The Pinelands Adventures Team
Meet the Pinelands Adventures team of expert guides and educators.
Andy Giles, Director
Andy joined the team in 2022. Having moved to Shamong in 2004, he now considers himself a Pinelands local. Prior to joining PPA, Andy had reinvented himself during the pandemic and gained his Blue Seal Industrial Engineering licenses in Steam and Refrigeration with State of NJ, working as an Industrial Mechanic/Operating Engineer with Oatly, Inc. after spending 20+ years as a Director in Non-Profit 501 (c) 3, College Athletics, and Local Authority Recreation & Parks Departments. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree from Matthew Boulton College UK in Sports and Recreation Management, a Diploma from the Institute of Sports and Recreation Management, and a CPRP from the National Recreation and Parks Association. He has been an American Red Cross Instructor since 1998. Outside of work Andy can be found tinkering with all things mechanical, hiking with his doggy, kayaking, and immersing himself in the lore and culture of the Pinelands.
Krissy Raudys, Operations Manager
Krissy leads the Pinelands Adventures team. Krissy’s enthusiasm for adventure and passion for the outdoors brought her to the heart of The Pinelands. With years of experience leading trips and developing programs in many different outdoor industries, her expertise and creative ideas are a welcome addition to the Pinelands Adventures team. Coming equipped with an adventure degree, naturally she spends her free time in other outdoor pursuits playing with nature and gravity. When not doing the work thing, she loves to travel, ski, hike, swim, and play volleyball (in no particular order). She digs extreme weather, baking, music, photography, watching sunsets while sipping adult beverages, and is freakishly good at jigsaw puzzles. Being very observant and thoughtful when it comes to the guest experience, Krissy works hard to add in special moments and is excited about making others excited about the outdoors.
Allison Hartman, Director of Education
Allison runs the educational programs and guided tours of Pinelands Adventures. Allison is a beach kid who feels like she’s won the job lottery: she’s made paddling into a career. She’s a South Jersey native and has been leading kayak and paddleboard tours through the salt marshes for more than ten years. Allison is a graduate of Stockton University’s Marine Science program and a senior fellow in the Environmental Leadership Program Fellowship. With a background in marine biology and environmental education, Allison is always excited for a chance to “nerd out” and share her passion for anything in the natural world, but especially aquatic plants and animals. When you meet her, she’d love to hear your best nature-based fun fact!
Monica Cahill, Operations Lead
When Monica joined Pinelands Adventures as a driver in 2019, she fulfilled her lifelong dream of working in the great outdoors in ecotourism. A South Jersey native who eventually settled down in Folsom (just outside Hammonton), she enjoys sharing her ever-growing knowledge of the history and ecology of the New Jersey Pinelands. Her passion for protecting and conserving our last remaining wilderness comes straight from the heart. Monica has quickly become a customer favorite by sharing her experiences in the forests and talking about the unique flora and fauna she’s encountered during her explorations of rivers and trails. Nature is her church. Monica also has worked at Rancocas Creek Farms, a restorative farming project sponsored by the Pinelands Preservation Alliance. She enjoys creative cooking with all the fresh veggies grown at the farm. As a yoga practitioner, Monica has also earned her 200-hour yoga teacher training certificate and is continuing her studies. Favorite quote: “Heaven is under our feet, as well as over our heads” ~Henry David Thoreau
Jeff Larson, Driver and Guide
Jeff Larson has been a pinelands resident for most of his adult life. He is an avid pickerel fisherman who has spent countless hours exploring the watersheds within the Pine Barrens. He has enjoyed many years of exploring the deepest, most remote areas of the woods and has a profound respect for the history and culture of the region. A professional musician and guitar teacher, Jeff released two albums with a pine barrens related theme that have been well received in the community and internationally.
Jason Howell, Driver, Guide, Riverkeeper, & Photographer
Jason Howell is an NJ Volunteer Master Naturalist, Wilderness First Responder, and is a volunteer with Mid-Atlantic Search and Rescue covering Southern New Jersey and The Pinelands National Reserve. Jason works full-time as Stewardship Coordinator with the Pinelands Preservation Alliance and helps us at Pinelands Adventures whenever he gets the opportunity. Jason is an avid canoeist, hiker, and wilderness skills enthusiast.
Mike Neral, Driver
Mike arrived at Pinelands Adventures in 2018 not a moment too soon. At the time we needed another driver and Mike hit the ground running knowing just what to do. You might find him wandering anywhere in the Pine Barrens when he’s not helping launch customers or regaling them with stories about the Pines. Be sure to ask him about his cats!
Michael Youngkin, Driver
As long as he can remember, Michael has been coming to these woods to unplug, meditate, and explore. He was lucky enough to begin his formal Pine Barrens education all the way back in middle school, taking a Pine Barrens elective class and hiking the entire Batona Trail with a group of students and a few dedicated teachers. He joined the Boy Scouts to go on as many adventures as possible, including a week-long canoeing excursion in the Boundary Waters area of Minnesota. At various times before joining Pinelands Adventures in 2022, Michael ran a handyman business, taught high school English, and worked on a flower farm. A South Jersey native, he is thrilled to have the opportunity to share his love of the Pine Barrens with our visitors!
Joe joined the Pinelands Adventures team in 2022. He is a South Jersey native with strong ties to the area, having spent his childhood picking blueberries on his family’s Hammonton farm. An avid traveler, Joe is passionate about exploring the world’s wild places, and recently spent several months touring the western United States in “Bus Aldrin,” his self-converted school bus RV. Though he still has much to learn, Joe’s passion for the Pine Barrens grows every day. As a former mechanical engineer, he takes a particular interest in the rich and unique industrial history of the region. When he’s not paddling, you’ll likely find Joe behind the lens of his camera or training for his next marathon.