MEET CTC NEW BOARD MEMBERS
I'm an attorney, and I've been practicing in Tennessee since 2006. Property law/easements/land grants are not a part of my general practice, although I do have some experience with those things, and I'd be glad to handle whatever the CTC needs in terms of legal advice pro bono as long as it's something I feel comfortable handling. I also do some corporate and nonprofit work for 501(c)(3) corporations, and give advice on employment issues to those clients with some regularity. My practice really centers on medical malpractice defense and general litigation, but I'm always happy to learn new areas, especially if it's in the service of the Cumberland Trail, which is something I'm passionate about.
On the trail side, I'm a former collegiate runner who spends every waking minute possible on the Cumberland Trail. I love trail ultra racing, but my focus in the last few years has been on adventure runs and trail work. Dreama and I have teamed up frequently to organize trail work days in the Chattanooga area, and I seem to have found a niche feeding trail workers out of the back of my truck (or packing in lunch/snacks if the work is more remote). I live on Mowbray Mountain in Soddy Daisy with my husband, Travis, and my two kids, Tucker (9) and Shelby (7). Travis is an avid mountain biker, and the kids also love to hike the trail, as long as I provide the good snacks.
I am Mark Akers, I am 49, and I was born in Virginia. Virginia is a lot like Chattanooga in that it is a small town surrounded by beautiful mountains. I was drawn to Chattanooga because the outdoor life makes it feel like a very big, small town, with its endless miles of trails and nice people everywhere you turn.
For me, trail running clears the mind and I always find myself when I am not afraid of getting lost. My day job is commercial construction. I love wood-working because it allows me to make something out of nothing, taking raw materials and turning them into something that inspires others, and to me trail maintenance epitomizes this. I feel that trails are important because they let people get out and enjoy the outdoors and stay healthy for free. I think there is a bit of selfishness in us all when it comes to our love for the outdoors and our desire to share it with those we love. For me, the silence of the outdoors brings about a certain peacefulness unlike anything else. Stepping away from the problems of the day and re-approaching those same issues with a new found clarity and insightfulness is the gift nature gives us, and this is why it means so much to me.
I have had a passion for the Natural World all my life thanks to my mother who could do anything in the mountains. Recreationally I am an avid cyclist, hiker and skier and when I was younger a climber. I am an Appalachian Thru Hiker and a Tour Divide rider. I spend part of each winter in Co skiing. I was Co-Founder of Rock/Creek Outfitters for 30 years. During that period and today working with conservation groups and non-profits has been a very high priority that I have dedicated myself to. I have two grown sons, Josh and Jake and a wonderful wife Stephanie.
Co-Founder of Rock/Creek, owned 32 years
University of Tennessee Chattanooga
2018 inducted Entrepreneurship Hall of Fame
Grassroots Outdoor Alliance Most Innovative Retailer (2016)
Grassroots Outdoor Alliance Retailer of the Year (2011, 2013, 2014)
Founding Team for RootsratedFounding Team for The Adventure Guild
Online Retailer of the Year, Backpacker Magazine & SNEWS (2009)
Top 25 Retailer, Outdoor Business (2008, 2009)
Current Founder Dayfirepodcast.com
Past Board Positions
Grassroots Outdoor Alliance
Tennessee River Gorge Trust
Outdoor Industry Association
Ralph Lauren Outdoor Retailer Advisory Board
Current Board Position