Jennifer Potts

Co-Owner

Guide/Instructor

Certifications: 

CPR/First Aid/AED, LNT Awareness, Food Handling

Spending 15 years cutting hair has been both rewarding and exhausting. I began to utilize hiking, camping, and backpacking as a way to disconnect from long workdays and to help cope with a loss in my life. In early 2016 I started planning meetup events for like-minded women in my local outdoor community. 

 

I am a Development Coordinator with Gear Forward; a Springfield-based non-profit that supplies children across the US in need of camping and hiking equipment. We have been able to outfit scout troops, summer camps, and other youth-based outdoor organizations with generous donations of tents, backpacks, and sleeping bags over the last few years. 

 

I enjoy volunteer work with my passion mission - Illinois Park Project. My intention is to get families and individuals outdoors in their communities every 4-6 weeks by spending a day outside in designated state parks and cleaning up litter on trails, roadways, parking lots, and campgrounds. 

 

My goal is to share with you an authentic and memorable outdoor experience. I strive to create genuine connections with people and help them find their place and their passion for the outdoors. There is no friend-family like a trail family, and I can’t wait to have you join us! 

Jenpotts@Truenorthexp.com

Instagram: @jennythetrailhead

Melissa Dix

Yoga Instructor/

Guide

Certifications/Training:

RYT 500, Yogabarre, and Yogaburn Instructor, CPR/First Aid/AED, LNT Awareness, Food Handling

After spending the last 20 years exploring and living in various places around the world, I
currently reside in Missouri, my hometown. In 2015, after a major life change, I found my true
calling: yoga. I immediately fell in love with the asana practice and began living my life in a
more yogic way. I received my RYT200 from CorePower in 2016 and have been teaching
vinyasa ever since. I have my certificates in barre and burn and have been teaching those
fitness-based classes as well. In February of 2020, I received my RYT 500 from Mathieu
Boldron.

 

I absolutely love learning and sharing my teachings with others and watching my
students expand into better versions of themselves, both on and off the mat. There is no end in yoga and I'm truly enjoying the ride.
When I'm not teaching or taking a class, I can be found outdoors. I'm an outdoor enthusiast,
always keeping it simple by connecting to the earth. I enjoy backpacking, fishing, caving,
canoeing, and kayaking. The earth and yoga have kept me grounded. I look forward to
continuing my yoga and backpacking journey with all beings.

 

 

Mdix@Truenorthexp.com

Robert Beattie

WFA/CPR Instructor,

Guide

Certifications: 

WFA/CPR/AED,

LNT Awareness, Food Handling, NIMS

After serving 12 years in the Marine Corps, I became a firefighter/paramedic in 1996. I have been a Battalion Chief since 2010 and have also served as a technical rescue technician, State certified Incident Safety Officer, and Planning Section Chief.  I have always enjoyed spending time outdoors and making it to every national park is one of the goals on my bucket list.
 
My trail experience is mostly day hiking and car camping but have since discovered backcountry backpacking and camping.
 
I am hoping to be able to share what I have learned with others, make new friends, and continue my education of the great outdoors.
 
I have always prided myself on being able to meet any challenge head-on with safety always in mind. I believe that each and every event can be made as safe as possible by proper planning or as I like to call it the “7 P’s”.


I hope I can find ways to help our clients experience backpacking and other adventures in a safe, fun, and engaging way.”

 

 

Rbeattie@Truenorthexp.com

Kimberly Jara

Guide, Instructor, Running Coach

Certifications: 

CPR/First Aid/AED,

LNT Awareness, Food Handling, LPCC,

UESCA certified run coach

As a licensed therapist, I see so many benefits for our mental health in connecting to the natural world. My passion is to combine my love for the outdoors with my clinical knowledge to help others live life to the fullest. I currently live just outside the Twin Cities in Minnesota and The North woods have had so much to offer. I enjoy hiking, kayaking, fishing, and backpacking.  

My love for running started at a young age. I grew up playing soccer and continued to run for exercise through my adulthood. I began running races recreationally around 2013 and never looked back. I started racing the 50k distance in 2018 and recently became a certified running coach. Trail running allows me time in nature and space to clear my head. I’ve always said that if you enjoy hiking, trail running is just one step away!

 

I look forward to helping others explore this area of adventure.

Anthony Pompa

Founder/Co-Owner

Guide/Instructor

Certifications:

WFA, CPR/AED, EMT-P, LNT Awareness, Food Handling, Avalanch Awareness, NIMS 

After serving 7 years in the military I became a career firefighter/paramedic. I have been a paramedic since 1999 and have also served as a technical rescue technician as well as a safety officer.  I have always enjoyed spending time outdoors and have great admiration for the United States and its national parks and forests.

 

Most of my time on trail was spent day hiking, I discovered backpacking later in life. What began as a form of stress relief for me quickly became as much of an obsession as it did a necessity. When I'm not backpacking, I'm planning my next trip.

 

My hope is that I can share the knowledge I have obtained as well as my passion for the outdoors with others. I also believe it is important to pass on the importance of preserving nature, especially to children.

 

Safety and planning are important to me. One of the biggest challenges of backpacking is proper planning. My goal is to make our clients feel as comfortable and safe as possible, I thoroughly enjoy taking care of all the fine details so our clients can fully enjoy their outdoor experience with us.

The Appalachian trail has a special place in my heart, as do the many small towns it passes through. These are parts of Americana most people will never see and are filled with some of the kindest people you will ever meet.

Apompa@Truenorthexp.com

Sarah Lindgren

Yoga Instructor/

Guide

Certifications/Training:

Karauna Yoga, Healing Chakra, Intro to Viniyoga, Intro to Purna Yoga, 200hr ERYT, YACEP & TSY, CPR/First Aid/AED, LNT Awareness, Food Handling

I love the honesty of the yoga practice and
how it demands self-acceptance, which is truly the heart of this practice. I provide a heart-centered approach to mind-body wellness
for adults and children of all ages and abilities. I
strive to assist my students in self-discovery, allowing for growth within their current capabilities and setting them up for success not only in their pursuit of yoga but in their daily lives.

As a Yoga Teacher, I’ve been teaching yoga since the summer of 2015, gaining 200-hour
certification in 2016 from Moksha Yoga in Chicago, completing the program with more than 700 hours of training. I continue to enjoy learning about this practice and developing
creative and challenging sequences as well as workshops relatable to students.

 

My mission as an Experienced Registered Yoga Teacher is to help make the world of yoga more accessible to all students through my classes and YACEP workshops. Showing them this is a practice to access the language of the heart not about touching your toes.


When I’m not meditating, or playing on my yoga mat you can find me in the garden.
Exploring Illinois with my family and whipping up tasty and nutritious food.


I can’t wait to meet you on the mat and together cultivate more.

Slindgren@Truenorthexp.com

Mike Buckel

Mike Buckel

WFA/CPR Instructor,

Guide

Certifications: 

WFA/CPR/AED, EMT-B,

LNT Awareness, Food Handling, NIMS

I’m am a family man, happily married to my wife Terry for 35 years. we have two adult children and two grandchildren. We reside in Island Lake Illinois; our children live nearby. All the things I enjoy doing revolve around family, friends, and the outdoors. Over the years I have enjoyed camping, fishing, hiking, working with my bird dogs, and off-road adventures. These adventures have taken me far off the beaten path. I have been lucky to explore Utah, Colorado, North and South Dakota, Tennessee, Minnesota, Iowa, Wisconsin, Georgia, North Carolina, and of course my home state of Illinois.

For the past 30 years, I have worked in the Fire Service for 30 years, 25 of those years I was a certified Paramedic. I currently hold the rank of Battalion Chief for a suburb of Chicago. During my fire service career, I have specialized in training, safety, public education, arson investigations, and rescue diving being certified in both open water and ice diving. I know that my experiences in the fire service, background in emergency preparedness, and the time I have spent in the outdoors will add to the safety of your True North outdoor adventure.

 

I look forward to meeting you and being part of your next adventure!  

pic.jpg

Cassie Mattson

Guide, Event Coordinator

Certifications: 

I spent my childhood climbing rocks, canoeing rivers, and hiking trails, those experiences transferred into my adult life. From the moment I strapped on my first backpack in Olympic National Forest and felt my body scream at me for 3 days straight, I knew I had found true love. I was 100% hooked and consumed by my love for wearing everything I needed on my back and exploring the backcountry.

 

I feel most at home when I tighten up my hiking boots and lose my WiFi signal!

In early 2020, along with a close friend, we started an outdoor adventure group in Central Illinois. We’ve met so many new friends through this group and learned and experimented with new ways of enjoying the outdoors. Providing the opportunity for people to come together under a shared interest where they wouldn’t normally venture out on their own, has been exceptionally rewarding and it fills my soul with pure joy.

I work full-time as the Manager of Events for a statewide association in Illinois. God blessed me with a gift of organization and attention to detail which led me to a life of event planning. I’m so excited to jump in and help create an epic adventure for you to get outdoors and soak up all that nature has to offer. I also look forward to guiding, and sharing experiences alongside you, and creating lasting memories that make you fall in love all over again with God’s majestic landscape.

 

Happy trails friends! 

image1_edited.jpg

Heather Sipes

Support Staff

Certifications: 

CPR/First Aid/AED,

WFA

Profile will be updated soon!

Alicia Davies

Guide

Certifications: 

LNT Awareness

I was born and raised in Springfield, IL. I grew up camping and fishing with my family-I love spending time outdoors. I attended college at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale where I  earned a Bachelor’s degree in Criminology and Criminal Justice. I currently  work full time with the State’s Attorney’s Office as a Domestic Violence Victim Advocate.

When I’m not in the office, I’m either playing outside or planning adventures for a local adventure group my friend and I started in 2020. It has been so much fun meeting new people who have a passion for the outdoors and really being able to get them out of their comfort zone and enjoy nature.

I got my first taste of outdoor adventures while in college. I spent a lot of my free time in the Shawnee National Forest camping, kayaking, repelling and hiking. I was part of a Kayaking and Outdoor club and ever since then I was hooked! Aside from getting to experience some of the most beautiful and remote places in the country, there has always been something attractive about living a minimalist lifestyle, with complete freedom and solitude.

For me, the outdoors gives me a break from everyday life, pushes me both mentally and physically and drives me to rely 100% on myself and my abilities. I find that the outdoors is exhilarating and really gives me an appreciation for life itself.

I really look forward to meeting everyone and guiding you on your next adventure and being able to experience with you what life is really about.

20190927_152248_edited.jpg

Rochelle Palminteri

Support Staff

Certifications: 

CPR/AED, WFA

I currently live in southeastern Wisconsin but will forever consider myself a Yooper, being raised in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. I grew up in a small town out in the country, where summer days were spent outside exploring in the woods and family vacations were always spent camping. I consider myself a “Weekend Warrior” always thinking about and planning my next trip! My weekends are spent hiking, camping, backpacking, exploring the outdoors, or traveling around the country trying to fit in as many miles (or air miles) as possible between Friday and Monday.

My backpacking experience began with a ten-mile hike straight up a Colorado mountain with a rented oversized and very overweight pack. Since then I have experienced a wide variety of locations and all seasons; from the higher elevation Rocky Mountains, to rainy days in Montana at Glacier National Park, to the desert in New Mexico, and of course around the Midwestern states that are closer to home!

Attending numerous backpacking events with True North has given me the skills and confidence to venture out on my own backcountry adventures, as well as the skills needed for trip planning for myself and friends. I look forward to sharing my time on the trail helping others learn and grow as well.

See you on the trail, I’ll be the one still carrying the heaviest pack of the group!