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. Aaron 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



Hilary Wickes
Marketing & Events Manager 

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 Steamboat Springs, Colorado, and has now landed in Knoxville, TN to call the Southeast home. She spends her free time traveling and exploring trails with her husband, Justin, pup Annie, and son, Walden.

Contact 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. 

Contact Kim 



Caryn Short
Membership & Exhibits Specialist

Caryn Short lives in Central Illinois with roots in Wisconsin, where she grew up learning to love and respect the outdoors. She has a background in business and leadership involving the outdoor, fitness, and foodservice industries. Caryn spends as much of her free time as possible with Olive, her beloved four-legged hiking partner, but also loves to travel with friends. Some of her favorite trips include backpacking Isle Royal, kayaking Bennett Lake (Canada), rafting the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon, and hiking in the Grand Tetons.

Contact Caryn