Meet The Team

Kevin with the county manager’s admin assistant out of the James River before they overturned their canoe!

Kevin with the county manager’s admin assistant out of the James River before they overturned their canoe!

kevin Costello - President at steuben county conference and visitors bureau

Kevin Costello is the President of the Steuben County Conference and Visitors Bureau the official tourism promotion agency for Steuben County, NY. Kevin manages a team of five tourism professionals who tell the destination’s story in a strategic and research based approach to increase accommodation occupancy and tourism expenditures within Steuben. In his previous position, Kevin served as Director of Economic Development and Tourism for the Town of Abingdon, Virginia. Kevin has developed several award-winning programs such as the Wine Trail of Botetourt County, the Upper James River Water Trail, the Abingdon Music Experience and Rooted in Appalachia. Under Kevin’s leadership, the Abingdon Convention and Visitors Bureau was awarded the Tourism Office of the Year by Southeast Tourism Society in 2014.

Favorite outdoor activities
canoeing and hiking


quinn wright - Executive Director at Finger Lakes Trail Conference

Community Involvement

Finger Lakes Trail Conference, Inc.

* Executive Director: 2015 - present

* Treasurer: 2012 – 2015

* Director of Crews and Construction: 2009 - 2012

New York State Trails Council

* Hiking Representative: 2009 - present

Cattaraugus County, NY Trails Council

* Hiking Representative: 2015 - present

North Country Trail Association

* Advocacy Committee: 2015 - present

* Hike the Hill participant: 2016, 2017

Foothills Trail Club

* Board of Directors member: 2002 – 2004

* Trail Maintainer: 2002 - 2010

Grand Island Little League

* President : 1964 - 1966

* Board of Directors member: 1961 – 1964

* Coach: 1961 1966, 1977 - 1984

Grand Island Swim Club

* President: 1986 - 1988

Professional Experience

Technology Teacher, City of Buffalo, NY: 2001-2014

Surface Finishing Systems, Buffalo, NY: 1988 -2003

Founded the company which sold abrasive finishing supplies and equipment. Branched into another industry by buying a small local company that was grown into a state-wide endeavor. Sold the business to my son.

Dresser Industries, Niagara Falls, NY: 1977 – 1988

* Foreman: 1977 – 1978

* Process Engineer: 1978 – 1979

* Project Engineer: 1979 – 1983

* Industrial Distribution Salesman: 1983 - 1985

* Industrial Distribution Sales Manager: 1985 – 1988

U.S. Air force: 1969 - 1973


* M.Ed. – Technology Education, SUNY Buffalo

* B.S. – Industrial Technology, SUNY Buffalo

* B.A. – English, SUNY Buffalo

Deb hiking in the Lake District in England

Deb hiking in the Lake District in England

Deb Nero - activities & Presentations Coordinator, Executive Vice President at Finger Lakes Trail Conference

Deb Nero is a retired Cornell University Genetics lecturer who now works full time volunteering for various organizations. The most important organization is the Finger Lakes Trail Conference which builds and maintains 1,000 miles of mostly unknown hiking trail in southern New York State. Currently, much of her time is devoted to organizing lots and lots of fun and interesting presentations and demonstrations for the Finger Lakes Trail Days event at the Steuben County Fairgrounds on July 27 where we will introduce the FLT to the world! Deb has completed all of the branch trails of the FLT and is currently working on completing the full main trail, from end to end, for the fourth time!

Favorite outdoor activities
hiking with her dogs

Donna Flood at Allegany State Park

Donna Flood at Allegany State Park

donna flood - activities Coordinator, Publicity Director at Foothills Trail Club

Donna Flood is a retired music teacher and longtime member of Foothills Trail Club. She serves as their publicity director, past president and FLTC representative. She organizes publicity activities for clubs at various WNY outlets, clubs, and service organizations. She serves on the Finger Lakes Trail Club Membership and Marketing Committee, Publicity committee and Trail Days committee. She’s an active hiker, completing the Conservation Trail 3 times, and has hiked all the branch trails of the Finger Lakes System with plans to finished the main trail. She and her husband, Jim, organize and maintain the Foothills website and updated the site to include Pay Pal and “Animoto” links. She is the hikes chair for the Spring Weekend at the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford and has chaired Fall Weekends at Chautauqua twice.

Favorite outdoor activities


dave Newlun - Volunteer Coordinator

Jim at Fitch’s Bridge, Big Flats, looking upriver (east) on the Chemung River

Jim at Fitch’s Bridge, Big Flats, looking upriver (east) on the Chemung River

jim pfiffer - Executive Director at Chemung River Friends, Elmira, NY

Jim is one of handful of people who started Chemung River Friends 10 years ago as a nonprofit organization to promote and protect our waterways and encourage the public to better understand, respect and enjoy our rivers and streams. River Friends builds and maintains boat launches, fishing access sites and riverside trails. The organization teaches basic paddling, water safety and free public programs about river-related wildlife, issues and environmental stewardship. River Friends has removed more than 13 tons of river trash and illegal dump sites and it monitors our waterways for pollution, illegal activities and paddling hazards. River Friends increased recreational use of the Chemung River and its tributaries 10-fold in 10 years. The small organization is successful and accomplishes big successes by partnering with municipalities, businesses and its members. 

Prior to River Friends, Jim was a newspaper reporter, editor and humor columnist for 25 years with the Elmira Star Gazette, USA Today, Towanda Daily Review and the Elmira Sports Section. Jim was born and raised in Elmira, attended Elmira college and lives in Elmira along the river with his wife, dog and cat. He enjoys paddling, hiking, cycling, the Boston Red Sox, L.A. Rams and discovering, enjoying and protecting nature. 

“River Friends has a simple philosophy,” Jim said. “We are all on this canoe trip together. Makes sense to keep our paddles in the water and paddle in the same direction.” 

Favorite outdoor activities
paddling, hiking, cycling

Lacie backpacking the Manistee River Trail in Michigan

Lacie backpacking the Manistee River Trail in Michigan

lacie tryan - special events Coordinator

Lacie Tryan graduated from Ferris State University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Music Business. Lacie is a volunteer of the Next Generation Coalition of the North Country Trail Association and works in ticket sales in Michigan. As part of the Finger Lakes Trail Days committee, Lacie helps plan the festival by coordinating the bands and logistics of the festival.

Favorite outdoor activities
backpacking, hiking, longboarding, & kayaking