The staff and board of the Ice Age Trail Alliance are thrilled to welcome Melissa Pierick, our new Director of Marketing and Community Relations!
Melissa will work closely with staff in the Trail, Lands, and Philanthropy programs to improve specific program and cross-program advancement through marketing and outreach. She will implement short- and long-range initiatives associated with the strategic plan and other operational goals, especially those which maximize the Alliance’s profile, reputation, and image.
The members of the Communications staff peppered Melissa with a few questions, excited to learn more about her:
What excites you most about your new role?
I am very excited to have the opportunity to help spread the word about this amazing National Scenic Trail that we are SO lucky to have in Wisconsin. I believe every resident in Wisconsin should know about it—even if they’re not hikers.
What are some of your goals for the next six months?
In the next six months I plan to learn as much as I can about the Alliance and all that it does and offers. I also want to meet and establish relationships with my coworkers, board members, and hopefully volunteers, too. I want to get as many perspectives as I can about the Alliance and work it does to support the Ice Age Trail.
We understand hiking is a recent passion of yours, how did that come about?
In December of 2019, after living in southern Wisconsin for nearly all my life, I decided I needed to embrace Winter. Holing up in my house until Spring was doing my health/mind no good. So, I picked up a book that had been on my shelf for about 5 years: 60 hikes within 60 miles of Madison and selected my first outing. About four hikes in, I discovered the Brooklyn Wildlife Segment, which led me to researching what the heck the Ice Age Trail was. (Because despite driving by signs for it every day, I had no idea.) That led me to start hiking more and more segments…and talking about how cool it is to everyone I know.
What are some of the activities you engage in outside of work?
I like to hike, obviously, and often meet up with the Get Off the Couch group, which is tackling the Ice Age Trail segment by segment and connecter route by connecter route. When I’m not hiking, I am with my family (two daughters and husband)—binging shows on Netflix, watching anything Marvel-related, and supporting the UW Badgers Women’s Hockey Team. Except when U2 is touring, then I am often found at their shows. I also love reading, especially historical fiction and presidential biographies.
Melissa is a big fan of U2. She’s gone to concerts on every tour since 1992, was a staff writer for two years on a fan site, and even had Bono (the lead singer) roll down his window to say “hello” to her!
Do you have a favorite childhood memory of being outdoors that you’re willing to share?
I didn’t come from an outdoorsy family. So, my outdoor memories all revolve around the block I grew up on, on the West side of Madison. It was a block filled with kids. And, every day we were sent outside to play (especially during the summer). We played barbies outside, ran through sprinklers, swung on swings, rode bikes, made forts, etc. Nights were filled playing games like Kick the Can, Spud, etc. We always played outside.