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America Outdoors

Julie Kahlfeldt, Executive Director 

Julie Kahlfeldt joined the AOA team as Executive Director in January of 2017. Julie comes to us with over 20 years of association management experience. She began her career at Smith Bucklin and Associates, one of the largest association management firms in the world, where she managed various industry associations and professional societies. During this time, the American Society of Orthopaedic Executives decided to make her their full-time Executive Director. She helped this organization with large projects such as rebranding (and renaming) the organization to highlight the professionalism of their members. She also participated as a leader and director of their strategic planning sessions.

In 2012, Ms. Kahlfeldt moved from her hometown of Chicago to San Francisco to join the California Society of Anesthesiologists. There she helped the organization with strategic planning as well as the hiring of a new lobby firm and PR/Marketing firm. Ms. Kahlfeldt and her husband made a life-changing decision in 2014 to move to Gainesville, Florida to follow her husband’s career path. She is thrilled to be part of the AOA team and looks forward to using her skills and experience.

Vice President of Government Affairs, David L. Brown
David L. Brown served as Executive Director of America Outdoors Association since shortly after its formation until 2016. His new role is as Vice President for Government Affairs and he will continue to work with AOA leading our policy and legislative efforts.
He has served as a representative of various outfitter organizations for the past 23 years. From 1980 to 1983, he directed the successful efforts to preserve whitewater recreation on the Ocoee River. Perception Kayaks awarded him the first Conservationist of the Year award in 1981. Later he directed the conservation effort on the Gauley River where he originated the Gauley River Festival. In 1989, as Executive Director of Eastern Professional River Outfitters Association, he coordinated the first Confluence convention. He has served on the Board of Directors for the American Recreation Coalition, American Rivers, the North American Paddlesports Association, and the Governor's Task Force on Reform and Liability Insurance (TN) and was chairman of the Mayor's Waterfront Task Force in Knoxville, TN. He has testified before Congress 14 times on resources management,fee and concessions issues.

Communications Director, Robin Brown
Robin has worked for America Outdoors Association for 26 years. Prior to that she worked as a whitewater raft guide on the New and Gauley Rivers in West Virginia, and for the National Park Service as a ranger at New River Gorge National Park. She taught alpine skiing and was on staff at Canaan Valley, WV, WinterPlace, WV and Ober Gatlinburg, TN Ski Resorts. She holds a B.S. in Recreation & Parks from West Virginia University. As Communications Director Robin's responsibilities include the production of the quarterly newsletter and Confluence newsletter, maintaining the commercial membership database, the AOA web site and designing and producing the Confluence meeting book. Robin is the trade show manager; selling and managing the exhibits for the Confluence Trade Show & International Bazaar. She has also served as coordinator for National River Cleanup Week. When at home she spends her spare time with her daughter Hillary, and is a rowing instructor for the Knoxville Rowing Association on the Tennessee River.

Sheryl Pless, Office Manager/Bookkeeper

Sheryl began working for America Outdoors Association in August 2016 as the Office Manager/Bookkeeper. She is a 1992 graduate of The University of Tennessee with a B.S. in Business Administration, Accounting major. She served as the financial manager for a small manufacturing company for 12 years and, most recently, worked remotely for a bookkeeping company as an outsourced bookkeeper for various small businesses.

In her spare time, Sheryl enjoys working out, eating out, and hanging out with her husband, Jeff. When not spending time with friends and family in Knoxville, they most likely can be found visiting family in SC and spoiling their niece, Caroline, who lives in Pawleys Island, SC. Sheryl is very excited to be a part of AOA and looks forward to meeting all of the AOA members.

Nancy Lewelling– IT Specialist

Nancy graduated from Welch University in Nashville, TN, with a degree in Education. She joined America Outdoors Association March 2011 to build a custom database in Microsoft Access to handle membership data. She evolved into the IT person for AOA over the next several years. Nancy has years of experience in many areas such as directing camp, scout leader, teaching one-on one students in the local elementary school, church pianist, directing corporate training programs, teaching computers classes at the University of Tennessee, building Access databases for private and federal agencies and oh yes, she can drive a bus too. In her spare time, she is keeping up with two teenagers, Mark 14 and Morgan 17, and is married to the love of her life, John. To round out the family she has a beagle named Homer, a cat named Lisa, and two fish.



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AOA Conference Dec 4 - 7 Daytona Beach, FL

AOA is the national association of outfitters and guides and their suppliers. Check out our list of members.

Become an America Outdoors Member

AOA's Marketing and Management Conference returns to Daytona Beach, FL, Dec. 4 - 7.  Host hotel is the beachfront Hilton with the conference and tradeshow at the beautiful Ocean Center.


Become an America Outdoors Member

Member Benefits

Save Money on Exclusive Benefits

  • Free Business Kit with membership
  • Savings on credit card processing rates
  • The AOA Shipping Discount Program
  • 5% to 15% savings on liability insurance
  • Payroll Management Services
  • Pro Plans


Legislation & Regulation

Legislation & Regulation:

  • Minimum Wage for Federal Permits
  • Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act reauthorization
  • Expansion of Overtime
  • Latest on Paddlesports Skill Standards
  • Log-in to Outfitter Member Resources for Complete Access to Need-to-Know Documents

     <<Read More>>

Risk Management

Risk Management:

  • Save 5% to 15% on Liability Insurance
  • White Paper:  Liability in Paddlesports Rental
  • Essential Risk Management Practices DVD
  • Brief on Use of Background Checks

     <<Read More>>


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America Outdoors
  America Outdoors Address  PO Box 10847, Knoxville, TN 37939
  America Outdoors Phone  1-800-524-4814

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