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.

Abby Havill :: School Coordinator

Abby is a Traverse City native who was born in the mountains of Vail, Colorado, which means she loves mountains and alpine skiing, but also biking, plant-based baking and cooking, yoga, writing, sustainable living, chocolate, and our northern Michigan community. After four years out West in Colorado, Abby moved back to Traverse City and soon met her husband, Will. She has many years of experience coaching skiing to the little ones and is now super excited to add mountain bike coach for Norte to the list!

Roger Amundsen :: Outreach Coordinator

A Florida native, Roger moved to Northern Michigan in May 2018 and is an ardent fan of spending time outside. In addition to his work for Norte, Roger is an artist & freelance film composer. He serves on the Traverse City Arts Commission and is the Volunteer Coordinator for Up North Pride. When he’s not out on his road bike, or leading a Norte program, Roger enjoys swimming, trail running, reading, eating carrots, and sipping mezcal. He and his partner, Pam, live downtown with their newborn son, Sylvan, and a house full of plants.