Loppet Full-Time Staff
Ray AponteAdventures Director
Piotr BednarskiLoppet Sport Director
Abdi BileLoppet Run 365 Director
Katie HeimerTRAIL KIDS Program Director
Robert IblerTrails and Operations Director
Soren LarsonData and Registration Manager
Anne OlsonDevelopment Director
Jonah ParadyTrails and Equipment Manager
Pablo UrricheFinance & Administration Director
Claire WilsonExecutive Director
Todd BauerLCW & Loppet Sport Manager
Andrea BidelmanSenior Manager of Merchandise, Events, and Sponsorship
Chris HarveyLoppet Nordic Racing Head Coach
Amber HooverSponsorship Manager
Paul JohnsonLoppet Events Director
Heidi LedermannMarketing & Communications Manager
Tomás OrellanaTRAIL KIDS Coordinator
Bryan SotoEvent Operations Manager
Allison VallantAdministrative Assistant
Raequan WilsonAdventures Manager
Loppet Foundation/Adventures Board of Directors
Jonathan Van Horn - President
Jon is partner in the law firm of Dorsey & Whitney LLP, where he practices in the area of corporate mergers and acquisitions. Jon’s parents taught him how to cross country ski on the Kettle Moraine trails of southern Wisconsin and the logging roads of northwest Wisconsin. Jon, along with his wife, Gail, and two elementary school-aged sons live in Golden Valley, a short walk from Wirth Beach and the Quaking Bog, and are year-round users of the skiing, hiking and biking trails of Theodore Wirth Park.
Evelena Hillman - Vice President
Evelena is an HR professional at Target corporation who grew up in North Minneapolis. Minneapolis park and recreation activities like swimming, biking, snow tubing, and picnics with friends and family were part of her extra curricular fun growing up and a way for her to enjoy the seasons. She now skis, runs, reads, and travels in her free time and loves spending time with her kids, Olivia and Evan and husband Tommy. After joining the Loppet Run Club and being impressed with the coaches, camaraderie of the group, and opportunity to evolve and challenge her running routine, she sought to become more involved with the Loppet Foundation and help bring more awareness to diverse populations of the broad range of outdoor programming.
Tricia Conroy - Secretary
Tricia is the Executive Director of MRM, an organization founded by television manufacturers to plan and run recycling programs for televisions and electronics across the United States. She is a long-time Loppet volunteer and her son was part of the Junior Loppet program and an early Loppet Nordic Racing skier. Tricia grew up in Minneapolis and was an active user of Minneapolis parks – she remembers riding her bike to Wirth Beach as a teenager and has enjoyed introducing other young people to all Wirth Park has to offer through her work with the Franklin Middle School Junior Loppet program. She returned to Minneapolis as an adult and she and her family have loved being part of the community here.
Tom Trachtman - Treasurer
Tom relocated to the Twin Cities after earning his MBA degree at Purdue University, and has since fallen in love with all that Minnesota has to offer. Tom lives in south Minneapolis with his wife and works as a health care consultant. In his free time, you can find Tom running around the lakes, skiing through Theodore Wirth Park, or biking around the Twin Cities.
James has been a resident of North Minneapolis for 12 years and is a 2006 graduate of Metropolitan State University. He is a frequent user of Theodore Wirth Park enjoys mountain biking, skiing and golfing at the park. James is in the business of managing residential rental property with a focus in naturally occurring affordable housing in Minneapolis and surrounding suburbs.
Mindy grew up on a small farm in Scandia where she learned to love the outdoors. She works as a Podiatric Surgeon for Allina Health and Hennepin Healthcare. All members of the Benton family have participated in Loppet Nordic training and events. Mindy is motivated to help children and young adults make a strong connection to health and to the environment with the Loppet Foundation.
Bill currently serves on the Adventures Board after previously serving as President of the Foundation Board for 4 years. He and his wife, Mary Hunstiger, have been Loppet volunteers since almost the beginning, serving as course marshals in many Loppet events. He has also been active soliciting sponsorships, encouraging financial support from foundations for Loppet school programs, and raising money for The Trailhead. Bill’s three sons all skied for Minneapolis Southwest, spending about a decade practicing and racing at Theodore Wirth Park. His oldest son graduated in 2006, and Bill has since witnessed and taken part in the the development and change of the park throughout the years.
Mia has worked in financial analysis and with nonprofits both as staff and board member. Mia is the Founder and Executive Director of Amplifying Voices for Youth, a nonprofit dedicated to getting own-voices books into the hands of colonially marginalized youth around the world. She also runs an Instagram account called The Bookish Feminist, where her goal is to amplify and support BIPOC, disabled, queer, and trans authors and readers. Growing up enjoying Minneapolis’ parks, Mia and her family moved to the Bryn Mawr neighborhood, where they love to hike, bike, and be outdoors. Mia has hiked in over 20 national parks.
Penelope and her family embrace life in Minnesota through participation in Loppet Foundation events and programs. She is an avid rower with the Minneapolis Rowing Club. A former business owner and consultant, and an experienced leader in not-for-profit organizations, Penelope looks forward to working with the Loppet Foundation to bring the benefits of excellent recreational programming to the Minneapolis community.
Leroy is retired after 39 years as a Manufacture and Safety Engineer at 3M. He has participated the last five years in the City of Lakes Loppet races and enjoys other activities such as road biking, running, and Nordic walking. His desire to be on the City of Lakes Loppet Board is the help promote Nordic actives in the elementary schools and other youth programs.
Bill McKinney is Vice-president, Innovation and Communication at Anthem Health. Bill grew up in Eastern Kentucky, earned his bachelor’s degree in history from Carleton College in Northfield, Minnesota and an MBA from the University of Minnesota. Bill lives in Minneapolis with his wife Amy and their children; Ellie, Finn, and Mette. He is an avid skier and biker and has completed every Loppet Challenge since that race was implemented!
Dr. Ed Ryan is a retinal surgeon who’s been in practice in the Twin Cities for 30+ years. He has a national reputation as a surgeon, researcher, and innovator with over 50 publications and 40 patents to his name. As a skier, he’s solidly in the self-proclaimed group of “citizen skiers” meaning he enjoys an easier pace in the Loppet races. Having been involved in the Loppet organization for 15+ years, he’s been very enthusiastic about the year-round growth in usage of Theodore Wirth Park and in skiing in general. Fun fact: the “Drevil’s Drop” descent name on LaSquadra comes from “Dr. Evil”, a nickname given to him by his ski buddies.
Honorary Board Members
Mayor R.T. Rybak has been a longtime supporter and racer in the Loppet community. As Mayor, Rybak was responsible for calling the first public meeting on silent sports which drew together skiers, mountain bikers, paddlers and other outdoor enthusiasts to network and brainstorm ways to celebrate Minneapolis as a silent sports city. Rybak has encouraged and supported the efforts of the Loppet Foundation since its inception. He can often be seen skiing the City of Lakes Loppet and paddling in the Tri-Loppet.