Home / Directors & Core Leadership Team


U.S. Army Lieutenant Colonel Pete Perzel

President – TSP Board of Directors

U.S. Army Lieutenant Colonel Pete Perzel is one of the founding fathers of The Summit Project, specifically responsible for the installation of the Honor Room at the Portland Maine Military Entrance Processing Station. In 2014, Pete participated in the inaugural “TSP at BSP” event at Baxter State Park. His military service spans over 3 decades – from implementing the first ever R&R flights to over 60,000 Soldiers during the first stages of Operations Iraqi Freedom to organizing and leading Operation Sleigh Ride, delivering over 12,000 pounds of mail on Christmas Day 2005 by CH-47 Chinook helicopter to troops at the far reaches of Afghanistan. His focus has always been set upon Soldiers and their families.

Pete is currently stationed in Washington D.C. at the Defense Intelligence Agency where he is the Army Battalion Commander in support of the global attaché and intelligence mission. He has deployed on numerous occasions all around the world, is the recipient of two Bronze Star Medals, and an Eagle Scout. Pete is originally from Tolland, CT, a graduate of UCONN, and currently owns properties in both Windham and Porter, ME. He is married to the former Amanda Ritchie and they have two daughters together – Zoe and Charlotte. In addition to his amazing family, Pete enjoys playing competitive ice hockey, boating, hiking, renovating pinball machines, carpentry, graphic arts, music and has even performed at Carnegie Hall.

Greg Johnson

Executive Director & Treasurer – TSP Board of Directors

Greg Johnson is a 10-year veteran of the United States Marine Corps who has dedicated his service to The Summit Project since its inaugural event at Baxter State Park over Memorial Day Weekend of 2014. During his military career, Sgt Johnson deployed on (5) separate occasions – to include (3) deployments to Iraq, (1) to Afghanistan, and (1) to Okinawa during a Unit Deployment Program.

Born and raised in our beloved state, he is a University of Southern Maine alumnus where he graduated Summa Cum Laude in 2016 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminology and a minor in Nature-Based Tourism. He is currently pursuing his Master’s Degree in the field of Leadership Studies. Sgt Johnson currently works at Pratt & Whitney as a Senior Supervisor of parts production in direct support of advanced aerospace technology and manages the accounts for both military and commercial engine centers around the world.

As an avid outdoorsmen, his most favorite pastime activities include spending time out on the water with his wife and three kids and embarking upon new wilderness adventures at every possible chance he gets.

Barbara Pierce

Secretary – TSP Board of Directors

Barbara Pierce is a lifelong Mainer and has a proud family history of military service. She joined TSP in 2016 at Baxter State Park and has been a part of the organization ever since. She has a Master’s Degree in Public Policy and Management and currently works at the Crime and Justice Institute as Director of Justice Initiatives. While her job takes her out of state regularly, she loves coming home to Maine. In her spare time she can be found weightlifting, hiking, trail running or just walking along the ocean. 

Betsy Hutchins

Basecamp Coordinator & Member – TSP Board of Directors

Betsy Hutchins has been involved with The Summit Project since Memorial Day 2013, when she and her husband Jeff met David Cote at their kitchen table. That was the day her husband presented The Summit Project with her step-son’s, Cpl. Andrew L Hutchins, memorial stone. Born and raised in Maine, Betsy is graduate of Bates College with a BA in Sociology, and has been in the financial services industry for 30 years, for the past 19 years with Merrill Lynch/Bank of America. As a Gold Star family member herself, Betsy has become an important part of The Summit Project’s hosted events at Baxter State Park and Acadia National Park, leading basecamp operations. As many know, Betsy loves to cook and take care of everyone. You will often see her at these events making sure everyone is well fed and comfortable. For this, she earned her nickname Momma Bear.  Betsy lives in Greene, with her husband Jeff and son Benjamin.

Mike Hernandez

Member – TSP Board of Directors

Mike Hernandez first became involved with The Summit Project by providing pro bono legal services.  Since 2017, Mike has handled various legal matters for TSP, including registering its logo and various other trademarks with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, drafting partnership agreements, and providing legal advice on updating and implementing various policies.  Such efforts not only deepened Mike’s appreciation for TSP’s mission, but also kindled his desire to do more for TSP.  After participating in the BSP substitute honor hike and the ANP hike with his wife in 2020, Mike was honored to join the TSP Board of Directors.  Mike is humbled and excited by the opportunity to further pay tribute to our military service members and their families by keeping the memories of our fallen heroes alive.  Mike currently lives in Scarborough with his wife and two daughters, and works as an intellectual property attorney at Pierce Atwood specializing in trademark law and technology transactions.

Joan Neumann-Thain

Convoy Commander

Joan Neumann-Thain is originally from North Carolina, but loves and presently lives in Maine. She has three kids (more she claims as her own), three granddaughters, and a grandson due April of 2019. She is a Patient Care Technician (PCT) at Maine Medical Center and a foster parent who enjoys wildlife, coaching life skills, and coaching gymnastics. Her family is her life and her passions include motorcycles, books, and The Summit Project. She is a member of multiple riding organizations and has carried TSP tribute stones on 6 motorcycle convoys at both Baxter State Park and Acadia National Park events. She is very proud to support the TSP mission by coordinating these rides and serving as a liaison to our riding community throughout the Northeast.

Phil Thain

Assistant Convoy Commander

Phil Thain Jr is a proud father of a Coast Guard veteran and step-father to an Army veteran. He’s also a past President and the last remaining founder of Patriot Riders of America Maine Chapter One (PRAMCO). Phil is very proud to say that he has been involved with The Summit Project since the very first signature event at Baxter State Park and has been escorting stones and building relationships ever since. He has met so many amazing people and is honored to be a part of the Core Leadership Team. Phil looks forward to spreading the word of our mission and that MAINE HEROES ARE NOT FORGOTTEN.

Mark LoSacco

Family Liaison

Mark is a 52 year old husband and father of two who enjoys running, hiking, guitar and card/board games of all kinds. Since earning his graduate degree in Software Engineering at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) in Troy, NY he has worked as a software engineer at a variety of startup and established technology companies. After years of vacationing in Maine and dreams of making it their home, he and his family took the plunge in 2013, left Connecticut, and never looked back. Shortly after arriving, Mark became active on the leadership team of the Central Maine chapter of Team Red, White & Blue – an organization committed to enriching the lives of America’s veterans. He served as the Chapter Captain for four years before recently passing the torch.

Mark’s wife, Baerbel (a photographer), was the first in the family to hike with The Summit Project. It didn’t take long for her to involve the rest of the family at BSP, ANP and other TSP events over the last several years. Mark recently had the honor of being a hike team leader for recent TSP hike events. Mark considers TSP an extended family and is honored to step into the Family Liaison role on the TSP leadership team where he looks forward to serving our heroes’ families.

Melissa Wetherby

Honor Case Manager

 Originally from Vermont, Melissa Wetherby moved to Maine in 2017. She has worked in Higher Education since 2006. While in Vermont, she worked at a college exclusively for students with Learning Disabilities and still reserves a special place in her heart for accessibility in design and learning. Currently, she is the Lead Instructional Designer for the Maine College of Health Professions in Lewiston, ME.

Melissa first learned of The Summit Project in 2019 from reading stories shared on social media platforms and following Greg’s ruck from Cadillac to Katahdin during the 150-Mile TSP Memorial Ruck Fundraiser. It was then that she knew she needed to learn more about this living memorial. Soon after, she signed up to hike at TSP at ANP in 2020 and was amazed by the event – even with the limited-scope format that was incorporated due to the ongoing COVID pandemic. Being new to hiking, she was grateful and extremely moved by the support she received from her teammates. Since then, she has participated in many events and volunteer opportunities, to include TSP at ANP 2021 where she was finally able to experience a full-scale TSP event!

When Melissa’s not working, she can often be found on a hiking trail, spending time with her rescue Boxer Dudley, or with her grown daughter Selena – many times doing all three at once! Melissa is very excited to serve as a member of the Core Leadership Team and looks forward to learning more about the organization, the stories of the Heroes, and meeting their respective families.

Steve Bailey

Hosted Events Manager

Stephen, a lifelong Mainer and father of two adult children, resides in Windham with his wife. He also shares his time at his camp in Millinocket where many adventures launch from. Stephen first learned about TSP during the 150-Mile Memorial Ruck Fundraiser conducted by its Executive Director back in 2019.

When he is not staging for the next adventure he can be found planning and executing strategies to bridge the digital divide in Northern New England. Leveraging fiber optics and 4G and 5G technologies, Stephen is dedicated to his role to get every community in Northern New England connected to reliable and affordable broadband. Stephen was trained as an outdoor leader by a team created by and including one of America’s most accomplished mountaineers, Paul Petzoldt. The expedition leadership skills developed focused on planning, preparation and execution with a keen eye on safety, enjoyment and a minimal impact approach.

This culmination of experience and passion for our veterans, fallen heroes, and Gold Star Families has brought Stephen to TSP in an effort to make a difference through influence in honoring our Maine military families and fallen heroes. As hosted events manager Stephen intends to ramp up some additional TSP adventures and bring the project into some new realms beyond hiking while including TSP volunteers, Gold Star Families and the next generation.

Courtney Evans

Public Relations Manager

Courtney Evans came to TSP in 2018 and has been an active member ever since. She has stepped into roles as Assistant Team Lead for TSP at ANP 2019 and as Team Lead for both TSP at BSP and ANP in 2020. She achieved her Master of Education degree from the University of Maine and is employed as a clinical counselor at Acadia Hospital in Bangor, Maine, where she also calls her home. She is actively involved in Girl Scouts of Maine as a troop leader and as an adult learning facilitator for the organization. She is also the President of the UMaine Band Alumni Association, responsible for coordinating the homecoming events for the alumni band, which is always the largest returning organization each year. In her free time, she enjoys spending time outdoors chasing the 4,000 foot summits of New England and going on amazing adventures with her daughter, Delaney.

John Gold

Information Technology Advisor

John Gold has been involved with The Summit Project since 2017 when he redesigned the organization’s website. Since that time he has assisted the organization with various web site and technology-related projects. John grew up in New Hampshire and graduated from the University of New Hampshire where he earned a bachelor’s degree in Zoology and a concentration in Journalism. His professional background is in Journalism and graphic design with more than three decades of experience as a writer, editor print and website designer. He is the author of several non-fiction children’s books. He has lived in Maine for more than 30 years and when he’s not fixing something around the house he enjoys a variety of outdoor activities including hiking, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, swimming and boating. He and his wife live in Saco.

Mili Johnson

Store Manager 

Mili Johnson was born and raised on the North Shore of Hawaii. She attended both Kahuku High School in Oahu and Westwood High School in Mesa, Arizona. She has been involved with The Summit Project in many different capacities since its inaugural event in 2014. Currently, she works as a Supervisor at JCPenney and looks forward to transferring her extensive knowledge of this industry to her position as TSP Store Manager. Mili is also the mother of (3) beautiful children and married to a wonderful, loving veteran of the United States Marine Corps. In her free time, she likes to travel and explore new places with her family.

Baerbel LoSacco

Stone Custodian

Baerbel LoSacco is a 49 year old mother of two. She was born and raised in East Germany and came to the US in 1995 to work as an AuPair. She met her husband of over 23 years during that year and moved to the US permanently in 1997. She is passionate about photography and also enjoys hiking, swimming, reading and playing board games with her husband and children. Baerbel earned her graduate degree in Molecular Biology and has worked for a large pharmaceutical company as a research scientist for over 17 years before becoming a stay-at-home-mom.

Baerbel and her husband fell in love with Maine when they were first dating and planned on moving to this beautiful state for many years before finally making that dream come true in 2013. Baerbel has been involved with Team RWB, a nationwide organization dedicated to enriching veteran’s lives by connecting them with civilians through athletic activities, for many years. It was at one of those events that Baerbel first met the Founder of TSP, U.S. Marine Corps Major Dave Cote, who introduced her to the mission of TSP. Baerbel and her son Erik participated in the signature events before introducing the rest of the family to the worthwhile mission of keeping our heroes’ memories alive through the telling of their stories. Baerbel has participated in TSP events in various capacities – from hiker and Team Lead to Team Photographer and Base Camp volunteer. TSP has become family to both Baerbel and her family, and she is honored to take on the role of Stone Custodian.

U.S. Army Major Brandon C. Tyner

Portland, Maine MEPS Liaison

U.S. Army Major Brandon C. Tyner is the commander of the Portland, Maine, Military Entrance Processing Station. Originally from Lumberton, NC, he enlisted in the Army at the Raleigh MEPS in January 2008, and earned his commission at Officer Candidate School, Fort Benning, Georgia, in July 2008.
Major Tyner’s military career has focused heavily in Human Resources and includes three combat deployments to Afghanistan, Qatar, and Iraq. His professional military education includes Adjutant General Officer Basic and Advanced Courses, Airborne School, and Strategic Broadening Seminar. He earned a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice from the University of North Carolina, Pembroke, and a Master of Military Operational Art and Science from Air University, Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama.
Major Tyner’s awards and decorations include the Bronze Star Medal, the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, two Meritorious Service Medals, two Army Commendation Medals, the Joint Service Achievement Medal, two Army Achievement Medals, and various unit and service medals and ribbons.
He and his wife, Crystal, moved to Maine in 2021 and will soon be joined by their first baby girl in May of 2022! During his free time, Brandon enjoys drawing, creating artwork, playing golf, and hiking with his dog, Ella Day.

TSP Ambassadors

Jackie Carter
Jessica Cloukey
Justin Cloukey
Stephen Crossman

Lisa Jean
Roberta Joline
Clare Peaslee
Mike Peterson
Cherie Sackville
Jill Sennett
Stuart Sennett

TSP Photographers

Stephen Crossman
Baerbel LoSacco
Mike Peterson