Neil Bacon Art Coordinator
Neil Bacon comes from Durban, South Africa, and has been teaching outdoor education through art for nearly 14 years. As the activity director for a special needs camp, Neil coordinated dances, talent shows, holiday events, and annual plays which he wrote and created the artwork for. He holds a master’s degree in Fine Art and you can find him channeling his creative energy through woodworking and photography.
Neil’s teaching philosophy is that everyone can and should create art. He believes that art is a safe space to teach success, failure, and perseverance.
Neil’s Favorite Outdoor Activity: Walking through the forest with his neighbor's two cats.
Roman Shapla Culture Mentor
Roman is from Kentucky, where the grass is blue. He speaks Slovenian and enjoys wildcrafting, foraging, and practicing archery. Roman is gifted at teaching kids stealth, movement, balance, and patience. However, his superpower is getting any human passionate about Nature in under ten seconds. If he were an animal he’d be a seahorse (with no jockey).
Favorite Outdoor Activity: Teaching Stealth and Camouflage
Nick is from Redding, CT, where he grew up around plentiful hiking trails and dense forests, which developed his passion for the outdoors and wilderness. He has a professional background in music and theatre, as a performer, behind-the-scenes supporter, and writer. Nick’s experience as a performer and storyteller blends into his work with Artisans at Trackers.
As an educator, Nick’s mission is to bring out the best in his student’s creativity and assist them in finding the joy of the outdoors.
Nick’s Favorite Outdoor Activity: Exploring new hiking trails with friends and loved ones.
Fern Truitt Supervisor
Fern is originally from southern Ohio, where she grew up on a small farm. This is where her love of nature began while playing in the creeks and exploring the forest. She has a bachelor's degree in Natural Science from Shawnee State University.
Before college Fern spent four years travelling the world in the Navy. While in college Fern started rock climbing, backpacking and learning primitive skills. After college she continued traveling, learning about new environments and practicing the skills to survive in them. Fern has been teaching about the environment and primitive skills for over 15 years at various parks, nature preserves, colleges, camps, and private organizations.
Fern continues to travel, kayak, rock climb, hike, forage, and work on primitive skills any chance she gets.
Holly Noconi Family Success Director
Holly is from Pacific Palisades, CA, and is an avid proponent of all things outdoors. In addition to camping, hiking, and caring for animals, Holly has worked as an educator for Garden School and holds a certification in Herbology. She loves to share practical uses for wild plants and demonstrate the benefits of our connection to flora.
Holly brings her love for nature to her role as the Customer Success Lead by helping families find their perfect outdoor adventure.
Holly’s Favorite Outdoor Activity: Foraging for wild plants while hiking with her family
Mandisa Basarich Family Success Supervisor
Tina Ewing Director of HR
Tina has been with Trackers since February 2021 and is excited to be a part of our team.
She grew up in the PNW and appreciates so much of what it has to offer. Being an avid traveler, seeing and exploring the world, Tina couldn’t imagine not having this as my homebase.
Prior to Trackers, Tina was professionally in the financial institution industry. Starting as a teller, loan officer, branch manager and finally as the compliance director.
Tina thrilled to change her focus to be more involved with individuals and grow within this community.
Tina considers herself a low scale thrill seeker! She loves to go ziplining, parasailing, rafting, all with a qualified lead of course. She's always down for a hike with her ruck as long as she gets assistance with navigation or have a GPS.
Tony Deis Founder
Tony Deis is the founder of Trackers. He dropped out of high school and trained in the arts of awareness, forest-craft skills, primitive skills, and tracking. Since then, he has learned to run a business in order to make a profound impact on the educational world.
Tony believes that kids are far more capable than the modern world allows. He fosters the opportunity for them to be given greater freedom and greater responsibility so that they can create a better and more wild world.
Tony runs Trackers as though it were an extension of his large Italian family. Every member is responsible for creating a better world for the other members to live and bring new members into.
Molly Deis Founder
Born and raised in Salem, Oregon, Molly received her Bachelor of Arts degree in German from Davidson College in North Carolina. Her JYA was spent at the Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg (Germany).
Growing up in a rural setting shaped much of her interests, including Pacific NW flora & fauna. She spends her time between Portland and Sandy. She and her husband (Tony) live with their three children.
Since co-founding Trackers in 2004 Molly has done everything at Trackers. From administration and development to teaching our first homeschool programs and van driver. With a focus on permaculture design and sustainability, she currently manages over 450 acres of Trackers forest and farmland. The goal is increasing wildlife diversity, mitigating wildfire, and sequestering carbon in line with youth curriculum development. She also tends to the small but boisterous animal community that lives at Trackers Ranch. There is a herd of miniature donkeys and goats, a gaggle of over 40 ducks and chickens, and a smattering of sheep and turkeys. They are animal ambassadors for all campers who visit the farm. In her free time, Molly volunteers as a cellist and board member with the Willamette Falls Symphony.
Travis Hughes VP of Operations and Logistics
Travis began his career in youth education as a Marine Science Instructor for the Education and Conservation Department of SeaWorld San Diego. He helped teach thousands of students about marine conservation by conducting hundreds of school assemblies across the country, hosting educational shows for up to three thousand field trip students per day, and teaching summer day camps, sleepovers, and resident camps. During his 17 years with SeaWorld, Travis has participated in numerous American Camping Association conferences becoming familiar with and helping to develop numerous camp best practice guidelines.
In 2014 Travis left his position as Camps manager at SeaWorld to become the Director of Safari Experiences at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park located in Escondido, California. Here Travis led a team of over 200 educators who conducted numerous daily programs, helping to educate over 1.5 million guests per year on how to help end extinction one species at a time. During his seven years with the zoo Travis built a world class team of educators working with participants of all ages on public tours, camps, sleepovers, animal presentations, and youth/elder outreaches. While with the San Diego Zoo, Travis presented several times at the annual American Zoos and Aquariums conference on youth programs. He currently sits on the Board for the San Diego East County YMCA and helps advise three YMCA locations on their youth programs and camps.
Travis joined Trackers Earth in the summer of 2021, leveraging his experience and industry knowledge to continue the long standing Trackers commitment to safety, quality, and fun by building highly resilient individuals through tracking.
Travis moved to Oregon from San Diego, California where he attended San Diego State University graduating with a degree in Environmental Geography and a minor in Ecology. While in San Diego, Travis enjoyed the numerous outdoor activities available such as surfing, kayaking, diving, sailing, fishing, hiking, and camping. He and his wife have two wonderful children who also enjoy the great outdoors.
Christina Codino VP of Compliance
Chris joined Trackers full time as our EOO in 2012 after 17 years in the credit union world. She has been involved with Trackers off and on from the beginning and is thrilled to be part of the community full time. When she isn't processing registrations or assisting parents and staff, she enjoys camping, baking, cooking and hanging out with friends and family. She is actively involved in her daughter’s school and a strong supporter of her husband’s ultra marathon running.
Randall Chalawsky President
Randall has held senior production and programming roles at CBS and HBO, on multi-year, multi-platform franchise media properties -- including Everybody Loves Raymond and the HBO Aspen Festival. He was instrumental in building Levity Live-IMPROV, which sold to Madison Square Garden Entertainment / Azoff and AMC Networks, for its industry leading media and customer acquisition platform. Chalawsky is a first adopter of consumer digital technologies, building fans through video, social, and mobile; an early strategic partner at Facebook, Google, Twitter, and Netflix, amassing global audiences for enterprises such as Trevor Noah, Jeff Dunham, and Jackson Galaxy. His creative and operational leadership created a multi-channel network of 100M+, generating hundreds of millions in revenue.
Chalawsky is an industry leader in connecting digital marketing to live events across Europe, South Africa, and Australia, with partners such as Sony, Viacom, and Universal, introducing an entire ecosystem of content monetization and concert ticket sales at tentpole venues including London’s famed O2 Arena. His brand work includes Norwegian Cruise Line, Jameson, Clorox, Pepsi, and Toyota. He is the publisher of a top 10 iphone app, and a development partner with Amazon, Google, and Apple, among others, with dozens of web / mobile / SW products to his credit. He has produced over 90 hours of primetime television programming.
Previous board level roles include PIAS Belgium, a unit of the leading independent European music distribution company.
He is a mentor at SDSU and WeWork Labs, a volunteer member with ThinkLA and LA 2028, and part-time faculty with CSU-Fullerton in the College of Business and Economics. He is a principal organizer of Southern California’s largest data focused conference, DataConLA. Having started four companies, sold two, incubated and accelerated dozens, Chalawsky also advises a number of startups in LA and the Bay Area working in direct-to-consumer, future of work, and social impact -- including Wisdom Labs, Religion of Sports, BackFlip, and Defy Ventures, a 501(c)(3) non-profit, running life saving entrepreneurship programming for the incarcerated.
He earned his MBA from USC, where is he’s a mentor and program leader at the USC Marshall / Grief Incubator.
Randall joined Trackers Earth in 2020 as a key leader in amplifying the organization's work in this golden age of outdoor education. He has traveled through the PNW all of his life, including high school in Alaska, where he spent summers during childhood and as a commercial fisherman during college.
Jackson Jones Marketing Manager
Jackson Jones was born in the Rocky Mountains and adventured through his young life in the highland terrain of Utah and Colorado hiking, biking, and hitting the ski slopes.
He moved to Portland, OR to study Marketing at PSU and graduated in 2019 with a degree and an Athletic and Outdoor Industry Certificate. Impressed by the roving bands of kids with bows and firemaking kits in his neighborhood of SE Portland, he applied for a position at Trackers Earth and has been working there to inspire families outdoors ever since!
Favorite Outdoor Activity: Shredding Gnar (skiing)
Michelle McCann Editor in Chief
When Michelle R. McCann was a girl, she dreamed of creating books. She would disappear at birthday parties, only to be discovered hours later hiding in a closet with her friend’s books. She studied children’s lit at Brown University, got an MFA in Writing for Children at Vermont College, and has been working in publishing ever since. For the past 30 years she’s edited and art directed hundreds of books for kids, and for 13 years she taught Children’s Book Publishing at Portland State University.
Michelle grew up in Oregon doing all kinds of outdoorsy activities—rock climbing, hiking and camping, whitewater rafting, snowboarding. Trackers brings together her two passions: books and the outdoors. She writes an outdoor parenting blog for Trackers, and has helped create how-to outdoor skills books for families, fiction novels for kids set in the Trackers universes, and lots of super cool Trackers comics!
When not at Trackers, Michelle writes her own award-winning children’s books including Girls Who Rocked the World, Finding Fairies, Reading Together: Share in the Wonder of Books with a Parent-Child Book Club, and an upcoming book about women’s soccer. And she still loves to do all the outdoorsy things she did as a kid—now with her own kids.
Michelle’s favorite outdoor activities are snowboarding and rafting.