AEE Northeast Region 

Northeast Regional Conference

April 19-21, 2024

University of New Hampshire Durham, New Hampshire

Learn More & Register 

presenter in front of projector, audience in chairsYour 2024 Host Committee:

Christy Brodeur & Elyse Norton (Conveners), Jed Williamson, Rosanne Mistretta, Sarah Skoy, Ladda “Bug” Kosaketh, Hutch Hutchinson, Robert Siudzinski, Andrew Wood, Shannon McNamara, Melissa Bettigole, Kendra Bostick, Melissa Murphy

  1. To contact us, email or send us a Facebook message!

group smiling togetherThe Northeast Region covers the following states and provinces:

Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont, Quebec, Atlantic Provinces

The Northeast Regional Volunteers Seek To:

  • Represent AEE's values in the Northeast, and support its growth and impact as an organization.
  • Recognize and address current needs for attention and change within the Northeast by:
    • Initiating strategies and actions to affect change in these areas
    • Advising and supporting the Host Committee in reaching these objectives at Annual NE Regional Conference.
  • Fuel the expansion and diversification of groups and perspectives within AEE.
  • Foster connections within our region.
  • Create opportunities for members to develop within this field.

Roles and participation in the council rotate to support allow for the capacity and perspectives needed to responsibly serve AEE in this way. 

Northeast Region Awards


In 2001, the Northeast Regional Conference hosted Josh Miner as one of the keynote speakers. As a founding trustee of Outward Bound, Josh was instrumental in bringing the experiential philosophy of Kurt Hahn to the United States. Conference attendees were fortunate to hear Josh's vision and passion firsthand, as he shared stories, metaphors, and lessons of children, curiosity, and character. Josh passed away nine months later.

Josh Miner Dialogue SeriesIn an effort to capture the essence of the wisdom he shared, in 2003 the Northeast Region Advisory Council established the Josh Miner dialogue series. The series consists of a public undefined dialogue or conversation between the years' honoree and another professional in the field. The "interview" traditionally takes place during the Northeast Regional Conference. This format gives conference attendees a chance to get to know the honoree in an informal setting that often reveals best practice advice and nuggets of wisdom, as well as personal stories and mistakes to avoid.

The Northeast Region Advisory Council in conjunction with the Regional Conference Host Committee selects the Josh Miner Dialogue Series honoree.

Rick Curtis2024 Honoree: Rick Curtis

Rick Curtis has served as Director of the Outdoor Action Program at Princeton University for the past 43 years. As director of one of the largest college outdoor orientation programs he has developed many of the practices and protocols used by similar programs across the country. He is the author of The Backpacker's Field Manual, the founder of the website, and creator of Incident Analytix risk management software. Over the past forty years he has shared information and resources on outdoor orientation programs, risk management, outdoor leadership, and program development through his web site, and numerous conference presentations. In 2022 he received the AEE Michael Stratton Practitioner Award for his many contributions to the field. 

2024 Interviewer: Brent Bell

Future Honorees

Do you have a suggestion for a future honoree? The Northeast Region Advisory Council is interested in hearing from regional members about who they believe would be a good candidate for recognition as the Josh Miner dialogue series speaker. If you have a suggestion, please reach out to

Past Recipients

2021 Sanford Tollette
2020 Katherine Kennedy
2019 Jasper S. Hunt
2018 Mike Gass
2017 Laurie Gullion
2016 Dick Prouty
2015 Jed Williamson
2014 Nicki Hall

2013 Hendricks Davis
2012 Karen Warren
2011 Rob Rubendall
2010 Lance Lee
2009 Jim Schoel
2008 Pam McPhee
2007 Craig Dobkin
2006 Keith King
2005 Phil Costello
2004 Dan Garvey
2003 Karl Rohnke


Person In Charge Of Unlocking Potential

2024 PICOUP Award will be announced Friday, April 19, 2024 at the regional conference

Michael Gessford will be remembered for his playful spirit, his dedication to the field of experiential education and his kindness and generosity. Mike possessed a unique way of empowering others to achieve their best. In a world of people so quick to offer answers; Mike asked questions. His confidence in others abilities and his endless pursuit of knowledge urged those around him to dig deeper within themselves. Mike was a perceptive educator who gave the world his all and asked for nothing in return. PICOUP is a phrase Mike himself came up with to describe his "job title": Person In Charge Of Unlocking Potential.

Mike Gessford headshot

This award is dedicated to the memory of Mike Gessford (1962-2011), the original PICOUP. Mike would have liked to remind everyone, "follow your bliss."

The PICOUP Award will be given each year to someone in the Northeast AEE community who selflessly gives of themselves for the betterment of others. This award is to honor an individual who has the ability to empower others to achieve their best regardless of personal gain.

Past Honorees

2021 - Alison Jackson Frasier
2020 - Scott Catucci
2019 - Kirstin Lund
2018 - Anna Kay Vorsteg
2017 - Jim Grout
2016 - Kamora Herrington
2015 - Keith King
2014 - Brent Bell

2013 - Hutch Hutchinson
2012 - Beth Sayers 
2011 - Mike Gessford