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2019 NFH Director Candidates (Elect 5)


Gerald Popenhagen, Middleton, WI

Lake Owen-Lovers Bay Tract, WI; Chequamegon-Nicolet NF

Family owned cabin,18 years;15-year NFH Member

Qualifications and Experience: I have been a cabin owner since 2000, and I feel privileged to be considered for an NFH Board of Director position.  My family started camping in the Wisconsin Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest over 30 years ago, and when one of the eleven Forest Service cabins in Wisconsin became available, we were excited to become the new owners.  We feel fortunate to have a cabin in a magnificent and treasured Wisconsin forest.

I spent my professional career in food research and development, managing groups of food scientists who developed and commercialized food products and manufacturing processes.  For several years prior to my retirement, I was a member of the executive management group in an international food company.  I believe my extensive experience developing and implementing new ideas would be useful to the NFH organization.  I have attended a national convention and regional forums, visited several Minnesota cabin tracts and hosted an NFH tract tour.


Our tract of 11 cabins does not have a formal tract association, so I have acted as the facilitator between our tract and NFH. When our cabin fees became extremely high, and the future of our cabin ownership was at risk, my wife and I were very active in communicating our tract’s dilemma to NFH and the Forest Service. Based on this experience, and the dedicated effort I saw NFH put into getting CFA passed, which saved cabins like ours, I would like to be involved in any way I can to help advance and develop NFH programs that support all cabin owners.



Alan Pirie, Madera, CA


Camp Sierra Tract, CA; Sierra NF


Family owned cabin, 83 years; 23-year NFH Member


Qualifications and Experience: I am the 4th generation of cabin owners in our family, dating back to 1935 when my great grandfather built a cabin at Camp Sierra in the Sierra National Forest. I graduated from California State University, Fresno in 1977 with a degree in Business Administration. My wife Nancy and our three sons and five grandchildren reside in Madera, California. Our cabin provides a great family retreat; providing rest and relaxation from my commercial real estate business, marketing and managing commercial properties in the Fresno area for over 38 years.


I became an NFH director in April 2016. My goal in seeking to continue to serve as a director is to apply skills developed in the property management and real estate business to contribute to enhance, improve, and preserve the cabin program. I want to build upon the relationships made as a director. Some areas of interest to me specifically are to help tracts develop fire safety plans, tract communications, resolve water issues, and to strengthen and improve the options for obtaining insurance coverage.



Kevin Orth, Mercer Island, WA


Silver Creek Tract (White River Recreation Assn.), WA; Mount Baker Snoqualmie NF


Family owned cabin15 years; 6-year NFH Member


Qualifications and Experience:I am a Seattle native who became familiar with the recreational residence program over 25 years ago, as our family spent many wonderful weekends with friends who owned a cabin in the Silver Springs tract at White River. We bought a cabin of our own, in the nearby Silver Creek tract, 15 years ago. 


I have been on the WRRA board since 2009 in a variety of roles, including tract rep, social chair, and social media manager. I was elected President two years ago, and successfully managed through a very difficult period as we dealt with the Norse Peak Fire. Under my tenure, the WRRA has experienced some of our strongest years in terms of membership and participation.  Recently, I was elected to another two-year term as President (for 2019-2020).

My engagement with NFH has largely been via participation in the last two national conferences. I found these to be outstanding events where I learned a lot, and was impressed with the passion and knowledge of the NFH board. I feel that the NFH organization is a fantastic resource for cabin owners, and can provide information and support for many of the issues we all struggle with in the recreational residence program. 

If elected, I look forward to the challenge of assisting the NFH board as they continue to tackle tough issues, while simultaneously running the WRRA, and juggling work and family commitments as well. Thank you for your consideration and support.



David Hansen, St. Paul, MN


Walker Bay Tract, MN; Chippewa NF


Family owned cabin,55 years; 10-year NFH Member


Qualifications and Experience: NFH is thenational voice for cabin owners.  I offer my experience as a professional communicator to help the organization stay strong and grow.  I am completing my first term on the board and have served on several committees: communications, program/events and membership. I’ve helped with the newsletter and other communications, provided visual support, and helped plan recent forums and conferences.  As with any job or organization, it takes time to see how things get done and I feel as though I am over that learning curve.  


I recently retired from a career as a photojournalist with the University of Minnesota.  I also have a family Christmas tree farm that educates me not just about forestry but also small business management.


My cabin is on Leech Lake, in Minnesota, in a group of 20 cabins from the 1950s-60s.  Over half are still with the original family and we understand the value of long term commitment. Our tract is also on an Indian reservation where I’ve made lifetime friends with whom I hunt, share stories and participate in ceremonies.  Cabins provide so much more than just a retreat and relaxation.  We develop close friendships, strengthen our families and receive a lifetime of environmental education.  The continuation of the USFS cabin program is my motivation for supporting NFH in any way I can.




David Gearing, Portland, OR


Mile Bridge Tract, OR; Mount Hood NF


Family owned cabin 5 years; 5-year NFH Member


Qualifications and Experience:I purchased my cabin on August 29, 2013. No place makes me happier and puts me more at peace.  


I have served on the NFH Board since April of 2017.  I am on the Finance Committee and the Bylaws and Policies Committee.  I am currently running for a position on the Nominating Committee.  I also serve on the Mount Hood Forest Homeowner’s Association Board.  I am learning about the history and operations of the Cabin Program.  I want to participate in its stewardship and preservation for future generations.  


I am a senior partner in our eight-attorney family law firm.  I serve as a Clackamas County Pro Tem Judge.  I represent children pro bono by Court appointment. I belong to the Oregon State Bar, the Oregon Academy of Family Law Practitioners, and the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers. I attended the University of Oregon School of Law and the SUNY Buffalo School of Architecture and Environmental Design.


Years ago, I served on the Oregon Humane Society Board and the Salvation Army Metro Advisory Board. More recently I have coached youth sports and helped officiate high school ski races.  I have run eleven marathons.  I ski, fish, bike, golf, and otherwise enjoy the outdoors.


Thank you for your consideration.



Richard “Kim” Stiles, Yakima, WA


Boot Jack Tract (Rimrock Cabin Owners Association), WA; Okanogan-Wenatchee NF


Family owned cabin, 56 years; 16-year NFH Member


Qualifications and Experience: I am interested in running for a position on the NFH Board of Directors in 2019. I am currently an NFH Director and believe I can continue to perform to advance the mission of the National Forest Homeowners in the upcoming years. The Cabin program is a success and should be a model for Government Agencies to emulate.  I will work to preserve it and the interests of all National Forest Homeowners.


Qualifications: Currently working in my 32ndyear as a professional Firefighter for the Hanford Fire Dept.  25 Years as a Captain in a leadership position. I have served as an officer within the Rimrock Cabin Owners Association, Four years as President and previous to that, four years as Vice President.  My Father owned our Cabin since 1962 when I was Four years of age. I now own our Cabin with two of my siblings. Cabin Life has been my life. I have extensive Governmental experience working for the US Department of Energy. Through the daily process of working with bureaucracy, I have learned to maneuver within a Government agency and the regulation they must operate within. 



     CLICK HERE for Statements & Photos of Vice President & Secretary Candidates


     CLICK HERE for Statement & Photo of Associate Member Director Candidate


     CLICK HERE for Statements & Photos of Nominating Committee Candidates


     CLICK HERE 'I'm ready to Vote'