Board of Directors

Our Board of Directors is made up of members of the Appalachian Trail hiking community, environmental advocates, and family of Earl Shaffer. We are dedicated to continuing Earl's legacy through publication, environmental advocacy, and community education. 

Sanne Bagby


Mack Thorpe

Vice President

Board member since 2002, currently Vice President Earl Shaffer Foundation (ESF), met and spent a day with Earl Shaffer on June 22nd, 1998, during his 3rd and 50th anniversary through hike on the Appalachian Trail (AT).   Mack is a section hiker with over 850 miles on the AT, Life Time member of the Appalachian Trail Conservancy, Assistant Scoutmaster Troop 93, an Eagle Scout and a Professional Santa Claus.  He and, his wife Pam, co-own The Rusty Bucket LLC located in Apex, NC and resides in the neighboring town of Pittsboro, NC where he is a master craftsman building Farm Tables for his customers.  Keeping Earl’s legacy alive and public is a key objective of the ESF and a personal commitment of Mack’s.

Daniel C. "Dan" Shaffer 


Dan is currently Secretary/Treasurer of the Earl Shaffer Foundation.   From ages 6 to 9, he lived with his family in a log house on the Shaffer homestead in York County, Pennsylvania.  Earl lived in a small apartment on the second floor of the adjacent “Barn”.  His Shiloh Scout Troop 94, specialized in hiking, and by age 17, he’d hiked all of the A.T. in Pennsylvania.   Years later, he hiked the A.T. through the Smoky Mountains and, in 2018, hiked the Pennsylvania section again with his daughter, Kimberly.

Dan has had multiple careers, including  work with Native American Tribes, international contract manufacturing,  small business consulting, and teaching Aviation English with his wife, Ya-mei, to Chinese student pilots in the US and China.  He has served on the Boards of Directors of several non-profit organizations.

Nancy Nafziger

Chairman of Publication Committee


As the daughter of Earl Shaffer's younger brother, Evan, Nancy grew up in Southern York County, PA, while her Uncle Earl lived in West York.  Although presently retired from teaching and living in the Upstate of South Carolina, Nancy enjoyed high-country backpacking and powder skiing in the Rocky Mountains while she taught school in Colorado.

Larry Luxenberg


Larry is a longtime member of the Earl Shaffer Foundation. He is also the founder and president of the Appalachian Trail Museum in Gardners, Pa. Larry thru-hiked the A.T. in 1980 and is the author of Walking the Appalachian Trail. He is also Secretary/Treasure of Hiking Trails for America, a past board member of the American Hiking Society and is active in the Appalachian Long Distance Hikers Association.

David Donaldson

David Donaldson is a former past president of the Earl Shaffer Foundation. During his own thru-hike in 1998, David had the great fortune to meet and hike with Earl Shaffer. October 7, 1998, on a picture-perfect day, David and Earl summited Mt. Katahdin together, surrounded by a cadre of hikers and friends. This experience led to a friendship between David and Earl, which culminated in Earl granting David permission to write his biography. David is forever indebted to Earl and the entire Shaffer family for the privilege of sharing in their story.

David Shaffer

David W. Shaffer, nephew of Earl, has many memories of spending time with Earl on the trail.  As a youngster, helping Earl maintain the trail and hiking together helped develop my love for the outdoors.  I was lucky enough to be a small part of his 1965 hike as well as include my daughter as part of his 1998 50th anniversary hike.  I worked with my dad, John Shaffer, Earl and others in initial planning of the foundation.  I have also served as secretary.  I am the owner and operator of Superior Lock & Safe Co. in Pickerington, Ohio for the last 40 years.  When not busy with work, I enjoy spending time sharing my love for the outdoors with my grandchildren .

Kimberly Shaffer

Kimberly Shaffer is the grand-niece of Earl, and granddaughter of Earl’s eldest brother Daniel. A biologist by training, she has worked in research, education, helicopter aviation, and international business consulting in the U.S., Panama, and China. In 2018, Kimberly hiked a 630-mile section of the Appalachian Trail to celebrate the 70th anniversary of Earl’s first thru hike, and she looks forward to finishing the trail in sections in the years to come. As a director, Kimberly is working to digitize Earl’s writings, work, and outreach to connect with an international online audience.

Quentin Cavanagh