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



Aaron Bannon
Executive Director


A Casper, Wyoming native, Aaron spent two years in the Peace Corps and ten years in conservation advocacy before he settling in Lander, Wyoming to work with the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS) where he dedicated 13 years, most recently as the Environmental Stewardship and Sustainability Director. Before stepping into the role of Executive Director, Aaron was an engaged member of the AO Board of Directors for eight years. He also serves on the Wyoming State Parks and Cultural Resources Commission. He tirelessly endeavors to find time to get into Wyoming’s exceptional outdoor spaces with his son Sebastian and his daughter Fiona.

Contact Aaron


Heidi Prior
Business Development 


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 


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.

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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.

Contact Kim