Meet the team

The America Outdoors staff is pleased to carry out the strategic plan of the association. These visionary professionals are committed to ensuring that America Outdoors is Where Outfitters Thrive. We do this by focusing on the four pillars of membership: to be where outfitters connect, grow, learn & belong. We work hard on behalf of the outdoor industry so your business can run smoothly. 

Scroll down to learn more about this small, but dedicated team. Get to know them by reading their bios, and don't forget to say "hello" when you see these faces at the Annual Conference


Headshot of Julie Kahlfeldt, Executive Director

Julie Kahlfeldt
Executive Director


Julie Kahlfeldt has over 20 years of association management experience, with many of those being in a leadership position for various trade and professional organizations. She has worked with member-driven associations to: re-brand, restructure the governance model, and organize Board and volunteers leaders to reach organizational goals. Originally from Chicago, by way of San Francisco, Julie currently resides in Gainesville, FL. She loves to cook for her family and friends; at times trying out new recipes on unsuspecting guests. Wanting to live like a “local”,  Julie loves to explore new areas, states, and towns.

Email Julie.


Heidi Prior
Business Development Specialist


Heidi Prior graduated from Arizona State University with a degree in Outdoor Recreation Management & Tourism. After graduation, Heidi found herself “accidentally” spending over a decade guiding rivers all over the US, Norway and  New Zealand. After retiring from commercial guiding, Heidi worked as the Marketing Director at one of the largest outfitters in the US. Her professional drive and enthusiasm for the outdoor industry will allow AO to continue to work on government relations and policy work on behalf of our members. Heidi and her husband call the New River Gorge of WV home where they are raising an already-daring little boy.

Email Heidi.

Headshot of Hilary Wickes, Marketing & Communications
Hilary Wickes
Marketing & Communications Specialist


Hilary Wickes joined the America Outdoors team in February of 2018, bringing with her a creative spirit and a background in marketing, anthropology and, of course, outdoor recreation experience. Hilary is originally from Indiana, spent the previous 3 years in Colorado, and has now landed in Knoxville TN to call the Southeast home. She spends her free time traveling around the world and exploring trails with her husband, Justin, and their Border Collie, Annie.

Email Hilary.





Kim Thomas 
Administrative Specialist 


Kim Thomas is no stranger to the outdoors. As a native of East Tennessee, she has experienced some the best outdoor areas the United States has to offer. Prior to joining America Outdoors in 2018, she has had careers as a computer programmer, inside sales, tax preparation, bookkeeping and office management. Most of her free time is spent traveling and being outdoors with her family.

Email  Kim.