life” informed by the teachings of the Church.  He is managing attorney of LegalWorks, which has represented hundreds of Christian organizations.

Stu also serves as chairman on the Board of Directors of Human Life International, the world's largest international pro-life education apostolate.  He is founder and executive director of the WitnessWorks Foundation for a Culture of Life.  As part of its Faithful Youth initiative, WitnessWorks hosts the internet presence of the National Catholic Committee for Trail Life USA (NCCTL).  Stu is founding chairman of the NCCTL.

Stu is a former Scoutmaster and founding Troopmaster of Troop VA-1212, a Troop named for the dual purposes of recalling, (i) the Biblical exhortation in Romans 12:12, “Be joyful in hope, patient in adversity, and faithful in prayer,” as well as (ii) the December 12th feast day of the Blessed Virgin under her title, Our Lady of Guadalupe, patroness of the unborn.

Stu and his wife, Cynthia, have been married for 23 years and have been blessed with five children, ages 8 to 18 years. They are active in parish life at St. John the Baptist parish in the Diocese of Arlington, Virginia. Their children actively participate in TLUSA and AHG Troops chartered by Chelsea Academy in Front Royal, Virginia.



Hezekiah Barge, Jr.

Hezekiah has served the nation as an enlisted man and infantry officer in the US military for the past 30 years, to include numerous ground combat deployments around the world in places such as Iraq, Kosovo, Africa, and Afghanistan. Hezekiah has also served in numerous leadership positions in his local churches, youth sport teams, and Christian ministries (military and men’s ministry focused) over the years. He is the recipient of the Bronze Star (3rd award), military Volunteer Service medal, and the United States Presidential Volunteer Award. 

Hezekiah is a TLUSA adult Freedom Rangeman (BSA Eagle Scout transition) who has over three years of experience serving as the Troopmaster of VA-0110 and as a Point Man. As a Lifetime Charter member, he is committed to seeing TLUSA continue its forward momentum as the premier national character development organization for young men and older men living out their calling in Christ.

Hezekiah met his wife, Dawn Marie, while in college and they have been married for almost 28 years. They have 2 daughters and 3 sons (1 BSA Eagle Scout and 2 TLUSA Freedom Rangemen) and 2 grandsons. As a family, the Barges enjoy almost any activity outdoors. Hezekiah holds a BS in Computer Information Systems from Florida A&M University and a MS in Information Systems Technology from the Naval Postgraduate School.


Executive Staff

Mark Hancock, Chief Executive Officer

Mark Hancock began his career founding a national advertising agency and running it for fifteen years. His conversion to Christ led him into ministry as a Youth and College Pastor, Associate Pastor, Homeless Ministry Director and Global Event Director for an international ministry, organizing events on five continents. He holds two Masters Degrees in the Mental Health Counseling field, having spent a number of years in private practice, and has taught at secular and Christian colleges. An award-winning writer and conference speaker, he serves as Chief Executive Officer of Trail Life USA and lives near Greenville, SC with his wife of 27 years and two sons. Mark’s Resumé


Gayle Kelly, National Director of Membership

Gayle is first and foremost a follower of Jesus Christ. His passion is growing God’s kingdom. He worked for 20 plus years in operations for two theatre circuits; one was the largest exhibitor in the world and the second was a small startup that he joined early in its development—it eventually became the world’s fifth largest exhibitor.

Between 2013 and 2016, Gayle owned his own consulting business, started one small business, and acquired another. His significant and varied business experiences will be a valuable addition to Trail Life USA. Gayle graduated summa cum laude from Pensacola State College with a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and Organizational Management.

Gayle and his wife of 22 years have two daughters and a son. He enjoys volunteering in missions and coaching soccer. 


Rob Green, National Director of Field Operations

Rob began his career as a Scouting professional in 1993 in West Palm Beach, Florida. For the next twelve years, Rob worked in a variety of managerial positions to help the Gulf Stream Council achieve phenomenal growth in Membership, Fundraising, and Program. During his tenure there, the Council achieved the Quality Council Award for 12 consecutive years. Rob was selected as the Scout Executive/CEO for upstate South Carolina in September 2004, and helped facilitate the Palmetto Council’s turnaround, consistently balancing the budget, growing programs, and achieving Quality Council distinction year after year. In July 2013, Rob became Interim Executive Director for a brand new organization that would soon be called Trail Life USA. Since early 2014, he has primarily developed structures, policies and procedures to equip field personnel (Area Teams) to provide better support to Troops and their Charter Organizations.

Born and raised near Dallas, Texas, Rob then lived in Florida for 25 years prior to moving to South Carolina. He is a graduate of Brown University, dual-majoring in Business Economics and Organizational Behavior & Management. On October 14, 1987, he received Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior—and has never been the same since! Rob has been married to his wife Kathy since June 1989. They have four grown children; all are faithful followers of Jesus Christ. Rob loves team sports, personal fitness, outdoor adventure, and leading Bible studies and church small groups. 


Laura Burton, National Director of Program and Compliance

Laura has worked in a variety of roles for Trail Life USA since its inception including registration, website development, database management, online systems, communications, and training.  But her first love is program where she works with volunteer committees on new development and revisions to program elements.  She is passionate about the Mission and Vision of Trail Life USA and using the program as a tool for providing opportunities for male-mentorship and growing young men spiritually. 

Laura graduated from Appalachian State University with a B.S.B.A. in Information Systems and worked in accounting during and after college.  Since having children she has worked primarily in a volunteer capacity coordinating co-ops and family ministries while being a full-time wife, mom and homeschool educator.  She began volunteering on the Advancement Team of Trail Life USA in June 2013 and volunteered as a coordinator at the TLUSA Inaugural Convention in Nashville, TN.  She has three children with her husband of 24 years including a Freedom Rangeman, an AHG Stars and Stripes recipient, and an Adventurer Trailman. They enjoy traveling around the United States and visiting National Parks, heritage sites, museums, and theme parks and live in South Carolina.