Our Staff

Ty Schmidt :: Executive Director

A Canadian import from friendly Manitoba, Ty came to Traverse City in 2006 by way of Tucson, AZ. Along with his wife, Johanna, a Leelanau County native, Ty founded Norte in 2013 to advocate for more happy, healthy, strong communities. A physical therapist by training and recovering Cat 2 road/elite mountain bike racer, Ty now works fulltime at the Norte Clubhouse and rides at kid pace with his two boys, Carter and Jameson. He can often be seen at Carter’s Compost World HQ where he also volunteers as a bucket scrubber and pile turner.

Ben Boyce :: Program Director

As Norte’s Program Director, Ben Boyce gets to do what he likes most: ride bikes and work with kids. A super dad, devoted husband, reggae lover and good with the wrenches, Ben is a Maybee, Michigan native now thriving in Traverse City.


Jamie Burley :: Clubhouse Manager

Jamie came to Traverse City in 2017 with her husband, Tony, and two boys, Ben and Jacob. She loves a good book, hockey, and of course, bicycles. Jamie is passionate about happy, healthy, strong kids and wears many, many hats with poise to see Norte’s mission through.

Gary Howe :: Advocacy Director

Gary has over 10-years of direct experience creating and advocating for public policy and planning processes in support of healthy transportation and engaging public spaces. He served as a City Commissioner for the City of Traverse City from 2013-2017. He is also a writer, a New York Times-published photographer, and has over 20 years of teaching experience in Asia, as an adjunct instructor at Northwestern Michigan College, and as a guest teacher in Traverse City. You can see some of his photography on Insta at @GLH_Image

Ashlea Walter :: Development Director

An accomplished leader with creative ideas, Ashlea offers two decades of innovative community engagement, marketing, communications, and fundraising experience. She has honed and deployed her expertise across a diverse spectrum of sectors: the arts, political, finance and banking, education, recreation and tourism, small business, and nonprofit.

Mike Decker :: Volunteer Coordinator

Born and bred on Traverse City’s east side, Mike heeded the call back to Northern Michigan after 11 years away. Starting with lack of access to a vehicle, Mike began his love for 2-wheeled transportation while in high school and is still a daily bike commuter. He brings 7-years of experience from a bike nonprofit in Denver where he helped create a community of volunteers who served thousands every year. When not at Norte getting people excited about bikes, Mike can be found reading, writing, running, bike adventuring, and moonlighting as a librarian at Traverse Area District Library.